A year ago I did a review on DZO’s Android for Vogue project. It was a great idea and worked well enough to show what could be done, but I removed it from my phone and forgot about it for a few months. Then a couple of guys that work with me bought G1s and I started looking into it again, it seemed that DZO and a couple of others had kept on developing this project and I downloaded the newest release (Android 1.5 Cupcake) and fell in love with my phone all over again.
Now it is even EASIER to get Android working on the Vogue! Just go the android-vogue Google Code page and download the newest Bundle (currently named android-1.5-2009-07-23.zip), unzip, and move the files needed to the root of your SD card. The instructions are on the project’s wiki on Google Code and are easy to follow. (I’m currently using mssmison’s Hero-themed system image and am very much enjoying it!)
It might not have all the features and the Vogue is missing things like an autofocus camera and accelerometer, but those things can be forgiven since you will just blown away by the fact that you are running Android on your HTC Vogue. I have tried a few apps so far and most of them work (ones that require the G1’s camera, accelerometer, or 3G connection don’t seem to work) and the Android Marketplace is such a great little piece of software.
And this isn’t just for the Vogue (Verizon HTC Touch), no there are more than 4 other phones that the dev team is working on getting Android working with. I would suggest going to the XDA-Developers forums and searching for “android on [your phone name here]” and seeing what comes up. You might just be surprised.
I asked the dev team if they would like to answer a few questions about the build and got a resounding YES! So, below are the questions and the answers that I was given from each of the team.
Q: How long have you been working on the Android for Vogue project?
DZO: I first booted android in march 2008, so about 16 months now.
vilord: Since the beginning of May
mssmison: Maybe 5 months full time..
srwalter: I’ve been working on the project since I got my Vogue, which I purchased expressly for running Android. I’ve probably only made two calls in winmo in the two months or so that I’ve had it.
Q: What prompted you to begin work on the project?
DZO: I got a new phone and was shocked at how useless windows mobile is. I teach operating systems and thought there must be something better, I’d tried the android emulator so thought I’d give it a go.
vilord: curiosity, and wanting my phone to work better… didn’t have any idea there were so many others who were interested and would benefit
mssmison: Well I remember I tried one of DZO’s first bootable beta’s. Nothing worked but I was super intrigued by the interface. I tried all the windows mobile ‘android’ skins before I checked back on progress. By that time foobar had his initial cupcake build but development on the system had pretty much stopped. I saw hakuro had released the apk for the htc ime and decided I needed to figure out how to get that into the vogue build and things just took off from there.
srwalter: A colleague at work had an AT&T Tilt (Kaiser) that he’d been using to play around with Android. I thought that was pretty cool, but liked my plan with Sprint and didn’t want to switch carriers just for that. While browsing the XDA forums, I noticed some references to the Vogue, which I had never heard of. When I read that it was an android-capable CDMA phone, I was sold.
Q: How many hours a day do you spend on the project?
DZO: It depends, I have a full time job and a family with two kids so any time left over I spend on the project. I spend plenty of time thinking about it though.
vilord: it ranges from about 20 minutes of forum chatter all the way to 8-10 hours, depending on the day (or night!)
mssmison: Somedays none, some days 2 or 3
srwalter: Lately I’ve probably only been working 3-4 hours per week on android. When I was working on GPS support, I was spending a couple of hours per night on it after work.
Q: What do you consider your highest achievement in the project?
DZO: I’m quite happy about getting USB to work since that had to be done from scratch because there wasn’t an existing driver. Getting the camera working and figuring out the power management were quite satisfying too.
vilord: Umm… there’ve been lots of small things… I’d say the biggest was getting cupcake/1.5 to a point that was stable with google signon/market working
mssmison: Well I was really stoked when I first got the htc ime working. That’s what made me decide to use android full time. But best overall so far? All of it.
srwalter: I think GPS support is my best contribution. It seems to have been on a lot of people’s wishlists for a long time. The reverse engineering involved was pretty fun too; for example discovering that they encoded latitude and longitude as 50th’s of an arcsecond…
Q: What are you currently working on in regards to the Android for Vogue project?
DZO: I’ve just got audio input working and will have a look at bluetooth next since that’s just about the only significant thing that doesn’t work at all.
vilord: Bluetooth support, internal storage support, wlan on GSM devices, keymapping, better GSM radio
mssmison: Hero build
srwalter: My next project will probably be cell triangulation. Unfortunately, I haven’t even gotten this working in Windows Mobile yet, so there may be some hardware limitations to complicate things.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about having Android on the Vogue?
DZO: I use maps most but everything is good, having an internet device in your pocket just makes a lot of things easier.
vilord: It is SO much cleaner than windows mobile, syncing just plain works, and I can install hundreds of apps for free!
mssmison: Well I hate windows mobile, and android is just soo much more slick and finger friendly.. I mean why have an all touch screen phone if you have to use the stylus so much.
srwalter: I really like the google integration with mail and calendar. I find that if my phone is not on my person, if it’s on the charger for example, I won’t check my email or calender because I’m so used to being reminded by the vogue.
craig0r*: My favourite thing about having Android on the Vogue would probably have to be how well it’s designed for fingers-only use. It really bothers me when I am in WinMo and I have to pull my stylus out.
