Android App Compatibility

By: Mel Joelle

The one greatest factor about Android is that it is designed to run on a wide selection of devices. This is a plus for developers because it means that the high number of devices creates a huge market or access for the application. However, this also means that since all these devices use different hardware then your Android app should be able to run on all of them. Android is an OS designed for mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones. It is an open source operating system that consists of kernel which is based on the Linux kernel.

Android has some of the highest numbers of developers who constantly keep creating applications to extend the function ability of devices using the operating system. Currently, more than half a million apps are available for android devices which can be downloaded at the Android Market store online. In developing Android apps, the SDK tools enable your app to support many of the hardware in several devices that way making your app compatible with them simultaneously allowing you as the developer control who and where your apps can be accessed and used. This means that android apps are created in way that only mobile devices that can support them are able to see them online for download.

One thing that makes android apps compatible with many smart mobile devices is that is just one android Application Programming Interface for each and every API level. Regardless of the device the app is installed on, the API is just the same because there are no optional parts of application programming interface. So, every android application that is designed and is downloaded into any smart device, the compatible device automatically will be having every class and API for the particular application programming interface level.

However, since lack of any supporting hardware in a device will make the app not compatible, all android apps are created in way that if the device lacks the particular hardware feature then it is not able to detect the android application because it cannot support it. Android apps have a capability detection which makes them behave in this manner. The tools required to develop android applications are in such a way that you as the developer need to state what features your android applications requires in the apps elements manifest. This is so that any device seeking such an app will have to do the same, declare its features to the android market for compatibility purposes. If the app requirements and the device’s features do not match, then Android Market filters the device out. Instead of users downloading android devices and finding out that they are not compatible with their device, this is stopped at the earliest stage.

All android markets always have this filtering function to detect the devices features against the application future needs. If the two elements are matching or compatible or not, the market either hides of avails the android application to the user. The android market does this by checking the uses feature elements which are available in each android applications manifest.

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