05 December 2008

New Resources for Developers

We're back in action after a Thanksgiving break filled with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Now it's the holiday season (at least, here in the U.S.) and we're filled with good will toward developers. Today I wanted to talk about a couple things we just finished polishing up.

First, the Android 1.0 SDK, release 2 is now available. Like the previous 1.0_r1 release, this new 1.0_r2 build creates applications that are compatible with Android 1.0 devices, such as the T-Mobile G1. This new release fixes a few bugs. In 1.0_r1, it was possible for developers to write technically-illegal code by using the Java Reflection APIs to access private or protected fields and methods. 1.0_r2 fixes that problem by enforcing private/protected visibility of items accessed via Reflection. Meanwhile, the class android.R.styleable was included in 1.0_r1 primarily for documentation purposes as a way for developers to look up the style attributes available to them to use. However, actually referring to that class via source code would result in applications that might break when run on future versions of the Android platform, so 1.0_r2 corrects the oversight and removes access to the class from the android.jar file. (The class remains in the documentation for reference purposes, though.)

Both of these problems are obscure "future-proofing" issues, and I'd be quite surprised if they actually caused problems for anyone, but now they're fixed. 1.0_r2 also includes a few other smaller changes; check out the release notes for all the details.

Second, many of you have asked if developer devices will be available. We've worked with our partners to create a program for developers to purchase devices that enable them to test and debug applications more easily.

I think these new tools will be quite helpful to developers, and I'm looking forward to seeing what people do with Android, next.