As we have mentioned in the past, the need for our devices to be up-to-date is no longer a luxury or even a necessity, it is an addiction. Because of this, whenever something like this happens, everyone’s eyes shift focus to developers who work on AOSP-based ROMs. People become static, glued to their PCs with sweating palms and foreheads, and with a few extra keyboards due to potential F5 key breakage. All of the sudden, a new thread emerges with a title that has a little something which stands out (no, not Off-Topic)… “4.2.” Boom! Happiness and joy fill our hearts, as we click on the download links as fast as humanly possible to try and get a hold of the new goods.
The dealer of happiness this time around happens to be XDA Recognized Developer randomblame, who has ported 4.2 from the newly dropped AOSP source onto the aging (but still fighting) Acer Iconia A500. As you would likely expect (and the dev makes this painfully obvious in the first sentence of his OP), the build is a first and as such, is riddled with bugs and things that do not function properly or at all, such as access to the SD card, audio, camera, and Bluetooth. On the flip side, WiFi works, so you will still be able to enjoy the online experience, regardless of the broken device features.
If you do download it and flash it, please understand that the build is nowhere near final, but will become more usable as time goes by. Please report issues and feedback to the dev (if they are in logcat form, it would be better). Happy flashing!
This is a first build there are issues which will be sorted throughout the next several days. This is proof of concept.
You can find more information in the original thread.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
[Thanks randomblame for the tip!]
The Acer Iconia A500 has been around for a while, and has gathered a loyal following, with several custom ROMs available for the device. However, if you’re flashing ROMs and mods in a custom recovery, there can be issues if you aren’t careful.
One such issue is the possibility of losing recovery while attempting to reflash it from recovery itself. If you have run into this issue and don’t know how to recover the lost recovery, fret not. XDA Forum Member srbeen has come up with a way to restore the lost recovery on the tablet, and has shared the method with us.
The method involves connecting your tablet via USB to a computer running Ubuntu and using some terminal commands, so you’ll need to be comfortable with Linux and the command line interface. That said, it isn’t as complicated as it soundsm and the guide explains it fairly well.
For more information and the complete guide, head over to the original thread.
July 13, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Today on XDA Developer TV, our good buddy Jordan, talks about Jelly Bean. Jordan covers news on Android version 4.1. Also covered is news from the XDA Portal regarding Google’s latest operating system. There is so much Jelly Bean news this week that it feels like a candy shop.
More specifically, Jordan covers the Jelly Bean Source Code release to the Android Open Source Project, AOSP, and Android 4.1.1 rolling out to the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. The article about compiling Jelly Bean from source is mentioned. Then Jordan mentions various devices that have gotten Jelly Bean such as the Samsung Galaxy S II, the HTC EVO 3D and the Acer Iconia A500. Jordan wraps up the video with some administrivia, mentioning the article regarding XDA’s new forum theme and XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler’s latest Meizu MX unboxing video.
July 11, 2012 By: Former Writer
When users typically talk about the first device to get an AOSP source-built port, they’re usually talking about a Nexus device. It doesn’t always have to be that way, though, as there are talented developers on a great number of devices here on XDA. To see an AOSP Jelly Bean ROM for the Acer Iconia A500 mere hours after Jelly Bean source was released is quite impressive. How was it done? Well, we’re not saying it was aliens but…
With some help, XDA Recognized Developer randomblame was responsible for the first AOSP source-built port after the source was released. It only took four hours after release to get it built and working. Despite the port being so quickly made, it’s highly functional. Thus far, the only two features reported not working are:
With everything else working, A500 users can install this ROM to see what a real Jelly Bean experience is like. However, without WiFi or audio, it can hardly be considered a daily driver. Given that the source-built version is already better than the previous SDK ports, A500 owners can only expect this ROM to get better.
For additional details and the complete list of contributors, hit up the original thread.
When a developer here on XDA is credited as having helped with not just one, but two Jelly Bean ports for the hottest devices on the market, people start to notice. XDA Senior Member randomblame has not only succeeded in doing that, but also in making his own port for the Acer Iconia A500, leading it to claiming the title of first non-Nexus tablet to have Jelly Bean.
Already on it’s second version (damn he’s fast), the only things not currently working are:
USB not mounting flash drives
The developer has even written up a basic guide to help other members with porting Jelly Bean to their own devices, and has made himself available for assistance through IRC channels (please don’t harass developers through PMs).
If you’re a developer looking to help out or a user just wanting to support an awesome dev, head on over to the original thread and show your A500 some tasty love.
With users becoming more and more comfortable with the Iconia A500 root and bootloader unlocking processes, it was only a matter of time before development hit a new level and things really started taking off. This is now the case with the Acer Iconia A500, which recently received ICS and a bootloader unlock. And today, this comes in the form of a patched ICS bootloader and support for dual booting.
