Google releases Android 1.6 (Donut) SDK to developers

September 15, 2009

donutEarlier this evening Google released the SDK for Android 1.6, what most people like to call the Donut release.  Core low level features that Donut brings to the platform include support for CDMA devices and differing screen resolutions – including QVGA (as on the HTC Tattoo) and high-res WVGA displays.

From a user perspective, the new gesture support, text to speech engine, and slick new Quick Search Box are probably of more interest.  The Quick Search Box, in particular, is quite cool in my opinion.  Results from the web start popping up on the screen even as you type in your search query.  For many tasks, the web browser never even gets launched, since the results can often be acted upon directly by tapping on them.  You can see how it works in the Google provided video, which is available after the jump.

Other parts of the system we updated as well, of course.  The camera, camcorder, and gallery have gotten user interface updates, and the camera launches 39% faster than before and reduces the shot to shot time by 28%.  There’s new VPN support for the platform, too.  Google also says that there is a new battery usage tool that allows users to monitor application power use, and deal with power-hungry apps accordingly.  This sounds to me like an improved version of the app that comes in the “Spare Parts” application that’s available already.

The Android Market also gets a face lift, which we spied a while ago.

Google notes that we can expect to see Donut devices in October and that apps written for older versions of Android will work on Donut devices.

You can read more on the Android Developers Blog here and here.

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