Upgrade Your Android… Unless You Have A G1


Do you have an HTC Dream (G1) or HTC Magic (MyTouch 3G) yet crave the HTC Sensification of the HTC Hero? HTC published a Press Release (translated to English) on their Taiwanese site announcing that HTC Sense – the company’s proprietary build of Android – will be available for FREE to owners of the HTC Magic:

From August 29 onwards, will also hold large-scale outdoor activities, so that more consumers have the opportunity to experience the HTC Hero. In addition, until early October ended October 31, where to buy HTC Magic of consumers will be able to HTC official website to download the latest software free of charge (to upgrade the market value of about NT services 1,500 million), HTC to allow more users to experience the HTC “to people-oriented “design concept, specially-made mobile phones are the perfect you.

Basically, they’ll let you download HTC Sense – previously only avaliable on the HTC Hero – directly to your HTC Magic for free and the NT $1,500 is the estimated value of the free upgrade. But there is a caveat… and a big one at that: this upgrade will only be available for HTC Magic owners in Taiwan using the carrier Chunghwa.

This upgrade could POTENTIALLY be available in other locations on other carriers, but its completely up to the carrier on whether or not to offer it. Well, I shouldn’t say completely. You know that little “with Google” branding on the back of the G1 and MyTouch 3G?


Only “Google Experience” Android Phones get that branding and you’ve probably noticed that the HTC Hero, being customized/proprietary to HTC, doesn’t have that branding included. Its unlikely Google will even allow carriers to offer these types of upgrades to devices that are distinguished as Google Experience products. And the news gets worse…

What about if you’re a G1 user who simply wants to play by the rules and get the Official Android upgrades just as Donut, Eclair, Flan and beyond as they’re rolled out? You might be S.O.L. as the internal memory of the G1 might not have enough capacity to allow future Android OS builds to hold its entirety. This was disappointingly tweeted by Android Engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru a few days ago:


So for us Android-loving early adopters who have enjoyed the robotic beginnings, it seems like we’re about to hit somewhat of a brick wall in months to come. Of course we still have a few options:

  • Explore the world of the Rooted Android Phone, recently made easier by a 1 Click Root app called Recovery Flasher
  • Snag one of the super powered Android Phones rumored to be coming out this holiday season like the Motorola Morrison, Motorola Sholes or Xperia X3
  • Be thankful you’ve got an Android at all and enjoy the inherently continuous stream of increased capabilities via Android Market

To be honest, none of those options sound too bad! When the worst case scenario is that you still have an Android phone, all is good in the world.

[Via I4U, Engadget, Thanks Carlton!]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. …fall to knees…raises arms in air (holding G1).. and shouts… “NOOOooooooo….”.

    C’mon Google-a-tron, sort us out with some quality updates. We know you love us early adopters really :)

  2. If the last claim turns out to be true, then you can bet that I want take the update that patches the 1-click root acces exploit…

    Second consequence is that I’ll move to blackberry or Palm after my 2-year contract runs out.

  3. As a day-1 G1 purchaser it’s pretty disheartening to learn that the phone – running a promising evolutionary platform – might essentially be a technology dead-end within a year of its release, should it turn out that “Donut”, etc., will not run on the G1. $299 is a pretty steep price to pay for yearly hardware upgrades, especially for phone running a platform like Android that seems positioned grow without having to buy a new phone every year or two. Even upgrade-happy Apple’s iPhone/iPod Touch appears to have a longer hardware upgrade cycle. Would T-Mobile/Google continue to provide bug fixes for the dead-end G1-supporting branch? Hopefully it won’t turn out to be another case of “early adopter = sucker”.

  4. well considering that the memory limitation has more to do with htc then google i don’t see why you wouldn’t want to take a look at whats out there for android when your contract expires

    it sucks but having rooted my phone i already am useing elements of donut in cyanogens builds

  5. Well, what that means also is that they have to officially push some other device to Android developers (which now seems Magic).

