Developing Applications for Multiple Screen Sizes in Android

Part of the Android Application Development For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One of the challenges that you will encounter during your time as an Android app developer is developing for multiple screen sizes. There are many things to keep in mind during your adventure into screen sizes. The following list can keep you on track.

  • The size requirements for each icon in each density vary for each type of icon. You find launcher icons, menu icons, status bar icons, tab icons, and many more. They are all built differently for each screen density. When building these icons, reference the Android Icon Design Guidelines.

  • Try to always use the density-independent pixel (dip or dp) measurement unit for views and the scale-independent pixel (sip or sp) for font sizes when defining your user interface. This helps your application scale to different devices. The density-independent pixel is a virtual pixel that scales proportionally for each given screen density.

  • Provide the supports-screens element to the AndroidManifest.xml file to help the Android market determine whether your application is compatible with various screen sizes.

  • Provide graphics for extra-high-, high-, medium-, and low-density devices. While this may increase your development and design time, it greatly improves the usability and appearance of your application.

  • Use fragments liberally to make supporting tablet devices easier.

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Android Application Development For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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