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Android might be the next generation in mobile platforms, but the technology is still in its early stages. Early Android developers have had to deal with the typical roadblocks associated with a new platform: frequently revised SDKs, lack of good documentation, and market uncertainties.

On the other hand, developers diving into Android development now benefit from the first-to-market competitive advantages we've seen on other platforms such as BREW

and Symbian. Early developers who give feedback are more likely to have an impact on the long-term design of the Android platform and what features will come in the next version of the SDK. Finally, the Android forum community is lively and friendly. Incentive programs, such as the ADC, have encouraged many new developers to dig into the platform.

Each new version of the Android SDK has provided a number of substantial improvements to the platform. In recent revisions, the Android platform has received some much-needed UI "polish," both in terms of visual appeal and performance.Although most of these upgrades and improvements were welcome and necessary, new SDK versions often cause some upheaval within the Android developer community.A number of published applications have required retesting and resubmission to the Android Marketplace to conform to new SDK requirements, which are quickly rolled out to all Android phones in the field as a firmware upgrade, rendering older applications obsolete.

Some older Android handsets are not capable of running the latest versions of the platform. This means that Android developers often need to target several different SDK versions to reach all users. Luckily, the Android development tools make this easier than ever.

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