The next version of the mobile operating system, Android 1.5 - is now available for Developers. Application creators can get an early look at the software developer kit (SDK) for Android 1.5, the next version of the mobile operating system, according to Google. The SDK has application programming interfaces (APIs) for new features, including soft keyboards.

According to Google, the developer tools has been changed, as well as the structure of the SDK so that it includes multiple versions of the Android platform. For example, the new SDK includes Android 1.1 and 1.5. However, Google has in some ways been relatively slow to crack the mobile phone market, and competitors could make things tough for Android.

The 'Cupcake' development branch, a private branch of the Android Open Source Project claims this new preview release of the Android 1.5. Most of the Cupcake source code is already available as open source now, Google spokesperson Carolyn Penner told LinuxInsider.

Future releases of the Android SDK, including 1.5, will include multiple versions of the Android platform, Google said. The latest SDK, for instance, includes both Android 1.1 and 1.5.

This lets developers target different versions of the platform from one SDK so they won't have to develop applications twice. Future Android SDK releases will also let developers install SDK add-on to access extended functionality from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), carriers or other providers, Google said. SDK 1.5 has an add-on which provides support for the Google Maps API. That API was embedded in the core SDK in earlier versions.

Google warns that APIs for Android 1.5 have not been finalized and that some changes could be made before the final release, scheduled for the end of April. It asks developers not to release applications based on this early-look SDK.