Google unlocks Android G1, releases SDK 1.0_r2

Google announced the availability of the Android Dev Phone 1, a SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked version of T-Mobile USA's G1, the first commercial device based on the web services giant's Android mobile OS. Google also issued release 2 of the Android 1.0 software development kit, which promises to fix a series of relatively minor bugs present in 1.0_r1. Designed for advanced developers, the Android Dev Phone 1 ships with a system image that's fully compatible with Android 1.0--according to Google, developers may use any SIM in the device as well as flash custom Android builds that will work with the unlocked bootloader, effectively giving coders carte blanche to create Android apps limited solely by their imaginations and technical skills. Google adds the Android Dev Phone 1 should also appeal to developers based outside of T-Mobile geographies.

The Android Dev Phone 1 arrives with a price tag of $399 and is available in 18 international markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland and Hungary. To purchase the device, developers must first register on the Android Market site--a "Purchase" link will appear upon logging into the developer account. To accommodate demand, Google will initially limit sales to one Android Dev Phone 1 per developer account. "Note that Android Dev Phone 1 devices are not intended for non-developer end users," Google warns on its Android website. "Since the devices can be configured with system software not provided by or supported by Google or any other company, end users operate these devices at their own risk."

The Android 1.0 SDK_r2 build--available for download here--repairs a handful of bugs discovered in the previous version. "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," writes Android developer advocate Dan Morrill on the Android Developers Blog. "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.)"
Morrill adds that both problems are obscure "future-proofing" issues, and writes it's unlikely that either caused significant problems for Android developers. Other small changes present in SDK 1.0_r2 are listed in the Release Notes here.

For more on the unlocked G1:
- read this Android webpage

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