Oct 04 AT 4:14 PM Taylor Wimberly 72 Comments

Did Google fumble the Android 1.6 launch?

We were thrilled last week when T-Mobile started rolling out Android 1.6, but we were also shocked that the update came without warning. Developers were also surprised with how soon the update started appearing. Everyone knew Android 1.6 was looming, but there was no public date for its availability.

Did Google fumble the Android 1.6 launch?

1. The update caught developers off guard.

Developers knew the update was coming, but many had not released updates for their applications. This is a problem because Android 1.6 causes problems with many apps and they need to be updated in order to be compatible.

Google normally sends an email to all developers who register with Android Market in order to warn them, but that did not happen this time around.

Some customers experienced severe problems when they updated to Android 1.6 because they had apps installed that were not compatible with the update.

2. Google uploaded the wrong 1.6 images on HTC’s site.

Google uploaded the developer images of Android 1.6 to HTC’s site only two days before the over the air update began. Unfortunately, the wrong images were uploaded at first, which caused further confusion among developers.

3. Android 1.6 breaks many apps in ADC2.

The Android Developers challenge is in the middle of the first round of voting. According to the official rules of the contest, applications can not be upgraded after they are submitted. All of the applications were designed for Android 1.5 so the new update to Android 1.6 makes these apps unusable.

Hopefully Google will do something to address this.

Having Problems with Android 1.6?

If you are experiencing force close loops, you can boot your phone into safe mode and uninstall the offending software.

  • Power off your phone
  • Hold down Menu and then power on your phone
  • Keep holding Menu down until Android boots and you see safe mode displayed on your desktop
  • Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications and uninstall problem software

If you experience an application that has problems, please email the developer. Many problems can be easily fixed, but the dev needs to be aware that problems exist.

The following is a list of applications that users have reported problems with Android 1.6. Not all have been verified. Let us know if any get fixed and we will update it.

  • Open Home (Fixed)
  • Useful Switchers
  • Facebook
  • Panda Home
  • Appmanager Pro
  • CoPilot
  • Handcent
  • Twidroid
  • Toggle Settings

It appears apps that use GPS, home replacement apps, and some apps with native Android tabs are having issues.

If you know of an app that does not work with Android 1.6, leave a comment and we will add it to the list.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Kenneth Johansen

    After I heard about the update the T-Moble Account App got I was waiting for the other apps to follow. So far none of my apps have been updated for the 1.6 update. These apps have to be updated before we all get it. Hope they do it soon.

    • Jay

      This addresses “problem apps,” those that are not functioning properly after the 1.6 release. But what I found was that one 3rd party app was interfering with the proper functioning of many of the built in apps, most notably, the Browser app. So I uninstalled a few apps at a time and found the culprit.

      Once I uninstalled Yellowbook, I was up and running. Just to be sure, I reinstalled the app, and sure enough force closes in the Browser and other built in apps. I’m sure there are other 3rd party apps that may still function, but interfere with other parts of the 1.6 system.

      Hope this helps!

  • JA

    so when the update for the mytouch 3G begins ???

    • Matt

      Got mine this morning! Seattle, WA.

    • moresleep

      also got mine this morning! Chicago,IL

  • andrew

    I installed Android 1.6 manually from the link posted on this site and i have had no problems. my phone is running (much) faster and seems more stable. i feel bad for those having problems, but just want to say it’s not everyone…

    thanks for being sweet, android and me.

  • Steve

    They were too busy rapping Cyan’s knuckles for beating them to the punch to worry about some update to their customer base…

  • http://blog.tenkely.net Tenkely
  • http://twitter.com/jdellachiesa Jarrod

    I am having a little trouble with 1.6 – Since upgrading, my G1s “End” key is working weird. To power on and off, it works normally. But if I am in an app and click the end key, nothing happens. If I am on my home screen, normally pressing the End key would turn the screen off and lock my phone, but it doesn’t work any longer either. Does anyone know why this may be happening?

    Thank you!

    • Scott

      I am having the same issue. Since nobody else is having the issue I assume its an app that installed causing it to behave weird. I uninstalled Spare Parts hoping that would do the trick. No luck. My wife’s MyTouch got the update too and hers works fine.