  6. I can’t believe that they would allow this to go down this way. Why not allow the OS to access available space on the SD card or let apps run from SD cards. Wouldn’t that free up some memory?

  7. Question (and yes i want a personal answer): You state that the Morrison is a ‘super powered’ phone, in what regard? From all the specs I’ve read, most of them say that it was have the same memory and chip-set as the Magic/MyTouch, besides other superficial additions. Ideally I’d aim for the Galaxy, with 8Gb of storage that’s what the makings of a true Android smartphone should be, but my question is what is so special about phones like Morrison that we won’t be facing this issue 1 year after buying it yet again?

  8. if google won’t let us upgrade to the hero UI then dont stop ppl from rooting and upgrading them like that somethings gotta give

  9. “Motorola” and “super powered” can’t be in the same sentence..

  10. My G1 is great. It has everything I want, and regardless of upgrades I feel like I’m set for the next couple years. I don’t feel like there’s any essentials, any “must haves” for me that are unresolved. If I did think so, I’d have bought something else.

    I don’t get the mentality of “needing” to have the next best thing. It’s a fact that as soon as phone or computer hits the market — it’s already obsolete! Development doesn’t stop once production starts. I don’t see how it’s unfair or burdensome to have an update that doesn’t work on all previous devices. Oh no, my phone has software that’s out of date by a month, gasp a YEAR! People need to get over themselves, did you buy it cause it was new and shiny or is it a product that you actually use?

  11. …I take it no-one else has their phone framed on the wall and never uses it, like myself?

    The fact that it has been less than a year, and the update issue has snagged early adopters is annoying to say the very least. Would this have happened on Symbian? If proven to be true, would the same happen to the so-called ‘new’ phones in a years time? What if the updates are essential and people no longer write applications to support the older releases. We’ve seen it with Cupcake. Now Donut?

    All I can say is that it will p*ss a lot of people off if they find they cannot get features others can, purely because they chose to buy a G1 early on.

    Down with this sort of thing. Careful now. – Father Ted/Dougal.

  12. I’m not terribly surprised about either. I knew at some point Android would probably start outgrowing the earliest phones. Maybe not quite so soon but I figured it would eventually happen. Besides this is business folks. No one is going to let you ride on the same hardware and get the latest features of newer phones.

    As for the Sense UI. Aren’t there some drawbacks to the non Google branded phones?

    As I’ve said here before I’d love to see an open source project come together to extend the life of the G1 by modding Android and making it easier for even the novice to get it installed on their phones. I’d like to see an entire custom UI spring up where the community is in control of what it gets.

  13. Google… your an a-hole… we were the ones that came and bought the G1(with its suckish battery life and speed) happily and you say that we arent going to get many updates… ugh… well at least some of the cookers on xda will be able to mess with this:

    “In addition, until early October ended October 31, where to buy HTC Magic of consumers will be able to HTC official website to download the latest software free of charge”

    and will be capable of running it on our G1 flawlessly… the G1 and the myTouch are the same thing… just that the myTouch has no keyboard and has a gay name… and space limitations??? I have 86 Megs of internal memory free!!!… suck on that Google!

  14. WHO CARES? I’m already running Hero on my G1. See those that are tech savvy and have brains already know how to do this. I also had the ION/Magic on my G1.
    Simple ROM flashing people. Search XDA forums, this bit of news doesn’t matter.

  15. Looks like it’s time to break to the Pre when it comes out for GSM

    Too bad G1…I loved you once now I am just disappoint

  16. You seem to be missing the point. Why should we have to?

  17. this is an epic fail for google. to abandon their early adopters after less than one year….oh google, you disappointed me so.

  18. Well perhaps is about time google finds out a way to run the phone OS from the SD card.. Or at least work on allowing update components to be stored there. The G1 is a good phone, and the fact that HTC would put out a product that doesn’t even make it to 2 years in the market is a real shame.

  19. Well I don’t get your point abut apps. If the G1 gets stuck at Cupcake, do you think donut apps will run on cupcake? How long do you think app providers will support both? This is what really stinks.

