T-Mobile G1, BlackBerry Storm Get Software Updates
Two smartphones I've reviewed over the last year are getting a little smarter this week, thanks to a pair of long-awaited software updates.
One is the T-Mobile G1, the phone running Google's Android software that I covered last fall. That wireless carrier is now starting to deliver the 1.5 version of Android, also known by the cutesy nickname of "Cupcake."
This upgrade could fairly be called Android 2.0: It adds a wide variety of new features, such as the ability to copy and paste text in its Web browser, make a video recording with the G1's camera and type on an onscreen keyboard. It also upgrades the G1's Bluetooth support to enable stereo audio output, but using that wireless technology to connect the G1 to a computer remains problematic: Both Mac OS X and Windows Vista systems failed to find any usable Bluetooth services on the phone.
Android 1.5 also provides new capabilities for developers to play with, like interactive home-screen widgets and "live folders" that can present an application's data. To see if 1.5 is available on a G1, open the Settings application, scroll down to the "About phone" category and tap "System updates."
The second update covers the Verizon Wireless edition of the BlackBerry Storm -- by many accounts, the buggiest BlackBerry Research In Motion has ever shipped, and certainly not the most impressive smartphone I've tried.
RIM's new 188.8.131.52 software (quite a memorable version number, eh?) only adds one major new feature: the ability to type on a normal QWERTY-layout onscreen keyboard when you hold the phone in portrait mode, instead of being stuck with RIM's condensed "SureType" two-letters-per-key layout. But it also seems to make the Storm significantly more responsive and less sluggish, to judge from my own brief testing and the reaction from other users so far.
To get this update, open the Storm's Options application, select "Advanced Options" and then "Wireless Update." You may have to clear out some memory on your device first.
Have you installed either of these updates? Post your report in the comments...
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