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Android Application Development For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Donn Felker, Michael Burton

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Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean Features

Android 3.0, nicknamed Honeycomb, introduced the world to the Android tablet. Honeycomb and its subsequent 3.1 and 3.2 releases brought about a number of changes to support this new device class. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jelly Bean refined the ideas introduced in Honeycomb for tablets and brought them to phones, allowing developers to use the same code to support both phones and tablets in a single code base.

The following sections introduce you to some of the features in these three versions (that will be covered throughout this book).

Fragments

Every “page” in an Android application is a separate activity. In older versions of Android, you would place any element that you wanted to display onscreen directly into the activity class. This arrangement worked well when viewed on a phone’s small screen, on which you typically can’t see a lot of information at once. You may be able to see a list of tasks, or a task that you’re editing, but cramming both elements onto the screen at the same time is impossible.

On a tablet, however, you’re swimming in real estate. Not only does it make sense to let users see a list of tasks and edit them on the same page, but it also looks silly not to let them do so. The screen size on a table is simply too big to fill with a single long list of items or lots of empty space.

Android doesn’t allow you to easily put two activities on the screen at the same time. What to do? The answer ...

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