Android Developer Roadmap
IntroductionOn 12 November, 2007, we made available the first early look at the Android SDK to give developers an opportunity to explore Android and build applications for the Android Developer Challenge. That was followed by the "M5" early look build. Since then, we've been hard at work with our partners preparing the first device for launch and finalizing the APIs and platform. The developer feedback we received via the "early look" SDKs has been extremely valuable in that process. But as the platform nears 1.0, it's time to start polishing up the SDK with an eye toward 1.0 as well. This Roadmap outlines our plans for the coming months, and lets you know what to expect as we near device availability. This is the top-level Roadmap. Individual components of Android (such as the Dalvik virtual machine, the Android Developer Tools, and so on) will have their own roadmaps, once we complete the source code release. Those roadmaps will be linked to this page, as they become available.
TimelineTo orient yourself, consult this brief timeline. Read on for details on these milestones.
- 12 November, 2007 - "Early Look" SDK released
- January to August, 2008 - Android Developer Challenge I
- 18 August, 2008 - Android 0.9 SDK beta released
- September 2008 - additional Android 1.0 (pre) SDK releases made available, as necessary
- Q3 - Q4 2008 - Android 1.0 SDK release 1 available (first actual 1.0-compatible SDK)
- Q4 2008 - Android 1.0 devices available at retail
- Q4 2008 - Source code released
- Q4 2008 - Key Announcement on Android Developer Challenge II
SDK Naming and CompatibilityBefore we dive into details, here is a quick note on how we name SDKs. We've adopted the following naming convention for Android SDKs: "Android <Platform> SDK, release <Release>" The downloadable file names for the SDKs will have this naming convention: "android-sdk-<Host-OS>-<Platform>_r<Release>.zip" The "<Platform>" refers to the version of the Android platform with which the SDK is compatible. For instance, an SDK that can be used to build applications that will run on Android 1.0 is considered to be an "Android 1.0 SDK". However, since we do expect to release bug fixes and enhancements for the various tools included in the SDK (such as the emulator, Eclipse plugin, DDMS, and so on) we need to distinguish between releases of the SDK that can be used to build for the same Android platform. That's what we will use the "<Release>" for. For example, the first SDK that is compatible with Android 1.0 will be named "Android 1.0 SDK, release 1", and will have file names such as "android-sdk-windows-1.0_r1.zip". In the future after we release a hypothetical Android 2.0 platform version, you might see an SDK named "Android 2.0 SDK, release 3", which would refer to the third released SDK compatible with Android 2.0.
Details of Key Events
Ongoing SDK ReleasesThe SDK consists of two general pieces: a version of the Android platform itself (that runs in the emulator), and the accompanying developer tools that surround it. This means that when we ship SDK releases, all releases within a given series (such as all the SDKs for Android 1.0) will consist of essentially the same platform image, but with different, updated tools. In August, we released Android 0.9 SDK, beta. This means that the Android platform image is not quite 1.0-final (which is why we identified it as 0.9), and it means that the tools are not yet final (which is why we refer to it as beta.) Once the final Android 1.0 platform is available and the tools are ready, we will drop the beta labeling and release "Android 1.0 SDK, release 1". The 0.9/beta SDK is not guaranteed to be fully compatible with Android 1.0 devices although we expect only minor differences; however, the eventual 1.0/r1 will be compatible with Android 1.0 devices. Though we cannot predict an exact date, we expect Android 1.0 SDK release 1 to ship in Q3 or Q4, before devices become available. In the meantime, we may or may not release additional 0.9/beta releases, based on developer feedback.
Device AvailabilityOur partners will be launching devices running Android in the fourth quarter. We will update this space with more specific information, as it becomes available.
Source Code ReleaseWe are currently in the process of preparing for the release of the source code. This includes a few key tasks:
This work is already under way, but since Android contains some 8 million lines of code, it's a lengthy process. We expect this process to conclude (and source code to be released) in Q4 of 2008.
- Selection of hosting infrastructure
- Updating the build infrastructure for general use
- Creation of a project governance framework
- Final examination of source code for release approval
- Physical upload and release packaging of the source code
Android Developer Challenge IIWhen Android was announced on 5 November, 2007, Google also announced a $10 million Android Developer Challenge, split into two separate $5 million events. The first Android Developer Challenge ran from January 2008 through August 2008, and was intended to give developers an opportunity to explore their ideas using the early look SDK and build prototype applications -- to "get in on the ground floor." The second Challenge will give developers a chance to build polished applications once hardware is available. We'll be making some interesting announcements regarding ADC II soon, in Q3 or Q4.
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