Google has just released a preview of the Android 3.0 SDK that can be downloaded right now for all you Android developers out there looking to build applications for the soon to be released Honeycomb tablets. Here’s what’s new in the SDK:
- 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.
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 other new features to create rich and engaging apps for users on larger screen devices.
High-performance 2D and 3D graphics: A new property-based animation framework lets developers add great visual effects to their apps. A built-in GL renderer lets developers request hardware-acceleration of common 2D rendering operations in their apps, across the entire app or only in specific activities or views. For adding rich 3D scenes, developers take advantage 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 best 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 simple 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 only Android3.0 supports multi-core SoC so all the hype around the upcoming Android 2.3 Tegra 2 powered handsets should by toned down a bit because the software just doesn’t fully take advantage of the processing power of the devices.