"Back in November, we made some SDK builds available that we referred to as early look SDKs. The goal was to give developers insight into the platform as early on as possible, and to get some initial feedback. Since then, we've been working with our Open Handset Alliance partners to incorporate much of that feedback, and finish the first devices. Since those devices are shipping in the fourth quarter, the platform is now converging on a final Android 1.0 version," explains Dan Morrill.
The release notes include a lot of changes: a new Home screen, context menus, two removed APIs (Bluetooth and GTalkService), but the good news is that the next versions will not have major changes.
The first mobile phone that will run Android, HTC Dream, has been approved by FCC and is on target for a launch until the end of the year. New York Times speculates that T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer HTC Dream in October.
A video posted last week on YouTube claimed to show the smart phone, which looks anything but impressive:
TmoNews has some specifications of the upcoming phone: touch screen, full Qwerty keyboard, 3G/Wifi, 3MP camera with no flash, easy access to Google applications. "We have confirmed that the Android device will be available for current T-mobile customers online, for pre-sales, on September 17th. The Pre-sale will last for one week, with the device being delivered on October 13th, which happens to be the national public launch of the device."
Of course, it's good to keep in mind that Dream is just one of the mobile phones that will use Android and users primarily buy the device for its design and features, not for the operating system.
Update: some new specs (528Mhz Qualcomm 7201 processor, trackball, 1GB MicroSD card, POP/IMAP/SMTP, AIM/MSN/YAHOO/GTALK messaging, Google Calendar sync, Google Streetview with built-in compass, 3.17″ screen with HVGA, 5.6 oz weight).