RC33 comes out for the G1

T-Mobile began distributing RC33 on February 5th. This isn’t the rumored “cupcake” update (if you’re not familiar with what cupcake is in this context, do a search for cupcake and Android — you’ll find a lot of hits) and didn’t contain A2DP for Android but it did fix a number of problems and introduced some new functionality (Android Market will now notify you when there are updates to your installed apps, for instance).

The stock T-Mobile builds don’t allow root access to the phone but the gang over at the XDA Dream Android Development forum wasted no time repackaging the build to allow root access (the Dream [aka G1] is an HTC phone and uses pretty much the same mechanisms to boot as previous HTC phones so they’ve got a LOT of practice hacking them). It wasn’t too long before a “rooted” RC33 was available … and I installed it Friday. The rooted build also includes browser multi-touch support which is nice but takes a little getting used to, an updated Busybox, a terminal emulator (which you use for access to the G1’s Linux command line on the phone), relatively complete versions of less and even an implementation of vi. From the command line there’s a lot you can do — there’s an SSH server and an SSh client so I can SSH from my phone to my Linux desktop, there’s a VNC client for Android so I can use VNC to login to my Windows/Linux desktop and add in root and you’ve got pretty much endless possibilities open to you — cron, modifications to the stock mount tables and so on.

Wow, what a phone!

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