Android 2.0 SDK Launches

Remember what we told you about the Android 2.0 SDK requiring an NDA? Scratch that – the Android Developers Blog have just announced that the SDK now supports 2.0 Eclair! I’m guessing that NDA was used because the “test devices” were Motorola Droid and THAT was what should have been kept hush hush.

Check out the video Google put together to highlight the important updates and additions of our latest yummy dessert – Eclair!

Here is a quick overview of the reasons to be excited:

Android 2.0 brings new developer APIs for sync, Bluetooth, and a few other areas. Using the new sync, account manager and contacts APIs, you can write applications to enable users to sync their devices to various contact sources. You can also give users a faster way to communicate with others by embedding Quick Contact within your application. With the new Bluetooth API, you can now easily add peer-to-peer connectivity or gaming to your applications. To get a more complete list of the new capabilities you can add to your applications, please go to the Android 2.0 highlights page.

The Bluetooth API with peer-to-peer communication and proximity based social interactions looks absolutely AWESOME and I’m eager to see how developers utilize this new capability. Of course it’ll be difficult to test with unless you have an Android 2.0 capable device which there are currently ZERO of on the market… but that will Soon Change.

The centralized account manager will also provide a new level of tighter integration between your phone and your accounts elsewhere in the world. As one Android Developer told us:

This means developers can now have apps read (with permission, I assume) the accounts from the phone so tighter integration with google apps will be possible

What does this all mean in terms of new and updated features for the consumer? Some of the neatest and simplest updated include Exchange Support, combined inbox, digital zoom and other camera upgrades, multi-touch, HTML 5 support and calendar improvements.

20-quick-connect 20-mms-search

20-email-inbox 20-quick-connect

20-camera-modes

Google provided a more complete list:

Contacts and accounts

* 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.

Email

* Exchange support.
* Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.

Messaging

* Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
* Auto delete the oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit is reached.

Camera

* 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.

Browser

* 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.
o

Calendar

* Agenda view provides infinite scrolling.
* Events indicate the attending status for each invitee.
* Invite new guests to events.

Unfortunately pinch/zoom still appears to be a patented/licensed thing that Google hasn’t/cannot include in Android 2.0 but that may or may not appear on your device depending on the manufacturer/carrier. For example, we all know the HTC Sense devices have pinch/zoom functionality but that is a device-by-device determination.

We’re always excited about updates that improve device speed and we see some help on the graphics side with 2.0:

Revamped graphics architecture for improved performance that enables better hardware acceleration.

We’re told there are some pretty exciting things in Android 2.0 hidden underneath the surface, so when/if we dig up some extra info worth sharing we’ll make sure to let you know. In the meantime – enjoy all the 2.0 Eclair info out there and make sure to Tip Us if you uncover something awesome!

And by the way… nothing is ever perfect and you can already see the complaints rolling in! Valid or not?

Continue reading:




  • Rob

    Bruno voice: “It’z ahhh nice”

  • Sizzler

    Ok what I don’t fully understand is how much Exchange support are we talking with stock 2.0 builds? I’ve noticed that several 3rd party full blown Exchange apps are running discounted pricing on their software which is making me suspicious as to why. Do they know something that we don’t? Are we getting full on contacts and calendars with 2.0? We already have Exchange now, so is it being mentioned as part of the update? Hmm…

  • Maj

    downloading the SDK and going to give it a try. Anyway, someone on youtube just commented that this is not going to be available to the G1. According to him, this is a known matter in XDA forums. I am very disappointed :(

  • Jerry

    So is Android 2.0 on par with Nokia N900′s OS (Maemo) or the Iphone 3gs as far as graphics are concerned

    I was told that 1.5 was behind…

  • Maj

    @Jerry
    it depends on the hardware more than the SDK but we might see some good looking games with Eclair especially that Motorola Droid is going to have a dedicated processor for graphics processing

  • Docteur cinoque

    I wasn’t so excited with 1.6.
    But now, I’m very impressed.
    I will replace my iPhone with a Moto Droid.

  • Bernal

    Rob, on the Android 2.0 version notes page under “Framework API” it says, “MotionEvent can now report simultaneous-touch information for devices that support it. Up to three pointers can be tracked simultaneously.” Given this, I’d assume that the multi-touch experience will begin to find its way into many apps. Though we may need to wait for Android 2.1 before all the built-in apps add the functionality.

