I'm excited to announce that starting today, developers can get an early look at the SDK for the next version of the Android platform. This new version (which will be 1.5) is based on the cupcake branch from the Android Open Source Project. Version 1.5 introduces APIs for features such as soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders, and speech recognition. At the developer site, you can download the early-look Android 1.5 SDK, read important information about upgrading your Eclipse plugin and existing projects, and learn about what's new and improved in Android 1.5.
We've also made changes to the developer tools and the structure of the SDK itself. Future Android SDK releases will include multiple versions of the Android platform. For example, this early-look includes Android platform versions 1.1 and 1.5. One benefit of this change is that developers can target different Android platform versions from within a single SDK installation. Another is that it enables developers to install Android SDK add-ons to access extended functionality that might be provided by OEMs, carriers, or other providers. We at Google are using this feature ourselves: this early-look SDK includes an add-on for the Google APIs. This add-on provides support for the Google Maps API, which was previously embedded in the "core" SDK.