Chapter 4

Determining the Appropriate SDK for Your Application

In This Chapter

  • Looking at the variety of Android devices and SDKs
  • Analyzing the differences between SDK versions

The great thing about versions is that there are so many to choose from.

Paraphrased from — Unknown

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is a moving target. The engineers at Google continually tweak and improve the SDK by adding new features and pushing others aside. While these new versions become available on newly purchased phones (and tablets), existing devices might not be updated to the most recent version. As a result, you have to consider a wide variety of SDKs when developing an application.

Every version of the Android SDK has been named after a dessert, in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo (short for frozen yogurt), and Gingerbread. For every release, Google marks the occasion by placing a giant sculpture of the corresponding dessert on its Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California. As of February 2011, the latest major version of the SDK, version 3.0, is codenamed Honeycomb. This has been quickly followed by two incremental releases — version 3.1 and, in July 2011, version 3.2. The next major release is expected to be Android 4.0 (also known as Ice Cream Sandwich).

Along with the cool marketing name (Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and so on) and the version, each SDK release is numbered with an always-increasing Application Programming Interface (API) level. Thus, ...

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