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Posts Tagged: Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread)

Samsung Galaxy Ace

Not all phones are at their optimal performance and battery life out of the box. Even with a heavily tweaked ROM or kernel, some phones require just a little extra boost. This is why users install various scripts, tweaks, and mods—to get that little extra jolt and make their phones everything they can be. As a follow up to his work on the Nexus S, XDA Recognized Contributor slaid480 has developed another script for the Samsung Galaxy Ace.

The tweak features what you’d expect from a high quality script. Not only does it bring better performance. but it also boasts better battery life and even a few build.prop and other tweaks to help enhance and increase 3G network speeds. The only catch is that the script doesn’t come in an easy to flash update.zip file, users will have to manually place the files where they belong and set the permissions correctly. After that, and a reboot, the script should be firmly in place and giving the Galaxy Ace a new breath of life. There are a few requirements, as users need to be running Gingerbread, a kernel that allows init.d scripts, and at least 1MB of free space in their /system.

For additional details, a more complete list of features, requirements and instructions as well as a hefty thank-you list and more, check out the scipt thread. As per the norm, make a backup before flashing.

icecream

It seems that Samsung has made quite a stir recently thanks to several recently released updates and firmware leaks (albeit they are mostly coming from carriers) to most of their lineup, going back all the way to the original Galaxy S. Thanks to the efforts of XDA Forum Member Przekret and Recognized Developer Faryaab, we now have access to the very latest firmware that was released by Samsung for the original Samsung Galaxy S. The new firmware comes loaded with a ton of updates, bug fixes, a new kernel, a new radio, and most importantly, it will update your device to 2.3.6 (officially anyways).

To make this even more juicy, Faryaab has provided, in his own thread, a method to root this firmware before you even load it up by means of the legendary CF-Root Kernel, developed by XDA Recognized Developer Chainfire. This process requires you to place your device in download mode and by means of Odin to flash the root kernel .tar to the device. It is a quick, simple process that will yield you lots of happiness.

While writing this article in order to provide you with this interesting update from Samsung, I started thinking a little bit about how you will find projects like this or like this on XDA. Now, it is not something new that developers here can and normally will be able to release an update faster than most manufacturers. After all, xda-developers has been doing this for quite some time, keeping your devices alive and up to date, regardless of what your carrier or manufacturer tells you regarding the ability to  upgrade. The way I see this release by Samsung is that they are simply trying to release something new to keep the owners of this device mildly happy and content, keeping the complaints at bay. However, I just think that the technique that they are using to do this is not only wrong (both conceptually and the implementation), it is a waste of everyone’s time (including their own developers and engineers).

If you were to examine this new firmware, as stated earlier, it is a Gingerbread ROM on 2.3.6 and it is loaded with the following goodies:

  • Face Unlock (ICS)
  • Galaxy S II ICS Lockscreen (ICS)
  • Photo Editor (ICS)
  • Built-in TouchWiz 4 (normally loaded on ICS ROMs)

Essentially, in case you have not noticed by now, they are releasing an ICS sprinkled GB ROM to try and keep the people from complaining about the lack of ICS on the device. I mean, after all, most of the eye candy, appealing features of the newer OS are there right? Unlocking your device by just looking at it, a cooler lockscreen than TouchWiz’s stock, smoother and faster transitions, and more. Your average Joe will likely be content with such an “upgrade” because they now have all that they need for their device to look “kewl;” but in terms of functionality, it is the exact same as before–=minus bug fixes and a few tweaks and improvements, of course.

Do you not think that it would have taken the same amount of time (maybe even less considering Samsung’s vast resources in terms of workforce as well as source code, drivers, etc) to make an ICS build for this as opposed to porting applications to an older OS? Hey, I have an idea! Android is Open Source, right? What if they simply used preexisting firmware such as the two ROMs referenced above, fixed the missing pieces in the kernels and libraries, and released a full ICS update? As long as proper credits are provided, they could easily use the existing ports as a base, and go from there (assuming that they don’t feel like starting the ports from scratch).

If Samsung (and other OEMs) would get out of the corporate mentality for a second, they would understood that one of the main reasons people are flocking to Android devices and Open Source software is because collaborative efforts tend to yield MUCH better results in shorter periods of time. Unlike what they would probably do to developers, we are unlikely to send you C&D letters from using and modifying code generated by our developers. Why? Because we believe in the spirit of Open Source and sharing. We are all working towards a common goal, which is to improve the technology that we normally use.

