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Google Releases the SDK For Version 1.6 of Android 69

Posted by timothy
from the equivalent-to-which-nexus-model? dept.
Qwavel writes "This release includes improvements to the Android Market, the Search Framework, and Text-to-Speech. It now has support for more screen resolutions and CDMA phones. Android 1.6 is based on v2.6.29 of the Linux kernel and is expected in phones that will be available next month. The mystery of Android 1.6, however, is Google's continued unwillingness to commit to a Bluetooth API and any Bluetooth functionality beyond the basic audio functions."
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Google Releases the SDK For Version 1.6 of Android

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  • Grr (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I want real Bluetooth :(

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I really would Kill to be able to use my Android phone a a Bluetooth Keyboard and mouse, Just the convenience of being able to control my Living room PC from my phone would just be awesome.

    • Yeah, and I wish I had known that my G1 would have such limited bluetooth capabilities BEFORE buying it. All in all, I like it, and the browser is decent, but it is only a very slight upgrade over my ancient Palm Treo 650. Real bluetooth would make me happier, but without it, a working Treo 650 would still work just fine for me, and have longer battery life.
  • by toopok4k3 (809683) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:26PM (#29445643)
    Google doesn't seem to like bluetooth. But why? I don't see them making a new solution for short range wireless communications.
    • by HoboCop (987492)

      I wonder if it has something to do with the support for BT in the base kernel source? I did some looking around, seems like it's well supported. Maybe there's more to that story though?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cdgeorge (775179)
      There's no hate, just a matter of time. From http://source.android.com/projects/bluetooth-faq [android.com]: "Q. When will Java Bluetooth API's be released in an SDK? A. We are not ready to announce a release target for Bluetooth API's. We do understand there is demand for a Bluetooth API, and it is a top priority for the Android Bluetooth team."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Qwavel (733416)

        I'm sure that Google could have finalized their Bluetooth API by now if they wanted to.

        The scary thing is the idea that Google might be considering going the same route as Apple: a proprietary Bluetooth protocol that they can license and control, rather then supporting the Bluetooth standards. That wouldn't be like Google, but it is otherwise hard to understand their hesitation.

        • The scary thing is the idea that Google might be considering going the same route as Apple: a proprietary Bluetooth protocol that they can license and control...

          That's the first I've heard of any such thing. A quick Google search seems to indicate iPhones work with regular bluetooth, offering a moderate selection of services. I know iPods communicate with a proprietary protocol over wi-fi when talking to Nike shoes of all things, but I've never heard of proprietary bluetooth being used. Do you have a link?

          • by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:15PM (#29446407)

            If you want to create a peripheral or software that works with the Bluetooth of the iPhone or the iPod (excepting the basic audio peripherals) you have to apply for Apple's "Made for iPod Licensing" program.
            http://developer.apple.com/ipod/apply.html [apple.com]

            If you need a Bluetooth chipset supporting the Apple protocols you can buy them from CSR.
            http://www.embeddedstar.com/weblog/2009/07/28/csr-ipod-touch/ [embeddedstar.com]

            If Apple can achieve the sort of dominance in the consumer smartphone market that they have achieved with their iPods then this will pay off very well for them. They will make money from licensing and other companies phones won't be able to communicate with iPhones/iPods.

            On the other hand, whether they are successful or not, this is bad for their users. This being /. I probably don't have to explain why standards are good.

            At this time, if you want to e.g. sell a Bluetooth garage door opener for smartphones (yes, this really exists) you could support it on RIM, Nokia, MS, and even some LG and Samsung phones. I hope that Android phones join this camp.

            I'm interested to see some of the things that people will do with Bluetooth now that the quality of the hardware and software support is getting good enough (it wasn't good enough on a lot of the older phones). It would be sad if the lure of proprietary were to curtail the potential of Bluetooth.

          • That's the first I've heard of any such thing. A quick Google search seems to indicate iPhones work with regular bluetooth, offering a moderate selection of services.

            I wouldn't call it a 'moderate selection', the iPhone support for BlueTooth is quite limited. It supports wireless earpieces and headphones, but stereo audio was only recently added in the 3.0 update.

            The audio support is not complete, because only a couple of devices seem to work, and then the play/pause/volume buttons will not work. I'm speaking from experience; I recently bought a beautiful Sony-Ericsson bluetooth headset [amazon.com] only to find out that the iPhone cannot change the volume (always has it ru

      • by chill (34294)

        We do understand there is demand for a Bluetooth API, and it is a top priority for the Android Bluetooth team.

        And the Android Bluetooth team consists of who, exactly? Sergei's dog? A team of wombats?

        It could be that Google is avoiding the entire "we don't allow tethering" firestore by simply taking it one step back and not providing bluetooth, so making tethering technically infeasible.

        • I have no problems tethering with my Samsung Galaxy out of the box. No root access required, no special applications. It provides a serial (over USB) interface to its internal modem, just point pppd to the proper device and it works.

          (To enable it: Settings -> About phone -> Additional settings -> deselect "Mass storage only")

          • by chill (34294)

            Still, it needs a cable. Not as simple as the BT that everyone thinks of when tethering.

            You have me almost convinced, but I'm still partial to the development wombat theory.

          • by nazsco (695026)
            WOW! tethering!!!! and a USB port! man, i can't wait for iphone 4G!
        • by guest235 (1558143)
          Actually, tethering works really well once you get root on your phone, both over bluetooth and wifi. There's project dedicated to it somewhere on code.google.com ... see http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/ [google.com] .
        • Umm..for those of us with hacked G1's , "Tethering for Root" does tethering for both wifi and bluetooth...
      • Sure, but really for an OSS project, development has been painfully slow in general with Android. There are many good ideas that shouldn't take too long to implement but have been sitting there for a long time.
        • You realize that we (Android users) have had four major OS releases in less than a year, correct? 1.0, 1.1, 1.5, and 1.6. Eclair will almost definitely be out by year-end (it's tied to a product release). How is this painfully slow?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Darkness404 (1287218)
            All of which don't add "revolutionary" features, but only things that should have been in 1.0. Its almost as bad as the iPhone OS releases, but at least Android is free.
    • I didn't realize there was a problem.

    • by nazsco (695026)
      it's called wi-fi.

      2002 called...
    • It's VERY annoying now. I built a CarPC and had it working well with my old WinMo phone, making/receiving calls over the BT connection, address book, and the like would come up on the computer screen (8" touch screen). My new magic is awesome, but I now have nothing BT wise working beyond a basic headset.
  • Why is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:34PM (#29445779)
    Why is it that Android (and other cell phones) seem to have some obvious feature left out that developers are unwilling to fix? And usually they aren't "this will take years of R&D and some genius to realize we left it out" but blindingly obvious features. Why isn't Android embracing Bluetooth? I can think of a lot of good reasons for it, for one would be P2P networks for gaming, file sharing, etc. Or perhaps a feature that would let you use text messages and MMS over Bluetooth rather than using the cell network. If there was a phone with the openness of Android/WebOS, the polish of the iPhone, the large amount of networks like the BlackBerry, all in one phone it would sell like crazy. Instead they leave out important features and make phones that are decent, but not great.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pvcf (150815)
      Why is it? Possibly... WiFi.

      Many higher end smartphones already support WiFi. Bluetooth is still great for connecting user interface devices like headsets/mics etc. But for the other things you mention, WiFi is better.

      One of the posts above quotes from the Android development team saying they understand there is demand for Bluetooth. Perhaps it is simply they feel there are more pressing priorities right now.

      Could also be that their product manager feels that support for Bluetooth peripherals is all t

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by w0mprat (1317953)

      Why is it that Android (and other cell phones) seem to have some obvious feature left out that developers are unwilling to fix?

      It's Linux after all.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Probably because bluetooth on linux is a godawful mess. Have you ever tried to actually use it? egads. Stuff that works on Windows in a second, I have to try pairing with Linux three or four times sometimes before it succeeds — if I can get it to pair at all. The underlying OS (Linux) needs to have support since Android is just a pretty interface and a JVM plus chosen classes. Putting a GUI on the existing tools is no fix at all, since they work so sporadically.

