Techniques for Xamarin for Android App Optimization and Size Reduction

Enterprises are spending more to develop mobile apps as the popularity of mobile app development grows. This is especially true if you need a portable mobile app that runs on Android, Windows, and Apple.

We need to be able to adapt our tools and approaches to keep up with the growing number of platforms. Xamarin, one of these frameworks, allows a single codebase that can be shared across Android, iOS, and Windows Platforms. This framework is quickly becoming a popular choice because it allows developers to save time and caters to all platforms.

Android App Optimization

These are some tips to optimize Android app development using Xamarin.

  1. Debug Mode Fast Deployment

Xamarin’s Debug Mode allows you to quickly deploy features. This includes placing DLLs (assemblies), into the app data directory. This saves time and eliminates the need to develop APKs every time.

This is how Visual Studio IDE 2019, 16.3.1 for Windows, can enable this option.

Android App Optimization

Open settings by going to Project->Properties

Android App Optimization

You can speed up debug turnaround times by enabling fast deployment. It skips APK creation, installation, and uninstallation.

  1. Multi-Dex Debug Mode

Android APK files contain executable bytecode files called Dex files (Dalvik Executable Files). These files hold the compiled code that will be used to run your Android app. Android Build Architecture has restricted the use of this reference for the app and the libraries to 65 536 methods. You can disable this restriction by enabling Multi-Dex.

Multi-Dex can slow down your development and take a lot of time to build an incremental build. If your Xamarin Android app exceeds the Dex limit, deactivate the Enable multi-dex option.

Android App Optimization

  1. Configuration: Release Builds

These options can be used at the release stage to reduce the size of your application. It accomplishes two main goals: Faster startup time and smaller APK size.

Android App Optimization

Garbage collector: It’s designed to free up memory space. You can enable “use the concurrent garbage collector” to allow you to run your app simultaneously and perform Garbage collection. This prevents you from waiting for long periods when your application has large garbage piles.

Linking: This will reduce the size of your APK files. If your application is at the release stage, you can select the SDK or user assemblies from the linking option. It does static analysis, tracks the types of assemblies, members, and types used, and links them to your project.

Shrinker: Your application should also empower a Java Code Shrinker like ProGuard. ProGuard is an optimizer. ProGuard detects and eliminates inefficient fields, classes, and attributes. ProGuard principles allow engineers to determine which Java classes should be maintained through linking.

There are other best practices to reduce the size of your Andriod app

  • Android App Development Bundles are recommended for uploading to the Google Play Store. This allows you to streamline your app’s size and deliver features as needed.
  • Reduce resource size and count – Get rid of all unused resources.
  • Reduce resource consumption – We do occasionally use external libraries when developing xamarin.droid applications. You should only use the mobile data portion of the library before you start using it. Many libraries include server or desktop data that doesn’t need mobile apps.
  • Only support specific densities – Android supports a large number of gadgets that cover a variety of screen pixel densities. Android OS version 4.4 or higher supports different densities such as ldpi, mdpi, tvdpi, hdpi, xhdpi, xxhdpi, and xxxhdpi.

You can save space if you only need scaled images for your application.

  • Drawable objects – Where a static image source is not necessary, use a dynamic image source.
  • Render from code (use Vector) – Procedural render opens up space because you no longer store a picture record within your APK.
  • TinyPNG can compress all PNG files and crunch all JPEG images. It uses less bandwidth and loads faster.
  • The WebP file format is used for images. It’s an alternative to JPEG or PNG. This results in images with smaller file sizes but similar image quality.

These simple, but powerful ways can Xamarin help you reduce the size of your mobile app. Xamarin is now a preferred tool for mobile development by enterprises. This allows their product to be quickly launched in the app market and reduces its size.

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