T-Mobile G1 eats some Cupcake: Video demo

With the furore over the HTC Magic, T-Mobile G1 owners might be wondering whether the halo has shifted from their original QWERTY handset to this new HTC usurper.  While the external hardware is obviously significantly altered, under the hood it's a case of different software, not different components, the most obvious being the new on-screen QWERTY keyboard.  Over at they've been playing around with the latest Cupcake build of the Android OS on the G1, and have shot video of not only the keyboard but the Linux shell and the game Snake. Somewhat worryingly, tester Brian Jepson reports that the on-screen 'board proved trickier than expected, describing it as difficult to use one-handed and "definitely a bit buggy" .  The former is hopefully a symptom of the G1 form-factor - as you can see from our gallery, the Magic is considerably thinner and more hand-friendly than the G1 - whereas we can only assume that tweaking in some extra stability is top of HTC's priorities before the Magic's Q2 2009 launch. Still, it only crashed when trying to use the video app - which, when we saw it demonstrated on the HTC Magic, didn't encounter any problems - and generally felt stable.  Check out the video for all the details. [youtube][/youtube] [gallery]

Android Cupcake gets Video Demo

More and more developers are getting their hands on Cupcake, the non-official next-gen build  of Android, as Google seemingly relax their grip on the software.  After we saw screenshots late last week, now it's time for some video: a walkthrough of firmware 1.5. In it, the new portrait-orientation keyboard is demonstrated - meaning that owners of devices like the T-Mobile G1 wouldn't have to slide out the hardware QWERTY in order to type a message - together with the new notepad application.  There's also some screentime for the two new apps, both presumed to be demo rather than full-release candidates, and the Global Time app which shows which parts of the earth are currently in sunlight. Less eye-catching, but arguably more useful, are the Live Folders - which can be set to auto-refresh on your desktop, with "All Contacts", "Contacts with phone number", and "Starred Contacts" currently supported - and the new emoticon support for both SMS messages and IM chats.  Google have also thrown in a lot of multi-region language support. Nothing, for the most part, that we haven't seen before, but if you've been desperately watching the still images to see if they start moving, the clip below is for you.  If, more excitingly, you'd like to try Cupcake out for yourself, check out this tutorial. [youtube][/youtube]

Android Cupcake screenshots show new QWERTY, settings

Screenshots and hands-on feedback of the Android Cupcake development build have emerged, hinting at changes users might see rolled out over the next few months.  Although no specific time-scale has been given for Cupcake's release, developer Arron La was able to play with an early release; right now there doesn't appear to be a "killer feature" to long for, merely a number of incremental tweaks and a couple of new, basic apps. These include a new default notepad app, which Arron describes as both "very simple" and "ugly", a new Global Time app which currently will only show a rotating earth, and an unusual Spare Parts" app which allows changes to be made to windows animation, transition animation and other device settings.  Unfortunately its "display rotation" option, which presumably allows the accelerometer to control portrait and landscape changes wherever in the OS you are, does not currently work. More interestingly, considering this week's leaked images purporting to be of the keyboard-free T-Mobile G2 by HTC, there's also a shot of the new on-screen keyboard, which Arron reports will appear for every edit box.  No haptic feedback as yet, but this could be a common sight to G2 users.
  • New Local Setting Page - Gives you option to pick different locales and pick different text inputs.
  • New Option to view running and third party applications - An option to view running and third party applications from the normal application list.  Does not provide a way to terminate them.
  • New windows opening/closing animation effect - a new popping effect when windows are opened/closed.
  • New default notepad - a very simple and ugly default notepad.
  • New Global Time application - not sure if it will be provided by TMobile but it’s just a rotating earth and I couldn’t get it to do anything else.
  • New Spare Parts Application - Once again not sure if the official version will have this, but it provides a number of extra settings such as setting windows animation and transition animation speed, font size, end button behavior and etc.  It also has a “display rotation” option which supposedly should allow auto-rotate base on orientation across the entire os, but it is not currently working.
  • New Virtual Keyboard - The virtual keyboard will pop up on every edit box.  I didn’t feel any haptic feedback but I am thinking that it’s just not there on the example keyboard.  Because the phone does not auto-rotate (an option exists but it doesn’t work), it’s very hard to type on it.  The sample keyboard also does not provide auto-corrections.
  • Slightly better looking buttons with more shadow.
  • [gallery] [via IntoMobile]

