Chapter 17

Android Tablets

What's in This Chapter?

  • Designing a tablet user interface (UI)
  • Working with the action bar to use the extra screen space effectively
  • Working with fragments to divide the screen and use the extra real estate effectively

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) has been available since early 2011. Unfortunately, the initial Android tablets based on Android 3.x were not well accepted in the market. Thankfully, Android tablet shipments have ticked up with the release of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)). Android 4.0 brings together features from the phone and tablet in much the same way that the Apple iPad and iPhone operating systems were separate until iOS 4.2.

Examining the Android Tablet Marketplace

The tablet marketplace has seen explosive growth. Tablets have been available for many years in the Microsoft Windows ecosystem. I can remember Pen Windows from the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, Microsoft tried to reenergize tablet devices. Unfortunately, these efforts met with limited success, outside of a few niche areas, and never achieved large consumer demand. This was primarily due to the clunkiness of the hardware, with its large size and weight, as well as the stylus, which was easy to lose.

In 2010, Apple released the iPad. This device—with its tie-in to iTunes, various book resellers, size, and weight—was definitely accepted in the marketplace. Consumers could not purchase enough of them. There were large lines at Apple stores. Deliveries took weeks when ...

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