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Andriod treats

The first device to run Android was the HTC Dream. Since its launch in 2008 the OS has had a number of updates which have fixed bugs and added new features. The updates have all had quirky alternate names associated with them in alphabetical order and based on treats.

1.5 Cupcake, released in April 2009.

Performance improvements included a faster camera start up and image capture, faster acquisition of GPS locations and smoother page scrolling in the browser.

Cupcake also came with many new features such as onscreen soft keyboard, bundled home screen widgets, video recording and video play back in MPEG-4 and 3GP format, stereo Bluetooth support and auto pairing, copy and paste in browser, search within a browser page, photos for favourite contacts and one touch access to a contact card from the call log.

1.6 Donut, released 15th September 2009.

Donut provided more updates to the camera speed boasting a 39% faster launch time and a 28% faster time from taking one photo to the next. Also included in the camera overhaul was an integrated camera, camcorder and gallery interface. Other improvements were faster voice search and voice dial.

New features on Donut are not as prominent as Cupcake but they distinctively added to the Android experience. Quick search bar from the home page allowed users to get straight to the web. VPN and 802.1x were added, support for WGVA resolutions, text to speech engine, support for CDMA/EVDO allowing the Android to be available on more networks and a battery usage indicator to show users which apps and services are consuming battery power.

2.0/2.1 Eclair, release 26th October 2009.

In Eclair we see more hardware changes and additional camera features such as a flash and digital zoom. The big change with Eclair is the Linux kernel change from 2.6.27 to 2.6.29.

The main new features are Bluetooth 2.1, search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages, android virtual keyboard, email exchange support, ability to add multiple email accounts and search from one page, calendar events indicating the status of attendees.

We can expect to see at least 2 new planned releases for Android, FroYo and Gingerbread. These will be based on Linux Kernel 2.6.32 and 34.

There’s a clear evolution of what’s been done to android to make it more useable for a wide market and still stamp its own individuality with some great user tweaks. Is it still catching up or is it pushing forwards?

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