Android 3.2 Honeycomb has just been released and it includes a number of bug fixes and other upgrades to the tablet version of Google’s mobile software platform. Moreover, the release shows better support for multiple screen resolutions, which means manufacturers can just go nuts with their screen sizes, within reason. What we have to look forward to are 7-inch Android tablets, which are arguably more portable than their 10-inch counterparts.
Ars Technica reports:
Third-party developers will now have more fine-grained control over how their applications are presented on certain screens. There are new resource qualifiers that allow developers to optionally create separate layouts and graphical assets for arbitrary ranges of screen densities. There are also new attributes that developers can use in Android manifest files to specify the screen resolutions their applications are compatible with.
Developers have struggled with making their Android applications friendly for all types of screen resolutions, and until recently Google hadn’t given devs the tools they needed to overcome this. It’s one of the reasons for the lack of availability of certain apps on Android that were already on iOS. With Android 3.2, developers will have an easier time getting their apps to play friendly with different tablet screen sizes.
A new feature also allows apps to go into pixel-doubling mode, which allows the apps to stretch to fill the screen if it hasn’t been optimized for a particular resolution. Apple does this on the iPad with its “2x” mode, though tens of thousands of apps on iOS are now optimized for the iPad’s screen.
Motorola Xoom users are apparently first to get the rollout of Android 3.2, and software developers can get the SDK from Android’s dev site.
Do you own a Motorola Xoom? And have you been prompted to download and upgrade to the new software version? If so, let us know how it worked out, or whether you were able to find the update manually.
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