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Google upgrades Android platform

Google has unveiled an incremental release of the Android platform featuring optimisations for a wider range of tablets and a compatibility enhancement for fixed-size applications.

“Android 3.2, which starting becoming available on Motorola Xoom devices last week, offers refinements to ensure a greater user experience on more tablets,” said Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK lead.

A new compatibility display mode in version 3.2 gives users a way to view fixed-size applications on larger devices. “The mode provides a pixel-scaled alternative to the standard UI stretching, for apps that are not designed to run on larger screen sizes,” Ducrohet said.

Version 3.2 also offers an extended screen support API. “For developers who want more precise control over their UI across the range of Android-powered devices, the platform’s screen support API is extended with new resource qualifiers and manifest attributes, to also allow targeting screens by their dimensions,” Ducrohet said.

Also, on devices supporting a removable SD card, users can load media files directly from the SD card to applications. Improving accommodations for screen size had been discussed by Google last week; the 3.2 release brings this upgrade to fruition.

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