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November 12, 2007

Android's SDK Now Available

Android, Google's mobile platform, is finally open to the developers. Now you can download the SDK and start to develop great applications in Java. Google launched a competition that offers $10 million awards for the most interesting apps (the biggest prize is quite significant: $275,000).

Note that "the Android SDK is being offered to the developer community on an Early Look basis. (...) Once the SDK reaches a more finished form, Google intends to release most of the components under the Apache v2.0 open source license."

Here are some of the most important features of the Android platform:
* Application framework enabling reuse and replacement of components

* Dalvik virtual machine optimized for mobile devices

* Integrated browser based on the open source WebKit engine

* Optimized graphics powered by a custom 2D graphics library; 3D graphics based on the OpenGL ES 1.0 specification (hardware acceleration optional)

* SQLite for structured data storage

* Media support for common audio, video, and still image formats (MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, AMR, JPG, PNG, GIF)

* GSM Telephony (hardware dependent)

* Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, and WiFi (hardware dependent)

* Camera, GPS, compass, and accelerometer (hardware dependent)

* Rich development environment including a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, and a plugin for the Eclipse IDE

This demo shows Android on two different phones and you can see all kinds of applications from the built-in browser to Google Maps and a 3D game like Quake. According to Google, "Android will ship with a set of core applications including an email client, SMS program, calendar, maps, browser, contacts".

Some screenshots from the SDK's emulator: the iPhone-like browser, the always-connected phone using XMPP, a small application for managing contacts and a local search in Google Maps.

Android's website
Videos about Android

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