The T-Mobile G1 will get an update to the latest version of Android in the next few weeks. This will bring a number of enhancements, including on-screen keyboards, more home screen widgets, video recording, and stereo Bluetooth.
So far, only T-Mobile Germany has promised this update, but it’s very unlikely that this carrier’s U.S. subsidiary will be left out in the cold, considering the G1 debuted in the U.S. before it did in Europe.
What’s in Android 1.5?
One of the most noticeable new features in the upcoming version of this operating system will be the on-screen keyboard. This will allow users to enter text with the phone in portrait mode. Currently, users of the T-Mobile G1 have to rotate it to landscape mode and open the keyboard to enter text.
Android 1.5 will add Home Screen widgets to display the user’s calendar, a music player, and a picture frame. These will join the ones already available, the analog clock and the search widget.
The upcoming version of Google’s OS will offer greater support for video, including video recording with the built-in camera and playing video in the MPEG-4 and 3GP formats. Users will also be able to upload videos to YouTube, and upload still images to Picasa, two services owned by Google.
Other improvements will include updates and enhancements to the standard web browser, and the addition of Stereo Bluetooth.
Upgrade Coming Next Month
T-Mobile Germany says that Android 1.5 for the G1 will be released in May. As mentioned earlier, other countries are likely to follow suit around that same time.
As with previous updates for this model, it will be free and automatically pushed out to user’s devices without them having to request it.
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.