Android 1.5 Cupcake Finally Launched As Netbook Plans Mulled

T-Mobile has started to push live Android 1.5, also known as Cupcake, to hundreds of thousands of G1 Android users in UK and USA.

The download, which is 44MB in size, is expected to be rolled out during the month of May. It will bring a number of improvements to the platform as the build up to the next wave of Android smartphones begins.

Amongst those enhancements are the ability to display the onscreen keyboard in portrait mode, an increase in the number of home screen widgets, video recording capabilities - including the ability to shoot and upload footage straight to Youtube, better accelerometer support, stereo Bluetooth, speech recognition, a snappier onboard GPS, subtle but significant user interface improvements as well as much better browsing speeds thanks in no small part to new Javascript and Webkit engines.

More than one million G1 have been sold worldwide with the HTC Magic just a few hours away from launch. Samsung has also unveiled its first Android phone, the I7500, earlier this week while other vendors have committed themselves to launching Android phones later this year.

The first netbook to come with the Android OS is from a little known company called Skytone. It managed to put together a small laptop that is essentially a souped up smartphone for a mere $99. Its specifications are modest but it sets the way for a whole new generation of netbooks that will have more in common with smartphones than with netbooks.

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Our Comments

Android's small window of opportunity starts from tomorrow with the release of G2 and will last until the iPhone version 2009 gets launched in June. Android's saviour will come from an increased number of smartphones later this year.

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