      Any thoughts?

  • midtoad

    Thanks for the safe-boot tip… it might come in handy.

    My first thought about the 1.6 release was… “where was the kickoff media event? The charming CEO? The invited guests?” But after some reflection, maybe the reason some other operating systems need big public spectacles is because they are *selling* something: the upgrade itself. In their case, the whole purpose of the event is to get as much free advertising as possible for their product from the media.

    But in the case of Android, there’s no apparent product, nothing to buy, so we don’t need any events, right? On the other hand, Android needs to keep increasing its mind share, so the undecided buying public looking at their next phone purchase need to know that Android is being continually improved, much like its competitors.

    Without the public endorsing Android by buying phones running it, Google won’t meet its corporate objectives. So from that perspective, saying nothing publicly about this release looks like a missed opportunity.

  • J.A

    When is the update for the mytouch 3g? Any one knows?

  • http://twitter.com/rickyrescue Ricky

    The only problem I see with 1.6 is that the Calendar widget says, “Loading Problem” or something like that for a few seconds.
    Also, it uses a weird icon for for “Applications”. Under the shortcuts menu.

  • http://samstrip.blogspot.com SamanthaQ

    I just got the 1.6 update for my G1 this morning. Mind you I didn’t actually get the phone until yesterday, but that’s another story. So admittedly I have very little installed in the phone because it is brand new.

    I woke up this morning to notification the 1.6 update was available and it asked me if I wanted it to install. Naturally I said yes. It did it’s install thing, and restarted smoothly. Everything I had installed is still working, including tethering to my desktop and the system is snappier, smoother, and certainly faster. I went into settings and turned on all the cuteness factors like screen animation, autorotate, and everything else. With those features ON, it’s still faster than the 1.1 version right out of the box yesterday. I suspect if I turn off the cuteness factors, it will be even faster. Which frankly, I’m not even sure I want right now. Sometimes the thing is a little zippier than I want it to be. I’m even finding the touch kbd to be responsive and easy to use, which is funny because I specifically got the G1 and not the MyTouch because I didn’t think I’d like the touch kbd. It’s not the only reason, so it’s not like I’m going to rush back and exchange the phone.

    So far, despite the way they dropped the ball, I give it a very heartfelt tyhumbs up!

    Oh, and for those of you waiting (like I am) for 3g in southwest Ohio, the official story is there are some folks in Kentucky that are using that chunk of T-Mobile spectrum and are moving. Current anticipated live time for 3g in these parts is Late October, Early November.

  • Jeremy

    Launcher doc is not working withe donut.

  • http://davehong.yelp.com Dave H.

    Everything seems fine for me – the apps I use worked fine, and only a few needed updates?

  • Veronica

    The HTC Touch Input keyboard began a force close loop once Donut was installed.

  • charrion

    Eh, there’s far more important news coming anyway. Cyan’s google stripped 4.2 stable may be released this week.

  • Sammy

    The main ones I use seem to work fine I have an occasional one that doesn’t but I can wait patiently. J.A. they already started updating the MyTouches. I know some who have got it and others who havent. It seems to take about a week total.

  • Raghu

    Many have observed problem with “Toggle Settings” app. It is one of the best time saver app to toggle many of the setting with single click. It will replace so many widgets that you might have.

    I have emailed the dev and got a good response that he is working on Donut version and will release one in couple of days. He is including some new features as well

  • lolamarya

    I got the 1.6 update at about 3:30am on 10/03 for my G1. Later in the day I decided to go buy a MyTouch and the 1.6 update came at about 4:40am, so they seem to be doing both phones. I haven’t had any problems with either phone with the update, but I think the MyTouch runs better.

  • Wayne

    Seriously? They fumbled the launch because they didn’t wait long enough? Come on; everyone is barking about how long they are taking, and then everyone tells them they went too fast. Some people are never pleased…

    Oh, and btw, have you looked at the changes in the api? A lot may have been added, but not that much was changed. As a developer, I understand that a lot of the smaller devs who have “day jobs” might not have had the time to fix everything, but that doesn’t mean that Google should hold everything back as a solution. And like some others have mentioned, I have only had a couple of force closes, and all is well for me. Not to mentione that I think it is a little early to be putting articles out there wondering if Google released to early, especially since the update is still rolling out. Maybe the author should use a wee bit more discretion next time.

