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Google releases programming tools for Android 1.5

With Android 1.5, the open-source mobile phone operating system is gradually maturing, and so are the programming tools central to creating software for it.

Meeting its own deadline, Google on Monday released the final version of software to create programs for a forthcoming update to the company's Android mobile phone operating system.

Xavier Ducrohet announced the Android 1.5 software development kit (SDK) on the Android developer blog.

Samsung I7500 Android phone.
The forthcoming Samsung I7500 uses Google's Android operating system. Samsung

The Android 1.5 SDK release notes include details programmers might be interested in, such as improvements in emulating multiple Android devices and gauging performance issues.

And for comic relief, Google added, "We regret to inform developers that Android 1.5 will not include support for the Zilog Z80 processor architecture," an 8-bit chip that dates back to the 1970s.

Ordinary folks, though, will be more interested in the list of new features with Android 1.5, code-named Cupcake. Among those are video support, faster GPS, stereo Bluetooth, a faster Web browser, a software-based screen keyboard, and user interface changes.

Android 1.5 is due in coming months. In Germany, T-Mobile plans a May release for Android 1.5 to users of the first Android phone, the G1 built by HTC.

Google led the creation of a consortium called the Open Handset Alliance to develop Android in an attempt to jump-start development of higher-end smartphones with sophisticated Web browsers and other software. Google believes mobile computing will drive significant growth in its Internet services.

T-Mobile has sold 1 million G1 phones in the United States so far.