User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an Android mobile application and when it starts up, I need to perform a check to see whether the installed version is still compatible with the my currently active web services.

When I run the application, it shows a splash screen and that's currently when I try to contact the web services to perform the check. Is this the most appropriate time?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

What I do is build this concept directly into the web service API. If a client sends or requests data in a format (media type) that is no longer supported by the server, the server responds to that request with a status code (e.g. for a RESTful web service, the service examines the Content-Type and Accept headers of the request to assess whether the supplied or requested media type is still supported, and returns status code 415 Unsupported Media Type or 406 Not Acceptable, respectively, if not). Likewise, if the client tries to invoke a method that is no longer supported or access a resource that no longer exists (but should, as far as the client is concerned), then appropriate status codes are returned in those cases. My Android client interprets any of these status codes as indicating that it must be out of date with respect to the web service, and notifies the user that they should upgrade.

Therefore, there is no need for a special "am I still supported?" request.

share|improve this answer

Sorry in advance for my errors in english, I'm french

Is the Splashscreen only here to check the version ? Or is it also used for something else ? Assuming it is only here to check the version I think it's the wrong way to do it. It's a very bad thing for the user, because he can't do anything else during the check that might take several seconds.
Instead of doing that, I recommend you to do It in the background and to notify the user only if there is a new version, or even, why not to install the new version automatically.

share|improve this answer
What can I do if with the next deploy the app won't be anymore compatible with the new web services? I have to maintain two different versions of the web services? – simoneL Feb 24 '14 at 16:27
I don't know a lot Android, but on iOS (since iOS 7) apps update automatically whenever a new version is available, if It also exists on Android there shouldn't be any problems since your users will always have the latest version. Else, you should really try to keep the versions as much compatible as possible between them to make it transparent for the user. And if you really can't do that (it's really the worst case), then just do the check in the background and block the user only if it's impossible to do it in an other way, but again It's a very bad way to do it ! – Trevör Anne Denise Feb 24 '14 at 17:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.