has finally released Android 1.6 what so far was known under its code name
"Donut". While Android 1.6 is fully compatible to Android 1.6 (Cupcake), it
brings some new features and extensions for customers and developers. However,
the new Android version also enhances the device support. For instance 1.6 now
expands the support for screen densities and resolutions which is important to
get devices beside the so far typical Android HVGA screen resolution; Android
1.6 now also supports QVGA and WVGA. Furthermore,
Android 1.6 now includes support for CDMA in the telephony stack. which brings
it a step closer to U.S. networks.
Quick Search Box for Android: Android 1.6 includes a redesigned search
framework that provides a quick, effective and consistent way for users to
search across multiple sources - such as browser bookmarks & history, contacts
and the web - directly from the home screen.
The system constantly learns which search results are more relevant based on
what is clicked. So popular contacts or apps that have previously been picked
will bubble up to the top when a user types the first few letters of a relevant
Camera, Camcorder and Gallery: An updated user interface provides an
integrated camera, camcorder and gallery experience. Users can quickly toggle
between still and video capture modes. Additionally, the gallery enables users
to select multiple photos for deletion.
Android 1.6 also provides a much faster camera experience. Compared to the
previous release, launching the camera is now 39 % faster and there is a 28 %
improvement in the time from completing one shot to the next.
Battery Usage Indicator: A new battery usage screen lets users see which
apps and services are consuming battery power.
If the user determines that a particular service or application is using too
much power, they can take action to save the battery by adjusting settings,
stopping the application or uninstalling the application.
Accessibility: Users will be able to download new accessibility services
built on the new accessibility framework and enable them in Settings.
Android Market Updates: The latest version improves the overall user
experience and makes it easier for users to discover great apps and games from
At the startscreen, users can choose among Apps, Games and Downloads. Inside a
category, users can explore titles that are Top paid, Top free and Just in. For
each title, users can now see screenshots submitted by developers in addition to
reviews from other users.
VPN, 802.1x: A new Virtual Private Network (VPN) control panel in
Settings allows users to configure and connect to the following types of VPNs:
L2TP/IPSEC pre-shared key based VPN, L2TP/IPsec certificate based VPN, L2TP only
VPN, PPTP only VPN
Text-to-Speech Engine: Android 1.6 features a multi-lingual speech
synthesis engine called Pico. It allows any Android application to "speak" a
string of text with an accent that matches the language. The engine supports the
following languages: English (American and British accents), French, Italian,
German and Spanish. If you're using a T-Mobile G1 or Dream device, you'll need
to download the SpeechSynthesis Data Installer from Android Market, which
includes the "voices" needed by the text-to-speech engine.
While some of these improvements and enhancements are minor cosmetics, some
are pretty major and all of them together make Android an even better mobile OS.
Still not on the same level with other mobile OS in the market but as a
framework, on which ODMs can manufacture their devices, it's definitely getting
more interesting now.
According to the Android Developers blog, first devices - which include Android
1.6 aka Donut - can be expected in the market as early as October with the
HTC Tattoo most
likely being the first.
Cheers ~ Arne