December 21, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Google recently gave Android developers a few tools to help them decide how they will build apps and what to do when they run into problems doing it. First, Google added a Platform Versions chart to its Resources page, and then announced that it will be outsourcing some of its Q&A help needs to Stack Overflow.
The Platform Versions chart illustrates the percentage of what Android version is actively used. The chart is designed to help developers consider who to target and what version(s) of the OS to support. The chart current reveals that the Donut branch of Android (version 1.6), accounts for more than half of active users. Cupcake (1.5) and Eclair (2.0.1 and 2.0) are behind, while 1.1 is inexplicably still a factor at 0.3 percent. Shame on any carrier still using that version.
click chart to expand
StackOverflow has been named “an official Android app development Q&A medium.” Though Google has already monitored a Google Group to help developers address common issues with app-building, Roman Nurik announced that beginner-level technical questions would be better addressed at StackOverflow, a user-driven website for programmers where community members answer each other’s questions and requests for help. The set-up is very similar to ForceClose, the Android website that helps end users deal with common problems. Google plans to continue running its developer group for intermediate and expert users, but Stack Overflow will be suggested as the place to go for first time developers or people with a limited knowledge of Android development.