Beating Android Fragmentation

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This session will teach you the details about Android Fragmentation and the different ways in which it impacts your app, your audience and your development processes. You will learn about the different types of fragmentation present on the Android ecosystem and how each type affects different categories of apps in specific ways. We will also explore some of the tools used by most Android developers to effectively beat fragmentation and learn some best practices and strategies to leverage these tools in creating highly successful Android apps.

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Beating Android Fragmentation

  1. 1. Beating Android Fragmentation Juan Gomez
  2. 2. Agenda • Intro • Types of fragmentation • Tools • Best practices • Review • Q&A !2
  3. 3. Intro Who am I? • Mobile Engineer at Eventbrite • Previously at OneLouder Apps • Android & Python Developer !3
  4. 4. Eventbrite by the Numbers Over 2 million events
 150 million tickets sold 
 $2 billion in gross ticket sales
 Events in 179 countries
  5. 5. Intro Slides: • http://lanyrd.com/profile/juandg/ !5
  6. 6. ANDROID FRAGMENTATION
  7. 7. Is it really that bad? ! ! ! ! ! ! Android Fragmentation Visualized (http://bit.ly/1fvOXF0) !7
  8. 8. Types of fragmentation • OS Fragmentation • OEM Fragmentation • Hardware Fragmentation !8
  9. 9. OS Fragmentation Mainly refers to the different versions of Android being used at the same time !9
  10. 10. OS Fragmentation • Android Forks • Other OSes with Android app support !10
  11. 11. OEM fragmentation • Skins • TouchWiz (Samsung) • Sense (HTC) • MotoBlur (Motorola) • OEM OS modifications. • Changes to AOSP even on certain API calls. !11
  12. 12. HW Fragmentation • All the different types of Hardware features (keyboard, camera, screen, HW buttons, etc). !12
  13. 13. HW Fragmentation • Android is designed to manage HW fragmentation • The pain points in this area are on low level things like different chipsets, GPUs, CPU cores, etc. • Android x86 is the extreme example of this. !13
  14. 14. TOOLS
  15. 15. The Basics • Set minSdkVersion to the lowest API Level you want to support. • Set targetSdkVersion to the current highest API Level. • Use Android Lint to find code that is not supported by your minimum API Level (and other possible problems). • Use fragments when possible. !15
  16. 16. The Basics • Encapsulate your version checking logic • Don’t fill your code with this: if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT < Build.VERSION_CODES.#####) • Use the Support Libraries • Follow the Android Design Guidelines • http://bit.ly/1hMUNmX • Beware of Google Play Services! !16
  17. 17. Support Libraries • Support Library v4 • Fragments • Rich Notifications, View Pager, Navigation Drawer, Accessibility, Loaders. • Support Library v7 • ActionBarCompat • Grid Layout, Media Router • Support Library v8 • Renderscript for API Level < 14 !17
  18. 18. 3rd-party libraries • ActionBarSherlock • NineOldAndroids • Android Asset Studio • http://bit.ly/Lo6Xb5 • Square libraries: • OkHttp, Picasso, Wire, Retrofit • CommonsWare libraries • http://bit.ly/1d7NQs0 !18
  19. 19. HTTP Stack • Avoid using Apache HTTPClient • Only use if you’re still supporting API Level < 10 • You should be using URLConnection and its descendants. • Better yet use OkHttp from Square (fork of HttpURLConnection). • You could also use Volley from Google !19
  20. 20. Migrate to Gradle • Gradle is a powerful tool that can help manage complicated compatibility scenarios. • Use “flavors” and “buildTypes” to create different APKs for different OSes, chipsets, etc (Kindle, Nook, Tegra, x86, Blackberry, even 2.x and 4.x versions). !20
  21. 21. BEST PRACTICES
  22. 22. API Levels Recommendations • Older projects should be supporting API Level ≥ 8 • Recommended would be API Level ≥ 10 • If you’re already using ActionBarSherlock, no need to migrate to ActionBarCompat. • New projects should start with minSdkVersion=”14” • If you absolutely have to support API Level ≥ 8 then use ActionBarCompat. !22
  23. 23. minSdkVersion=”14” • This is a new “movement” within the Android community that advocates dropping support for older versions of Android (mainly 2.x) ! • Started by Jeff Gilfelt at Google I/O last year • Advocated by Reto Meier from Google during I/O and other events. !23
  24. 24. Lots of Testing • Hopefully automated! • Test on actual devices • Use tools like JUnit, Espresso, Monkey, Roboelectric, Robotium, etc. • Leverage something like Spoon (from Square) to run your tests on multiple devices. !24
  25. 25. Leverage analytics • Measure everything • Make decisions based on your data • Analytics suites: • Flurry • MixPanel !25
  26. 26. Crash reporting • Get a tool to monitor crashes • Lots of options, including: • Crashlytics (Free) • Crittercism • HockeyApp • Some analytics suites provide this as well (like Flurry) • Worst case, use Google Play Dev Console !26
  27. 27. Tools from Google • Multiple APK support. • Alpha and Beta groups • Combined with Analytics + Crash reporting • Beta users can’t post reviews • Staged rollouts. !27
  28. 28. Summary • • • • • • • • • Android fragmentation is massively over hyped! Be aware of the different types of fragmentation Use libraries to homogenize feature support. Start planning on dropping 2.x support (Old projects) minSdkVersion=”14” on all new projects Leverage Gradle to create multiple versions if needed. Do lots of tests (Hopefully automated and on devices) Use Analytics + Crash reporting Create a Beta community and use staged rollouts. • Rinse and repeat 😜 !28
  29. 29. Eventbrite Tech Talk: Android Development + Design February 18, 2014 @ 6:30 PM http://bit.ly/1e7oIrl
  30. 30. We’re hiring! If you’re interested, let’s talk after the session eventbrite.com/jobs
  31. 31. Questions? Download our apps: eventbrite.com/eventbriteapp
  32. 32. Thank You! @_juandg jgomez@eventbrite.com

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