T-Mobile G1 unlock possible; Android Community celebrates with giveaway

The first T-Mobile G1 has been unlocked thanks to the guys over at Unlock-TMobileG1.com. In honor of this we will be giving away 3 unlock codes for the T-mobile G1 in a community contest.  This contest is open to any registered Android Community member. Unlocking the G1 is very quick and easy, in fact anyone who can make a phone call can unlock their G1 with no trouble at all. Unlock-TMobileG1.com offers unlock codes for $22.99 USD. After placing an order including your IMEI code you will receive an eight-digit unlock code for your device.  Your IMEI number can be found by pressing *#06# in the dialer, or by going into your settings, selecting “About phone” and then selecting “Status”. The IMEI number then can be found about half way down, it is 15 digits long. After you receive your unlock code you insert a non-T-Mobile SIM card and the G1 will prompt for an unlock code, enter the unlock code provided to you and hit unlock. You will then know the device is unlocked with a notification that reads “Network Unlock Successful”, it is as simple as that. We have found that with an AT&T SIM card the device would make and receive calls as well as send and receive text messages. Upon switching the SIM cards, the Gmail account was automatically signed out, when we entered the correct log in information it still would not log in. Needless to say the Android Market did not work either due to the fact that the Gmail account is needed. However this does not mean that it will not work, all tests have been done with the default network operator settings.  We want to thank our sponsors over at http://www.unlock-tmobileg1.com/ for helping sponsoring this contest. To enter our contest, members must submit a photo showing their loyalty to Android Community in a creative way.  Some examples are: putting an Android Community logo on their car, wearing the AC shirt at a large event, carving an Android Community sculpture or even if you are fearless, getting an Android Community tattoo.  More information can be found here. A user has sent over this video for us that demonstrates that the unlocking process actually works. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob32_fp24ag[/youtube]

How to activate a T-Mobile G1 from home – no contract required

T-Mobile has been turning several people away who are trying to purchase a G1 without signing a 2 year contract. T-Mobile stores have been instructed not to sell the G1 without at least getting a data plan contract signed because of the projected demand for the phone. Many people have approached us who would like to purchase a G1 without a contract, but T-Mobile simply would not sell it to them. The guys over at Love For Biz were able to convince a T-Mobile store in their area to sell them one after sales were not so good for the area. They report that there is no need for a store activation, the phone can be activated from home if you wish. The hard part is persuading a T-Mobile employee to sell one to you without a contract. Here are the steps to activating a T-Mobile G1 without first having an activated SIM card. (Note you will need to borrow and activated SIM card for only a few minutes.) 1. Insert friends activated T-mobile SIM into G1 along with battery 2. Power on and wait for setup screen 3. Go through setup process to link any Gmail account 4. Go to Settings > Wireless Controls > Wi-Fi Settings > Enable Wi-Fi 5. Connect to nearby Wi-Fi network if one is available 6. Optional: Stop the phone from syncing with Gmail account by going to Data Synchronization and unchecking Auto-sync, Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts 7. Once done, take out friends SIM card and insert unactivated SIM that came with G1 You may also use a prepaid T-Mobile SIM card to activate the G1. We do not see T-Mobile taking any measures to prevent this process as customers are paying the full price for the phone. Another thing to note, if you would ever like to change the Gmail account that was used to setup the G1 a soft reset is required and the process must be followed again. Photo courtesy of Android Community member heyitsnan. [Via Love For Biz]

Can Android be truly ‘open’ on the T-Mobile-locked G1?

All the way up until the official announcement of the T-Mobile G1 phone, we constantly heard about T-Mobile's status as a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance and how Android was to be a truly open piece of software, allowing third-party developers to not only create applications for Android, but to actually change the software itself for improved functioning. And while this all has been confirmed as of this morning we also learned that the G1 would be locked to T-Mobile. And while it's pretty standard these days for phones to be locked to specific carriers, it still raises some questions. For instance, can you truly have an "open" piece of software if it is officially restricted to just one carrier? There's already a thread going about the subject in our Forums and many seem to think there will be an iPhone-style rush to unlock the G1 in the coming days and weeks. Does this mean there will be a G1 Dev Team, too? And while a mad dash to unlock the G1 still remains to be seen, the fact that we even have to have this conversation is a tad bit unsettling. After all, isn't the entire point of an Open Handset Alliance to maintain an open attitude and allow for the free exchange of ideas for the betterment of the final product? That's what I took it to mean, anyway. What do you think? If the G1 is locked to T-Mobile can Android be truly allowed to grow to its fullest potential? Or am I just overreacting?
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