HTC HD2 About to Get Direct-Boot Android; WP7 to Follow? [Update: Released]
Good news for HTC HD2 owners: a program has just entered private beta testing that will soon allow the Windows Mobile 6.5-powered handset to boot directly into Android and, possibly afterwards, Windows Phone 7 as well. In the works for over three months, Dark Forces Team’s MAGLDR 1.09 actually allows Android builds to be flashed directly to NAND ROM (see video embedded below), the same place where the stock WinMo build normally resides. So unlike current Android-on-WM solutions, which require a WinCE-based bootloader called HaRET to run, MAGLDR loads the system image without ever booting into the native OS. What’s more, it’s even possible to dual-boot a pair of Linux-based operating systems, one from NAND and one from an SD card.
MAGLDR should be publicly released in the next few days — developer Cotulla of DFT was reportedly shooting for a pre-New Year’s launch, according to a chatscript snippet posted yesterday. Since DFT is the same crew that has successfully ported WP7 to HD2, we suspect that the two projects are related, meaning that a WP7 build may also be forthcoming. Unfortunately, as we’d previously heard, even if a compatible WP7 ROM is released, it won’t be able to take advantage of any of the Live services such as Xbox, Zune, or Marketplace, severely limiting the fun to be had with the nascent platform. Until a way is found to bypass the many security features Redmond has embedded in the OS, WP7 on HD2 is going to feel pretty incomplete.
Update: And sliding in under their self-imposed deadline with one day to spare, DFT has released MAGLDR 1.09. That’s right, you can now flash Android — a build close to HTC Desire stock, apparently — to your HTC HD2 just like you would a Windows Mobile ROM (well, not exactly…make sure to head over to XDA for the full details). Thanks, Birkoff and Tony G.