We have kept the support for Android 2.x versions up until now since we want to support a wide range of devices for our users around the world. However with the prevalent number of devices that are running Android 4.x and higher now , we want to be able to support the new way of interacting with menus and options, especially on a large number of devices that use soft menu buttons. To take advantage of the new UI features, means that we need to move to support Android 4.0 and up.
End users will see a change in how menu options are brought out and displayed. We will be using the action bar feature that many apps use now so our users can interact with DL Reader in a way consistent with many other apps on Android. The action bar has a more updated look and allows an app to adapt to different screen sizes, the look and feel are more consistent across a wide range of devices. With the action bar, menu items are more accessible, and I personally think, they look cooler. Also, there will no longer be a need to long press to bring the menu up.
Following the Android UI guideline, we have put 2 to 3 of the most commonly used buttons on the action bar and the rest are grouped into the overflow drop-down list. We are taking advantage of the low-profile mode for Android 4.0 to 4.3 and the immersive full-screen mode for Android 4.4 and up. In other words, there is more space for reading and a touch of the screen will bring up both the page indicator and the menu options.
Here are some screenshots to give you a quick look.
In our current version of the DL Reader, you have to press the menu button and if your device doesn’t have one, you long press the soft menu button to bring up the menu. Also in the reading view, you can’t see both the page indicator and the menu options at the same time.
With the new action bar, the menu options show on the top of the screen and the page indicator shows on the bottom in the reading view. The menu bar on the bottom comes up at the same time. In Android 4.4 and up, these menu bars can disappear so you will have the full screen for reading.
In the library view, we now have commonly used options displayed and lined up on the top in a well organized, simplistic fashion so users don’t have to find the menu button to bring up the options first then choose the desired actions.
For our customers who develop apps using DL Reader as reference, this upcoming release will require the Android 4 SDK. Rest assured that we will update build instructions to reflect any changes in the versions of the build tools and build steps.
That’s all I have on our recent work and progress on the Android front. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.