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09 March 2009

Software Update Available for the Android Developer Phone

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Back in December, the Android Dev Phone 1 (ADP1) went on sale, giving developers access to unlocked hardware for their work. A few weeks ago, consumers with retail devices received an over the air update with the 1.1 release of Android. I know that many developers will be pleased to hear that today, our colleagues at HTC have released a 1.1 version of Android for the Android Dev Phone which you can install on your device. If you have questions about the process of updating your device, you can ask the mailing list we've set up for such questions.

This new system image is fully compatible with Android 1.1. To see a list of everything that's new, you can review the notes from the 1.1_r1 SDK. This update also includes support for searching by voice, and priced apps in the Android Market.

Some developers have asked about the support for copy-protected apps on developer devices, and indeed there is a limitation you should be aware of. Many developers are concerned about the unauthorized redistribution of their applications, so they make use of the copy-protection feature (known as "forward locking") which prevents applications from being copied off devices. However, developer phones like the ADP1 allow for unrestricted access to the device's contents, making it impossible to enforce copy protection. As a result, the Market application on such devices is not able to access copy protected apps, whether they are free or paid. If you choose to add copy protection when you upload your application to the Android Market, then you won't be able to test it on the ADP1's Android Market client. Your application will always be accessible to users who have standard configurations though, and if your application (whether it is free or paid) is not copy-protected it will appear on all devices, including developer configurations.

If you own an Android Developer Phone, I definitely suggest you take advantage of this update. There's lots of good stuff in there, and the new software is backward compatible with Android 1.0, too. The original 1.0 system image is also now available, you need to downgrade for any reason. Happy coding!