Android 3.2 to Feature New Mode for Viewing Non-Tablet Apps


While Honeycomb has vastly improved the Android tablet experience, the platform still features a relatively low number of native apps designed with larger screen sizes in mind. It has been a chief point of attack for many detractors and competitors, and the Android team hopes to provide some relief in a “near-future release” of Honeycomb. To us that could only reference one thing, Android 3.2, the next installment of the Tablet version of Android scheduled to launch on the Huawei Mediapad and possibly rolling out to the Motorola XOOM in the near future.

The next iteration of Honeycomb will give users the options to view non-tablet apps in the already available “stretch” mode, which can lead to wonky layouts and poor compatibility with the screen size of Android slates, or in a new “zoom” mode. This “zoom” mode will run apps at a smaller screen size and then enlarge the whole thing twofold. It’s pretty much the same functionality the iPad has employed to emulate iPhone apps on its bigger screen. It won’t do much to add more apps to Honeycomb’s stables, but it will allow some apps that don’t quite display correctly when stretched to fill the screen to be more usable on Android tablets.

[via Android Developers Blog]

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  1. Cool

  2. Honeycomb will continue to suck until the source code is released, which is never, and so I’m waiting for Ice cream sandwich.

    1. as much as i like the ability to modify the system as i care to, i cannot see how not being able to read the source cripples the system in any way…

      Also i do get why they hold it back. It is a temporary solution in order to get properly started on the tablet market until ICS is out, and if people got the sourcecode many smaller companies would start to throw it onto smartphones, which would make for a crappy userexperience.

  3. the Transformer will get it before the Xoom

    1. Unlikely since as soon as Google releases it – it’ll be updated on the Xoom.

  4. good move, there are some apps whose developers have moved on, or at least aren’t focused on updating the UI… newsroom comes to mind, unusable on honeycomb, great on a phone

  5. A reasonable tactical solution until Ice Cream Sandwich. I do hope that ICS has better hardware/gpu hardware access layer APIs (HAL). Developing apps specific to hardware components has gotsta go.

  6. when will the media pad be released?

  7. You can do this already by downloading spare parts from the market. Works great on my SGT10.1.

    1. No you can’t, the zoom mode is completely new to 3.2.

  8. still upsetting that we don’t have media card support :(

  9. I wonder how practical it would be for a new version of Android to allow phone-sized apps to run at their native size in a move-able window?

  10. I’m just pissed that there’s talk of a Xoom 2 and I’m still waiting for official micro SD support and 4G LTE. Some “Google Experience” this is. What gives?!

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