Mobile app development is an ever-growing industry, full of fast-moving parts and intelligent designers. The development world is notorious for its efficiency in working on projects and its commitment to creating products that are exactly what their customers are looking for. In this world, there is a great divide between iOS and Android app developers.

While some mobile app developers and development companies are skilled in both systems, others choose to focus in one area. For those who are choosing to focus on Android app development there are a few things you should know.

Even though Android is open source and the more popular of the two it is still often seen as second-rate. One reason for this is that there are a lot of things that can go wrong in the Android app development process.

In order to make sure that you are well equipped as an Android app developer, we have put together 10 common mistakes made in the app development process. Hopefully after reading this article, you will never succumb to these pitfalls again and in so doing, improve your app’s performance and popularity. Let’s get into it.

android app developers

Mistake #1: Making an iOS clone

First off, I want to say that I am not an evangelist for either Android or iOS. Both systems and architectures have their strengths and weaknesses, just like anything. However, one thing that I am confident in dismissing is the idea of making an iOS clone over an original Android app idea. It’s not 2013 anymore. You can no longer expect to simply cut and paste your idea into an Android design and call it a day.

A good rule of thumb for avoiding this is to always refer back to the Android design principles for guidance. Some common examples of this mistake on Android include:

  •      System notification icons should not have color.
  •      App icons should not be placed inside a rounded rectangle (unless that’s your actual logo)
  •      Splash screens are redundant beyond the initial setup. Do not use them in other scenarios.

Mistake #2: Developing for a specific Android device

Unless you have a very specific situation that you are designing for, make sure that your app will work across all screen sizes. One of the advantages of being an Android app developer is that you have more options in this area, so take advantage of it.

Too often you will see an app that clearly wasn’t developed for the screen it is being displayed on. Again, it’s not 2013 anymore and this is inexcusable. Check out these guidelines to make sure that you aren’t having this problem.

Mistake #3: Not using fragments (or other design tools)

A fragment in this context represents a behavior or a portion of a user interface in an activity. These fragments can help a lot with optimizing for various screen sizes and can be reused, combined, and positioned at will.

If you are launching a separate activity for each app screen, your app will be terribly inefficient. To make sure, as an Android app developer, that you are being as efficient as possible, use fragments and other tools provided by Android whenever possible.

app development company

Mistake #4: Reinventing the wheel

Another common mistake made by Android app developers is thinking they need to reinvent the wheel for everything they do. After all, since Android is open source, why not have some fun with it?

Nope, wrong. This is inefficient and will lead to far more problems than solutions. As an Android app developer, it is not your job to reinvent the wheel. Instead, you should be employing the other ‘wheels’ (if you will) that have already been invented.

For instance, the Official IDE for Android is going to be your best friend. Along with that, here are a few other tools that will make app development so much easier.

  •     Gradle, please – easily just type name of a library and results will appear below with a gradle compile syntax for the library with its latest version number.
  •     Stetho – you can inspect your app with this simple tool. Most notably, its network traffic.
  •     Picasso – for image loading.

And so many others.

Mistake #5: Blocking the main thread

The main thread is what keeps the user interface responsive. By blocking it, you are creating a much rougher user experience. As a general rule, anything below 24 fps with delay greater than 100 ms won’t be perceived as smooth.

What this means is that the user’s actions will have a delayed feedback and your app will stop responding. Stripping the user of control is a very quick way to make them frustrated. Frustrated users soon become angry users, so you should definitely avoid this at all costs.

In order to avoid blocking the main thread, use the UI thread and worker/background threads for the following.

  1.     Network calls
  2.     Bitmap loading
  3.     Image processing
  4.     Database querying
  5.     SD reading and writing.

designers working on app

Mistake #6: Not assuming success

The final mistake that is all-to-common amongst Android app developers is not assuming success. This has two different meanings in the development world, a technical one and a psychological one. Let’s go over the technical one first.


When you are developing your Android app, always assume success and handle failure as you need. What this means on a technical side is that you should have prompts ready to give instant feedback when something does or doesn’t work.

Users expect to receive feedback within a moment now, so you should design with that in mind.


As an Android app developer, there are certain things working against you. For example, the ever popular Android vs. iOS debate. But on the other hand, there are so many things working for you, you should feel encouraged.

As you are designing, you should be assuming that you will be successful. By having this mindset through every part of your design, it will give you the confidence that you need to see it through. And, as failures and mistakes spring up, you also need to handle them in stride.

It can be very easy to get bogged down by defeats, but staying down is the worst thing you could do. Stay strong, plan for success, and you will be surprised what results will come about.