Today’s 30-second #AndroidDev #Protip from +Ankur Kotwal  is about maximizing the availability of your apps across devices of all sizes and densities.

Have you ever published an app to Google Play only to find that it wasn’t available on some devices? One common reason is because of the use of the <compatible-screens> [0] element in your manifest. Using this element can dramatically reduce the potential user base for your application, by not allowing users to install your app if they have a device with a screen configuration you haven't listed. Continued use of <compatible-screens> will result in your app being unavailable to devices every time a new density is added.

Some developers use <compatible-screens> to hide their app from tablets on Google Play. A far superior strategy is to enable installation on tablets and make micro-optimizations by bumping up the size of text, media and margins using dimension resource qualifiers (e.g. res/values-w600dp/dimens.xml). These changes—which often take less than an hour to implement—are the fastest way to ensure a great experience for the millions of Android tablet users that are eagerly awaiting your app. To learn more, see the guide on Supporting Multiple Screens [1]. 

Also see Filters on Google Play [2] for more information about how Google Play filters applications using this and other manifest elements.

[0] <compatible-screens> developer.android.com/guide/topics/manifest/compatible-screens-element.html
[1] Supporting Multiple Screens developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html
[2] Filters on Google Play developer.android.com/google/play/filters.html
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