The Weekly Q&A: Week 28

As part of our regular Q&A session here on the XDA-Developers portal, I’ll be covering some questions and issues frequently seen here in the world of XDA.

Q: Has anyone successfully used the “in store network” on their Nook Color, rooted or otherwise? [Question originally seen in the Nook Color General section.]

A: Yes, it should work. However, several users are reporting problems even on stock, unrooted devices. Additionally, this feature will certainly not work if you’re on a radically different ROM like CyanogenMod7.

Q: What is the maximum number of IP addresses that can be assigned while using the built-in WiFi Hotspot in the Nexus One? [Question originally seen in the Nexus One Q&A Section.]

A: Android 2.2+ Native Hotspot capabilities currently supports up to 8 connected devices.

Q: So for an upcoming April Fool’s joke I want to get my N1 to look like iOS. Any suggestions as far as ROMs and themes go? Icon packs should be easy to find. I’m pretty sure I could toy around with LauncherPro to get the general look, but the key to a good April Fools is in the details. That includes the Notification bar and some of the built in apps (Dialer, email, etc.) if possible. Splash and bootanimations would help too. [Question originally seen in the Nexus One Q&A Section.]

A: MIUI is probably the closest you will get to the iOS experience on an Android device. Several MIUI ROMs can be found for the Nexus One in the Nexus One Development Forum.

Q: How can I overclock My Nexus S to 1.2 GHz? [Question originally seen in the Nexus S Q&A Section.]

A: The first step in overclocking your device is to download a modified kernel, which allows for higher clock speeds, usually using higher voltages. For the Google Nexus S, the three most popular kernels currently in use are Morfic’s (for Android 2.3.2 or below only) and Netarchy’s kernels. Morfic also has a new 1.4 GHz overclock kernel that is compatible with Android 2.3.3 and also incorporates the Honeycomb boot animation found in the Motorola Xoom. After the modified kernel is installed, you need to install a program that activates the overclock that you enabled in the kernel. Many users favor SetCPU (also available on the Android Market) for this purpose.

Q: “On my Nexus S (2.3.2 stock rom) when I press Phone Icon always opens Favorites’ Tab. I’d like to open the dialer (Phone’s Tab). Can I change this default behavior? [Question originally seen in the Nexus S Q&A Section.]

A: The solution, as reported by user Chuckao in this post, is as follows:

1 – On home screen press Menu
2 – Open Manage apps
3 – Click on Dialer (the green Phone Icon)
4 – On section “Launch by default” click on “Clear defaults” button
5 – Go to home screen again (press Home button)
6 – Open the dialer and open Phone tab
7 – Dial any number and press the green phone icon to call this number
8 – At this moment you will see the dialog message “Complete action using” (Dialer or SkypeOut) — Humm..I have Skype installed here.
9 – Choose the Dialer and check the box “Use by default for this action” and save.
10 – Now you can hang up and smile
11 – Press Phone Icon again and you will see the Dialer instead of Favorites Tab or Call Log Tab.

That about wraps it up for this week’s session. Stay tuned for more news and Q&A sessions! As always, if you have any suggestions for stories or questions that we should cover, please feel free to send me (or any other News Writer) a private message.

Xoom Gets Overclocked!

If you have seen any videos regarding the Motorola Xoom, you know that it already is quite fast and that its dual core processor packs quite a punch. As we have a bad tendency to make fast things even faster, you will be happy to hear that your Xoom is just about to go warp speed on you thanks to XDA member coolbho3000, who has been responsible for overclocking most of the current devices, and who is the author of the famous SetCPU.  The mod will allow your Xoom to be safely overclocked to up to 1.5 GHz. According to the dev, the kernel in the Xoom is set to a max of 1 GHz for safety of the device. At this point in time, we all know that these limits can be easily surpassed without any major side effects. However, remember that overclocking can fry your device, so do this at your own risk.

Scores for Linpack and Quadrant are nothing short of amazing, although there are always people who claim that these benchmarks are not accurate. Impressive nevertheless.

Please leave some feedback for the dev if you experience any kind of instability or weird behavior.

I have successfully brought the Tegra 2 in the Xoom to 1.5GHz. A few kernel modifications make the dual core chip in the Xoom even more powerful than the recently announced Tegra 2 3D! 1.5GHz through two Cortex A9 cores is truly a force to be reckoned with.

You can find more information in the hack thread.

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Control Your Android Processor Frequencies With “No Frills”

We all know about and love SetCPU. Being able to control the frequencies of the processor either beyond or below its intended usage is a wonderful thing. However, not everyone knows how to use it or understands the profile creation process. With this in mind, XDA member hrk has released his own clocking app, which allows the user to modify frequencies and control the governor in the device. It works very similarly to SetCPU with a few notable differences. For instance, the need to create profiles is gone and the app will run on very little RAM.

This is meant to work on roms that are sysfs enabled such as CM. Ask the chef of the device you are using if you are not certain about this. Also, please leave feedback for the dev to see if there is anything that could be improved in this app.

