Google released its upcoming Android 2.0 (code-named Eclair) to the Android
developer community through its Android Software Developer Kit (SDK). While
Android 2.0 devices are not available today (but expected to be announced and
released soon), Android developers can now start to develop Android
2.0-compatible applications by simply updating their SDK and developer tools.
While much of the SDK stuff is pretty technical and for developers only, It's
now confirmed that Eclair will include better account management tools, better
contacts management from multiple accounts and two-way contact sync.
In any case, the published video also gives an official preview how Android
2.0 will look like:
New Android 2.0 User Features
Contacts and Accounts
- Multiple accounts can be added to a device for E-Mail and contact
synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can
choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
- Developers can create sync adapters that provide synchronization with
additional data sources.
- Quick Contact for Android provides instant access to a contact's
information and communication modes. For example, a user can tap a contact
photo and select to call, SMS or E-Mail the person. Other applications such
as E-Mail, Messaging, and Calendar can also reveal the Quick Contact widget
when you touch a contact photo or status icon.
- Exchange support.
- Combined inbox to browse E-Mail from multiple accounts in one page.
- Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
- Auto delete the oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit
Android Virtual Keyboard
- Built-in flash support
- Digital zoom
- Scene mode
- White balance
- Color effect
- Macro focus
- An improved keyboard layout to makes it easier to hit the correct
characters and improve typing speed.
- The framework's multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren't
missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.
- A smarter dictionary learns from word usage and automatically includes
contact names as suggestions.
- Refreshed UI with actionable browser URL bar enables users to directly
tap the address bar for instant searches and navigation.
- Bookmarks with web page thumbnails.
- Support for double-tap zoom.
- Support for HTML5:
- Database API support, for client-side databases using SQL.
- Application cache support, for offline applications.
- Geolocation API support, to provide location information about the
<video> tag support in
- Agenda view provides infinite scrolling.
- Events indicate the attending status for each invitee.
- Invite new guests to events.
Also interesting are the newly supported screen resolutions. As Google
mentions, WVGA (800x480) and FWVGA (854x480) are supported in Android 2.0 and
it's expected that devices with these types of screen will be launched soon.
Over the next few months, Google expects to see more and more Android devices
being released. These devices will be running Android 1.5, 1.6, or 2.0. Google
also plans a minor version update of Android 2.0 towards the end of the year,
and that will be the last update for 2009.
Cheers ~ Arne