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Android API Field Evolution and Its Induced Compatibility Issues

conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 02:02 authored by T Mahmud, Meiru Che, G Yang

Background: The continuous evolution of the Android operating system necessitates regular API updates, which may affect the functionality of Android apps. Recent studies investigated API evolution to ensure the reliability of Android apps; however, they focused on API methods alone. 

Aim: We aim to empirically investigate how Android API fields evolve, and how this evolution affects the compatibility of Android apps. 

Method: We conducted a study based on real-world app development history data involving 11098 tags out of 105 popular open-source Android apps. 

Results: Our study yields interesting findings, e.g., on average two API field compatibility issues exist per app, different types of checks are preferred when addressing different types of compatibility issues, and fixing compatibility issues induced by API field evolution takes more time than fixing compatibility issues induced by API method evolution. 

Conclusion: These findings will help developers and researchers better understand, detect, and handle Android compatibility issues induced by API field evolution.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Start Page

34

End Page

44

Number of Pages

11

Start Date

2022-09-18

Finish Date

2022-09-23

eISSN

1949-3789

ISSN

1949-3770

ISBN-13

9781450394277

Location

Helsinki Finland

Publisher

Association for Computing Machinery

Place of Publication

New York, NY

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

16TH ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement

Parent Title

Proceedings of the 16TH ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement ESEM 2022

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