Previous day we created a simple app with an animated sprite. If you tried this app on different screen resolutions, such as Ultra HD tablets or low-resolution phones, you would notice a quality issue. If the device’s smallest native dimension is less than Artenus’ standard 600px, there will be an unclean scale-down, and if it is much larger, you’ll find a blurry image. Why is that? It’s because our sprite uses bitmap graphics with a fixed resolution. Scaling such images always degrades performance to some extent even with the best scaling algorithms.
The solution to this problem is using responsive graphics. Android provides a mechanism called “resource qualifiers” to attack this issue. You can simply provide different resource folders corresponding to different screen resolutions (or other device characteristics), and include screen-specific graphics in them. There is a small problem with this approach. The main implication with this approach is APK size. If you include graphics for a varieties of resolutions, you will have lots of redundancy which adds to the size of your installation file. The other problem is that Android ecosystem accomodates potentially infinite screen sizes and resolutions, and you cannot accommodate all of them in your graphics. Even if you choose a representative set, you will find it hard to provide a consistent UI on all devices. Today we will discuss another approach.