Archos 5 Android Gets Android Version 1.6 (Donut)

a5donut main Archos 5 Android Gets Android Version 1.6 (Donut)

December 24th last year, firmware version 1.6.08 appeared on Archos’ firmware site and included a full OS update to Android version 1.6. A couple of hours later it was removed, and Archos stated there were “issues with the browser” and that a new version would be out “in a few days”. As I was planning on doing the Archos 5 review during the Christmas holidays I thought I should wait until the OS was updated before starting it. A few days isn’t much, after all. Today, 4 days short of a month later, they actually released it. I know, I know, I should have known better than to trust a company that sends a products as unfinished as the Archos 5 Android on the market, but optimism got the best of me.

Anyways, the firmware is finally here. No changes that really matter that much, and still no Android markeplace (though a hack will probably be out before too long). It’s also managed to turn itself off randomly in the 5 minutes I’ve used it post-upgrade as well as refuse to find my WiFi network after it started back up, not managing to fetch time data from the net, not loading emails like it should and go into a power saving screen shutoff that required the reset button to get it out of. As the review isn’t up yet most of you won’t know this, but to put it simple; of all the buggy devices that has ever existed this has got to be the most unstable piece of…plastic…of them all. Half a year in and it’s still so unstable it hardly qualifies as an Alpha release. Stay tuned for a review in the coming, if it manages to stay on long enough that is. I have serious doubts.

[Download page | Change log]


ralph on January 20, 2010 4:41 PM

I bought one when first released in UK, I put it in a draw waiting for the software to settle into usability, fat chance this latest release is as buggy as the lastI own other Archos players, but the 5g it is the biggest load of crap by a breathtaking mile, it is unusable, last week it wipes itself at random and the new donut has already switched off three times todayShame Archos!

Emily on January 20, 2010 6:03 PM

What do you mean by “donut”? It sure looks tasty.

Steve on January 20, 2010 7:19 PM

That bums me out, i was really hoping they’d get their shit together. Seems like no one besides Archos makes anything but useless little 16GB flash players anymore….there’s still a largely untapped market of music geeks who’d like large-capacity media players.

Ganjagorila on January 20, 2010 8:51 PM

I’ve had my A5IT for about a month now and I must admit it’s a rather buggy device. Numerous reboots, lockups, black screens you name it. However, there’s hugh potential with the android platform. I also have a Mytouch 3G with a modified Cyanogen Android rom. If Archos can throw a little more development behind their version of android they could have a potentially solid device. Have Faith my early adopters sweet vindication is on its way. Hopefully!!!!!!

ismail arslangiray on January 21, 2010 12:25 AM

I don’t understand why they are tweaking the system. Just use the mainstream applications. Regular marketplace. That is it. They are trying to make additional revenue from GPS and market. 1.7.3 firmware turned off the GPS completely. Why? I don’t know and we should ask ARCHOS!..

Charbax on January 21, 2010 6:11 AM

You people obviously have no idea what you are talking about. The new firmware has to be installed cleanly (you have to reset Android) for it to be smooth.And Archos is obviously doing the most impressive Android device in the world, with 720p video codecs playback and HDMI output, 4.8″ 800×480 touch-screen, up to 500GB storage, 800mhz ARM Cortex A8 processor (the first such Android device on the market), the only UNLOCKED Android device on the market available starting at $249 in Radio Shacks. The only Android or whatever else device to support all video and audio codecs up to 720p, including H264 High Profile MKV.Andreas Ødegård obviously don’t need those kinds of technologies in Denmark or wherever he is from. Maybe an ipod would be more suitable for him?

Andreas Ødegård on January 21, 2010 7:43 AM

@Charbax: The A5A is far from the only device that can do those things, and even if it wasn’t that is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for releasing an unfinished device to the market. As for resetting the device, of course I did that, I’m not an idiot. I’ve reset the device every time I’ve updated the FW, even before they integrated a reset button into the firmware update process itself. It’s still an incredibly buggy device that should not ever have been released in this state. Also, I have an iPod, and an iPhone, neither of which have ever crashed at all and despite having less hardware are immensly more useful because they’re stable. I’ve also had other devices more like the Archos 5, like the Nokia N800, and while that one wasn’t as stable as the iPhone either it was a flawless device in comparison to the piece of shit that the Archos is. Regardless of price nor technical specs, you can’t release a device this unstable. It’s so bad that the reset button should be a dedicated button on top, not a small hole on the back.