I know that they will likely say that it is the carriers who prevent them from releasing updates, as it hurts sales to update an older device to the latest OS—something that becomes a major selling point for any electronic device. But if you just wrapped up all the goodies from the next OS into an approved update, do you honestly believe that the customer will even bother into looking for a replacement device with an OS that offers, in his or her eyes anyways, the same “kewl” stuff that is present in the newer ones? If you do, then congratulations as you are successfully shooting yourself in the foot twice with the same gun because: A) You will likely piss off tech savvy people who will see through this lame attempt at preventing complaints (and hence, losing part of your customer base); and B) because you will likely ensure that the not-so savvy customer is happy enough with their current device so that they will not buy another one for a while. And in the process of accomplishing the latter, you just spent tons of money on R&D and engineers porting apps from an OS that is Open Source and has already been ported to the target device(s).

To sum things up, Samsung, HTC, et al…. We are here to try and make the best out of these devices. Help us help you. In the name of the spirit of Open Source, lets try and work together so that you make better decisions than trying to calm the public with frankenbuilds like this, which are quite frankly, a waste of everyone’s time.

You can find the original firmware thread here and Faryaab’s thread with the rooting instructions here.

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[Thanks Faryaab for the tip!]

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frenzyfugu-SC20120205-193252

One cannot help but to love games on devices which make use of the sensors loaded in them. Who can forget the ever popular Teeter where you needed to balance and direct a ball through a maze filled with obstacles like holes, walls, and uneven floors? If you have not seen too many of these and are simply tired of slicing fruits and veggies and tossing birds or other cute and fluffy animals across a screen, then you should take a look at the work of XDA Forum Member FrenzyFugu. In Frenzy Fugu Fish, you are in control of a Fugu fish (hence the name) and your main objective is to try and eat all the pearls and targets on the level in a given time period.

The controls are simple as you will need to use your accelerometer to direct your fish. The caveat of the game is that levels get increasingly harder with more obstacles, less time, and even enemies such as other larger fish trying to make you their dinner. Your Fugu will be able to pick power ups from time to time to become invincible by inflating, which will allow it to do other things such as eating other smaller enemies. Just remember that you need to eat your objectives before time runs out. The game features 45 levels with more added every month.

Frenzy Fugu is casual fish game with 45 levels in 3 sets, each set with unique graphics design of the environment and introducing new game elements. Game will receive new set of 15 levels each month.

You can find more information in the original thread. Please leave your feedback for the dev if you would like to see features added to future revisions.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

HTC EVO 3D View

Porting ROMs from one Android device to another is usually pretty exciting. It gives users a chance to sample the goods of another device without throwing down $500 USD in order to actually buy the device. Plus, it’s always kind of cool to show your friends your phone running a completely different OEM skin or different version of an OEM skin. Bragging rights for the win, right?

XDA Senior Member the_plattypus has given flashaholics carrying the HTC EVO 3D something a little different to play with. It’s a mash up of a HTC View 4g ROM along with pieces of the EVO 3D ROM thrown in to help make things work. It’s a premise the_plattypus has used before with great results.

The ROM is pretty nice and the issues with it aren’t a big deal. Users are reporting that installation hangs on TWRP Recovery 2.0, although users of 1.1.1 can flash it with no problem. Additionally, there are some png re-sizing issues that make some things look a tad off and some widgets still force close. Otherwise, the ROM is reported as being beautiful and quick. The features include:

-Fully working landscape
-4G!!!
-Landscape Sense 3.0 Lockscreen with weather
-Stock and themed versions
-Updated OTA kernel
-Working camera (2d/3d)
-Hacked Wifi-Hotspot
-Added apps, removed unwanted bloat
-New Visual Voicemail
-Tons of others!!!

It’s been noted that some EVO 3D features, like the 3D camera and 4G data, are very tough to get working to ports like this so users should expect a world class experience when flashing, even if it is a first release and has a few bugs.

You can head over to the ROM thread for download links, screenshots, additional details, and discussion.

[Big thanks to XDA Senior Member ognimnella for the tip and info!]

Broom_icon.svg

We are all aware of a large number of methods to get rid of unwanted bloatware from our devices. Manufacturers really give you no option to rid yourself of software they want you to use as they can potentially bring in revenue for them by selling you products through these. Moreover, without a custom ROM or access to root, you really cannot do away with them as they are normally uninstallable. And even if you could somehow easily uninstall them, then comes the question of what you can safely uninstall without losing major functionality. The Epic 4G Touch is one such device, loaded to the top with Sprint applications and other things that you may or may not need, but thanks to XDA member Calkulin, there is now a way to easily de-bloat your E4GT.

Bare Rom Converter is a tool that can (and must) be flashed through Recovery. It will essentially go to the system partition of the device and make all of that stuff vanish by automatically removing the unwanted apks. The best part about this, aside from you not having to do much, is that it already knows what it can safely remove without leaving your device crippled.

The tool works flawlessly and was based on his previous work to de-Sense the EVO 4G. If you find any errors on this or if you would like to recommend other things that could be removed, please leave a line or two in the thread. Feedback as always, is highly appreciated.