Hi,

I’ve made a very simple application which can be used to set cpu scaling frequencies and governor. Yeah, imagine SetCPU without profiles, minimal use of RAM, released as open source, and requiring CyanogenMod (or any sysfs-enabled ROM). “No frills” is the right description for it.

You can find more information in the application thread.

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Fix the Froyo Lag in Your Streak

XDA member smokku provides all Streak users with an answer for the reported lag and overall lousy performance of the Froyo stock update. The dev provided us with a few files and a simple process to speed up the device and make it perform like it should. There have already been various reports of  higher Quadrant scores as well as noticeable increased responsiveness. In case you are wondering, the files that you will be flashing will place anew custom kernel in your device, which comes already pre-tweaked for a few things like overclocking, so get SetCPU ready.

If you can, please provide your own experience with this fix. There may be tweaks that are needed but so far, this seems to be doing the trick.

If you installed official Froyo 2.2 update.pkg and find your Streak slow and laggy:

This update installs custom kernel, custom build.prop and performance tweaking post_boot.sh script.
It will not erase your system, userdata or anything else. It just replaces some files.

You can find more information in the fix thread.

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Let the Kernels Roll In for the G2

Bound to happen, although we didn’t expect it this soon. Now that the G2 is a fully flashable device, one can only count the minutes until the first roms and kernels hit the fora. It didn’t take long for XDA member coolbho3000 to release one with his own flavor to the wild. You may know this user from a little app called SetCPU, which allows for overclocking on many Android devices. His most recent work included an overclocking script for the G2, which allowed the device to hit 1.4 GHz. The drawback on this was this was just a script, which needed to be ran every time the device was booted. Thanks to the newly acquired root, this script was baked into a kernel, which means… no more running said script.

To top things off, the dev states that because voltage can be properly used in the G2, he has seen speeds of up to 1.7 GHz. The thread comes complete with an installation guide and everything that you will need to use this.

Now that we have permanent root, we can have even more fun with overclocking. This is an actual kernel, not a module, meaning that there are no scripts to run every time you restart the device, and there are a lot more speeds to choose from, from 806MHz all the way up to 1497MHz.

Just run SetCPU (set on boot will work if you have permanent root!) and set the speed to whatever you want. This is purely an overclocking kernel and is not undervolted, but undervolting is easy for other devs. Just tweak the frequency tables and recompile.

You can find more information in the kernel thread.

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10 Apps for Your Rooted Android Device

XDA member crazyboy_beggar has put together a fantastic list of apps for your rooted Android device. The list showcases the “10 best apps for your device”, if it is missing any apps you think would’ve been mentioned then feel free to post in the thread. Here are some of the top 10:

And a few others. Rooting gives your device extra capabilities that are not available for a regular unrooted device. These apps take advantage of those capabilities because they allow the device to edit system settings that can be sensitive to user input so be careful with some of these.

Check out the thread and join the discussion.

HTC Vision (G2) Successfully Overclocked to 1.42 GHz!

XDA member coolbho3000, who brought us the joy of SetCPU, comes bearing gifts for owners of the new T-Mobile G2 (aka HTC Vision). The device is underclocked to 800 MHz from factory (equipped with a Snapdragon processor, so it should be able to reach at least 1 GHz). However, after a lot of tweaking and playing around with several parameters, the dev finally came up with a patch for the kernel to allow overclocking of up to 1.42 GHz. Needless to say, according to the dev, this device will perform as you would expect from such a high clock speed. In fact, he obtained a Quadrant score of 2265 (screenshot available in the thread). The best part? There is no need for root as this is only patching the kernel and hence there is no need to flash a new one.

Keep in mind, overclocking is a dangerous practice if you don’t know what you are doing. You can fry your device, so proceed at your own discretion.

After two nights of mostly guesswork, I have managed to create an overclocking kernel module for the HTC Vision. The result? I have been able to not only overclock the MSM7x30 in this phone to 1GHz, the stock speed of the higher “binned” but identical 8×55 used in the Desire HD, I have been able to push the processor in my G2 significantly further, up to 1.42GHz!Benchmark scores are very, very high, and the improved CPU performance is in line with what you’d expect from such a high clock frequency. All of this is possible without permanent root (and the ability to flash kernels) because we are using a kernel module and not flashing an actual kernel.

You can find more information in the patch thread.

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Thanks coolbho3000 for the tip.

Tweaks for Superb Battery Life in EVO

If you are an EVO user, you are probably aware of a little problem that haunts this device. Battery with most roms is less than optimal. There have been many roms, kernels, and theories that have managed to increase this important aspect of our devices (lower brightness, turn off data/GPS if you are not using it, kill 4G, etc). These are all good solutions that will make your device go on a power diet and will allow you to have enough juice to plug it in the charger at night. However, isn’t doing all this defeating the purpose of having such a feature rich device? Point and case, when I got my EVO and activated it, I had to call Sprint and for the first time in about 10 years of using pda devices, I was told that I needed to turn stuff off for it to last roughly a full day. Not a good first impression considering that I can still get almost a week out of the charger with my old Blue Angel (my extended battery is almost 5 years old).

