Sprint Pre 2 'FrankenPre' is finally a success | webOS Nation

Sprint Pre 2 'FrankenPre' is finally a success

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Mon, 21 Feb 2011 6:27 am EST

Back in November, during Developer Day NYC, we chronicled how webOS Internals' Rod Whitby had hacked apart and then hacked together the radio and back of a Sprint Pre (minus) with a Dev Day "Oprah Moment" Pre 2, along with some software changes via MetaDoctor, to create a Pre 2 that ran on Sprint. Ran, yes, but not well; there were subsequent discoveries that the "Two-ed" Sprint Pre might not properly access the App Catalog or receive OTA updates, as described in our forum thread about the process. Today, the FrankenPre lives and despite a bolt in its neck, appears to be fully functional and beats with the heart of true App Catalog access.

A few days ago (i.e. as soon as Verizon finally started selling the Pre 2), Whitby and his teammates at webOS Internals began to experiment on leveraging the Verizon webOS 2.0 Doctor to improve the usability of the Sprint-ified Pre 2. (See this forum thread for info.) As usual with such efforts once our community puts its collective mind to them, it didn't take long.

This morning, details have been posted in our forums, including one new twist: webOS 2.x masquerading as 1.4.5.  The 1.4.5 masquerade was a crucial development, since previously, conflicts between various system elements caused hacked Pre 2s to report their webOS version as "9.9.9" to the App Catalog, so apps that were version-specific (including PDK apps like Angry Birds) would neither show as available nor install properly.

A subsequent tweet offered a screenshot showing Angry Birds in the App Catalog, to prove PDK availability.

Whitby has already posted instructions for this conversion in the forum, and has been careful to point out that "the app-cat-compatible Sprint Pre 2 is created from official HP doctors only. No leaked files or NDA info is used in the making." He expects (as do we) that webOS World, which offers paid "plussing" services for the Sprint Pre, will expand into "Two-ing" now.

It's almost a cliche by now, but kudos to Whitby, the rest of the webOS Internals group, and the entire broader webOS user community for once again pushing the envelope and showing how much potential our favorite open source, developer-friendly smartphone/tablet/desktop platform has.

Update: WebOS World does indeed intend to offer an upgrade service, you can sign up here. We should note that even this simplified service is probably for experts-only, as once you do it you won't be able to do OTA updates.