informa
/
3 min read
article

Google Preps Next Version Of Android Software, Now WIth More Cupcake

The long-awaited 'Cupcake' branch of Android code has finally been folded into the main version of the mobile platform from Google in the form of Android 1.5. Google is offering developers an early-look at the latest rendition of Android.
The long-awaited 'Cupcake' branch of Android code has finally been folded into the main version of the mobile platform from Google in the form of Android 1.5. Google is offering developers an early-look at the latest rendition of Android.The Cupcake variant of Android was first spotted shortly after the HTC G1 went on sale. It includes a nice set of feature updates and bug fixes that Android users should welcome.

The Android Developers Blog recently announced that Android 1.5. is on deck, and it includes the Cupcake improvements. Xavier Durohet writes, "This new version (which will be 1.5) is based on the cupcake branch from the Android Open Source Project. Version 1.5 introduces APIs for features such as soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders, and speech recognition. At the developer site, you can download the early-look Android 1.5 SDK, read important information about upgrading your Eclipse plugin and existing projects."

Some of the improvements include:

  • MMS sees bug fixes as well as the new ability to save attachments.
  • E-mail gets a large list of significant bug fixes including: new-mail notifications for POP3 accounts; new accounts are now set to check every 15 minutes (instead of defaulting to "never"); and there's also a fix to IMAP manually-created accounts so deleting messages works properly.
  • The music player will now fade playback back in after suspending for a phone call. It also has a new media search function that allows for third-party apps to launch or respond to media searches based on artist, album, or title.
  • The browser is seeing some significant updates, as well. Some of the new capabilities include: updated WebKit browser core; support for new, optimized JavaScript engine (SquirrelFish); copy / paste is enabled in the browser; find is enabled in the browser; and drawing has been sped up substantially. Pages with animations will load five times faster.
  • With cupcake, Android will now support stereo Bluetooth.
  • With respect to the camera software, Android will now support video recorder mode, allow for the sharing of videos, offer a list of video thumbnails, and permit local file playback.
With all these changes, Google has a new SDK for developers that includes some new APIs. Google is quick to point out that not all the APIs are ready, though. Google said that it will be publishing a series of articles over the coming weeks that provide more detail about Android 1.5's new features, APIs and capabilities. Google believes that all the APIs will be finalized by the end of April.

Right now, this is for developers only. Android 1.5 is not available for general consumption.