Meet user expectations by testing against the quality guidelines
Apps for smartphones, tablets, Wear OS by Google, Android TV, and Android Auto each need to implement unique characteristics to ensure they meet user expectations. Also, Wear OS, TV, and Auto apps need to meet quality criteria to qualify for exposure in their respective channels within Google Play.
Why it works
Users and the programs for Wear OS, TV, and Auto apps expect apps to offer common features, features that will help make any app familiar and usable on Android devices. The quality guidelines provide a series of test criteria and procedures that make it easy to check that your app meets these basic user expectations. And because the guidelines include basic test procedures, you can focus on devising and running tests for your app’s unique features.
- Follow the Android design principles and normal Android app navigation patterns.
- Request only those permissions your app needs.
- Preserve your app’s state correctly when it goes into the background.
- Stop any music played by your app when the app goes into the background or the lock screen activates (unless these are clearly features of the app).
- Provide progress indicators for slow processes.
- Ensure your app doesn’t freeze, crash, or otherwise behave unexpectedly.
- Use high-quality images within your UI and make sure they don’t pixelate.
- Make sure text is always readable.
- Follow the Google Play policies and give your app a suitable maturity rating.
Best practices for tablet apps
- Consider creating a multi-pane UI; for example, display a list in one pane and selected item details in another.
- Provide icons and other bitmaps in the right resolution for the user’s screen.
- Ensure that fonts are adjusted and that all text is legible.
- Adjust touch targets to ensure that they can be activated easily.
- Resize homescreen widgets.
- Add additional or extended features, as users will be more engaged with their tablet.
- Include screenshots of your tablet app in the Play store.
Best practices for Wear OS apps
- Follow Material Design for Wear OS in your UI design and create a user interface that works on both square and round displays.
- Tailor notifications to Wear OS with expanded notifications and replies by voice input, inline actions, or quick responses.
- Package wearable apps that run directly on a device inside a smartphone or tablet app.
- Use a long press in full-screen activities for the sole purpose of prompting to quit.
- Use the swipe-to-dismiss gesture (swipe from left to right) to close the current screen, and follow the vertical layout recommendation and avoid other horizontal swiping gestures.
- Display confirmation animations when appropriate.
- Include at least one Wear OS screenshot in the app’s Play Store listing.
Best practices for TV apps
- Define a launcher activity and a home screen banner, so the app displays in the Android TV Launcher and in the Games row if it’s a game.
- Always display the app in a landscape orientation, filling the entire screen without overflowing, and use correctly size text.
- Navigation should be possible using a five-way D-pad controls or a gamepad controller using standard Android game controller keys.
- Set the necessary intent types and hardware features in the app’s manifest.
- Provide for interaction with ads using D-pad controls.
- Display web content within the app, don’t use a web browser app.
- Provide a Now Playing card when media plays outside the app.
Best practices for Auto apps
- Don’t display animated elements, including auto-scrolling text, or any form of visual or text advertising on the Auto screen.
- Support day and night modes.
- Provide white icons and system colors that can be optimized for readability.
- Support voice commands in audio apps.
- Display notifications only when they fulfill a driver’s needs.
- Use short-form messaging app design patterns and only implement peer-to-peer messaging (no notification services).