Google reveals new apps and timeline for Android

Google Inc. has finally released an updated version of the Android software development kit (SDK), and revealed a timeline for future releases – moves which could go some way to placate developers who were concerned about the slow progress of the company’s highly anticipated smartphone OS.

Earlier this month, a petition asking for more details about Android’s progress, signed by 219 developers, appeared to fall on deaf ears. The developers wanted more details about Android so they could start building applications to run on it. But the developer who set up the petition – Nicolas Gramlich – was disappointed to receive a simple two-sentence response from the search engine giant.

“We appreciate the enthusiasm of our developers and we’re excited that you’re so passionate about the Android platform. Thanks for taking the time to send this,” read the note from Google signed by someone identified simply as David.

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Google, the telco, anyone?

However, Google has now provided more details on Android and fixed several bugs. A Google blog announcing the update said it includes a “ton” of user interface changes, as well as new applications such as an alarm clock, calculator, camera, music player, picture viewer and messaging application.

The company said it also planned to release additional SDK updates next month, while the final Android 1.0 software and SDK are expected in the third or fourth quarter. Also in the fourth quarter, Google plans to release the source code.

A number of handset makers have been experimenting with Google Android, although no operators have officially announced plans to support the device. Many are expected to do so, however, with T-Mobile rumored to be planning to launch an Android-based smartphone in the U.S. by the end of the year.

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