Google has officially released the software development kit (SDK) for its Android 2.0 operating system (also known as Eclair).
Android 2.0 brings new developer APIs for sync, Bluetooth, and a few other areas. Using the new sync, account manager and contacts APIs, developers can write applications to enable users to sync their devices to various contact sources. They can also give users a faster way to communicate with others by embedding Quick Contact within their application. With the new Bluetooth API, they can now easily add peer-to-peer connectivity or gaming to their applications.
Current developers can use the SDK Manager to add Android 2.0 support to their SDK as well as update their SDK Tools to revision 3. New developers can download the Android SDK from the download site
. After the download, Android platforms must be added using the SDK Manager
Android SDK Tools, revision 3 is required to develop for Android 2.0. It includes support for code coverage through the Ant build system, as well as Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) support for the SDK and related tools. For those who develop using Eclipse, Google is releasing ADT version 0.9.4 through the usual Eclipse update mechanism.
Over the next few months, Google expects to see more and more Android devices being released. These devices will be running Android 1.5, 1.6, or 2.0. Google is also planning a minor version update of Android 2.0 towards the end of the year, and that will be the last update for 2009. Below are some of the things developers can do to be better prepared:
- Download the Android 2.0 platform and make sure their existing apps continue to work on new devices running Android 2.0.
- Make sure that their apps work when using the WVGA (800x480) & FWVGA (854x480) emulator skins. We expect devices with these types of screen, running Android 2.0 to be launched soon.
Android 2.0 Platform Highlights
The Android 2.0 platform introduces many new features for users and developers.
New User Features
* Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
* Developers can create sync adapters that provide synchronization with additional data sources.
* Quick Contact for Android provides instant access to a contact's information and communication modes. For example, a user can tap a contact photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person. Other applications such as Email, Messaging, and Calendar can also reveal the Quick Contact widget when you touch a contact photo or status icon.
* Exchange support.
* Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.
* Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
* Auto delete the oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit is reached.
* Built-in flash support
* Digital zoom
* Scene mode
* White balance
* Color effect
* Macro focus
Android virtual keyboard
* An improved keyboard layout to makes it easier to hit the correct characters and improve typing speed.
* The framework's multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren't missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.
* A smarter dictionary learns from word usage and automatically includes contact names as suggestions.
* Refreshed UI with actionable browser URL bar enables users to directly tap the address bar for instant searches and navigation.
* Bookmarks with web page thumbnails.
* Support for double-tap zoom.
* Support for HTML5:
o Database API support, for client-side databases using SQL.
o Application cache support, for offline applications.
o Geolocation API support, to provide location information about the device.