In 2009, HTC built devices that ran Android and Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile is one of Microsoft’s mobile operating systems, which traces its lineage back to PocketPC and Windows CE. Windows Mobile 6.5 is the final version of the old Microsoft legacy operating system and was released in different formats, with versions for non-touch screen and touchscreen devices, with or without keyboards. One of the better known Windows Mobile devices is the HTC HD2, which at the time was considered a behemoth-sized device. It had a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 800 by 480 and used a single core 1.0 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion application processor with access to almost 450 MB of RAM. In 2009, these were impressive specifications and the HTC HD2 was a relative powerhouse for Windows Mobile devices.
Windows Mobile was dropped by Microsoft and ultimately replaced with Windows Phone, but many Windows Mobile customers initially did not like Windows Phone. Fortunately, Windows Mobile (and Windows Phone, as it happens) runs on very similar hardware compared with Android devices. By similar, we mean the same; the HTC HD2 is relatively easy to hack and Android was successfully ported to the HTC HD2 – along with a number of other mobile operating systems including Windows Phone up to version 8, Unix and the Firefox OS. As far as Android goes, the HD2 has seen support for almost every release since 2010 and today we bring this story right up to date as there is now a ROM based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow that runs on the HTC HD2. XDA Developers’ senior member, macs18max, is the individual responsible for the ROM, which could see the HTC HD2 living on for a little while longer. The ROM is a port of CM13 and although it is currently in a very early stage of development and is not so functional at the moment, it does run (or, at least, walk) Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The device is not quick or responsive enough to be considered a daily driver, but realistically we did not expect this. Right?
There are a few quirks for the installation of the ROM, but essentially it is a straightforward process providing the user ensures that the device has the same file format used throughout the device. Out of the box, the screen, WiFi and audio are working but this is it for now – watch this space to see what else the developer can get working. As to the relevance of installing Android 6.0 Marshmallow onto the HTC HD2, if one has to ask the question, one will not understand the answer! It does highlight that HTC have made some of the most adaptable and long lived hardware in the industry and it also highlights how a dedicated cache of enthusiasts can continue to support a device long after it has been shelved by the manufacturer. The HTC HD2 is certainly built to last and if you are interested in installing Marshmallow onto your own HD2, follow the source showing below – and bear in mind that you do this at your own risk!