|The T-Mobile G1
T-Mobile today is dismissing reports that the Android-based T-Mobile G1 will not be able to handle future, highly anticipated operating system updates.
Android engineers tweeted that the T-Mobile G1, the first Android handset offered in the U.S., has limited memory that “may not be able” to support future updates. In response to the suggestion that the popular smartphone — the G1 recently hit the 1 million sold milestone — had a serious limitation, the T-Mobile forum lit up with posts from concerned G1 owners.
The last Android update, dubbed Cupcake, version 1.5, debuted in mid-May, and critics immediately began speculating that it ate up all of the G1’s system memory, leaving no room for the upcoming, eagerly awaited “Donut” and “Éclair” upgrades being developed by the open source OS’s engineers.
However, a T-Mobile spokesperson today told InternetNews.com that “we plan to continue working with Google [Android’s chief backer] to introduce future software updates to the T-Mobile G1. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate.”
Key features of the 1.5 upgrade included speech recognition tools, a virtual keyboard, video upload support for YouTube and support for live data feeds and live folders, which store real-time updates without having to open an application
The news comes as the wireless carrier rolls out the second smartphone to run on the open-source mobile platform, the myTouch 3G.
Meanwhile, with a number of other Android models poised to ship this summer and throughout the year from Motorola, Samsung and Acer, industry observers are waiting to see how the OS will fare in a competitive smartphone sector dominated by BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and the Apple iPhone.
For many in the space, a focus on developing standout mobile software has become a key point of differentiation. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) last month upgraded its own mobile platform to version 3.0, a day after introducing the iPhone 3G S; and on June 6, the Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) Pre, running on the new webOS software, went on sale.
In mid-July, Google’s Andy Rubin, vice president of mobile, outlined Android’s update plans, with the Cupcake release soon to be followed by updates codenamed “Donut,” “Éclair” and “Flan” — but he did not elaborate on features or release dates.
Rubin did, however, say that social networking is a priority for future Android versions and that they will have better integration with sites such as Facebook.