Dec 20 AT 11:31 PM Taylor Wimberly 23 Comments

Android revolution is short lived in Canada, eh?

Rogers Wireless promised a revolution this past June when they launched their first two Android phones, the HTC Dream and Magic. After hyping the launch and promoting their own app contest, it appears the Canadian carrier has lost its desire to support the phones.

For starters, Rogers never allowed customers to purchase paid applications from the Android Market and now we learn they are not planning any future updates for their first Android phones.

Android 1.5 is stable, reliable, and outdated.

Android 1.5 is stable, reliable, and outdated.

HTC has updated their support page for the Rogers Dream and Magic to inform users that Android 1.6 will not be available. They state that the update was only made available for “Google” branded phones and that their Android 1.5 is a stable and reliable release.

We know both phones can be easily hacked to run Android 1.6 so it is confusing why the carrier would not request an update from HTC. My guess is it has something to do with money and lawyers. This means that Rogers customers who purchased the Dream and Magic will be unable to enjoy recent Google releases like Maps Navigation, Goggles, and the new Android Market because they all require Android 1.6.

As much as this decision disappoints us, at least they were willing to go on record and state that no updates are planned. T-Mobile customers with the same HTC Dream and Magic phones are happy they got Android 1.6, but all are left wondering if their handsets will be updated to Android 2.x.

If you are a Rogers customer, how do you feel about purchasing a smartphone that now has no planned upgrades?

Source: HTC

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Ben

    I have an htc dream with rogers. All i can say is vivaaaaa cyanogen marketenabler :)

  • Brennan

    I’m rooting my phone tomorrow most likely. And being hopeful that the nexus one will change things

  • charrion

    I actually dumped Rogers earlier for a different reason. This, however, reinforces my decision. I switched to Telus and their superior HSPA network. And now I can get the 2.X Moto Milestone in January.

    Rogers sucks.

  • DroidNet

    Strangely enough the situation is very similar in Australia – some of our major carriers do not allow their users to download applications from the Market…
    There must be some sort of legal issues there…

  • http://Website AdrianG

    Optus in Australia stiull has not made paid apps available. Very frustrating. Lot sof “we’re working on it” but no clear path yet. Very sad. Looking loosing me as a customer in teh future if they don’t sort themselves out. Also frustrated that Google would allow for this to occur. Very poor overall.

  • http://Website jim

    Rogers disrespects Canadian customers daily, so this should come as no surprise to Canadians.

  • Jr

    I decided to sell my htc magic and will nevr purchase a smartphone with Rogers again. As a 15 yr subscriber to Rogers I am greatly disappointed. And we are supposed to keep these phones for 3 yrs? Running outdated firmware? After sale support sucks.

  • http://Website Rasmus Roege

    Same thing happening in Denmark. What can we do? I got cyanogen on my phone, but all the ones who doesn’t want to hack it or is unable to are left with a poor android experience. Just makes me so sad, because when you see videos of android 2.1 you really know that 1.5 was just a small step on the road. And i would really like android to the gamechanging succes worldwide it deserves to be!

  • XenosNS

    I wanted an Android phone for quite a while, but up until recently Rogers was the only one to carry any. I’ve heard too many bad things about Rogers to sign up for a phone, so was very excited when Telus brought out the Hero (which I’m getting for Christmas). I don’t think the Android revolution is dead in Canada, this is more an issue with a bad carrier.

  • http://Website Pat

    I got myself and the wife a Dream when they first came out on Rogers. I’m very disappointed and will try to get us out of our contracts when the Nexus One comes out. Screw you Rogers.

  • Jon Campbell

    Also of note is rogers utter failure of a developer contest at

    Only winners of one week were announced, who is holding rogers accountable to actually fulfill the promises of this contest?

  • Brendan

    This is what Canadian customers get for being early adopters. I jumped at the chance to get an Android phone. As some may recall from the forums I dropped my phone in beer and now it’s pretty much bricked. Rooting is unfortunately not an option as I’m unable to mount via USB. If I hadn’t re-upped for 3 years I would consider leaving Rogers for Telus but now I’ll be hoping to get my hands on the Nexus One.

  • http://Website VittyO

    “No 1.6 Update” does not mean “no future updates”. They may do a 2.x update.

  • http://Website JonB

    Rogers are an incredibly bad service provider in all service areas. This is no different. They haven’t got paid apps through their network – which is probably because they knew they were going to kill their Android flirtation. This is their loss – they are not the fastest mobile network, not the largest mobile network, and not the most innovative mobile network.

