How to Develop High Performance Mobile Applications?
Let's touch on optimization - let's give a definition for the begining. Optimization is the best or most efficient use of a situation or available resources. Software performance refers to the most efficient use of hardware resources, from settings to efficiency features, in order to achieve significant improvements in application performance.
Optimization practice shows that it is possible to improve the already quite good efficiency. Why is it important? Because a high-quality web application (including mobile apps) simply by definition must process huge amounts of data (and it itself weighs a lot). And this is precisely the main problem of such developments.
How to cope with a large flow of necessary data?
Golden rule: the amount of data downloaded (consumed from the network) should approximately correspond to the amount displayed on the screen. If this does not happen, then it is likely that the interface loads more than necessary or performs non-trivial and not always necessary calculations. Loading data comes at a cost to the entire application stack, which is:
server memory load;
As a result, the load is generated much more than required, so it is best to avoid any "suction from the network". The expected amount of data must be considered when designing and implementing features. Pagination or some form of on-demand incremental loading may be required. Therefore you need to have a good idea of the predicted data volumes and user load, as well as future plans for functionality. In any case data requests should be limited to eliminate unintentional but extremely high-capacity requests to dump the entire database through the API and interface.
Mobile app development platforms - mobile device
There is only one main thread, and that is the "UI thread", which is tightly coupled to the render loop - when it's busy working, screen updates are suspended. Therefore, it is necessary to download data, and not the original information from which they are obtained. Existing mobile applications may not follow the above principles.
Perhaps they were designed for scenarios other than for client "heavy" mobile phones or for building mobile apps. In such cases you can refer to the server application "backend for frontend". Keep in mind that this may not help with the internal consequences of loading too much data or increasing the load on systems not designed to serve native applications for android users or iPhone users.
Of course, the algorithms for high-performance developing for various platforms differ from each other. iOS mobile app development is not the same as Android development or creating desktop web app, e.x. However, modern specialists require knowledge and skills in cross platform app development to create hybrid apps for multiple platforms and for any jquery mobile. And such mobile application has to be adopted to native user interface of most smartphones. In many cases, this is justified, since some platform specific versions are different, the general principles of web technologies, its development environment in this segment are unchanged. That is why cross platform applications are much more valueable than for ios platform or for android separatly. Even more valuable are the skills to pair multiple devices on a native platform.
Web app, Ios or Android mobile app development has to take into account not the wishes of target audience first but the peculiarities of the content delivery networks. The software development method for the most part is provided not by the ingenuity of the engine, which quickly processes megabytes of traffic and forms a beautiful high-definition picture.
Efficiency is high because the progressive web applications don't consume unnecessary data choosing from all their “heaps” only what is really needed at the moment, using direct access and high load speed. It turns out that the development of demanding, powerful mobile applications rests not on the efficiency of hardware but on the intelligence and experience of web developers who must have the set logical thinking.
Mobile apps: streaming data
Data can also be transferred to the external interface, via streaming - web socket. The “only what is needed” principle applies here as well, and there is also data frequency to consider (depending on the needs of the client). So, the interface should subscribe to the specific data it currently needs and receive only that data. But that doesn't rule out transmission. The rule of thumb (silver) is that a broadcast is for notifications, not large chunks of data.
Since the server controls the frequency of data sent as well as the content, you need to make sure that the web interface does not force more input than it can handle. In rapidly updating data sources (such as financial trading prices or sensor values), the click rate can be softened by throttling on the server. The desired frequency can be chosen based on the nature of the data - not everything needs to be updated too quickly.
A competent developer will avoid connecting external applications directly to the "fire" sources of unfiltered high-frequency data updates,with this in mind. But you just need to be able to distinguish between such sources and know the “bypass routes” while native apps developing. Only specialists with experience are not mistaken here on the account of which there is more than one well-implemented project.
Mobile app development frameworks: API design
API development should be done with different application use cases in mind. Disconnects here can lead to excessive network calls and create difficulties in effectively implementing the backend, in addition to efficiency issues. When APIs are highly granular, user interfaces typically need to make multiple calls to get the required data or perform logical units of work. This results in "chatty" interactions where user actions cause many calls, some of which cannot be over until others are completed.
