HTC officially announced the Dream on 23 September 2008.
It would first be released by T-Mobile as the T-Mobile G1, starting in the United States.
The device also ships with an email app supporting other POP3 and IMAP-based mail services, an instant messaging app with support for multiple services, and a Web Kit-based web browser.
The Android Market can be used to download additional apps for the device.
The G1 as sold by T-Mobile also shipped with an Amazon MP3 app, allowing users to purchase DRM-free music online, and download them straight to the device via Wi-Fi.
The Dream could also be upgraded to newer versions of Android, which added new features and enhancements to the platform.
The latest version of Android officially made available for the Dream, 1.6 "Donut", was released for T-Mobile USA's G1 in October 2009.
While the Dream was praised for its solid and robust hardware design, the introduction of the Android operating system was met with criticism for its lack of certain functionality and third-party software in comparison to more established platforms, but was still considered to be innovative due to its open nature, notifications system, and heavy integration with Google's services.
In July 2005, Google acquired Android Inc., a company led by Andy Rubin which was working on unspecified software for mobile devices.
For network connectivity, the Dream supports Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz and GPRS/EDGE, plus Dual band UMTS Bands I and IV (1700 & 2100 MHz) and HSDPA/HSUPA (in US/Europe) at 7.2/2 Mbit/s. The HTC Dream was the first ever smartphone to ship with the Android operating system.
The operating system heavily integrates with, and provides apps for various Google services, such as Gmail (with push email support), Maps, Search, Talk, and You Tube, while the contacts and calendar apps can sync with the online Google Contacts and Google Calendar services respectively.
As a result of these developments, a dedicated community, centered on forums such as XDA Developers, emerged surrounding the creation of custom firmware ("ROMs") built from the Android source code.