Launched in 2012, Hike is building products with the aim of simplifying the internet to bring India online. Hike combines chat, messaging, feeds, and integrations with third-party transportation and payment apps. It developed these features very rapidly and at different points in time, resulting in what the company called "significant technical and architectural debt." Because this debt was becoming a bottleneck to stability, maintainability and performance, the company wanted to simplify its code quickly.
What they did
Hike turned to Android Architecture Components, which became "our Swiss army knife to tackle all of these challenges" says CTO Vishwanath Ramarao. It began using ViewModel, which allows data to survive configuration changes (such as screen rotations); LiveData, an observable data-holder class; and the Room persistence library. "We're a modern, reactive app, and Room and LiveData fit really well with our forward-design principles" Ramarao adds.
Hike is also evaluating the Paging Library, which makes it easier for an app gradually to load information as needed from a data source, without overloading the device or waiting too long for a big database query.
"We were aware of Architecture Components in general and wanted to learn more" Ramarao says. "But what started as an exploration of the Android-ecosystem best practices became an important tool to tackle our technical and architectural debt. It ultimately became a way of modernizing our architecture and development practice".
Thanks to Architecture Components, Hike significantly reduced the total lines of code in their app, while also making that code more readable and maintainable. Android Architecture Components also helped them to raise their crash-free user ratings to well beyond 99 percent, something they’d struggled to accomplish in the past.