Google Sweetens Pot For Android Developers With Eclair SDK


What's creamy, loaded with carbs and sinfully delicious? Google would have us believe it's the new Android 2.0 software development kit (SDK) released this week.

Codenamed Eclair -- in keeping with Google's pastry-themed naming scheme for Android SDK versions, a la Donut and Cupcake -- version 2.0 adds new developer APIs for the Linux-based mobile operating system, as well as support for Apple's Mac OS X 10.6, also known as Snow Leopard.

"Over the next few months, we expect to see more and more Android devices being released. These devices will be running Android 1.5, 1.6, or 2.0. We are also planning a minor version update of Android 2.0 towards the end of the year, and that will be the last update for 2009," writes Xavier Ducrohet, Google's lead Android SDK developer, in a Tuesday blog post outlining the changes in the SDK.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant is highlighting Eclair's developer APIs for Bluetooth 2.1, Microsoft Exchange support and account management, as well more robust sync capabilities that make it easier to program an Android handset or smartphone to do more with data from various online sources.

"The sync adapters API provides full, two-way contact sync to any back-end," according to a Google video highlighting new features on the Android 2.0 SDK.

Another major addition to the Android SDK is an embedded contact framework called Quick Contact. This pulls up all available modes of communication -- phone, e-mail, IM, etc. -- a user has stored on their Android handset for a particular contact, for example, by tapping the contact's picture in the contact list. From there, it's another tap to a phone call, e-mail or text sent that contact's way.

More creamy goodness in the Eclair update, according to Google: New application icons, optimized hardware speed, support for more screen sizes and resolutions, a revamped UI and a better white/black ratio for backgrounds.