Owners of a T-Mobile G1 Android handset might soon enjoy the latest flavor of Google's operating system too, although initially the Android Developers said that the new firmware wouldn't be available for the first Android-based mobile phone. Android 1.6, also known as Donut, is set to be released into the wild as soon as October, while the Android 1.6 SDK has already been published on the Android Developers website.
It was only last month that users of a T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream received the terrible news. Their handsets won't enjoy any future flavors of the Android platform, Cupcake being the latest iteration that was released with support for their devices too. The main reason for this was said to be the fact that G1 came to the market with a small amount of flash memory, and that the future Android versions wouldn't fit into such a small storage space.
However, recent news reports suggest that G1 owners might have some hope too. It seems that the Android 1.6 firmware page describes the new text-to-speech feature that will come with Donut, and makes a specific reference to the G1 devices, which shows that owners of these handsets will also have the opportunity to taste Android 1.6 when it lands.
“Android 1.6 features a multi-lingual speech synthesis engine called Pico. It allows any Android application to “speak” a string of text with an accent that matches the language. The engine supports the following languages: English (American and British accents), French, Italian, German and Spanish. If you’re using a T-Mobile G1 or Dream device, you’ll need to download the SpeechSynthesis Data Installer from Android Market, which includes the 'voices' needed by the text-to-speech engine,” is what the New Platform Technologies section on the Android for Developers blog states.
October is just around the corner, which means that the Donut will be served in the very near future as well. All available Android handsets on the market will receive the firmware update it seems, and the same should happen with those that are about to be launched, namely the HTC Tattoo, which is on its way to Vodafone, and Motorola Cliq/Dext, which will become available in the US via T-Mobile, and in Europe via Orange.