Ice Cream Sandwich apps to work on tablets and smartphones

Google's Hugo Barra explains how the SDK makes it easy as pie

One of the big questions we had for Huge Barra when we met him at Google's UK launch of the Galaxy Nexus was how would apps work on a OS that runs on tablets and smartphones

Ice Cream Sandwich has a completely revamped SDK which allows developers to easily create apps which will work on several form factors, removing the problems around the fact that Android appears on so many different screen sizes.

Ice Cream Sandwich: SDK

Google's Product Manager Hugo Barra explained the lengths they'd gone to: "It is the first version that scaled across phones to tablets, what we've done is spend a long time revamping our SDK to make it really simple to build a version of the app that scales across multiple form factors. It only has to be written once."

This will no doubt be a sigh of relief to developers who, otherwise, would have faced the mountainous climb of creating apps for both the larger screen resolutions of tablets and also the lower screen resolutions of smartphones.

Ice Cream Sandwich: Gmail and Calendar

Google has led by example however, Mail and Calendar have both been written specially to work on screens of almost any resolution, with function icons being placed in a drop down menu if the resolution can't support having them on the main menu.

"The action bar that you can see at the bottom, to the right of the last icon is a menu, on a phone with a lower resolution two of those icons would automatically be removed, it adapts to the screen size."

Android Ice Cream Sandwich is the first hybrid OS from Android that works on both tablets and smartphones however its debut will come in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the next phone in the Nexus line which showcases major OS developments by Android.

What do you think of the changes to Android 4.0? Let us know what you think via the comments box below...

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