9 Best Practices for Deploying Top-Ranking Mobile Apps

9 Best Practices for Deploying Top-Ranking Mobile Apps

Today digital life has resulted into users living in a swarm of millions of thousands of apps. Looking at the number of apps today, it gives an assumption that apps are probably easy to create but to come up with an idea of app is not easy. And even more difficult is the conceptualization, development and the launch of the application. It is not only this but the app launch and release need complete strategizing.

A well-equipped strategy is what is required before pushing an application live which could make it successful. Of course we are not talking in terms of marketing here, rather the technical part of application which makes the release complete success. Such effective strategy will create right user base, and hence it will help in preparing for conversions.

Best app release practices for iOS and Android:

Deploying software releases with successful and desired outcome is a combination of strategizing, planning, working late hours, testing, re-testing and finally deploying the same.
Below mentioned points are here as a help guide so that your team of developers and testers can easily accomplish complicated task very smoothly.

1: Reducing the size of the files:
How could you forget that the user’s phone memory is a crucial part which play significant role whenever we think of releasing any mobile application. Today people are fond of music, videos, pictures etc. They are busy downloading their useful apps. Hence, the smaller your app will be the better it is for the user. Technologists suggest that the size of application can often become a deciding factor for users on whether to download your app versus the similar app which takes up more phone memory.

  • Android App Size Description:
    • Google Play considers that your APK file should not exceed more than 50MB.
    • You can provide up to 4GB of additional data for each APK.
  • iOS App Size Description:
    • iTunes Connect accept the maximum file size of 500MB.

2: Use ProGuard For Shrinking:
You must use ProGuard tool which helps in shrinking the code significantly. This tool is available at sourceforge. Tech-gurus always advise to re-test your application as there are chances when ProGuard changes the application behavior. The tool shrinks, optimizes, and illegible the code by removing unused code.

3: Remove debug symbols:
Debug symbols only make sense to your application if it is still under development phase and still requires debugging. As a best practice, you must remove the Debug symbols from native libraries (.so files).

4: Clear it off:
It is always suggested to remove all the debug related functionality from the application. Your application usually does not use this data hence operating of Android and iOS does not demand it to run the application. A strong advice is to remove all the debug related functionalities from the application. The debug information simply wastes the space and hence it should be removed.

5: Let Sound Be Quite Clear:

  • For iPhone:
    • a- Compressed Audio Must be Aptly Used: Use hardware assisted codecs for decoding AAC, MP3, and ALAC (Apple Lossless) audio formats. This may be limited to one audio stream one at a time. If you need to play multiple sounds simultaneously it is suggested to use the IMA4 as compressed or linear PCM for uncompressed format.
    • b: Data Format and File Format Conversion: For Mac OS X make use afconvert tool which allows you to convert wide range of audio data formats and file types.
    • c: Reducing Audio Files: By limiting the sample rates, bit depths and channels you can see the direct impact on size of your audio files. If you require playing long duration sounds consider reducing above values which will reduce the memory footprint of audio data.
  • For Android:
    • The audio codecs specifically includes HE-ACCv1, HE-ACCv2, AAC LC/LTP, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/WAVE, Vorbis. Hence you can see that the audio files WAV, MP3, MP2, WAV, AAC, AU, AC3, FLAC etc. are compatible with Android smartphones.

6: Supported Image Formats:
For Android always use the recommended format are PNG JPEG, BMP, WebP, GIF PNGs. For iPhone make sure you use all images and icons, in PNG format. It is suggested to avoid using interlaced PNGs. Apple also recommends using standard bit depth for icons and images which is 24 bits.

7: Visual Treat:
iTunes U supports only MPEG-4 ( .mp4 , .m4v , or .mov) with H.264 compression for video files. It may happen that video podcasts in .mov format will not play on most iPods and portable devices. In order to ensure compatibility with mobile devices, it is advisable to use only MPEG-4 ( .mp4 or .m4v ) formats with H.264 compression. Supported video file types for H.263 is 3GPP (.3gp) and MPEG-4 (.mp4), for H.264 AVC is 3GPP (.3gp), MPEG-4 (.mp4), MPEG-TS (.ts, AAC audio only, not seekable, Android 3.0+).

8: Scaling and Optimizing PNG images:
For PNG format image in your application always remember to reduce the size of file without losing the quality. For iOS always consider using JPEG images, though they are less efficient but can be much smaller. Ensure that images are scaled properly, so that they do not eat up the phone memory.

9. Throw Out Garbage:
Garbage space which unused resources are occupying are potential space waster in your resource directory. Use various tools both for Android and iOS for removal which will scan your project for unused resources.

Wrapping-It-Up:

Putting this all together a smaller compiled size file can be achieved. Always try to bring down the application file size without actually losing the functionality and scalability of it before make a release of your application. Keep Deploying :-)

References:
http://developer.android.com/guide/appendix/media-formats.html
https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG/IconMatrix.html
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13656065/what-is-best-format-to-use-images-png-jpg-in-ios
https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG/IconMatrix.html
http://lifehacker.com/5927052/whats-the-difference-between-all-these-audio-formats-and-which-one-should-i-use

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Rachit Agarwal

Rachit Agarwal

Director and Co-Founder at Algoworks Technologies
Rachit is leading the mobility business development function, mobility strategy and consulting practice at Algoworks. He is an expert of all mobile technologies and has experience in managing teams involved in the development of custom iPhone/iPad/Android apps.
Rachit Agarwal

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Rachit Agarwal9 Best Practices for Deploying Top-Ranking Mobile Apps