Google Offers Early Version Of Next Android For Download

The Android developer team has announced that the next iteration of Google's mobile Platform, Android v1.5, is set to be released fairly soon with an early working version available to play with.

Cupcake, as it is known, introduces a number of APIs for features such as speech recognition, home screen widgets, "live" folders and onscreen keyboards.

Other noticeable performance improvements will include a more responsive GPS location powered by SUPL AGPS, a smoother page scrolling, a faster Camera startup and image capture.

The developers have warned that the SDK tools and documentation are incomplete, which means that it would be risky for them to distribute applications built with it.

Android, which debuted officially back in November 2007, will also add support for SDK add-ons which may be released by third parties, OEMs and even mobile phone networks.

The Android 1.5 Early Look SDK weighs a hefty 167MB for the Windows platform. and is also available for Linux and Mac OS X Platform.

The SDK is also set to target different Android versions as well plus the gold version of the 1.5 is set to be given the green light by the end of the month, just in time for HTC Magic.

Only a couple of phones currently support Android, both manufactured by HTC and available on T-Mobile and Vodafone networks in the UK.

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Our Comments

Google's next release of Android won't set the world on fire. It will merely bring Android up to date with the rest of the competition as well as improving handset performance in general. Android, right now, needs more handset rather than software updates. The platform appears to be on the verge of a massive jump in market share but it still needs some traction.

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