Android 3.1 User Features That Developers Must Know, Page 2
Android 3.1's Hottest User Features
Android 3.1 was a minor Honeycomb release that featured a number of bug fixes as well as usability refinements and performance improvements to the new user interface introduced in Android 3.0. This means you're better off reviewing the new user experience on a device running Android 3.1 with the latest updates.
- Perhaps Android 3.1's biggest new feature, both from a user and developer perspective, is broad support for USB devices and accessories. Users can now easily connect a mouse, keyboard, game controller/pad and other pieces of USB gadgetry to their Android device. The great news for app developers is that these features are accessible within the Android Framework as part of the new USB Host and Accessory APIs.
- One new Home Screen feature we immediately fell in love with is the ability to resize App Widgets. Developers with existing App Widgets should jump on this opportunity to make their data feature even more prominently in the Home Screen's high-impact real estate.
- Many of the preloaded Android apps, like the Browser, Camera, Gallery, Email, Contacts, and Calendar received a make-over for Android 3.0/3.1. If your applications integrate with these apps, as many do, you'll want to ensure that your application still plays nicely with these new versions.
You can find a comprehensive description of the user feature highlights for Android 3.1 at the Android Developer website.
Reviewing the user features can also give you hints as to the newest developer features you might not be leveraging because they aren't on your radar when your head is down and coding. Whether you're writing apps that target tablets or not, spend a little time reviewing the user and developer features available on the Honeycomb platform. You've got a lot of new opportunities to integrate closely with the platform, through improved app widgets, action bars, and many other new user features.
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