Jethro Borsje

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Tablet support

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The last couple of weeks I spent implementing proper tablet support to my Android apps. I started using Fragments in order to be able to reuse different parts of my apps in different combinations depending on the screen size and orientation. Although Fragments were added in Android 3.0.x (API level 11) this technique is usable starting from Android 1.6 (API level 4) by using the Android support library provided by Google. The Android support library contains many more back ported components which are worth your time looking into. I think it's great Google invests in making these new techniques available to older versions of the Android platform so that we as developers can make better apps for all API versions, not just for the newer ones.

Besides the Android support library I started using ActionBar Sherlock, which is an extension to the Android support library designed to facilitate the use of the action bar design pattern across both older and newer versions of Android with a single API. ActionBar Sherlock will automatically call the native Android API on newer version while it will use its own implementation on older versions. It can be used starting from Android 2.x (API level 5) and higher. The framework comes with theming capabilities and lots of nice coding examples.

It took a while but I'm very pleased with the end result. All my apps are now tablet ready and are tested on Android 4.3 using my Nexus 10 tablet. While there is still room for improvements the current version of my apps is a big step forward from where they came. I'm planning to keep improving them in the future while staying focused on adding new apps at the same time.

Bellow you'll find a couple of screenshots of tablet screens together with their phone based counterparts of some of my apps:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:53  


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