March 30, 2011


   About 9 months ago I purchased an Android phone. Particularly I purchased the MyTouch 3G Slide from T-Mobile. For the most part it has been a positive experience. You can read my full review in the archive section for June 2010.
   Recently I have had a handful of issues with my phone. The main issue is that the phone came with very limited space for installing apps. The Android Market now has a few hundred thousand apps to choose from, many of which are completely free. From time to time this presented a problem as my phone would run out of room.
   At the time I purchased the phone I was under the impression that this particular model would soon receive an update that would give it a few extra capabilities. One of the main abilities was going to allow you to move apps from the phone to a micro SD card. This phone came with an 8 GB card. Up till now I have only filled my card about half way.
   So for months now I have been waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. Yesterday I went so far as to call customer service in hopes that they could solve the issue or at the very least offer me a better phone for my years of loyalty and paying my bill on time. Nada.
   Since I was completely tired of waiting I decided to do something brash. I rooted my phone. For those unaware of that term it simply means that I unlocked the phone to take complete control over it. It essentially grants you access to add or remove whatever you wish from the hardware you purchased. In my case it allowed me to remove the excessive junk that T-Mobile placed on my phone from the time of manufacturing.
   One other perk to rooting an Android device is you have the ability to completely wipe out the operating system and install any other operating system based on the Android code. This was the main goal that I was aiming for.
   In my case I was waiting months for the Android 2.2 system update. So, once I had access to the phone I simply found another operating system based on the 2.2 update. In my case I decided to go with the ever popular CyanogenMod 6.1. The base code behind it is Android 2.2. Essentially it promised to fulfill all of my hopes and dreams.
   The process was a bit long. It required first installing the software development kit that Google has created for people who wish to create software for Android. Once I had this installed I used it to push certain software elements to the phone that allowed the phone to be booted into a special mode that allows you to erase and install components.
   There were a few moments that were a bit scary. At one point I erased the system software on the phone and then rebooted into nothing. I got a bit concerned until I figured out how to boot into the loading program again which allowed me to install CyanogenMod.
   If you are considering rooting and installing new operating software on your Android device I highly recommend you click on my link above and read up on it. Keep in mind that rooting your phone voids your warranty.
   I have already noticed a couple of benefits from the new software. First of all everything runs faster. Programs download and install faster. They appear to run faster, though I am not 100% certain that they do. I also have more space available for apps. In addition to the extra space I now have the ability to move the apps to the SD card just as I wanted. I also have been able to unlock and use the Chrome-to-Phone add on feature for the Chrome browser.
   In all honesty I was very hesitant to make the change. I was concerned about losing my warranty. I was concerned that I would lose out on the update whenever it comes out. After going through with the process I am actually glad I did it. By the time T-Mobile and HTC release the update to 2.2 I expect I'll be running a stable version of CyanogenMod based on 2.3 or 2.4.