Android is an operating system (OS) from Google. Android is open source. Android has a huge market share. Smartphones running on Android sell more than other operating systems. Android is app friendly. The hosannas sung in favor of Android can fill an earth mover truck! Android is touted to be app dependent which is good news for smartphone users who can download apps by the cartload. However, the development of apps is not without any pitfalls, in fact some severe.
Disadvantages? Nay, Challenges!
The overwhelming Android presence has triggered a market for application development which is getting bigger by the day. Google Play Store, the online shop hawking app wares is awash with apps of all hues and sizes. Users are aplenty and challenges encountered in Android app development are of equivalent proportions. So what are these challenges?
Multiple vendors: Many smartphone manufacturers use Android as the operating system, albeit with many modifications. Libraries, features et al get modified or deleted leading to a pesky increase in fragmentation issues.
Lack of Usage policies: Android’s originator, Google, has been rather lenient allowing app developers to tweak and twist it to suit their purpose. This no rules approach has let every Tom, Dick and Harry developer run riot resulting in bumpkin apps sharing silo space in Google Play Store. How do we ensure that quality apps alone gain entry to Play?
Software and Hardware Diversity: Multiple versions of the software launched in quick time pose an issue in compatibility of the app for more than one version. As concerns hardware, the market is flooded with smartphones of all screen sizes, operating mechanisms and processing speeds increasing the headache of app developers to ensure satisfactory performance of their apps in these devices.
Commercialization blues: Once an app is ready for sale, the app developer has to pay Google a fee upfront to host his/her app. Google scrutinizes the app to detect and remove any malware, causing considerable delay on the commercialization aspect. The temptation to include advertisements in apps can incur users’ wrath. One also has to keep an eye on the patent aspect, lest anyone sues for plagiarism.
While all the challenges may not be doused with long lasting solutions, workarounds are available that should help one to get by.
Software and Hardware: It must be accepted that a single app may not satisfy all the mobile devices running different versions of Android. Diversity in hardware and software is a reality that must be accepted. Fortunately hardware nowadays show flexibility in running different Android versions based apps. App developers must do a research on the target devices and versions and decide the best fit to target their apps.
Commercialization: Again research plays an important part. Identify the target users and devices so you may derive revenue through app usage of this targeted group. This would also free you of the need to use advertisements in you app driving away your users. Or, make you app so user friendly that users will not mind encountering a couple of small advertisements on the side.
Challenges may be endemic or spread out but those involved in Android application development do find ways to surmount these issues. Diversity in Android can be a boon as well a bane depending on how we approach app development. To reiterate, a thorough research and passion for achieving the intended goal will enable one to sail through teething problems and launch their app successfully. Ready Steady Go!