I decided to create this converter zip that deletes most non essential apks from the system partition, this is like my old Remove Sense zip that I did a while back on the EVO. This will work on any GB & ICS ROM

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

PhoenixLauncher

Ice Cream Sandwich has been a big hit with users, and many just can’t wait for ICS to land on their devices. Unfortunately, the waiting list is a pretty long one for devices that don’t have it already, and most are depending on the likes of CyanogenMod and leaks to get their fill of ICS.

XDA Recognized Developer andy572 has other plans, though, to help users get a taste of ICS in the form a launcher called PhoenixLauncher. This gives users on Gingerbread a chance to taste the ICS goodness without waiting for OEMs to release it. The launcher is for root users only, which is kind of unique as most aren’t. The reason behind it, according to the developer:

Otherwise you cant use widgets shown in the Application drawer. Its required because of a general
permission in the Android operating system, this can never be fixed by me!

The launcher comes in both free and paid versions. In the free version, you’re limited to 3 home screens and the dock bar of ICS along with some other fun features. It’s a little stripped down, but it definitely gives users the feel of ICS without actually having it. The installation method is also a little complicated, and requires users to put the .Apk in the in /system/app before using, otherwise it will cause problems.

For anyone who wants to try it out, you can find all the details, the installation method and screen shots in the original thread. Don’t forget to make a backup, just in case.

temproot

Normal development efforts around these parts tend to include hours upon hours of people trying to bypass securities added to our devices. The exploits found are normally turned into either temp or permanent roots for Android devices, and this happens to grant people with added functionality on their devices, the ability to run several apps that require root access, and much more.

However, as everything in life, there are trade-offs. For instance, there are some apps and services that will detect the root status of your device and deny your access to them based on it, like the blockbuster app or Google Video.If you feel that you simply cannot live without these but yet want to be able to keep using your device rooted without having to root and unroot back and forth, XDA member motodroidfreak has you covered. He just released an app that will essentially rename your SU binary, making you lose root access for whenever you feel like using the aforementioned services.

The good thing about this app is that it allows you to regain your root just as easily as you deprived yourself from it. The app works for most Android versions except for ICS (for now) since the dev cannot test it. So, if you can jump in and provide the dev with logs or anything that he may require to get this going on ICS, it would be much appreciated.

This app Renames the SU Binary So you basically loose root access till you rename it back within the app! 

You can find more information in the original thread. Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

satellite1

One of the biggest, most common problems with GPS receivers on mobile devices has been the fact that they tend to become buggy and as a result, they have difficulty getting satellite locks. This issue has plagued devices since the times of the venerable Vogue and the Polaris (both Windows Mobile devices for those of you who just got introduced to the world of smartphones). We all thought that as time went by, things would get better and for the most part, they did. There were devices last year that still did suffer from faulty GPS receivers or at least suffered from code problems and the Samsung Galaxy Captivate was one of them. XDA member mikel.canovas created a thread with a method that he found while browsing our fora that will consistently allow the GPS in the Captivate to get a lock on within 5 seconds, even being indoors!

The fix itself seems to work for every Gingerbread ROM out there, which is a great piece of news as you will not have to ask your favorite chef to make this tweak compatible with it. The mod itself is a modified gps.conf that replaces the original one found in  /system/etc/gps.conf. Mikel.canovas also suggests that changing modems to the KG3 also helps quite a bit if the above does not work.

Well, if you are still using the Captivate and suffer from these issues, this is your chance to put this matter to rest. Please take it for a spin and post your results and feedback in the thread.

Who this is for - anyone whose GPS has long lock times, and is inaccurate in navigation. 

You can find more information in the original thread.

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Thanks reinbeau for the tip!

samsungbeatsaudio

Not too long ago, we wrote about how Beats Audio was slapped onto the Motorola Photon 4G. Now it seems almost all smartphone users can enjoy the popular sound modification. Built upon previous work by XDA Forum Member RockoDev who originally ported the package, this modification now works on all Gingerbread devices and is distributed from a thread by XDA member fuss132. Yes, that’s right. As you may have assumed, Beats Audio on HTC phones has nothing to do with hardware; it’s just an advanced audio equalizer.

This is a Beats Audio Port and should work for all Gingerbread Roms. The sounds will be more natural, playing with more clarity.

Beats Audio has been an important part of HTC’s latest marketing strategy, and although some people are skeptical about any sound improvements, the following before/after images on a Samsung Galaxy SL cannot be denied:

  

The recovery-flashable update.zip can be found in the original thread for those who want to use Beats technology on their own devices. However, we still have to wait for the ultimate phone that features Motorola build quality, HTC aesthetics, and Samsung screens and internals.

