The Android developer team has announced the release of what's described as an "early look" at the next version of the Android platform.

The 1.5 version of Android is based on the "cupcake" branch of the operating system that we've brought you news of before, from the Android Open Source Project.

Promising lots of improvements, 1.5 introduces APIs for features such as as speech recognition, home screen widgets, "live" folders and virtual keyboards.

In addition there's support for video recording, Bluetooth tweaks, better integration with some of Google's online services and a "UI polish" promised for a lot of the system's features.

The developers state that the final Android 1.5 SDK release will be available "around the end of this month", but it's not been confirmed when it might be due as an update for the T-Mobile G1 or the delayed HTC Magic.