  • http://Website mcgleung

    So in the states it’s t-mobile, verizon and what-not that allows paid apps? I don’t think so. This is a Google issue. Paid apps require Google Check-out, a Google service not available in Canada. If you get the Hero on Telus, you’re not gonna get paid apps either. But I am sure the people going to get the Hero understand that already, being Canadian. Isn’t this fact supposed to be fundamental to the Android OS? I mean prove me wrong but how does the founder of “Android and Me” get that wrong?

    I also don’t see how an upgrade to a new version of android is grounds for complain to a telco. +1 rep to verizon and tmobile for updating their android devices, but it’s not the responsibility of the service provider to upgrade your hardware. it doesn’t make sense for them to do so when you can unlock your phone and jump onto another network for about 20 bucks, while they are still providing updates for the phone. Put it this way, how many internet providers also provide windows 7 upgrades from windows vista?

    To me, this article has got some serious flaws. yes it sucks that rogers isn’t updating, and yes it sucks that a rogers brand android phone can’t get paid apps. But when you understand how this industry works, it has nothing to do with Rogers, it has more to do with HTC and Google. This is like asking mr. lube to swap your engine for free every 4 years when all they are supposed to do is change your oil..

    • http://Website JonB

      Actually, the telco has a large amount of say on the “provision” of paid apps on their network and Rogers have “slightly modified” versions of the Dream software. Look at the instructions for installing the CyanogenMod to the EBI1 Dream (Rogers) – why is it different? So Rogers does have at least shared control on both these fronts – if not outright control on what should happen with the phones.

      When I contacted Google, their response was that Rogers was responsible for completing the necessary steps (I believe they need to join the open handset alliance, among other things). The response from Rogers was that they were looking into it and that was back in August (which probably means “we aren’t going to do jack-sh*t but sell you these phones without any reasonable support, sucker”). And look, the Dream and Magic aren’t cutting edge hardware – they were around at the end of 2008 and Rogers brought them in in June/July 2009. A really all around half-hearted, half-arsed support for Android phones by Rogers.

      The Windows comparison doesn’t work either, as the telco is subsidizing the handset manufacturer / software developer whereas Microsoft are subsidizing the partners usually .

  • http://Website Blake

    This is nothing new. They were also unwilling to provide an update to Windows Mobile 5 when I got my HTC TyTn, even though the rest of the world had been promised up and down a new version of WinMo. Same thing for Blackberry software, though that is at least much easier to hack onto a phone by deleting the Vendor.xml file. Still, does it suck? Yes. Does Rogers suck? Double yes.

  • http://Website sdc

    I went to the Rogers website and wrote this review (for the HTC Magic)…. no idea if they will post it:

    Worst experience ever!

    Date: December 23, 2009

    I am terribly disappointed by “RogersMary” canned reply. Clearly this person does not own a HTC Magic nor has any experience with one!

    “….We believe that Android 1.5 is a stable and reliable software platform that delivers a terrific user experience.”
    Are you serious?

    Where to begin…
    1. You show the gesture security in your HTC Magic Photo on this page. Did you know that there is a serious flaw in the security where a few incorrect gestures will cause the phone to permanently lock up in OS 1.5. I found this out in my third day of use. It is documented by Rogers support. No one could help me get back into my phone. I had to factory reset it!
    2. OS 1.5 suffers from signal acquisition loss. I lose calls all the time. See picture I posted here: (I cannot post a website but it is under code dot google dot com – android issues detail id=2845)
    3. OS 1.5 no longer has access to great deal of Android apps that are flagged as being compatible with OS 1.6 or higher in the Android market.
    4. The better paid apps, in the Android market, are not available to Canadians but this is not OS specific.
    5. OS 1.5 does not have multi-touch like the iPhone.
    6. OS 1.5 only has 3 screens (Hero has 7, iPhone has a great deal more)
    7. There are over 200 identified issues with Android 1.5. Many of these are corrected in OS 1.6, and even more are corrected in 2.1. OS 2.1 is the first version of the Android that is actually nearly as functional as the iPhone.

    When I purchased my Android in June, I was promised regular updates. I specifically asked this question because I understood that OS 1.5 was incomplete and had issues. Now that Rogers announced no further updates, I now understand that I was misled!

    I am tired of lost calls, forced closes (one that occurs immediately upon starting up the phone – even after a factory reset), the fact that several of my productivity apps are no longer available to me in the Market (for updating)…. this is the worst phone experience I have ever had and I want out of my contract.

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