New Android Developer Software Available

HTC releases a software update for the Android Dev Phone 1, the developer version of the Android G1 smartphone. Version 1.1 of Android for the ADP1 is backward-compatible with Android 1.0, an Android application developer says.

HTC has released a software update for the developer version of the Android smartphone, the Android Dev Phone 1.

In a March 9 blog post, Dan Morrill, an Android developer advocate, said HTC "released a 1.1 version of Android for the Android Dev Phone, which you can install on your device." The ADP1 is the developer version of the Android G1 phone.

According to the Android Developer site:

"The Android Dev Phone 1 is a SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked device that is designed for advanced developers. The device ships with a system image that is fully compatible with Android 1.0, so you can rely on it when developing your applications. You can use any SIM in the device and can flash custom Android builds that will work with the unlocked bootloader."

However, to purchase an Android Dev Phone 1 device, a buyer must first register as an Android developer on the Android Market site.

"If you own an Android Developer Phone, I definitely suggest you take advantage of this update," Morrill said. "There's lots of good stuff in there, and the new software is backward-compatible with Android 1.0, too."

Brian Gupta, a smartphone development expert and a developer with Brandorr, a company that provides remote system administration support, said the new Android developer release "basically brings the ADP up to spec with the latest changes in the 'rc33' firmware for the G1. There was already an ADP1.1 firmware circulating on the nets that was ripped from one of the Christmas [G1] phones that all Googlers received for the holidays. Although not bit-for-bit identical, the Christmas build and the new HTC release are effectively the same firmware when it comes to features and functionality and bug fixes."

Morrill also discussed the issue of copy-protected applications on the developer phone:

"Some developers have asked about the support for copy-protected apps on developer devices, and indeed there is a limitation you should be aware of. Many developers are concerned about the unauthorized redistribution of their applications, so they make use of the copy-protection feature (known as 'forward locking') which prevents applications from being copied off devices. However, developer phones like the ADP1 allow for unrestricted access to the device's contents, making it impossible to enforce copy protection. As a result, the Market application on such devices is not able to access copy protected apps, whether they are free or paid. If you choose to add copy protection when you upload your application to the Android Market, then you won't be able to test it on the ADP1's Android Market client. Your application will always be accessible to users who have standard configurations though, and if your application (whether it is free or paid) is not copy-protected it will appear on all devices, including developer configurations. "