A sneak peak at the Android 3.0 platform and updated SDK toolsjoe
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a new version of the Android platform. This new platform has been developed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. It introduces a brand new holographic UI theme and an interaction model that builds on the things people love about Android multitasking, notifications, widgets, and others and adds many new features.
Above and beyond the user-facing features it offers, Android 3.0 is also specifically designed to provide developers the tools and capabilities they require to generate great applications for tablets and comparable devices, together with the flexibility to adapt existing apps to the innovative UI while maintaining compatibility with earlier platform versions and additional form-factors.
Here is a preview of the Android 3.0 SDK, with non-final APIs and system image, to permit developers to establish testing their existing applications on the tablet form-factor and start on getting familiar with the fresh UI patterns, APIs, and capabilities that will be accessible in Android 3.0.
Here are some of the highlights:
UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices: Developers can use a new UI components, new themes, richer widgets and notifications, drag and drop, and additional new features to craft rich and appealing apps for users on larger screen devices.
High-performance 2D and 3D graphics: A new property-based animation framework lets developers add vast visual effects to their apps. A built-in GL renderer lets developers request hardware-acceleration of general 2D rendering operations in their apps, across the entire app or only in specific activities or views. For adding rich 3D scenes, developers can gain benefit of a new 3D graphics engine called Renderscript.
Support for multicore processor architectures: Android 3.0 is optimized to run on either single- or dual-core processors, so that applications run with the greatest possible performance.
Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.
New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to straightforward devices that may not have a user interface.
Enhancements for enterprise: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.
Note that applications developed with the Android 3.0 Platform Preview cannot be published on Android Market. A special thanks to the Android developers for giving a preview of what is to come with the Android 3.0 platform.