Jelly Bean UI to come in three versions: smartphone, 7-inch hybrid and 10-inch tablet

Jelly Bean System UI

Fragmentation is probably the biggest problem for Android and it seems like now Google made it worse, instead of trying to fix it. If you believe Jelly Bean is going to do anything good in this direction, you were so wrong. It seems like the Jelly Bean will come in three UI versions, one designed for smartphones, a hybrid one for 7-inch tablets and one for 10-inch tablets.

People were disappointed that the Nexus 7 didn’t come with a full tablet UI and developers struggle on porting it to the device. The Nexus 7’s interface looks more like a smartphone, instead of a tablet and it seems like it’s a new interface built specially for 7-inch tablets.

While the difference isn’t huge, it can still create even more fragmentation in the Android environment. It won’t affect app developers, as they can still make their apps available for all Jelly Bean versions, as long as they design them with a fluid design.

The information comes from a Google Plus post made by Dianne Hackborn, an Android Framework Engineer. According to her, the tablet status bar doesn’t fit well 7-inch tablets in portrait mode, so they opted for a hybrid interface, which combines some of the tablet UI features with the smartphone UI. The hybrid interface runs some apps in smartphone mode, while others run in tablet mode, depending on what Google considered is more appropriate for the 7-inch display.

Like we said before, this should not affect app developers at all, but it might cause issues with device makers, which already needed months to update their devices. On the other side, this might be useful, as some apps seem better on the Nexus 7 than on other 7-inch tablets, indeed.

Hopefully this won’t affect the Android environment even more. We are really eager to hear your thought about this. Do you think Google took a good or bad decision with this ?

  • HellG

    so its ok when Apple has different UI’s for different devices (iPad and iPhone) but its not ok When google do it?
    I have no idea what fragmentation has to do with the UI! Fragmentation is that not everyone get the latest android version in time! including different UI’s made by OEM’s like touchwiz,Motionblur, and Sense! and it never was a problem, get your facts right….