Major firmware update for Android G1 scheduled for Easter

Chicago (IL) – T-Mobile announced it will treat Android G1
handset owners to a major firmware update scheduled just in time for Easter. The
new software arrival coincides suspiciously with the scheduled
introduction of HTC Magic, so it’s likely both handsets will be running the updated version of Android. The new firmware should improve the overall
performance and bring a host of long-expected features, including the
ability to record video and voice notes. In addition, it will add
an on-screen virtual keyboard (like iPhone’s), offering
G1 users the choice of either a touchscreen-based keyboard or a physical
slide-out keyboard.

It’s been a while since T-Mobile Android G1 owners have seen a major firmware update for their cellphone. In fact, it
would actually be the first major software update since T-Mobile
launched the handset last November (if we exclude minor maintenance
releases). In the meantime, Apple’s iPhone is seeing regular updates — at
least one firmware update per quarter. Apple’s updates iron out bugs, tweak
performance and bring new features — meaning that some software
features that iPhone users now enjoy were not there six or more months
ago. According to T-Mobile, Android G1 users will get the first major
firmware update around April.

The software is dubbed “cupcake”, and should
bring a substantial performance improvement as well as new features,
like an onscreen keyboard (currently, G1 utilizes its slide-out
physical keyboard only), a voice recorder, a video recording capability,
support for stereo Bluetooth and the ability to save MMS attachments. Sweet!

This update should coincide with the arrival of the HTC Magic, which is
also believed to include the same “cupcake” firmware. However, a T-Mobile
spokesman was unable to confirm whether or not this will be the case, warning
that it depends on possible
alterations of the Android operating system that HTC might have to make for the
new cellphone.

HTC Magic is scheduled for arrival in time for Easter as well, and will be carried exclusively by rival Vodafone.