Cupcake for everone. And it’s good.

Oh, how I love xda-developers. The ugly web forum hangout for all HTC-related hackery. I’ve been there since the early days with my Audivox SMT5600 (aka HTC Typhoon), and on through with a T-Mobile SDA (aka HTC Tornado), T-Mobile MDA (aka HTC Wizard), my current Sprint Touch (aka HTC Vogue), and HTC Touch Pro courtesy of Microsoft, and now a stack of Android Developer Phones (HTC Dream).

Forthcoming from Vodafone in a month or so is the Vodafone Magic (HTC Sapphire). It will come standard with a new build of the Android platform, dubbed “cupcake”. Some lovely person on xda-developers has ported the firmware and radio images to work with rooted G1′s (links below). This is so good. There are two versions floating around. The “G” version is based on a Google build, and an “H” version sourced from HTC normally destined for the Chunghwa phone. If you’re going to do this, go full-boat and get the HTC-branded, and more fully-featured “H” version.

You can search the Internet for lots of side-by-side comparisons of the Google and HTC builds, and you can find lots of stuff about the cupcake branch. But all you really need to know is that the HTC build comes out-of-the-box with push notifications for all Google services (Mail/Calendar/Contacts/Talk), as well as Exchange (Mail/Calendar/Contacts). HTC just put this phone on the “enterprise” map. After a simple setup process and a few minutes of playing with it, the Exchange synchronization seems flawless. Push notifications are instant, everything is configurable like you would expect on a Windows Mobile platform. Since Android uses a platform dialer and contacts manager, you can select both which contacts get synchronized (Google only, Exchange only, both, etc.), and/or show only select groupings. Same goes for the calendar. So awesome, and so right.

Cupcake will make Android my next phone without a doubt. Just as soon as they release a CDMA EV-DO Rev. A model for the Sprint network, because you can pry my Sprint SERO plan from my cold, dead, hands.

For the curious, the Exchange client identifies as:

Device ID: HTCAnd7e7413d6
User Agent: Android-EAS/0.1


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