October 27, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Android 2.0 is rumored to appear on a Motorola Droid phone as early as next month, but developers haven’t gotten much heads up about how it will affect their apps. We saw with the Cupcake (1.5) and Donut (1.6) rollouts that each new version of Android affects app performance in some way or another, so Éclair (Android 2.0) is something that devs should be exposed to early to give more lead time for testing and correcting their apps when necessary, right?
Well, only a select group of Android developers will have the privilege of seeing Éclair right away. Google has handpicked developers of popular apps and invited them to their campuses for an early look at hardware running the next version of Android. Provided they sign a non-disclosure agreement to not report on or leak what they see, these elite few invited to the cool kids table will see a 2.0-ready device and get to “test drive” their work on it. Look at this invite sent to two devs:
Congratulations! Based on the popularity of your Android application, we’d like to invite you to visit Google to test drive your code on new test hardware.
This is an invitation only event to take place at the following locations:
* Monday, Oct 26 in Mountain View, CA
* Tuesday, Oct 27 in Mountain View, CA
* Tuesday, Oct 27 in London, UK
We’re opening a few slots next week for developers to come in and explore new screen sizes and features of the platform. During this time you’ll have access to Android engineers, as well as test hardware devices. All attendees are required to accept our NDA, which will be sent to you upon registration.
UPDATE: TALK ABOUT A PROMPT RESPONSE Google has already released Android 2.0 SDK today and added a video showing the highlights. Disregard the original text after this video
Early looks for elite/more popular devs is not new or exclusive to Google. But given the pace Android is suddenly moving makes me wonder about this move. Google has been working on 2.0 for quite some time and has yet to release the SDK for developers to test their apps. Heck, they just released the Donut SDK a month ago. If this is really the first “major” overhaul of Android that warrants a 2.0 label, you’d think it would be a top priority to give devs a fair amount of time to test it. If we’re really going to see the Motorola Droid next month sporting Éclair, let’s hope Google picks up the pace.