Android platform v1.5 highlights and new features

image Four months of discovery and hearsay later, the Android build that we’ve all been waiting for is near. The Android Developers Blog announced today the availability of an “early look” Android 1.5 SDK. This release seems like a mostly complete version of the final release, though Google warns that some of the APIs are bound to change.

Beyond the features that v1.5 brings to the end user (see below), the new SDK carries a few key changes:

  • The SDK now supports multiple versions of the platform, so developers can continue to work on applications for the current release (v1.1) while preparing their apps for the next one.
  • Developers can now install SDK add-ons. This allows carriers, OEMs, and other third-parties to easily expand the SDK for their needs without Google having to hold their hand.

Some important new features:

  • On-screen keyboard support, with support for auto-correct, text prediction, user dictionaries, and third-party keyboard layouts
  • Live folders (Auto-updating folder shortcuts for things such as YouTube favorites, Starred Contacts, and, with the API now available, whatever else developers conjure up)
  • Video Recording
  • MPEG4 and 3GP Video Playback
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Browser enhancements: New ultrafast “Squirrelfish” javascript engine, search within a page, copy and paste, UI changes
  • New Linux Kernel
  • Google Application enhancements: View Google Talk friend statuses in contacts, SMS, MMS, Gmail, and Email
  • New frameworks for developers to build upon: Widget creation, Live Folder creation, Raw audio recording/playback, Video recording, Speech recognition
  • Faster GPS, Faster camera startup, faster Gmail scrolling, and smoother browser scrolling

See the full article at MobileCrunch and the full feature list at Android.com.

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