Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released its final Android 3.0 SDK, enabling developers to begin creating applications for the new platform and distribute their efforts via Android Market. The platform document is available for download here. Google also issued updates to its SDK Tools (r10) and ADT Plugin for Eclipse (10.0.0), touting features including UI Builder improvements like more accurate layout rendering, selection-sensitive action bars to manipulate View properties, zoom enhancements and expanded support for <merge> layouts, as well as layouts with gesture overlays. Also new: Traceview integration for easier profiling from ADT.
Designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets, Android 3.0 (a.k.a. "Honeycomb") introduces a holographic UI theme alongside a new interaction model building on signature features like multitasking, notifications and widgets. Developers can leverage new UI components, updated themes, richer widgets and notifications, drag and drop, and additional features--a built-in renderer supports 2D visual effects, while the new Renderscript graphics engine supports 3D animations. Android 3.0 also supports both single- and dual-core processors for optimal application performance, rich multimedia features like HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework and MTP/PTP-based media file transfer, and new APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP to enable audio streaming and headset control.
New user features in Android 3.0 include the System Bar, a global status and notifications tool displayed at the bottom of the device screen, giving consumers access to notifications, system status and soft navigation buttons. Google notes that while the System Bar is always present, a new "lights out mode" can dim the tool during full-screen viewing experiences like videos. Android 3.0 also boasts the Action Bar, an application control mechanism displayed at the top of the device screen, giving consumers access to contextual options, navigation, widgets and other types of content. The Action Bar is always present when an application is in use, although the app, not the system, determines its content, theme and related properties.
- read this Android Developer Blog entry
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