The Android G1 at MobilityNigeria

For some time now, I have been talking about the dated Symbian platform and of my desire to try out some of the newer mobile platforms (for example, see What Nokia Needs to Fix – Right Away!). I need not mention again that I have been “Symbian Inside” all my mobile life. Yes; I tried out my hands on WinMo and Palm once or twice, but Symbian has remained my net of safety. Plus, no-one will argue when I say that those other two platforms I had checked out do not exactly cut it as “newer”.

g1large2Anyway, I ran into an offer for a used Android-powered G1 yesterday, and decided it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. It was a low-cost offer; if I didn’t like the OS, I could chalk the expense as a minor waste.

For the sake of smartphone newbies, Android is the new mobile operating system that the guys at Google developed. And the T-mobile G1 is the very first smartphone based on that platform.

As things go, this morning, ‘Dayo and I drove down to Ibadan to pick up the T-mobile G1. It was a long day, but we are back and with an “Android” in our hands.

I will be doing a series of review articles on the G1 and the Android platform in general, so if interested, please grab our RSS feed or bookmark this site right away.

But before then, the crazy adventurous me went out of my way (with some measure of the usual risks) to make sure that this Android was brought up-to-date.

Gmail Activation

First thing, the G1 still had the email of the original user locked in. Meaning, I could not use it for my Gmail account or Google services in general. I figured that wouldn’t do. So, I did a factory reset.

That wiped out everything on the phone and returned it to a clean state. But I still had to activate it by logging in to my Gmail account (the G1 is designed not to work without an active Gmail account).

The G1 QWERTY Keyboard
The G1 QWERTY Keyboard
The issue was, for some reason the device simply could not login. No data indicators were showing on the screen. Anyway, after minutes of fiddling, I found the APN Settings menu (no other menu would come up besides emergency calls), and put in my network’s data settings.

Voila! In a few minutes, I had the G1 downloading my mails and running as designed. That was step one.

Firmware Update to Cupcake (version 1.5)

The G1 we picked came with firmware version 1.1. But you see, a long-awaited and certainly juicier firmware had been released of recent – version 1.5, dubbed “Cupcake”.

I downloaded the update file from Google, copied it to my microSD card on the phone, and followed the instructions. In roughly 5 minutes, I had a spanking new firmware running on the G1.

Now, I can really put it through its paces. Here are a few pictures from the update process:

Updating proper in process, as the G1 extracts needed files, formats system, copies new files....
Updating proper in process, as the G1 extracts needed files, formats system, copies new files....
New splash screen for version 1.5 Cupcake
New splash screen for version 1.5 Cupcake
After completed update: the 'About phone' menu showing the new firmware version 1.5 details
After completed update: the About phone menu showing the new firmware version 1.5 details

‘Dayo Repents!

This introduction will not be complete if I do not mention that ‘Dayo had a brief go at the browser on the G1, and suddenly did a u-turn (or so it seemed).

Also read:  WhatsApp Co-founder joins #DeleteFacebook Movement

You see, while I had been toying with the idea of exploring other mobile platforms, ‘Dayo had planted his feet firmly with Symbian, especially Symbian s60 5th edition. He owns a 5800 and has been nursing the ambition of getting the N97 when that is released.

But a few minutes with the G1 user interface and web browser did what I had been unable to do. ‘Dayo simply used certain adjectives to describe the user interfaces and browsers on Nokia (and Symbian) devices. Adjectives like: “rubbish“, and “nonsense“. And remarks like, “Why is Nokia doing us this way?” etc, etc. I’m sure that you get the picture by now.

If this first child of Android could make ‘Dayo have a re-think about S60 5th edition (a much older and mature platform), there must be something to this new kid on the block then.

Hang around!


Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

49 thoughts on “The Android G1 at MobilityNigeria

  • May 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm
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    Wow! This is great.i never expected d Android so soon in Nigeria.

    I very much agree wit u.Symbian is becoming outdated. Yomi pls fiddle, play wit it & tell us more about it. my next device may be an Android device.

