Android 1.6 SDK launched

Android 1.6 SDK launched

The next edition of the Android mobile platform - codenamed 'Donut' - includes an improved marketplace and battery monitoring system.

The latest version of Google's Android Software Development Kit has been released, and it offers a sneak peak into upcoming features of version 1.6 of the open-source mobile platform.

According to a breakdown over on Betanews, the next version of the increasingly-popular Linux-based software - codenamed 'Donut,' in keeping with the cake-based theme chosen by Google - is going to offer some pretty impressive functionality currently sorely missed.

Perhaps most importantly, Android 1.6 is set to offer support for CDMA-based mobile networks, as well as the GSM support which it already features. This will allow the use of Android-based handsets in countries that don't use GSM, and will widen the devices' international appeal.

Improvements to the UI are also set to be included: gesture support will allow developers to include libraries of application-specific gestures, allowing users to simply wave their fingervaguely across the screen in order to carry out actions. If that wasn't enough, Google will also be include a text-to-speech API dubbed Pico which will be available to all developers and support multiple languages.

Improvements to the camera continue, with the development team updating their video support and finally allowing users to switch between still snapshot and video mode from a single interface. Performance has also been tweaked, with the company claiming that the camera is ready to shoot 39 percent faster than in Android 1.5, and has 28 percent less lag between shots.

If you're finding that your handset runs out of battery rather faster than you might like, the new 'fuel gauge' functionality should interest you: when activated , the system will present you with a list of all running applications and approximately how much power each is using as a percentage of the total - allowing you to find the power hog and switch it off.

If you're a business user then new support for virtual private networks should interest you, with support for L2TP/IPSEC, L2TP, and PPTP - making it easy to open a secure channel to your workplace. Finally, an updated and easier to use Android Market and a unified quick search system rounds off the new features.

Although no firm date has yet been set for the rollout of Android 1.6, Google has told developers to expect to have to support devices running the new version "as early as October." If you'd like to see what's new without downloading the SDK, check out the official - although slightly outdated - video over on YouTube.

Is Android ever likely to dent the seemingly-unconquerable iPhone OS, or is Google barking up the wrong tree with these updates? Is there any functionality still missing that you'd require before switching to an Android-based device? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
UncertainGod 17th September 2009, 15:08 Quote
I wonder what version will be codenamed cheesecake, because we all know that will be the one that totally rocks.
reflux 17th September 2009, 15:15 Quote
Is this going to steamroll over those of us running custom ROMs, or will be get the choice to install?
samkiller42 17th September 2009, 16:59 Quote
Don't forget new firmwares for HTC Hero is also available now, which speeds up Android massively on it, although, Orange and T-Mobile users have to wait a while for them to release the customised versions.

DarkLord7854 17th September 2009, 18:00 Quote
Looking forward to this update when I can get my hands on the new Motorola Cliq :D
PQuiff 17th September 2009, 18:51 Quote
I just flashed the new Hero ROM...OMG the difference..hero is now even more WIN!!!!!
airchie 17th September 2009, 20:07 Quote
I think android is already a competitor for the iphone.
It can do everything the iphone can do and more, with less of the hassle involved with getting the iphone to do anything cool (ie, jailbreaking).

Roll on some more sexy handsets using android (moto's cliq does look like a winner) and we're sorted.

What I'd really like to see is Android hacked to run on an iphone 3Gs. :)
Spaceraver 25th September 2009, 08:53 Quote
But will it run on the Touch HD.. Gotta go to xda and check...
fewigaming 25th September 2009, 09:01 Quote
Looking forward to
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