Best Practices and Strategies in Android App Development

As technologies and smartphones evolved, mobile applications have also grown significantly in popularity, especially with open-source operating systems like Linux involved. Even major tech companies like Microsoft and Apple have made efforts in game development for mobile devices.

The mobile application market is massively active. Experts project it will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 13.4 percent from 2022 to 2030. It could reach a market size of $187.58 billion, and mobile application development will boost that growth.

There is now even a unified environment designed to build apps for Android tablets, smartphones, Android TVs, Android Wear, and Android Auto called Android Studio.

Mobile application development describes the set of processes and procedures utilized to code software for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Like web development, mobile app development originates from more traditional forms of software development.

However, due to the drastic shift in the platform’s nature to Apple and Android devices, mobile app development prioritizes leveraging their unique features.

One example is where a mobile fitness app will leverage the accelerometer of a smartphone and other sensors not found in a PC. Other things mobile app developers take advantage of include unique mobile OS considerations and gesture controls not found in other devices.

Android and iOS are the two most well-known mobile operating systems on the market today. These systems often come with pre-installed and essential or fundamental applications.

Some of these pre-installed application essentials are typically app store platforms like Google play store and basic browsers like Safari and Google Chrome. While there are thousands of application options after that, these mobile programs were developed using mobile app development.

If you want to benefit from the lucrative nature of developing mobile applications for your startup, you must do your due diligence. Similar to software development processes, mobile app development has its fair share of best practices developers can incorporate. These practices might have some principles that overlap with other processes but are tailored for mobile devices.

This article will explore the best practices of high-level mobile application development. It will be a tutorial for everything you need to know about android application development, from design strategies to testing categories. It will also touch on other critical essentials for your development kits, like SMART goals, user experience prioritization, and security.

So below are the top strategies and practices for developing a mobile application.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile app development requires a solid strategy to ensure security, excellent UX, and intuitive design.
  • Testing is arguably the most critical part of the mobile app development lifecycle.
  • Defining your advertising and in-app purchase options affects how your mobile app will draw revenue.

Ensure Your Mobile App Development Strategy is Solid Before Starting

The first best practice may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised to find out how many developers fail at this stage. Your mobile app development strategy should consider all the critical factors for the development process.

Your strategy must be comprehensive in breadth, even though it might not be exhaustive. It should contain everything you require at high-level characterization to be successful. Ensure you include the development tools necessary, internal business protocols and policies, and the application's category.

Before starting the development process for a mobile app, you must have a solid strategy to serve as your roadmap first. Consider asking managers and business analysts for assistance to handle areas not within your scope or expertise.

Additionally, you should ask your senior developers for assistance since they can provide the technical skills you might lack. If you need developers specializing in mobile app development, you may want to contact development experts like Brain Box Labs to help you.

Below are the steps you can follow in developing your mobile app development strategy.

1. Establish SMART goals

The specific focuses of mobile apps are user growth, brand awareness, user engagement, or a mix of all three. Therefore, you must customize and establish your company's specific SMART goals.

SMART is a mnemonic acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. These define and apply your parameters to mobile app development and general project management objectives.

While not an all-encompassing management principle, SMART goals can transform your goal-setting into achievable, well-defined standards. It is the ideal starting point for the actual development process.

Defining a target demographic and brainstorming mobile application features are easier once you have solid SMART goals.

2. Identify the value proposition of your product

The principal value proposition of your mobile application must be a critical aspect of your mobile app development strategy. Like any software development process, it is crucial to brainstorm its target marketing positioning, what it offers, market fit, and potential customers and users.

It would also help identify unique service propositions that flow from the main value proposition. The critical aspect is clearly stating the problems your mobile applications solve for your target marketing before recruiting a development team to begin coding.

It is critical to research the specific competitive advantages your solution can offer and compare it to the solutions of your potential competitors.

3. Build a roadmap for your developers

Your mobile application development strategy may serve as a figurative roadmap. However, a literal one is also required for the app development process.

