Google has released the Android 1.6 SDK , paving the way for the release of the next version of this mobile operating system. Code-named Donut, this will bring some new functionality, including additional screen resolutions.
Previous versions of Android have be only for wireless carriers that use the GSM standard — like T-Mobile — but v1.6 will add support for the CDMA networks used by Sprint and Verizon. One of the first beneficiaries of this will be the HTC Hero, which will be released by Sprint on October 11.
In addition, this will be the first version of Google’s OS to support screen resolutions besides HVGA. Devices running the new version will be able to have QVGA and WVGA displays. An Android model with an HVGA display has already been announced, the HTC Tattoo, and one with a WVGA is rumored, the HTC Touch HD 2.
The SDK that was just released will give developers the tools they need to create software that takes advantage of the new features. As with previous updates, third-party applications written for older versions of Android will continue to run on devices with the new one.
Also on the subject of third-party apps, v1.6 will include a new version of the Android market that will give more exposure to paid software.
Coming Next Month
Google says that devices running Android 1.6 are expected in October. As mentioned earlier, this is definitely true, as the HTC Hero will debut from Sprint on Oct. 11 running this version.
Another model expected to launch with v1.6 is code-named the Motorola Sholes, supposedly coming to Verizon in the near future. It’s possible the recently-announced Motorola Cliq will debut with this version, too.
It’s not known when OS updates to current models will be released.
Google has put together a short video talking about the new features of Android 1.6: