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The T-Mobile Dash 3G Summary Post

January 7th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Dash 3G

Over the last nine or ten months I have tweaked, upgraded, and generally overhauled my T-Mobile Dash 3G smartphone. I’ve learned quite a bit along the way. And after my most recent upgrades I think I finally have a really solid phone that I love. So if you’ve recently picked up a Dash, or are thinking about it, here’s all the information I have in one place.

The Basics

To turn your new phone into a lean, mean, communications machine, I recommend ditching the Windows Mobile 6.1 that comes on the phone and upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5. Since neither T-Mobile or HTC has released an official 6.5 upgrade yet, you’re best bet is a custom “cooked” ROM. I use the latest version of ookba’s “3Volution” ROM. In the interest of full disclosure, modifying your phone with custom software will invalidate any warranty on the device, and most probably violates several copyrights. However, in defense of this practice, it has been well established that Microsoft is aware of, and its employees contributors to, the XDA-Developers community among others. And with all the resources at its disposal, Microsoft has not attempted to shut down the practice. So if you choose to do this, do so with an understanding of what you’re doing. (See sidebar for more info.)

How Can I Do This

As I mentioned, upgrading the software on this phone likely violates several copyrights. So how can I do it with a clear conscience?

By my reckoning, there are three parties to be concerned about: the manufacturer (HTC), the distributor (T-Mobile), and the OS Provider (Microsoft).

My feeling is that the manufacturer, HTC, doesn’t care about software upgrades. Like any computer provider (Dell, HP) they provide an initial OS, but have no vested interest in what I eventually run on their hardware. Just as I can install Linux on my Dell, I figure I can install a different OS without HTC being concerned.

As for T-Mobile, they too provide a modified OS, which incorporates their proprietary features. But, again, as long as I don’t run anything on their network that violates their terms of service, I don’t think they care whether I run WinMo 6.1 or 6.5.

That leaves Microsoft. And there is an issue here. Just because I have a valid WinMo 6.1 license, doesn’t mean I should also have a 6.5 license. So, ordinarily, upgrading with a cooked ROM would be something I’d avoid. However, in this case, Microsoft has indicated on their website that they will be offering a 6.1 to 6.5 upgrade for the Dash 3G (see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/meet/wm65-upgrade.mspx#phoneList). So I feel somewhat justified in turning my 6.1 license into a 6.5 license. Since they say that their partners (HTC and the various carriers) will be releasing the upgrade, I figure that as far as they are concerned, getting it from ookba is just as good as Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile.

So that’s why my conscience is clear.

To install it, follow these steps:

  1. Install a \”hard SPL\” security fix, which allows non-official ROMs to be installed.
  2. Install the latest version of ookba\’s ROM.

I’ve written a little about the upgraded ROM here and here.

Upgrade the Radio

Although I’m not sure upgrading the radio made a really dramatic improvement, it does seem to have helped a little. It certainly hasn’t hurt.

Install Some Useful Applications

I’ve made a couple of lists of useful software that I’ve installed. The main list is here and the second list is here.

Learn

There are many resources on the web for Dash 3G owners. Here are some good ones:

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Series NavigationAnother Dash 3G Update – Upgrading the RadioT-Mobile Signal Strength and Bad SIMs

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