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19 August 2008, 10:05

Android Beta released, six months after the last release

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Google has released a beta version of the Google Android SDK, the development kit for Google's forthcoming Android operating system for mobile phones. The previous version of the SDK, "M5", appeared in early March; the new release is named Android SDK 0.9 . At the same time, Google announced that the first devices running Android 1.0 are scheduled to appear in the last quarter of the year, and published plans for future development. The New York Times recently reported that T-Mobile would be releasing an Android based phone in the USA.

Google highlights changes in the SDK and Android itself, which include a "Home" screen and a number of new applications: an alarm clock, a pocket calculator, a camera, and a music player. New tools for developers include a preview of XML layouts in Eclipse. A complete list of the changes from the previous version is available online, as are Release Notes and a migration guide for moving from M5 to 0.9. Images of the new "Home" screen and applications can be seen at

The delay in releasing an update to the SDK had caused dissatisfaction among some Android developers. This became particularly pointed when it became evident that selected firms had received pre-release versions of the new SDK. Android is hoped to become a fully free mobile phone operating system. The Android operating system is built upon a Linux kernel, with applications written in Java but running on a Dalvik virtual machine, optimised for small devices.


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