Friday, June 25, 2010

Android 2.1 Eclair on HTC Magic

Finally. I made the leap from official Android 1.5 with HTC Sense to a rooted 2.1 Eclair. The rumors said HTC was going to release an update in March, then May, then June and now September. I had enough of the waiting. Apps (Twitter, NY Times) that run only in 2.0+ were being released and I felt left out. Now, which ROM should I choose? The net pointed to Cyanogen as the most respected Android developer.

I then started to read and reread the instructions on Cyanogen's wiki. You'll be asked to download a total of 9 files. I had done the Gold Card method before so I didn't need to do it again. The rooting and upgrade to 5.0.7 took a lot less time than expected. Everything went smoothly and I was able to boot into Eclair after about an hour of work.

Everything was faster and more responsive than before. The look and feel was actually very nice. There were some things I missed like the Sense Gallery, the built-in Facebook-Contacts integration, the Sense calendar widget, the Sense bookmarks widget and the Teeter game. The upgrade, on the other hand, gave me Gesture Search, multiple Gmail account integration, Twitter, a faster browser and Google Maps with buzz support.

A day later, Cyanogen released 5.0.8. The upgrade was a simple case of downloading 2 files, copying it to the SD card, rebooting into recovery mode and applying the zip updates. After the update, I rebooted to a 5.0.8 and the ADW.launcher was waiting for me. The upgrade was well worth it and would recommend it to anyone in the Philippines with an HTC Magic. A few weeks from now, Cyanogen would probably have Froyo ready for use.