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Google revamps Android UI, backs away from iPhone

updated 04:50 pm EST, Wed February 13, 2008

Google Android SDK Revamp

Google today surprised developers by issuing a major overhaul of its Android SDK, the developers' kit for its new mobile operating system. Though referred to just as the m5-rc14 release, the software reveals a major change to the user interface that significantly scales back similarities to Apple technology in its look and feel. The Mac OS X-like dock at the bottom has been replaced with a tray of buttons that bring users directly to the features they like. Other elements such as the full-page web browser and Google Maps are also now more complete and share less of a direct similarity, screenshots show.

The upgrade also takes to heart developer complaints about the software and includes several major but less visible upgrades: in addition to easier development of layouts, any app can now translate addresses to map coordinates and back. Audio formats such as MIDI and OGG are now also built-in, according to Google.

Android's upgrade brings the Linux-based platform much closer to production quality for its expected release, which should start with handsets in the second half of the year from companies such as HTC, Motorola, LG, and Samsung. Most of these devices are understood to focus heavily on Internet access and are expected to include some models with GPS and touchscreens.

Home screen

Web browser

Google Maps

by MacNN Staff



  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no s**...

    Granted, a work in progress, but there's absolutely no s** in that interface. Ack!

  1. MiMiC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This looks more like a M$ project than anything. How can someone have the ability to drive down the street, buy an iPhone and look at it, work with it, and come up with that!!???


  1. LeeG

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bit of a slanted title

    Your article discusses the improvements to android, and has nothing to do with Google backing away from the iPhone - why do you draw that conclusion other than to stir controversy??

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Boy that homescreen reeks. I'm sure it is functional, but geez can't they do better than that?

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