Small App API

Small Apps are apps that run on top of other applications and add smart solutions for daily routines that require multi-tasking. This way, the end user could, for example, use the calculator while looking at their savings on an Internet bank app, or have a note app running while reading emails. For more information about Small Apps, check out our Small Apps blog post.

About the Small App API
A Small App is a framework that runs as a service in Android. However, unlike a regular service, it has a user-interface overlaid on top of the currently running activity. A Small App has access to all regular android framework APIs, just as a usual app would have. And it can be either a self contained app or an extension to another app, with merged code, resources, and manifest.

Lifecycle for a Small App.

New use cases and good visibility
By developing a Small App, it can help you gain visibility for your application. On supported devices, the Small App launcher is a part of the system bar. When you develop a Small App according to the developer guidelines, your Small App will appear in a predefined search on Google Play. All users having a supported device will then see your Small App when looking for new Small Apps through the Small App interface. This means you have a really good way to get more visibility by developing a Small App!

Get started
To get started developing a Small App, go to the installation page.

Withe the Small App API, you will get a Hello World code example which provides you with basic code to be able to create a Small App, along with the code that you use to configure the size and layout options that are available. In the included emulator, you can launch the Small Apps Launcher from the list of available apps, and this way test the Small App you have created. For more information, see the documentation kit.

Add Small App support to your existing app
If you already have an app or widget that you want to extend with a Small App, you can easily add Small App functionality within the same APK. Adding Small App support to an app is very similar to how you add widget support. We’ve created blog post explaining how to add Small App support to your app.

How to make your app visible to end users
To make your Small App show up in the predefined Google Play™ query for Small Apps, the app description on Google Play must include the following text:

Small apps extension for Sony products

In addition, if the app is “only a Small App” in itself, we recommended you to add “Small App” or “small app” to the application title on Google Play. For example, “Clock Small App” or “Viewer Small App”. Please note that this relates to the title on Google Play, not for the APK name itself.

If you have any questions while you’re developing, check out the Troubleshooting sections in the documentation kit. If you have any questions the installation or emulator setup, there is also a Troubleshooting section on the Install page. 

If you can’t find an answer to your question , you can post Small App developer related questions on the Stack Overflow forum. We have a team of Sony developers that constantly monitors, contributes and replies to questions regarding our products and tools at Stack Overflow. This way, your question and our answer can be shared, viewed and used by many people.

So if you have a question, just make sure you add the term “Sony” to your question. Then we should be able to catch your question, and support you in your development!