Sep 19 AT 1:27 PM Taylor Wimberly 21 Comments

Google tells devs to get their apps ready for Ice Cream Sandwich


As we count down to the release of the next version of Android, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, more clues are beginning to drop. Today Google made a post on the Android Developers blog that informs devs of how to prepare their apps for Ice Cream Sandwich.

Scott Main, lead tech writer for, describes how the upcoming Android release will supportĀ big screens, small screens and everything in between. Since Android apps are forward-compatible, this means tablet apps developed for Honeycomb will also run on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Most Honeycomb apps were designed to run on a big screen, so devs must either “prevent installation on smaller screens or (preferably) support smaller screens with the same APK.”

The Honeycomb action bar will make its way to phones.

Scott also tells us that Ice Cream Sandwich will bring all the Honeycomb APIs to handsets. This means design elements like the action bar and fragments will be implemented on a smaller screen. Developers will need to “create ‘single-pane’ layouts for handsets and ‘multi-pane’ layouts for tablets.”

Hopefully this is a sign that the Ice Cream Sandwich software development kit (SDK) is nearing release. Last year Google released the Gingerbread SDK on the same day they announced the Nexus S. The device went on sale at Best Buy ten days later.

Could the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK be out in a matter of weeks? We should find out soon, but all signs point to “yes.”

Source: Android Developers Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • ben dover

    I like the idea of phones being able to do fragments! that allows things like flipping the phone on it’s side and have a two pane layout for gmail!

    • irishrally

      Such Gmail functionality was mentioned in the 4chan leak of the Nexus Prime and ICS.

      • ben dover

        yeah I read that :) I was excited to see that since I’ve been wanting that for a while now!

    • bryanl

      Developers can do that right now if they use the fragment libs from the support library. Doesn’t take honeycomb or ICS.

  • OnIn2

    I just hope the ICS stock browser doesn’t crash as often as it does on my honeycomb tablet. This comment probably won’t win any awards, but it is what it is.

    Come on Google !!

    • ben dover

      do you also have the issue with your hc tablet where you do a search in the address bar and instead of pulling up the google search results, it just goes to’s home page?

      • OnIn2

        Haven’t seen that. Just click on a link and the browser disappears returning me to Home

    • Peter

      I find the 3.2 browser much better that the 3.0/3.1 one. With 3.2 you get force closes instead of seg faults.

      • OnIn2

        Oh lowered….It still crashes ?

  • fabien

    i love how they still use the Nexus One as their reference phone ,

  • kwills88

    Let’s hope this means tabbed stock browser…or hell, just throw in the entire chrome desktop browser in mobile format along with sync.

    • http://None CaribGrackle

      Sync between Chrome and the Android Browser would be awesome, but according to the latest rumors we could at least expect the tabbed stock browser on ICS.

  • Interpol91

    All of the ICS news is awesome! I can only assume there will be more as the release date nears.

  • SliestDragon

    Would love to see this released a bit before the official ICS release. I want as much time as possible for devs. to get their apps ready.

  • lc

    You asked “Could the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK be out in a matter of weeks?” … the answer is that it already probably is finished and Google is waiting for Apple to release the iPhone 5 and to try to eclipse it releasing ICS and Nexus Prime at the same time.

  • Vectrex

    How is the action bar going to work on a phones screen? Obviously they can’t have it permanently on screen like in honeycomb.

  • nexus

    Even though Google choose poorly for the naming ‘fragments’ is one of the main reasons I love android. This simple, yet optimistic plan is what gives me hope for an awesome consistent experience across devices and apps.

  • a mobile developer

    >Since Android apps are forward-compatible, this means tablet apps developed for Honeycomb will also run on Ice Cream Sandwich.

    That sounds like backward compatibility. Shouldn’t it be “apps developed for Ice Cream Sandwich will be able to run on Honeycomb”?

  • Jasper

    After a lots of problems using fragments I almost quit being an Android developer. The listfragment does not show selection when adding your own list item view via an adapter. The webview fragment is buggy and for the rest it is a huge amount of work to get all done on the different platforms.

    When it runs it is OK but it requires quite a lot of files for the different devices.