Getting Started with Android 4.0, Page 2
Getting Started with Android 4.0 Now
You can get started right away! The Ice Cream Sandwich SDK and updated development tools are now available for download at the Android Developer website. However, the flagship ICS device, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, is not slated to hit the shelves until November, according to this joint announcement made by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong. Until then, developers will need to use the Android emulator with appropriately configured AVDs that target Android 4.0 (API Level 14) to test their applications.
Preparing for New Android 4.0 Devices
The launch device for Ice Cream Sandwich, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, has a 1280x720 screen. This resolution is close to the standard Honeycomb, Android 3.x, tablet resolution of 1280x800. However, instead of being a medium density (mdpi) display, it's an extra-high density (xhdpi) display. Either way, though, your graphic art and design departments will likely have some work to do in creating appropriately-sized graphics and layouts for this 4.65 inch display. Optimizing graphics, layouts, and views is as important as ever -- the device is now pushing nearly twice as many pixels as previous qHD (quarter full HD, or 960x540) displays -- now 921k pixels, as opposed to 518k pixels.
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Figure 2. Samsung Galaxy Nexus Running Android 4.0
Aside from the relatively major screen resolution change for a phone, the rest of the hardware is pretty standard affair, but if your application references hardware buttons, you might consider some text changes when targeting ICS (and even Honeycomb). For more information about the Galaxy Nexus, see the launch site and Samsung's information in the announcement video linked above.
The Ice Cream Sandwich SDK and updated development tools are available now for developers to review and evaluate, but devices will not be available for a few more weeks. Android application developers should consider using this time to take the Ice Cream Sandwich design goals into consideration and to update their existing applications to the new SDK target. Over the coming weeks and months, we'll also share more details on the specific new opportunities that ICS offers in terms of application opportunities.
What new ICS features are you most looking forward to incorporating into your Android applications? Let us know!
About the Authors
|Shane Conder and Lauren Darcey--Contributing Editors, Mobile Development--have coauthored two books on Android development: an in-depth programming book entitled Android Wireless Application Development (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-62709-4) and Sams Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-67335-0). When not writing, they spend their time developing mobile software at their company and providing consulting services.|