Video/Photos: A look at the Most Recent Android "Cupcake" Development Build

As 2008 came to a close, we saw the first hints of a new developmental branch of Android called “Cupcake”. Promising video recording, copy and paste, stereo bluetooth and more, an endless clamor has rang from the userbase ever since. There’s still no word as to when we can expect it to drop onto devices, nor are they making promises that any specific feature will make it on to any given handset (be it the G1 or a future release) – but with the Cupcake branch at a reasonably stable point and beginning to show some of its new tricks, we thought we’d do a video run-through of what has made it in so far.

Some of the biggest features (including those mentioned up above) have yet to make it in, or are untestable in the Android SDK emulator.

Here’s what’s changed so far:

  • Firmware Version: 1.5
  • Onscreen keyboard has been added for portrait mode, allowing the user to type with the touchscreen. If this is enabled on the G1, users won’t have to open the keyboard to type unless they want to, addressing a common complaint amongst early adopters.
  • Two new apps, though it’s unclear (and from their rudimentary state, seemingly unlikely) if they’re intended for the final build or just demo apps:
  • Global Time: Shows how the sun is currently lighting the earth
  • Note pad: Ultra basic note pad – of the three, the most likely to make it into the final build.
  • Live folders: Auto refreshing folder shortcuts for your desktop. You’re currently able to select from “All Contacts”, “Contacts with phone number”, and “Starred Contacts”
  • Emoticon support in text/IM
  • Locale support for many languages: Arabic, Czech, Danish, German, English (Australian, UK, Singapore, and US), Spanish, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, Turkish, Chinese (China and Taiwan)
  • Want to check out Cupcake for yourself? If you’re comfortable installing the Android SDK and replacing a handful of files, it’s dead simple – check out this tutorial from Nullwire for more details.