Android 'Donut' SDK released: What's new inside

Google's Android development team has made the latest Android SDK available, providing a complete view of all the new features that "Donut" (Android 1.6) will provide.

While most of the features included in this incremental update are no secret, this is the first time they have been presented to the public in a single package.

New Features

New Android Market- This update completely redesigns the Android Market, adds screenshots to app descriptions, adds more granularity to searches, and improves the overall shopping experience.

Gesture Support- A new tool in the SDK called GestureBuilder lets app developers generate entire libraries of new app-specific gestures.

Support for CDMA networks- The CDMA telephony stack is now supported, in addition to the previous support for GSM.

Text-to-speech API- A multi-lingual speech engine called Pico made by SVOX is included in Donut. This was one of the earliest features shown off for Donut at Google I/O this year.

Quick Search Box- Also shown off at I/O, Quick Search (then called "Android Search") is like the iPhone's "Spotlight" search. Quick Search Box framework lets users search through the phone as well as the Web, pulling up browser history, bookmarks, music, contacts and other data along with results drawn from the Internet.

New Camera Interface- From a single interface, the user can switch between still and video camera modes or look through the gallery. Additionally, the Android Team says camera launches 39% faster, and there is 28% less lag between shots.

Battery "fuel gauge"- This new feature lists the battery consumption of each running application and service, letting the user fully streamline his battery consumption. android donut battery monitor

Virtual Private Network support- Now, users can configure and connect to L2TP/IPSEC pre-shared key-based or certificate-based VPNs, L2TP only VPN, or PPTP only VPN.

The Linux Kernel has been updated from 2.6.27 to 2.6.29, the OpenCore 2 media engine is now supported, as are a greater number of screen resolutions such as QVGA and WVGA, and new accessibility plugins such as tactile or aural feedback.

Google's Xavier Ducrohet today said, "You can expect to see devices running Android 1.6 as early as October. As with previous platform updates, applications written for older versions of Android will continue to run on devices with Android 1.6. Please test your existing apps on the Android 1.6 SDK to make sure they run as expected."

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