Google announced the launch of Android One, this week. It’s a series of more affordable Android devices aimed at getting smartphones in the hands of more people, starting in India.
If your app has search functionality, will user requests time out entirely? Do you think it is more important that a result is returned in a timely manner, or that the result is returned at all? If you’re trying to build a robust app to reach the next five billion, it might be less about returning a result immediately, and more about returning a result at all. To address this challenge, why not include an option to users to “notify me with the results” when a search query is running on a slow network? Your app can then take as long as it needs to successfully retrieve the data in the background and show a notification when complete. The difference in user experience between an app that times out on a slower network and one that caters to user-specific needs will be very impactful for driving mobile app adoption.
There are also ways to test app performance without flying around the globe. The Android Emulator has network speed and network delay emulation settings, which can become an integral part of your testing strategy. If you’re testing on physical hardware, try turning off WiFi and switching the network to 2G only; how well does your app perform? Do search pages load? Does data refresh? These issues can often be fixed with relatively minor changes to your app logic or by leveraging aSyncAdapter. Check out our blog post on sync in the Google I/O app for more ideas.
He notes that another area of concern is app memory utilization, and that Android has added new tools to the SDK as part of the KitKat launch, as well as new APIs that can help.
More on all of this and more here.