Google Android developers, up until yesterday, had only one way to write applications: Dalvik, which is, and isn’t due to various IPR issues, a Java Virtual Machine. Hardcore developers wanted more access, what they call “to the metal” programming; things you do in C and C++. Their wishes have been granted with Android NDK 1.5 Release 1, but it comes at a cost. Google is saying that writing an “application will be more complicated, have reduced compatibility, have no access to framework APIs, and be harder to debug.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of this, and when it starts shipping as a part of Android. Donut maybe?
If you’re a developer, read more here. For the rest of you, keep flipping through the Android Market and enjoy the applications that are already there.