Updated: Runtime Resource Overlay in DroidCon London 2017

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With DroidCon London 2017 behind us, the video of the talk is now available at skills matter. Note that sign-in is required, but it’s free and non-committing.

If you’re interested in hearing more about this subject, see the talk and slides from Øredev.


DroidCon, one of the world’s largest annual Android conferences, will traditionally take place in London’s Business Design Centre on October 26th and 27th. The conference gathers Android developers for two days of community outreach and talks by Android experts from all over the place, including Google engineers and Google Developer Experts title holders from other companies. Among this distinguished bunch, a couple of engineers from Sony Mobile will present something they have been working on for years, something that was part of Sony Mobile devices for a long time and has been an underlying technology of some important functionalities on Xperia devices, e.g. software customization but also Themes that users are most familiar with.

Last we spoke with Mårten Kongstad about Runtime Resource Overlay in 2014 he gave us a detailed description of the technology in an article he wrote, but there have been improvements since then. In fact, since Android 8.0 it is easier to access the runtime resource overlay packages through a Java interface using OverlayManagerService, the latest addition to an already substantial contribution of Runtime Resource Overlay to Android Open Source Project. OverlayManagerService has made it much easier to enable and disable overlays from an application, e.g. in order to switch Themes in a Theme picker, and has overall improved handling of overlay packages.

The functionality has garnered interest beyond Sony Xperia devices, so Mårten and his long time collaborator on Runtime Resource Overlay and OverlayManagerService, Zoran Jovanovic, have prepared a talk for this year’s DroidCon in London.

“We have been discussing presenting our work to a larger audience for some time now”, Zoran says and Mårten adds “One of the reasons I wrote the article before was to answer many questions we receive through email and with OverlayManagerService being a part of the Oreo release what better time than now to bring it to a new level”.

But also DroidCon presents an opportunity for them to learn and be part of the Android community, they both agree and add that the best part of a conference is meeting new people who share the same passion and learning from them.

The video of the Runtime Resource Overlay talk will be published along with other talks on DroidCon’s web page. This gives a chance for those who couldn’t make it to the conference itself to enjoy the talks and at least feel part of the atmosphere.

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Resource Overlay