Having just gone through the process from start to finish on a second phone, I thought I’d write a guide on exactly what is needed to root the Ion. Note that this is a guide specifically for the Ion, and does not apply to any other Magic / Sapphire / G2 / whatever that is not a Google Ion phone from I/O 2009.
I spent most of the day Friday scared half to death that I was about to brick my Ion, but the end result was a success! I got a shiny green # prompt in my terminal and I can now proceed to do fun things like download multitouch enabled apps and try out tethering 😀
I had some issues getting my phone linked back up to the T-mobile network after I installed the hacked OS, but the awesome folks at the XDA Forums helped me out. If anyone in the lab (or friends of the lab) would like their Ion rooted for them and tethering enabled, I can set it up for you. The rooting should take less than 30 minutes or so if all goes well on it. I haven’t done the tethering yet but I’m going to work through it for a few hours today.
Edit: But I’m not responsible if anything terrible happens to your phone!
Edit #2: After ~4 hours of working away at it, I hosted wifi from my Ion to my eeePC!!! Unfortunately, I can’t pick up 3G at my house, and the connection is terrible in general 🙁 So I can’t be 100% sure that everything is working perfectly until I’m somewhere with a better connection. Things look good though, and the tethering app I’m using is very cool as well; you can host wifi or bluetooth connections to the Ion’s 3G!