Android OS fans have been waiting patiently for Google to go live with an updated version of the open smartphone platform. Today that wait ends. Android OS 1.5 has been officially released on an “early-look” basis, bringing with it juicy new features like soft-keyboard support, speech recognition, homescreen widgets and live folders. As any self-respecting Android fan will be well aware, the new Android 1.5 update is largely based on work done by Android developers working on the oft mis-referenced Cupcake development branch. G1 owners will be happy to hear that the on-screen keyboard is now a reality!
It should be noted that Android 1.5 is not officially compatible with current Android devices. Google will be rolling out tutorials over the next couple weeks, giving Android developers a heads-up on what’s new to Android 1.5 and how to use the new APIs.
Android OS is developing quite nicely. We may have to wait until Android 2.0 goes live before we can consider the Android OS on par with the iPhone OS in terms of usability and features, but this latest Android 1.5 update is a good sign of things to come.
So, now that Cupcake is officially integrated into Android 1.5, we have to wonder if T-Mobile’s April 21 NYC launch event will have anything to do with an Android update. The HTC Magic still seems like a solid bet as T-Mobile’s upcoming launch party.