Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Android 1.6 Platform - "Donut"

Hi Readers,

Welcome again and today we will discuss about Android 1.6 SDK. The Android developer team has announced the release of the Android 1.6 SDK on 15 Sep 2009, with the biggest news from the release support for different screen sizes, CDMA based networks. Donut is update with new battery usage feature which gives you the information of battery consumption by any application. Also there is update for camera application. We are going to discuss these features in detail now:-
  1. Search Feature:- Android 1.6 comes up with redesigned search feature, which helps user to search quickly, efficiently and consistently across multiple applications (Contacts, Browser, and the web) directly from home screen. The system constantly learns which search result is more relevant based on what is clicked. So popular relevant contacts or apps which are previously used will bubble up to the top when user types the first few letters of a query. The search framework also provides developers a way to easily expose relevant content from their applications in Quick Search Box.

  2. Update for Camera:- Android 1.6 also got the update for camera app also, now user can switch between still and video capture mode using one click easily. Other enhancement is faster load time when launching the camera app; Android team is claiming that the app will launch 39% faster and will also shave off 28% of the time needed between taking the pictures, which really help the end users. Now user has option to select multiple photos for deletion.
  3. Battery usage indicator:- The feature I admire most is battery usage indicator. Using this app end user has all the information about battery consumption by each app, user can take action to save the battery life by adjusting settings, stopping app or even uninstall the app. You can pull up this app anytime available under settings or you can click on little button that popped up when the device tells you that you have 15% battery life remaining.
  4. Android Market Update:- Android Market also got update interms of some features which are listed below:-
    1. At the Home Screen, user can choose among Apps, Games and Downloads.
    2. Inside the category, we have options to explore apps with in Top paid, Top free and Just in.
    3. User can also see some screenshot for application along with other user's reviews.
  5. Text-to-speech engine:- Android 1.6 include multi-lingual speech synthesis engine called Pico, which allows any Android app to speak a string of text with an accent that matches the language. Language supported by engine: English (American and British accents), French, Italian, German and Spanish.
  6. Screen Resolution:- Android 1.6 enables application to be rendered properly on different display resolution screens. Developers can also specify the screens supported by the application. Developer need to mark an entry in Android Manifest file with . If your application is run on a device whose screen size is not defined in the element, the system displays the application in compatibility mode, which performs best-fit match for screen resolution.
  7. Accessibility framework:- With this framework, developers can create accessibility plugins that respond to user input, such as making a sound when a new window is shown, vibrating when navigating to the top of a list, and providing spoken feedback.
    1. android.accessibility package that includes classes for capturing accessibility events and forwarding them to an AccessibilityService handler.
    2. AccessibilityService package that lets your application track user events and provide visual, audible, or haptic feedback to the user.
  8. Linux Kernel Upgrade:- Android 1.6 includes the Linux kernel upgrades from 2.6.27 to 2.6.29.
You can download Android SDK 1.6 from Android Developer Site. But you need to give attention while installing Android 1.6 SDK, because there is also update available for ADT plug-in from 0.9.1 to 0.9.3. After that while upgrading your existing project open project and right click on project go to Properties, select the build target Android 1.6. Now open AndroidManifest.xml file and update the value of minSdkVersion from 3 to 4. Now all are set you just need to create Android Virtual Device (AVD) and run your project.