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.