Android Posts SDK Updates, Camera Fix for Motorola Droid

Google releases multiple updates to the open-source Android software development kit (SDK) with Android 2.0.1, which includes bug fixes for the Droid's camera phone, among others patches.

Owners of the Motorola Droid, Verizon Wireless' handset running Google's Android open-source operating system, will be receiving a software development kit update soon, according to the Android developers Website. With downloads beginning in December, the Android 2.0.1 is a minor platform release deployable to Android-powered handsets, such as the Droid, which includes minor API changes, bug fixes and framework behavioral changes.

In regard to Droid owners, Verizon said the update should fix the phone's camera, specifically the auto-focus capability, as well as improve voice reception. The Android 2.0.1 update also includes several bug fixes and behavior changes, such as application resource selection based on API level and changes to the value of some Bluetooth-related constants.

"To differentiate its behavior from Android 2.0, the API level of Android 2.0.1 is 6. All Android 2.0 devices will be updated to 2.0.1 before the end of the year, so developers will no longer need to support Android 2.0 at that time," Android SDK tech lead Xavier Ducrohet posted on the Android Developers Website. "Of course, developers of applications affected by the behavior changes should start compiling and testing their apps immediately."

Ducrohet noted the team is also releasing an update to the SDK Tools, now in Revision 4, which he describes as a "minor update" with mostly bug fixes in the SDK Manager. A new version of the Eclipse plug-in that embeds those fixes is also available. Finally, Google is providing an update to the Android 1.6 SDK component: Revision 2 includes fixes to the compatibility mode for applications that don't support multiple screen sizes, as well as SDK fixes.

The Motorola Droid, which was released on Nov. 6, is estimated to have sold around 250,000 units in its first week in U.S. stores, according to the mobile applications analytics firm Flurry. An October report by research firm Gartner predicted Android, which currently operates on less than 2 percent of all smartphones, will surge to 14 percent of the global smartphone market in 2012.

The touch-screen device, which also offers Wi-Fi networking capability, a sliding QWERTY keyboard and a Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 processor, is the first phone to ship with turn-by-turn Google Maps Navigation, installed with voice commands, traffic reports and street view support. Verizon is currently offering the Droid for $199.99 with a two-year contract and an online discount of $100.