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UPDATE: Google releases Android 2.0 aka Eclair to the Developer Community
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 27.10.09 - 18:30:37 CET under 04 - Android News - Viewed 13978x
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Today, 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 is reached.
  • Built-in flash support
  • Digital zoom
  • Scene mode
  • White balance
  • Color effect
  • Macro focus
Android Virtual Keyboard
  • 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 device.
    • <video> tag support in fullscreen mode.
  • 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

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