Part of the fun of owning an Android-based smartphone is in installing third party firmware. Not for the faint of heart, the process involves hacking the device in a process known as rooting which, if done incorrectly, can brick your handset. Take your time and do things correctly, however, and you'll unlock all kinds of functionality and features not previously available, depending on your particular smartphone. G1 owners, for example, can install apps directly to an SD card and setup Wi-Fi tethering, among other things.
Should you make the leap, popular modder CyanogenMod has just released what he claims is the first fully functionally Android 2.1 (Eclair) ROM for the HTC Dream (G1) and Magic smartphones. The latest ROM includes everything that goes with Eclair, as well as a few extras, including:
FLAC audio support
360 Degree auto-orientation
If you're interested in giving the new ROM a spin, you can download the file from here. Be sure to follow the installation instructions closely.
According to Taylor Wimberly of AndroidAndMe.com, uber popular Android hacker who goes by the name of Cyanogen managed to ruffle some feathers over at Google. From the sound of things, the search giant is none too pleased with Cyanogen distributing their closed source Android apps (Market, Talk, Gmail, YouTube, and others) with his third-party CyanogenMod ROM.
Going by the chat log Wimberly posted on his site, Google has issued a cease and desist letter to Cyanogen, who laments that "CyanogenMod is probably going to be dead." It would be a shame if it came to that, as CyanogenMod is probably the most popular third-party Android ROM out there, and is actively being developed, somewhat of a rarity in the Android ROM community whose only compensation is user donations.
But all might not be lost. Cyanogen said he has opened up a dialog with Google.
"My argument is that I only develop for Google-experience devices which are already licensed for these apps," said Cyanogen. "So we'll see what they say. Maybe we can work something out."
So do we. Otherwise, this could be a blow to the entire Android ROM community, not just Cyanogen.