The software development kit (SDK) components for the Android 3.2 Honeycomb platform was officially released last Friday with new features for both users and developers. The platform can be downloaded from and includes an Android library, an Android system image, a set of emulator skins, and more. The download does not include external libraries.

The Android development team also released updated versions of the SDK Tools (r12), the Eclipse plugin (ADT 12), and NDK (r6).

Xavier Ducrohet of the Android SDK team said that the “incremental release” has API level 13 and includes the following highlights:

  • Optimizations for a wider range of tablets. A variety of refinements across the system ensure a great user experience on a wider range of tablet devices.
  • Compatibility zoom for fixed-sized apps. A new compatibility display mode gives users a new way to view these apps on larger devices. The mode provides a pixel-scaled alternative to the standard UI stretching, for apps that are not designed to run on larger screen sizes.
  • Media sync from SD card. On devices that support a removable SD card, users can now load media files directly from the SD card to apps that use them.
  • Extended screen support API. For developers who want more precise control over their UI across the range of Android-powered devices, the platform’s screen support API is extended with new resource qualifiers and manifest attributes, to also allow targeting screens by their dimensions.

Google’s Android Open-Source Project (AOSP) team also committed the GPL’d and LGPL’d portions of the Android 3.2 Honeycomb source code to the AOSP repositories last week under the tag android-3.2_r1.

These software releases make it possible for app developers to write and optimize their applications for the latest Android version, as well as allow programmers and enthusiasts to contribute to the open-source code for Android.

Of the new features in Android 3.2 Honeycomb, which one are you most happy about?