  20. just gimme UMA and a bluetooth keyboard interface and i’ll have enough.

  21. For all of you griping that you may not get future updates… its not like your going to get downgraded firmware… You will still have 1.5, your phone will still work like it does now… So if you like your phone now, then it wont be much difference…

    Now, my only concern is that if they release 2.0 for other android phones and not for the G1… the G1 may get screwed as far as apps goes because they will require 2.0 to work.

  22. many of you are ‘conceptually confused’ about what android is and what it isn’t. android is simply an operating system. Like microsoft windows. It runs on a computer of your choosing (in this case a cell phone sized computer). Google writes the operating system, they do not sell phones. In fact, the android OS is free!

    Now the phones. HTC is the only company to release their cell phones running android in the usa. Since HTC is in the business of selling phones they must innovate and make them better and badder (especially to capitalize on the momentum of the G1). Their first phone was simply good enough to run the first version of android and a little more than that. They will soon have competition for other cell phone manufacturers who will try to top them with additional features (not just on the physical attributes and capabilities of the phone’s hardware, but also on the software functionality (ala HTC Sense). This brings up the point that HTC sense is proprietary to HTC. This is not google owned. Google can not give you sense for your phone.

    as other phones come to market, things will surely change. It doesn’t make sense to get mad at windows because your old computer can’t handle their newest operating system. You upgrade memory, upgrade your machine, or put off your windows upgrade. This is frustrating in a cell phone because these things are not as update-able as a desktop computer. More like a laptop, but even less so it would seem.

    I have yet to purchase an android handset because none of them have all I want just yet. so i’m waiting. I plan on waiting no longer than the end of this year, and i’m very sure that early-middle next year there will be a phone to make me wish i had waited, but that’s just the way it is. I know i’ll hold on to the phone i buy at the end of this year for the next 2-5 years. No matter what! I also know that if i buy the sony experia, it won’t have HTC Sense anymore than the motorola morrison or sholes would!

    Then there is rooting! …oh the options! That is what is great about android …but get your heads on straight …it’s not all google! I didn’t even discuss carriers! :)

  23. W00t! Thanks for that post @Sizzler. I <3 my G1 and I haven’t even had it for a year. I hope I can get more use out of it than my Apple products (despite the best care, my ipod died 13months after purchase).

  24. I don’t think the Magic and the Hero have the CPU grunt to confortably run the HTC Sense UI so it’s no loss to me.

    I will be interested in the Sense UI on more powerful hardware, in the meantime, when is Android 2.0 supposed to be released ?

  25. “Would this have happened on Symbian?” – I had a Nokia Symbian phone for three years, and never got a single major update – just bug fixes. And usually not very good bug fixes.

  26. the g1 one loooks great if they cane make another phone like that with bigger screen would be dream come true! bring back the physical keyboard thats what made the g1 so gooood ad i don’t think i could upgrade until the next gen of android has brings back the keyboard.

  27. the g1 one loooks better then any phone i seen ad all my friend think the same and tons of my friends have g1 if they cane make another phone like that with bigger screen would be dream come true! bring back the physical keyboard thats what made the g1 so gooood ad i don’t think i could upgrade until the next gen of android has brings back the keyboard.

  28. Hey
    I’ve got a htc magic, can someone please tell me how I can upgrade my Android, because I’ve absolutely no idea how to.


    [email protected]

  29. F…ing b…rds!
    Who care about your stupid game!
    Money, money…!
    The problem is that you’re cheating the people who believe that this is an open source project and thete is a bright prospects!

  30. I think its awesome

  31. I’m haveing a probelm with my G1 It trune off on me and i can understand what the preomlem is i got a new battery for it and all and it still trune off on me it a awsome phone just don’t understand why its truneing off bye its self or why cus it never did this befor and now its sometime heard just to get my phone to go to my home screan.

  32. my G1 is awsome expet it truens off bye its self and idk how to fix it and it charges not all day and not all night i need help i don’t know what to do sometime it dosnt let me go to my home page it just give me a black screan

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