Android Display Settings

Android Display Settings

Roon's interface should look great on most common Android devices, but because of the wide variety of Android devices and manufacturers in the world, there's a chance you may run in to a few display anomalies, such as:

- Your tablet is displaying the phone UI
- Roon doesn't look right on your high resolution phone

Anomalies like this can be explained by understanding the two factors that affect the way Roon is displayed on your Android device:resolution and screen density (DPI) 

Resolution is defined as the following on Google's developer portal:

The total number of physical pixels on a screen. When adding support for multiple screens, applications do not work directly with resolution; applications should be concerned only with screen size and density, as specified by the generalized size and density groups.

And screen density:
The quantity of pixels within a physical area of the screen; usually referred to as dpi (dots per inch). For example, a "low" density screen has fewer pixels within a given physical area, compared to a "normal" or "high" density screen. For simplicity, Android groups all actual screen densities into six generalized densities: low, medium, high, extra-high, extra-extra-high, and extra-extra-extra-high.

How do resolution and screen density affect the way Roon is displayed?

Let's take for example a Lenovo Yoga 10" tablet. You should be able to run at 160 DPI and take full advantage of its 1280x800 resolution. But Lenovo ships the device at 213 DPI and suddenly the "virtual resolution" is much smaller than 1280x800, and Roon will get stuck displaying the phone UI. Compare that to a modern phone which has considerably larger resolution (1440 x 2560 is common) than the 10 inch Yoga tablet, but is under 6 inches. In the case of that phone, looking at pure resolution, if you were to use a 1:1 DPI the elements would be so small that they would be impossible to use.

This is why you must take into account DPI when working with Android. In fact, everything in Android works with units called "dp": A virtual pixel unit that you should use when defining UI layout, to express layout dimensions or position in a density-independent way.

The density-independent pixel is equivalent to one physical pixel on a 160 dpi screen, which is the baseline density assumed by the system for a "medium" density screen. At runtime, the system transparently handles any scaling of the dp units, as necessary, based on the actual density of the screen in use.

The conversion of dp units to screen pixels is simple: px = dp * (dpi / 160). For example, on a 240 dpi screen, 1 dp equals 1.5 physical pixels. You should always use dp units when defining your application's UI, to ensure proper display of your UI on screens with different densities.

With respect to the 10" Lenova Yoga tablet, Lenovo decided that even through the screen is 1280x800, they want everything to be bigger, so they picked a DPI of 213 instead of the pixel accurate 160 DPI (where 1dp == 1px, see "dp" above).

Why did Lenovo do this? Maybe they felt that people with bad eyes were buying that tablet and they needed bigger elements in the UI, maybe they just felt that a 213 DPI looked better, at the end of the day the DPI the device reports out of the box is up to the manufacturer.

My Android device isn't displaying Roon correctly, how do I fix it?

If you think Roon is not displaying correctly on your Android device, we suggest changing the DPI. There's an easy way to do that, just follow the instructions here. If you're continuing to have trouble, grab your display metrics, and send a screenshot of the results to our support team.

    • Related Articles

    • Screen Resolution Is Too Small

      Roon requires a resolution of at least 1280x720, and if your scaling factor results in a virtual resolution smaller than that you can see this error when trying to use Roon. This most frequently happens when scaling from high resolutions, like with a ...
    • Audio on Android

      Overview Roon uses OpenSL ES to accomplish audio playback on Android. This is primarily for convenience--Audiophile quality playback on Android is still in its infancy. For an in-depth overview of the Audio Configuration in Roon, check out our Audio ...
    • Chromecast

      Basics and Setup Chromecast is fully supported by Roon! Chromecast devices can be setup just the same as any other zone within Roon. Simply head to Settings > Audio and enable your Chromecast device. Hardware Support The following devices have been ...
    • FAQ: What Android devices can I use Roon with?

      Roon can run on many Android devices that meet the following requirements: ARM or x86 based Android 5.0 or higher Supports OpenGL ES 3.0 Android devices that are at least 8 inches run the full Roon interface. Tablets smaller than 8 inches run an ...
    • Why can't Roon Remote Connect?

      "Uh oh, something's not right" - if you’re running Roon in remote mode and having problems connecting to your Roon Server, here are some troubleshooting steps to get you going. Firewall Roon should be able to connect with your firewall enabled, you ...
    Visit the Roon Community!
    Need help? Thousands of Roon subscribers and audio enthusiasts are chatting over on our community site right now, join them! You don't even need a Roon subscription to sign up.