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page.title=Supporting Different Platform Versions
page.metaDescription=Training on how to declare support for minimum and target API levels.
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<h2>This lesson teaches you to</h2>
<li><a href="#sdk-versions">Specify Minimum and Target API Levels</a></li>
<li><a href="#version-codes">Check System Version at Runtime</a></li>
<li><a href="#style-themes">Use Platform Styles and Themes</a></li>
<h2>You should also read</h2>
<li><a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/manifest/uses-sdk-element.html#ApiLevels">Android API Levels</a></li>
href="{@docRoot}tools/support-library/index.html">Android Support Library</a></li>
<p>While the latest versions of Android often provide great APIs for your app, you should continue
to support older versions of Android until more devices get updated. This
lesson shows you how to take advantage of the latest APIs while continuing to support older
versions as well.</p>
<p>The dashboard for <a
href="">Platform Versions</a>
is updated regularly to show the distribution of active
devices running each version of Android, based on the number of devices that visit the Google Play
Store. Generally, its a good practice to support about 90% of the active devices, while
targeting your app to the latest version.</p>
<p class="note"><strong>Tip:</strong> In order to provide the best features and
functionality across several Android versions, you should use the <a
href="{@docRoot}tools/support-library/index.html">Android Support Library</a> in your app,
which allows you to use several recent platform APIs on older versions.</p>
<h2 id="sdk-versions">Specify Minimum and Target API Levels</h2>
<p>The <a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/manifest/manifest-intro.html">AndroidManifest.xml</a> file
describes details about your app and
identifies which versions of Android it supports. Specifically, the <code>minSdkVersion</code>
and <code>targetSdkVersion</code> attributes for the <a
href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/manifest/uses-sdk-element.html">{@code &lt;uses-sdk}</a> element
identify the lowest API level with which your app is compatible and the highest API level against
which youve designed and tested your app.</p>
<p>For example:</p>
&lt;manifest xmlns:android="" ... >
&lt;uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="4" android:targetSdkVersion="15" />
<p>As new versions of Android are released, some style and behaviors may change.
To allow your app to take advantage of these changes and ensure that your app fits the style of
each user's device, you should set the
href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/manifest/uses-sdk-element.html#target">{@code targetSdkVersion}</a>
value to match the latest Android version
<h2 id="version-codes">Check System Version at Runtime</h2>
<p>Android provides a unique code for each platform version in the {@link android.os.Build}
constants class. Use these codes within your app to build conditions that ensure the code that
depends on higher API levels is executed only when those APIs are available on the system.</p>
private void setUpActionBar() {
// Make sure we're running on Honeycomb or higher to use ActionBar APIs
ActionBar actionBar = getActionBar();
<p class="note"><strong>Note:</strong> When parsing XML resources, Android ignores XML
attributes that arent supported by the current device. So you can safely use XML attributes that
are only supported by newer versions without worrying about older versions breaking when they
encounter that code. For example, if you set the
<code>targetSdkVersion="11"</code>, your app includes the {@link} by default
on Android 3.0 and higher. To then add menu items to the action bar, you need to set
<code>android:showAsAction="ifRoom"</code> in your menu resource XML. It's safe to do this
in a cross-version XML file, because the older versions of Android simply ignore the
<code>showAsAction</code> attribute (that is, you <em>do not</em> need a separate
version in <code>res/menu-v11/</code>).</p>
<h2 id="style-themes">Use Platform Styles and Themes</h2>
<p>Android provides user experience themes that give apps the look and feel of the
underlying operating system. These themes can be applied to your app within the
manifest file. By using these built in styles and themes, your app will
naturally follow the latest look and feel of Android with each new release.</p>
<p>To make your activity look like a dialog box:</p>
<pre>&lt;activity android:theme="@android:style/Theme.Dialog"></pre>
<p>To make your activity have a transparent background:</p>
<pre>&lt;activity android:theme="@android:style/Theme.Translucent"></pre>
<p>To apply your own custom theme defined in <code>/res/values/styles.xml</code>:</p>
<pre>&lt;activity android:theme="@style/CustomTheme"></pre>
<p>To apply a theme to your entire app (all activities), add the <code>android:theme</code>
to the <a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/manifest/application-element.html">{@code
&lt;application>}</a> element:</p>
<pre>&lt;application android:theme="@style/CustomTheme"></pre>
<p>For more about creating and using themes, read the <a
href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/ui/themes.html">Styles and Themes</a> guide.</p>