The opening skirmishes in the smart phone wars have commenced, with Google providing developers with an early look at the software kit for the next version of the Android platform.
The new version, which will be known as 1.5, will be Google’s answer to Apple’s iPhone 3.0 firmware for the future iPhone.
Google has urged developers to begin working with the early look software development kit (SDK).
“Future Android SDK releases will include multiple versions of the Android platform,” said Google’s Xavier Ducrohet. For example, this early look includes Android platform versions 1.1 and 1.5.
One benefit of this change, Ducrohet said, is that developers can target different Android platform versions from within a single SDK installation.
“Another is that it enables developers to install Android SDK add-ons to access extended functionality that might be provided by OEMs, carriers or other providers.
“We at Google are using this feature ourselves: this early-look SDK includes an add-on for the Google APIs. This add-on provides support for the Google Maps API, which was previously embedded in the ‘core’ SDK,” Ducrohet said on the official Android Developers blog site.
He also said that the APIs for Android API 1.5 are not finalised, despite the majority of the APIs being settled.
Therefore, he explained, it is important developers don’t release applications based on the early look SDK, since they may not work on real devices.
The final Android 1.5 SDK release will be available at the end of the month.
By John Kennedy