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[INFO] Palm Pre (Cards-Like) Thumbnails

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By Wysie, Senior Member on 12th June 2010, 07:25 AM
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Hi all,

@ruqqq (aka arctu, author of HelixLauncher) tweeted me a whole bunch of stuff this afternoon, and to be honest, this is 99% his credit, I only changed the required line in framework to help him test, so I get 1% :P. Anyway, @ruqqq did some searching online, and the one of most importance was this:

After looking at the code, we simply uncommented the following line in

//info.thumbnail = createThumbnailBitmap(r);
With it commented, it thumbnail will always be null, with it uncommented, well, we may be able to get actual thumbnails. @ruqqq then went on to write a quick (and ugly :P) app to find out if thumbnails of running apps can be retrieved, and the result is, yes, it can be retrieved. The screenshot I posted only shows 2 apps cause of the lack of ScrollView, but I believe he's writing a better proof-of-concept as we speak, while I'm rushing to go out once I end this post (else the girlfriend's fury :P).

New Screenshot (Still ugly :P):

So what's the point of this post? Nothing, really. It's just that the commented line has apparently been in there as early as 1.5, but it was always commented out. We removed the comment, and it actually does return thumbnails. With this, it means that if future ROMs are compiled with that line uncommented, it will be possible to actually write apps to emulate/simulate the cards system, possibly even on a system level (by overriding the recent applications dialog).

That's all .

@ruqqq's concept app source:
framework source: Come on, it's just a line :P.
12th June 2010, 07:30 AM |#2  
chowlala's Avatar
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Very interesting. Looking forward to seeing/hearing more! =)
12th June 2010, 07:30 AM |#3  
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yay! experimentation succeed. :P

just to add on:

the idea is that third-party developers can implement this in their apps without any breaking codes. the api has always been official. if thumbnail doesn't exist, it returns a null. so, a dev simply has to write a code that checks for this property and carry out 'instructions' based on the availability of the thumbnail.


what we learn is that the reason they disabled the code is to prevent wasteage of resource (CPU and Mem) as the thumbnail code runs everytime the onPause of an activity is performed. This means that enabling it may or may not cause slowness in the system. Conclusion? Need extensive testing.
12th June 2010, 07:31 AM |#4  
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wow this is great news looking forward to seeing cards like on web os
12th June 2010, 07:32 AM |#5  
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12th June 2010, 07:35 AM |#6  
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Pretty cool stuff. Perhaps you can make it so only if the app is running is that variable on and generating thumbnails ? Regardless cant wait for what developers do with this, im sensing the app taskos with live thumbnails it already has the fling up to end task.

Also to prevent this from being rom specific, maybe you could compare the hexcodes of 2 framework-res.apk's one with uncommented and one without, that way it could be added to any existing rom ?
12th June 2010, 07:40 AM |#7  
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Daneshm90: This has to be baksmali/smali-ed in.. ^^
12th June 2010, 07:52 AM |#8  
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Cyanogen Please Put this in you next ROM! Android is just awesome! thanks for the post!
12th June 2010, 07:53 AM |#9  
Daneshm90's Avatar
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Re: [INFO] Palm Pre (Cards-Like) Thumbnails

Daneshm90: This has to be baksmali/smali-ed in.. ^^

Is that even possible ? it doesnt have a classes.dex (Nvm, u have to push the classes.dex of framework.jar into framework-res and decompile)

can u give me a modded and unmodded framework-res ? just wanna do some digging
12th June 2010, 08:01 AM |#10  
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Wow this has great potential!
12th June 2010, 08:17 AM |#11  
mykenyc's Avatar
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I agree is this became stable Activity closer and switcher in the format + ADW + cyan or any other great developer + froyo = greatness
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