Guiding Android Developers on best practices in Pakistan
Guiding Android Developers | Question Answer Session:
Q: What do you think is one common mistake that developers from Pakistan make when they build an Application?
A: What I noticed was that the apps that were coming out of Pakistan were really featured heavy. I mean they would try to do a lot of things, wherein they could instead concentrate on a smaller feature set and maybe do it in a better way providing fuller, complete experience to the user focusing on more important stuff like UX and navigation and all those things. So instead of making cluttered UIs and packing in a lot of functionality, remember it’s a mobile device.
The real estate is limited, there use is limited, and you have to take care of touch targets and provide appropriate spacing. So instead of making it featured heavy and cluttered, just focus on a lesser number of things and make them beautiful.
Q: A common request we get from developers, how can we get featured on Play Store, what does it take to get featured? So what would you say are the top three or five things that the teams look when they are deciding on getting an app featured on Play Store?
A: In general, the experience for the user should be amazing. So when you start with that mentality, you would do well. So that includes building the right UX, following the patents and guidelines that are published by the Android team. And there are plenty of those to make your app consistent with the other apps and the system UI itself. We regularly update our guidelines across whenever there are new version releases and there are new things coming up. So I would say navigation, interaction design, UX, and support for all sorts of devices.
Support for tablets is important. Making no assumptions on user behavior. There are some developers who release their app with just a portrait or a landscape orientation, thinking this is how a user would use my app. But there are users who have different habits. So taking care of these things are important, and they really go a long way in bringing good reviews to your apps.
Q: How important would you say is focusing on tablet apps, or making sure that you have a tablet version of your app? How important would you say is that?
A: So really, there are a lot of large screen devices that are coming. And it’s important for users to experience your apps on these devices. I myself am a heavy user of a tablet, and I look forward to access my favorite apps on the tablet. And there are a lot of tablets in the market that are there now. So it’s really important now to focus on tablets as well.
During your development process, if you get that thought in early, that you have to build a tablet-friendly UI, it’s actually much easier to achieve the goal. There are many developers who start out with, OK, I’m going to do a phone UI, and maybe after six months or one-year period, I will do a tablet UI. That actually complicates the development process. So if you have those goals set in your mind that my app should run on all devices, there are features of it in the framework like fragments that can help you can actually go a long way in making it simpler and easier to develop applications.
Q: Just get all the guidelines, the best practices on https://developer.android.com follow the team on Google+. Also, I think you guys are very active on Stack Overflow, so these can be some of the avenues– some of our developers can get in touch with the team and get the best practices, What would be one final advice, if you are asked to give one advice to developers in our region? How can they be really successful? What would be that?
A: Focus on the user. And there are some important considerations when you’re in an emerging market like Pakistan, in terms of data connectivity and stuff. So focus on those things, make sure you do not load heavy assets on lower end devices, which are available and plenty in Pakistan. So taking care of that stuff, making the user experience really wonderful, is and by following all the guidelines that I mentioned about is what you should start with.
Q: I want you to talk about– we had the recent Android update, the Marshmallow that came out, and a lot of developers have already been using it and playing around with it. But if you can talk about some of the key highlights that the team rolled out as part of the latest release, that would be really useful for our developers.
A: Right. So we’ve always had this theme with Lollypop, about their UI as what we said. So with Marshmallow, A quick scan of the feature list might have you asking why this update simply isn’t called Android 5.2. But spend time with a Marshmallow equipped device and the answer becomes obvious. Now on Tap has the potential to be a killer feature; Doze’s battery optimizations improve standby time no end; and a host of minor tweaks add up to make the once confusing OS into a more inviting and user-friendly place. Lollipop brought the looks, but Marshmallow brings the performance. Yeah, a lot of features came out.
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