Get Past Android Screen Resolution Challenges While Developing An App

Android applications development is increasingly becoming challenging for most developers given the plethora of screen resolutions in the market unlike developing for iOS that has only two for iPhone and now two for iPad. A bit of background for the uninitiated: Android is an open-source platform that all the handset manufacturers can use to adapt and makes changes (to an extent) while customizing for their handsets. This has created a highly fragmented market as each of the manufacturers have varied screen sizes depending on the phones they manufacture with Android as the operating system.

There are two ways in Android app development that can help overcome the challenges developers face while developing their Android apps. Even if you are an entrepreneur who wants to take their idea into Android applications development, you must know about the challenges that the platform throws and what are the ways to overcome these. It is important to know as an entrepreneur as the method adopted by the developer will impact your product.

Before we go into how one can overcome the challenges, a bit about what the platform offers currently by means of screen resolutions. In Android applications development, there are four main categories of screen resolutions: Low Density, Medium Density, High Density and Extra High Density. Each of the categories has at least five different resolution-based phones available in the marketplace. This, as you can see, is highly challenging if you want your application to work across devices for maximum reach. We discuss below a couple of ways how you can overcome these challenges.

HTML5 Application

HTML5 is a web technology that has taken the app and web world by storm. HTML5 allows for creating a single application (web-based with certain native features) that can work across multiple devices with just writing one piece of code in Android app development that helps resize the application as per the user’s handset. One can write a completely web-based application or a better option would be to write a web-based application in HTML5 and put an Android wrapper around it to give it a native feel and enabling the application to be downloaded from the Android app stores.

Multi-Screen Application

The other way that one can overcome challenges in Android applications development is to create a completely native application that supports multiple screens. Now, how many is multiple given the huge number of screen sizes already in the market? Google’s Android developer support has a certain guideline that allows for developers to develop for four resolutions that are standardized as per Android and will work in most of the handsets. For the remaining, an extra bit of code adjusts the size of the image to the nearest handset screen resolution. Following is the guideline that developers can follow:

xlargescreens are at least 960dp x 720dp

largescreens are at least 640dp x 480dp

normalscreens are at least 470dp x 320dp

smallscreens are at least 426dp x 320dp

Follow these guidelines and Android app development will not be as challenging as it is made out to be. Be rest assured, there are enough developers in the market that are using these techniques coupled with some of their own findings based on their experience of developing for Android. Do your own research as well by Googling what other developers are doing.


Author: Jed Wahlberg