Got a big-screen Android
tablet coming your way? It's not unlikely. With 7" tablets all but extinguished, it's clear that 10+" tablets are the future. And in order to address that, Google's announcing that there's a new mode for use with apps on large screens. To keep the few apps that don't resize well from frustrating users with awkward-looking apps on their tablets, a near-future release of Honeycomb is introducing a new screen compatibility mode to make these apps more usable on tablets. If your app is one of the many that do resize well, however, you should update your app as soon as possible to disable screen compatibility mode so that users experience your app the way you intend.
Starting with the upcoming release, any app that does not target Android 3.0 (set either android:minSdkVersion or android:targetSdkVersion to “11” or higher) or does not explicitly set android:xlargeScreens="true" in the <supports-screens> element will include a button in the system bar that, when touched, allows users to select between two viewing modes on large-screen devices.
“Stretch to fill screen” is normal layout resizing (using your app’s alternative resources for size and density) and “Zoom to fill screen” is the new screen compatibility mode.When the user enables this new screen compatibility mode, the system no longer resizes your layout to fit the screen. Instead, it runs your app in an emulated normal/mdpi screen (approximately 320dp x 480dp) and scales that up to fill the screen---imagine viewing your app at the size of a phone screen then zooming in about 200%. The effect is that everything is bigger, but also more pixelated, because the system does not resize your layout or use your alternative resources for the current device (the system uses all resources for a normal/mdpi device).
This may seem like a minor thing, but it's good to see Google paying attention to such details. If they're focusing on this, who knows what other big bombs are likely to drop as Ice Cream Sandwich approaches.