04
Mar
gmail tablet

A new Application Programming Interface (API) called Fragments has been opened to all 1.6+ versions of Android. If you have no clue what that means, this should have the effect of making many more apps tablet-friendly on tablets and phone-friendly on phones.

At the core of Fragment's API is the multi-panel user interface that you see on certain tablet email apps, for example (labels in left panel, inbox in right panel). The ability to use this layout will now be integrated into a variety of applications without compromising the more basic look for phones. This will allow the same program to show the multi-panel look when run on a tablet, while phones stay with the single-panel UI.

gmail tablet

Fragments was previously integrated into Honeycomb-specific apps, but the myriad of older apps in the Market were left in the dust. Now all applications designed for Android versions 1.6 and later (essentially anything even remotely recent) will have the potential to get a lot more tablet-happy. In other words, the jabs Steve Jobs threw at the iPad 2 event (regarding the relatively small number of current Honeycomb apps) will soon be irrelevant.

Source: Android Developers' Blog

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • grat

    Oh great. More fragment-ation. :)

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Hehe, here, this is a good thing ;-]

    • And-droid

      This is not fragmentation – it is a split screen view… to enhance the experience.

    • http://trueacu.com acupunc

      fragments to help fragment apps
      or is that fragments to help fragmented apps
      :D

      either way. . . good stuff!

      In all seriousness. . . for devs this is a great thing. Now they need only design the app to take advantage of all screen sizes. None of this "tablet apps" and "phone apps." Just an app that will behave intelligently based on the screen real estate.

      • Christian

        Well put, as Android users we should help to advocate the concept and bring Apple's disparaging remarks to shame. Take away the negative connotation currently associated with the word and imbue it with new meaning.

        From today, 'Fragmentation' not only means 'Choice'; with its ingenious implementation, 'Fragmenation' shall also stand for 'Unity' against the form-factor discriminatory nature of Apple's iOS apps!

  • And-droid

    This is not fragmentation - it is a split screen view... to enhance the experience.

    • http://blog.firstdove.com Christian

      Kinda stepping on my point there buddy.. I know this isn't actually fragmentation; I'm saying that with the naming of the Fragments API, we can take the chance to remove the negative connotation that the word has in the supposed fragmentation of the Android universe. Where once it was a problem for users and developers alike, the myriad of differing devices can now be seen as a legitimately good thing.