      I hope Android comes together, I really

      • by mallow95 (1369047)
        It's not just in the PC space that MS is better with bluetooth. You can swap Linux and Windows with Wii and Xbox and the story is the same.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by double07 (889350)

      If there was a phone with the openness of Android/WebOS, the polish of the iPhone, the large amount of networks like the BlackBerry, all in one phone it would sell like crazy.

      You may be interested in this: http://maemo.nokia.com/n900/ [nokia.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If they put it in right away it would be easy to provide BT-based tethering to laptops, which a lot of cell service providers would hate and thus probably not allow android-based phones to be used on their network.

    I bet they are waiting until there is widespread adoption of android on multiple networks before they add the functionality.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:41PM (#29445883)
    Yet Android 2.0 is going to be the worthwhile update. It is expected to include multi-touch. Its irrating how slow development on the official Android source seems to be, it would have been nice to see this stuff 6 months to a year ago. Never fear, the community has taken matters in to their own hands. Modded ROMs such as Cyanogenmod http://www.cyanogenmod.com/ [cyanogenmod.com] already incorporate the latest code far ahead of any ROM official releases from OEMs.

    If your on a edgy modded ROM your likely using 1.6 (Cupcake) and some 2.0 (Donut) code.

    (The latest experiemental Cyanogen ROM includes BFS (!) my first taste of the new scheduler on any system all I can say is the speed is mind boggling).

    Delightfully, there is a glut of android phones on the way from various OEMs which should see the market grow and the code improve. Not that Android needs improving, in a year of having a G1 it never needed a hard reset, even with shitty crashing applications. I can't say as much for my iPhone.

    Multitouch is coming to Android, now that Google is no longer affraid of Apple.
    • Just FYI cupcake was 1.5, not 1.6

      In any case, hacked versions of 1.6 are available right now, I'm running 1.6 on my G1... Firmware 1.6, Kernel 2.6.29-cm41, Build DCR63. Stable and nice so-far!

    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      I thought that cupcake was 1.5? That's what I am using now I suppose, my last update was about a month ago. Do you know anything about when the official 1.6 OS will be rolled out?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Its irrating how slow development on the official Android source seems to be

      But it isn't, it's just that Android is such an enormous project. The full source tree is a whopping 2.5 GB!

      Multitouch is coming to Android, now that Google is no longer affraid of Apple.

      Apple probably has little or nothing to do with it. To a certain extent, Android already supports multi-touch (for example, the zoom in/zoom out functionality in the HTC Hero's browser). Check out this article by Luke Hutch, the guy that originally unlocked multi-touch on Android.

      Google *is* interested in multitouch capabilities, it's just nowhere near the top of their priority list. Anyone in the com

      • by Concern (819622)

        Absolute nonsense.

        Steve Jobs got on a stage in front of an audience of millions and could not have made it any clearer.

        "And boy have we patented it!" [youtube.com]

        Oh oh look at all the "tinfoil hat" loonies who think Apple might actually sue someone. NO WAI. That's just a crazy conspiracy theory. It's not like they go on earnings calls and promise their shareholders they will sue anyone who...

        Oh wait. NM! [macrumors.com]

        Well, maybe we're still crazy and paranoid. Why wouldn't Apple just license one of their UI crown jewels to a competin

    • by anethema (99553)
      The joy of anecdotal evidence. I have had an iPhone since the 3G came out, and despite dropping it causing me to have to do an RMA (shh), it has never forced me to reboot it due to a lockup.

      Apps? OH yeah, lots of crashes. The OS on the other hand, never.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Some corrections:

      1) The Cupcake branch released Android 1.5.
      2) Donut is the experimental branch of Android.
      3) Donut is not "Android 2.0"
      4) Nobody knows what Android 2.0 will be, or when it will come out.
      5) If you're on a community ROM, yes, if you're using Donut code, by definition you are also using Cupcake code.

      Carriers have significant testing requirements for phone software. Just because Android is open source and linux based doesn't mean you can take the linux geek approach and just release new versio

    • by Slashcrap (869349)

      (The latest experiemental Cyanogen ROM includes BFS (!) my first taste of the new scheduler on any system all I can say is the speed is mind boggling).

