Android and WinMo updates going head-to-head
Smarter smartphones inbound?
The rivalry between Android and Windows Mobile looks set to heighten, with Google and Microsoft both poised to release updates for their mobile operating systems.
Android 2.0 – aka Éclair – only recently began filtering through onto mobile devices. Its successor, version 2.1, has now been uncovered, thanks to the release of a downloadable SDK for application developers.
The update is “a minor platform release”, Google admitted, with perhaps its most notable feature being a new USB manager for the company’s own Nexus One smartphone.
Android 2.1’s other tweaks include creation of active/living wallpapers – something borrowed from Windows 7, perhaps? – and a 3D-enabled picture gallery.
Voice recognition has also been extended into more areas, letting you dictate a text message or ask for a certain song, for example.
Google coughed up to some unspecified bug fixes inside Android 2.1, adding that the update will be available to users later this month.
Meanwhile Microsoft showed Windows Mobile version 6.5.3 off to CES attendees last week. It's the latest tweak to version 6.5, released towards the tail end of last year
Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from Adobe.com
Microsoft hasn’t made any official or concrete statements about the updates’ new features. A YouTube video demonstration of the update’s features has, however, revealed that Microsoft has moved function buttons from the top of the screen to the bottom – presumably making it easier for you to select icons with your thumb.
A scrolling widget bar now features at the top of the screen, according to the video, while icons and menus were described as bigger than before.
The update also allows users switch between different keyboard views and functions by swiping left or right, the video added.
Microsoft is expected to release Windows Mobile 6.5.3 later this year. ®
You've been able to set an HTML page as a desktop since XP - or it might have even been Win2K, I forget.
It's coming, be patient
The 1.6 update for the HTC Magic (aka G2) came a couple of months after the 1.6 SDK was released. Vodafone & Google are planning to upgrade the Magic with Eclair too.
Just be patient.
Watch the video
This is how you make a Snapdragon sad. Plant it with Windows Mobile. I am amazed by the nearly complete lack of progress. Is this really the best Microsoft can do?
... will this be available on the G2 - what was marketed as "the Google phone"? I've been stuck on 1.6 since it was pushed out in September.
Please Google, if you're going to release an update to an OS, allow people already using an earlier version to upgrade! Don't leave it to the operator as they know jack-all - only how to sell the things and keep the voice and texts flowing.
I wouldn't want to buy a brand new PC to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, so why should I with a phone?
Windows 7 has interactive wallpapers? Where?