Android 2.1 SDK – What’s New

The developers are heard: the much awaited Android SDK that powers Nexus One is finally here, available to everyone. Developers and handset manufacturers can download the latest Android development kit and begin to take advantage of the new functionality that Android 2.1 delivers. All devices that ship after January will have it by default.

That would all be fine and dandy if Google released the SDK to developers prior to launching Android 2.1, and it would seem more authentic if Google didn’t just host a major press event last week to launch its Nexus One phone–the first device built on Android 2.1, where Google trumpeted and demonstrated an array of cool new features.

The key feature of Nexus One was Android as highlighted by the Nexus one launch. Few features like the living wallpaper feature seems like a battery-wasting eye-candy. On the usability side, Android 2.1 extends the voice command functionality to allow users to speak into any text field. Though most users didn’t find it that helpful, till having is a delight for email savvy users. With 2.1 also comes a new USB driver that works  for syncing or transferring files between the phone and a Windows PC.

Though Android 2.1 brings lots of new UI changes, Google says “2.1 does not add significant user features, see the Android 2.0 Platform Highlights document for the latest user features”.

As the official Android page lists, here are key changes in API

API changes summary

The following is a summary of some notable changes to the framework APIs.

Live Wallpapers

The following additions provide APIs for you to develop animated wallpapers:

Telephony

Views

WebKit

  • New WebStorage methods to manipulate web storage databases.
  • New GeolocationPermissions methods to get Geolocation permissions from, and set them on the WebView.
  • New WebSettings methods to manage settings for app cache, web storage, and zooming based on screen density.

more at source.

We write about Android, programming frequently, and the lie updates are available @taranfx on twitter.

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