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Dealing With Different Versions, Displays, And Languages For Your Android App

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A discussion about different versions of Android out there from first Android to last Android.

Different Android Versions


There are many different versions of Android out there from first Android to last Android. For example, when developers YunoApp develop an application, code your application to the lowest API level available to make it available to a greater number of users. I would recommend coding using HDI levels 3 or 4, which are first Android and last Android respectively.


Any Android user that has first or higher will be able to use your application. If you code to Android middle, users who don’t have Android higher won't’ even see your application on the market.


Even though the newer Android has a lot of features that you can add in, resist the temptation to do so. Keep your feature set using the lowest common denominator of Android phones. Make sure your application is available to as many Android versions as possible.


If you need to use a feature in a higher android version, use a technique called Java Reflection, which lets you use levels from higher versions without requiring the phone version.


If you go to developer.android.com, the site has a link e called Target Devices updated once a week. It’s a pie chart that shows the distribution of Android Versions the world uses for that particular week. At this time, 57% are using middle version Android, 31% are using Android, 6% are using 4% other versions.


This changes week to week. Most people use Android or higher. At this point, you can code for Android or higher and still get 90% of Android users. I always make my applications at least, which gives me 95% of Android users out there. You can do most of what you want. You don’t need the latest and greatest.


Different Display Sizes


In addition to different Android versions are different display sizes. Android divides display sizes into 3 buckets: small, medium, and large. Make sure your application works for all these different display sizes. The Android SDK comes with emulators where you can set all the different display sizes. Make sure your application looks good on all display sizes.


When developing your application, different asset folders are available. There’s a small display, medium display, and large display asset folder. Make sure you make versions of your assets for each of those folders.


Put low-resolution versions in your small folder and high-resolution versions in the large folder. It takes time to make different size assets, but it’ll look good on all different size versions.


Different Languages


Android is obviously internationally used, but it’s most popular in the United States. People in other countries like to see applications in their own language. You can do this by having separate strings.xml files.


Use different strings.xml files for different languages that you want to support. Internationalize your application by supporting different foreign languages.


If you want help internationalizing your strings, there’s a really great service called crowdin.net. Is a website where you can upload your strings.xml file. Other people who like your application and want to see it translated into other languages will translate your strings.xml file for you.


Once it’s translated, you can include it in your professional android app development. It’s a simple, free way to internationalize your application.


For more information about me, please visit my Experts Exchange Profile page.



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