Android 1.5 "Early Look" SDK Now Available: Adds Soft Keyboard, Video Recording, and Way, Way More

Google has announced that the Android 1.5 "Early Look" SDK is now available to developers, and man, does it bring the features. Check out the list below.

There are a lot of new toys for developers, including some kind of emulator configuration thing called Android Virtual Devices, or AVDs, that apparently will make developers' lives way easier. That's cool for them, but what do we get?

April 2009

The Android 1.5 platform introduces many new features for users and developers. The list below provides an overview of the changes.
User interface refinements

* System-wide:
o Refinement of all core UI elements
o Animated window transitions (off by default)
o Accelerometer-based application rotations
* UI polish for:
o In-call experience
o Contacts, Call log, and Favorites
o SMS & MMS
o Browser
o Gmail
o Calendar
o Email
o Camera & Gallery
o Application management

Performance improvements

* Faster Camera start-up and image capture
* Much faster acquisition of GPS location (powered by SUPL AGPS)
* Smoother page scrolling in Browser
* Speedier GMail conversation list scrolling

New features

* On-screen soft keyboard
o Works in both portrait and landscape orientation
o Support for user installation of 3rd party keyboards
o User dictionary for custom words
* Home screen
o Widgets
+ Bundled home screen widgets include: analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame, and search
o Live folders
* Camera & Gallery
o Video recording
o Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats)
* Bluetooth
o Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles)
o Auto-pairing
o Improved handsfree experience
* Browser
o Updated with latest Webkit browser & Squirrelfish Javascript engines
o Copy 'n paste in browser
o Search within a page
o User-selectable text-encoding
o UI changes include:
+ Unified Go and Search box
+ Tabbed bookmarks/history/most-visited screen
* Contacts
o Shows user picture for Favorites
o Specific date/time stamp for events in call log
o One-touch access to a contact card from call log event
* System
o New Linux kernel (version 2.6.27)
o SD card filesystem auto-checking and repair
o SIM Application Toolkit 1.0
* Google applications
o View Google Talk friends' status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications
o Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages
o Upload videos to Youtube
o Upload photos on Picasa

Whoa. Soft keyboard, widgets, video recording (with YouTube uploading capabilities!), updated browser features like tabs, system-wide UI polishing... This is a killer upgrade. So, uh, thanks, Google! [Phandroid, thanks trigatch!]