Know your versions: Highlights of each Android update

Since each updated version of the Android OS introduces new capabilities, you need to know when the various features debuted.

Before buying an Android phone, you should find out which flavor of the operating system you'll get. Each tastily nicknamed update delivers new features, so it's important to find out what your Android phone will have--and what it might be missing.

Android version 1.5 (Cupcake)Released April 30, 2009

  • Video capture and playback
  • Direct video upload to YouTube
  • Direct photo upload to Picasa
  • Bluetooth A2DP support
  • Desktop folders and widgets
  • Copy/paste expanded to Web pages
  • Updated software keyboard

Android version 1.6 (Donut)Released September 15, 2009

  • Gallery allows deletion of multiple photos at once
  • Enhanced Android Marketplace
  • Faster Voice Search with deeper integration in native applications
  • One interface for camera and camcorder gallery
  • Ability to search bookmarks, history, contacts, and the Web from home screen via Search widget
  • Text-to-speech engine

Android version 2.0/2.1 (Éclair)Released October 26, 2009

  • Spruced-up user interface
  • Animated wallpapers
  • New browser interface with HTML5 support
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • New contact lists
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Enhanced software keyboard
  • Built-in flash support and digital zoom for camera
  • Better white/black ratio for backgrounds

For comprehensive tips about Android and reviews of the best apps and devices to help you get the most out of the mobile operating system, order PCWorld's Android Superguide, on CD-ROM or in a convenient, downloadable PDF file.

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Ginny Mies

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