    Android Community Week in Review – Week 3 2009

    This week, Sir Luke Hutch was able to demonstrate multi-touch on the T-Mobile G1 on a stock handset by modifying only one system class in the Java-based user interface stack. There are also some instructions to go along with it for those who would like to try it out. HTC’s new 2009 roadmap was leaked including one device dubbed the “Android Hero.”  This mobile phone has the same basic shape as the G1, but is thinner, does not have a keyboard and comes in pink. CES this year had a nice surprise for us Android enthusiasts. The GiiNii Movit Internet tablet was on display running our favorite mobile operating system. FlyCast has made its way over the Android platform after being on other smartphones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry handsets. Very similar to Pandora, FlyCast offers streaming music with no need to actually download it to your memory card. CompuLap has just introduced their new Exeda Android-powered handset. This device is really very wide and has a full QWERTY keyboard as well as several navigation controls and a landscape oriented screen. A new rumor is flying around that we would actually like to see come true. We hear that Asus is working on an Eee Phone. With Asus’s recent success in the netbook market we are sure that they can bring the same quality and reliability to the mobile market. At CES we also had the opportunity to play with OpenMoko’s Android-powered version of the Neo FreeRunner. There was nothing particularly new or exciting about this device, as we have already seen the Android platform in action and the hardware has not changed at all. There is however there was a virtual keyboard that looks very nice. A video popped up demonstrating a device that is branded on the front as “Dream” but under the back covering it reads “Dream G2.” This does not appear to be a quality handset; it could even be a fake with Android running on top of Windows Mobile. This phone is indeed from China where most knockoff phones come from. Dan O’Sullivan has created a G1 hat to better help give technical support to family members. The hat allows him to see what his family needs help with. The Australian consumer electronic manufacturer who was going to release the Kogan Agora Pro has delayed the production “indefinitely” because the screen resolution may not be compatible with future Android applications. For those of you still experiencing less than desirable battery life you can now order an extended life battery if a thicker device does not bother you. The standard battery is 1150mAh, while the extended life is a monster at 2600mAh. There is also some new information regarding what will and what will not be taken from the cupcake update and released in the next official Google update. This info however must be taken with a grain of salt because nothing is set in stone.

    Facts surface about Cupcake elements in a new T-Mobile G1 update

    All of you who have coincidentally become cupcake followers can finally have something to sink your teeth into. No the update has not been pushed out by Google, but there is some information regarding what will be included in future updates. More information included after the jump. Google does have the INTENTION to release and over the air update (OHA) that includes elements taken from the cupcake update.  A senior G1 PDA Specialist, Dylan, has apparently made a few facts clear, these facts are listed below.
    • FACT - There WILL be a G1 update shortly as it was INTENDED to be by mid-January so the next target is now by the end of January.
    • FACT - T-Mobile will not just provide Cupcake elements to the G2 and leave the G1 behind.
    • FACT - The next update will be called RC31 and include Cupcake elements.
    • FACT - The mass of calls lately for Cupcake is registering and causing T-Mobile to double their efforts in getting the update out.
    • FACT - NO ONE has received RC31 as of today.
    • FACT - When the update is released it will be done in stages “Over The Air” but it will be by region not when you purchased the G1.
    • FACT - The memo I was privy to is NOT distributed to Support personnel.
    • FACT - T-Mobile Specialists & Support are LAST to know when an update happens and are notified AFTER it is released as was the case with RC29 & RC30.
    • FACT - T-Mobile does have a battery improvement program in motion.
    • FACT - T-Mobile’s plan for battery improvement will be one of OR a combination of efficiencies in an OTA update and an extended life battery replacement.
    [Via GoogleAndBlog]
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