Android Devices

Android Honeycomb tablets to get special zoom and stretch modes

July 11, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Tablets

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Love your Android Honeycomb tablet but hate that not all of your apps resize appropriaetly on-screen? Google knows. In a post on the Google Developer blog, technical writer Scott Main says that the next release of Honeycomb will include a compatibility mode to make “awkward-looking apps” take full advantage of the large tablet screens.

Most of the apps available in the Android Market already scale-up by design, but there are many cases in which things don’t fit correctly. For example, Age of Conquest looks much larger on my Galaxy Tab 10.1, but there’s a large black bar of empty space at the top. The upcoming change to Honeycomb would allow me to make the app “Stretch to fill screen” or “Zoom to fill screen.” That should make the app look better as I take over the world.

The change will only apply to developers who do not specifically create a Honeycomb mode or target large screens. I’m sure you’ve already noticed that many Android apps scale-up to fit tablet screens without issue. In the less frequent cases in which that doesn’t happen, the app will go into a mode that makes content fit on the screen without leaving awkward set-ups. It won’t be as crystal clear as the resolution designed specifically for phones, but there will be zoom to make things look better.

Check out the Android Developers blog for a full explanation and an example of the stretch and zoom mode.