Android logoGoogle has announced it will offer developers a first look at the newest version of the Android platform. Android OS 1.5 has been officially released on an “early-look” basis, bringing with it juicy new features like soft-keyboard support, speech recognition, homescreen widgets and live folders. As any self-respecting Android fan will be well aware, the new Android 1.5 update is largely based on work done by Android developers working on the Cupcake development branch. G1 owners will be happy to hear that the on-screen keyboard is now a reality!
Google has also changed the developer tools as well as the structure of the SDK so that it includes multiple versions of the Android platform. For example, the new SDK includes Android 1.1 and 1.5.

The Android 1.5 SDK is based on a new Linux kernel, version 2.6.27. While Android 1.5 has not yet been finalized, meaning it could be changed, perhaps its most impressive feature currently is its on-screen soft keyboard, which works in both portrait and landscape orientations.

 

Google logoThe 1.5 SDK includes accelerometer-based application rotation capabilities, which opened new doors for device design when the iPhone introduced them.

Through Bluetooth  A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), the Android SDK 1.5 offers Bluetooth support for essentially high-quality music stereo headsets, going beyond what the iPhone offers.

 

From the official Google blog:

"I encourage you to start working with this early-look SDK, but please know that the APIs for Android 1.5 have not been finalized. The majority of the APIs are settled, but there may be some changes before the final release. As a result, it’s very important that you don’t release applications based on this early-look SDK, since they may not work on real devices. The applications you release should be built on the final Android 1.5 SDK release, which will be available around the end of this month."