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The features Kiwis miss out on with Android 1.6

, posted: 14-May-2010 13:15

Telecom and Vodafone have recently launched the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 which has great looking hardware capabilities but means that the most up to date Android device you can buy from any mobile operator in New Zealand is only running the very outdated 1.6 OS. SE have stated that a 2.1 upgrade will be available sometime in 'Q4' although exactly when this will be an how you do this upgrade is not clear. And of course 2.2 will already be out by then.

Meanwhile overseas a raft of devices (HTC, Samsung, Motorola) running 2.1 are already available. If you aren't sure what we are missing out on in NZ here's a list of some important user features that came in 2.0 or 2.1:

- Refreshed UI
- MS Exchange support built-in
- Combined in-box
- Quick Contact lets you tap on a contact's photo to immediately get a list of ways you can reach them
- SMS & MMS search
- Camera: digital zoom, white balance, macro focus
- Improved virtual keyboard (the 1.6 keyboard is pretty bad)
- Browser double tap zoom
- Improved graphics acceleration
- Bluetooth 2.1
- Live wallpapers
- 5 home screens
- revised App launcher
- Voice recognition for all text fields
- 3D photo gallery with 2-way sync to Picasa

- Turn by turn spoken navigation for US and UK
- Twitter's own Android client.

And next week at Google's I/O conference we should hear about the 2.2 features...

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Comment by bruce, on 14-May-2010 13:50

and the other android phone available (HTC Magic) is also only on 1.6

Comment by freitasm, on 14-May-2010 14:29

And the LG GW620 on Telecom is running Android 1.5...

Comment by kiwipixter, on 14-May-2010 14:46

Also, 2.x has much richer set of APIs for developers. 1.6 or older devices may not get all access to new apps available in android market.

Comment by freitasm, on 14-May-2010 16:06

For example, the official Twitter app won't run on neither of those existing devices (the Sony Ericsson X10 and LG GW620.

Yes, I know you can install your own OS. I am talking about stock OS, which is what the majority of consumers use.

Comment by meh, on 14-May-2010 16:28

1.6!? Do yourself a favor, order the Google Nexus One using a freight forwarder. You not only get an outstanding phone but Google pushes the updates over the air as soon as they're available. 2.2 looks to provide the remaining features users are clamoring for (apps on the sd card, tethering etc).

Comment by kyhwana2, on 14-May-2010 16:33

Hopefully HTC gets 2.2 onto the Desire not too long after it comes out!

Also, hopefully they FINALLY add proper Proxy support.

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timmyh's profile

Tim Hayward
New Zealand

Former 'Head of Smartphones' at Vodafone New Zealand Marketing from 2006 to 2009. Looked after all key Smartphone platforms, mobile pricing plans, marketing and sales GTM activity.

Now working on mobile application development consulting and delivery especially on projects requiring support across multiple mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian). Please contact me if you have any projects you'd like us to consult or quote on: tim@hayward.net.nz