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Android 2.0 'Eclair' SDK released

Android 2.0 'Eclair' SDK released

The latest version of Google's popular Android smartphone platform brings some impressive new features for developers to play with.

The iPhone has had a very successful 2009, but while a completely new version of Windows Mobile appears no nearer, Google's Android phone OS team has a plethora of new features planned for version 2.0 of its software, codename 'Eclair' (all versions of Android are codenamed after desserts and other sweet treats; 1.6, the current version, was 'Donut'.)

According to an article over on BetaNews, one of the key features of Android 2.0 will be interoperability between apps and data on the device. Eclair includes a new API which allows programmers to easily store account credentials for multiple systems.

This gives developers a method of aggregating contact and update information from multiple services - including e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites - in a simple manner via the Account Manager API which will form a central part of the 'Eclair' update. Full two-way synchronisation is also included for each service.

The biggest change from the users' perspective will be the front end for the Account Manager API: the Quick Contact screen. This allows any stored contact information for someone within the standard contact list to be pulled up without leaving the main contact screen - and can launch whatever application is necessary in order to make use of the information stored.

The web browser has also had an overhaul, with some neat user interface tweaks, thumbnailed bookmarks, and the ability to double-tap in order to activate or de-activate zooom. HTML 5 support is also present - including access to Android's geolocation API for location-specific services - along with full-screen support for videos.

Bluetooth support has been tweaked to make it easier for third-party applications to access the Bluetooth system, and the camera application introduces support for digital zoom and the technology required to support handsets with integrated flash bulbs.

Developers can snag the initial release of the Android 2.0 software development kit right now. Interested in getting an Android phone now, or are you still saving for (or paying off) an iPhone? Let us know in the forums!

16 Comments

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Radical_Monkey 28th October 2009, 12:00 Quote
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Been waiting for this release for aaaages! Donut is all well and good but this is where the party starts, makes me glad to own an HTC Hero :)
sandys 28th October 2009, 13:03 Quote
Interested in and android phone, just waiting for a nice one running snapdragon.
lewchenko 28th October 2009, 13:21 Quote
Compare and contrast....

If you own an iPhone, and Apple releases a new version of OS... you will be able to upgrade easily.

As the owner of an HTC Hero on Orange in the UK... my device is still on OS version 1.5. The 1.6 update hasnt even been released to us yet officially, let alone the 2.0 update of Android.

Whilst the OS is good, it would seem vendors are falling over themselves to release new hardware with updated OS's rather than cater for their existing customer base. And as for Orange.... well they just dont care.

And only google can get away with releasing an OS for a phone where even bluetooth doesnt work properly.

Next phone is an iPhone... which is what I should have got this time instead of the HTC Hero.
sandys 28th October 2009, 13:29 Quote
The problem is not so much with HTC as it is with Orange, once you buy a branded variant you are at the will of the brand, if you had a straight HTC phone you could of updated no problem.

I had similar issues with my n95 on three, Nokia did a new update but there wasn't a Three flavour for a long, long time.
TWeaK 28th October 2009, 15:08 Quote
If you've got insurance from a separate company to your network provider, there's a simple solution to the above problems: dunk your phone in the washing up bowl and make a claim. Did I say 'dunk it into a washing up bowl'? I meant 'accidentally drop it in a puddle'. Chances are your excess will be about £25, but when you get the replacement phone you'll get one that's not tied to any network. That way you can update the firmware yourself, but you might not even have to since they'll probably send you a phone with the latest firmware anyway.

For the record, I have never made a fraudulent claim. My 3 claims over the last few years were when my phone got wet while in a jacket pocket on a motorbike in the rain, the next one got stolen then my girlfriend put it in the washing machine inside my jeans pocket. I might have a 4th claim soon - my N97 didn't like being dropped and now the touch-screen is useless - but I'm holding off since I've yet to experience all the other woes that N97 owners have suffered, and I don't want the replacement phone to come with those problems. I'm kicking myself that I don't have an Android phone now, and that I signed a 2 year contract!!
NuTech 28th October 2009, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Compare and contrast....

If you own an iPhone, and Apple releases a new version of OS... you will be able to upgrade easily.

As the owner of an HTC Hero on Orange in the UK... my device is still on OS version 1.5. The 1.6 update hasnt even been released to us yet officially, let alone the 2.0 update of Android.

Whilst the OS is good, it would seem vendors are falling over themselves to release new hardware with updated OS's rather than cater for their existing customer base. And as for Orange.... well they just dont care.

And only google can get away with releasing an OS for a phone where even bluetooth doesnt work properly.

Next phone is an iPhone... which is what I should have got this time instead of the HTC Hero.

That's a problem with your network. I'm on T-mobile and get Android system updates the second they're available.
samkiller42 28th October 2009, 15:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
That's a problem with your network. I'm on T-mobile and get Android system updates the second they're available.

Thats because Orange slightly alter the system, which is why the Hero's Firmware was about a week after the HTC launch. Besides, this is only regarding the SDK of 2.0, it's not something your going to install unless your a developer.

