One thing that sucks about the HTC Eris is that it’s stuck on Android v1.5 – a shame since the handset is still relatively new (it came out in December 2009). Newer Android-powered devices have Android v2.x, which brings several updates, including voice-guided navigation in Google Maps and support for more advanced applications, like Google Buzz. HTC and Verizon have said they are working on an official update for the HTC Eris, but they’re taking their sweet time in releasing it while the handset gets left out of more and more cool new Android features.
However, not too long ago, a build leaked out, reportedly from an HTC employee in China. Developers at XDA Developers and MyAndroidWorld have been working around the clock to get it working on the HTC Eris, and finally got it done earlier today. The update is incredibly simple – format your memory card in the phone, then drop the .zip file to the root and reboot your phone while holding both the end and send keys. You’ll enter into hboot mode, and simply follow the directions on the screen – it couldn’t be easier, and took a total of about 10 minutes.
Here’s a video of the updated software running on my HTC Eris:
The only caveat right now is that everytime you reboot the phone, you have to re-enter your Google credentials to get everything working. Aside from that, the phone is significantly faster through the menus, and you have the benefit of the new SenseUI with the homescreen overview multitouch feature, as well as voice-guided navigation and some new/updated widgets.
Of course, this is unofficial, so if you decide to do the update on your HTC Eris, you alone are responsible for the results – if you brick your phone, don’t come crying to me. Also, this will void your warranty with Verizon. It is believed that the official update will install over this, which will restore your warranty, but that’s not 100% confirmed, so proceed at your own risk.
Thanks to @kiphakes for the tip this morning.