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Memory Leaks in an Android App

For an Android App developer, developing an app might not be much of a big deal, but a qualitative and an efficient Android App, with us secure and lives up to the expectations of the one you are making for or serves your own purpose if you are making it for yourself. In an Android App, the smallest factor can prove vital in determining if it's a good Android App or it is not as efficient as it was supposed to be. So nothing can be overlooked.

One of the most common things that can have is a memory leak. A developer is so engrossed in the interface design and the functionalities of the Android App, they do not account for or plan for this situation, at the time of development. This can potentially be harmful to your App and its user, as it can hang, crash, and other exceptions may occur, which will end up ruining the user experience to a great deal. This can waste your efforts that you have put in for developing the Android App. All this can be avoided if you pay equal or more attention in looking after these memory leak expectations, as you did for designing the applications with the right functionalities and interface. This will most likely ensure that the memory leak does not occur at any point in time, and your App performance is smooth.

Memory Leak:

Before moving forward, let us look at what android what exactly is a memory leak, and why it happens. In simple words, a memory leak is an unwanted scenario for the android app developers, which means that additional space has been allotted in the memory, which is never emptied. The more you use it, the more space is utilized without being free. A point will come when there is no memory remaining as the previous memory spaces have not been made available. This will cause exceptions to occur and your app to crash.

Knowing when I have a Memory Leak:

Even if you or your android app developer has made the mistake of not accounting for the memory leak, there are indications that your memory leak is not plugged, and you may get a memory leak, any time. One of the most commonly used indicators is looking at your memory usage. It does not matter if the android app is in use of not, the memory usage of that app will keep going upwards. This is a sign that your memory allotted space is not being cleared out, just being piled up.

I know you must be wondering, is there an easier way to detect the memory leaks? Lucky for you, there is. You have multiple tools to achieve this task. May it be the Allocation Tracker tool for giving us a picture of which android app occupies how much memory or the LeakCanary library, for dumping the memory and notifying, if there is an error. This also finds the root cause of the memory leak.

Memory Leak Scenarios:

If you know what to expect, the better than chances you have of countering it when it happens. We will look at some of the possible scenarios that can happen in the android app development process.

Anonymous Class:

An anonymous class is an unnamed class, which is created in a program. Whenever this class calls any method that performs any activity, it would still keep the instance of the container. Since this anonymous class will be keeping the instance, every time an activity is performed, there will come a time when it does not any space left and overflow. This overflow can also be called a memory leak. Of course, if the anonymous class is just there without being used, it won’t trigger the memory leak to take place.

Inner Class

If a developer makes an inner class in the program and leaves it unattended, without finishing or destroying that class, it will create an opening for the memory leak, as they can have a reference to their container classes. As the developer, you can do to avoid it by keeping a close eye on the inner classes they are creating. Either close it after completing the function or destroy it by calling pre-defined methods and functions like onDestroy(), doInBackground(), depending on the nature of the program, or you can use a static class, instead of an inner class.

Registering Listeners

Static Variable

When the program by the developer is executed, and a class is loaded, if the variables associated with the class are static variables, it will keep on referencing activities, even when their work is done. This is likely to end up causing a memory leak, as the garbage will not be collected, and a point will come when all this referencing of activities may cause the memory to run out of space. To avoid such a situation, you would be well-advised to avoid the use of static variable and switch to using an alternate resource to achieve what you want to do.


Singleton Objects are the single class objects in the program of the developer. If this object keeps an activity reference for longer than the time your activity runs, it may cause a memory leak. For this scenario, the recommended scenario would be using a method in the object to eliminate all the references in the program, after they have done being used.

Winding Up:

May it be an Android App Developer or an Android App Development Company, the app can is built need to be efficient and useful for the purpose it is being developed for. You will need to ensure the full satisfaction of the user. This involves ensuring that the app's code is optimized to avoid errors for the present and foreseeable future, making sure the interface is easy to use and user-friendly. The slightest error and wrong user experience can ruin the reputation of the developer.

About The Author
Harper Torres

Harper Torres is a Digital Content Producer at Creative Ideator, a software development company. She is well versed with the knowledge of technological trends, Mobile Apps, Internet of Things, and many more. She influences people through her impeccable Writing Skills and Engaging Content.

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