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I own an HTC Dream, otherwise known as the T-Mobile G1. Yes, it's now dated and slow and pitifully behind the curve compared to today's superphones, but with my contract just about up, I'm riding it out before switching carriers (T-Mobile's coverage in my area isn't the greatest). So how do I deal with constant smartphone envy? It helps that I rooted my G1 almost from Day 1. I even wrote a guide right here on Maximum PC on how to do so (a lot has changed since then and there's an updated guide right here).
Still today the XDA forums are brimming with modified firmware for the G1, and it's that culture of modders that helped make the first Android handset such a popular device. Surely then the recently released G2 would follow in the same footsteps, right? Sadly, that's not the case. Rather than encourage third-party ROM development, or even just leave them be, the G2 comes with a security mechanism that prevents the device from saving changes made by modified firmware.
Following a backlash from scorned G2 owners, T-Mobile issued the following statement:
"As pioneers in Android-powered mobile devices, T-Mobile and HTC strive to support innovation. The T-Mobile G2 is a powerful and highly customizable Android-powered smartphone, which customers can personalize and make their own, from the look of their home screen to adding their favorite applications and more," T-Mobile explains.
"The HTC software implementation on the G2 stores some components in read-only memory as a security measure to prevent key operating system software from becoming corrupted and rendering the device inoperable. There is a small subset of highly technical users who may want to modify and re-engineer their devices at the code level, known as 'rooting,'but a side effect of HTC’s security measure is that these modifications are temporary and cannot be saved to permanent memory. As a result the original code is restored," T-Mobile says.
In other words, it's for your own good, according to T-Mobile. But what the wireless carrier doesn't seem to understand is that such a security measure flies in the face of what made the G seires so popular in the first place. T-Mobile and HTC have every right to lock down their hardware, but I'm not so sure doing so is really in their best interest.
What do you think? Should T-Mobile/HTC have left the G2 open to modifications, or did they make the right move here?