Qualcomm’s Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is expected to bust the mobile development world wide open, especially as more smartphone handsets become Snapdragon-equipped. The goal, according to what Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Software Strategy Liat Ben-Zur says in a July 2012 GigaOM interview, is to ensure Snapdragon-powered handsets are equipped with the most powerful hardware and applications possible. The big idea is that through sophisticated Snapdragon development for Android consumers will be drawn to these smartphones because of their capabilities.

What is Snapdragon Android SDK?

In short, this Android SDK is a series of tools and resources that enable developers to create more powerful apps and user experiences with Snapdragon-powered devices. These resources tend to include software packages, as well as a platform for Android libraries, application component samples, and detailed documentation.

There are hundreds of Snapdragon design projects in the works and several other projects that have been announced with the S4 chip. The capacity for photo, video, and data sharing technology makes the S4 chip one of the most powerful mobile processing chips on the market. It’s an exciting time for Android smartphone and tablet developers.

Snapdragon Android SDK development features

  • Facial Capture: This includes blink and smile protection, which makes for higher quality group photos.
  • Burst Capture: This allows your apps to use shutter lag, which basically means that your photo apps will automatically select the best shot out of a stream of photos.
  • Sensor Gestures: Sensor gestures make it easier for developers to create dynamic touchscreen user interfaces (e.g., touch left, touch right, pull down, pull up).
  • Surround Sound Recording: The Snapdragon processor allows for extremely high quality surround sound recording.
  • IZat Location: This allows you to develop apps with powerful location capabilities. You can even provide accurate geo-location data in indoor and outdoor locations.

The benefits of using Snapdragon Android SDK

By using the Snapdragon Android SDK, you will be able to create powerful apps with dynamic user experiences. On top of that, you won’t have to manage and maintain your own APIs — leave that up to the folks at Qualcomm. In addition, as you start using advanced development features in the SDK, you’ll notice that it’s easier to implement those features than in any other mobile processing chip SDK for Android.


Snapdragon has been a leader in mobile phone processor chips for over a decade. The company’s current hope is that this new Android SDK will tap into the collective creativity of Android developers. To echo Ben-Zur, this deep access to Snapdragon via Android development could be a big moment for Android developers the world over. While there are plenty of critics that say this is just a power grab for Qualcomm, it’s hard to be cynical about the fact that these developer tools will foster an environment where innovative Android app development is possible.