Many of the regular Developer World readers surely know of the Small Apps functionality for Sony tablets, but did you know that the newly announced Xperia Z also includes Small App functionality? Small Apps are like super-widgets that run on top of other applications and can add smart solutions for daily routines requiring multi-tasking. And if you’re a developer, you can start creating Small Apps for Xperia™ Z today! If you’ve already created Small Apps for Sony tablets, those extensions will also work on all Small Apps-supported smartphones, including Xperia™ Z and Xperia™ ZL. Read more after the jump.
We’ve just introduced a high performance Sony smartphone – the Xperia Z – that comes with a 5” display. And with all that handy screen space, it makes sense to use Small Apps to quickly access common tasks like taking small reminder notes or using the calculator to figure out the tip for a meal.
Small Apps were first launched on the Xperia™ Tablet S, Xperia™ T and Xperia™ V, and they are launched from the menu button at the bottom of the device. The default Small Apps on the smartphones include the Calculator, Notes, Recorder, and Timer, and you can open any of these apps on top of other applications. And when you launch a Small App, you’ll find nearly the same functionality as the main app. For example, with the Notes Small App, you’ll be able to access the keyboard to type notes, close the Small App, or launch the full Notes app.
A number of Small Apps on Google Play are already available, feel free to download and try them out.
Start developing Small Apps
If you’ve already developed an Android app, why not consider creating a Small App out of it, to create a new innovative use case for Sony users? You’ll gain extra visibility in the market, plus, it’s quite easy to develop your own Small Apps for Sony smartphones or tablets.
To start developing your own Small App, first download the Sony add-on SDK, an add-on to the Android SDK. This package gives you access to the API to create apps that make use of the Small Apps functionality, along with a code example and documentation. Installation instructions can be found on the Sony add-on SDK install page. Then, read more and download the Small Apps code example and documentation from the Small Apps overview section.
For additional inspiration, also check out our blog post on how the cool Small App Mini Camera was created.