Conversely, when API operations are too broad, user interfaces are forced to retrieve more data than is necessary in a particular context. GraphQL can be used to retrieve information, in particular to query only the required fields and specify related data to return along with it. Running many separate requests in parallel is much less of an issue with HTTP/2 multiplexing, however specific APIs can provide opportunities for more efficient server-side batching of requests. Any application should be as attractive as it is functional. It is very important here not to upset this balance and not to delve into demanding but unnecessary animation (e.x.). Therefore, developers of high-performance applications must be designers with a flexible approach to implement each specific idea of their customer.
Devices and networks
Static or interactive websites will probably work just fine anywhere. However, this is not a universal situation, especially for large applications. Custom applications require a combination of:
02collecting data from existing applications;
03any other available data and ideas, such as internet speed.
You can use similar devices and network conditions during development, testing, and demonstration. It turns out that you can test the application in user mode and quickly notice any problems. Typical development computers have higher specs than most users and are on the same LAN as the backend. The smartphone may have higher efficiency and work in the city's 4G network. Emulated mobile browsers on desktops are more efficient than mid-range mobile devices. There are various tools for network bandwidth modeling (e.g.):
at the browser level (eg devtools);
at the operating system level (e.x., win-shaper).
Turning them on permanently during operation is not practical, however. When developing locally, you need to add artificial request delays using a proxy server (the devserver built into the webpack). This helps draw attention to when network requests are made. It's just that if the responses from the network are instantaneous, and also have complex code in which cause and effect are separated (e.x., Redux), it can be difficult to understand if some of your actions are not activating a network call or their chain. Development of a demanding mobile application is always a compromise between:
01capabilities of the user hardware;
02optimizing the selection of really needed data to be obtained from the network;
03resources of the network itself.
As a result, the developer must understand all these areas and feel in them like a “fish in water”. Does your company have such specialists?
Mobile application development and testing
The development of effective software requires the creation of so-called "greenhouse conditions", when the application will be protected from the impact of any adverse external factors. If you don't do this, efficiency problems in the software you create will be hard to distinguish from those that may be caused by the environment. Slowdown is becoming the norm.
In case of greenhouse environment problems will be noticed faster and scenario coverage increased making ad hoc efficiency checks easy. For the "greenhouse environment" fictitious data is usually used, which includes random generation and anonymous production information. Does your development team have similar skills? Do your experts understand what is meant by the phrase "dummy data" in this context? If not, then try to hire someone who understands.
The main challenges for mobile app development company - expensive runtime work
In any type of application, in any technology used performing expensive operations always has a significant impact on efficiency. And this influence is very destructive. Here are the main costly things in the web interface:
blocking the main thread with large chunks of work (blocking the event loop and rendering);
It's always worth having an idea of what's going on "under the hood". For example, creating Moment.js objects is costly at scale, and the various operations in jQuery have expensive side-effects to eliminate browser bugs. Code that is difficult to change requires special care, a specific example being utility or framework code used by another application throughout the entire application. Fundamental inefficiencies in its behavior can be difficult and risky to change due to other code relying on this inefficiency. Here it is worth checking the behavior of the software client in advance, even if this does not cause efficiency problems. This will not be premature optimization.
Animations and transitions deserve special mention. It doesn't matter how they relate to functionality. Poorly performing elements are especially noticeable and affect the user experience. The key here is to avoid getting involved in the main thread and avoid layout re-layout. You need to use the FLIP technique. Do your specialists understand “expensive programming”? If not, then maybe you should just outsource shooting range bots to knowledgeable specialists?
Efficiency definition is not just about the backend. The external interface can be affected by many of the same factors that affect internal efficiency, and in many applications it is the only interface for users. The usual advice is test early, test often! In a complex system, data is not the only prerequisite for revealing the true application performance in realistic scenarios. User accounts must be available and, a.x., the configuration must be changed. It is better to track efficiency throughout the development process, and directly on the members of the target audiences. For example:
01user with a budget phone;
02rural user with slow network;
03a user from another part of the world;
Are your developers familiar with the described testing technologies? Perhaps it makes sense to strengthen this side of your developments.
Several words about mobile app developers
When the web development design principles are correct and the client software is "good enough", optimization can begin to improve the user experience. You can’t do the opposite, however: design and code first, and only then worry about efficiency. And no amount of optimization will help here. Therefore, developers here require consistency and high self-discipline. And it should be as higher, the more high-performance application you need to create.
Contact Alfee and hire the people you need. The best cooperate with us! You will definitly be able to create your native mobile applications. Our spesialists will provide a faster development process of cross-platform development.