Google Details Major Android Update

Brace yourselves for 'cupcake' - no, it's not the most enthralling name ever, is it?

What’s the big deal with Americans and cupcakes? They’re just small sponge cakes or fairy cakes – the things my grandma used to make when she didn’t have time to make anything ‘better’? Ho hum…

Anyway, back on topic and Google has announced the details of a major new Android update it has in the works called – yes – ‘cupcake’. *sigh*

Listing a vast array of fixes, improvements and entirely new features cupcake will initially be launched on G1 developer handsets (snap them up kids – rubbish exchange rate and postage aside) and standout additions include:

  • Support for A2DP & AVRCP profiles
  • Faster conversation list scrolling
  • Video recorder mode
  • Video thumbnails
  • Music playback fades in after suspending for phone call
  • Updated WebKit browser core, synced with Nov 2008 WebKit version
  • Copy / paste is enabled in the browser
  • Find is enabled in the browser
  • Web pages with animations are 5x faster
  • Applications can now pause their downloads
  • Save attachments from MMS
  • Date & time displayed using user preference
  • Relaxed POP3 parser rules so it works with non-compliant email servers
  • New-mail notifications for POP3 accounts
  • New menu option to list running processes in Settings->ManageApplications
  • Support for new, optimized JavaScript engine (SquirrelFish)
  • Input method framework, for soft keyboards and other on-screen input methods
  • Tactile feedback to the LockPatternView
  • Hardware accelerated video encode (video recorder) in opencore
  • Streaming audio I/O for applications
  • Basic x86 support
  • Enable handset manufacturers to extend the Android SDK with add-ons

Yes indeed, it’s a mega upgrade and one which pokes Apple’s mobile OS X in the eye in a number of significant ways (MMS, Copy/Paste, Find, A2DP) which should lead to some feisty taunting in forums around the Webisphere.

On the downside no formal release date has been discussed as yet and it may well be that some telco negotiations are in order considering the extent of the changes. That said, I’d be surprised if it didn’t appear at some point in Q1. Now only one problem…

…”cupcake”?! Sheesh.


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