In the latest sign that the unwrapping of Ice Cream Sandwich is near, Google has clued in developers on how to get their apps ready to take advantage of the upcoming, new flavor of Android.
In a blog post yesterday, Scott Main, lead tech writer for Google's official site for Android developers, reminded readers that Ice Cream Sandwich, or ICS, has been designed to run on anything from small-screen smartphones to big-screen tablets.
But apps designed to run under Android 3.0 Honeycomb are "forward-compatible" and therefore will run on any device with ICS, whether phone or tablet. So developers who created their apps specifically to run on Honeycomb-based tablets will need to tweak their APKs (Android packages) to either prevent or support their installation on smaller-screen devices.
The blog also offered some recommendations for tablet app developers on how to ensure that their design of the Action Bar widget works on smaller handsets.
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In an interview earlier this month, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt revealed that the new Android flavor will pop up sometime in October or November.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be Google's first attempt to merge elements of Gingerbread and Honeycomb into a single mobile OS that can be equally at home on smartphones and tablets. Android developers are due to get new open-source APIs and a framework to help them optimize their apps to run on a variety of devices.
The next step will be the publication of the new software development kit for ICS. With the posting of this latest blog, Android news site Android and Me said it believes the SDK is nearing release and in fact could be out in a matter of weeks.
The post on the official Android developers blog didn't reveal any dates for the SDK but advised developers to "start preparing your Honeycomb apps by thinking about how they should work on smaller screens" and to "stay tuned to the blog for more information about ICS as it nears release."