  • May 25, 2009 at 10:23 pm
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    Everyday, I try to start my day with an article from your site but on some days, I guess the ideas just don’t flow. I am an avid follower of phones even though I lack the purchasing power to afford most. Please keep up the good work because you don’t know how many of us out there you are educating.

  • May 25, 2009 at 11:20 pm
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    Azeez, the T-mobile G1 has been around in Nigeria for a couple of months now. The phone is available only on the T-mobile network, so the copies that get in were purchased abroad, unlocked and shipped in by individuals who frequent those parts.

    So, its unofficial, but they’ve been around.

    If you are looking towards Android, 2009 seems to be the year of the Android. There are quite a number of devices on the way:

    The Samsung i7500 and HTC Magic have been confirmed and are both due for release in the next one month or thereabouts. Most of the others are unconfirmed, but include devices from Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson and HTC.

  • May 25, 2009 at 11:23 pm
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    Metamba,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. Yes; indeed, there are some days we sit around squeezing our heads over what to write about :mrgreen:

    But you can be rest assured that we are not resting on our oars. We’ll keep striving to provide useful information for our readers. Thanks again!

  • June 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm
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    nice article; i think you’re doing some good stuff here. quick question though. you wouldnt happen to know the correct zain gprs settings specifically for the G1? while i have both zain andd mtn settiings, only mtn’s works. im assuming im doing something wrong. leads?

  • June 8, 2009 at 4:35 am
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    freaksho,

    The regular Zain GPRS settings work on the G1:

    For full internet
    Name: Zain Access
    APN: internet.ng.zain.com
    Username: internet
    Password: internet
    MCC: 621
    MNC: 20
    APN type: default

    For WAP
    Name: Zain WAP
    APN: wap.ng.zain.com
    Proxy: 172.18.254.5
    Port: 8080
    Username: wap
    Password: wap
    MCC: 621
    MNC: 20

    Any fields I left out should read “Not set”.

  • June 12, 2009 at 7:37 am
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    :mrgreen: Nice! The only thing I like about the G1 is the browsing experience its very comfortable, I could spend 2hours at a go around a free WIFI spot.

  • June 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm
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    @ Yomi.
    still not working, but thanks for the respond. you should put a hot link to this online; i can tell you there are quite a few folks out there looking for these settings.

  • June 13, 2009 at 10:54 am
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    Freaksho: After popping in your Zain card, go to Settings – wireless – Mobile Networks – Select Network.

    When presented with the list of networks, pick Zain. Then launch the browser and try to browse again.

  • October 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm
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    Im still unable to connect my G1 using both a zain and mtn sim card.im in ghana, any1 who has the settings pls send them to me… xxxxxxxxxxxxx@yahoo.co.uk

    Email address edited out by Admin on 10th october 2009 at 12.04 pm

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:03 am
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    @sanders send me a mail @ xxxxxxxx@yahoo.com I will put you through with the settings and with what all you need.

    Email address edited out by Admin on 10th october 2009 at 12.05pm

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:47 am
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    Sanders and Seye,

    The aim of this site is to put out useful information for the public good. That way, others can benefit.

    As a rule, I do not respond to those who want anwsers sent to their mailboxes – and usually we discourage the practice of private sharing of free information.The proper thing is to post any info you have here.

    Thanks for taking note of this.

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:50 am
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    if that’s the case I have no issue with that, let the person I want to help agree and then I will drop everything here pronto.(I know where you are going with your qucik response) no whala!

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:56 am
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    Seye,

    I have only politely requested that you abide with our codes of conduct here. Sanders does not have to agree. If you have the info, please post it.

    Thanks.

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:58 am
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    As long as I am concerned I have not broken or gone against your code of conduct here.

  • October 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm
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    Nice move with the editing, I thought has much all the same I will still post it. give me a minute.

  • October 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm
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    David,

    Thanks for the info. I hope that helps Sanders out, at least with regards MTN Ghana.

    Anyone else has any information that can help him/her out?

