One of the leading causes behind people abandoning apps is poor performance.
If your app is sluggish, takes up too much space, or takes too long to load content, you can bet your users will have a bad time with it and turn to greener pastures in no time.
This is why we have to work hard to optimize our applications so that they run well on any device and any given network.
But how do we go about it? How do we actually optimize our Android applications, so they run without a hitch?
Well, look no further than this short article, as we’ll go over 5 ways to improve the performance of an Android app.
Reduce The Size of Your App
One of the defining factors when it comes to app performance is its size. Massive apps take a hell of a lot of time to download and install, they take a long time to start up, and, needless to say, they take up a lot of space on the user’s device.
So, the first thing we ought to do when optimizing our app is to reduce its size by any means possible. There are a lot of ways to reduce an app’s size without sacrificing its usability and features, while improving performance, and here are a few of them:
- Remove unused resources
- Minimize resource use from libraries
- Crunch PNGs
- Render from code
- Reuse resources
- Use drawable objects
On top of all that, shrewd app development companies in Chicago prefer using Android App Bundle when pushing the app onto the store, rather than the more traditional APK, as it reduces the time necessary to upload, and, by extension, download and install the app on the user’s device.
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to optimizing an Android app is handling the network traffic the app consumes.
Without being careful of the networking, your app can end up consuming so much bandwidth that it creates serious lag issues, not to mention slow load times and excessive battery consumption.
Some of the best ways to make sure the network traffic in your app is held within acceptable levels is to use asynchronous loading of images, and focusing on loading the text first. This way of loading in the data is much more streamlined, and the gradual introduction of elements will improve loading times while reducing the necessary bandwidth for loading.
When optimizing the networking within your app, it also helps to think of some outstanding cases, like slow network.
Sometimes, your users won’t have access to a strong connection – at that point, you should opt to adjust the quality of the content to match the network speed.
Of course, we’re talking here about reducing the quality of images and videos within the app to offer at least something to the user, rather than nothing. And if you’ve followed our advice about focusing on text and asynchronous loading, you’ll have an app that performs wonderfully at slow network speeds.
Naturally, in order to keep track of your app’s network usage, it helps to have a tool that can track and measure it. Retrace is one of the best APM tools available, and with a few tips and tricks, you can unlock its true potential, and turn it into a powerful dev sidekick.
Watch out for Thread Usage
Something that users find extremely annoying is when the app is running at a suboptimal frame rate.
You might think that 58 fps or 59 fps isn’t really that much of a problem, but, once you start using the app, it becomes painfully obvious that the app is running slower than it should.
This is because your UI thread is taking too long to redraw your user interface, which is causing the frame rate to drop. A well-optimized app, has its threads running within a 16 ms timeframe; anything over is considered too slow and will negatively impact your fps.
A good way to stay on top of your thread usage is with a dynamic code profiler, like Prefix. These tools will help you identify key lines of code that are causing you issues, so you can catch them early and fix them before the app launches.
Besides, using a full lifecycle APM is an absolutely money-saving hack that every dev should know, as it will elevate your app development to the next level.
Prudent caching is a major factor in improving your app’s usability.
Like we said earlier, your users might sometimes have access to a slow network, or no network access at all. This means that they won’t be able to utilize their app to its full potential without your help.
This helping hand is, you guessed it, caching. By caching some of the data your app regularly uses to load in things like text or images, you are making the app significantly more usable on slow networks, and even enabling its use offline.
Furthermore, caching also improves load speeds. If your app uses the same data every time it starts, you can cache this data on the user’s device, and load it from there, thus reducing the load on the server, clearing bandwidth, and improving load times.
Fix Memory Leaks
Something a great deal of developers tend to miss are memory leaks.
As you know, memory leaks happen when unused objects occupy too much memory within the device’s RAM, and the garbage collector is unable to pick them up to free up space.
This leads to the object still being referenced, which can significantly increase the app’s memory load, and turn it into a RAM hog.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to alleviate this problem:
- Unregister events and objects that the app isn’t using
- Avoid Strong Context Objects
- Avoid static references
- Become closely familiar with your architecture so you don’t create more objects/events than necessary
And, with that, it’s time we wrapped up our little article on how to optimize your Android app performance.
As we said, app performance is extremely important for the long-term viability of your app, so putting it first is a necessity.
Finally, to ensure the success of your venture, don’t forget the importance of testing the usability of your app! Testing your app before launch can be vital in determining how successful the launch will be, and how many downloads you will get during its life cycle.
Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious.
Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.