Owners of the Archos 5 Android Internet Tablet received some good news today that unfortunately didn't last long. Archos released a new firmware update, version 1.6.08, that upgraded the Android OS on the device to version 1.6 (Donut) as well as fixed some existing features (see changelog below) . . . and then pulled the update from its website.
If it were still available, the major changes of Android 1.6 that tablet owners would've enjoyed are the addition of a quick search box, a power control widget, a battery usage indicator screen, native support for WVGA screens, and support for VPN. A good summary of the general differences between Android 1.5 and 1.6 can be found on Wikipedia, although some functions, such as those relating to a camera, do not apply to the Archos.
It's worth noting however that the update broke the hack to install the additional Google apps previously missing from the device's installation of Android; we haven't heard from anyone whether the new update included the apps officially either. There's no word on why the firmware was pulled, but we assume it won't be long before it's restored and back up for the taking. See update from Archos below.
Android 1.6 "Donut": quick search box, power control widget, battery usage indicator screen, WVGA screen native support, VPN
ThinkFree Mobile 1.2: double-tap zoom in PDF, miscellaneous bug fixes and speed improvements
System: faster display in Archos Media Center applications
Storage: correct random hard disk disconnection while playing music or video
GPS: improve heading and velocity reports
Video: improve H264 HD playback, fix some streams that did not play at all
Video: allow to play some H264 SD tracks that were previously unsupported
Video: fix H264 streams with "weighted p" feature
Music: fix some Vorbis tags not read properly
Music: fix some ID3 tags not read correctly
Web Radio / Web TV: fix Archos media center sometimes crashing after finishing a podcast download
Media: both Archos media library and Android media library are now updated at the same time
GUI: added support for Turkish virtual keyboard
Update: Archos has added the following notice about the new firmware to its support page.