Google I/O 2011: Android, Ice Cream Sandwich - Android 3.1 Platform, New SDK Tools

This morning at Google I/O, the Android team shared some updates. "Thanks to the ecosystem of manufacturers, developers and carriers, the platform has grown exponentially. Over the past two and a half years, we've shipped eight releases of Android and there are now more than 310 Android devices around the world, of all shapes and […]

This morning at Google I/O, the Android team shared some updates. "Thanks to the ecosystem of manufacturers, developers and carriers, the platform has grown exponentially. Over the past two and a half years, we've shipped eight releases of Android and there are now more than 310 Android devices around the world, of all shapes and sizes," said the team.

There are now:

  • 100 million activated Android devices
  • 400,000 new Android devices activated every day
  • 200,000 free and paid applications available in Android Market
  • 4.5 billion applications installed from Android Market
  • Mobile-one OS everywhere

This morning the Android team also talked about the next version of Android, "Ice Cream Sandwich".

Ice Cream Sandwich

"Our goal with Ice Cream Sandwich is to deliver one operating system that works everywhere, regardless of device. Ice Cream Sandwich will bring everything you love about Honeycomb on your tablet to your phone, including the holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets," Google stated.

Also, announced the release of version 3.1 of the Android platform. Android 3.1 is an incremental release that builds on the tablet-optimized UI and features introduced in Android 3.0. It adds several new features for users and developers, including:

  • Open Accessory API. This new API provides a way for Android apps to integrate and interact with a wide range of accessories such as musical equipment, exercise equipment, robotics systems, and many others.
  • USB host API. On devices that support USB host mode, apps can now manage connected USB peripherals such as audio devices. input devices, communications devices, and more.
  • Input from mice, joysticks, and gamepads. Android 3.1 extends the input event system to support a variety of new input sources and motion events such as from mice, trackballs, joysticks, gamepads, and others.
  • Resizable Home screen widgets. Developers can now create Home screen widgets that're resizeable horizontally, vertically, or both.
  • Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) Apps can now receive notifications when external cameras are attached and removed, manage files and storage on those devices, and transfer files and metadata to and from them.
  • Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) API for audio. Developers can directly manage on-demand or interactive data streaming to enable VOIP, push-to-talk, conferencing, and audio streaming.

Visit the Android Developers site for more information about Android 3.1, Android 2.3.4, and the updated SDK tools. To get started developing or testing on the new platforms, you can download them into your SDK using the Android SDK Manager.