Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Android Updates: HTC New Firmware, G1 Rises

T-Mobile G1 Google AndroidImage by netzkobold via Flickr

When we reported on a couple of Android powered mobile phones a few days ago, we were left hanging on a couple of issues: Will the T-Mobile G1 OS ever get updated? What's being hastily updated with the HTC Hero? Here are a couple of updates on both news.

HTC Hero Firmware Update Preview

Someone named Paul in the MoDaCo Forums was able to get an advanced firmware for the HTC Hero (the one which was reportedly on the way within a couple of days). The coolest thing about it was that he did a video of it and uploaded it to Youtube for everyone to see!

According to the video there's only two features that he noted was new:
  • An addition of a Java icon: we don't know whether the phone's Java was updated or if the icon was just placed on the menu. We're hoping it was then former.
  • Smoother scrolling from the Homescreen: no lag according to the video. This will surely please fans who were bothered by how terribly slow the HTC was scrolling that they missed punching keys.
It looks good but something bothered us as well:
Paul says he thinks the ROM “takes the [Hero] to the next level”, and considering we called it the best Android device so far that’s a pretty impressive level indeed. Our only point of concern is timing for its release: HTC told us it would arrive “in the coming weeks”, but Paul seems to have been told “a couple of months”.
Whether in a few days, weeks, or (gulp) months, this will be a very welcome update for those who already have the HTC Hero.

G1 Rises From Seeming Death

The T-Mobile G1 can be considered as one of the pioneers of the Android OS. It's name will forever be known as the one that started the Android revolution. Unfortunately, according to our report a few days ago, it's time is up and, supposedly, there won't be any upgrades to that mobile phone anymore.

It's good news that the G1's death has been quite exaggerated. According to a certain Mr. Wimberly of Android and Me, he was able to discover something to the contrary of our earlier post:
According to Wimberly, he’s seen builds of Donut listed as 1.6 in “mobile analytics reports” and that G1s will, in fact, receive the update later this year. Which is probably sooner rather than later considering Google dropped Donut a few weeks back.
Cupcake seems to be going Donut for G1 in the near future.
It never hurts when Android engineers, like Dan Morril chime in, “Rumors of the G1’s demise are greatly exaggerated.”
The only questions left regarding this piece of news is when and how it will be implemented to an extremely limited memory of a mobile phone. Overall, we'd call it a resurrection from rumor death for the G1 and its loyal fans. Once it does happen we'll be there to report it.

Source for HTC Hero firmware upgrade preview
Source for T-Mobile G1 getting a new lease at life

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