Android is one of the most popular development platforms with 1.6 billion users worldwide. These days, Android runs on a variety of devices such as smartphones, TVs, smartwatches, cameras, and many more. It also has many development tools and libraries available online, making it easier to develop applications for it.
Android has two main languages that mobile engineers can choose to develop apps: Java and XML. Once you have a proper understanding of XML and Java development, you’ll find that building and designing Android applications is easy, along with adding additional features and customizations.
However, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use that will make your overall development easier. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Java design patterns
Instead of writing code from scratch every time, you can use Java design patterns. Design patterns are programming strategies/solutions for general programming problems. You can reuse a particular pattern in more than one project, allowing you to save time and reduce costs, all while incorporating solutions you might need for your application.
Design patterns also provide transparency and clarity to the overall outline of the project. Using them during the SDLC requirement phase helps reduce the resources required to develop a project. You can also use parts of the legacy codebase for design patterns.
2. Create multiple Java resource files
Instead of adding all layouts and strings to a single resource file while creating your Android application, it’s better to use multiple resource files. Not doing so can cause space issues and merge errors. Make sure that resources have a unique name so that when they finally merge together in one Java file, it’s easy for the system to distinguish them. To call different resources in present different files, you can follow this formula: “R.filename.Resourcename.”
3. Write code with least dependencies
When starting coding, instead of writing an entire application in one module, start with writing small, independent components. You can also move your variables to a top-level build system like build-gradle. Doing that will allow you to perform variable declaration along with the support of service libraries. Also, this way, you won’t get a yellow notification while updating and managing libraries.
4. Understanding your IDE
You should try to learn more about your Android development environment (IDE). You need to understand how dependencies are getting resolved, how the IDE automation handles your code, and how it’s installing libraries.
Once you learn how your IDE works, you’ll begin to understand its full capabilities. Doing so has many benefits. First, it increases your productivity. Then, you get to know the little intricacies and principles that you can use in your next projects. Also, you might find a new feature or plugin that you previously didn’t know about.
5. Start using Reactive techniques
A reactive technique is a programming method that’s asynchronous and is associated with incoming data, i.e., you can assign variables, clicks, arrays, system time to be data streams. Reactive programming makes your Android observables exhibit data that your subscribers can catch.
This technique allows you to avoid callback problems and perform threading efficiently. It also reduces backpressure and makes your code efficient and simple.
6. Maintaining the Architecture
Many developers don’t maintain the ideal architecture for their applications. Sometimes, they put all their code on a Fragment or Activity. Or they might use Activity as a controller.
Doing that has many problems. Sometimes, Activities may not receive the final version of the code if there are some configuration changes. Also, putting all code in an Activity turns it into a large object that is difficult to update and maintain. It’s also likely to be killed if there are some space issues with the OS.
Architectures like MVP/ MVI are much better, wherein the business logic, controller, and views are separated from each other. Using them makes it easy to maintain syntax and logic, allowing better application development.
7. Use low-end devices for testing purposes
Most of the time, developers who are testing on high-end devices miss out on small issues and errors. These flaws don’t easily come up when testing in high-end devices, which are typically used in the tech world but that are less common among the general public.
You can better test issues like deleting activity or loading speed on low-end devices. Once you understand the problem, you can resolve it easily. For example, for slow loading speed due to bad internet connection, you can add a loading indicator to your main screen.
8. Start writing comprehensive tests
If you want people to use your application, you should thoroughly test it to ensure that it’s free of bugs and errors. While designing a new feature, you should test iteratively, i.e., each code unit should have a corresponding test case.
Also, before testing the entire application, you should test on different execution environments with different dependencies. You should also consider running your cases on different devices (real and simulated) to ensure maximum coverage. For long operations and hard configurations, you can create false objects (doubles) and test through them.
There are a few tricks that you can use to code better. Most people who start Android programming overlook these things. It’s easy to understand and apply them to your own Java/Android applications.
Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive. There are a lot of other tips you can use to improve your application development. Along with these, you can also focus on other basic things, such as using a good quality computer for development and testing. You don’t want to boggle your mind every day with system crash and memory problems.
You should also get in touch with other developers and start upskilling yourself. The more you learn, the better you code.