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Google reveals Android roadmap

Google sets out next Android steps
Google sets out next Android steps

Google has finally lifted the curtains on how it will be developing its Android OS over the next few months, including the addition of a virtual QWERTY keyboard.

Even though it sports a touchscreen, users have been somewhat irked at the fact they have to slide open the physical QWERTY to input text, so it seems Google wants to make everyone happy by rectifying that in early 2009.

Google also hopes to allow third-party keyboard applications to be put together for the device through its Input Method Framework, so we could see some interesting key strokes over the next few years.


It also plans to make the user interface and application framework more European-friendly by translating it into German later this year, and other languages, including French, Italian and Spanish early in 2009.

In the shorter term, Google wants to allow carriers to add specific functionality to the OS from a SIM card, and has added SIM Application Toolkit support to achieve this by the end of the year.

Still no word on when we'll be seeing another phone in other markets that can manage some of these things, but fingers crossed it's sooner rather than later.