Google announces Codename Donut: Android 2.0

If there’s one thing Google seems to know it’s the affinity between delicious tech and delicious foodstuffs. Its recently released Android update was codenamed cupcake and now it has unveiled donut: Android 2.0.

It also seems thoroughly clued in to the fact that both consumers and companies are shy of 1.0 and even 1.5 releases. It has only been months since the first Android phone was launched in Australia and Google is already previewing version 2.0 of its mobile OS.

New features include global search of mail contacts calendar and music — addressing an area that has traditionally been weak in mobiles and in particular the iPhone (though iPhone 3.0 software will include global search.)

It will also have a text-to-speech engine which will apparently also allow voice input so third party application developers can build in voice control and search.

Google also gave a very brief demonstration of handwriting recognition; another area that Apple has steadfastly stayed away from in the iPhone.

There are also some new Android handsets coming up: one codenamed HTC Lancaster was leaked to Engadget which looks essentially like a tweaked G1 but apparently has software layer created by HTC that is heavily focused on social networking and IM.

Sony Ericsson recently said it would wait until Android 2.0 to release its Android handset and now that the 2.0 cat is out of Google’s bag it looks likely that we’ll be seeing Android being given some sleek Sony Ericsson styling love.
With additional reporting by Dan Warne.