Google Releases Android 2.0 SDK, Shows Off New Features

By Dan Hope Oct 27th, 2009
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After subsisting on a diet of cupcakes and donuts, Android users will now be moving on to éclairs. The Android OS developers have announced the Android Software Development Kit now supports the latest version, Android 2.0, also known as Éclair. Google names the Android updates after pastries in alphabetical order; previous versions were named Cupcake and Donut.

Android 2.0 will bring a few new features to the already feature-filled operating system, which is primarily used for smartphones and other hand-held devices. In order to highlight the changes to the system, the Android Developers released a short video detailing some of the new features. Check it out below.

The main improvements shown here affect how developers can use new features in coding applications for the operating system. However, some of the new features for the end user are hinted at here. For instance, Android will be able to render images and menus correctly on a wide variety of screen sizes.

Also, the contacts interface has been revamped, making it possible to find contacts in multiple ways, and open up different messaging options for each contact directly from the list. And these features don’t just affect the main interface; the Android 2.0 SDK makes it possible for these features to be included in any app.

Android 2.0 will include a host of other new features, like searchable SMS, better camera controls, full multitouch capability, Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity and Microsoft Exchange support. That’s just to name a few. Éclair should go a long way towards legitimizing the Android OS for consumers and manufacturers alike.

If you’ve got an Android device, don’t get too excited. You won’t be downloading the Éclair update just yet. Google has only announced SDK support for app developers. That means the official release is still a few weeks off. The Motorola Droid, expected to launch on the Verizon network sometime in early November, is the first phone to come with Android 2.0 preloaded. So we can expect Android 2.0 to be officially launched to consumers somewhere around that time.

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