Android 'Cupcake' roadmap promises much

Pending updates to the Android mobile operating system were made public this week as a part of the Google's "Cupcake" roadmap, revealing new functionality that will endow future Android devices with abilities beyond those in the G1 now.

According to the roadmap, development taking place privately will soon be made available to the public source code via a single large development branch update. It will be followed by a series of smaller, incremental updates as time passes. Among the numerous bug fixes listed on the roadmap are some serious functionality upgrades that promise to add some highly desirable features previously absent from Android 1.0.

The system software will feature a kernel based on Linux 2.6.27, and will add "basic x86 support." It is not exactly known what this will entail for the consumer, but it is nonetheless intriguing. In addition to a nearly 5x drawing speed increase, the built-in Web browser will receive an update to the WebKit core, support for SquirrelFish JavaScript engine, as well as copy, paste and "Ctrl-F" style find features.

The most exciting part of the Cupcake roadmap is that it includes some of the hotly-demanded features notably missing from the G1, namely video recording mode, soft keyboard support, and support for stereo Bluetooth.

Developers will also receive SDK add-ons, which include system libraries to include additional APIs from either handset manufacturers or third-party products packed into handsets. New emulator system images, skins, and hardware configuration functions also are included for testing.

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