Back when Sharp announced the KDDI IS01 Android-based MID, alongside the consumer device they also promised a version tailored for developers. That's gone on sale in Japan now, with Sharp hoping to drum up custom applications suited to the 1GHz Snapdragon MID. Unfortunately, it's not all good news: while the IS01's spec sheet is positively bulging, developers won't have access to all of the goodies.
For instance, while the IS01 has an FM transmitter, 1Seg digital TV tuner, EVDO modem and phone functionality, developers won't apparently be able to access them. Instead, they'll get the basic Android 1.6 SDK and a proprietary Sharp API that covers "infrared data transfer, LED flashlight, camera, opening and closing [notifications], and file picker."
What's interesting is that, while the IS01 has a 5-inch 960 x 480 capacitive touchscreen, developers are being asked to code Android apps running at 854 x 480. That's more appropriate for regular Android smartphones, so hopefully we'll see whatever Sharp's developers come up with spread to other devices.
As for the consumer IS01, rather than the October 2010 release we initially heard about, it seems the handheld will drop next month (albeit in Japan) in both black and light blue. The developer version is only available in brown; no word on pricing yet, but if you're interested you can register for more information.