XDA Senior Member Skrilax_CZ contributes to the A500 community by releasing six modified versions of the ICS unlocked bootloader, a dual booting guide, and a general FAQ to help users who don’t quite have a grasp on what’s going on.
The problem began when the final ICS version came out, and Iconia users lost the ability to use the old fastboot oem unlock method to unlock their bootloaders and obtain root. For those already rooted and unlocked, this wasn’t a big issue. However, for users who are just now buying the tablet, it kinda puts a stink on everything. Skrilax_CZ kindly gives users links to the guides to flash these unlocked and modified ICS bootloaders. Additionally, Skrilax_CZ lists all the fastboot commands that each version of the modified bootloader can use.
Additionally, there’s even a guide to dual boot as of version 5 of the modified bootloader. The process is a little complicated and requires the use of fastboot, but for the preliminary stages of dual booting that is only to be expected.
For copious additional information, download links, source links, instructions, and much more, head on over to the original thread.
While the official ClockworkMod recovery is still arguably the most popular recovery for the largest number of Android devices, its wide release nature prevents official releases from being as easily adaptable as other recoveries when new development happens on many devices. As such, it’s up to the developers working on that device to get things rolling with custom recoveries when the old ones are incompatible. As has been the case with many devices being upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Gingerbread custom recoveries occasionally cease to work for one reason or another. However, as time passes, those little problems get fixed and for owners of the Acer Iconia A500, you now have custom recovery for ICS.
XDA Recognized Developer ezterry has released a modified ClockworkMod recovery dubbed the A500 Public Recovery. Its purpose? To bring the latest ClockworkMod Recovery functionality to those A500 owners rocking ICS on their tablets. The recovery has a lot going for it. As with the original CWM recovery, this release is open source. A complete list of the features include:
* cleanup tab option: shortcut to try to fix forcequits after updates, return to recovery and select on the main screen (Wipes Cache, dalvik, and fixes permissions)
* Standard options to backup and restore to either the SD card or internal storage
* Mount points match those of most running roms
* adb shell works as root (with or without system mounted)
* set boot mode menu to select the boot partition (hidden on know non-multiboot bootloaders)
* setbootmode and itsmagic command line tools for advanced users
* /data/linux directory is not deleted on erase userdata, nor backed up on nandroid backup (just like /data/media) to allow a space for linux files for dual boot and chroot linux installes.
Ezterry says it’s a little rough around the edges, but it works as intended, so users can have a functional recovery for their tablets running ICS. It should also be mentioned that this is for A500s running ICS only. If you’re on an earlier version of Android, it is not recommended that this be flashed.
For additional information, download links, instructions, and more, head on over to the original thread.
With tablets getting bad raps for bad GPS reception, it’s no surprise that developers and users alike are trying to find ways to fix them. For some, it requires hardware support, as many Asus Transformer Prime users have been getting USB dongles to help boost their GPS signals to acceptable levels. Thankfully, though, some tablet GPS problems are software related, and can actually be fixed without taking up any ports or a struggle from the manufacturer. This is the case for the Acer Iconia A500.
XDA Senior Member waydownsouth has done a little searching, and has found a way to patch the A500 boot.img to fix the GPS problem for A500 users once and for all. The patch is in an easily flashable update.zip file, so the installation process should be a breeze. However, as you are tinkering with your boot.img, it is strongly recommended that you make a Nandroid backup first. Says waydownsouth:
the zip patches your boot.img so please make a nandroid backup to be safe. (only need to restore /boot if there’s a problem)
Currently, the patch has been tested only on the ICS bootloader, running CyanogenMod 9 with ClockworkMod Recovery, so users with other combinations may be out of luck for the time being. The patch itself automates the process of downloading and updating the lto.dat file, a function that was not working properly before the patch, and this in turn helps GPS functionality.
For more information, hit up the original thread.
April 30, 2012 By: Former Writer
As the number of Android devices that are getting official ICS updates continues to grow, the number of devices getting unofficial ICS is growing even faster. With AOSP ROMs making their way around at a healthy rate and leaks flooding the forums, users practically everywhere are getting their shot at some new firmware goodness. This time around, the Acer Iconia A500 receives its share.
XDA Senior Member civato, along with the help of some other XDA members, has created a tutorial that will get users safely from Honeycomb to ICS. However, as stated by civato:
You need to understand that this can brick your tablet and going back to HC roms is not possible…
So before you flash, be sure that you’ve said your goodbyes to Honeycomb. The tutorial isn’t difficult to follow, but the price for missing a step could mean a bricked a device.
The method itself involves users obtaining their CPUID and getting all the appropriate drivers installed. Once that is complete, users then must flash the stock ICS bootloader, ICS itself, and the boot.img all in one shot. From there, you simply flash the unlocked bootloader and custom recovery.
