First things first: I don’t get the “codenames” that many companies use for their hardware or software products or updates. It is confusing, and since the “codename” is generally announced I guess I need to ask why bother creating a “codename.” A codename, by definition, is supposed to be something that it a secret word or words for something. You don’t announce the codename and then say what it is the codename for… except, it seems, in the world of technology.
But now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I can happily say it is “Cupcake” time. Not in the tasty, but fattening little treats that are a delight to all ages, but rather something almost as tasty – at least in a digital sort of way. I’m talking about the otherwise known as “Google Android 1.5” update, which is finally making its way to the T-Mobile G1 this week.
Second thing on this matter: see how silly the codename actually is? We’ve known about Google’s update for Android pretty much since the beginning of the year, so what does giving it a silly codename actually accomplish?
Third point: Did I miss something along the way? This is the Android 1.5 update. So why didn’t the Android 1.1 update, along with the Android 1.2, 1.3 and even the “never saw it” 1.4 update get as much hype? The truth is that not all these updates actually came, or if they did they weren’t all that important. This is something that goes back to the days of software updates, and is almost more confusing than codenames. The 1.5 update sometimes means that this is halfway to a new version, which of course would be Android 2.0. And of course there is also the confusion that the 1.5 update might even need a little tweaking, in which case we’ll see the 1.5.1 update. And don’t worry if you didn’t actually update to 1.4 (if there is even a 1.4, which I can’t even tell), because the 1.5 update would include all those subsequent updates.
In truth, probably no one really pays attention to all this, unless you’re actually prompted to do so, until the update really changes the stuff. The 1.1 and other updates were really stuff that offered improvements you probably wouldn’t notice, but the 1.5 update is something big.
As for features, the Android 1.5 update is said to refine the user interface, add animated window transitions and even add an accelerometer for application rotation. The new interface should improve the in-call experience, and streamline MMS and SMS messaging, while the browser, Gmail, calendar, camera and gallery will all get a makeover. Users will now be able to view Google Talk friends’ status, and upload videos to YouTube and photos to Picasa. Finally, Google Android 1.5 promises faster camera startup and shutter, as well as better acquisition of GPS location and improved browser scrolling. In other words, this sounds like so much stuff that it would be worthy of calling this Android 2.0. But maybe that just means that Google Android 2.0 will truly blow our socks off!