Interest feature in android 4.0 for Developers



Unified UI framework for phones, tablets, and more
This is to deal with different screen resolution.
Android 4.0 brings a unified UI framework that lets developers create elegant, innovative apps for phones, tablets, and more. It includes all of the familiar Android 3.x interface elements and APIs — fragments, content loaders, Action Bar, rich notifications, resizable home screen widgets, and more — as well as new elements and APIs.
For developers, the unified UI framework in Android 4.0 means new UI tools, consistent design practices, simplified code and resources, and streamlined development across the range of Android-powered devices.
Social API
A shared social provider and API provide a new unified store for contacts, profile data, stream items, and photos. Any app or social network with user permission can contribute raw contacts and make them accessible to other apps and networks. Applications with user permission can also read profile data from the provider and display it in their applications.
The social API lets applications store standard contact data as well as new types of content for any given contact, including large profile photos, stream items, and recent activity feedback. Recent activity feedback is a standard way for applications to “tag” a contact with common activity, such as when the user calls the contact or sends an email or SMS message. The social provider uses the recent activity feedback as a new signal in ranking, such as for name auto-complete, to keep the most relevant contacts ranked closest to the top.
Applications can also let users set up a social connection to a contact from the People app. When the user touches Add Connection in a contact, the app sends a public intent that other apps can handle, displaying any UI needed to create the social connection.
Building on the social API, developers can add powerful new interactions that span multiple social networks and contacts sources.
Calendar API
A shared calendar content provider and framework API make it easier for developers to add calendar services to their apps.
With user permission, any application can add events to the shared database and manage dates, attendees, alerts, and reminders. Applications can also read entries from the database, including events contributed by other applications, and handle the display of event alerts and reminders. Using the calendar provider, applications can take advantage of event data sourced from a variety of apps and protocols, to offer innovative ways of viewing and managing a user’s events. Apps can also use calendar data to improve the relevance of their other content.
For lighter-weight access to calendar services, the Calendar app defines a set of public Intents for creating, viewing, and editing events. Rather than needing to implement a calendar UI and integrate directly with the calendar provider, applications can simply broadcast calendar Intents. When the Calendar app receives the Intents, it launches the appropriate UI and stores any event data entered. Using calendar Intents, for example, apps can let users add events directly from lists, dialogs, or home screen widgets, such as for making restaurant reservations or booking time with friends.
Low-level streaming multimedia
More control with the sound video and image.
Android 4.0 provides a direct, efficient path for low-level streaming multimedia. The new path is ideal for applications that need to maintain complete control over media data before passing it to the platform for presentation. For example, media applications can now retrieve data from any source, apply proprietary encryption/decryption, and then send the data to the platform for display.
Applications can now send processed data to the platform as a multiplexed stream of audio/video content in MPEG-2 transport stream format. The platform de-muxes, decodes, and renders the content. The audio track is rendered to the active audio device, while the video track is rendered to either a Surface or a SurfaceTexture. When rendering to a SurfaceTexture, the application can apply subsequent graphics effects to each frame using OpenGL.
To support this low-level streaming, the platform introduces a new native API based on Khronos OpenMAX AL 1.0.1. The API is implemented on the same underlying services as the platform’s existing OpenSL ES API, so developers can make use of both APIs together if needed. Tools support for low-level streaming multimedia will be available in an upcoming release of the Android NDK.
New camera capabilities
Face Detection
Developers can take advantage of a variety of new camera features in Android 4.0. ZSL exposure, continuous focus, and image zoom let apps capture better still and video images, including during video capture. Apps can even capture full-resolution snapshots while shooting video. Apps can now set custom metering regions in a camera preview, then manage white balance and exposure dynamically for those regions. For easier focusing and image processing, a face-detection service identifies and tracks faces in a preview and returns their screen coordinates.
Audio remote controls
allowing users to control song selection and playback without having to unlock and navigate to the music app.
Android 4.0 adds a new audio remote control API that lets media applications integrate with playback controls that are displayed in a remote view. Media applications can integrate with a remote music playback control that’s built into in the platform’s lock screen, allowing users to control song selection and playback without having to unlock and navigate to the music app.
Using the audio remote control API, any music or media app can register to receive media button events from the remote control and then manage play state accordingly. The application can also supply metadata to the remote control, such as album art or image, play state, track number and description, duration, genre, and more.
Wi-Fi Direct
Directly connect between device via adhoc.
Developers can use a framework API to discover and connect directly to nearby devices over a high-performance, secure Wi-Fi Direct connection. No internet connection or hotspot is needed.
Wi-Fi Direct opens new opportunities for developers to add innovative features to their applications. Applications can use Wi-Fi Direct to share files, photos, or other media between devices or between a desktop computer and an Android-powered device. Applications could also use Wi-Fi Direct to stream media content from a peer device such as a digital television or audio player, connect a group of users for gaming, print files, and more.
Layout enhancements
A new layout, GridLayout, improves the performance of Android applications by supporting flatter view hierarchies that are faster to layout and render. Because hierarchies are flatter, developers can also manage alignments between components that are visually related to each other even when they are not logically related, for precise control over application UI. GridLayout is also specifically designed to be configured by drag-and-drop design tools such as the ADT Plug-in for Eclipse.
Stylus input, button support, hover events
Android 4.0 includes full support for stylus input events, including tilt and distance axes, pressure, and related motion event properties. To help applications distinguish motion events from different sources, the platform adds distinct tool types for stylus, finger, mouse, and eraser. For improved input from multi-button pointing devices, the platform now provides distinct primary, secondary, and tertiary buttons, as well as back and forward buttons. Hover-enter and hover-exit events are also added, for improved navigation and accessibility. Developers can build on these new input features to add powerful interactions to their apps, such as precise drawing and gesturing, handwriting and shape recognition, improved mouse input, and others.
Accessibility API
To let applications manage interactions more effectively when accessibility features are enabled, the platform adds accessibility events for explore-by-touch mode, scrolling, and text selection. For these and other events, the platform can attach a new object called an accessibility record that provides extra information about the event context.
Using the accessibility record and related APIs, applications can now access the view hierarchy associated with an event. Applications can query for key properties such as parent and child nodes, available states, supported actions, screen position, and more. Applications can also request changes to certain properties to help manage focus and selected state. For example, an accessibility service could use these new capabilities to add convenient features such as screen-search by text.
Text-to-speech API
A new framework API lets developers write text-to-speech engines and make them available to any app requesting TTS capabilities.
Security for apps and content
Secure management of credentials
Android 4.0 makes it easier for applications to manage authentication and secure sessions. A new keychain API and underlying encrypted storage let applications store and retrieve private keys and their corresponding certificate chains. Any application can use the keychain API to install and store user certificates and CAs securely.
Address Space Layout Randomization
Android 4.0 now provides address space layout randomization (ASLR) to help protect system and third party applications from exploitation due to memory-management issues.

Enhancements for Enterprise

VPN client API
Developers can now build or extend their own VPN solutions on the platform using a new VPN API and underlying secure credential storage. With user permission, applications can configure addresses and routing rules, process outgoing and incoming packets, and establish secure tunnels to a remote server. Enterprises can also take advantage of a standard VPN client built into the platform that provides access to L2TP and IPSec protocols.
Device policy management for camera
The platform adds a new policy control for administrators who manage devices using an installed Device Policy Manager. Administrators can now remotely disable the camera on a managed device for users working in sensitive environments.

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