I have owned an HTC Inspire 4G since mid-2011. (I was slow to jump on the smartphone train.) It came with Android 2.2, Froyo, and got updated to Android 2.3, Gingerbread; it also comes with HTC’s own UI, Sense. I’d used it with stock very happily for awhile, but then all the blogs and websites started talking about Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and it just looked so pretty! I was wary, though, since I do use my phone on a daily basis and therefore would be in trouble if I broke something.
Enter HP Touchpad fire sale, stage left.
My father owned 2 from the fire sale back in late 2011, and they had basically been glorified $99 digital photo frames since then. I snagged one from him on a trip home and, using this link, followed instructions and installed Android on the thing. (If anyone is going to use this link, I understand that the links now don’t work; Google the names of them, and they should be around on the internet somewhere.) Honestly, I partially expected the thing to crash or refuse to boot or set on fire or something. When it booted and presented me with the Android introduction, I was absolutely ecstatic. My excited father insisted that I do the same on the other Touchpad, and both of us spent the next few days playing with it constantly, to my mother’s displeasure. (My fairly tech-savvy 65-year-old father has now successfully installed it on a third Touchpad.)
With that success behind me, the rooting of my HTC Inspire 4G was assumed. After some research, I found the Advanced Ace Hack Kit and rooted it a week or two later with that. (Hilariously, the very clear user manual is titled the “effin’ manual.” If you use it, do read it; it’s incredibly important.) I’m not aware of any other tool that reliably roots an HTC Inspire 4G. AAHK doesn’t install a ROM, but it does unlock your bootloader, S-OFF it, install a recovery, and grant you superuser rights to install one yourself. Note that rooting with AAHK is a little more complicated if your phone has the latest OTA update.
At this point, I was thinking, ROM? Bootloader I understand from Linux. S-OFF? Recovery? Superuser I understand from Linux. But a lot of the terminology being thrown around on the xda forums (a great resource, by the way) went right over my head, and it took a little time to adapt. But that’s for the next post.