Your mobile application development roadmap should serve a few of the following goals:

  • Streamlined communication with any external stakeholders that may include contractors, investors, beta testers, and end users for the duration of the development cycle
  • General facilitation of internal work on the application, or how to achieve the ideas and business objectives of the app through concrete phases
  • A mission statement for the actual mobile strategy’s vision, allowing audiences to know about its execution
  • A prioritization tool that clearly shows which aspects of your mobile app development take priority
  • A transparent progression stepladder for the development process of the mobile app as well as a cheat sheet for achieving market requirements

Stress the Magnitude of Security

There are two sides to think about when it comes to mobile app development security. These are security from the developers' side during the development process and security from the end-users' side during deployment.

From the Developers’ Side

For developer security, there are many best practices. Some of these include heavy encryption for all potential weak points and investment in source code, database, and file-level encryption.

Most of the code within a native app exists on the client's side. You will not have absolute control over what malware can monitor regarding vulnerabilities and bugs.

The encryption of the source code establishes a robust security layer that prevents reverse engineering and tampering. This standardized practice minimizes human error and secures your app's backend to protect it from server-side attacks.

From the Users’ Side

For user security, many common issues can affect the safety of your mobile app. One example is users leaking or storing sensitive information unintentionally through other apps that might have access to that data.

Some users might not actively seek out high-level authentication protocols, which can be a primary cause of their logins being easily bypassed. Some apps may use weaker data encryption methods that can cause vulnerability exposure, unwanted data transmission, or suspicious third-party access.

Prioritize the User Experience

Poorly designed mobile apps can confuse, frustrate, and even anger your potential customers and users. The design of a mobile app should always keep the user experience or UX in mind by making the overall design intuitive, enjoyable, and user-friendly.

To achieve the optimal user experience, you must conduct the appropriate research regarding certain aspects of your target audience. These critical aspects regarding your target users include:

  • User pain points
  • User needs
  • User behaviors
  • User motivations

It is integral to the user experience to collect and study these data points contextualized according to every potential interaction with your mobile app. Tasks within an application can vary and might also be affected by factors like the environment and even the attention span of the user.

According to Think with Google, poor mobile experiences decrease the chances of a user purchasing from the brand involved by 62%. To avoid users uninstalling your application, it is integral that you make your UX memorable and self-explanatory.

Conduct as Many Tests as Possible

Like with any new software under development, the testing phase is one of the most integral parts of the mobile application development lifecycle. Testing is where developers and testers can work together to find all the bugs and issues with a mobile application.

This part of the development process gives developers a chance to fix and debug their mobile app before releasing it to the public.

Lack of testing can cause a multitude of problems for the application and its users to arise. These problems include compatibility issues, crashes, bugs, and, in extreme cases, security issues due to overlooked and exploitable vulnerabilities in the app.

Mobile app testing typically separates into three distinct categories. These include performance testing, manual testing, and functional testing.

Performance Testing

Performance testing, also known as nonfunctional testing, checks aspects of the mobile app that are unnecessary for functions but must be included. Examples of performance testing include:

  • Accessibility testing
  • Performance and uptime testing
  • Security testing
  • Relevant application programming interface testing

Manual Testing

Manual testing describes the checks on actual situations and conditions. Typical things you will see under manual testing include:

  • Network condition testing
  • App behavior with Interruptions like calls, text messages, and notifications testing
  • App performance and behavior switching to background or foreground testing
  • App functions with gestures testing

Functional Testing

Functional testing tests how a mobile app performs based on its intended functions. Functional testing of mobile applications involves:

  • Cross-platform coverage testing
  • Business flow testing
  • Testing the user interface in its varying available languages and modes
Code on computer screen
Image by viarami on Pixabay

Set Design Guidelines

The design guidelines should align with your use cases and brand to offer a positive, branded user experience. Some fundamental principles should heavily prioritize the following:

Reduce how much your app requires users to think

All users have what psychologists call a cognitive load. In cognitive psychology, the cognitive load is the number of working memory resources a person uses.