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:27 pm
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    I have decided to use a zain sim now but still need the full internet settings to be able to use my G1.i currentlt cannot even log into my gmail account, cannot use IM apps.just post the settings here thanks.thanks seye, id be waiting.I think its better posted here for the benefit of others…

  • October 11, 2009 at 6:25 am
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    Sanders,

    I was in Ghana recently and used Zain Ghana extensively for internet access. I wish I wrote down the settings, but I didn’t. However, if my memory serves me right, all that you need is the APN.

    When you boot your G1, it should request for your Gmail details right? Press the menu button. You should find an option to add an internet setting.

    Create a new account (name it Zain). In the APN field, enter: internet. I’m hoping that my memory from my recent Ghana trip serves me right. Leave all other fields blank, and save. There should also be the option to set it as your default internet connection.

    Now return to the page where your Gmail details are required and try logging in.

  • October 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm
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    Thanks..that worked perefectly.but i still cannot use my facebook application and ebuddy and some other applications.anywayid accept what i currenly have.i might have to go to their offices to have the rest rectified…thanks all..

  • October 24, 2009 at 9:07 am
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    Cool OS but it’s sad that the bluetooth on the G1’s only for headfones. Hope future update would address this. Could you please post a working link to cupcake? Need to update mine. Cheers.

  • October 24, 2009 at 8:03 pm
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    my htc g1 phone requires google sign in after entering a wrong pattern screen security 5 times. no prior wap configuration on the sim in the htc g1 phone, therefore preventing google sign in.

    pls help with possible solutions

    the line is zain. i could hav tried yur manual setting but I hav to sign in first

  • October 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm
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    emtee,

    Follow the instruction I gave to sanders about 3 or 4 comments earlier on what to do when the G1 asks for your Gmail settings after booting.

  • October 24, 2009 at 11:15 pm
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    @emtee:

    When the phone asks you to log in to gmail, press menu & You’ll see APN. Click on this and you can input the settings for Zain as provided by Yomi. Goodluck.

    @Yomi:
    Checked my firmware version & realised it was already 1.5. Thanks.

  • October 26, 2009 at 8:00 am
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    Bluetooth obe exchange is possible.i currently use a freee market application called bluettoth file sharing.

    for those of you who wouldnt mind modding your phones, there is a popular OS mod on the internet called cyanogenmod.you can check this out @ cyanogenmod.com, same name for his twitter & also at xda developers…

    installing the modified OS is a breeze and it icludes major enhancements to the OS. a much better browser with multi touch functionality, I currently have donut support, support to install apps to my sdcard and many more enhancements. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard doing this. took me less than 30 minutes to install on my G1, and the support community is amzing. try it out.

    any further questions please post them here.. check out xda developers website and look for htc dream. all info is there..you would luv ur fon after u do this.. sorry for the long post..

  • October 26, 2009 at 2:06 pm
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    Using G1 is becoming so cumbersome: can’t access my SD from my pc any more, it says please insert disk into removable Disk H. Changed memory cards & still got the same message. On the fone I can access the SD & even still got some audio files I earlier copied from my Pc. Any ideas why this is happening?

  • October 26, 2009 at 4:35 pm
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    Fixed the SD issue @ last. @ sanders: how do use this bluetooth software, downloaded it but can’t do nada with it. Yet. Could pls help out? Thanks.

  • October 26, 2009 at 9:59 pm
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    It doesnt wrk like the conventionalobex xchange.wat this does is the make the other device appear as a remote device.follow the steps below.u. shld be fine.

    1. Turn on bluetooth on ur g1 & other device.on the g1 u shld receieve a notificatn that bluetooth service started successfullly. And listening on a port.

    2. start the bluetooth application on your G1.

    2b. your g1 wud either find the other device automatically or u gotta press menu and then search devices to find the other device.

    3. On your G1.. within in the open bluetooth application, long press on the other devices name within the found devices and in the context menu that appears, select create pairing.this wud create a “remote connection btwn g1 & other device.

    4. create a pairing key and enter same into other device wen prompted.please do not initiate the pairing reques frm the other device.it would fail..also ognore a pairing request notification on ur G1..pressing it wud disconnect the devices.

    5. afta da pairin request is succesul, u can long press again on the device and then select connect, this should be automatic though.

