Just like you guys, we're beginning to lose our patience with the whole Android 1.5, Cupcake, T-Mobile US, T-Mobile G1 debacle. A lot of us have been waiting for months (some of us since the very beginning!) to get the update and T-Mobile continues to delay the release of Cupcake. Frankly, it's not fun anymore. We wanted Cupcake yesterday.

So if you're sick of waiting and eager to try out Cupcake, there is a workaround that allows you to manually update your G1 to Android 1.5. Don't worry, there's no root access required and it's a relatively straightforward process. How this particular method works is it uses the UK version of Android 1.5 to install onto your US T-Mobile G1. And according to multiple users, it really does work (with some sacrifices).

Here's how:

  1. Head over to the T-mobile Forums to download the UK version of Android 1.5 Cupcake
  2. Put the downloaded file into your SD card
  3. Turn ur phone off and re-boot it holding the home button
  4. When you see the triangle hit alt+L
  5. Then alt+S
  6. Press home and back when it tells you to (to reboot your phone)
  7. It'll say installing Radio after you hit home+back (thats normal)
  8. It'll reboot a couple times and after you see the new Android loading screen, you've got Cupcake. 
  9. When Android 1.5 for the US comes out repeat the process with the US download

Note: if you do decide to use this method to get Cupcake, know that you'll be missing a few US-specific features such as: Voice Search, Native Chat, Amazon MP3, etc. We're also not sure on whether the Android Market in this process will be the UK version or the US. Otherwise, you can test drive Cupcake to see if it measures up to everything you've been waiting for.

The official T-Mobile US release should be coming out soon! Hopefully this method can keep you guys from storming T-Mobile's offices and demanding Cupcake.

thanks for the tip bigfoot85t!


Reader comments

How To Manually Install Android 1.5 Cupcake Without Rooting Your Device


This was a easy update. All of my apps had there respective updates for cupcake. App store is of my region. But I can see why the delay here in the states for its kind of buggy on my g1 But indeed so you do gain a lot. Can't wait for the offical US version to come out.

i installed but had to do a hard reset cuz dxtop was installed... pretty sweet tho, im liking the gallery and video recorder...

AWESOME! Thanks guys!

I'm uninstalling all my crutch applications as we speak (Chomp SMS for onscreen keyboard, SnapPhoto to make up for horrible shutter time, etc.)


It's great but my home screen doesn't auto-rotate. All other screens do. Other than that, it is great. I'm loving it.

I just did it on my lunch break. It was simple. Issues I'm having.. when the auto screen lock closes it only goes in vertical orientation.

This is cool, but I don't want to cause problems down the road. If I install the UK version and then the US version, will I continue to get updates from T-mobile or will I always need to install manually? Thanks!


So i installed that uk version of 1.5 this afternoon and I just got a 4.5mb update. Before installing I pressed more info and it just said Android 1.5. So I installed it...

Anyone know wtf it is?

Everyone keeps talking about task managment on the g1 and the inability to close running apps. I am running the UK 1.5 rom (cause I couldn't wait for T-mobile to release it) and I noticed that under settings>application>Manage applications, that you can filter by running programs (press menu), and then when you select a program there is there is a controls catagorie and a button to Force stop. Isn't that Task managment? Does that exist in T-mobile's upcoming 1.5?

Does anyone know if we can delete the zip file after the update? Do we need to keep it on the SD?

That update you've received after installing the UK version is, so far as I can tell, a security patch -- not the US version.

Works Great. A few Bugs. Same question about removing the file from SD card. Is this OK.

No, the update I got looks to be security stuff. However, I manually installed the UK version and want to know if I can remove the Update.zip file since I feel it might interfere when the US version comes out for manual dl.
If anyone did this, let me know what I should do.

OKay so I just updated my phone using this method and it worked perfectly. However, I lost all of my contacts! Has this happened to any one else?

Whoever has done this do we get the US market or the UK market? Also do we keep all apps we have and maps for US? And one more thing do we get 3G, and our current T-Mobile Plan? I am in the U.S.

You can get your contacts back by doing a manual sync. It will resync with the contacts in your google account.

a guy at t-mobile that it talked to today said that they might delay it a little more. lets hope they dont. we want our cupcake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

when the download popped up, i pressed save, and went to my sd card to save it, but whern i tried to save it, it said that my sd card is write-protected and it cannot be installled. help?! what can i do to download it?! suschuk24@yahoo.com

Like one of the other posters, nothing happens when I hold down the 'home' button on my phone. I am not a tech idiot, but this isn't working. Please clarify = the home button on the G1 that you're talking about is the little white house button, in between the green phone button and the trackball?

I just figured it out. You need to hold down the home key (the little white house) and the red POWER button at the same time, and it will bring up the yellow triangle.

The rest of the instructions were perfect, and the upgrade went through with no problems at all.

Thanks, Casey.

fixed my previous isssue. thanks for the help! i love my G1 again! can't wait for the official cupcake!

Got the same T-Mobile system update request that some others here did, minutes after installing Casey's upgrade. After this second upgrade was completed, I checked my 'about phone' screen and it says I've got firmware version 1.5, build CRB43, if that means anything.

For those who lost your contacts - if you have a Gmail account, and your G1 is set up to work with it, then you can hit the button on the G1 contacts screen and sync your contacts. I can't remember now if pressed 'edit sync groups' or 'import contacts,' but one of them worked.

The upgrade looks to be a security upgrade - can't find the 'on-screen keyboard' feature, although I found a listing for it on my applications page. (You can find this under Menu, settings, applications, manage applications)

The video camera upgrade is on my G1. The Amazon MP3 icon is missing, although I never used it anyways.

For the people who understand this cr*p, here's some info that might be useful.

For the first time, there's something listed under 'Field Apps,' rather than 0.00 kilobytes, now there's a 92 kb file.

If you have a program like Download Crutch installed, you might be able to use the web link to the setup.zip file in your G1 browser and then download it. However, since it's a zipped file, I've had mixed luck opening zipped files, even with another marketplace program (AndroZip).

I think it's probably better to follow Casey's instructions and copy the setup.zip file from your computer to your G1's SD card.

anyway I've. Dowloaded it off my phone and I did the procedure and it said couldn't find update.zip wht should I I do and if I need the setup.zip someone send me the link or by email please email me this question at arocka6@gmail.com

I got my ota update Wednesday, and my wife's G1 didn't update. So I poped my sim in her phone thinking that hers would just get the update like I'd just got... that didn't work. So I figured out how to get the ota update another way! Goto setings menu scroll all the down to "about phone" select it, then at the top, it says what version you have, if there's an update available, like there is now, click the download button! I had to click it a few times to get it to go, but it downloaded and installed pretty quick! Please pass this on to all frustrated G1 owners!

It's pretty amazing to see Motorola, a company that took 5 years to deliver a notable handset after the RAZR, surpass Apple, king of all branding, in brand loyalty. In fact, it's more than just amazing--it's downright stunning.

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