Google built a software kit to help applications running various versions of Android run on the company's Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" operating system build.
Android development team released software that will allow applications that
run with its Android 1.6 and later operating system versions to leverage the
company's Fragments technology to create user interfaces that work with
Compatibility Package is available now through the SDK Updater
, Google developer advocate Tim Bray said
in a brief blog post March 3.
month released its Fragments API
to help developers write
applications that could mold to various screen sizes, particularly tablets
running its Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" OS build, such as the Motorola
developers may combine multiple Android fragments in a single activity to build,
for example, a multi-pane user interface such as the one Google created its
Gmail application for Honeycomb.
One glaring shortfall
of the API was that it did not suit developers whose applications were written
with earlier versions of Android in mind.
problematic at a time when devices exist that have multiple versions of
Android. According to the Android Device Dashboard
, Android 1.5 is running
on 3.9 percent of smartphones and Android 1.6 is powering 6.3 percent of
Android mobile devices.
(31.4 percent), Android 2.2 (57.6 percent) and Android 2.3 (0.8 percent) round
out the list. Android 3.0, designed specifically for tablets, is not yet part
of the dashboard.
with the multiple builds are that carriers are slow to upgrade to the latest
Android builds and that applications can break between older and newer builds.
several applications for Android 2.0
smartphones in 2009 that had to be specially ported to earlier Android
both development and usability difficult for some smartphones. Google's Android
Compatibility package, leveraging the Fragments API, should ameliorate the
issue for tablets.