Google has provided developers with a preview of the SDK (Software Development Kit) for the new version of its Android mobile platform this week. Among the new features introduced on Android version 1.5 are APIs for soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders and speech recognition. The new version will also include support for multiple versions of the Android platform allowing developers to target different Android platform versions from within a single SDK installation. It also enables developers to install Android SDK add-ons to access extended functionality that could be provided by OEMs, carriers, or other providers. A so-called “early look” version of the new SDK is available from the Android developer’s website, though the final Android 1.5 SDK release is not expected until the end of the month. Click here for a full list of the new features in Android 1.5.
To date, HTC’s Dream is the only Android-based smartphone commercially available, offered by T-Mobile (and known as the ‘T-Mobile G1’) across several of the Deutsche Telekom-owned operator’s markets. T-Mobile USA is also rumoured to be planning to use the platform for a range of devices beyond mobile phones. A second mobile device known as the HTC Magic is expected to launch via Vodafone in the UK and Germany later this month. Major handset vendors such as Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola and Sony Ericsson are also expected to launch Android devices soon. Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight, told Computerworld this week that he expects more than six products to be available by the end of the year with more being announced for 2010.