Android 3 apps for everyone
Android 3 apps for everyone
Saturday, 05 March 2011

Google has released the Fragments Library for Android 1.6 or later - this makes it possible to write tablet apps that run on a wider range of Android tablets than before.


What's the difference between a smart phone and a tablet? The answer is mostly a matter of screen size. You wouldn't think that it makes things so difficult that you need a different operating system for each but in fact we have Android 3, or Honeycomb, for tablets and Gingerbread and earlier versions of Android for phones. Google has promised that in the future it will merge the two lines of the Android OS to provide a single platform.

In the meantime the good news is that Google has released a static library that exposes the Fragments API for applications that run under Android 1.6 or later. Put simply this makes it much easier to write unified applications that can run on the older generation of Android tablets that aren't going to be upgraded to Honeycomb any time soon or ever.

Fragments isn't rocket science. What it does is that it allows you to create a panelled layout that can be displayed on a single screen or as separate pages if the screen size is too small to accommodate the entire layout.





Things are a little more tricky than this diagram suggests because a fragment is a self-contained component with it own UI. A fragment is essentially a mini-Activity complete with its own life cycle and it can be re-used.


There are lots of Android tablets on the market and lots already sold that don't or can't use Android 3.0 and the availability of a fragments library makes it possible to create apps that work on these as well as true Android 3.0 tablets which are currently in short supply. As far as programmers are concerned this might well be enough of a unification for the time being.

More information

Android Blog

Fragments API

The fragment library is available through the SDK Updater as the “Android Compatibility package”.

Just one Android to rule them all



The Computer Science Breakthrough Of The Decade

It might sound overly dramatic, and when you discover what it is you might want to use the term "esoteric", but the discovery of a quasipolynomial time algorithm for the graph isomorphism problem is i [ ... ]

Word Of The Year Is An Emoji

The Face with Tears of Joy emoji has become Oxford Dictionaries 2015 Word of the Year, raising the question of can an emoji be considered to have the status of a word.

More News

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 March 2011 )

RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2015 All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.