Android 1.5 software update due next week in U.S.

Canada's Rogers Wireless says two Android phones will ship in June

The official over-the-air Android 1.5 software update for T-Mobile USA G1 smartphones will start at the end of next week, a spokesman said yesterday, one week after bloggers said they were getting the updates in Europe.

Meanwhile, Canadian wireless carrier Rogers Wireless announced today that it is launching two Android phones in June, the HTC Dream and HTC Magic. No details on pricing were given.

A T-Mobile spokeswoman didn't give an exact date for the 1.5 update but indicated the "end of next week" as the starting point, with all G1 customers of T-Mobile USA expected to received the update by the end of May. According to the latest figures from T-Mobile officials, more than 1 million G1s have been sold.

The 1.5 update will include a full on-screen QWERTY keyboard, video recording and playback, and easy uploading of photos to Google Inc.'s Picasa photo site and videos to YouTube, the spokeswoman noted. Other details of 1.5, known as Cupcake, have been released and can be examined at two officials sites, the T-Mobile G1 forum and the Android developer's site .

Bloggers and Android forum participants outside the U.S. started downloading the 1.5 update last week and continued sharing links to downloads this week. Some participants asked if the versions would vary by country, but Google and T-Mobile would not comment.

Other Android phones are coming soon, including the two by HTC expected in Canada from Rogers Wireless. The Canadian carrier has posted a "Join the Revolution" announcement with a photo of an HTC Android device on its Web site, saying it will appear in Canada on June 2 but providing no other details.

Releases of Android phones by other device makers and carriers are expected later this year, with Motorola Inc. expecting to release several models in time for fall sales, a company executive said last week.

Samsung Electronics is another maker of Android phones, while Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed that it is testing Android on netbooks.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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