Andreas Ødegård on January 21, 2010 9:04 AM

@Emily: Android OS versions have the names of pastries. Donut, cupcake etc

joe on January 21, 2010 1:48 PM

What surprises me is why Archos is having such a hard time with this device seeing as how the OS was handed to them, browser, wifi and all.I don’t know of many devices though that do high profile h.26 4/vorbis/dts/dd files though. Sure Cowon’s A3 did it, but it is no longer around, and we all know how much that thing sucked as well when it came out.

sammy on January 21, 2010 5:50 PM

@Charbax: You know, accusing someone of being more suited to an iPod only really says that maybe they would just prefer one to any other player, and isn’t as much of an insult as you think it is.Anyway, I tried using one of these in Best Buy once and I assumed it had crashed. I say assumed because there was an LED on somewhere, which I took to mean it was charging (as in it should turn on), like all the other players that were being displayed that were also plugged in and claimed to be charging. However, I pressed the hold button or whatever, tried tapping the screen, even tried holding the power button just so I could mess with this thing, to no avail. I’m glad I got what I did, though. :3

Andreas Ødegård on January 22, 2010 7:45 AM

Just a heads up to anyone who suddenly find themselves with deleted comments and being banned from commenting: while constructive criticism is absolutely welcome, insults aren’t tolerated in any way on this site. All articles can be improved in some way or another and feedback is required for that, but if someone feels so strongly about something that they have to turn to personal insults to get their thoughts out, those people are not welcome on this site and would be much better off finding somewhere else where such behavior is tolerated.

somatic on January 22, 2010 9:20 AM

isnt this statement from engadget?

Andreas Ødegård on January 22, 2010 1:36 PM

I haven’t read Engadget in years for the simple fact they have retarded commenters, so I wouldn’t know if they said the same thing. Either way, it’s not

Moro77 on January 22, 2010 3:20 PM

My experience with the Archos 5 Android has been somewhat different. I experienced the same instability when I first bought the device. 2 updates later, I really had very little issues. It’s been working like a charm for the last 2 months, and I have had no issues with the recent donut firmware update. The biggest problem I have with it is that Appslib (Archos’ version of an app store) is slow and buggy at best. However I use this device primarily for video, music and pictures, and with the current incarnation of the firmware, these features work great. The screen is gorgeous and the touch implementation is much smoother than the 605. I also surf the internet occasionally in bed before I go to sleep and that works fine for me as well (the screen size helps a lot there). Can’t vouch for the GPS because I do not use it, and probably will not because of the additional 40$ they make you pay for it. Overall, I would highly recommend this as a media player, but if you’re an app aficionado, look elsewhere.

tinfoil on January 22, 2010 4:15 PM

I am in total agreement with Moro77. My A5A has worked nearly flawlessly, does everything I want it to and even (HOLY SH1T) connects to the internet automatically and without problems. It depresses me to read all the Archos bashing on here as I really love the device, and I know others do too.

Andreas Ødegård on January 23, 2010 12:16 AM

@Moro77,tinfoil: I’ve seen other people say the same thing, but that doesn’t really change anything. If you look at Archos forums around the net, buggyness to the degree of ridiculousness is the rule while devices that don’t act up are the exception, while it should be the other way around. The wifi thing is the thing that’s most different between devices as the Archos seems to be very picky about what router it likes and doesn’t like. This is nothing but bad programming from Archos as no other device I’ve ever had has had an issue with my router, and that’s quite a few devices. It also works sometimes, so it’s simply that it’s not stable instead of simply not working. I agree that the media player works better than the rest of the device, but it too has it’s bugs. From crashing when connecting to network storage, hanging during HD youtube. random reboots, not cutting out the speakers when headphones are connected to mention some issues I’ve had with video playback specifically. If it had been only my device that acted like this I would agree it was “depressing bashing”, but it isn’t, and it’s not just a couple of people who have it either. I can’t ignore epic problems with a player due to the notion that you _might_ get lucky and have no issues any more than I can discourage people from buying a good player because you _might_ run into non-standard issues.

buster8079 on January 23, 2010 3:22 AM

@ Andreas Ødegård: you wrote, “…a power saving screen shutoff that required the reset button to get it out of.”Sounds like the screen timed out (which by default is set at 1 minute, I think). No need to use the reset button. You just have to do a medium-to-long press on the power button (between a tap and a hold… tap turns off the screen, a hold loads up the shutdown menu).

Leif Andersen on January 23, 2010 9:55 AM

Oh yeah. The only problem is that they are still two versions behind. Speaking of which, I know that Android 1.5 is cupcake, 1.6 is doughnut, and 2.0 is éclair. But what is 1.0, 1.1, and 2.1? I searched google right and left, and couldn’t find anything other than that google once claimed that cupcake wan an experimental branch of android that Google let the community develop, which makes me wonder why it became the main one.

Andreas Ødegård on January 23, 2010 11:03 AM

@buster8079: I know that. I’ve had the device for months and I’m not that dumb ;) however, at one point the screen timed out and it wouldn’t turn back on no matter how long I held the power button. The LED on top was on showing that it was indeed in standby, but didn’t want to snap out of standby

joe on January 23, 2010 11:15 PM

AntiIgnorants, there are two kinds of ppl in this pmp world. Those who favor features over stability, and those who prefer that the thing actually work.I’d get the Archos 5 IT only because they fixed 3 pages of problems with it on their updates page, which took a few months to fix.And btw, if ipods are so crappy, why does everyone copy them?

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