We've known that Cupcake has been floating around in dev circles for months now, but it's been clear as mud how the Open Handset Alliance plans to incorporate all of the lovely features it brings into Android's trunk, how Android will be versioned going forward, and in general, how the group plans to present a unified front to developers, manufacturers, and end users. That all gets a little clearer today with the official unveiling of Android 1.5 that fully incorporates the Cupcake branch, and -- perhaps much more importantly -- a home screen framework for developing widgets and populating live folders with whatever content you can dream up. There's no word on exactly how 1.5 will come to existing Android handsets in the field, but as far as we can tell, there's nothing listed in the changelog that would prevent current hardware from taking full advantage -- and the OHA is going to be releasing a series of articles about new-to-1.5 features in the coming weeks to help devs "prepare your applications for the release of Android 1.5 on phones." Sounds encouraging, doesn't it?

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Android 1.5 announced, early-look SDK available today