Worried that your one-year-old dual-core smartphone might not get an official Jelly Bean upgrade, due to the software not “being supported” by the “outdated” hardware? Well, that’s bull and you know it! And if you doubted that, we now have the most conclusive piece of evidence possible to prove otherwise.
The HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) is the device that started it all, being the first ever Android running phone in history. Back in September 2008 (man, we’re old!), the Dream was introduced powered by Android 1.0, which quickly turned into 1.1 and then into 1.5 Cupcake.
The last official software update to ever hit the G1 was 1.6 Donut, but the Dream was kept alive due to some fantastic work of independent devs. We even spotted the G1 running Ice Cream Sandwich back in November 2011, which was pretty unbelievable, considering that this old raggedy device was powered by a 528 MHz ARM 11 CPU.
Believe it or not, the G1 seems to have stuck to the devs’ hearts, and has now been treated to an unofficial semi-functional Jelly Bean port. SoCal Devs is the name of the nostalgic team behind the making of this ROM, proving once and for all, that there are no real barriers to block the preserving of Android’s early history.
As one would expect, the JB-running Dream is buggy, glitchy, unstable and laggy as heck, but who cares? The port works, and that’s more than anyone could have ever asked. Besides, this is only a pre-alpha build, so some of the kinks will most likely be ironed out soon.
To download the CM10-based build, you should visit this XDA-developers forum thread, where you’ll get an install guide with all the instructions needed for flashing the port and, of course, access to the 90 MB zip file of the pre-alpha ROM.
The list of working features is actually quite impressive, although almost nothing works as it does on the Nexus, for example. That said, I know that if you still own a G1, you won’t be able to resist the temptation of seeing Google Now on such an “outdated” piece of hardware. Cellular data is the most important feature currently not working in SoCal Devs’ port, but a soon-to-be-released update should fix that too.
Before flashing the port, please keep in mind that you’ll most likely void your phone’s warranty. Also, think long and hard if it’s a wise choice for you to give up on Donut’s delicious treats for Jelly Bean’s partially working ones, therefore risking not being able to properly use your beloved gadget anymore. I’m kidding of course, as there’s no way you could have a G1 with a valid warranty these days. Still, you wouldn't want to brick it or anything, so do handle with care!
Check the (pretty hilarious) video below demoing Jelly Bean on the HTC G1! If you're suddenly hit by a nostalgia bug, try the port for yourselves and see how Jelly Bean acts on a four-year-old phone. Also, don't be shy and let us know how it all went down and the most important bugs and glitches you would like fixed.