July 29, 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!