If you’ve never looked at deploying to Android before, you’ll probably need to start by obtaining a device to try it out on. But what kind of device? Those of you coming from a Mac/iOS world will likely be bewildered by the array of Android devices on the market, of all sizes, shapes and prices. Here are some things to take into account when getting your test device/s.
What will your clients be using? This is probably the most important consideration. If your clients are employees in a big company that purchases devices for them you may have the luxury of specifying an end device or minimum specs that it must conform to. In this situation we’d recommend getting (and specifying) the best device you can so that your end users have the best possible experience. If, on the other hand, your customers are going to be downloading your app from an app store, you have much less control over the kind of devices that will be used and you need to look at a lower end device to ensure your app is going to run well for everybody.
A good way to select a device based on its performance is the Geekbench list. To get a good experience when compiling an LCFM Native app we recommend a score of 300 or above on this list. Higher end devices will give an even better result. Very low end devices scoring 100 or less are likely to run your app slowly, be very jerky, or not have enough memory to run it at all (depending of course on how big your app is).
Another thing to take into account is what kind of app you are creating. Is your FileMaker database very big? Will your app be doing a lot of syncing and data transfer? Are you running large videos in the app/on the device? You will need a high end device. If you have a small, self contained app, which is not data hungry, mostly text based, without a lot of fancy transitions etc, then it may run well on a low end device, and if that is your target market you should get the appropriate device to test with. Think about the layout of your app also – does it lend itself better to a tablet or a phone? Are there lots of fields and buttons on a single layout? You probably need a tablet – or you could consider breaking up the layout to work better on a phone.