Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Google Releases New Android 1.5 SDK

Google has released Android 1.5 SDK on schedule. The new development kit offers developers to write programs for the Android update soon in the first quarter of May in some locations. It brings in the ability to run Android Virtual Devices inside an emulator for better modeling of real devices and other improvements for performance issues to make development easier.

New Android 1.5 is the first version of the SDK that will support add-ons, which let the Android SDK to give you access to the external Android libraries. Among the actual changes to Android in 1.5 that end users will see later are an on-screen soft keyboard, widgets in the home screen for a music player, search and other features, stereo Bluetooth support; and video recording and playback.

Some of the features of new released SDK are:-

i)Multiple versions of the Android platform are included (Android 1.1, Android 1.5). The tools are updated to let you deploy your application on any platform in the SDK, which helps you ensure forward-compatibility and, if applicable, backward-compatibility.

ii) Introduces Android Virtual Devices — (AVD) configurations of options that you run in the emulator to better model actual devices. Each AVD gets its own dedicated storage area, making it much easier to work with multiple emulators that are running concurrently.

iii) Support for SDK add-ons, which extend the Android SDK to give you access to one or more external Android libraries and/or a customized (but compliant) system image that can run in the emulator.

iv) The new Eclipse ADT plugin (version 0.9.0) offers new Wizards to let you create projects targeted for specific Android configurations, generate XML resources (such as layouts, animations, and menus), generate alternate layouts, and export and sign your application for publishing.

v) Improved JUnit support in ADT .

vi) Easier profiling of performance .

vii) Easier management of localized applications. You can now include or exclude locale resources when building your APK from a single Android project.

viii) A new tool called "android" replaces the activity creator script.

ix) For details about the Android platforms included in the SDK — including bug fixes, features, and API changes — please read the Version Notes documents available at left. For a list of Android platforms included in this release, see the Download page.

Points to be noted
1. The Android 1.5 library and system image do not include the Maps external library (com.google.android.maps). However, the Maps external library is available as part of the Google APIs add-on for the Android SDK

2. USB Drivers for Windows the Windows version of the Android SDK includes these USB drivers that you can install, to let you develop on the device:

a) USB driver for 32-bit XP and Vista .
b) USB driver for 64-bit Vista only .

Installation and Upgrade Notes

To migrate to the new SDK from an older version, tools and documentation are provided to assist you in that. No changes to the source code of an existing application should be needed, provided that your application is not using Android internal structures or APIs. Once the migration is over compile it using the platform matching the application's original API Level, and run it against the most current platform.

The SDK now gives you the capability to compile an application against any one of several system targets. There are two types of targets:

i) Targets that represent core Android platform versions.
ii) Targets that are SDK add-ons, which typically provide application access to one or more external libraries and/or a customized (but compliant) system image that can run in the emulator.
iii) Android lets you discover what targets and AVDs are available to use.

Resolved Issues and other Changes

i) Updated documentation for android.media.SoundPool.

ii) WebView objects no longer automatically save thumbnails. The capturePicture() method will need to be called manually.

iii) If your application uses the Sensor API and you are running it in the emulator on the Android 1.5 system image, you may experience problems. Your application may generate ANR messages or crash when using the sensors. The problem is being investigated.

iv) Android 1.5 will not include support for the Zilog Z80 processor architecture.

The 1.5 update will be available to users of the G1 from T-Mobile USA shortly after the SDK release. So to conclude, while very little of this is important to the end user, it's great news for the Android platform as a whole