04/10/20 - Unearthing Ancient Android Secrets

I decided to give Minnow my old LG Optimus P509 smartphone. They’ve been moderately obsessed with the fact that their cousins have tablets and kids at school (allegedly) have phones, and all they really want is a device to play games on. I thought it would be useful to go ahead and give them a safe device and normalize it so they don’t hyperfixate on the concept of smartphones/tablets. The factory phone kind of sucks in that it only has 3 bad game demos, but they have actually been playing those.

At first glance it appears totally locked down. There is no file manager, it’s locked in to the old Android Marketplace, you can’t install .apks from the outdated browser which barely works (most sites return errors). But I figured out I could use adb to push apps so I was able to install a few basic games and kids’ programs.

My goal is to get rid of the bloatware, which is just a confusing thing to click on, and hopefully upgrade the native Android 2.2 to Android 4.x Jellybean.

At first I was like, man this phone is so old, I can’t do anything with it, but now possibilities shimmer like jewels before me. Being able to push apps with adb is huge. The trickiest part has been finding apps that run on Android 2.2. If I can upgrade Android it will really open the thing up.