Looking for more cell phones OS updates after finally calming down from the showcasing of iPhone 3.0? Android has you covered with the release of Android 1.5 to developers for a future release. The update brings Android closer to some of the functionality touted by the iPhone, though obviously without all the restrictions.
Android 1.5 looks to add a slew of new features to the platform, some of which we already knew were coming. For instance, 1.5 adds a soft keyboard like the iPhone’s which can be used in portrait and landscape modes. It was already shown as part of the HTC Magic, and will have custom user-defined dictionaries. But there’s some we haven’t seen yet, like video recording with an option to send the videos straight to YouTube, or the ability to upload photos to Picasa (which sounds a bit like the iPhone’s MobileMe integration, but using Google services). There’s also Stereo Bluetooth, copy and paste in the web browser, and widgets for the home screen.
There’s no word yet on when Android 1.5 will be released, but it seems most plausible that it will come out before or on the day of the release of the HTC Magic in May. If that is the case, the release seems to be coming a bit late for apps to come out supporting its full features on time. It would be a smart move to have it out before the iPhone 3.0, so at least Android will have a period of time where it’s mainly competing against the Palm Pre and last year’s model of the iPhone.
There’s a possibility that it may draw in some iPhone 1 users who are tired of AT&T, or those in the market for a new smartphone and don’t want to wait the extra month or two for the new iPhone. Android 1.5 will likely be running into heavy competition with the Palm Pre and even the next BalckBerry OS, and it seems to be gunning straight for that second place spot after the iPhone.