The mobile technology landscape has changed drastically over the last decade. The Android operating system has witnessed an unfathomable growth in its user base. Even a pandemic couldn't slow down the growth in app downloads across the world. As per a report by Data.ai, formerly known as App Annie, collectively we installed 37 billion apps in Q1 of 2022. About 28 billion of those are attributed to the Android ecosystem. The buck doesn't stop here, in fact, 33 billion US dollars were spent on mobiles alone in the first quarter of 2022. (Note: this is the money spent on digital service subscriptions via in-app purchases and not on tangible products that are shipped to users.)
Growth in the mobile space shows no signs of slowing down, even with a recession looming over us all. Businesses are not only struggling to win customers in this highly competitive space but are also fighting battles on multiple fronts against bad actors, spammers, and hackers that exploit these apps for their gain.
To address these needs, companies are relying heavily on experts in the Android app development domain to ensure their products offer the best and the safest customer experience.
An example of one such Android expert is a 28-year-old senior software engineer hailing from the capital of India, Ishan Khanna.
"When I wrote my first android app in 2012 I didn't anticipate such [an] exponential growth in the Android App industry, especially in the developing markets like India," Ishan admits. His passion for technology and gadgets drove him to pursue software engineering, but the sheer competition in India which produces over a million engineers every year led to him becoming an expert. "I didn't get into a prestigious college, so I knew working on my craft and becoming an expert in my niche was the only way to achieve success. During the freshmen year when my classmates were still getting an introduction to programming, I was already leveraging my knowledge and expertise in the Android domain to freelance and build a portfolio of apps," said Ishan.
In the summer of 2014, he was accepted as a Google Summer of Code intern by the Mifos Initiative where he singlehandedly built the first-ever Mifos Android Client. As the app dealt with financial data, Ishan had a deep focus on the privacy, safety, and encryption side of Android apps.
In early 2018, Ishan was tasked at Booking.com to ensure that their Android apps were compliant with GDPR from a technical perspective. This was highly critical for the multi-billion-dollar fortune 500 company, as they were liable to fines of up to â¬20 million or 4% of the company's annual turnover, which would have been higher.
In 2021, the dating giant, Tinder, hired Ishan to help build trust and safety experiences for their Android app. When it comes to dating apart from the financial health of the business, it is people's lives that are impacted directly through these products and therefore safety becomes one of the most critical pillars of a product.
While building safety features for Android apps over the past few years he identified a large knowledge gap in the industry around the due diligence that one needs to perform when adding SDKs into the Android apps. Ishan, being the leader he is, took it upon himself to spread awareness about this. He first delivered a talk about it at Droidcon SF in June 2022 and already has another conference lined up in August.
In Ishan's own words, "It is very easy for engineers today to miss critical failure points when it comes to third-party SDK integration, thanks to a massive community that is building libraries for other developers to benefit from. However, the cost of such mistakes grows exponentially with your brand and business. For this exact reason, after having worked on multiple such case studies at large organizations, I have come up with a framework for performing due diligence as Android engineers."
Ishan who is currently penning a handbook for mobile engineering teams believes it'll help teams that lack experience and time to build much safer products by leveraging his expertise and knowledge in this domain.
Judging from Ishan's passion, dedication, and initiatives, this Android expert is determined to pave the way for safer Android app development in the industry.