Q: What do you most dislike about having Android on the Vogue?
DZO: Not having an accelerometer is a bit of a problem.
vilord: In order from dislike most: Too many people whining that things don’t work, Things not working
srwalter: There are a few downsides, like not being able to swap SD cards and the relative lack of hardware buttons. But overall, I find it hard to really fault the Android on Vogue experience
craig0r: I can’t really say I dislike anything about having Android on the Vogue. I mean, I’d really like to have bluetooth, and to not have to run it off my SD card, but those issues are both being worked on. I wouldn’t call them “flaws” or “dislikes”; just work-in-progress.
Q: If you could change one thing about the Vogue what would it be?
DZO: Leaving out wifi wasn’t such a good idea, and a couple more buttons would be really useful.
vilord: a couple more buttons and a higher resolution screen. Nothing else.
mssmison: Bigger screen, better camera, accellerometer
srwalter: I’m torn between wanting an higher-resolution LCD and a capacitive touchscreen. The form factor is awesome just like it is, however.
craig0r: If I could change one thing about the Vogue, it would be to have a few more buttons on it. That would make Android slightly easier to use (so the volume rocker could actually be responsible for volume instead of needing a “shift” button) and it would also make things a little easier in WinMo too. I got a pretty sweet NES/SNES/Gameboy emulator in WinMo, but it’s not all that functional due to the lack of buttons.
Q: Which phone do you currently use as your main phone?
DZO: Android on Vogue of course, I have 2 Vogues, one isn’t connected and I use it for development but I’ve been running android on the other full time for about a year now. Vogues are really cheap here, you can get a used one for less than US$100.
vilord: my vogue in android
mssmison: My vouge, with unlimited data why switch to anything else
srwalter: The Vogue
craig0r: My main, and only phone is my Vogue, and I run Android on it 99% of the time. I only go back to WinMo to update Android or to use bluetooth audio in my car… but hopefully I won’t have to even do that much longer.
Q: If an Android phone came to your provider would you switch to it?
DZO: You can get the Magic here but I can’t really justify the cost and I like the size of the vogue better anyway.
vilord: That depends on how much progress we’ve made with vogue, and also how close the new device is to the vogue. I like the small phone, and won’t bother getting anything bigger.
mssmison: No, my provider offered a special deal with the vogue of unlimited data, I just can’t pass that up.
srwalter: It would be hard to beat the value proposition of the vogue. When you can pay $100 out-of-pocket for such a functional device, it makes me really disinclined to re-up my contract.
craig0r: I would absolutely get an Android phone if Telus gets one. They (and Bell) are upgrading their networks to HSPA, apparently in October, so I’m hoping they announce some Android phones at that time. I become eligible for a phone upgrade in November, so that’d be pretty good timing.
Q: What is your favorite app/game for Android?
DZO: I think snap-tell is a pretty cool app, my kids like Buka.
vilord: changes from week to week (there are so many!!!) i’m very happy that copilot is now here for standalone navigation…
mssmison: I’d say lattitude and google search
srwalter: My favorite game is called “Iconic Memory.” It is a really simply game in principle, and actually doesn’t look quite right at 320×428, but it is surprisingly addictive.
craig0r: My favourite game would be either Trap or Zombie Run. Zombie Run uses GPS and actually gets you physically active, which is pretty amazing for a free mobile app I think. As far as non-game… I dunno, Shazam’s pretty freakin’ sweet.
Q: What app do you wish worked on the Vogue?
DZO: It would be nice if all the apps that use an accelerometer allow the d-pad to be used instead.
vilord: nothing comes to mind… it already does about everything I need… except for tethering… that’d be nice.
mssmison: I’m a big star nut and we camp alot so if sky map had an accellerometer to use that would be awesome
srwalter: Most of the apps that I want work acceptably well for the Vogue. My wish would be more generally for resolution-independence of android apps, so that they would function better at the LCD’s native resolution.
craig0r: I’m not really sure what app I wish worked on the Vogue. I think everything pretty much works now, except for bluetooth.
Q: What is your dream app for Android?
DZO: It’ll be good when some more opengl apps are available, if you look at the neocore demo you can see what the vogue hardware is capable of.
vilord: don’t really have one that hasn’t already been made… maybe some kind of home automation control (probably already exists) or maybe a remote control for my car like james bond’s bmw/ericsson combo in tomorrow never dies.
mssmison: I’ve got all the ones I love.
srwalter: It would be awesome if I could lock/unlock my car from my phone. I drive a SAAB, and its key fob is not pocket-friendly. I already carry one sizable electronic device, so it would be nice if it could subsume the functions of my other sizable electronic devices.
craig0r: My dream app… that’s a tough one. I’ve actually been considering writing a program that would allow seamless audio streaming from your home PC. It would be practically the same as playing the files locally, but not restricted by the size of your SD card.
*craig0r fixed the looping ringtones problem, so I included him in the list of devs. If I missed any devs, someone please let me know by emailing [email protected], I don’t want to miss any one.
Android for Vogue is available for download free of charge and is not an official release from any provider. Using it may cause your phone to be unusable, download and use at your own risk.