Based on a branch of the Android Open Source Project code-named "cupcake," version 1.5 aims to smooth many of the rough edges in Android's inaugural release. The update not only polishes existing functionality, but also includes major additions like support for stereo Bluetooth using the A2DP profile, an on-screen software keyboard, and video recording and playback.
The Android 1.5 update clearly positions the platform as a solid competitor to Apple's iPhone. Though some of the new features--video playback and an on-screen keyboard, for example--are capabilities the iPhone has sported since launch, others, such as stereo Bluetooth, are due to arrive on Apple's platform in the 3.0 upgrade due in the summer of 2009. But some, such as video recording ( with the ability to upload to Youtube or send as an email attachment( see below including my rather basic date error! - also apologies for the unshaven look - I have been on leave this week!)
and the ability for users to add third-party keyboards, are capabilities that Apple has made no mention of adding to its device.
Google warns that the SDK is not yet finalized and that APIs could still be subject to change, so developers shouldn't release applications for distribution on 1.5 as of yet; the company says that the final release is due in May 2009 in the UK ( it arrived Friday 8th May in the UK)
The increased functionality and polish offered by Android 1.5 could turn it into a serious competitor for the iPhone, especially if it ends up being released prior to the iPhone OS 3.0 update, which is expected sometime this summer. The release of another major iPhone competitor, the Palm Pre, is also due sometime in the next few months, suggesting that this summer could be a very contentious time for the smart phone market, indeed.
Here is the stuff that matters ( courtesy of Android developers)
Android 1.5 Platform Highlights
It looks as if at last the G1 may now have the armoury it needs to make a stronger case aginst the current iphone. For me though there is still one more brick to put in place and that is a Flash player for the G1 - Engadget reports that a compnay called BSquare has a Flash Player which may eventually bring me the BBC iplayer on the G1 ( it's all I ask!)