Google announced the Android 1.6 software development kit is now available for developer download--based on the donut branch from the Android Open Source Project, the update introduces a series of new features and technologies including support for CDMA and additional screen sizes. Among the highlights of Android 1.6: Gesture APIs, a text-to-speech engine and integration with Quick Search Box, enabling users to search across multiple sources--including browser bookmarks and history, contacts, and the web--directly from the device homescreen. An updated UI provides an integrated camera, camcorder, and gallery experience, while a new Virtual Private Network control panel in Settings allows users to configure and connect to multiple types of VPNs.
The Android 1.6 SDK also includes an Android Market update promising to simplify the user discovery experience--at the homescreen, users can choose among Apps, Games, and Downloads, with each category offering separate lists spotlighting "Top paid," "Top free" and "Just in" submissions. Developers may also post app screenshots alongside user reviews.
The Android 1.6 SDK requires a new version of Android Development Tools, including a new tool that enabling developers to download updates and additional components like new add-ons or platforms. Google says devices running on Android 1.6 will appear as early as October--applications written for older versions of Android will continue to run on devices with Android 1.6.
For more on the Android 1.6 SDK:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry
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