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Google Updates Android & Chrome

Gordon Kelly


Google Updates Android & Chrome

Seems Google is going full throttle at the moment. This week sees Android v1.6 'Donut' and Chrome 3.0 outed so let's cut straight to it.

Android first and while Donut has yet to hit consumers, the SDK has been launched for developers subsequently giving away all its little secrets and hints at an October release date.

Unlike Cupcake which was chock-a-block with new features and functionality, Donut will be a more incremental release consisting largely of tweaks and fixes. That said there are a few key features including: proper app rendering on different screen sizes and resolutions, CDMA support and a text to speech API that enables applications to speak different languages with the correct accent. Marketplace gets a spit and polish too with Top Paid, Top Free and Just In categories and integrated app screenshots.

Also particularly cool is the 'quick search box' which checks the web and handset simultaneously for relevant information. Most importantly, the search is intelligent so if you type 'pizza' for example, it will automatically use a handset's GPS to bring up local pizza restaurants without having to launch Google Maps. This is also true for web searches, and even weather.

October can't come soon enough.

As for Chrome v3, its major change is - you guessed - even more speed. Google says Javascript performance has improved 25 per cent over v2.0 though there is also a redesigned tab box, upgraded Omnibox with autocomplete and search suggestions, basic themes support and additional Html 5 capabilities. Still no sign of those all important Chrome extensions though...

Chrome updates are performed automatically, but if you want to check you have the latest version manually go to 'customise and control' (the spanner icon), click 'About' and check the version number - if necessary an update check can be done from there.

So yet another productive week at Menlo Park...

Update: Google has announced Chrome will now be out on the Mac before the end of the year. Short. Simple. Sweet. Let's hope Google lives up to it.


Android 1.6 SDK Release

Chrome Release

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