Enough with the Cupcake already!

Enough with the Cupcake already!

Summary: Despite my warnings back in February, the blogosphere has let itself be duped by yet another Android "Cupcake" rumor. On Wednesday, Stuart Miles from Pocket-Lint started the latest one when he wrote:T-Mobile has confirmed that it will be bringing the "cupcake" software update to the G1 mobile phone in April.

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Despite my warnings back in February, the blogosphere has let itself be duped by yet another Android "Cupcake" rumor. On Wednesday, Stuart Miles from Pocket-Lint started the latest one when he wrote:

T-Mobile has confirmed that it will be bringing the "cupcake" software update to the G1 mobile phone in April. ... "We will be offering G1 users the firmware update sometime in April", a spokesperson for T-Mobile told Pocket-lint.

I left a comment on the Pocket-Lint story saying it was highly suspicious, but it was nevertheless picked up by many other sites including Engadget and ZDNet. So just to be sure, I asked a Google spokesman to confirm or deny the rumor. They replied:

"Cupcake is a tool used to manage Android development, not a product. Features from Cupcake and other development branches will appear in devices over time, but we have nothing to announce at this time."

Google suggested that we go to T-Mobile directly for a clarification, but they refused to comment. However last night Jacqueline Emigh from Betanews managed to get through. She reports:

On Thursday night, Erica Gordon, a spokesperson for T-Mobile USA, told Betanews that an April release date for a Cupcake update is "just a rumor."

No beta development toolkits (SDKs) have been released to developers, which leads me to believe that the next major version of Android is still a ways off. Given Android's open source nature, though, it's possible that a carrier could cherrypick minor features (like an on-screen keyboard) from the mainline Android source base. However this would require a level of expertise that they have so far failed to demonstrate.

To summarize, don't believe any "Cupcake" rumors without hard proof. And please, folks, check your sources before reporting.

Topics: Android, Google, Hardware, Mobility, Open Source

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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7 comments
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  • What about the htc magic?

    If I'm not mistaken, it has been confirmed by Vodafone that the HTC Magic will be released in April.
    And that this model will be running the 'cupcake branch' (if such thing exists) but at least it will have a visual keyboard and video recording capabilities.
    BoDlulu
    • It will probably have those features....

      ...but I get the feeling Google is doing alot of refining with the input of OEM's and others which is the cause of the "delay". If you look at it...there were supposed to be a bunch of Android based phone announcements last month (Dell, Garmin, Samsung, Asus? etc.) and cupcake was supposed to be released. I believe this has all been pushed off while they do alot of fine tuning.

      Personally I believe that they should be focusing on memory management performance and the SDK. It looks like the third party community will take care of the UI and features. I was surprised to see the new desktop replacement apps and themes. If they extend the SDK here they third party developers can do quite a bit.
      storm14k
      • There is no delay

        I don't understand why people expected a major new version of Android to come out a couple of months after the first one (and then every 2 weeks since then). One major release a year seems more likely.

        However if Vodaphone has some good programmers on staff, or help from the Android team at Google, then they could choose to backport certain features from the next major version into Android 1.1.

        I just wish the process were more transparent, so we wouldn't have to deal with all these rumors in the vacuum that results from not telling people what the heck is going on.
        Ed Burnette
        • It wasn't billed as a new major release.

          When cupcake first came about it was about merging the final private branch into the main project unless I'm mistaken. Google hinted at this being available in an upcoming OTA update. And on top of that this is Google here..."release early and release often".

          As for Vodaphone the Magic has no physical QWERTY. So obviously the on-screen QWERTY code will have to find its way into at a minimum Vodaphone's version of Android. I also suspect there are other manufacturers that plan to make devices with no physical QWERTY (what a shame) and are waiting on this as well.
          storm14k
  • Stop write Cupcake already?

    Can everyone just stop to write Cupcake this, cupcake that everywhere. It's not even funny and have never been funny. After EPIC, FAIL and CUPCAKE, what's the next world everyone will use and think they are funny? Cut out the crap already...
    Viklund
    • Confused

      I think you are a little bit confused.
      "Epic fail" is an internet meme.
      "Cupcake" is the name of a development branch of the Android operating system.
      http://source.android.com/roadmap/cupcake

      As such it wouldn't make sense for anyone to release "Cupcake". It is not an actual version.
      Theli
  • Piece of cupcake maybe ???

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10194816-94.html?tag=mncol
    mrlinux