Friday, June 5, 2009

Android Dev Phone 1 Setup

To start investigations on mobile application development for Compuware, I have just acquired a first Android Dev Phone, also known as G1 [1]. Last week at Google I/O, Vic Gundotra delivered an Oprah event by offering to the audience a second generation Android phone, also known as G2 or HTC Magic [2, 3]. The G1 is more limited but it is still the only Android platform legally available.

With a bit of luck, few of 18 new phones Google expects [4] will be made available to developers during the year.

I have been able to activate the phone with the Fido pre-paid plan (10 $/month) [5]:
  • I inserted the SIM card as illustrated into the documentation, put the the battery in place, and connected the phone to the AC adapter.
  • Before signing in with my Google account, I had to create an Access Point Network (APN) entry:
    • Name: Fido
    • APN:
    • Username: fido
    • Password: fido
    • MCC: 302
    • MNC: 37
  • In some forums, it is reported that new Fido SIM cards use 370 as the MNC value.
  • A post of Olivier Fisher's blog [6] gives also the coordinates to connect to Rogers network, another GSM provider in Canada.
  • To limit interference, I deleted all pre-loaded APN entries (related to T-Mobile networks).
  • At one point, a popup asked me to enable data transfers. It is important to enable it and to activate the Data roaming, disregard how expensive are the costs for a prepaid plan.
  • Then I specified my Google account credentials and let the phone contacting Google servers via Fido network.
  • Once the activation has been successfully reported, I disabled the Data roaming, even before the synchronization of the applications {GMail, Contacts, Calendar} ended. The impact on my plan should be limited ;)
  • Then I added the description of my home Wi-Fi network.
  • I found the MAC address of the phone in the menu Settings > About phone > Status, with the entry near the end of the list. I used it to let my Wi-Fi controller accepting connections from the phone.
  • At this step, I was able to use my phone for regular calls over Fido network, and for data transfers over my Wi-Fi network.
The phone comes installed with Android 1.0 installed. I will blog later about updating the phone OS to the 1.5 version (also known as Cupcake)...

Update 2009/06/16:
Instructions on how to upgrade the Android dev phone to Android 1.5 is pusblished on HTC website: Flashing your Android Dev Phone with a Factory System Image.

Update 2009/07/15
Because of some restrictions to access Internet from the office, I have decided to pay for a 1GB/month data plan with Fido (30$/month). The activation has been made pretty quickly but none mentionned the following limitation:
  • On HTC website, you can see the network specifications for the G1: HSPA/WCDMA (US) on 1700/2100Mhz.
  • Fido/Rogers GSM only operates on 850/1900Mhz, so there's no possibility to go at a 3G speed in Canada!
Using this phone mainly for development purposes, it is not a blocking issue. It is just sad to not benefit from a better bandwidth...

A+, Dom
  1. Order the Android dev phone 1 from Android Market.
  2. Techcrunch reports the Oprah moment by Vic Gundotra.
  3. G2 review by MobileCrunch
  4. Google expects 18 to 20 new phones on the market by the end of 2009.
  5. Fido pre-paid plan.
  6. Android G1 Phone in Canada on Rogers by Olivier Fisher. Posted comments are especially useful.


  1. Thanks for this infomation. I'm ready to do android dev (I'm a researcher/prof in Vancouver) and thought to combine it with my personal phone. I have time left on my 3 yr fido plan. So I was researching issues, including moving to rogers/dream versus buying dev phone (adp1) and staying on fido. Is it still true that the adp1 can not use 3g for data even though the rogers dream/magic does? Any other big issues I should consider with my buying adp1 on existing fido versus new 3yr (ouch) rogers plan with similair dream?

  2. Hi Steve,

    Regarding the Android dev phone (adp1), because I consider it as a development platform, the limitation to Edge network capabilities (instead of the expected 3G ones) is not a big problem. Even if the development environment (Eclipse-based) is very good and if the simulator is excellent (better than the BlackBerry one, IMO), it definitively makes a huge difference when playing or demo-ing apps on the real device!

    When I'm out of the office, for a demo or my personal use, the Edge bandwidth is just fine. The very few applications I use do not require much bandwidth: GMail, GMaps, MyTracks, and Barcode Scanner. The only exception is Qik, but I don't use it a lot.

    I'm not sure that I would buy a Rogers phone, even if I'm looking for the availability of the HTC Magic on Android market, because the adp1 is totally unlocked. For example, I'll be able to update its OS to the coming Donut release as soon as it's out (with HTC OS images to go back to CupCake if something goes wrong). When travelling in Europe, I can just buy a prepaid service and I'm in business.

    Man, you're surrounded with 3-years contracts ;) I hope you take benefits of their voice plans! I've a 15$/month/no contract with Fido plus the 1Gb/30$/month and that covers my needs. A prepaid voice plan for 10$/month can probably make it too but I want to keep my number ;)

    A+, Dom

  3. Does data roaming have to remain enabled for this to work? even with a Data plan? for some reason my hero seems to only connect to the internet when it's enabled, but I'm not sure how charges would apply even though I have a data plan now.


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