Edit: All threads containing these files are removed as per request.

contest

We at XDA like the idea of development and sharing our God given gifts with the world, so that anyone can rip the benefits of having such wonderful and capable devices. From time to time, manufacturers and software makers will see this need from the customer base and will think of some way to foment development while catering to this very need. This is the reason why they see the dev communities as a vast sea of potential for their continued existence and innovation, which is why we tend to hear from industry leaders such as Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and HTC (to name a few) regarding events like this.

How would you like to win US$205,000.00 and worldwide recognition for making a good app? Interested yet? If so, read on. Samsung has just launched a contest open for any and all developers who reside in the United States, which consists of making an app (or enhancing an existing one) to bring in the functionality of their latest toy, the S Pen. The rules of the contest are rather straight forward, participants must use the S Pen SDK to integrate functionality into the app being submitted. Once submitted, the app will be judged on originality, overall feel, and usability on their new Galaxy Note. The best part is that the app will remain property of the developer who will be able to do as he/she pleases with it (ie. give it away for free, charge for it in the Market, etc.) Some mention of the S Pen capability must be included in the app’s description in the Market, but other than that, the requirements are rather simple.

Samsung invites software developers to create S Pen-integrated apps for Galaxy Note using the S Pen SDK. Winners will receive $205,000 in cash and prizes as well as promotional exposure and recognition in Samsung digital social media. Prizes will be awarded for the best overall apps and for category honorable mention awards in games, media, sports, social, lifestyle, travel, education, productivity, entertainment, and other. 

So, what are you waiting for? You can go to this site for more information, instructions on how to enter the contest, and more! And needless to say, if you have more specific questions, you can always ask our resident XDA Official Samsung Rep SamsungJohn via his Twitter account.

Have fun and happy devving!

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

XperiaPlayBoot

Anyone with on XDA will have undoubtedly gone through quite a few different ROMs in their respective devices. More often than not, this is partially due to us never being completely happy with a single one. It could be because the theme doesn’t necessarily appeal to us, or maybe a you need to use a ROM due to a certain feature, such as EPST on Sense ROMs. For this purpose, there is always the option of dual booting (assuming that your device can do it) What if you could just switch back and forth ROMs easily on your Xperia Play? Lets say that you are torn between rooted stock and AOSP but you really cannot make up your mind on which one to use daily. Well, thanks to the efforts of  XDA member KeiranFTW, you now have the ability to switch between two ROMs at your leisure. The dev has prepared a specialty kernel that will allow the device to have the option to dual boot from SD card.

The installation process is neatly laid out for anyone who can read and understand ADB commands, so missing out a step is really not an option unless you are not paying attention. As an added bonus, it seems that the EXT2 image that must be used after partitioning the SD card will give your device a nice I/O boost, which can be seen in Quadrant scores. All files, instructions, and requirements are in the OP, so please read it carefully.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the dev, please make sure that you leave them on the thread.

How to dualboot:
What you will need:
An SD Card
ADB
Fastboot
7zip or alternative(Archive manager on linux is good)
Notepad++(gedit is good)

You can find more information in the kernel thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Thanks Leraeniesh for the tip!

S2C

For many of us, having notifications on the top bar is an ultimate necessity for today’s Android. You can learn about things that go on in the background that may be automated such as Market updates to some apps, and other useful things such as getting notifications about e-mails, text, messages, missed calls, etc. However, there comes a point during your day where having 10 small icons on your top bar can become a bit of an eyesore. Among these notifications, you may have a few that you may want to keep handy as you intend attending to them at a later time but don’t want to go through each and every app to get rid of these notifications.

If this sounds like your case, then you will be happy to see what XDA member gruesomewolf has in stock for you. Slide to Clear will allow you to get rid of individual notifications in a flash by simply holding them and sliding them to the side of your screen. Something worth noting is that the mod itself is not compatible or included with other Tweak sets such as Leedroid (a compatible version can be found in the second post).

Installation is simple, just flash the provided zip through Recovery. However, if you have doubts or feedback, please let the dev know.

This mod will add Slide to Clear Notifications to your status bar. Anyone who has ran CM knows what Im talking about, for those that dont I have a little video.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Motorola Atrix 2

While it may not be Ice Cream Sandwich just yet, Motorola has released an official OTA update for the Atrix 2 that updates the OS to Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread and brings several improvements and bug fixes to this popular dual-core device.

The update includes:

  • Significant improvements and fixes to the camera app
  • Enhanced keyboard
  • Visual Voicemail (by AT&T)
  • Cloud syncing of text messages and call log (by AT&T)
  • Improvements to Wireless Hotspot and Webtop
  • Haptic feedback problems fixed
  • Decreased call ending lag
  • Significantly reduced RAM usage, improving performance
  • Possibly more…

As of now, a direct rooting method for this version isn’t available so by flashing it directly, you will lose root and will not be able to gain root till a method is churned out by the developers. However, there is a way to retain root when updating to 2.3.6 if you are already on rooted 2.3.5. The instructions for that can be found in this forum thread.

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