Written by Hoi Lam, Android app quality
Since Android launched more than 10 years ago, the platform and user expectations have grown. There are improvements from the user experience to the material design to the importance and enhancement of privacy. We know you want your apps to be a great user experience. At the same time, we also know that it is not always easy to know which area to tackle first. For this reason, we are launching a new section on app quality on our developer site to keep you up to date on important aspects of app quality and to provide appropriate resources.
In the first version, we updated the core app quality checklist to reflect current Android versions as well as current trends in the app ecosystem. Here are some highlights in this update:
- Visual experience – We highlight the best practice of using Material Design Components instead of platform components like buttons. This gives your app a modern look and makes it easier to implement features like the dark theme. In addition to the notes on the backstack, we have expanded it to maintain the status of the app. This is becoming increasingly important as edge-to-edge screens and gesture navigation are the order of the day even on entry-level phones.
- Functionality – We have updated our guidelines in three areas. For media applications, we’ve updated our recommendations for playback experience as well as HEVC video compression support for video encoding. For sharing between apps, we underline the importance of using the Android sharing sheet. This will be of crucial importance in the future, as apps are by default only visible to a limited extent for other installed apps in API level 30. We recently expanded our recommendations for background services. Helping users save power is a priority for Android and we will continue to post updates on this matter.
- Performance & stability – We have now added tools like Android Vitale in the Google Play Console. An important point that needs to be highlighted here is Application Not Responding (ANR). ANRs are caused by threading issues and can be fixed by developers. The ANR Troubleshooting Guide can help you diagnose and fix ANRs that are present in the app.
- Privacy & security – We have rounded up our latest recommendations to incorporate the latest security precautions from runtime authorization to using WebView safely. We’ve also expanded the privacy standards that users expect from protecting private data to not using non-resettable hardware IDs.
- Google play – This section highlights some of the most important guidelines for developers and links you to more information about the guidelines.
In the future, we would like to update this list quarterly to make sure it is up to date. We will also update the quality checklists for other form factors.
We are working on additional tools and best practices to make it easier for you to build high quality applications on Android. We can’t wait to share these new improvements with you. Stay tuned!