Google Updates Android SDK 2

The latest version of Google's Android SDK updates the platform's application programming interfaces and developer tools.
Google on Wednesday released an updated version of the software development kit for Android, a Linux-based open development software platform for mobile phones.

The latest version of the SDK, which Google is calling m5-rc14, updates the platform's application programming interfaces and developer tools. Among the improvements are a new user interface and the ability to create layout animations for applications.

In addition, the SDK upgrade offers geo-coding, which enables developers to translate an address into a coordinate and vice-versa and to also search for businesses, Google said. The upgrade also has support for more audio file formats and has an updated Eclipse plug-in.

Google has posted a couple of documents related to the upgrade, including an overview of the changes to the APIs, as well as a more granular view of the changes. Google also has posted an Android Issue Tracker to gather feedback from developers online.

Google introduced Android in November following months of speculation of whether a gPhone was in the works. In releasing Android, Google also announced a broad alliance of technology companies dedicated to building applications and devices with Google's software.

Google's ambitions with Android is to pry open the telecom industry and merge it with the Internet. The platform comprises an operating system, user interface, and applications without "the proprietary obstacles that have hindered mobile innovation," Google said at the launch of Android.

Because Google's core business is online advertising, Android also promises to open a new revenue stream from mobile advertising, which remains a trickle in the overall online ad market.

While Google has a long list of partners backing Android, it still faces potential opposition from a number of industry players who have not announced support. Those companies include Apple, AT&T, Microsoft, Nokia, Palm, Research In Motion, Symbian, and Verizon.

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