Oh, for crying out loud! While we were all giddy reporting on yesterday’s wonderfully done head-mounted computer, [Andrew Lim] of recombu.com comes along and essentially does the same thing with an HTC Magic handset and three dollars worth of Harbor Freight crap. Linux kernel, WiFi, accelerometer, the whole nine yards. Consider our collective ass handed to us.
Funny thing is, either of these could be considered The Consummate Hack. One flaunting the creator’s know-how with its custom-designed parts and delicate engineering, the other exhibiting a more punk flair with random scraps and off-the-shelf technology achieving much the same effect — a solution so obvious we were blind to it. Whatever your outlook, this is a great day to be a hacker!
In our Dev Phone 1 excitement last week, we somehow overlooked phoneWreck’s teardown of the T-Mobile G1. The complex slider mechanism is certainly worth looking out. One of the major oddities they point out is the inclusion of two vibration motors. One is mounted next to the SIM on the mainboard. While the other is mounted in the frame next to the earpiece. We wonder what was gained/solved by using two. The phone also includes a digital compass module. We’d like a more detailed explanation of how the Xilinx CPLD is used. From this article in 2006, it seems HTC uses them to generate custom clock signals and switching off devices for power management.
Google has new program to sell Android phones directly to developers. The Android Dev Phone 1 is both SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked. SIM-unlocked means you can use it on any GSM carrier you want. Hardware-unlocked means you can run any system you want on the phone, not just officially signed ones. No more need to worry about security patches taking away your root access.
The device is $399. You will need to purchase it through the Android Market as a registered developer (a $25 fee). We wonder how long before the unsigned bootloader starts getting flashed to T-Mobile phones.
Two new Android phones have surfaced recently which may prove just as friendly: the Kogan Agora Pro and the QiGi i6.
UPDATE: While shipping is free in US, it is incredibly expensive everywhere else. Yes, we bought one.
Google has officially released the Android source code. While the T-Mobile G1 is being released tomorrow—some already have it—it is just one Android device. The availability of the source means that the platform could be port to almost any device. It’s a complete embedded Linux package and we’ve already seen it running on the N810. We can’t wait to see what hacks come out of this.
Engadget has a full gallery of the new HTC Dream, the first production phone running Android. It will be available on T-Mobile some time this Fall (missing features notwithstanding).
[Barry] needed some way to get serial output to help debug his efforts to port Linux to the HTC TytnII (Windows mobile Pocket PC phone). He wrote some code to send serial output via one of the LEDs on the phone and rigged up an AVR to pic up the output and provide a USB interface to the computer. It runs at about 200bps – perfect for the quick debug session.