Google has just announced the new SDK (level 17) which poses all of 4.2 Jellybean’s new features to developers, and I took a look at what those wonderful features are:
Awesome Multi-Screen Support
Android until now has just simply mirrored itself onto a second screen, now 4.2 changes this with a new presentation mode for apps where they can easily show different content on the device display, than the mirrored screen. To put this into a real-world example you could have a presentation with your notes on-screen whereas on a projector all you see is the slides. Google has well documented this, which is hopefully goingto spark a lot of developers minds into supporting this (and manufactures too!).
Simply, these are available for everyone to use! It’s a case of a small XML change for most things, however developers please remember that allowing me to read SMSs on the lockscreen may be useful, I might not want to allow that. Everything is the same as the home screen widgets, and you can if you want make the widgets apply only to the lockscreen (however, only on 4.2+ as bellow the system will ignore this but there are workarounds to enable/disable them manually)
Good news developers, you don’t have to do anything! It’s all baked in and tucked away, if you use the right methods. If you use a set address of “/data/data/…” or “/sdcard/” you’re going to have a hard time. Android provides you with all the right methods for this to work seamlessly so use them!
Lots of other minor things
- Better Right-T0-Left support. This is important, as not everyone in the world writes in a Left-to-right fashion so having this ready to use is awesome
- Screensavers aka “Dreams”. Not very impressive, but hey it’s there and we might see some exciting things
- Nested Fragments. (for those that don’t know, fragments are bits of UI and/or code that can be flipped on and off and make things like tablet support easy) You can now put a fragment in a fragment which is nice
- Renderscript is updated (although I only know that YouTube uses this on tablets)