Confusion Reigns Over Multi-touch Android Update

Disputes over features of must have 'Donut' firmware.

It seems just about everyone has become keen to jump on the Google Android bandwagon in recent months and if most of ‘Donut’ pans out it’s not hard to see why…

Late last week the first developer build of ‘Donut’ – the successor to Cupcake (yes, Google has a sweet tooth) – began doing the rounds and here’s the impressive list of supposed additions it brings:

  • Gesture controls (pictured)
  • CDMA support
  • System wide search (pictured)
  • WPA2 enterprise
  • VPN support
  • Updated camera
  • Updated UI and animations
  • Compatibility Mode
  • Credential storage
  • Accessibility options
  • Speech synthesizer controls
  • New power control and text widgets (pictured)

Early reports are gesture controls are referenced in the ROM (from which these images are said to be captured) but not yet working and there is once again an extra level of polish has been added to everything which includes new animations and revised layouts.

Gesture control has long been called out for by the Android community but its presence has been thrown into some doubt since with Android framework engineer Romain Guy curtailing stating “Donut is NOT Android 2.0 and there’s no multi-touch support in Donut”. That said as of now the situation still doesn’t seem completely resolved with claims of both its inclusion and exclusion having since been repeated.

Either way, my Synaptics interview last month did reveal that the capacitive touchscreen maker has seen ”no” evidence that precludes handset makers from implementing multi-touch – despite the much reported Apple patent. Since then of course both the Palm Pre and HTC Hero have also implemented multi-touch so it could be just a matter of time, whether it be in Donut, Eclair or Flan (yes, they are ”real” Android roadmap firmwares!).

Donut Feature List & Images via Android and Me
Donut Denial via Android Developers}

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