Google has just released to final tools for the Android 3.0 Honeycomb SDK and this enables developers to create applications using the new API level and publish them into the Android Market.
We were expecting the full SDK to drop after the launch of the Motorola Xoom, but it looks like Google has jumped the gun and already made it widely available. It’s good that Google gave the developers a head start, as the Xoom’s tablet application selection may look a bit small initially.
Some of the new additions in the Android 3.0 Honeycomb SDK are:
- UI Builder improvements in the ADT Plugin:
New Palette with categories and rendering previews.
More accurate rendering of layouts to more faithfully reflect how the layout will look on devices, including rendering status and title bars to more accurately reflect screen space actually available to applications.
Selection-sensitive action bars to manipulate View properties.
Zoom improvements (fit to view, persistent scale, keyboard access)
Improved support for layouts, as well as layouts with gesture overlays.
- Traceview integration for easier profiling from ADT.
- Tools for using the Renderscript graphics engine: the SDK tools now compiles .rs files into Java Programming Language files and native bytecode.
While that might not mean anything to you, it will certainly help the developers out there looking to jump on Honeycomb development. Now developers can take full advantage of new things like the Renderscript graphics engine which will help them create feature-rich applications like never before.
While custom ROMs are best built with source code – which has yet to be released – we can expect to see more to come out now that the final SDK has been released. So, if you already have a decent Android tablet kicking around right now, you may get a taste of Honeycomb without having to purchase a new device.
Let the fun begin!