I'm excited to announce that starting today, developers can get an early look at the SDK for the next version of the Android platform. This new version (which will be 1.5) is based on the cupcake branch from the Android Open Source Project. Version 1.5 introduces APIs for features such as soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders, and speech recognition. At the developer site, you can download the early-look Android 1.5 SDK, read important information about upgrading your Eclipse plugin and existing projects, and learn about what's new and improved in Android 1.5.
We've also made changes to the developer tools and the structure of the SDK itself. Future Android SDK releases will include multiple versions of the Android platform. For example, this early-look includes Android platform versions 1.1 and 1.5. One benefit of this change is that developers can target different Android platform versions from within a single SDK installation. Another is that it enables developers to install Android SDK add-ons to access extended functionality that might be provided by OEMs, carriers, or other providers. We at Google are using this feature ourselves: this early-look SDK includes an add-on for the Google APIs. This add-on provides support for the Google Maps API, which was previously embedded in the "core" SDK.
To help you prepare your applications for the release of Android 1.5 on phones, over the next few weeks we'll be publishing a series of articles on this blog to highlight new APIs and other changes. In addition to the new APIs that I've mentioned, we'll cover topics such as OpenGL, asynchronous tasks, system settings, and new Activity callbacks.
I encourage you to start working with this early-look SDK, but please know that the APIs for Android 1.5 have not been finalized. The majority of the APIs are settled, but there may be some changes before the final release. As a result, it's very important that you don't release applications based on this early-look SDK, since they may not work on real devices. The applications you release should be built on the final Android 1.5 SDK release, which will be available around the end of this month.
I look forward to seeing all the great apps that use the new capabilities in Android 1.5. Happy coding!