The Android 1.6 SDK, which adds backing for CDMA and additional screen sizes to the Android mobile device software platform, is available for developers to download, the Google Android blog said this week.

The kit, downloadable at this Web page, is based on the "donut" branch of the Android Open Source Project.  Support for CDMA and additional screen sizes enables applications to be deployed on more mobile networks and devices, the blog states.

"You will have access to new technologies, including framework-level support for additional screen resolutions, like QVGA and WVGA, new telephony APIs to support CDMA, gesture APIs, a text-to-speech engine, and the ability to integrate with Quick Search Box," said Android SDK Tech Lead Xavier Ducrohet.

The 1.6 release of Android features a redesigned search framework for users to search across multiple sources such as browser bookmarks, contacts and the Web. Searches can be done via the home screen. The user interface offers an integrated camera and a faster camera experience. A VPN control panel lets users configure different types of VPNs. Also featured is a battery usage screen indicating which applications and services are consuming power.

Version 1.6 also offers the Pico multi-lingual speech synthesis engine. Developers also gain a framework for building and recognizing gestures and associating them with specific actions. The SDK features the GestureBuilder tool to generate libraries of gestures to include with applications.

Devices running Android 1.6 are anticipated as soon as next month, Ducrohet said. Applications written for older versions of Android will run on version 1.6.

The kit requires a new version of Android Development Tools and includes a tool to enable downloading of updates and components like add-ons or platforms.