Google unleashes Android 2

Google has released the widely anticipated Android 2 software development kit, codenamed Eclair.

Google unleashes Android 2

The most extensive revamp has taken place in the way Android handles email and messages. The OS now supports multiple email accounts, including those of Exchange – a feature that’s had to be added by the handset manufacturer in the past.

A Quick Contact widget will also allow users to email, text or call a contact by clicking on their photograph, wherever it appears.

More intriguingly, manufacturers can also extend this through sync adaptors, potentially allowing people to have their Twitter and social-networking updates delivered to their inbox.

Other highlights include the implementation of mulitouch and a rethought virtual keyboard, which Google promises will offer faster, more accurate typing. There’s also support for a variety of screen sizes and resolutions – which should mean a prettier Android on larger displays.

Camera support is enhanced with digital zoom, white balance controls and macro focus.

Eclair also brings a Quick Search box, which is similar in design to QuickSearch on webOS, and allows users to search the web and their phone directly from the home screen.

Android’s browser hasn’t been neglected in the revamp, either. Bookmarks now feature thumbnails of the webpage and there’s support for HTML5. Double-tap zoom makes its first appearance.

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