We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Google Android hack opens up T-Mobile G1

Bug allows G1 owners to install new OS

Hackers have circumvented controls in the Google Android operating system used on T-Mobile's G1 mobile phone, allowing them to get around restrictions created by the smartphone's designers.

The hack gives T-Mobile G1 users a way to read data on parts of the phone that are normally walled off and could be used to install new programs, or even a new operating system, on the mobile phone. Currently, programs for the open-source Android operating system must be written in Java, rather than other popular programming languages such as C or C++.

Details on how to gain superuser 'root' access to the phone were posted on Tuesday to an Android development forum. Step-by-step instructions have also been published online.

According to posters on the discussion board, the hack should be attempted only by technically sophisticated users because a misstep could render the G1 phone inoperable.

T-Mobile G1 review

Google Android review

Developers were able to hack the phone thanks to a bug in the Android operating system, Google said on Wednesday. "We've been notified of this issue and have developed a fix," the company said. "We're currently working with our partners to push the fix out and updating the open source code base to reflect these changes."

Android is Google's answer to Apple's iPhone. One difference, however, is that Google makes only the phone's software. The G1 itself is made by Taiwan's HTC, and Google is lining up handset makers to build other Android systems. T-Mobile is the first service provider to sell an Android phone; its G1 went on sale in late October.

The iPhone was similarly unlocked after its June 2007 introduction, through a process known as 'jailbreaking'.

IDG UK Sites

Galaxy S6 UK release date, price, specs: When is the Samsung Galaxy S6 coming out? Galaxy S6 launch6......

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie aims to help design students bridge skills gap

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...