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HTC G1 Cellphone

Jim Carter, 2009-03-30


Front and Back
Front and Back of the G1
Phone Open
Phone Open
(click for larger image)

The T-MobileTM G1 with GoogleTM is a cellphone or smartphone manufactured by HTC. It is available with a subsidy to contracted T-Mobile clients, or an unlocked and unsubsidized G1 can be purchased from Google by registered Android Developers. I want it to combine in one device the voice chat (cellphone) role and a variety of activities for a handheld computer. For the most part it has done everything I asked for.

Android is the operating system running on the G1 (and soon, other devices). Android is a variant of Linux. One forum poster asked, Why are you guys obsessing over this Linux business? It's just a phone! The reason is that we guys (girls also welcome) can make the device do a whole lot more than just cellphone calls, and we don't need the cooperation of a bunch of marketing droids with the carrier and the handset manufacturer, who will not consider our needs to be important enough to implement across the whole product deployment.

So what are these special things I'm using the G1 for?

Table of Contents

Prepurchase Evaluation

The G1 has good points and bad points. If I buy one and switch over to it, a considerable investment of effort (and also money) in the Nokia N810 and 770 is going into the tank. Shall I be conservative and make the older equipment last until it breaks? Or in this bad economic climate, shall I consume conspicuously on the new geek toy?

Now that I have the phone, I have annotated the list of activities with their current status. Also, this page has the specifications of the G1.

Turning On the Phone

Just push the power button? Yeah, sure. This part of the job took two days. But the care and time was worth it. I describe my carrier strategy: you can use T-Mobile's Sidekick to Go plan, and if I had understood what to look for, I could have done the whole setup on my T-Mobile SIM in about five minutes. The purchase procedure is also described.

Update: T-Mobile, the weasels, have spoiled the Sidekick option. Discover my new carrier here.


The various ways to communicate into and out of the phone: USB, Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular data.

Applications (I)

Evaluations of the applications provided with the phone, and obtained from the Android Market.

Hacking the G1

I'm just getting started here, but the page has a list of links to forum postings about how to get root, the update schedule, etc.


The inevitable collection of items that either have not yet been sorted or have no logical home.

Wish List

While my wish list on the G1 is shorter than for the Nokia family with Maemo, there are still items I would like to see improved. And as an Official Android Developer, there's a good chance that I could do the open source thing and actually make some of them happen. A to-do list of hacks is here also.