Google‘s Android fans who have been waiting patiently for new gadgets are about to get a treat.

Cupcake to be sent out tomorrow!

"Cupcake" to be sent out tomorrow!

On Friday, the Internet giant and its carrier partners will begin pushing out a software update that will add more features and functionality to handsets that run on its open-source mobile platform, Android.

Dubbed Cupcake by Google, the update is essentially a 1.5 version of Android. Google and its partners have tweaked Android several times since its fall 2008 release, but Cupcake represents the platform’s first major upgrade.

Cupcake will include some powerful new features, including a virtual on-screen keyboard for touch-screen phones, easy video uploads to YouTube and live data feeds. Google has also revamped some core features, like voice recognition and the mobile browser. Android’s basic look got a makeover too, with more sophisticated background images and icons and a browser that can display more complex Web pages.

Developers will revise their apps to incorporate the new features. The team behind the eco-themed application Ecorio plans to make use of the video-recording feature. ULocate Communications will build a widget and integrate speech recognition into “Where,” its suite of location-based services. Big in Japan says it will add a “live folders” function to its popular ShopSavvy.

It all adds up to a richer experience for consumers. Ecorio users already share strategies for reducing their carbon footprint via written messages and photos. With Cupcake, they’ll be able to bond over video clips, says Ecorio co-founder Taneem Talukdar.

ULocate likes the idea of widgets because they give users a seamless way to get updates on local weather and listings “without being spammy,” says Ivan Mitrovic, the company’s vice president of engineering. Speech recognition adds convenience, a key feature in any location-aware app. People will be able to say the word “pizza” and get directed to the nearest pizza parlor (using a global-positioning system), for instance.

Alex Muse, co-founder of Big in Japan, says the new live folders feature, which stores real-time updates without having to open the related app, is ideal for keeping lists. Since ShopSavvy is a shopping service, the company is inserting a shopping wish-list to the app. The folders could also be used to access other types of live data, such as recent Facebook updates, Twitter tweets or stock prices.


~ by Travis on 05/14/2009.


  1. […] Original post by Travis […]

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