A few years ago I switched cell service from Sprint to AT&T since Linux was starting to get a presence in the GSM arena. Then came OpenMoko and hope I’d soon have the same freedom on my phone as on the pc. That project has slowed a little but Google came along with Android and my hope stayed afloat.
The G1 has been out since last year but unfortunately it was exclusively sold through T-Mobile, the one carrier that doesn’t have decent coverage in my area. T-Mobile was being generous with “unlock codes” but it seemed to be a hassle to buy a phone from one carrier only to try an use it on another. I’m always up for a challenge but that was a little much. So I waited.
It was then in December Google offered an “unlocked” version called the Dev Phone 1 usable on any GSM network. That was more to my liking but I wasn’t ready to jump in. That all changed this week. Not really sure what prompted me now, it has been in the news a bit with more manufactures signing on. As well as a new release coming called cupcake. Regardless I took the plunge this week and registered as a Android developer and ordered it.
You do not have to be a developer or prove that you can code to register. Registering is a requirement before you can order.
It arrived today and after a few hours of use so far I’m impressed. I already have a GMail account so it’s a good fit when it comes to some of the main features. Getting it to work with AT&T was pretty simple too following what others have already noted on the internet adding a APN for AT&T as follows.
name: AT&T apn: wap.cingular proxy blank port blank username:WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM password:CINGULAR1 server blank mmsc: http://mmsc.cingular.com mms proxy: wireless.cingular.com mms port: 80 mcc:310 mnc:410 apn type blank
.. and I was up and running. Of course having the GMail account for activation made things that much easier. All my GMail contacts and Calendars were synced immediately. When the contacts on my SIM weren’t loaded all I had to do was go to Contacts -> Menu -> Settings -> SIM contacts importer … done.
I’m not sure if I’ll do much on the development front but I do like that as an option. I’ve only just started looking at the app store, I’m sure I’ll get more into that as time goes on. I’ve yet to touch the GPS or camera and only played an mp3 or two. So for now my hats off to HTC and Google for putting out a quality phone with a wide array of features. Lets hope my attitude doesn’t change after a few months.