Freeing my HTC android phone

This is a story about a little journey of my HTC Incredible S, which is a pretty decent phone somewhat on par with say iPhone 4 (let’s not nitpick). Anyway I’ve been happy with it.

It developed a fault in the touch screen some months ago, so I took it back to the Optus shop I got it from and they sent it off to HTC for repairs. Took a few weeks but it came back neatly fixed and it even had a replacement screen protector. Good work.

Since the phone had to be empty for the repair, I was intending to “root” it afterwards so I could get rid of all the junk Optus puts on to it. I put up with it earlier, however it does it eat a lot of space in the main memory (some apps don’t like being on the SDcard) so I was running out of space.

I ended up putting CyanogenMod on it, rather than fussing about the standard Android and then having to remove the Optus stuff again. While the process of getting it rooted is convoluted and messy, the result is working very well and snappy. Good stuff! For those who don’t know, CyanogenMod is just plain Android with some tweaks and improvements (Android core is open source) – usually phone manufacturers add some stuff (often useful) and mobile network providers then add more again (usually junk).

The fact that HTC had decided to upgrade some aspects of the phone’s firmware was actually a help in the process, as all HTC phones with firmware after a certain date can be unlocked. Before that date it would depend on the mobile network provider as to whether they reckon it’s ok for us mere mortals to decide what to apps to have on our phone. So, thank you HTC! Good stuff. See HTC Dev for more info on that part.

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