    6.you would now see the contents of the other device listed in the remote tab of the bluettoth application.

    7. you can select the devices you want in the remote tab.press on menu and then select download.the data exchange should then begin & complete.

    7b. (optional)before you begin you can go to settings in the bluettoth application and then select the folder where recieved files should be stored

    8. any further infor you need pls leme knw.hope this was of help 2 u.

    Just to digress a bit.. 😀 ..mobile internet is stupidly expensive in Ghana. jeez..& slow :-(..

  • October 27, 2009 at 8:25 am
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    @ sanders: Thanks for the tips, will try it out once I get home later today. As per the cost of internet? It’s killing me: Tried updating my G1 to 1.6 over the air yesterday & after almost 2000 naira worth of call card it couldn’t complete cos I ran out of credit!

    I know the Gi has wifi capabilities but does any one know why the G1 doesn’t see wireless networks? Tried connecting to the internet via my PC by using wireless lan but all I keep getting is no signal was detected or something similar. Would appreciate it if someone could please look into this.
    Thanks all.

  • October 27, 2009 at 8:54 am
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    Tut,

    You said:

    Tried updating my G1 to 1.6 over the air yesterday & after almost 2000 naira worth of call card it couldn’t complete cos I ran out of credit!

    Are you located in Ghana or Nigeria? If in Nigeria, whenever you have some heavy downloading or browsing to do, you can subscribe to the MTN Daily Bundle that gives you 50mb for N500.

    I am suspecting that the upgrade to v1.6 will be larger than 50mb though. Alternatively, subscribe to the 3GB All-night plan for just N2, 500 per month and do your heavy stuff between 10pm and 5am.

    Or… 🙂 get an Etisalat data SIM as a backup for use in scenarios like this. Etisalat gives you 500mb for N3, 000. That should be more than sufficient for a firmware update. Wi-fi, as you already mentioned, would be a good way to go too.

    I never used Wi-fi while I had the G1, and my unit has been long sold off, so I can’t help with any info on that. Perhaps Sanders can?

  • October 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm
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    What i love about the G1 is that is is a modders or tinkers paradise, u can achieve everything urslf..but the hard way. If trying to update OTA costs u too much money, i suggest you download the update image manually from the HTC website, put it on ur pc and do a manual update. it takes quite a bit of courage to do, but I have been updating my G1 manually with a cyanogenmods modded OS long before 1.5 even came out. The xda developers website will have instructions oh how to do it, it will also have instructions on how to activate Usb debugging using the correct drivers.

    if u believe u are a tinkerer and have the courage to do this, I will take you through it. if not then I suggest you connect a wlan capable pc to the internet and then create an adhoc wireless network on the pc which can be shared with & accessed by other devices. I can walk you through this too if u want to knw.take your pick and leme know which you wana do.

    But id say this again, for those of you who are getting tired of your G1 with the stock OS, I suggest you update to a version of cyanogenmods OS. it enhances the user experience, includes free applications (I even understand the new version, which I havnt updated to includes an alternative market), makes it possible to manually theme your fon, create OS backups etc..and the support community is amazing. Oh and did I add that it makes the fon superfast. its not for the feinthearted though. So check it out @ xda developers.

  • October 27, 2009 at 11:41 pm
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    @yomi: thanks a bunch for the suggestions. The firmware update is 45.2mb so the adily plan would do. Thanks again.

    @Sanders: Been seeing a lot of MODs around but as a person, I like testing things and actually seeing how they work. I want to see first hand what the donut version looks like before switching to JF 1.5 or cynanogen mod. I do adhoc wireless connections quite often for my friends but the problem is my G1 doesnt see the connection even after entering the SSID & security key(all other devices do). So if it won’t be a bother could you pls tell me hoe you did yours. Will be updating to donut later tonight, will tell you what it’s like later.
    Thanks & cheers.

  • October 28, 2009 at 8:44 am
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    Well, guess my G1 ain’t interested in an upgrade! Downloaded the 1.6 image from HTC and copied it to my SD together with CyanogenMod v4.2.1 stable I got from http://n0rp.chemlab.org/android/upda…2.1-signed.zip and followed all the other instructions on http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=567610.

