August 28, 2018 Top Mistakes to Avoid in Android and iOS App Dev

When diving into app development, you’ll soon learn there are many differences between Android and iOS. In most cases, you want to design for both crowds and be operating system agnostic. However, there are very specific things to consider and mistakes to avoid in iOS and Android app development.

To ensure your app is developed to work with both of these systems, you’ll need to know the areas where errors can be made. Let’s look at the top mistakes to avoid in Android and iOS app development.


The good news is that the Android platform is one of the easiest ones on which to develop applications. Effective code has been written for many types of apps. However, don’t think that easy means there are no challenges.

Challenges are part of any discipline; Android app development is no different. Many mistakes in the process are caused by coding or image issues. Most of that comes down to the continual change and evolution of app dev. Do your best to sidestep these mistakes in Android app development.

Mistake #1: Not designing for all
One of the first things you encounter in an Android app development project is the challenge to provide the same UI and UX design across devices. Android apps have to work across a variety of devices, whereas iOS is just for Apple products. With so many devices and their different setups and requirements, it would be impossible for the app to look perfect on every smartphone or tablet.

While there is no catchall for every device, developers do have a few ways to improve the look of the app across devices. There are specific programming approaches that enable this.

Programmers are better off using density independent (DI) pixels in the place of normal PX pixels. It’s also a good idea to include resizable bitmaps. Finally, use the Android Emulator as a way to replicate the many possible devices.

Mistake #2: Forgetting intent
Intent is a step often overlooked, yet it’s a critical part of the app dev process. It allows for information to be sent between different parts of the app. An intent can help with a variety of functions that need to happen inside the app. It allows for the system to carry out these actions:

  • Sharing content.
  • Taking photos.
  • Recording video.
  • Adding an event.

With intent, every workflow runs smoother.

Mistake #3: Images eating up your memory
You could display quality images much more easily with effective bitmaps. This is less of a drain on memory. That means the app will still operate quickly to meet user demand. You can use a tool to fetch, decode, and display bitmaps in your app. In addition to the tools, you could scale or crop large images to meet the measurements of the display.

Mistake #4: Not considering fragments
To optimize content, fragments are a useful tool. The use of fragments helps display content as intended within various screen parameters. Parent activity controls these parameters, offering much more flexibility — essential in good Android app development.

Think of them as building blocks that all work together in a particular activity or response of the app. Fragments have a big role to play as they combine with other operations to seamlessly reposition. Always consider the use of fragments in app development for Android.


With iOS development, you are dealing solely with iPhones, iPads, and other wearables. That doesn’t make it any easier though. First, you’ll have to pass the Apple Store screening process, then maintain a high review rate for any users to consider downloading.

It’s easy to make mistakes in iOS app development. Avoiding these top issues is a good place to start when launching a new project.

Mistake #1: Failing to keep up with the latest iOS update
Consider this, 85% of iOS users have the latest version on their device — so your app better be able to live on the latest version without flaws. Apple is very good at influencing users to update their devices, so it’s not something that should be forgotten during app dev.

This is a fairly easy ask of your development team, but it can easily go overlooked. Ensure this is part of not only the design, but also the ongoing life cycle of the app.

Mistake #2: Misuse of optionals
Optionals are key to eliminating runtime errors. Everything must have a value when a variable has been declared.
The trouble starts when you want to give a value of “nil.” This creates the need for optional types. These are more flexible and allow for changes in any type with proper appending. This is a tricky area, best handled by iOS app development experts.

Mistake #3: Ignoring memory leaks
When there is a memory leak, there is a gradual loss of available memory, occurring when a program does not return it to the RAM to be used by other apps. The app that doesn’t return its memory therefore takes more.

A well-coded app, however, works to free up resources once it no longer needs them. The culprit is code errors that cause the app to “freeze.” This slows the entire device until the operating system terminates the app.

This is the last thing you want happening to your app. If users have these experiences, they are likely to delete the app and never look back.

Mistake #4: Putting UI operations in a main thread
If your code is written to perform operations in main threads, weird things can happen. Bugs can crop up, compromising app performance. Developers should be coding operations in a separate thread. Use different tools to define a section of code and block main thread operation. These may seem like tiny details, but it’s usually those things that really matter in terms of usability.

In app development, there will always be challenges. That’s to be unexpected in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. How up to speed do you think your app team is? Would they know to avoid these mistakes? If you aren’t sure, it may be the right time to outsource Android and iOS app development.

You’ll find knowledge gaps here too. By putting all the cards in the hands of one or two programmers during development, there’s a more likely chance of error. Allowing a larger group of experts detects and identifies these errors. That’s the difference with Topcoder.

Beth Osborne

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