One of the more important announcements from yesterday’s Google I/O event was the announcement of the Android Platform Development Kit (PDK). The PDK is targeted to hardware developers such as Sony Mobile, Samsung and HTC. The idea behind it is to help to shorten the time taken for manufacturers to port the latest and greatest Android release.
The Beta version of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean PDK has been available to a few partners over the last few weeks, although we have no confirmation of exactly who these partners are. Going forward beyond Jelly Bean, the PDK will be available to hardware manufacturers around 2-3 months before the release date of future Android versions.
This is good news for all Android owners and should mean that we see much speedier updates to new Android versions. If you look at what happened with Ice Cream Sandwich, manufacturers like Sony Mobile, would have received the code at exactly the same time as when the SDK (software development kit) was publicly released. This is why despite ICS being announced in October 2011, Sony Xperia devices only started to receive the update from April 2012. The introduction of the PDK should mean that going forward this lengthy gap should be considerably shorter.