T-Mobile has begun distributing the Android 1.5 upgrade to those with a T-Mobile G1, bringing new features such as an on-screen keyboard to this smartphone.
This carrier had originally planned to start sending the new version of Google's operating system to G1 users earlier this month, but had to delay the release for undisclosed reasons.
This upgrade is being sent directly to the device, and some people received it overnight. At this point, there's no way for users to upgrade their G1 other than to wait for T-Mobile to send them the files they need. However, an unofficial method to manually download and install the upgrade will almost certainly be available soon.
What's in Android 1.5?
One of the most noticeable new features in the new version of this OS is the on-screen keyboard. This allow users to enter text with the phone in portrait mode. Previously, users of the T-Mobile G1 have to rotate it to landscape mode and open the keyboard to enter text.
Android 1.5 also adds Home Screen widgets to display the user's calendar, a music player, and a picture frame. These join the ones already available, the analog clock and the search widget.
The latest version of Google's OS offers greater support for video, including video recording with the built-in camera and playing video in the MPEG-4 and 3GP formats. Users are also be able to upload videos to YouTube, and upload still images to Picasa, two services owned by Google.
An Overview of the T-Mobile G1
The T-Mobile G1 is a consumer-oriented smartphone with a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen, a QWERTY keyboard, GPS, and Wi-Fi. It also sports a microSD card slot and a 3.2 megapixel camera.
What makes the G1 special though isn't the hardware, but that it's the first device running Android, an operating system that was developed primarily by Google. This has a highly-functional web browser, and includes tie-ins to a number of this company's online services, like Gmail and Google Maps. There is also a rapidly growing collection of third-party software available.
The G1 is also available now on T-Mobile USA's website, as well as stores, for $180 with a two-year contract. It can also be purchased in many Wal-Mart stores for $150, or from Amazon.com for $98, with contract.
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