December 18, 2014

Android 2.1 SDK Out, Seems Benign

The Android 2.1 SDK is now available! This release matches the OS on the Nexus One and, presumably, future devices will upgrade to it when appropriate.

With every Android SDK release, changes fall into two buckets: documented changes, and under-documented/undocumented changes. In this case, the documented changes are comparatively benign. Nothing appears to be newly deprecated or removed from the API, which are the prime causes of apps breaking in a new release.

What’s definitely new are all additions, such as:

  • “Live Wallpaper” (implemented a bit like an app widget, except you draw to a Surface instead of configuring widgets via a RemoteViews object)
  • More hooks into the HTML5 underpinnings, with APIs to configure Web storage and geolocation for a WebView
  • More information about signal strength changes

Of course, every SDK release brings its unexpected hiccups. Given some of the reports of apps breaking on the Nexus One, and given the lineup of documented changes, it is likely there are either some subtle implementation changes that we are not yet aware of, or that the Nexus One is different enough in some ways to cause apps problems where other devices do not. I would expect that we will get a clearer picture of all of this in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, use the SDK Updater tool to grab the latest additions to your SDK installation, and start playing with it!



  • Wombo

    It could also be that some of the broken apps have been bypassing the official APIs.

    So when google updated to 2.1 they have made changes to the internal APIs of which they have no need to inform the public about in the release notes.

  • Rene

    I'm curious how much difference there is between the 2.1 Emulator image and the Nexus image. Both the Nexus and the emulator Android version tend be referred to as "Stock Android" or "Vanilla Android" and both are version 2.1

  • Jim

    Is this upgrade to 2.1 available for Verizon Android?

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    can someone say if i will ever be able to flash android 2.1 to the adp1 phone? htc hasn’t been upgrading the images after 1.6….

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