Since July 2005, Google has taken over the Android system with a lot of enhancement and with 11 stable versions so far.
The improvements the system has seen concern all the aspects from security, performance to design and user experience Android also supports many devices other than smartphones like smart watches, smart TVs and cars.
Android is now the leading OS for smartphones with 71.93% market share in January 2021, and especially Android 10 with 43.13% in the same month, this leading is taking place for while now for example in 2018 Android have 85.1% in the worldwide stats for different shipment OS, with this lead Google always try to improve its OS in all fields.
What about Android apps
When it comes to Android Apps Google has a set of requirements that any developer needs to follow in order to publish your app to the world, other specifications are strongly recommended by the company.
And this is the purpose of this article, we will discuss the guidelines that Google has recently updated in order to define the app quality.
We will talk about
- Visual experience
- App performance requirements
- Security and data privacy
1- Visual experience
To define the quality of an Android app in the visual aspects, we need to talk about some areas:
- The app support default back button without creating any custom back button
- The app support the new gesture navigation to navigate back in the app
- The app correctly restore its previous state, data and pending transitions, this restoration also take place when the app resumed after the devices wakes from the sleep (unlock) and also when the app is relaunched from the home screen (“All apps”)
- Should not promote or advertise other products
- Select the appropriate notification channel and priority
- Notifications are persistent only when they are related to ongoing events like music, videos…
- For messaging apps, it would be better to style the notification with the appropriate format with MessagingStyle, direct reply action and support bubbles.
UI And Graphics
- It’s recommended to build high quality apps to adapt the layout to both landscape and portrait mode, plus the app should render smooth transitions and animations without junk or loosing state.
- It’s also recommended to adapt the App’s layout and components to support dark theme
2- App performance
the main law any Android App should follow is that the App should not ever crash or cause ANR (“Android not responding”) by blocking the UI thread and to make sure your app is free from ANRs and crashes Google have set of tools like the Google Play pre-launch report.
- The app should load quickly, and provide instant feedback to the user of the ongoing task
- The app should render 60 frames per second to avoid junk, those graphical issues can be tracked using Profilers.
- The app should run on the latest public Android version without any problem
- The app target the latest android SDK and built with the latest SDK by setting compileSDK
- Third-party SDKs need to be up-to-date.
3- Privacy & Security
According to the guideline published by Google, Android apps should follow strict instructions especially when it comes to user informations:
- The App should request the minimum number of permission and only in the context that require such permission, it’s not recommended to request all permissions during app startup
- The app UX should explicitly describe the need of such permission and what functionality won’t be available in case the user denied the request.
Data Files and IDs
- Any sensitive data should be stored in the app’s internal storage (internal app files)
- The app should not log any sensitive data on the system or any app-specific log.
- Don’t use any non-resettable hardware IDs such as IMEI to identify users, because the user don’t have access to those IDs, you can follow best practices of using hardware IDs in this link developer.android.com/training/articles/user-data-ids
it highly recommended to integrate “Google One Tap” authentication to enhance the user experience in the app, and on financial transactions or sensitive data it also recommended to integrate biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition)
Along with those recommendations Google have set a bunch of other recommendations concerning App functionnality and Google Play those two fields will be covered in part 2 of the article.
To sum up, Google has a list of shoulds and shouldn’ts that any Android developer must follow to build apps according to the standards, like the use of hardware IDs, sensitive data storage, app should not crash and many more.
Other instructions are only a recommendation to build more professional and flawless apps.
For more details of the informations shared in this article you can check those links
If you get a new information by reading my article i’m really happy for you that’s the main reason i’m writing articles. This article will continue with a second part covering App Functionality guideline and Google Play policy so