Version 1.6 of the Android SDK has been released to developers. Though this isn’t a major release, there are quite a few tasty updates that I’m looking forward to (both as a user and a developer).
For users, updates include:
- Quick search box – The Android search mechanism has been redesigned to be able to search across multiple data sources including bookmarks, history, contacts, web, etc. It also is smart enough to bubble up the more commonly used results.
- The camera, camcorder and gallery have been simplified and made quite a bit faster than before.
- VPN support has been added.
- L2TP/IPSEC pre-shared key based VPN
- L2TP/IPsec certificate based VPN
- L2TP only VPN
- PPTP only VPN
- A bettery usage indicator which shows you how much each of your running apps is consuming so that you can stop those that kill your battery.
- Better accessibility support.
- A much improved Android Market that addresses many of the concerns that users and developers had with the market. These changes also help discoverability and doesn’t hide paid apps.
- An API to handle the expanded search framework used by then quick search box.
- A new multi-lingual text to speech engine called Pico.
It allows any Android application to “speak” a string of text with an accent that matches the language, and supports English (American & British), French, Italian, German and Spanish.
- A new gestures API for creating and reusing gestures, and associating it with actions.
- Extended support for varying screen resolutions and densities. This will become more important as WVGA and QVGA devices come to market.
- Telephony support for CDMA
- A newer version of OpenCore media engine with additional codec support and improved buffering.