Archos releases software update for the Archos 5 Internet Tablet

No, Archos isn’t upgrading the Archos 5 Internet Tablet from Android 1.6 to Android 2.1 or 2.2 yet. If you want a newer operating system, it looks like you might be better off purchasing one of the five new tablets Archos just introduced. But the company is offering a software update for the Archos 5 which adds a couple of nifty features, including:

  • OpenGL 3D hardware acceleration and support for new 3D games
  • The ability to run some apps in full screen mode (hiding the notification bar)
  • ThinkFree Office 2.0 for viewing, editing, or creating office docs
  • Better memory management

I’m pretty sure the OpenGL support as actually added in an update this summer, but the latest Archos 5 firmware update was released on September 13th and lists 3D hardware acceleration as one of the new features. The Archos 5 Internet Tablet OS v2.0.38 is available as a free download.

via GadgetMix

  • aftermath

    I think the appropriate language is as follows. There has always been OpenGL 3D hardware acceleration in the Archos 5. It’s a feature of the hardware, independent of whether or not there is a driver available for the operating system of interest, or whether or not it is installed. For some reason, there wasn’t always a driver included in the firmware that enabled the included operating system to access these features. You are correct in stating that, while this driver also appears to be included in this current release, it was also reportedly included in the previous one as well. That said, Archos 5 quasi-officially supports other operating systems developed and maintained by the Linux community (perhaps with some form of support from Archos, I don’t exactly know), but for those other available operating systems the driver is not available due to licensing restrictions. As most people in the graphics community recognize, there is a large opportunity in the embedded market for integrated graphics that are well supported (or just supported at all) by open source drivers. This is something that Intel “punted” on with the GMA500/600 debacle, choosing instead to embrace the same proprietary yoke that burdens the Archos 5. At least people with the Archos 5 who enjoy its original operating system can have quality hardware acceleration (the driver is very good), and that is always a good thing, especially when one considers that many vendor don’t bother to license this for their customers.