Small App API

This project is no longer being supported and will not get any further updates.

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.

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 start using the Small App API in your app, install the Sony Add-on SDK. Then follow the instructions in the Sony Add-on SDK documentation kit. You can also use the code example included in the Sony Add-on SDK to get started with your development.

With 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

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. For more information, see this blog post explaining how to add Small App support to your app.