Tablets are a huge area of mobile technology—these devices deserve their own separate book. The patterns included in this chapter are specific for small and large tablets with more screen area than a smartphone. Designing for tablets is one area in which a team willing to experiment can rapidly overtake the competition in creating a superior experience that is most closely suited to the unique tablet shape and device capabilities. Before tackling this chapter, review Chapter 3, “Android Fragmentation,” for a refresher on the hot zones and most likely grip positions offered by various devices.
To address device fragmentation, Android raced ahead of the competition by offering the somewhat ironically named Fragments UI framework. Fragments forms the primary “pure Android” pattern of User Interface (UI) design.
The content on the screen is broken out into tiles called fragments. Each fragment is positioned based on the device size and orientation to best occupy the available space. Scrolling of the individual tiles is limited so that essential elements, such as action buttons, do not scroll offscreen.
My favorite example of the Fragments UI is the Google Play app. It is an example of a truly of a “responsive” native app that works surprisingly well on a variety of devices, as shown in Figures 14-1 and 14-2.
In the horizontal orientation on the 7-inch tablet pictured in Figure 14-2, the elements of the Google ...