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Google releases final Honeycomb SDK

The software development kit for Android 3.0 includes widget creation, new types of update notification, a systemwide clipboard, and drag-and-drop.

Developers looking to create apps for the newest Honeycomb version of Android can now grab the final SDK from Google.

Honeycomb, Android
Honeycomb's logo Google

The search giant released the software development kit for Android 3.0 yesterday, offering several new features that developers can incorporate into their mobile apps with the goal of publishing them directly to Google's Android Market. This final version follows the interim one that Google rolled out last month.

Honeycomb is the first Android OS designed specifically to take advantage of tablets and their larger-than-smartphone displays. As such, much of the functionality offered in the SDK can help developers tap into the new user interface.

Using the SDK, developers can create widgets that appear on the home screen and take advantage of Honeycomb's holographic look. The SDK offers several types of widgets, including search boxes, a calendar, a pop-up menu, a date/time picker, and even a 3D stack which people can flip through for different content.

Developers can also now create "richer" types of notifications that include a title, large and small icons, and other properties to send updates to users, Google said. They can also tap into a new systemwide clipboard that will let people copy and paste content from one app to another. Another feature allows developers to add drag-and-drop functionality to help people better manage their files.

And with Google eyeing the enterprise market, the final SDK can help those who develop device administrator apps incorporate stronger policies for data encryption and passwords.

Beyond the core SDK, Google has enhanced its SDK Tools and ADT Plugin for Eclipse, which developers can also use to create apps.

Designed to work with the SDK, the SDK Tools help developers build and debug their apps. Updates to the latest ADT Plugin include a new palette with access to different categories, better ways to zoom in and out of the screen, and more accurate rendering so developers can more easily see how their apps will look and fit on the screen space available.

As the first tablet sporting the new Honeycomb OS, the Motorola Xoom is set to reach consumers tomorrow, starting at $600 with a two-contract at Verizon. Samsung is also readying a Honeycomb-driven 10.1-inch version of its Galaxy Tab tablet due to reach Europe and Asia this spring.