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Developers expect much from today's Android 4 upgrade

Paul Krill | Oct. 18, 2011
Fragmentation and bugs beset the popular mobile platform, and the 'Ice Cream Sandwich' update details remain a mystery

Fragmentation is not the only issue hurting developers. "I look forward to the bug fixes more than anything else," said Thoughtbot's Burns. Android has had issues with bugs in widgets and HTTP as well, not just in WebKit, said Burns. The widget issues are the most prevalent, he said -- in particular, issues with rotating the device and screen pages. Screen fragments, such as the tab bar, do not get updated when pages are swiped left to right, he said. "I'm hoping that they've gone through and fixed all these kinds of situations."

Burns also wants to see improvements in caching data from the Web. "It's all manual. I have to maintain my own cache, and every application has to do this. So if [Google] could give us something, that would be great," he said.

Meridian's Farina cited issues with software-based graphics rendering related to pre-Android 3.0 releases. He said, "The way that graphics are drawn to the screen is using a software technology that basically as old as Windows 3.1."

Big Nerd Ranch's Hardy adds that he anticipates some new APIs but that Google has said little about Ice Cream Sandwich, making it hard to know what to truly expect. Google has not yet released a software development kit for Ice Cream Sandwich, so even when Android 4.0 is released, it will be some time before developers can write one Android 4.0 application that runs on multiple systems, he said. Plus, cellular carriers and device makers have to update the operating systems on their devices.


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