Fragments

One of the cool new ways we can interact with applications in Honeycomb is with "fragments."  Have a look at the Honeycomb event video, then check them out in real world use in CNN's new Android app and the upcoming Sports Illustrated app.  From the videos, it looks like the perfect way to handle a lot of content in an organized and easy to navigate way. 

But that's all geared towards honeycomb's new tablet interface.  What about smartphones?  Googler and Android software engineer Dianne Hackborn let us in on how fragments are going to work on your phone in a new post on the Android Developers blog.  There's a lot of technical information there, and if you're even the least bit inclined you should make sure to read it all, but the nutshell version is that fragments are coming to smartphones.  Google has spent time to make them easy to program, even giving an excellent tutorial developers can use with the Android 3.0 preview to get started.  And the best news?  The plan is to make the new APIs backwards compatible to Android 1.6, so most phones (sorry Moto Cliq users), even older models, will reap the benefit.

The last big question is, "when is all this coming?" -- Dianne has answered us in advance:

We don’t have a firm date for when this library will be available, but it should be relatively soon. In the meantime, you can start developing with fragments on Android 3.0 to see how they work, and most of that effort should be transferable.

[Android Developers blog]