Android Cupcake vs Windows Mobile 6.5 vs iPhone 3.0: Preview

Microsoft, Apple and Google have all announced upgrades to their operating systems in recent months, but which makes for the biggest improvement? We pit them against each other in our three-way head-to-head.

In recent months, Google, Microsoft and Apple have gone somewhat update mad, announcing major updates to their mobile platforms.

All three companies are taking very different approaches, with Google concentrating on stabilising and expanding its Android platform, Microsoft making its Windows mobile platform a little more attractive and Apple releasing features that always should have existed on the iPhone in the first place.

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Google Android is the newest platform, only being announced in November 2007 and coming to market on the T-Mobile G1 in October last year.

Android Cupcake (also called v1.5) is already available for Android users to download and install over the air and is the default platform for the Vodafone Magic.

So what does the update bring to the table? It provides a number of handy improvements to the email application, supporting a wider range of email servers, displaying time in 24-hour format rather than AM/PM and showing a CC field in the message view screen.

Android improvements

If you've updated your Android handset to Cupcake v1.5, you can benefit from a range of optimisations in the browser, including the ability to copy and paste using your finger. Simply press and hold the shift key while highlighting the text you want to copy. As soon as you take your finger off the shift key, the text will be copied to the clipboard. You can also copy using the trackball in the same way, but instead of dragging your finger across the text you want to copy, your press down the trackball and use it to scroll over the text you want to copy.

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Other highlights in the browser include the ability to search for text and an increased speed in how quickly individual pages are rendered on the screen.

Multimedia takes a step forward with the v1.5 Cupcake update for the Google Android platform. If you're listening to music when a call comes in, the music will fade out when you answer the call. It will then fade back in again when you end the call.

A new media search tool has also been added, which interacts with any third party application you have on your phone, so the apps will launch or provide search results if you search on your mobile based on the artist name, album or title. This applies to music players, YouTube and browser applications.

Like the first iPhone update, much of Cupcake has been based on trying to improve the camera and brining it in line with other products in the same category as the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Magic. There's now a video recorder mode on the camera, you can view video thumbnails and share video in a much easier way than you previously could.

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