Android 2.0: Eclair SDK Is Served

Google today rolled out the Android OS dessert cart with the release of the 2.0 SDK.

The Android 2.0 SDK, dubbed Éclair, includes new developer APIs for syncing features and Bluetooth, Android’s SDK tech lead Xavier Ducrohet said in a post on the Android developer blog.

“Using the new sync, account manager and contacts APIs, you can write applications to enable users to sync their devices to various contact sources,” Ducrohet wrote. “You can also give users a faster way to communicate with others by embedding Quick Contact within your application. With the new Bluetooth API, you can now easily add peer-to-peer connectivity or gaming to your applications.”

New user features include contact, calendar and e-mail management tools, messaging enhancements and more camera functionality. It also includes an HTML 5 browser that supports client-side data storage and double-tap zooming, and an updated virtual keyboard with better accuracy and usability.

“Current developers can use the SDK Manager to add Android 2.0 support to their SDK as well as update their SDK Tools to revision 3. New developers can download the Android SDK from the download site. After the download, Android platforms must be added using the SDK Manager,” according to Ducrohet.

Eclair follows Donut, version 1.6, which was introduced several weeks ago.

The news of Éclair comes at a time when the mobile open source operating system is starting to propel a whole new set of releases aimed at capturing a slice of the lucrative fourth-quarter holiday shopping season. These include the HTC Hero, Motorola Cliq and Samsung Behold II.

Verizon is expected to roll out Droid, its first Android handset, in early November, and it will run version 2.0.

Android, which Google launched a little more than a year ago, had some growing pains in its first few iterations, with few handset makers initially buying into the OS’s premise with compatible models of their own.

At least one analyst suggested that Android may have been overhyped and that it underdelivered on its promise to shake up the mobile industry with an affordable, customizable and open OS that would spur innovation.

Months later, the situation is changing. While the HTC-manufactured G1 and its early iteration of Android may have underwhelmed some critics, the Cliq, Hero and Droid are wowing critics and major manufacturers and carriers are on board to deliver their own Android models.

Three of the nation’s top four carriers, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, now offer Android-powered handsets. If reports of a Dell-manufacturered Android phone on AT&T prove to be accurate as well, Android smartphones may soon be available on all four of the major U.S. wireless networks.

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