Sam

Edit: @TWeak, a replacement phone wont be shipped with the new firmware or system update, that part is something you do yourself.
Shepps 28th October 2009, 15:39 Quote
Devices such as the Motorola Droid will have built in turn by turn sat nav built in (from google). That + all the other features of 2.0 makes android look a bit more of a competitor!

Link

edit: Depending on the bootloader cant you flash with stock android firmware? I've only had experience using the dev phone so not sure..
FredsFriend 28th October 2009, 15:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
That's a problem with your network. I'm on T-mobile and get Android system updates the second they're available.

That's not strictly true is it, T-mobile were the last to provide the HTC update for the Hero (T-mobile G2) that fixed the lag issues by quite a long way.

http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/discussions/index?page=forums&topic=8010381a02397d01237a386684007c5d&filter=ALL

My previous phone, an N95, went well over a year without an firmware upgrade from T-mobile despite from memory around 7 or 8 updates being release in that time.

T-Mobile are terrible at firmware updates.

p.s.
On second thoughts do you have a G1? In which case you probably get your updates over the air. It's Google that provide those not T-mobile
jake9891 28th October 2009, 17:02 Quote
Absolutely love my G1 and I am really happy to hear that they are still working on improving things. 'Donut' brought some new stuff and new look of some things, which made using my phone even better. I think I will never get bored of it :D G1 Rulezz!
lewchenko 28th October 2009, 17:12 Quote
Well I went to HTC's website and found the following :

http://www.htc.com/uk/SupportViewNews.aspx?dl_id=675&news_id=261

Its a ROM upgrade for HTC Orange users. Note that its still based on firmware version 1.5, but it takes the software ROM versoin to 2.73 (up from 1.76 which it was at).

The update wipes your contacts + other settings and requires a PC to connect to in order to perform it. .. But you will immediately notice how snappy the device is once you have updated it.

Still no 1.6 update though !

And I phoned Orange... who were absolutely clueless. The just referred me to HTC , then carried on washing their hands in soapy water.
antiHero 28th October 2009, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
Compare and contrast....

If you own an iPhone, and Apple releases a new version of OS... you will be able to upgrade easily.

As the owner of an HTC Hero on Orange in the UK... my device is still on OS version 1.5. The 1.6 update hasnt even been released to us yet officially, let alone the 2.0 update of Android.

Whilst the OS is good, it would seem vendors are falling over themselves to release new hardware with updated OS's rather than cater for their existing customer base. And as for Orange.... well they just dont care.

And only google can get away with releasing an OS for a phone where even bluetooth doesnt work properly.

Next phone is an iPhone... which is what I should have got this time instead of the HTC Hero.

Thing is that HTC will NOT release an update for 1.6 and go straight to 2.0. They sad that the update cycle between those 2 is to short in there opinion to make it worth while. Newer models will ship with 1.6 but not the dream nor hero.

As for the bluetooth i had no problems what so ever so far apart for some file transfer stuff but it was a quick fix with wifi & ftp :)
TheUn4seen 28th October 2009, 21:40 Quote
Who the hell waits for the operator to push updates? Donut-based ROMs were available before the official update release, not to mention that custom ROMs for Andriod devices are light years ahead of official ones, they are are a breeze to install (two commands, one button operation), don't void the warranty and, since Google clarified certain licensing issues, are completely legal.
fodder 29th October 2009, 10:41 Quote
The best bit about Android updates? - No iTunes or third party app required :-)

Either wait for the automatic download or go manual.

Yes, T-Mobile are pants at firmware updates, when I had a WM device I had to wait nearly a year for the X.5 update to fix a lot of bugs, even then I had to go ferreting around the website for it, no info or notice of it's release. Unfortunately it really messed up Hotmail connectivity so went Gmail and Android.
NuTech 29th October 2009, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredsFriend
That's not strictly true is it, T-mobile were the last to provide the HTC update for the Hero (T-mobile G2) that fixed the lag issues by quite a long way.

http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/discussions/index?page=forums&topic=8010381a02397d01237a386684007c5d&filter=ALL

My previous phone, an N95, went well over a year without an firmware upgrade from T-mobile despite from memory around 7 or 8 updates being release in that time.

T-Mobile are terrible at firmware updates.

p.s.
On second thoughts do you have a G1? In which case you probably get your updates over the air. It's Google that provide those not T-mobile
Yes, I'm using a G1. I assumed the update method would be the same for all Android based phones from T-mobile.

Is T-mobile screwing with G2 (Hero) owners?
cybergenics 2nd November 2009, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys
The problem is not so much with HTC as it is with Orange, once you buy a branded variant you are at the will of the brand, if you had a straight HTC phone you could of updated no problem.

I had similar issues with my n95 on three, Nokia did a new update but there wasn't a Three flavour for a long, long time.

Not at all. There is no 1.6 Donut available for any Hero (officially anyway) so no networks, or HTC have been offering it for this model.

http://www.androidguys.com/2009/10/28/european-htc-hero-skipping-1-6-update/

As it says (or anywhere if you google it) the Hero will be 1.5 and jump to 2.0
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