The Competition: Google Readies Android 1.6 Donut

Google's next iteration of their mobile OS, Android 1.6 Donut, is set to give sugar highs again in October, with support for CDMA radios, QVGA and WVGA resolutions, and to quote from sibling site, Android Central:

Android 1.6 'Donut' also brings Quick Search Box for Android which is basically universal search that searches locally on your phone and through the internet at the same time, new text-to-speech APIs, and the beautiful new Android Market we leaked a few weeks ago. There's also updates to the camera's interface, improvement to the camera's loading time (39% faster), and a neat battery usage indicator that details which applications are using the most power.

CDMA support will now doubt make all those longing for an iPhone on Verizon lose their minds just a little bit more. Support for different screen sizes is more of a mixed bag, however. It means device manufacturers will have more form-factor freedom, but it also means developers will have to deal with Windows Mobile- and BlackBerry-style platform fragmentation (either working harder to support all the different screens, or choosing not to support some and increasing confusion for users). iPhone, graphics power aside, hasn't had to worry about this... yet.

Quick Search, like Palm's webOS search, going beyond the device to bring back answers from the cloud isn't something iPhone supports, but is something we hope Apple's looking into.

Still, it's great to see Google keeping up with the updates. Anything in there that makes Android more compelling to you?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 22 comments. Add yours.

zeagus says:

I was always interested in Android and I'm always happy to see competition for Apple, MS, RIM and Symbian - though, let's be honest, Android is mostly competition for Apple at this point. It took until the 3GS for the iPhone to be a must have that would work for me (to replace phone and iPod in general use) and I hope that they are working hard behind the scenes to make me want to stick with the platform. It is, without a doubt, the most fun I've had with a mobile and Android is definitely nipping at their heels with things like their elegant notification system, expansion of the Market, broader display and form factor support and universal search. When's iPhone OS 3.5 and 4.0, Steve? :)

Jellotime91 says:

Rene did you notice that the HTC Dream dropped to $0 on a 3 year term for Rogers?? Android is not doing well in Canada.

Appleking says:

I jus played with the htc hero for sprint, its a great device. Sprint has the 2nd and 3rd best phones on their network. If webos 1.2 improves battery life then I'll switch back to sprint, the true mobile to mobile plan is tempting me.

Angel says:

Hmm this kinda reminds me of something... my iPhone! Competition is great but I see nothing new or superior here at all. It's simply a matter of preference (iPhone vs. Android) really.

Appleking says:

Andriod sucks in comparison to webos and iphone but the hero makes all the other andriod devices look like shit.

E says:

Yes, there is something that is compelling... F*ing Google Voice support.

Joe McG says:

I want to see the Hero soooooo bad. Does Sprint have demos at their store yet? The only thing I didn't like about the initial Hero was the chin, and now it's gone! Sprint's Everything Plan is really attractive too. My AT&T plan is $180 with no tethering.

iPhone-usah says:

I rEally like the hero it seems like a good phone, and I've always been curious about the android OS. I have 3GS and I'm happy with it. I'll just wait until one of my freinds gets the Hero and I'll mess around with it. But for now I'll stick to my good ol faithful iPhone.

Gavin says:

In the UK with a Hero and its great. My ipod Touch is great too.

ken says:

i really think that android is too little too late. anything they do in the next year or two will not even get it up to the level of the current iphone os. Can anyone actually see their marketplace EVER being as robust as Apples is right now? also, the hero i suppose will be a nice phone, but will not compare to the 3gs in terms of specs.
once the iphone is on verizon, it will pretty much be bb, android and ms fighting to be the queen of the shitpile.

icebike says:

Android is sneaking into so many different phone platforms that its hard to keep track of them all, and hard to get a feel for the true size.
All this talk of the Hero ignores all of the smaller players, some of which have some very good devices. Motorola release of Android handsets could get them
back on track.
There are around 50 companies (manufacturers and carriers) in the Open Handset Alliance (Android mother ship) including 6 handset manufacturing companies.
Its hard to know if there is as much sharing of technology as promised for this open platform. There might be a tendency to revert to secrecy and competition among these companies, none of which (other than Intel) has any real history in Open Source.
But if there is sharing and cooperation, the rate of Android's enhancement and advances should easily out pace the resources that Apple can muster within a couple years. Apple has about a 4 year head start.
Unfortunately, there are also TEN carriers as members, so I suspect a great risk of subversion of the very purpose of the Alliance.

