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Mar 302009
Android 1.5 Cupcake

The Android 1.5 Cupcake platform brings several new features and improvements to users and developers. The changes include User Interface refinements and performance improvements along with new APIs and manifest elements.
You can watch a video preview of Android 1.5 Cupcake below.

Android 1.5 Cupcake has the following new features and improvements User Interface Refinements

  • System-wide:
    • Refinement of all core UI elements
    • Animated window transitions (off by default)
    • Accelerometer-based application rotations
  • UI polish for:
    • In-call experience
    • Contacts, Call log, and Favorites
    • SMS & MMS
    • Browser
    • Gmail
    • Calendar
    • Email
    • Camera & Gallery
    • Application management

Performance Improvements

  • Faster Camera start-up and image capture
  • Much faster acquisition of GPS location (powered by SUPL AGPS)
  • Smoother page scrolling in Browser
  • Speedier GMail conversation list scrolling

  New Features

  • On-screen soft keyboard
    • Works in both portrait and landscape orientation
    • Support for user installation of 3rd party keyboards
    • User dictionary for custom words
  • Home screen
    • Widgets
      • Bundled home screen widgets include: analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame, and search
    • Live folders
  • Camera & Gallery
    • Video recording
    • Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats
  • Bluetooth
    • Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles)
    • Auto-pairing
    • Improved handsfree experience
  • Browser
    • Updated with latest Webkit browser & Squirrelfish Javascript engines
    • Copy ‘n paste in browser
    • Search within a page
    • User-selectable text-encoding
    • UI changes include:
      • Unified Go and Search box
      • Tabbed bookmarks/history/most-visited screen
  • Contacts
    • Shows user picture for Favorites
    • Specific date/time stamp for events in call log
    • One-touch access to a contact card from call log event
  • System
    • New Linux kernel (version 2.6.27)
    • SD card filesystem auto-checking and repair
    • SIM Application Toolkit 1.0
  • Google applications (not available in the Android 1.5 System Image that is included in the Android SDK)
    • 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

New APIs and Manifest Elements

  • UI framework
    • Framework for easier background/UI thread interaction
    • New SlidingDrawer widget
    • New HorizontalScrollview widget
  • AppWidget framework
    • APIs for creating secure home screen AppWidgets. For information about how to use AppWidgets, see the Developer’s Guide AppWidgets documentation.
    • APIs for populating Live Folders with custom content.
  • Media framework
    • Raw audio recording and playback APIs
    • Interactive MIDI playback engine
    • Video Recording APIs for developers (3GP format).
    • Video and photo sharing Intents
    • Media search Intent
  • Input Method framework
    • Input Method Service framework
    • Text-prediction engine
    • Ability to provide downloadable IMEs to users
  • Application-defined hardware requirements Applications can now use a new element in their manifest files, <uses- configuration> to indicate to the Android system what hardware features they require in order to function properly. For example, an application might use the element to specify that it requires a physical keyboard or a particular navigation device, such as a trackball. Prior to installing the application, the Android system checks the attributes defined for the <uses-configuration> element and allows the installation to continue only if the required hardware is present.
  • Speech recognition framework
    • Support for using speech recognition libraries via Intent.
  • Miscellaneous API additions
    • LocationManager – Applications can get location change updates via Intent
    • WebView – Touch start/end/move/cancel DOM event support
    • Redesigned Sensor Manager APIs
    • GLSurfaceView – convenience framework for creating OpenGL applications
    • Broadcast Intent for app update install succeeded – for smoother app upgrade experience