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15.3. Summary

As you’re undoubtedly aware, Android wasn’t the first smartphone platform to be extended to tablets. Android’s success in touch-based computing on smartphones made it an obvious choice for tablets as well. But as you can see from this chapter, the Android team didn’t rest on their laurels. Instead, a number of significant advancements were made in Android with tablets specifically in mind. The biggest of these is the introduction of Fragments. As we mentioned earlier, the need to create more self-contained components in Android didn’t come from tablets. It had already existed, and many application developers had already come up with various solutions for this problem. The need for user interfaces that made better use of large screens in different orientations accentuated this missing piece to Android, and Fragments fill that void. Fragments, and the other essential parts of tablet development explained here—the Action Bar and drag and drop—are also available in earlier versions of Android via the Android Compatibility package.

Finally, it’s good to note that this chapter isn’t exhaustive in detailing all of the changes to Android in Honeycomb. Most of those changes were meant to help application developers build for tablets, so all of them are relevant to this chapter. But we’ve chosen to focus on the essential techniques that the developers of any tablet application should keep in mind. That’s not meant to detract from the other features. For example, we’ve completely ignored several new features that are of great benefit to game developers, such as Renderscript. We’ve also not gone in to the improvements in RemoteViews that allow for improved home screen widgets and notifications. These are all important features that may be crucial to you depending on what your application is going to do. As always, the Android documentation provides great detail on these API and behavioral improvements. And with that, you’ve made it! You’ve gone from kicking the tires with Hello Android in chapter 1, through many advanced topics and over 80 techniques, to racing down the track with tablets. You should now have a very solid footing for developing Android applications, so pat yourself on the back!


  

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