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How to Future Proof an Android App

Updated on January 19, 2013
There is no certainty how many generations of Android your application will sustain, but these future proof tips may turn out valuable.
There is no certainty how many generations of Android your application will sustain, but these future proof tips may turn out valuable.

The mobile world is changing as we speak. As we saw in the newest CES convention, our smartphones are changing quite rapidly. Flexible screens, new Quad-Core processors with even more power than before; everything is changing. But what does this mean for the developer? How can a person manage to build an app, which will sustain the flow of time and still be compatible with the newest Android devices. Nothing can be certain; however, there are a few tips, which you can follow in order to future-proof your android application.

1) Make your app available to as many devices as possible

Test your application to a wide variety of devices. Don't assume that all of your users will have a physical keyboard, for example, and create an alternative version of your app for different devices.

2) Avoid Piled up Layouts

An application with a lot of view hierarchies and cluttered layouts will most probably cause crashes. Even if, it runs well on one device, it may cause problems in the future. That's why if you want to future proof your application you should avoid adding unnecessary layout view hierarchies. A thing you could try doing is utilizing the frame layout or table layout in order to simplify your layouts.

The Settings Screen of an Android Phone
The Settings Screen of an Android Phone

3) Don't add settings Manipulation

As Android is changing, it is becoming more and more strict about how an application can change the settings of the phone. In the future applications would only instruct the user to change the settings. That's why your application should not mess with the settings of your phone.

4) Look Out for Phone Orientation and Rotation Issues

Generally you should not mess with the rotation settings of your device. If your application requires the use of the accelerometer make sure that you program your code perfectly, so it doesn't mess up the orientation of the device. As aforementioned, you should try your app on as many devices as possible in order to avoid hardware glitches.

5) Application Programming Interfaces

APIs are the thing you should look out for the most if you want to future proof your app. Almost every year APIs for internal tasks, such as brightness control or toggling the Bluetooth, are changed. That's why, if you use these APIs your application may crash on newer devices. Make sure your avoid them.

These are two future concepts of smartphones
These are two future concepts of smartphones

Overall, there is no way you can make your application sustain the quest of time. You can not know for sure what will come out next. However, if you avoid some general glitches and follow the aforementioned tips, you app could be available and fully operational to a lot more android devices to come.


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