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It's Cupcake Time: Google Android Update This Week

Google Android 1.5, dubbed 'Cupcake,' is expected to hit the T-Mobile G1 this week, marking the first major Android update.

Google operating system

Cupcake, officially known as Google Android 1.5, will be pushed out to T-Mobile G1 users over the air as a download.

"T-Mobile is delighted to announce the upcoming release of Android 1.5 with 'Cupcake' coming soon to the T-Mobile G1," T-Mobile wrote in a statement late last week. "We plan to begin sending out the update starting the end of next week. As with previous software maintenance releases, the update will be randomly sent 'over the air' to T-Mobile G1 customers. We expect everyone will have their update by the end of May."

Rumors about the first true Android update began circulating earlier this year.

The update adds a host of new features and functions. Android 1.5 is expected to refine the user interface, add animated window transitions and pack in an accelerometer for application rotation. The user interface will also be updated to improve in-call experience, MMS and SMS messaging, the browser, Gmail, calendar, camera and gallery, and application management.

In addition, Google Android will boost performance, offering faster camera startup and image capture; faster acquisition of GPS location; smoother browser scrolling; and faster Gmail conversation scrolling.

As for new features, Android 1.5 Cupcake is expected to add an on-screen virtual keyboard, home screen widgets, video recording and playback, and stereo Bluetooth support. New browser features will include an updated WebKit browser with SquirrelFish JavaScript engines, copy and paste, and searching within a page.

And on the application front, Android 1.5 will let users view Google Talk friends' status in contacts, SMS, MMS, Gmail and e-mail applications; batch actions like archive, delete and label in Gmail messages; upload videos to YouTube; and upload photos to Picasa.

Other updates in Android 1.5 include Live Folders, which lets users look over media saved on their T-Mobile G1 without having to open and scroll through each application, and the ability to set the phone to click or vibrate while typing.

T-Mobile has also launched a video walking users through some of the Android 1.5 features, including using the on-screen keyboard and new video capture and playback abilities.

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