For more information, be sure to visit the original thread.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: touch-based recoveries are the future. Aside from giving end users easier access to device firmware modification, they add a much needed element of polish to the Android hacking experience. While some may say that these upgrade recoveries take away from the feelings of thrill and excitement, I argue that they offer a more efficient interface and enable some truly unique new features not available in the recoveries of yesteryear.
In a rather large update to what is arguably the most popular touch-based recovery around, XDA Recognized Developer Dees_Troy presents to us Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP, for short) version 2.1. Aside from simply bringing a friendly UI, TWRP 2.1 packs a healthy feature punch by offering zip queuing, a basic file manager, and dual storage support for backups.
TWRP supports scripting via a new scripting engine called OpenRecoveryScript for use with GooManager. With ORS, users can install multiple update.zip files from within Android, wipe cache & dalvik, and run a backup. Furthermore, in the name of openness, Team Win has submitted ORS as a commit to ClockworkMod.
In the words of the developer:
Team Win Recovery Project 2.0, or twrp2 for short, is a custom recovery built with ease of use and customization in mind. We started from the ground up by taking AOSP recovery and loading it with the standard recovery options, then added a lot of our own features. It’s a fully touch driven user interface – no more volume rocker or power buttons to mash. The GUI is also fully XML driven and completely theme-able. You can change just about every aspect of the look and feel.
New features for version 2 of the recovery software:
Zip queuing as seen in TWRP 1.1.x is back
Dual storage capable (backup, restore, and install zips from internal or external storage – you choose)
Slider control (swipe to confirm most actions aka swipe to wipe)
Lockscreen (with slider to unlock)
Basic file manager (copy, move, delete, and chmod any file)
Added support for devices with /data/media (most Honeycomb tablets, new ICS devices like Galaxy Nexus)
Displays sizes of each partition in the backup menu
Added listbox GUI element (currently used for listing time zones)
Updated stock XML layouts to be more consistent and easier to port to different resolutions
XML layout files are significantly smaller
Partitions available backup are more accurate for some devices
Removed unneeded error messages (/misc errors, unable to stat sd-ext, etc.)
Fixed a bug with blkid detection code
Fixed bug where a blank line was inserted between every line of text during zip installs
Fixed a bug during zip installs where an invalid zip would cause TWRP to get stuck in the zip install
Added setting for themers to toggle simulation mode to make theming easier
New devices added – Galaxy Nexus GSM & CDMA (preview only, manual install), Acer Iconia Tab A500, HTC Vivid, Motorola Defy
Added support for .jpg images in the theme engine
Changed images for stock tablet theme – makes tablet builds about 500KB smaller
Removed unneeded non-GUI images from GUI – makes all builds about 100KB smaller
If you’re itching to get started, please visit the development threads listed below. If instead you are looking to theme the recovery, visit their theming guide.
March 2, 2012 By: Former Writer
A negative side effect of flashing a new firmware is that there’s always the possibility that you break root, re-lock your bootloader, and lose your custom recovery. Unfortunately, it often takes a considerable amount of time to get root for the new firmware, which means you could very well be stuck until you find a way to downgrade or a new root method is presented. XDA Senior Member jm77 wishes to fix with for Acer Iconia A500 owners with a comprehensive guide on how to get their bootloaders unlocked, restore their custom recoveries, and obtain root once again.
The guide is easy to follow, but does require some ADB, command prompt, and terminal emulator knowledge—so be sure to follow the guide exactly if you’re not up to date on these things. The guide runs users through unlocking the bootloader, flashing a custom recovery, and getting everyone back to normal. The process is fairly straight forward, and it shouldn’t take very long to execute.
For those who have installed the Ice Cream Sandwich leak and are looking to get their custom recoveries back, head over to the original thread to get started.
You may remember last week when we reported that the Acer Iconia Tab A200 was receiving its first taste of Ice Cream Sandwich thanks to an over-the-air update. It was speculated then that the Iconia Tab A500 would be the next Acer device to get an update due to the similarities in hardware with the A200. XDA Senior Member vache, the same A500 owner that managed to boot the A200 update, has provided a leaked copy of the previously promised A500 update in our forums and he reports that it works fine.
Before installing the firmware package, understand that you will lose root access and the ability to flash custom ROMs. You will also lose your recovery partition unless you use RA recovery. XDA Senior Member Moscow Desire has put together a post detailing this here. Currently, the only way to get back those root privileges is to downgrade your device and start the rooting process over.
Do not attempt to install this unless you are confident with what you’re doing. If you’d like to give the update a try you can check the original thread here. Be sure to keep an eye on the device forums and the portal the latest news!
February 15, 2012 By: Ian Stacy