    Didn’t work! Tried the OTA method & alas my download never completed(albeit many hrs) befpre I ran out of credit despite the fact that I was on MTN’s daily plan! Will have a go at it later on (probably this weekend). Cheers

  • October 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm
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    Just wanted to ask if you rooted your G1 before trying to upgrade to cyanogenmod.i thought jf no more made mods. the most popular right now i think is cyanogens mod.rooting is the process of jailbreaking the G1. and this has to be done b4 you can install a modded OS.

    instructions for rooting can also be found on the xda developers page.as for the adhoc networking, i have only done that once and i used the wizard included on my vista rig. so im sure u are on the right track.keep trying you just might succeed.

    and about wanting to c donut in operation.cyanogenmodOS has included donut versions even long before the donut OTA was available.with cyanogenmod most features of the next version ussually appear b4 the version is officially distributed.

    so please root your fon first.there are a couple of applications you wud need to have first..the nandroid backup software and a software for 1 click rooting of your device.

    some websites like androiandme & androinica have step by step instruction videos on how to do this.just search for G1 1 click rooting and im sure u would find more resources.you have to do this before successfully updating the OS.

    keep me posted on how it goes for u.

  • October 29, 2009 at 8:24 am
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    Everyday, I try to start my day with an article from your site and thank God I am not disappointed. I am an avid follower of phones and internet connectivity even thugh I could not afford most. Please keep up the good work because you don’t know how many of us out here you are educating.

  • October 30, 2009 at 10:46 am
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    Aaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Dumb me, didn’t root the fone! Running CyanMod 4.2.1 now. Big thanx to yomi & sanders. Cheers.

  • October 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm
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    I havnt tried that version yet.but id try it.just havnt got a stable internet 2 do dat.. let me know how it is.. I hear its Sweet…

  • October 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm
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    Welllll, I was actualy xpecting so(2) much given the amount of ‘wahala’ ‘we’ went through getting here but in truth really better than the default: it’s got an alternative market of its own(slide sam 3.1) & some other things am yet to test. Its cool, if you are already on a cyanmod t’wuldn’t hurt to upgrade to this version. Still xploring the mod though.

  • November 1, 2009 at 11:59 am
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    @tut..I took some time of yesterday to upgrade to 4.3.2.1 and believe me that is blazing fast.. I had a few issues with touch input and my google applications not working.. that was cos I didn’t perform a wipe.so I backed up my sms,call log & other data and then wiped and fixed permissions and voila.. no problem anymore. Try moving on to this version to c how u like it…

  • November 4, 2009 at 2:47 am
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    @sanders: just updated- dude this is FAST, lost all my apps though. Didn’t know how to backup texts & call logs so lost them too! Installed a custom SPL in anticipation of Android 2.0(http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php/Full_Update_Guide_-_G1/Dream_Firmware_to_CyanogenMod). Going to get a bigger memory card(4gb) and do the App2SD thing as this would allow me to move apps to my SD card and also free up space on the fone’s memmory. Be kind enough to tell me how you backed up your sms & things. Thanks & cheers.

  • August 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm
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    can someone tell me the mtn APN setting for Tmobile G1 android phone in nigeria,i need it now.

  • December 12, 2010 at 12:49 am
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    pls want to know how much the android phone goes for in naira. thanks

  • December 12, 2010 at 12:57 am
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    i also want to know the maximum capacity of memory card that can be used on the htc dream. which is better, the wap or the full internet? i do not really understand their differences.

  • December 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm
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    Uju,

    The G1 and its variants have been discontinued and so no longer in-store. If interested in the device, your best bet is a second-hand sale or store.

  • December 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm
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    Very interesting to see the scores of people using the android os, which is the future, but sad to notice everyone here is stuck on the 1.6 versions….i have a g1 and upgraded to the 2.1 update 1, which is cyanogen 5.xxxxxx…its available on the wiki page of cyanogen….if anyone needs help..email me…am moving up to the 2.2, since its running safely, so i enjoy the apps to sd…ciao!!!

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