This week, Google has announced an Android 1.5 SDK (code-named Cupcake), highlighting what is to come in Android 1.5. The final release will be coming soon. Many of the new features are nice-to-have's and necessary for Android to compete with other smartphone heavyweights (iPhone, Palm's upcoming Pre), but there isn't anything here that really hits it out of the park. Here's a short list of some of the more exciting enhancements:

  • Virtual/soft on-screen keyboard
  • Video and voice recording/playback
  • Copy and paste in a browser
  • Bluetooth stereo support
  • UI improvements, more widgets on home screen

A list of the new features is available here.

At this point, the jury is still out on Android. Though, one thing is for sure--for the OS to be successful, it needs competent handsets to enter the market, and soon. There are a handful of manufacturers that have announced plans to create one or more Android handsets, but at present HTC is the only one to release an Android handset.

That's too bad, because more high-profile smartphones in the market might trigger some much-needed price cuts.

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