Android 1.5 software update due next week in U.S.

Canada's Rogers Wireless says two Android phones will ship in June

The official over-the-air Android 1.5 software update for T-Mobile USA G1 smartphones will start at the end of next week, a spokesman said yesterday, one week after bloggers started saying they were getting the updates in Europe.

Meanwhile, Canadian wireless carrier Rogers Wireless announced today that it is launching two Android phones in June, the HTC Dream and HTC Magic. No details on pricing were given.

A T-Mobile spokeswoman didn't give an exact day for the 1.5 update, but indicated "end of next week" as the starting point, with all G1 customers of T-Mobile USA expected to received the update by the end of May. The latest figures from T-Mobile officials say more than 1 million G1s have been sold.

The 1.5 update will includes an on-screen full QWERTY keyboard, video recording and playback and easy uploading of photos to Google Inc.'s Picasa photo site and videos to YouTube, the spokeswoman noted. Other details of 1.5, known as Cupcake, have been released, and can be examined at two officials sites, the T-Mobile G1 forum and the Android developer's site.

Bloggers and Android forum participants outside the U.S. started downloading the 1.5 update last week, and continued sharing links to downloads this week. Some participants asked if the versions would vary by country, but Android and T-Mobile would not comment on any details.

Other Android phones are coming soon, including the two by HTC expected in Canada from Rogers Wireless. The Canadian carrier has posted a "Join the Revolution" announcement with a photo of an HTC Android device on its Web site, saying it will appear in Canada on June 2 but with no other details.

Releases of Android phones by other device makers and carriers are expected later in 2009, with Motorola Inc. expecting to release several models in time for fall sales, a Motorola executive said last week.

Other makers include Samsung Electronics, while Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed it is testing Android on netbooks.

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