This has been an interesting week for smartphone enthusiasts who don’t mind the hype of iPhone. This week we saw two giant smartphone OS developers, Google and Palm, rolling out their respective upgraded versions back to back, Google Android 1.6 (code named Donut) and Palm WebOS 1.2. This is worth watching for because Microsoft is also planning to release Windows Mobile 6.5 in a matter of hours, on 6th of Oct 2009.
Microsoft has already announced that the first Windows phones, identified by the fact that they are running Windows Mobile 6.5, will be made available at retail stores worldwide on October 6, 2009. Microsoft is underlining that version 6.5 of its mobile operating system brings an improved user interface and that the Internet Explorer Mobile browser includes a new engine as well as built-in Adobe Flash Lite support.
Google’s Android 1.6 Donut has support for CDMA radios, QVGA and WVGA resolutions. Android 1.6 also brings Quick Search Box for Android which is fundamentally universal search that searches locally on your phone and through the internet at the same time, new text-to-speech APIs, and the beautiful new Android Market. The camera’s interface has also been updated with improvement to the camera’s loading time (approx. 39% faster), and a neat battery usage indicator that details which applications are using the most power. One of the most striking advancements is the introduction of CDMA support in the telephony stack which will open the door for Android phones to launch on Verizon and Sprint. Under the hood, Android’s Linux kernel has undergone a boost from version 2.6.27 to version 2.6.29, the most important smartphone-related change being the introduction of Intel’s open source WiMAX stack and drivers.
On the other hand, Palm has also launched a new update, version 1.2 of WebOS. One of the most remarkable advancements in this update is support for LinkedIn in the Palm Synergy synchronization service. Palm has also added the ability for users to input a credit card number in the App Catalog program, indicating that commercial software could be ariving soon. Quick Search, like Google Android 1.6 Search, isn’t something iPhone supports at the moment, but is something we hope Apple must be looking into if they need a way to survive the competition. Palm announced the release in an entry on the company’s official blog. A more detailed overview of the enhancements can be found in the release notes.
Being a smartphone user, which OS would you prefer? Google Android Donut 1.6, Palm WebOS 1.2, Windows Mobile 6.5 or the mighty iPhone?