Dec 17th, 2009

Android Developers have released a new tool to aid in knowing what you’re developing for out there and help make those backward-compatibility decisions.

“To help with this kind of decision, I am excited to announce the new device dashboard. It provides information about deployed Android-powered devices that is helpful to developers as they build and update their apps. The dashboard provides the relative distribution of Android platform versions on devices running Android Market.”

dashboard

“From a developer’s perspective, there are a number of interesting points on this graph:

  • At this point, there’s little incentive to make sure a new application is backward compatible with Android 1.0 and Android 1.1.
  • Close to 30% of the devices are running Android 1.5. To take advantage of this significant install base, you may consider support for Android 1.5.
  • Starting with Android 1.6, devices can have different screen densities & sizes. There are several devices out there that fall in this category, so make sure to adapt your application to support different screen sizes and take advantage of devices with small, low density (e.g QVGA) and normal, high density (e.g. WVGA) screens. Note that Android Market will not list your application on small screen devices unless its manifest explicitly indicates support for “small” screen sizes. Make sure you properly configure the emulator and test your application on different screen sizes before uploading to Market.
  • A new SDK for Android 2.0.1 was released last week. All Android 2.0 devices will be updated to 2.0.1 before the end of the year, so if your application uses features specific to Android 2.0, you are encouraged to update it to take advantage of the latest Android 2.0.1 API instead.”

They intend to add additional functions to the dashboard as well – including a breakdown of screen sizes.

…read full article.

[Android Developers]