Google reveals new Android ICS APIs
Google has revealed two new APIs – Calendars and Text-To-Speech – which are now marked as public APIs in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). This means that developers will be able to rely upon them, that their functionality will be tested as part of Android's Compatibility Test Suite and that Google "promise to try very hard not to change them and thus break your code".
The Calendar API will, in ICS, offer a "fully worked out" way of accessing calendar data. Previously, developers have accessed calendars using undocumented APIs, discovered by examining the open source code of Android where it has been released. It is probable though that these unsupported APIs will break on ICS or later versions of Android. Google recommends that developers rework their applications to use the new official API. If developers want to both run on older Android devices and support new Android ICS devices, they will have to modify their code to detect the Android version and use the new API on ICS devices and their previous code on Android 2.x and 3.x.
The Text-To-Speech API has been unofficially accessible from C++ in the past, but now, in ICS, there will be a Java language API to access the functionality. The older C++ API will no longer be supported in ICS, but a new compatibility layer will be introduced to simplify the transition.