  • http://markbennett.ca Mark

    I hadn’t heard about many of the problems in this article until I read about them here, as my update when fine and I’ve noticed the phone runs much faster. That said I did wipe my phone’s cache and user settings before the upgrade, and I don’t have many extra apps installed. Perhaps the crashes are related to third-party apps not having time to prepare for the transition?

  • mike g

    wish this information was available when i got my update.. had to clear my G1 because openhome wasnt working and redownload all my apps and settings…..

  • bandi

    I’ve got somekind of bug…my messaging app(the one that comes with android) doesn’t link the incoming phonenumbers with the existing names in my contacts. For example a number could be 0745xxxxxx and the message is sent with 40745xxxxxx. It has always been like this, and before the update everything was just fine…now I have to look up the numbers! It’s very annoying

  • http://www.googlemoneytree.me/ bandi

    I’ve got somekind of bug…my messaging app(the one that comes with android) doesn’t link the incoming phonenumbers with the existing names in my contacts. For example a number could be 0745xxxxxx and the message is sent with 40745xxxxxx. It has always been like this, and before the update everything was just fine…now I have to look up the numbers! It’s very annoying
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • http://www.zingodia.com Rick

    I received the update on Sunday afternoon – it appeared to work at the time – however, this morning I awoke to my phone locked up. Pulled the battery, put it back in, reboot – it would get to the point of reading the sim card and then reboot itself. Constant loop of android screen, then home screen where it would read sim card, then reboot. Pulled the battery – same behavior. Tried booting into safe mode (holding menu button during boot process) – same behavior. Rebooted to factory settings (home and power button during boot process and then home and power button once again) – actually tried clearing cache from menu first hoping that maybe something would work, but no… had to go back to factory settings. I’m guessing that one of the widgets on the home screen was having an issue. I don’t have any paid for applications, but what a bummer as I’ll need to reload apps and just a lousy experience.

    • http://www.zingodia.com Rick

      Just a side note – interesting enough, rebooting to factory settings maintained the 1.6 update – I was expecting to default back to pre-donut, pre-cupcake of what was originally on my phone out of the box.

  • LeMiless

    I can’t even use my camera. It force closes almost immediately after I start the app. All of my market downloads appear to stay in ‘starting download’ status, but never actually initiate the download. At various times, I have been severely frustrated with this OS since I got my phone in February, but have never had so many problems as I do now. .. UGH, I really want to avoid yet ANOTHER factory reset. I’ve already lost texts and had to reinstall all apps about 5 times :( ……. Hence continues my Love/Hate relationship with my G1 ..

  • lb9819

    you still get google apps. just as long as you know install it right!

  • Rommel

    Toggle Settings didnĀ“t work and for the contacts I did a modification by adding the code area for each contact because the identification didn’t work too.

  • Rommel

    Forgot something, messages app doesn’t link the phone numbers of my contacts.

  • Justin

    Heh. For me, it seems the 3rd party apps are the -only- things that -are- working.
    I got my first phone call since the upgrade this morning, and guess what? force close.
    Im getting force close messages if my phone is asleep when i recieve any sort of notification.
    heck, I can’t even play music now, the music player crashes immediately.
    Seems all the crashes are in android.process.media.
    If I try to go change my ringtone in the settings… force close.
    If I take out my SD card… all these problems go away. Even If I set all my notification sounds and ringtones to normal, built-in system sounds, I still get these crashes if my sd card is mounted, even though nothing is being accessed from it. I am using the same 16GB sdcard I have been using without issue since 1.0. Is there any way to go back to 1.5? Sure, it was slower, but at least it actually -worked-.

    • Brad

      I am having the exact same problem. I even tried a different SD card. Same thing happened. Hope they fix this crap soon.

