cupcake3Developers are now able to get their hands on an early look of Android 1.5’s SDK, which is based off of the Cupcake development branch.  New features introduced into this SDK include APIs for soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders, speech recognition, and more!

The official blog is going to be updated over the next few weeks with articles on new APIs, changes and  topics such as OpenGL, asynchronous tasks, system settings, and new Activity callbacks.

Looking over the highlights, we’re just as excited about some of the refinements as we are over the new features.

Among the items getting tweaks:

  • Animated window transitions (off by default)
  • Accelerometer-based application rotations
  • Faster Camera start-up and image capture
  • Much faster acquisition of GPS location
  • Smoother page scrolling in Browser
  • Speedier GMail conversation list scrolling
  • UI polish for:
    • In-call experience
    • Contacts, Call log, and Favorites
    • SMS & MMS
    • Browser
    • Gmail
    • Calendar
    • Email
    • Camera & Gallery
    • Application management

The new features runs even longer, but some of the better ones include:

  • Portrait and landscape soft keyboard
  • User dictionary for custom words
  • Text prediction engine
  • View Google Talk friends’ status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications
  • Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages
  • Upload videos to Youtube, Upload photos on Picasa
  • APIs for creating secure home screen widgets
  • APIs for populating live folders with custom content

If you’re ready to get started, head here to download the early look.

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