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September 17, 2009
The Open Handset Alliance and the Android Open Source Project rolled out the latest version of the Android SDK this week—version 1.6—also known as ‘donut’.
Android 1.6 introduces a number of new features including support for CDMA and additional screen sizes like QVGA and WVG, gesture APIs to support finger gestures in apps, a text-to-speech engine, and a quick search box that can integrate Google Search services within any application.
These latest developments should allow handset builders to deploy the platform on yet more devices, even as it is gaining some significant traction in the market.
On Monday LG Electronics became the latest to join the throng with the announcement of its first Android-based device. The LG-GW620 features a three-inch, full touchscreen and slide out QWERTY hardware keypad but other details are scant. Meanwhile struggling vendor Motorola has started its fight back, with the unveiling of its first Android powered smartphone known as the Cliq in the US and the Dext elsewhere. It features a 3.1 inch HVGA touchscreen, with a full size, slide out QWERTY keyboard nestled underneath, a 5 megapixel camera, 3.5mm headset jack, wifi, GPS, and support for up to 32GB of removable memory. And avid Android supporter HTC recently showed off its new Tattoo, which it is pitching as a mass market device.
Google said the industry can expect to see devices running Android 1.6 as early as October.
In related news, Google’s experimental division, Google Labs, unveiled a new browsing experience for Android and iPhone users in the shape of Fast Flip that claims to “combine the best elements of print and online articles.”
Fast Flip allows users to ‘flip’ left and right through news headlines and feeds, while tapping the screen brings up a short summary of the page and zooming allows users to see the content in greater detail.
Google said the offering is designed to speed up the web browsing experience by making the flow ‘seamless’ and delivering more personalized content.
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