The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the G1 Google Phone and Android

A one-stop guide for the T-Mobile G1 phone, running Google’s Android mobile operating system. Android is an open source project, designed specifically to make it easy for developers both professional and amateur to create their own applications which access every part of the phone’s hardware.

Interim Update (starting 5th of February)

From Android Talk (3rd of February):

“To ensure a great experience with the T-Mobile G1 with Google, customers with these devices will receive an Over the Air (OTA) update to their devices between February 5 and February 15. This OTA will include new system enhancements such as the ability to save pictures or files to file by long-pressing an item, check for system updates, and use the Google Voice Search feature. The OTA will also fix a number of known issues. New G1 activations will receive the OTA up to three days after service has been activated youtube video mp4 downloader.”

This update seems to be pretty much as listed above, adding the ability to save pictures and files with a long press, fixing a few minor bugs (none of which I’ve personally experienced, but which have been bothering other people) and adding Voice Search (which is apparently pretty cool). It’s come to a bunch of customers in the US but there’s not much more in terms of information about it, probably because it’s rather basic. There seems to be some concern about Voice Search becoming available in the UK – apparently it has a problem with our accent! This may delay or alter the UK release.

If you don’t want to wait for the push from T-Mobile, there’s a trick to allow you to force the G1 to check for updates, courtesy of a poster on the Android Talk forums. You’ll need Anycut installed from the Market. Now long-press in a blank space on your screen, and choose Shortcut/Anycut/Activity/Device info. When you tap this shortcut, it’ll take you to a screen with a range of interesting system information. Scroll all the way to the bottom, and there’s a button to check for updates. If you click it and it just says “CHECKIN_SUCCESS”, there’s no update yet.

Coming Update – Cupcake

There is a major update, or series of updates, coming in the first quarter of 2009 for the G1 and other Android phones. It comes from the development branch called Cupcake, and will include a number of fixes and improvements and add a lot of features to your phone. It should download straight to your G1 over the air and update easily.

The official Google position is still that it’s ready when it’s ready, but is targeted for the first quarter of 2009. We do know that a very early version was released to application developers around the 16th of January, and that T-Mobile have taken note of the flood of emails and calls about the issue and are trying to push this forward as fast as possible from their end.

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