Growing with Android

Some issues that you can overcome easily in Native Android Development

In today’s time, Android is something that is dominating the smartphone market. Right now Android is something that is considered to be old since it became available for development around 19 years ago for developers. Since then it has evolved for the better, starting with Eclipse and then gradually moving to Android Studio in 2013. It started with a couple of hundred developers and now there are almost 12 million worldwide. The main reason for such a vast number is that Android Studio has made developing so much easier that literally anyone can learn it and launch an app on the app store within a month(tho your app might not be that good, but still it’s the ability to have something of your own to the world that counts).

That’s where I come in. I started Android because I was amazed by the idea of how an app can bring about a big difference to the world. I had been coding in java for a long time so it was a pretty smooth transition for me. I started by learning a bit of XML(don’t worry it’s super easy) and then developed a bunch of stereotypical starter apps like a scheduler, calculator, etc. Since then I have stuck to native Android Development. There are new plugins and toolkits like Flutter(which is relatively new) as well which uses dart, but I never could get the hang of it since I prefer coding in java or even Kotlin. I started making some replacement applications and started using it and spreading to family members and learning about the user experience. Here are some of the issues which developers usually face.

1. The curious case of NullPointerExceptions

Being a native Android Developer I knew what I was getting into. And, well there was one such thing that I hated and I am sure it’s the case with most of the java devs and that is NullPointerExceptions. It was something that I knew how to handle but even then it’s something so frustrating that many newcomers just give up, it just haunts you everywhere like a ghost.

2. No standard User Interface

The next thing which is tedious and time-consuming is making your application responsive to various types of user interfaces. Since Android OS, as well as the UI, can be customized as per the needs of the manufacturer. It becomes cumbersome to make an application responsive because of the varying UIs, this makes it difficult for developers to make apps compatible with each device. The developers have to explore various ways through which they can make the app adaptive and responsive.

This is a major problem for me since I am a UI designer too. So I had to make so many design changes and then implement them again and again in my app. My take on this problem was to get into the design guidelines set by Google. Material Design is an adaptable system made with concern to varying UI’s available in the market. It is a visual language that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation of technology and science. Following these guidelines helps a lot while making the UI of an application responsive. The other thing is to use better layout while designing like Relative positioning, constraint, or coordinator layouts since they can help you set guidelines and behavior of your app depending on the User Interface.

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