T-Mobile Issues Firmware Update for G1, Adds Voice Search

T-Mobile began pushing out an update that adds a couple of new features and fixes some glitches in the G1, its phone that runs Google's Android software.

The most notable new capability is voice search. Once G1 users get the firmware update, they'll notice an icon for a microphone in the Google search bar on the home screen. When users hit the button they'll hear a "speak now" prompt, after which they can say their query, said Jeff Hamilton, a software engineer for Android, in a blog post.

If voice search doesn't properly interpret the query, users will be able to hit a "down" arrow next to the search box to find other suggestions, one of which might be correct, he said. G1 users will also be able to dial phone numbers and search in their contacts lists using voice commands.

The voice command capability follows the introduction of Google's voice search application for the iPhone in November.

Another minor addition with the Android update is the ability to save attachments sent via MMS. Users will also start seeing notifications when new software updates are available, including for applications in the Android Market. Phone users will also be able to report offensive comments in the Market as spam.

The update fixes a few glitches as well, such as one that automatically ended an instant messaging session when users turned their Wi-Fi connection on or off. Another glitch caused reminders for calendar items not to be delivered.

T-Mobile started pushing the update out Monday and expects all customers to receive it in two weeks.

On a T-Mobile Forum hosted by the operator, an administrator said the update is not related to "cupcake," the name of another update that will include a wider range of new capabilities and bug fixes.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon