HTC G1 Receives Working Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Port [Video]


They said it couldn’t be done. Who’s they? Well, I don’t know… Google? HTC? Whichever company or OEM that likes to use “device specs” as a cop out for not keeping their devices up-to-date with the latest Android firmwares. I mean, for gawd’s sakes, we have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Godfather of all Android devices — the HTC G1.

And just like the Don Corleon in his later days, the G1 isn’t running Ice Cream Sandwich very gracefully but by George, it’s running it. Or more like walking. Anyway, just check out the video from jcarrz1 and team who have managed to concoct this over on XDA. If the video doesn’t leave you speechless, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

[XDA via TheVerge]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Fantastico!  The old girl can still kick up her heels, LOL.

  2. Hard to believe 3 years ago 528 mhz was fast, and now we are looking at 1.5 ghz quad-core chips.  Amazing how time flies.

    1. Who cares about Ghz?

      Architecture>Clock Frequency.This thing clocked at 2 Ghz would still get beaten by the Nexus S (for example), also the gpu is shit too.

      1. Well, back then it was all we had to go by.. =p

        1. Exactly. And I’m pretty sure “philmcgraw” wasn’t talking about specifics, just how technology is progressing quickly. And it is. Right now we can say that the G1’s innards are seriously outdated, and we’d be right in saying that. But when it came out, it was all there was in the way of “superphones”

  3. Nice! Love you HTC!

  4. XDA, you are incredible, in every single way.

  5. Grand daddy of androids

  6. FUCK YEA G1

  7. Its like watching someone running Windows 7 on a first run Pentium III…. Long live the G1.

  8. How is this possible lol. And why? What’s the point?

  9. It took almost ten seconds to load the phone app lol. That is seriously a waste of effort. Lol

  10. A lot of phones could probably be updated to 4.0, but that wouldn’t benefit the OEM or carrier as you would likely have no reason to buy a new phone or renew your contract because you are running up to date software, which in turn is money lost on there end.

  11. Why would you even do that???
    It’s like running crysis on a commodore64.

    1. that would make for some awesome bragging rights!

  12. I see alot of hating azz losers posting senseless condescending remarks about devs benefitting people who have yet to upgrade their devices becuz they are either on a budget or just plain like the nostalgiac feeling with a hint of new shyt on their stuff. n any case, wtf gives u the right to talk shyt??? could u port ICS to a device???? more than likely u cant, u probably couldnt even get an old school NES to work let alone a dayum phone, so like the old saying goes, if u dont have anything nice to say, THEN JUST STFU….  >:(   

    on a side note, great job devs at XDA, now lets get a port functional on our beloved Thunderbolt!!!  ANDROID FTW!!!

    1. How old is this dude? I hope that post was written by his son due to a failure to log out properly.

    2. Dude idk if you understand a lot about people whohave jobs and carrers we dont have mom and dad providing anymore so we dont buy all the newest phone + ICS dont start i higly doubt u can do anything but text on your phione. 

  13. Don’t TL;DR, this is meaningful:

    This is so wonderful! I’m really excited to see this, however I have one MAJOR bone to pick with Google about this. For many years I have been critical of what I have found to be a fundamental flaw with Android: a lack of a composited [read: hardware accelerated] UI. I don’t think people understand how important it really is in a mobile operating system; software rendering is a huge drain on battery when you’re interacting with the UI, etc. This is huge because it’s pretty much all you do on a mobile device, particularly as we talk less on our phones and use the other functions more regularly. For YEARS Google defended the lack of a hardware-accelerated UI by saying that older devices, the G1 was cited specifically, were unable to support such a feature. Now all of a sudden we find out that it was total bull (ICS is hardware accelerated). So what’s the real story here? Anyone care to chime in?

    All criticism aside, I am SO EXCITED that ICS is on the G1.

    1. I completely agree.  Nexus Revamped Pro, which was one of the first “Nexus” Live Wallpapers to be available on the market (Not just on the N1 like it was originally) is hardware accelerated.  And let me tell you, it runs a million times better than what ships from Google!  There’s no homescreen lag, and it doesn’t eat battery life.

      Not only that, just play with an iPhone or ANY Windows Phone 7 device and you’ll immediately be jealous of how responsive and smooth the UI interaction is.  WP7 is a good example because the UI has a LOT of beautiful eye candy, and it’s smooth as butter, even running on similar hardware to my sisters Incredible2, it out-paces the Inc2 by a mile.

      It’s a shame…

    2. You misunderstand – you can’t magically add hardware acceleration to devices that don’t have it.  It’s called *hardware* acceleration for a reason… 

      ICS just falls back to the same old software rendering path on older devices that don’t have the necessary hardware, which is part of the reason it’s so slow on the G1.

  14. I think it was updated to prove a point and not for actual use. I did say it was a waste of time. Its good to see this though. I love this open source stuff.

    Were all here to give opinions I read the positives and negatives. I don’t think anyone is hating or whatever your TRYING to say, I was actually just finding humor in it that’s all. Nothing to cry about.

  15. It’s an impressive academic task but completely useless in the real world as no one would ever use a phone that has software running so slowly. It does beg the question why someone spent their efforts getting it on the G1 (they must have been bored).

  16. I dont think ordinary phone user understand hackers, they do it because they CAN do it, nothing else :) they dont care what average Joe thinks they do it to prove themselves to themselves :).

  17. Now where did I put my G1…

    1. Wanna buy mine?  It’s on Froyo now, and works just fine.

  18. dude… what???? i just got a final update for i motorola droid, and they won’t even upgrade me to gingerbread.

    1. “They” didn’t upgrade the G1 either, it’s a custom ROM made by independent developers. If you want 2.3.x on your OG Droid,  root it and flash a GB ROM on it.

  19. Its not running ICS, or walking it, it more like a person with no legs crawling up a steep incline….

    its not surprising, i never doubted it could be done, but as i said weeks ago, its stripped down and still crawls..so why would someone want it….

    I used to have a G1 but im sure if i did id rather just have 1.6 on it….im sure that still runs fine, even on the aging hardware…..

    I’m content to wait for ICS on my next phone so i wont be rooting my G2 for it……lets go HTC announce the G3 for next year 

  20. If carriers and OEM’s would just install their crapware and homescreens like apps without tweaking the firmware, there would be no need for the long delays waiting to install an up to date OS.  Hopefully with ICS, there is more confidence with the vanilla OS and less justification for developing in-house mods.

  21. supper laggy.

  22. Man some people are fucking retards! This video is NOT trying to show you how smooth the g1 runs on ic. It’s just showing you it can be done. Damn… I mean on dick heads. Its just for FUN! It was said that the g1 couldn’t be up dated after 1.6. But because of developer from around the world it got every update to date! That’s the point. Expand your minds and look at the big picture. Laggy? No shit asshole lmao. Happy thanksgivings

    1. I liked your post. 

      I believe I would have liked it more if it was insult free and PG rated. 

      I’m 33 and the way I talk on a construction site is not that way I communicate on forums.  If I understand you correctly, you are upset that people are missing the point of this firmware.  I agree with that.  I believe you are missing the point of communication and forums however.

      It is my understanding that forums are here to offer additional, helpful information.  Most of your post was neither.

  23. This video made me sooo happyyyyyyyyyyy

  24. Doooooope…

  25. IMO, it is too laggy. One of the reasons why device makers will not port new firmware  on older devices. While the idea would be novel, the user experience would be frustrating and in turn would hurt the brand.

    1. ICS could easily add code paths for devices with lower specifications.  (remove the transition effects, etc) Like how Apple does.

      Google is not interested in this because the manufacturers and carriers are very much against this.  They want / need a reason to sell a new phone. 

      If you want a well supported device, as much as it pains me to say it, get an iPhone.  Google abandoned the N1 before it needed to so it could appease the companies it works with.

      I haven’t heard HTC or Samsung announcing ICS for the Galaxy S or G2 or ….  You get the idea.  The N1, GS, G2 all have the GPU power to run ICS just fine.  In fact, if hardware acceleration driver was written, they would likely be faster than they are now. 

      Image that!  Wouldn’t that look bad on Google?  It would make them a liar to start.  Also, why would we want / need an upgrade if the device in our pockets suddently became better and faster and more capable that it was when it was brand new?

      See the problem!?

  26. Not overly excited about this, it just proves the G1 can’t handle ICS.  If this was on the N1, that’d be a different story because Google officially cut that phone off from ICS.

    Did anyone else find the Mario music ironic?

  27. I miss my G1 :'(

  28. all this proves is that the G1 is too slow to run ICS

  29. Is  the Icecream Sandwich  compatible with the Toshiba Thrive tablet?

    1. Yes.  Toshiba has announced that the 7″ Thrive which should be released in the next week or two will be on ICS or will be receiving it.  I believe ICS will hit the 10″ model as well since it shares so much hardware with the 7″ model.

  30. Insane …

  31. All these phone companies do is make us look like fools, because every few months a new phone comes out making the one we bought obsolete. Its time these companies pay for their GREED. I dont know about you, but I cant afford to keep buying phones, im all for seeing what a so called dinosaur can do with new firmware. LONG LIVE G1 and HTC and XDA DEVELOPERS.

  32. HTC has stopped updating or even paying attention to phones even as early as the HTC Evo 4G (that I own)
    I have a spare G1 that I’m going to do it on right now.

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