Multi-touch on the G1 (despite Apple's patent)

Multi-touch on the G1 (despite Apple's patent)

Summary: Got a T-Mobile G1 and incensed that you can't run multi-touch on it? Well now you can.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Legal
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Got a T-Mobile G1 and incensed that you can't run multi-touch on it? Well now you can.

While Apple has threatened to flex its legal muscle against anyone that steals their IP (to borrow Tim Cook's words), it's possible to enable multi-touch today on an Android device simply by rolling back to firmware RC29 and installing a bunch of hacks called JesusFreke.

Although multi-touch isn't officially available for Android-based handsets like the T-Mobile G1, you can enable it and a bunch of other features by following instructions posted here. For obvious reasons this technique isn't for the faint of heart and a full backup is required.

  • You will need format your sdcard, so fire up Gparted (or any other partitioner). Delete the partition on your sdcard (in my case /dev/sdh) and create a new FAT32 partition, hit apply.  If you are on Windows you can just right click on the sdcard in My Computer and format as FAT32.
  • Download the RC29 NBH file if your phone is from the US or the RC7 NBH file if your phone is from the UK.
  • Unzip RC29NBH.zip/RC7NBH.zip and place DREAIMG.nbh file on your sdcard’s root
  • Turn the device power off
  • Hold Camera button, and press Power button to enter Boot loader mode
  • After it finishes, press the trackball and perform a soft reset by pressing “Call” + “Menu” + “End” to reboot.

After rolling back to RC29, it's just a matter of installing a telnet client and JesusFreke V1.4 which is basically Android with a bunch of hacks installed that allow you to run multi-touch, tethering, and even a task manager. The G1 multi-touch hack, courtesy of Lukehutch still has some bugs and isn't nearly as smooth as the iPhone but it's a step in the right direction for Androids.

Now, if Google would only release it.

And while we're at it, the G1 desparately needs the virtual keyboard seen in the Cupcake developer branch too.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Legal

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4 comments
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  • Gosh, so now ZDNet recommends hacking?

    What's next? Instructions on how to break into the FBI super computers?
    No More Microsoft Software Ever!
    • What's the big deal?

      Android is an open source OS to begin with. So where's the actual hack?
      flatliner
      • I was referring to the iPhone.

        Jailbreaking the iPhone to get the apps. That is the hacking I was referring to.

        Illegal is as illegal does I guess.
        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
  • Wow, I did not think it was possible

    Now the UI is even slower less responsive than before.

    Way to go.
    aristotle_z