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Build Interactive Screen Savers with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) ‘Daydream’

Back in October release of Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) update, Google introduced new interactive lock screen widgets, and the new Daydream mode, an interactive screensaver mode that users can encounter when their devices are charging or docked in a desk dock.

Google Currents scrolls stories past in a smooth, constantly-moving wall of news showcasing Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Daydream

The “Daydream” feature is touted to be more popular with people who charge their devices on docks, letting their phone or tablet sit exposed with nothing but a blank screen. A little news ticker or some other smart screensaver would be a good reminder that it’s there, on, and ready to be used.

If you haven’t checked it out, you can turn it on in the Settings app, in Display > Daydream; touch When to Daydream to enable the feature when charging.

You can create interactive daydreams that users display in this mode, and they can include any type of content. In a blog post, Android dev team today walks through creating interactive Daydream screen savers along with the tools to build Daydream support into your apps.

“Daydream provides an opportunity for your app to show off a little bit. You can choose to hide some of your app’s complexity in favor of one or more visually compelling experiences that can entertain from across a room, possibly drawing the user into your full app, like a video game’s attract mode,” the team stated.

Google Currents is a great example of Daydream, as it shows a sliding wall of visually-interesting stories selected from your editions. “Touch a story, however, and Currents will show it to you full-screen; touch again to read it in the full Currents app,” google adds.

For further reading, check this Google post, and samples and documents linked below:

  • API docs for DreamService
  • Sample code: BouncerDaydream, complete project for the code snippets in this post
  • Sample code: WebView, a Daydream that shows an HTML page
  • Sample code: Colors, a Daydream that demonstrates OpenGL ES 2.0 and TextureView

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