After a few false starts, the Android 1.5 OS upgrade has finally made it to the 100,000 G1 owners in the U.K. using T-Mobile. For most of them, they will receive the cupcake upgrade automatically OTA. The G1 owners in the U.S. will get their cupcake upgrade at the end of next week. It will be sent OTA in a random order.
Among the new features is a camcorder that can be activated by touching a film icon in the bottom right corner. With the new video player, you can play back whatever you just recorded as well as uploading it directly to YouTube. Still photos can now be sent to the Google owned Picasa photo sharing web site and a caption can be added to the picture. We have all by now seen the leaked picture of the virtual keyboard for the upgrade. The QWERTY board will work in conjunction with an overhauled texting platform with predictive text options.
The second Android handset, the HTC Magic, is available through Vodafone in some markets overseas and has the 1.5 upgrade on the phone right out of the box. The U.S. version of the handset is expected to be named My Touch 3G and will have the cupcake upgrade installed before being launched.
Engadget and BGR are reporting that they have received calls on Wednesday evening from G1 owners claiming to have received the updated Android 1.5 OS, the Cupcake. As we reported, among the changes you will find is the virtual QWERTY keyboard, the ability to take videos and play them back, stereo Bluetooth and an accelerometer among other things. Details remain sketchy and we’re not sure if there is a certain order to the upgrade being sent out.
EngadgetMobile also reported that a person who works for the carrier said that T-Mobile would confirm the availability of the Cupcake upgrade for its G1 customers in the near future. Sounds like some of these cell reps have a future in politics. Here is the best way to find out if the G1 upgrade has dropped: Look for it!
If you are a G1 user on T-Mobile, let us know if you received Android OS 1.5 or not.
T-Mobile Germany has posted on its G1 web page that a software upgrade will be coming in May for users of the device on its network. Among the features that will be added to the handset is a virtual keyboard, video capture and playback, stereo Bluetooth support and what appears to be an accelerometer (translated copy from German to English reads “Automatic Adjustment of the touchscreen when the G1 is horizontal or vertical hold”).
As far as a similar offering for all of those hungry U.S. G1 owners waiting for a cupcake of their own, we still have no idea of a date when it will happen, but with the apparent May release in Germany, the U.S. upgrade shouldn’t be too far away.
Who said Cupcake is not released yet? Okay, it isn’t, but there is now a completely reliable way to get all those much-wanted goodies, such as an on-screen QWERTY, video recording, updated browser and more. The story is that a user, nicknamed haykuro, has managed to port the HTC Magic’s software, version 1.5, to the G1. Side by side with the folks at XDA forums, the advancement of the project continues with more bug fixes.
Here’s the moment to introduce you the two available versions of the port: the G line (meaning Google-sourced) and the H line (from HTC-sourced). What’s the difference? The biggest difference by now is the fact that Google has actually blocked the access to Android Market for the G ROMs. One theory is that the company has done this, because a G1 with the Android 1.5 version has been detected as an HTC Magic phone, so it wanted to limit such devices until the Magic has been officially released. Or… the other possibility that comes to our minds – the companies want to keep sales up. As the users have become tired of waiting for the promised Cupcake update, they have thought of their own ways to get the features, even push it one step further!
Then how come Google’s bunch of contributing developers was unable to deliver the much-needed features in such a long period of time? If these guys are so slow every time an update is needed, then this whole open-source initiative is totally senseless. Maybe we are just missing the idea – the companies might be as well holding Cupcake’s release until the Magic is finally on the market. Why? Well, what does the Magic have that the G1 doesn’t? On-screen QWERTY, video recording, updated browser… Exactly, the Magic will not offer almost anything new in terms of hardware. Even the QWERTY keyboard has been removed. That is why Google has decided to cut the access to Android Market for “rooted” G1s after a few days of usage – in order to give you a reason to buy the Magic. Users report that it is still possible to use the storefront with the H builds, so just go ahead and don’t forget that we would like to know what you guys are thinking on the matter.
You can download the latest version of the port here.
As of yesterday, developers are now allowed to get the SDK for the next platform of Google’s open source OS, Android 1.5. This new build is based on the cupcake branch from the Android Open Source Project and includes APIs for features like a virtual QWERTY keyboard, widgets for the home screen, live folders and speech recognition. At the developer’s site you can download the early-view version of Android 1.5, learn about upgrading your Eclipse plug-in and learn what changes you will find in version 1.5. The SDK itself has been changed with improvements to the developer’s tools and will also include multiple versions of the Android software. For example, the early look SDK now offered not only includes version 1.5 of Android, but also includes version 1.1 so that multiple builds can be targeted with just one SDK installation. Google is telling developers not to release apps based on this version of Android 1.5 because there still could be some changes before the official release, which should be available at the end of the month. In the meanwhile, developers can download the Android 1.5 early look SDK by clicking on this link.
Rejoice Android users, Google loves you! Two of the features offered by the Internet giant are updated and will offer new functions and easier usage.
The Gmail for mobile now has a new rendering engine, which makes it faster and more feature rich. It can even be used if there is no internet connection. You’ll still be able to read recently opened messages, and even compose new ones. In order to manage messages easier, there is now a new the floating bar, that appears when you mark a message, follows you when you scroll up and down in your inbox and gives you access to functions such as archive, delete, and different types of marking (read, unread, add star). Additional improvements include the rearrangement of the search box and redesign of the Labels. Check the video below to see a demo of these updates.
And what about the Calendar functionality? If you have one of the two operating systems, you can now edit the events. You can change your attendance status, details, and add or remove guests. Just like the Gmail, this can be done even if you got flaky network – the Calendar will start up and show your last viewed events.
These new goods are supported by all Android-powered phones (well, they aren’t too many). They are available only in English for now, but more languages will be supported soon. Try them and share your experience with us. Is that the right direction for the mobile services?
Sometimes things just don’t work out well. We could almost taste the delicious Cupcake update for Android, which was expected in April, but now, it seems that the on-screen keyboard, video recording, stereo Bluetooth and a number of other features will have to wait. According to Betanews, Erica Gordon, spokesperson for T-Mobile USA, has informed that Cupcake’s April release is “just a rumor”. Well, there is still a ray of hope, since Gordon said she couldn’t speak for T-Mobile International, the plans of which may actually include a possible launch in April. However, when asked if T-Mobile International has confirmed the release, she replies: “Not as far as I know”. So, that is it, we wouldn’t fancy seeing the legendary Cupcake update soon enough.