One of the more exciting things about the upcoming HTC ‘Hero’ G2 smartphone is that it will come with a new, updated version of the lauded Android operating system. Well, today we’ve got some great news for you Android-loving G1 owners out there; the Hero has been cracked, and HTC’s new version of Android is available for download on the G1.Finding it might be a little difficult, however. Haykuro, the 17-year-old developer that leaked Cupcake ahead of its release date, has somehow found a ROM from the upcoming G2. He fiddled around with it and managed to get it to work on his G1. Haykuro’s calling this new OS update “donut”, and he’s posted a video of what it’s capable of up here.
If you don’t have an unlocked dev phone G1, you’re going to have to wait a few weeks to get Donut running on your machine. The ROM is hard to find and it doesn’t work for rooted G1 owners. Fortunately, the fact that Donut is already out among the developer community means it shouldn’t be too long before a version is out that the rest of us can use.
And what can we expect from this update to Android’s UI? For one thing, Android now handles playing and storing music files a lot better. The playlist interface has improved dramatically, and there’s now a shortcut to the media player right under the google search bar on the Android desktop. The Internet browser, the calendar, and a whole host of other bits of the Android UI have received significant updates.
an Android dev named Haykuro managed to get a hold of a ROM of the new version of Android for the HTC Hero. Now, thanks to another developer, we’ve got a video of the leaked build that shows us the widget functionality we can expect out of the upcoming Hero and probably G1.2 as well.
It gives us a pretty good look at how the the latest version of Android will perform, at least on the Hero. I have to say, I am highly impressed. For one thing, the new widgets look great. They’re all well-designed and you can tell at a glance exactly what information they have for you.
The new Android UI starts off as very bare-bones, but by filling your home screen up with widgets you turn it into a glittering utopia of pretty gadgets. Just from this video, we can see an excellent-looking Twitter feed, a bookmark section, a great little weather tool, a scrolling contact list with contact photos, and a music player.
With all of those on, the UI gets pretty filled up, but never crowded. Just like in the current Android build, you can slide left or right to give yourself more space, and access the rest of your programs. Honestly, it looks to me like Android’s gotten even easier to use. It really is a great little touch screen UI, and HTC is taking advantage of Android’s strengths with this new ‘donut’ build.
Those of you that look at the iconic Android clock on your T-Mobile G1 or the HTC Magic and think: ‘that’s so 2008’, get ready to pick up the uber-skinned HTC Hero ROM instead.
The clever chaps over at the XDA developers forum have managed to put together a working port that makes your current, bog-standard Android device into a next generation behemoth.
Well, that is until the HTC Hero actually hits the shops in the not-too-distant-future, complete with super widget gallery and some kind of space-age buttons that might make you feel like you’re aboard some intergalactic space ship. Or not, your call.
The only problem is you’ll need to be a pretty clued-up developer / code wrangler to get this thing on your phone – we’re talking flashing the device, connecting up the debugger, the works.
So if you’ve only just committed to an HTC Magic for two years on £40-odd a month, you might want to think twice before breaking it through your ham-fisted porting efforts.
But on the plus side, the leak means it’s unlikely we’ll have to wait too long for the HTC Hero, so you can at least upgrade to the latest version of the Android gang if you’re lumbered with nothing more than a shiny white brick.