I haven't been posting Android news lately, but not because there hasn't been any. I just prefer to ride things out a bit and see what sticks before posting. Besides, I like reading closely-related stories in one place. So, for the time being I will continue to fiddle with the apps and mods and deliver the news summary style. Cool? O.K.
The first thing I'd like to mention is that HTC has developed their own build of Android for Magic. Like I've said before, I think we can expect some carrier branding and customization this year. An xda-developers member called Haykuro is running it on a G1, and there are some lovely screenshots at HTCSource. Thanks to Scott Webster of Android Guys for that one.
The HTC build is the current preferred hack, because Google responded to the use of the build in the next paragraph by disabling the Market.
A "preview" version of Google's Android 1.5 SDK (slip included) was released this week, with the official software coming to devs at the end of the month. No one knows exactly when the rest of us will get the update, but you can check out a couple of side-by-side comparisons over at Talk Android.
Live folders, widgets, Soft QWERTY, voice recognition, better bluetooth, tighter integration with Google's various services, and video recording are on the menu.
Below are some 1.5 screenshots sent over by a buddy on Twitter, @johnashtonedgar. He's been running the Google build on one of his G1s for a few days, and says that they nailed the keyboard - clean interface, nice predictive text integration, and easy to type on. This was my number one concern for cupcake, as the Open Home and aHome soft keyboards were a bit rough. He also points out the lack of multi-touch, and a vastly improved camera experience.
I haven't played with 1.5 yet, because I need to make some videos about rooting and backing up my G1 before I go messing with anything! I'll get to it as soon as I can. I've got a lot of Android on my plate.
This is sort of an obligatory mention, and if you've read this far, you probably already know more about it than I do. We are supposed to see at least three Android phones from Samsung this year, but the alleged photos aren't worth re-posting. Remember that grainy snap of a slide from some presentation? There has been some debate over the possibility of the new Cubic device running Android, and I don't have any special information either way.
As several have suggested, the 3D cube d-pad most likely indicates the release of a new Samsung interface, based on WinMo or their own foundation. Still, being a Linux user, the first thing that pops into mind when I hear the words cube and interface is open source. Probably just a glitch in my cognition. You decide. Whatever the case, we do have a good photo of the Cubic.