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07 Jul 2017
13 Sep 2013
News  Software

Droid logoAndroid fans know all about Googles playful release naming scheme: they are basically dessert names listed alphabetically, so we had Cupcake followed by Donut, Eclair and Flan etc. These are not actual releases but developer branches, meaning the source code used by any developer (it is all open source after all) is packaged up for use under the single name - a sort of proving ground for new ideas if you like. When these branches have been fully hammered by the masses they can then be announced as real versions. Cupcake became Android 1.5 for example, and Donut is expected to become Android 2.0.

So whats in it?

Donut includes:

  • Text-to-speech - integrates Google Voice, so you can listen to your texts and emails, foreign translations, turn by turn navigation and whatever else lends itself to listening to text without developers having to invest heavily in this technology.
  • Gesture support - this actually includes multitouch, but as discussed there still may be legal issues to settle before we ever see it in the wild. In any case, the gesture support is much improved - the example given is that by drawing a "G" in the contacts list the index skips to those names beginning with "G".
  • Universal search -  a deep search through all the handset data and beyond! This was fashionable a few years ago for the PC desktop and will be pretty useful in practice - how often have you typed a name, place or whatever somewhere and then forgotten where? Darn it, you know its in some contact address, memo or whereever but just can't quite remember where... The results list is cool too, it is actually a launching pad to start the app which manages the found data.
  • 5-in-1 homescreen toggle - this is like a fast profile switcher
  • CDMA support - despite the prevalence of GSM globally CDMA is still the biggest network in the USA. This feature is really all about increasing market share, but will still be welcome to the millions of users it will make Android available to at last.
  • Automated backups
  • A new camera app
  • Improved performance - handsets can never be too fast after all!

Donus screenshots 1

Donut screenshots 2


It can even be flashed to existing G1 devices, but this is only for the brave as many of the new features could well crash the device - remember, this is a development branch and not an officially supported release.


Source: Engaget