“Cupcake” Update to Android Sees Video Recording, Stereo Bluetooth, On-Screen Keyboard and Much More!

This is the type of Android enhancements we’re talking about!  A major update is coming in the first quarter of 2009 to Android and it’s not all bugs and security fixes.  Code named “cupcake”, we’re looking at some much needed/wanted stuff like stereo bluetooth, video recording, and on-screen keyboards.

Not confined to just the G1, these updates are coming in the form of a “development branch” and not a “release”.  At some point, possible January, it will be merged into the “master branch” so we’re hoping to see a nice little update notification sometime in the coming weeks.

While some of these changes are obvious to users, others will be less apparent.  There’s still going to be the requisite bug fixes that people don’t detect.  And in the middle are changes like having your music player fade in after hanging up a call, rather than going full-on and tactile feedback with the security password. Oh, and the phone’s screen won’t time out so quickly during calls!

The web browser will see nice changes with the newest core of Webkit, support for new Javascript features, and copy/paste.  We’re also excited to see the ability to save attachments from MMS as well as the soft-keyboard feature.  Pounding out one-handed texts and emails are getting closer!

There’s still one big thing we’d really like to see, especially when more quality apps hit the market… Install apps and run them from the SD card.  Some of us might take that one enhancement over all the others if we were given the choice.

You Tell Us

What features are you most excited about with Cupcake?  What’s still missing from your list, anything?

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  1. I’m most excited about seeing stereo bluetooth. I’m flirting with jumping ship from Palm OS to Android, but there’s a lot of stuff my aging Treo does for me that isn’t available yet on Android. Cupcake looks to remove one more thing from my “but it doesn’t have…” list. And having A2DP built into the operating system rather than as a kludgy, works-but-not-quite-stable add on sounds great.

  2. This is really good news.

    Part of the reason I took the plunge to become an “Early Adopter” was because the open source aspect. Although at first Android didn’t initially have all the bells & whistles, they would soon follow as more people got their hands the G1. Can’t wait to see what we have 3 to 6 months from now.

  3. Oh yes……the feature I would like see is “Auto-rotate”. It would be nice to go from portrait view to landscape w/o having to always having to pull out the keyboard.

  4. let’s see:
    auto rotate
    virtual keyboard
    all the things that are coming with the update
    and the most needed is the ability to put apps on the memory card

  5. I would love to see an on-screen keyboard, apps on the memory card – everything listed above would be most appreciated. What I’d like most, however, are fixes to the bugs that in my view are preventing the phone from realizing its true potentialr:

    * the phone shutting down randomly while in sleep mode
    * random reboots
    * email and message notifications working intermittently
    * IMAP email checking working intermittently

  6. Can someone confirm this update can be easily installed on existing phone ? In particular the Google development one ?

  7. once google rolls in the cupcake updated into the open-source android project (early January) anyone should be able to flas it over to their Google Dev phone quite easily.

  8. i would like to see more use of the accelerometer, somewhat similar to an iphone while using the phone as a phone… when you pull it away from your face it is unlocked and ready to be touched! vs. pushing menu and unlocking….. this would increase my multitasking by a lot… and definitely comes in handy when on hold with customer service of some sort..

  9. @ Ed – on the source page for the cupcake information, it said this…

    Update: cupcake has been merged into master. The cupcake branch will be merged into the master branch, so that all of the public patches can be used with the new code base. None of the commits in the public repositories will be lost, unless they no longer make sense or are obsoleted by the new code base. Due to the United States’ holiday season, though, this may not be finished until early January.

  10. Umm “one handed texting” is already available just download “chompsms” from the market and the most exciting thing to me is everything I can’t wait for this update but yea umm “chompsms” has a t9 onscreen keyboard of course when your fone is closed and if you open it you type with the regular physical keyboard

  11. Personally, I’ve been very disappointed with the camera, but the prospect of having video capability seems to be a major leap forward, and may potentially make the camera useful. I also am looking forward to the onscreen keyboard.

  12. I’m very glad that they (google) will also help out with wanted features through updates unlike apple or almost all other phone companies who just require u to buy a new phone to get things like video rec. and memory card max increases (started at 8gb now its 16gb) they really do seem to care about the android users so they can succeed.

  13. There is so much that i want, but there is so much they can do….i would prefer flash and camera the most though….i also miss the stereo bluetooth…In my opinion, i think android and google are doing a fantastic job on the Phone….Oh yea….i despise the iphone. When im able to use camera to record video, i would be able to flaunt it in iphone owner’s faces…

  14. I’d like to see the following:

    –auto-text/predictive text and the ability to add my own shortcuts

    –I’d like it if the g1 didn’t keep dropping me out of my IM services. And while I’m at it…

    –…I’d like to see something like JiveTalk (beejive.com) that runs off data, not sms. I’m not sure if Google can provide this, but I’d like to see something like this for the g1 eventually.

    –I’d like to see the g1 play nicer with forums or comment threads like this one. The auto-correction is hit or miss when I type in a text box like this one. When text boxes are wider across than the screen, the g1 doesn’t want to follow along with my typing and show me what I’m doing, even though I try doing an “alt+roll trackball right” to reach the end of the line. I also don’t like the way that the g1 automatically highlights everything as if it’s assumed that you want to do something to the entire text (ie cut or delete all). More often than not, I end up accidentally deleting my post. Not cool–especially when I try posting stuff at the forum where I moderate.

    –I don’t know if this option is already available in the g1, but i’d love something equal to ctrl+z on a computer–an undo option that’ll let you go back as far as you’d like while writing things.

    –It would also be nice if we could have the equivalent of “press home button twice=pull up music controls, no matter what screen you’re on or whether the phone is locked,” which is available on iPhones and iPod touches.

    –Longer battery life is always a plus. I hope that this problem of abysmal battery life could be partly fixed with software updates in the future.

    And…aside from hoping we get Flash, that’s about all I want for the g1. Basically, I want to have some of the things that I had with my last

  15. They need remote wipe on these to truly be competitive with the iPhone and Blackberry IMO. Lots of companies won’t let you use ActiveSync with their services unless remote wipe is offered on the device.

  16. I have a usb stereo head set, but i can only hear the left one. How do i enaable both left and right?

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