Top strategies for developing great Android apps

7 min read
September 12, 2023

Here’s an unfortunate statistic.

Of the millions of apps in the app stores, less than 0.01% are profitable. The rest don’t earn enough revenue to justify the cost of creating them.

Why is this so?

Well, the fact is that only a few Android apps are truly great. Some lack an innovative idea, while others are in the wrong market.

But a handful of these are simply the right idea executed incorrectly.

Luckily, you can adopt a few strategies to ensure that you create a well-polished Android app. Let’s cover five in this article.

Use the latest version of Android SDK

The Android SDK (software development kit) is the primary and probably the most important tool in your arsenal. It’s a collection of core libraries, tools, and frameworks that are essential to building an Android app.

In other words, you can’t build an Android app without its SDK. It goes to show how critical it is. Some tools, like the Emulator, can make app development much easier and faster.

Here’s a breakdown of the components inside the Android SDK.

android sdk

Source: Coder Jony

Google continually updates the Android SDK, typically releasing a new version every year. Therefore, as a developer, you should always ensure you have the latest SDK.

Why is this important?

Google constantly releases new SDKs to fix bugs and vulnerabilities from previous versions. By not upgrading, you risk using old features or libraries that could make your app more likely to get hacked.

Just consider the number of vulnerabilities fixed by a typical SDK release:

image 1

Source: Android

Getting the latest Android SDK also gives you access to new features or significant improvements over older libraries.

For instance, the upcoming Android 14 SDK provides localization features, enabling users to set regional preferences (such as using Celsius in all temperature readings) and then apply them automatically for all apps. Thus, you don’t need to implement that code yourself.

The bottom line is that if you want to create the best user experience for your users, the easiest way is to use the latest Android SDK.

Take full advantage of Android’s fragments

A fragment in Android is a self-contained UI component that can be reused in your project. It has its own layout, sub-components, and input and output events.

In essence, they are like mini-apps. However, the difference is that they can’t exist independently—they need to run under an activity.

Fragments allow you to create modular and responsive user interfaces, particularly for foldable devices with split-screen capabilities.

For example, you might want to change your navigation UI to a sidebar if it’s shown on a tablet but switch to a smaller navigation bar when viewed from a smartphone. Fragments allow you to make these transitions quickly and smoothly.


Source: Android

This modularity is especially useful when creating larger apps with multiple screens.

You can create and reuse a fragment in different parts of your UI. If you want to modify something, you can edit the fragment, and all changes will be propagated automatically.

This is a faster and less error-prone approach.

In addition, fragments make it possible to refresh only one portion of the screen. This can help preserve processing and bandwidth without disrupting the user’s experience.

Fragments can also speed up development significantly. You can assign specific fragments to various team members and code them simultaneously, as well as test and debug each individually.

The bottom line is that modularity is one of the most effective approaches when building an app. Android fragments make this goal significantly easier to achieve.

Follow Google’s Material Design guidelines

As we mentioned in this myth-busting article, there’s a common misconception that creating a well-designed Android app is difficult.

But that’s not true at all. It takes roughly the same time and effort to create an aesthetically pleasing Android app as its iOS counterpart.

And it takes very little guesswork, thanks to Google’s Material Design guidelines.

image 3

Source: Material

Material Design guidelines are the best practices, tips, and components for creating Android UIs. It’s responsible for giving Android apps a unified, signature look that is instantly recognizable to users.

This familiarity is powerful for UX. That’s because it enables users to intuitively adapt to your interface with a minimal learning curve. This can improve your retention and engagement dramatically.

Furthermore, Android’s design guidelines eliminate practices that could slow down your app. This improves app performance and, therefore, the overall experience.

Best of all, it streamlines your design process. It allows you to create beautiful UIs rapidly, thus speeding up your app’s release. And the only thing you need to do is follow the guidelines.

Comply with Google Play Store’s policies

One of the unexpected bottlenecks that developers encounter is app store rejection.

You’ll need to spend time figuring out the reason for rejection and then devoting resources to fixing it. Depending on the severity of the error, this could delay your launch dramatically.

Luckily for Android developers, the Google Play Store has a reputation for being less strict than the Apple App Store. However, that’s not a reason to be complacent.

After all, Google still rejects roughly 55% of apps submitted.

image 4

Source: Stack Overflow

The best way to avoid this is to know the Google Play Store policies early on. That way, you can comply with them throughout development.

But rather than a chore, following policies is actually good for your app. Remember, these rules exist so users can have the best experience.

For example, the Google Play Store takes security checks seriously. It will flag an app if it finds code vulnerabilities that could introduce malware.

Likewise, marketing practices that violate user privacy, such as too much spam and fraud, are grounds for rejection.

Google also expects minimum functionality, such as apps that have reasonable response times and don’t crash unexpectedly.

However, there are some Play Store violations that might not be straightforward to fix, which can be frustrating and time-consuming. It’s one of many reasons that having an experienced Android development team is the best strategy of all.

Hire an Android development company

All the best practices and strategies in the world will never work without competent developers implementing them.

But rather than hire individual freelance developers, a better approach would be to work with a dedicated team.

image 2

Source: DECODE

A dedicated team is a third-party provider that functions like your in-house team.

Their biggest advantage over hiring permanent staff or freelance is that they’re self-managed and ready out of the box.

For example, when you work with DECODE, we assemble a team of developers with the right skills and experience that match your requirements. There’s no training necessary, and onboarding is minimal.

There’s also a project manager that you can coordinate with, just as if you were working with your own in-house team.

Android development agencies also have their own resources and infrastructure. This is perfect for startups who can’t invest in their own IT development equipment.

Best of all, you’ll get years of experience and training for your project. This is invaluable for overcoming hurdles that could otherwise jeopardize your Android app.

Ready to partner with DECODE?

The fact is that hiring a development team like DECODE is the easiest and stress-free method of creating great Android apps.

And our track record proves it.

Since 2011, we’ve developed dozens of successful mobile apps in various niches, from fintech to healthcare. Collectively, these have garnered over 30 million downloads.

So, we’re confident we have the chops to make your project successful.

Interested? Feel free to reach out and we’ll see how we can help you.

Written by

Ivan Trogrlic

Android Team Lead

An Applied Sciences graduate and a true connoisseur of tech, Ivan is a software developer with a genuine love for exploring new technologies. QAs love his code, and his fellow developers always value his input. For Ivan, there is no issue too small to talk over, and no problem that can’t be solved together. When he is not coding, Ivan is usually hiking or playing football. His ideal workspace? Probably a cottage in the mountains, with a serious gaming setup and fast internet connection.

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