Ice Cream Sandwich is good news for Android developers

As the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android moves closer to its release, I think Android apps developers who read Tim Bray’s post yesterday on the official android developer blog left the blog smiling. According to him, the ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) will support “big screens, small screens, and everything in between.”

He also noted that Honeycomb (the android version for tablets) apps will run on the new ICS when it’s released. So, if you’ve developed apps for honeycomb in the past, you’ll have two options according to Tim Bray:

prevent installation on smaller screens or (preferably) support smaller screens with the same APK.

He gave a short tutorial on both options above. So, if you’re an android app developer and you’ve not read the post, I recommend you do now (at least for the recommendations and tips).

Here are his final words:

Ice Cream Sandwich is coming, and with it, handsets will be able to install apps built on Honeycomb. We haven’t released the ICS SDK just yet, but you can start preparing your Honeycomb apps by thinking about how they should work on smaller screens.

So if you have a Honeycomb tablet app out there (and by that, I mean an app with minSdkVersion="11" or higher), you should make sure it’s available only on large screen devices for now. We hope that you’ll then follow our advice here and optimize your tablet app to support smaller screens, using the same APK for both tablets and handsets.

So, with this, we’re more certain of the ICS launching soon and one of the various features it promises. With the ICS, I think android apps can now be more “future-proof”.

  1. its not just the launching soon, but the universal nature of ICS, allowing apps to run optimally either on smartphones or tablets.

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