Nickel says:

Ken, just curious, what makes the iPhone OS superior to Android? It seems much more customizable with additional features to boot...? What can the iPhone OS do that Android can't? You're not just fanboying are you?

Catalin says:

@Nickel The iPhone OS supports multi-touch. In Android multi-touch is disabled for political reasons.

J-Red says:

Power to android! One day the android market is going to be just as big as the app store for apple. And when that day comes they'll have apple outnumbered in phones 100-2-1 lol apple has a longggggg way to go in terms of other phone devices.

Dennis says:

I'm planning my move away from AT*T, and I've been keeping an eye on Android since really before it was available. I've been pleased to see that major phone manufacturers are now releasing Android-based phones. I'm looking to Android to get a combination of cell phone and OS that doesn't really care what carriers want on their network. (I agree that Google Voice is one reason to be looking around.)
Nokia is also pretty close with the N900, but I have until July 2010 to decide, so I'm going to wait and see.

Kick Butt Applications says:

I've commented about it before but Google is too big not to go full power at taking market share from Apple. With a slew of great smartphones out there, you have to wonder about saturation but looks like the Android OS will be out there in many different platforms.
It's going to be quite interesting to watch and look back two years from now and see if any of us was anywhere close to guessing!
Kick Butt

Nickel says:

Catalina, appreciate the input, but I don't think that was what Ken meant. Nice to see one fanboy sticking up for another. Solidarity bro!

InsideInfo says:

1.6 Dobut? Oh, ya, baby!!! Iphone 4.0 due on March 2010 will send the competition back on the drawing board. New Iphone 4hd is slated to be released by April earlier than everybody expected. 1ghz processor, 10 mega pixel camera, oled LCD, 1080p Video, 4.2 display, Front and back Cam for tele-conferencing, etc. etc. So have fun. Apple is unbeatable. See ya in April guys.

Frank says:

Haha inside info what a load of bull? All that technology in an iPhone and they couldn't Manage to squeeze a cam in the new touch. Come on. I expect a healthy jump in specs from my current 3gs but that is unimaginable 

Rick says:

InsideInfo said:
1.6 Dobut? Oh, ya, baby!!! Iphone 4.0 due on March 2010 will send the competition back on the drawing board. New Iphone 4hd is slated to be released by April earlier than everybody expected. 1ghz processor, 10 mega pixel camera, oled LCD, 1080p Video, 4.2 display, Front and back Cam for tele-conferencing, etc. etc. So have fun. Apple is unbeatable. See ya in April stupid fanboy. Keep dreaming

buster says:

You are a bunch of monkeys. I decided to ditch the iphone and go for android. I couldn't have made a better change. I realized how restrictive the apple BS actually is. Android will do laps around apple all in good time. iphone people are like lemmings. Are all of you really buying new iphone after iphone everytime they decide to hose another customer by releasing a new mobile device? IMO they just keep forgetting things they should have done in the first place. I laugh while all the suckers trade and sell off their 3 month old iphone to purchase the new one that sucks just as much. - Iphone hater

Fredphoesh says:

Hi all
One of the things reviewers often miss WRT a disadvantage of the iPhone, is what for me is THE REASON I will never buy one.
With the iPhone, you have to use quicktime, itunes, a proprietory cable. You cannot drag and drop folders of music to and from your phone.
I detest all of that (and I own two mac computers of my own). I like being able to plug in to a generic USB, on ANY computer anywhere, and just add or remove or copy music to and from the device as much as I want, no interference from a freak controlling Apple. (and they are going to severely restrict jailbreaking now)
This music controlling would make iPhone (or an iPod for that matter) completely unacceptable to me.