The primary target for businesses while working on mobile apps is the Android platform, thanks to the massive market share the mobile operating system holds. It’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is open source and is regular updated with new enhancements and features.
Android devices generally tend to differ based on the mobile hardware features even when powered by the same version of the Android OS. This is why it is essential that when developing apps for Android, developers create mobile apps capable of targeting a diverse range of mobile devices running on different versions of Android OS.
During the various stages of planning, developing and testing, developers need to focus comprehensively on the apps functionality, accessibility, usability, performance, and security so that users can be engaged despite their choice of device. Also, they also need to look for ways to make the apps deliver a more personalized user experience across the various devices an operating system. Furthermore, developers need to understand and find solutions to the common challenges involved in android app development.
Common Challenges Android App Developers Face
1. Hardware Features
The Android OS is unlike any other mobile operating system. For one thing, it is an open source system. Alphabet gives manufacturers the leeway to customize the operating system to their specific needs. Also, there are no regulations on the devices being released by the different manufacturers. As a result, you can find various Android devices with different hardware features running on the same Android version. Two smartphones running on Android latest ver, for example, may have different screen resolutions, camera, screen size, and other hardware structures. During android app development, developers need to account for all of this to ensure the application delivers a personalized experience to each user.
2. Lack of Uniform User Interface Design Rules
Since Google is yet to release any standard UI (user interface) design rules or process for mobile app developers, most developers don’t follow any standard UI development rules or procedure. Because developers are creating custom UI interfaces in their preferred way, a lot of apps tend to function or look different across different devices. This diversity and incompatibility of the UI usually affects the user experience that the Android app directly delivers. Smart developers prefer to go for a responsive layout that’ll keep the UI consistent across different devices. Moreover, developers need to test the UI of the app extensively by combining emulators and real mobile devices. Designing a UI that makes the app deliver the same user experience across varying Android devices is one of the more daunting challenges developers face.
3. API Incompatibility
A lot of developers make use of third-party APIs to enhance the functionality and interoperability of a mobile device. Unfortunately, not all third-party APIs available for Android app development are of high quality.. Some APIs were created for a particular Android version and will not work on devices running on a different version of the operating system. Developers usually have to come up with ways to make a single API work on all Android versions, a task they often find to be very challenging.
4. Security Flaws
As previously mentioned, Android is an open source software, and because of that, manufacturers find it easy to customize Android to their desired specifications. However, this openness and the massive market size makes Android a frequent target for security attacks. There have been several instances where the security of millions of Android mobile devices have been affected by security flaws and bugs like mRST, Stagefright, FakeID, ‘Certifi-gate,’ TowelRoot and Installer Hijacking. Developers need to include robust security features in their applications and utilize the latest encryption mechanisms to keep user information secure and out of the hands of hackers.
5. Search Engine Visibility
The latest data from Statista shows that Google Play Store contains a higher number of mobile apps. Additionally, a large number of Android users prefer free apps than paid apps which is why developers need to promote their mobile applications to increase their download numbers and employ application monetization options. The best way to promote the app to reach their target audience is to use comprehensive digital marketing strategies. Most developers make use of digital marketing professionals to promote their apps aggressively.
6. Patent Issues
Google doesn’t implement any guidelines for the evaluation of the quality of new apps that are getting submitted to the Play Store. This lack of a quality assessment guideline causes a lot of patent-related issues for developers. Some developers, to avoid patent issues, have to modify and redesign their apps in the future.
As per my personal experience, I have tried to cover general challenges faced by Android app developers. I’m sure keeping wary of these challenges would help developers to build successful apps in the most hassle free way.
Harnil Oza is the CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem, one of the leading app development companies in New York, USA and India who deliver mobile solutions mainly on Android and iOS platform. He regularly contributes his knowledge on leading blogging sites.