      I don't believe a slightly different scheduler would make any significant difference in a phone environment. I think you are just imagining things. Feel free to do benchmarks.

    • Do these unofficial builds include Google-sanctions apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, etc? Without those, the functionality of the phone decreases to near zero for me.

  • by levell (538346) * on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:48PM (#29446011) Homepage

    Android (and Palm's new WebOS) phones seem fairly cool but I'd rather use a phone that had more of the normal Linux userland. The FreeRunner [openmoko.org] still has lots of very rough edges but the new Nokia N900 [nokia.com] with Maemo 5 [nokia.com] looks really mouth-watering

    .

    • by moon3 (1530265)
      You can't run normal Linux apps on Android ?? Why ? Android uses the latest Linux kernel, one would expect complete compatibility with existing Linux apps.
      • by RedK (112790) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @06:22PM (#29447325)
        Because Linux is more than a kernel ? There's a lot of userland stuff that is missing from Android.
      • by short (66530)
        Android uses *just* Linux. Applications depend primarily on userland libraries which together with the Linux kernel are called as whole GNU/Linux OS.
      • by BountyX (1227176)
        You can indeed run native linux apps on the g1 (android platform), see previous story about this [slashdot.org].
        • by moon3 (1530265)
          Oh Jeez, you can't. He hacked the Android OS plus bunch of other hacks to get ROOT and to install ARM version of Debian on the device. How does that constitute to "run native linux apps" on the Android OS ? He basically got rid of Android to make way for Debian.
          • by BusterB (10791) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @10:27PM (#29449567)

            Well, the Native Development Kit (NDK) lets you build native code. There is a regular C/Unix environment underneath. If you look at a project like the Android Scripting Environment, they've managed to make Python, Ruby and Lua work on the phone, packaged as an .apk and not requiring root access. http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/ [google.com]

            You can compile pretty much anything for the phone, without needing root/Debian, though its not always as simple as 'apt-get install', for sure.

            • by moon3 (1530265)
              You can compile pretty much anything

              Hmm, that is simply not true. Can you call system, libc, audio or OpenGL (for example) functions from NDK? Nope. That means pretty much nothing will work on Android, except dedicated stuff that calls Java bindings back.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by guest235 (1558143)
      Well... see http://wiki.maemo.org/Why_the_closed_packages [maemo.org] . not nearly all of n900 userland is opensource :-(. Nokia seems to make packages closed by default, and only opensources when they see benefit _for them_...
    • I think that Nokia N900 is a big bright spot in Linux mobile universe. I'm just not sure how they will make transition to QT.
  • by BusterB (10791) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @10:22PM (#29449527)

    One way is to use the Native Development Kit, which lets you run regular C code on the phone. Here's a post explaining how to bind to bluez: http://blog.blackwhale.at/2009/08/android-bluetooth-on-steroids-with-the-ndk-and-bluez/ [blackwhale.at]

    The other way is to use the existing android bluetooth API: http://code.google.com/p/android-bluetooth/ [google.com]

    What that developer has done is use java reflection to wrap the existing (just not documented) android.bluetooth class API. I've been using it to communicate with an OBD-II adapter with some success (thought the dynamic port discovery API doesn't work entirely.)

    For tethering, Wifi Tether works pretty well, since it doesn't even require the laptop to support bluetooth. It makes your phone a portable ad-hoc access point. Does require root access, for which there are some one-click solutions out there.

  • Perhaps Google is hesitant to include a technology in Android that sucks as much as BT.

  • I think google just sucks at bluetooth coding. I can't (well technically i can but i DONT) use A2DP from my Magic because the bluetooth process doesn't keep up - CPU is nowhere near maxed out but it skips, speeds up and slows down in pitch, changing tracks causes horrible, horrible stuttering and delays etc, yet this is all fine when playing through the included headset. There's a bug for it and it has 'medium' priority and it hasn't even been assigned - see http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id [google.com]
  • This is just spiffy. Maybe next release, they'll decide to support CLDC /J2ME so that the tons of existing phone applications can be used without rewriting for Google's custom Java & API.

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