In this small compilation article, we will show you the best tips and tweaks to save juice for your EVO. I take no credit for any of these as they have been discovered, put together, and otherwise created by many of our talented devs and members. This is just to put them handy, so that every member can benefit from them:

Calibrate the Battery

Basically, the EVO’s battery is not exactly optimized to give the best out of it. However, there is something you can do. Just like calibrating the screen, performing this process for the battery will improve its efficiency. This is a simple process that will only take a few minutes:

Preparing…
With the phone in the on position.
Fully charge the battery with the phone on… (until the led turns green.)
Once the led turns green, unplug the charger until the led goes off.
After the led goes off, plug the charger back in. When the led turns green , power off the phone.
now…. with the phone fully powered off…

1. Unplug the charger.
2. Wait until led goes off.
3. Plug charger back in until the led turns green. When it turns green, unplug the charger again and go to step 1.
4. repeat steps 1 and 3, 10 times. This may take anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 mins per cycle. Typically only about 1 minute. though.

Thanks kthejoker20 for this. You can find the original guide here.

Clear Battery Stats

After flashing any rom, it is a good idea to reset the stats which are automatically saved by the device. This is an easy thing to do.

  1. Charge your device fully;
  2. Pull the charger and go into recovery (Amon_RA or Clockworkmod are both fine);
  3. Once in Recovery, go to Advanced > Clear Battery Stats and choose “yes” when prompted.

Simple, huh?

Kernels, kernels, kernels…

The magic word for most Android roms seem to be kernel. Unfortunately, there is no clear evidence that there is a combination better than another. However, there are roms that combined with certain kernels can give you superb battery life. Again, this is very dependent on the rom and the kernel combination, so if you were not used to flashing before this… you will be now. A personal favorite is myn’s Warm TwoPointTwo RLS2 combined with King BFS kernel #9. Moderate usage on this combination (games, browsing, calls, market, etc), and I can easily get a full day out of the battery without running for the closest outlet.

You can find myn’s rom thread here.

Collin_ph Battery Tweak

Saved the best for last. Hero owners may be familiar with this, but for those who aren’t, there was a tweak released not too long ago by XDA member collin_ph, which basically controlled the device’s hardware to optimize power consumption. I will not bore you with all the technical details (most of which are above and beyond end users anyways), but many Hero owners had reported that by applying this fix, they could get well over 30 hours of moderate to heavy use without having to charge. Why is this relevant for the EVO? XDA member myn has successfully ported the code to run on the EVO, and has been kind enough to share his findings with the rest of the community, so this can be implemented with various roms and kernels.

You can find more information in myn’s fix thread or in collin_ph original thread.

Final Pointers

There are things that you can use to improve your battery life without having to do all of the above…

We sincerely hope that this guide will help in getting your device to be mobile one more time and not be fixed to a wall.

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Samsung Captivate Over-Clocked to 1.2 GHz

Most people love their brand new Galaxy devices from Samsung and Captivate owners are not the exception. However, being in the tradition that is XDA, everything can be better. This pushed XDA member blackjackboy as well as other devs including AJerman, to created a new kernel for these devices that would make things run better on the Captivate. A nice feature of this new kernel is that it allows overclocking of the 1 GHz Hummingbird processor to 1.2 GHz. For this, you will need to download SetCPU, which can be found on the forums as well as the market.

The dev also mentioned that this is not the full limit of the Hummingbird, as it can theoretically clock at 1.6 GHz and be stable. It may, in theory, be able to go past this number as well.

OK guys, thanks to AJerman and many others who have posted in this thread, we have had success in compiling, loading and running a bug free kernel. The wakeup lag is there, but is highly reduced. Also, if someone could figure out how to compile a boot.img so that we can simply flash the kernel through recovery (I have no idea how), we would really be grateful, for all of us with either Linux or Mac. Anyway, here is the link, flash it through Odin3 . Bug reports are welcome, as are logcats. Please download SetCPU from the market, or for free from an xda thread (I forgot where it is, I think it’s in the G1 section). Set to OnDemand to reduce wakeup, set lowest possible value for min, and highest for max (1.2 GHz). Of course, you can also use profiles if you are an advanced SetCPU user. Thanks for reading, here we go!

Overclocking a device sometimes can be dangerous as it affects the hardware directly. Proceed at your own discretion.

How to Save Battery While Running Android on HD2 (Leo)

With the arrival of Android builds for the HTC Leo, we have seen that battery consumption is a problem not solved yet. XDA member Shatterv2 wrote a complete “how to” guide with tips to save battery.
Using SetCPU, which is an application for over/under clocking devices, and following the steps provided by the developer, your battery should last longer when running Android.
One good thing is that members are also posting their personal configurations as alternatives to test and decide which one works better for the Leo.

Originally posted by Shatterv2
[HOW-TO] Save battery while running any android build on your HD2.

As android builds are getting more and more closer to being daily builds, one of the standing issues that remains is battery life.
This thread is where posts concerning How to Save battery should go. NOT Questions, but suggestions. If your suggestion is one to look into, it will be added to the OP.

*MODs* Please sticky this thread if you feel it will be helpful to the average user.

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You can find more information in the tweaking guide.