Google is ramping up its entry in the hotly competitive smartphone race by adding "pinch-to-zoom" multi-touch and 3G wireless broadband network capabilities to the Nexus One.
The US Internet powerhouse said it is rolling out the improvements in an "over-the-air" software update it is firing off to Nexus One smartphones this week.
"This update provides some great new features, and fixes a few problems that some users might have experienced," the Nexus One team said in a blog post.
"In order to access the update, you will receive a message on your phone's notification bar."
The software modification will allow users to use two-finger pinching motions to zoom into on-screen images in Internet browser, picture gallery, or map applications.
Nexus One devices were limited to controls based on single-finger taps or swipes on screens when they launched in the United States on January 5.
Google promises that the update will also improve Nexus One connectivity to 3G networks that allow data to move more quickly, translating into more seamless video viewing and speedier application performance.
The upgrade also installs Google Goggles into the Nexus One applications menu, letting people search the internet based on pictures taken with cameras built into the smartphones.
Improvements were also made to a Google Maps program in the handsets.
"Just download the update, wait for it to install, and you should be all set," Google said.
The California firm unveiled its new Nexus One smartphone a month ago in a direct challenge to heavyweight Apple's iPhone handsets, billing it as a "superphone" and the next step in the evolution of its Android software.
Google worked with Taiwanese electronics titan HTC to make the Nexus One handsets, sold exclusively from the Internet company's online shop.
The touchscreen devices sell for 179 dollars if bought with service from T-Mobile, while "unlocked" handsets that can work with any telecom providers cost 529 dollars each.
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