Google has just released the early-look for Android 1.5. So I suppose there will be a software OS update available for the current Android devices soon.
Below is listed the original quote on what is going to be changed in the next version of Android.
The Android 1.5 platform introduces many new features for users and developers. The list below provides an overview of the changes.
User interface refinements
- System-wide: Refinement of all core UI elements, Animated window transitions (off by default), Accelerometer-based application rotations
- UI polish for: In-call experience, Contacts, Call log, and Favorites, SMS & MMS, Browser, Gmail, Calendar, Email, Camera & Gallery, Application management
- Faster Camera start-up and image capture
- Much faster acquisition of GPS location (powered by SUPL AGPS)
- Smoother page scrolling in Browser
- Speedier GMail conversation list scrolling
- On-screen soft keyboard: Works in both portrait and landscape orientation, Support for user installation of 3rd party keyboards, User dictionary for custom words
- Home screen
- Widgets: Bundled home screen widgets include: analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame, and search
- Live folders
- Camera & Gallery: Video recording, Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats)
- Bluetooth: Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles), Auto-pairing, Improved handsfree experience
- Contacts: Shows user picture for Favorites, Specific date/time stamp for events in call log, One-touch access to a contact card from call log event
- System: New Linux kernel (version 2.6.27), SD card filesystem auto-checking and repair, SIM Application Toolkit 1.0
- Google applications: View Google Talk friends’ status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications, Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages, Upload videos to Youtube, Upload photos on Picasa
New APIs and developer tools
- UI framework: Framework for easier background/UI thread interaction, New SlidingDrawer widget, Horizontal ScrollView widget
- Home Screen framework: APIs for creating secure home screen widgets, APIs for populating live folders with custom content
- Media framework: Raw audio recording and playback APIs, Interactive MIDI playback engine, Video recording APIs for developers (3GP format), Video and photo sharing Intents, Media search Intent
- Input Method framework: Text prediction engine, Ability to provide downloadable IMEs to users
- Speech recognition framework: Support for using speech recognition libraries via Intent
- Misc API additions: LocationManager – Applications can get location change updates via Intent, WebView – Touch start/end/move/cancel DOM event support, SensorManager – redesigned sensor APIs, GLSurfaceView – convenience framework for creating OpenGL applications, Broadcast Intent for app update install succeeded – for smoother app upgrade experience
- Developer tools: Support for multiple versions of Android in a single SDK installation, Improved JUnit support in ADT, Easier application performance profiling
The API changes look promising and I will take a look in this more deeply. Perhaps I can put a nice Android 1.5 coding example together soon. I am still missing something like a nice and convenient facility in the Android SDK to automatically build, sign and deploy an Android application for the use on a device. I know, we could script this with ANT or other tools, but it would be nice to have this built into the SDK by default. Also a developer certificate generator, nice and fancy. It would make everything much more easy for developers to write and easily deploy an Android app for end-users. Perhaps an Android Market integration to upload/update an application in there directly through a button in the SDK would make sense as well?