Google releases Android Jelly Bean SDK

Tools

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) issued the full software development kit for its new Android 4.1 mobile operating system update (a.k.a. Jelly Bean), first unveiled last month at the company's annual I/O developer conference.

"You can now develop and publish applications against API level 16 using new Jelly Bean APIs," writes Google engineer Nick Butcher on the Android Developers Blog. "We are also releasing SDK Tools revision 20.0.1 and NDK revision 8b containing bug fixes only."

Android Jelly Bean-based apps will run on devices including Google's new Nexus 7 tablet, which touts a seven-inch screen. "As developers we see this as around 600 * 960 density independent pixels and a density of tvdpi," Butcher states. "We actively discourage you from rushing out and creating new assets at this density; Android will scale your existing assets for you. In fact the entire Jelly Bean OS contains only a single tvdpi asset, the remainder are scaled down from hdpi assets."

Butcher implores developers to make certain that all graphics are created correctly so that they can be scaled down effectively. He also notes that the Nexus 7 contains a single front-facing camera and no telephony features: "Be aware of which system features that you declare (or imply) are required to run your application or the Play Store will not make your application available to Nexus 7 users."

Android Jelly Bean promises a smoother and more responsive UI across the system, highlighted by triple buffering in the graphics pipeline for more consistent rendering as well as synchronized touch to reduce latency. Jelly Bean also brings a revamped homescreen that automatically adapts to fit content along with Google Now, which promises personalized information like local weather and traffic updates.

New developer APIs introduced with Android 4.1 include expandable notifications supporting larger, richer user alerts that can be expanded or collapsed with a pinch; simplified Bluetooth-based data transfer via Android Beam; bi-directional text support; gesture mode for accessibility services; low-level access to platform hardware and software codecs; Wi-Fi Direct service discoverability; and network bandwidth management tools including tethering to a mobile hotspot.

In related news, a software update schedule released by Australian operator Telstra confirms handset maker HTC will upgrade its One XL and One S devices to Android Jelly Bean. "HTC is preparing an update but is yet to confirm the date it will be submitted for Telstra testing," the website states. Last week, Google announced it will push Android 4.1 to HSPA+ Samsung Galaxy Nexus devices optimized for the AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA networks.

For more:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry

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Android Jelly Bean launch brings Google Play expansion

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