  • Matt

    Oh man. THIS UPDATE IS SO FAST. I don’t care if every app breaks…it’s nice to finally have my myTouch act like an actual phone and not just frustrate me. Supposedly this bug I’ve been having:


    is fixed now, too. I’ll get back to you if I notice anything freaking out. Ooo new Accessibility options, too? Haven’t heard these talked about anywhere. Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack, SoundBack, KickBack. TalkBack recites menu options, app titles, contacts, etc when scrolling through and opening. SoundBack plays a tone when scrolling menus and a different one everytime a menu is selected. KickBack is like SoundBack but with vibrate. TalkBack sounds a lot better when you change it to British English in Speech synthesis settings…just my opinion though.

    • Matt

      CalWidget works…but causes acore force closes when coming back to the home screen after a memory intensive app.

  • John Lillis

    I have a myTouch and I installed Cupcake 1.6 Sunday morning, here in Boston and ever since I can’t go into my e-mail. Not GMAIL…the e-mail app when I click the link it force closes! I have to wait til I get a new email in the top bar to access any email. The icon on the home screen and the icon in the system menu don’t work! HELP! TERRIBLE GOOGLE!

    • John Lillis

      Also, when I get a text it doesn’t notify me until I wake my phone up. Got a text 25 mins after it was sent! FIX! This is Apple bad! Test the crap before sending it out!

  • Jason Vail

    Updated my mt3g this morning to 1.6 because I couldn’t wait any longer. Haven’t had many problems… Dolphin Browser had some menu issues, so I went back to default.

    I’m most impressed by the improvements on built in camera app. It was almost unusably slow previously and now it is fairly quick and picture quality in low lights seems much improved.

  • http://www.hpaulmoon.com Paul

    Touch Input keyboard goes into a crash loop not just after installation of 1.6, but forever. Is there an update? Has anyone gotten Touch Input to work at all with 1.6?

  • http://www.hyperborea.org/journal/ Kelson

    I got the upgrade notice on my G1 mid-afternoon today and figured, why not? It’s been smooth so far…once it had a chance “prepare the SD card.” I assume it was indexing files, since at first I couldn’t do anything with either the camera or gallery. The apps weren’t locked up, they just showed a please-wait notice whenever I tried to do anything. So I backed out, went and explored other stuff like the new market, then went back to check out the gallery & camera later and they worked fine.

  • Brad

    1.6 crash loop due to a 16gb sdcard with too many files. The phone loads fine with out the sd card, insert it and crash to android flashing letters. This was a known bug in 1.5 ad said was fixed. Obviously not!

  • Michael

    Telenav “works” but doesnt “work”. It says “NO GPS SIGNAL FOUND” on the screen; however it still displays the correct directions , albeit, quite slow.

  • Lee

    Since TMo pushed down my 1.6 update, my camera no longer works. Any suggestions on how to fix this would be appreciated.

  • http://www.mjhartdesign.com mat

    Just got the Useful Switchers update. Greed might have been broken but can’t replicate the error. Has anyone else has Greed stop services on boot?

  • Garron

    So I have a force close loop with aHome. I get the android.process.aHome force close message.

    I don’t want to restore my entire phone, so I went to safe mode to turn off aHome.

    However, now that I’m on safe mode, I get another force close loop that has a android.process.acore force close message.

    Does anyone know how I fix this? I didn’t think I would get a force close loop in safe mode

  • brad

    The default browser crashes everytime I open it. The default search causes a reboot every time I search. This is from anywhere including widget and market. Is this an OS issue/bug or is one of my apps causing this? Anyone else?

  • Scott

    Got the 1.6 update this evening. Native Android browser crashes on startup; phone reboots if I try to search the Android Market. Tried uninstalling Yellowbook as one user suggested, but no luck. I’d really prefer not to have to wipe the phone back to factory settings. Any other ideas???

  • Scott

    Sorry, almost forgot: I uninstalled Yellowbook and *nothing changed*! If anyone else has discovered another third party app culprit, please post it here.

  • Scott

    Sorry, I submitted too soon. I uninstalled Yellowbook, rebooted, and tried the Android Browser and Market search again and at first it didn’t work. However I just tried both again and now they both work. Go figure….

  • Jon

    Telenav does not work on 1.6

  • JT

    When using version 1.5 (cupcake) i was able to input a phone number without area code that was saved in my address-book with area code and it will still recognize the contact. Now, with version 1.6 (donut) it does not recognize the contact… only if i dial the area code first when calling from the same city… Any answers to why?

