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T-Mobile upgrades G1 'Google' phone

Two new features added to smartphone

T-Mobile has released an update for its Google Android-based G1 smartphone which adds a couple of new features and fixes some glitches.

The most notable new capability is voice search. Once T-Mobile 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. T-Mobile 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.

T-Mobile G1 video review

T-Mobile G1 video review

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 G1 review

T-Mobile started pushing the update out on 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.

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