Being Fast and Efficient

In a resource-constrained environment, being fast means being efficient. A lot of what you already know about writing efficient code will be just as applicable to Android, but the limitations of embedded systems and the use of the Dalvik VM mean you can't take things for granted.

The smart bet for advice is to go to the source. The Android team has published some specific guidance on writing efficient code for Android, so rather than rehash their advice, I suggest you visit and take note of their suggestions.

You may find that some of these performance suggestions contradict established design practices —for example, avoiding the use of internal setters and getters or preferring virtual classes over using interfaces. When writing software for resource-constrained systems like embedded devices, there's often a compromise between conventional design principles and the demand for greater efficiency.

One of the keys to writing efficient Android code is not to carry over assumptions from desktop and server environments to embedded devices.

At a time when 2 to 4 GB of memory is standard for most desktop and server rigs, typical smartphones feature around 200 MB of SDRAM. With memory such a scarce commodity, you need to take special care to use it efficiently. This means thinking about how you use the stack and heap, limiting object creation, and being aware of how variable scope affects memory use.

Mobile Apps Made Easy

Mobile Apps Made Easy

Quick start guide to skyrocket your offline and online business success with mobile apps. If you know anything about mobile devices, you’ve probably heard that famous phrase coined by one of the mobile device’s most prolific creators proclaiming that there’s an app for pretty much everything.

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