  • DM

    With the 1.6 update I can no longer text message anymore because it force closes it every time, and i am using the standard text messaging app.. PLS FIX ASAP

  • David Cregan

    Installed the 1.6 update, now the native browser won’t work and asks to force close and if a search is done in Market the G1 does a full reset.

  • Brennen

    I think it was uninstalling the Steele browser that worked for me, but on the TMobile forum there have been lots of applications put forward as the problem.

  • Mike

    Guys, if all else fails, and you have a G1, you can resort to doing a factory reset of your phone. The factory reset only wipes application and preference data, it doesn’t revert to an older version of Android like some people were worried it would do.

    If you do a factory reset, you’ll have to reinstall all of your apps, and set your preferences again since all of this will be wiped from the phone, so do this only as a last resort.

    To perform a factory reset on your phone:

    1) Power your phone off by pressing and holding the end call button until the phone prompts you. Then select Power off and OK.
    2) With the phone off, press and hold the Home button while you press the end call button. Keep holding down the Home button.
    3) The phone will start booting and then stop on an exclamation (!) icon.
    4) Open up the phone to access the keyboard and press alt+L
    5) A menu should be displayed on the screen.
    6) Press alt+W to clear your settings and do a factory reset
    7) Once the factory reset is done, press the Home and Back buttons simultaneously to reboot the phone.

  • chidlofthenight

    for those with camera issues. back up your crap then format the sd card. once you do it will work fine.

  • Brad

    Formatting the SD card definitely works to fix the media errors.

  • jimnguyen

    Power Manager has Force closes when going into the settings.

  • http://sufian.org Sufian

    Useful Switchers & Handcent have 1.6 updates out. Both work w/o any issues on my myTouch3G w/1.6.

  • curt

    After manualy updating to 1.6 just about everything looks good except when Im on an application like Pandora,market ect. when I hit the home key it goes to a fore close that reads (“The android.process.acore has stopped unexpectedly.Please try again”)What to do?Please help cause this is getting frustrating!!!

    • Matt

      Pull some widgets off your home screen, one by one. Go to a memory intensive app, like a game (so the memory manager dumps the home screen and reloads when you go back home), then come back to the home screen and see if you get the force close. Do this until you don’t have force closes! Worked with me and CalWidget.

  • dave

    Since the update, my G1 is having trouble recognizing numbers from my contact list and, often, does not prompt a contact name when I receive a call. The same thing happens with text messages, which is particularly annoying because the phone establishes a new text conversation labeled with only a phone number. I can deal with a “force close” here and there, but this is affecting my G1″s basic functionality as a telephone.
    I have not read this entire thread yet, so sorry if the solution is already here.

  • http://danglinginvective.blogspot.com Mark

    I have only had 1 problem so far…

    I was shocked when TeleNav fell over under 1.6. It only force closed every time it tried to get a GPS fix…

    Even allowing for a fumbled roll out by Google, TeleNav isn’t saying a word about when/if they will have a fix out. I subscribed on a monthly basis and was able to cancel. Good thing I didn’t opt for yearly…

  • http://www.wreiner.at Walter

    I would recommend anyone who uses Advanced Launcher do disable it as default home application cause it keeps crashing and you can’t do anything with the phone beside phoning. Thanks for your hint with the secure mode.

  • Pingback: Android Update from Cupcake to Donut | http://www.wreiner.at()

  • Jon

    Anyone found a fix for the red button break? Thats the only problem im having so far. Its just annoying not being able to lock my phone!

  • Kenny

    Since getting the update last week I cannot search using the Google search, the search button on the G1 keyboard, Market Place or Google Maps. The last two tend to crash and reset the G1. I dont really want to flash the phone again so not impressed so far.

  • Paul Moore

    I’ve got the T-Mobile G2 which I updated throught the T-Mobile website. I started to set up the People Application and having set up both Favourites and a Group, every time I open People or go to All I get the dreaded ‘android.process.acore stopped unexpectedly piease try again’ with just the Force Close option.I’ve tried re-booting the phone with no success.