Mountain View-based Internet giant Google has announced officially in the beginning of this month the upcoming availability of a new flavor of their mobile operating system, namely Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and it has just made available for download the first resources aimed at application developers, including a preview SDK for Android 3.0.
The new mobile OS flavor was meant mainly for devices that sport larger screens, and comes with a new “holographic” UI theme, as well as with increased focus on multitasking, notifications, widgets, and other features specific to the platform.
According to Google, the new OS version was also meant to provide developers with the necessary tools to come up with great applications for devices like tablet PCs, and the like.
A preview of the Android 3.0 SDK was made available for download for those who would like to test their software against the new platform. However, the SDK does not come with final APIs and system image, and the apps built with it can not be published in the Market.
According to Google' the new Preview SDK includes:
An early Android 3.0 system image for use in the Android emulator
An Android 3.0 library with non-final APIs
A new WXGA emulator skin for an extra large Android Virtual Device
New documentation for Android 3.0, including a complete API reference, new developer guides, and an API differences report between Android 3.0 and 2.3.
Basically, the new release was meant to offer developers a glimpse at what is coming in Android 3.0, including a new UI framework to enable the creation of apps for larger screen devices, along with high-performance 2D and 3D graphics, rich multimedia, new types of connectivity, or a series of enhancements for enterprise.
One other important feature of the new operating system version would be the 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 best possible performance,” a recent post on Android Developers blog reads.
In addition to the new preview SDK for Android 3.0, Google also released a series of updates for other tools available for developers, including SDK Tools (r9), NDK (r5b), and ADT Plugin for Eclipse (9.0.0).
Some of the main features here would include:
UI Builder improvements in the ADT Plugin:
Improved drag-and-drop in the editor, with better support for included layouts.
In-editor preview of objects animated with the new animation framework.
Visualization of UI based on any version of the platform, independent of project target. Improved rendering, with better support for custom views.
The final version of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb SDK is expected to become available for download in the coming weeks.
Download Android 3.0 Preview SDK for Windows
Download Android 3.0 Preview SDK for Mac
Download Android 3.0 Preview SDK for Linux