  • Dude

    will 2.0 have adobe flash support in the browser???

  • Ted417

    Good thing I have a rooted phone so I can run eclair without any problems… COMON CYANOGEN!… you can update your 4.2.1 to eclair already!!! (waiting patiently for 4.3 :D)

  • Phil

    Dude…Flash support is on Adobe. When they release it then Android will have it.
    -
    Now whats interesting is HTML 5 support in the browser which at least for video could in the long run do away with the need for Flash. If we start seeing use of the video tag then you won’t need Flash to view them. I’ve got a feeling YouTube will eventually offer a video tag alternative to using the flash player.

  • Carig

    @Dude

    yes and no, it won’t be on the droid or any devices that launch with 2.0 this holiday season

    i think it’s expected to be on 2.0 though when it’s released as an update early next year, maybe called 2.1?

  • Oin

    Are current Android phones able to be upgraded to 2.0 when it comes out from the carriers? I am mostly concerned with HTC Hero form Sprint…..

  • Ralph

    I’ve been a little skittish about Android phones because people seem to complain about UI lag. That video seems pretty smooth to me – is that better than 1.6′s performance? Maybe the video was just recorded with better phone hardware than what’s available now?

  • pat

    noob question what does “sdk” and “nda” stand for?

  • Freud

    Too bad the rSAP bluetooth profile isn’t in here. I need it for my carkit :(

  • http://x Luffy

    Anyone know dates etc ?

  • tray562

    Is this going to be on the G1 if not then Im going to upgrade to the my touch or cliq when my upgrade comes in december

  • MonkeyCheese

    The one thing i was really hoping for was the pinch zoom. I have it on my Pre and it makes surfing and looking at pics much easier. But, it’s not a deal breaker and I can live without it for awhile or I’ll have to look into HTC

  • prmd142

    @pat
    sdk: software development kit
    nda: non disclosure agreement

  • Mr. Fry

    “The framework’s multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren’t missed while typing rapidly with two fingers”

    YES! The biggest single problem I have with Android will be fixed! Texting is just so much better using the soft keyboard on the iPhone because you can type that much faster not having to worry about overlapping your key presses…and now Android will do the same. YES!

    Now to start saving for the Xperia X[whatever]…lordy

  • Mark Gjøl

    SDK: Software Development Kit (Make programs for this version)
    NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement (You can look, but don’t tell)

    Bonus:
    NDK: Native Development Kit (Make programs that run faster, (But are harder to make)

  • Felix M

    @ Rob
    I know there is pretty much no chance that my g1 will get the 2.0 update but any word on the issue?

  • just wonderin

    What happened to social networking being linked to contacts? Doesnt the Droid phone have that?

  • SprSynJn

    So, if I am reading this correctly then this update will not be coming to my newly purchased HT-03A (Magic) at all? Meaning the phone I purchased in August, and am locked into for another 21 months, will be considered “outdated” by next month? A mere 3 months after it debuted? Seriously?

  • Maj

    @SprSynJn
    I read somewhere that Magic might get the update since it has a bigger ROM compared to the G1, not sure about the credibility of the source though, keep your fingers crossed.

  • DMAN

    rSAP rSAP rSAP! We need this profile in the Bluetooth stack Google!
    C’mon how many Bentley, Audi, VW & Skodas are stuck with crap phones.
    DO this because the iPhone can’t = good user base straight away!

  • vincent

    we actually are not offered enough rom nor ram.
    .
    and no the 16gb sd card coming with moto droid does not count, i could have bought one by myself to make it 32gb of storage. And store loads of music and games.
    .
    suddenly the sony x3 with 32gb rom and micro-sdhc card slot and fabulous rachael ui seems very attractive. too bad it doesn’t have a keyboard. Too bad that snapdragon processor apparently doesn’t seem to have a discrete gpu.
    .
    droid it is for me if it is released soon in europe.
    .
    and congrats to all android dev for your work !

  • JAguirre1231

    I’m almost sure that after eclair it will be fruitcake as it is coming by the end of 2009

  • Justa Notherguy

    Ok, Magic/myTouch 3G fans; here’s the news you’ve been waiting for:

    http://www.theunwired.net/?item=unveiled-htc-skips-android-1-6-upgrade-for-the-hero-in-favor-of-android-2-0&5181

    And, unless I miss my guess, that’s excellent news for Dream/G1 owners, too. :)