Screenshot from Task Changer Small App

Five questions to Small App-developer Paco Salazar

If you’re thinking about extending your app with support for a Small App, here’s some inspiration for you. A Small App is an app that can run on top of other activities on the Xperia Tablet S. But how is it like to develop a Small App? I talked to Paco Salazar, who developed the Task Changer Small App, to learn more about how he used the Small App feature in the Sony Add-on SDK. Get the full story after the jump.

And don’t forget that you can get a free Xperia Tablet S by telling us about your Small App!

Paco Salazar, mobile developer.

So Paco, what was it like to develop with the Small App SDK?
For me, it was easy. I could find all the information needed in the documents from Sony, where everything was well explained. And if you don’t have a Sony Xperia™ Tablet S, the included emulator provides a way to verify your app. The virtual device basically has all you need to develop a Small App. If you are an experienced developer, you will not have any problem working with this SDK!

You made your small app with an existing app as a base, could you reuse any of the code?
Yes, at least 70 % of my previous code was reused, and I could actually leave some of it out because Sony’s Small App runtime takes care of things that you don’t need to write yourself. Things like writing a service and worrying about minimising or moving windows through the screen are handled by the framework.

So what’s your Small App called and what does it do?
It’s called the Task Changer Small App, and if you have it running on your Xperia™ Tablet S, you can quickly switch between ongoing activities, or launch your recent and favourite apps. All from a window that is always on top or easily accessed from the edge of the tablet, for true multi-tasking. The user interface of the Task Changer has three views – running apps, recent apps and favourite apps – which you switch between by simply touching the corresponding button. From each view, you can launch or close any app within the category.

In your opinion, what is the main benefit of developing a Small App?
It’s difficult to compete in the global Google Play store with big companies that are always promoted, but with Small App support, you will get more visibility for your app since your app will be easily found by anyone using the Small App functionality.

Will you create more Small Apps in the future?
It was easy to develop the Task Changer Small App, so when I get the inspiration for another one I will definitely do it! I’ve done several apps for the Sony SmartWatch as well and I‘m very happy with the results.

Thanks Paco, I look forward to seeing more Small Apps from you!

So app developers, if you’ve been inspired by Paco to make your own Small App, you can find everything you need on the Sony Add-on SDK page. And if you tell us about your Small App before November 30th, you have the chance to get a free Xperia Tablet S. The selected app will also get promoted on Developer World. Questions? Drop us a comment below!

More information