Since Apple's introduction of the iPhone in 2007, smartphones continue to capture a growing share of the mobile phone market. Google's Android is among the fastest growing smart phone platform, having overtaken the iPhone in both the US and the global market. With Android's growth, website operators need to consider optimizing content for the Android platform. Android devices have specific content limitations. Optimizing a website for Android will provide the best user experience for website visitors.
Reduce the size of graphics and remove any nonessential images. Android device screens are small meaning smaller graphic sizes are necessary so as not to overwhelm these screens. Graphics-heavy websites are also slow to load over 3G connections. Minimizing graphics will increase download speeds.
Write clean HTML code for mobile websites. Each Android device model will display a webpage slightly differently. Adhering to W3C guidelines for proper HTML code will ensure that pages display properly across the many Android devices currently on the market.
Avoid proprietary technologies such as Flash and Java. Flash is a popular choice for animations on regular websites, but most versions of Android do not support Flash. Other proprietary technologies, like Java, only act to slow down website performance on Android devices. Keep the website clean and free of proprietary technologies.
Scale page sizes and layouts for the small screen. Many Android handsets have a WVGA resolution of 800 pixels wide by 480 pixels tall in landscape mode. Create page layouts that cater to smaller resolutions. Doing so allows users to read text more easily while viewing a larger portion of the page without the need to zoom.
Remove elements that are not mobile device friendly. Long and complex forms are an example of elements that create headaches for Android device users browsing websites on small, touchscreen devices. Keep the target audience in mind when creating website features. If it does not make sense to include it on a mobile website then remove it.
Tips & Warnings
- Test your website on a real Android device before launching it. Many development applications have features to simulate mobile devices, but cannot completely emulate testing on a real device.
- Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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