At present, Android dominates the worldwide smartphone operating system market. Also, Google’s mobile operating system has been increasing revenue lead over Apple’s iOS platforms. Hence, many developers build apps by targeting the Android platform to reach out to more users and generate more revenue.
The programmers have the option to write Android apps in a number of programming languages – C++, Java, and Kotlin. They can even accelerate Android app development by using a variety of frameworks and IDEs. But the developers have to address a number of challenges to create outstanding Android apps.
1) Android Version Compatibility
The penetration rate of individual versions of the Android operating system differs. According to the latest usage statistics released by Google, Android 8.0 Oreo has a much lower penetration rate than Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat. Hence, the developers need to ensure that the mobile app delivers a richer user experience across various versions of Android. At the same time, the app must take advantage of the new features provided by the latest version of the mobile platform to beat the competition.
2) Device Fragmentation
Android is an open source mobile operating system. Google allows mobile device manufacturers to use and customized Android without any restrictions. Hence, device manufacturers frequently release smartphones and tablets powered by Android. But the Android devices differ from each other is screen size, resolution, and hardware features. The developers have to ensure that the app delivers a richer user experience across varied Android devices.
3) Third-Party APIs
The mobile app developers still lack the option to use the same set of application programming interfaces (APIs) across Android devices and platforms. They have to use multiple APIs according to the targeted Android devices and versions. Also, the developers have to use multiple web services according to targeted Android devices while using cross-platform IDEs.
4) Security Breaches
The massive market share of Android makes it more prone to targeted security attacks. The developers must include robust security features in the app and use the latest encryption mechanism to keep both app and user data secure. However, developers often find it difficult to prevent the data breaches caused due to vulnerabilities in the underlying device and platform.
5) App Visibility
At present, a user has the option to choose from millions of Android apps available in Google Play Store. Also, he can choose from an array of apps with similar features and functionality. Hence, the developers have to focus extensively on making the app visibility to relevant users. They have to implement a number of app store optimization techniques to accomplish more downloads. Also, they need to promote the app aggressively to attach relevant users.
6) Patent Issues
A steady increase is being noted in the number of lawsuits related to Android app features. Unlike Apple, Google does not enforce strict app store approval guidelines. Hence, the developers often build Android apps by violating patent rules unintentionally. The mobile app developers have to perform adequate research to build apps without violating patent rules.
7) Market Research
Android apps are still less profitable than iOS apps. Most Android device users opt for free mobile apps. Hence, developers need to generate revenue by implementing app monetization techniques like in-app purchase, in-app ads, and premium features. But the developers cannot implement the app monetization techniques without understanding the choices and preferences of end users. Hence, they have to invest resources and funds to conduct the comprehensive market search before developing an Android app.
On the whole, the developers must address a number of challenges to build Android apps that deliver outstanding user experience. They can easily overcome some of the challenges by testing the mobile app with varied Android devices and versions. The test results will help developers to improve the Android app’s user experience under varying user conditions.