New for Google's Android: StreetView, GlobalTime, Notifications

Members of Google's Android team leveraged Google's I/O conference this week as a launch platform for demos of new Android features, ranging from an application launcher called Notifications to a compass-based StreetView application.

The Android mobile development will probably become available in the second half of this year, said members of Google's Android team at the company's I/O conference in San Francisco this week, who gave a first-time demo of an Android prototype device.

Although Google is under NDA with the name of the device's OEM, it's a UMTS handset based on a Qualcomm processor. The handset comes with a Synaptics capacitive touchscreen, 128 MB of RAM, and 256 MB of flash memory, team members said during a Q&A session. Android software will work with trackball and D-pad mobile devices, in addition to touchscreens.

Android is Google's open source development environment for building applications that can run unchanged across multiple OEMs' hardware. When the first Android-enabled mobile handsets ships, Android will also be released as downloadable open source software, the show attendees were told.

The latest full-screen demo of Android in action, from developer Vincent Nguyen.

The new Notifications application launcher shown at the I/O conference also lets you put shortcuts on the screen and get a spatial representation of workflow. The compass in the new Street View application allows for location-based panning. And a new Unlock application -- which uses gestures to unlock the device for security and sleep purposes -- is geared to touchscreen models.

Also at this week's I/O conference, Google demo'd an Android-based Pac-man application, along with a new 3D world clock application dubbed AndroidGlobalTime.

Last March, some of Google's partners had delivered demos of other Android features at the MWC show in Barcelona, Spain.

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