The Dell Streak Android tablet/smartphone with a 5 inch display and Google Android operating system may have just gone on sale in the US today, but it’s been available in the UK for a few weeks — and now members of the Modaco forums have intercepted a pre-release build of Android 2.1 for the Streak.

The Dell Streak initially ships with Google Android 1.6 installed. Dell plans to offer an update with Android 2.2 later this year. But the Android 2.1 update is an intermediate step, which reportedly brings a new and improved keyboard, an improved camera app, and other improvements that come with Android 2.1 including support for live wallpapers, and a new photo and video gallery app.

There’s also now support for multitouch in native apps including Google Maps, as well as third party applications such as the PSX4Droid Playstation emulator.

A number of users have installed the update, and one even reports that the Universal Androot utility for gaining root access works well on the Dell Streak running Android 2.1. There are mixed reports about whether the update adds 720p HD video recording capabilities to the camera app. Some users say they see this option, while others don’t.

One thing to beware of is that the update does wipe all data from the Streak, which means you’ll want to back up any important files and settings before updating. Since Google Android stores much of your data in the cloud though, the process of configuring your device after updating the software shouldn’t take too long in most instances.

You can find download links and installation instructions at the Modaco forums.

You can check out a video showing a Dell Streak that’s been updated to Android 2.1 after the break, courtesy of MyDellMini.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...