The truth about most mobile users is not many of them want to waste too much of their cognitive love on a mobile app. Unless your app is supposed to function as a puzzler like Wordle or Sudoku, your app must be free of clutter and easy to use.

Your mobile app should provide the right amount of information per screen to minimize user input. That is because you want to add as much value as possible to your app per screen without overwhelming the users with complex functions.

Empower users by providing control

Utilize standard navigation components and maintain familiar interactive elements so your users can keep doing what they are accustomed to from other apps.

Break down app tasks into smaller clusters

Make complicated tasks more manageable by consistently designing task flows in a step-by-step format.

Offload tasks whenever possible

It is crucial to look for anything within your mobile app that will require user input and find alternative methods to do it for them. These can include features and solutions like data import from other apps and autofill.

Consider possible issues before they appear

It is critical to plan ahead by anticipating what your users might require during their customer journey in using your mobile app.

Streamline the Process With Automation Tools

Using automation tools to test mobile apps provides similar benefits to most machine learning use cases. These include faster testing, scalability, repeatability, and decreased manual error and input.

Automated testing is highly-compatible with Agile and Scrum methodologies, making it ideal for mobile app development. Some popular automation tools you can utilize include ZAPTEST, Appium, and Kobiton.

Prepare Accessibility Features and Updates

Another crucial aspect of providing a good user experience is adherence to accessibility standards, which prevents you from excluding potential users with various disabilities. The statistics show that about 16% of the world's population suffers from a disability. That means you waste a significant amount of potential user information and income by excluding them.

When planning updates for your mobile app, you should consider how frequently your target audience will be using and accessing your app. The goal is to ensure your app works when users access it and to create updated schedules, mechanics, and requirements that will not annoy them.

Establish Which Operating Systems Will Run Your App

Like traditional software development, mobile app development takes a keen understanding of hardware specifications and programming languages like Java, C++, Python, Rust, and Kotlin.

Apart from understanding unique hardware specifications and what programming language to use, you must also consider how operating systems affect your mobile app development process.

Choosing a mobile OS to invest in will ultimately dictate the kind of app developers you hire. Depending on your mobile operating system, you will also need a business analyst to assist you with the business side.

Define Options for Any In-App Purchases

Statista states that by 2025, mobile applications will potentially make more than $613 billion in revenue. The most common strategies for monetization include in-app advertising, subscriptions, and in-app purchases.

Consider any advertising or in-app purchasing options for your mobile application, as it serves as your source of revenue.

Did you know?

People today use mobile apps more than websites. The statistics show that users spend more time on mobile applications as opposed to the time they spend on web pages on mobile devices. They are making mobile apps critical to engaging users.

Everything Starts With Your Mobile App Developers

This guide may be an excellent starting point for developing a new mobile application. However, the mobile developers you hire will ultimately make or break your project.

Essentially, the people who put behind your mobile app development efforts will always be the linchpin that dictates the overall outcome of your application. That is why you should be aware of the tech talents who specialize in mobile app development, like Brain Box Labs, that are available in the market.

Finding and hiring the appropriate mobile app and software developers for your project can be challenging. This saturation can be attested to the sheer number of developers and development agencies in the market today.

You need an experienced developer who prioritizes design, focuses on the user experience, understands the importance of security, and has an impressive portfolio. Additionally, it helps to check references, not focus too much on price, and think about things outside of coding.

When you have a team of developers that tick all those boxes, it provides your mobile application with all the space it needs to succeed.

Need developers for your new mobile app? Brain Box Labs specializes in building custom web and mobile applications for solving business problems. Contact us today to help bring your mobile app idea to life.


Frequently Asked Questions

The most common concerns with developing Android mobile applications include security, UI design rules, hardware specifications, software fragmentation, patent issues, and API compatibility.

Today's most popular mobile apps include TikTok, Instagram, Whatsapp, Capcut, Snapchat, Telegram, and Facebook.

An API is an acronym for an application programming interface. Application programming interface refers to the mechanisms that allow the communication of two software components with each other using a set of protocols and definitions.

Perfect examples of APIs include XML, JavaScript, HTTP, Python, and PHP.