Google has indicated that its new mobile operating system, Android, will not feature Bluetooth - at least not in the initial version. The news will shock those developers who have been busy constructing Android applications that can use features such as GPS, Wi-Fi and cameras.

They got the bad news after Google announced its latest Android SDK (software development kit), update. This confirmed that Android 1.0 won't include a "comprehensive" Bluetooth API. Developers aren't exactly sure what that means and a Google spokeswoman said the company planned to elaborate on its Android blog.

Some developers contributing to Google's Android forum say they find it hard to believe that Android 1.0, the first version of the Linux-based mobile operating system expected to become available soon, won't support Bluetooth. "HTC would not release a smartphone in this day and age that lacked Bluetooth support," wrote a developer going by the name Jeff Craig on the forum.

HTC's Dream phone is expected to be the first on the market to run Android software.

Google may plan to build support for Bluetooth into Android so that end users can wirelessly link standard Bluetooth gear, such as ear pieces, to the phone. But a lack of APIs would mean that developers couldn't build applications that use Bluetooth.

Some developers have focused on the word "comprehensive" to surmise that a future SDK update that Google has said might come in September could include very basic Bluetooth support.

End users and developers alike are eagerly awaiting the release of Android. Google's software along with Apple's iPhone software are rare new entrants into the mobile phone market.

While recent rumours suggested that Android would be released later than expected, Google has maintained that the first Android devices are on schedule to appear before the end of the year.