Google speeds up Android with new release

Android 1.6 available for developers
Android 1.6 available for developers

Google has updated Android to version 1.6 - colloquially known as Donut - bringing with it a number of additional tools to help enrich the mobile experience.

The update has only been made available for developers as a Software Developer Kit (SDK) but should appear on mobile phones in October, meaning the Motorola Dext is in line to pick it up in the UK.

Android 1.6 brings a number of minor, but pretty cool, tweaks, with the most interesting being able to search the whole of the device and the internet from one portal (similar to Spotlight on the iPhone).

Google has also promised to learn from how you search in this way, so if you're constantly searching for songs on your phone it will downgrade internet results in favour of actual files on your device.

Swipe through the phone

Gestures are now being supported too, with developers now able to develop some cool applications based on the way you swipe your finger across the screen.

There's also a battery indicator revamp, where you can actually see which applications are sucking the power from your Android device and shut them down if necessary, which will help many greatly increase battery life.

The camera / camcorder function has been overhauled too, with a new seamless way to switch between the two modes via a small toggle. Launching the camera is now 39 per cent faster too, and there's a 28 per cent improvement in the time from completing one shot to the next.

Another key thing is support for a variety of screen resolutions. Android has previously been limited to HVGA, meaning others can steam in with more hi-res displays. Developers can now specify their screen resolution when creating an application rather than having to work to hardware constraints.

Text-to-Speech has also been added, along with an overhaul of the Market UI, making it easier to search for new applications on the handset.

If you want to see more, check out the video the developers have put together to help:

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.