Don’t Toss That G1 Just Yet — It Works With Google Navigation


Google-Maps-Navigation-02Personally, I feel bad for the original G1 Android handset. Only a year into its existence and it’s getting passed up by younger, thinner models with fewer chins. And then there’s that fabulous looking Google Navigation found on those new-fangled Android 2.0 devices. It’s enough to make a bronze G1 turn green with envy. But wait — is that Google Navigation on a G1 that Engadget Mobile found? It is! Thanks to the clever crowd at XDA Developers — where else? — Google’s newest directional software is running on the G1. I’m curious if Google will put the kibosh on this though — they did it before with a programmer that was repackaging Google closed-source apps.

I keep Om’s old G1 around the house for software testing and such — he wouldn’t swap it for the Droid, go figure. Most of the time, it sits idly on my desk, but maybe it’s time to start getting into that hackability zone with this one-year old. Android by itself is getting better and better, but it seems to me that all of the fun stuff happens when folks start tinkering with the platform. Since I’m still terrified by a solder iron, this seems like a better way to channel my efforts. Any suggestions on where to start and what to do with a G1?



No need to root anymore. Google released it to the G1 through the Market.


Regrettably, it isn’t so easy. You have to modify your (rooted) G1’s system files to have the phone lie about its software version before installing the app — and that’s after you delete a bunch of files. Then, sometimes navigation works, sometimes it doesn’t — a lot of users are having trouble with it.

One day we’ll have a truly open handset, but Google’s heavy-handedness in taking pre-emptive action to disable features is proof that it isn’t here today. The fact that Android itself is open source is irrelevant — until you can install your own firmware, install all your own apps, and do it with the support of all interested parties, calling Android “open source” is only a half-truth.


I wonder if OM would be okay if I were to, uh, “repackage” his premium offerings.


Got it install…voice kind of OK, contacts do not yet work…HOWEVER, VOICE SEARCH does, way cool….just speak the address and it both shows you the place and will navigate to it…


Agree with Aaron here and you’re totally right – magic happens when you get under the hood of your Android phone.

Heck it’s worth it just to get the upgrade before T-Mo sends it out OTA.

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