Motorola has a long history of locking down their Android devices in order to prevent customization. From the eFUSE debacle surrounding the original Droid X to their general lack of interest in listening to the developer community, they have proven time and again their willingness to bite the hand that feeds them. Regardless of this, many users have a preference for the high level of hardware build quality provided by their Motorola overlords, and as such continue to purchase the locked down devices.
However, thanks to the efforts of XDA Recognized Developer kabaldan, locked down Motorola devices like the Milestone and the Defy can now enjoy fully functional hardware acceleration.
What is Hardware Acceleration?
Hardware acceleration for Android is (in the most basic of terms) the use of the GPU to aid in the drawing operations done by a given application or view. Aside from allowing the CPU and GPU to work simultaneously, this also allows the drawing operations to be done on much more specialized and efficient hardware for the task. This results in a better overall user experience.
The downside to this, which we covered previously, is the increased memory usage associated with hardware acceleration. Each individual process that is fully rendered by the GPU adds to overall memory footprint used by the system. This means that older devices with already limited capacity may suffer performance issues in certain tasks. With newer devices like the Galaxy SIII, this is less of a problem.
Thanks for the Info, but OEM’s Already Include this Awesome Feature. Don’t They?
The answer to that question is multifaceted. On one hand you have devices like the Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, and Samsung Galaxy SIII that have tons of RAM, processing power, and the most up to date versions of the Android operating systems built into them from the factory. Older devices though, like the Motorola Milestone and Defy have been left out in the cold, to suffer without any future support from OEM’s. To make matters worse, Motorola in its infinite wisdom decided to sign the boot and recovery partition for the majority of their devices and prevent anyone from being able to replace them. This greatly crippled development of those devices, as custom ROM’s and recoveries are the cornerstone of development.
As time passed, a workaround was created that allowed custom ROMs like CM9 to be loaded onto locked devices, at the cost of hard bricking your device if done improperly. Full hardware acceleration though was one of the last issues that needed to be solved. Thanks to his clever workaround, kabaldan was able to come up with a method that should work for any locked down Motorola device.
Where’s the Link, Darn it? You Write Too Much!
Kabaldan is already hard at work including the newest drivers into his latest CM9 Milestone build here, while XDA Senior Member Epsylon3 already has it built into his CM9 build for the Motorola Defy here. So rejoice Motorola users, sticking it to the man has never made your device run so smooth._________
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