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Posts Tagged: HTC Blue Angel

BA SDHC

As seen in the not too distant past, the legendary HTC Blue Angel is still alive and kicking despite the demise of a few of its relatives. The most recent developments on the device include the port of 2.3.7 GB, thanks to the efforts of XDA Recognized Developer d-two. Since then, the port has undergone a massive number of improvements and fixes, which make it almost usable as a daily driver. Such fixes include WiFi, phone and SMS, sound, a more responsive UI, working keyboard (no backlight though), and much more. While most fixes are being rolled into more general releases as opposed to nighties, the few owners of Blue Angels left eagerly await the release of the updated ports. To keep the excitement going, d-two has provided teaser screenshots and videos of a working CWM recovery on the BA!

Having said that, none of the above actually matches his latest achievement. One of the device’s major limitations and ultimately a problem that made lots of people leave the device high and dry was the fact that SDHC cards have never, ever worked on the Blue Angel due to what was believed to be a matter of hardware being incompatible. Just a few days ago, the dev surprised the few of us left by releasing a screenshot of his port, showing the available storage memory as 13 GB on the SD card, which could only mean that he somehow managed to get the device to read the cards. He then proceeded to explain that the issue seemed to be not on the hardware side of the device but on the bootloader. Those who own or have owned this device at one point should be jumping in awe right now.

As stated, this is a work-in-progress. As such, many of the aforementioned improvements are unreleased, but well documented via video and screenshots. Please take a quick look at the progress and take the current port for a spin if you want to see how far it has gotten, and to salivate on the thought of how much further it can go.

Not working
-Camera (at the moment no driver available)
-Suspend/Resume (problem with wakeup)

You can find more information in the original thread.

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BAndroid

Well, they said it couldn’t be done, that the hardware would never take it. However, challenges like these are what has kept XDA-Developers alive all these years, and with it, some devices as well. The mythical HTC Blue Angel, the first ever device to receive a WM5, WM6, and WM6.1 port, and the first ever device spotted running Android 1.0 has been granted the ability to run Android once again, but this time, a much more robust and newer build. XDA Recognized Developer d-two has successfully ported and released the first alpha version of Gingerbread 2.3.6 for the BA.

As stated, the port is in alpha state and as such has quite a few bugs, but not bad for an initial release. The device does have a working touchscreen, SD Card, BT, hardware buttons, and it even has hardware acceleration, which makes it far less laggy than it would otherwise be. On top of that, d-two just released a new kernel with enabled ADB, which could potentially allow you to push files into the device. The device still has quite a few issues such as lack of a working phone, it cannot read the state of the battery, has no data, and if it sleeps it does not wake up. However, the dev is aware of all these issues and more and is working on this project tirelessly.

If you still happen to have a Blue Angel and would like to take this for a spin, please do so as to breath new life onto this dying giant. Whoever said vintage is a thing of the past? In any case, please leave your thoughts in the thread.

Not working
-Battery
-Phone

You can find more information in the original thread.

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IMAG1115

Just to show that the fact that a device may be old does not mean it is dead, we have some interesting news for Blue Angel owners. I know it is likely a known trick as this comes from the HTC Mega, but XDA member zainuintel made a thread where he provides step by step instructions on how to run one of the most popular games in mobile device history on one of the best and most robust devices in HTC’s history: Angry Birds on the HTC Blue Angel. The best part is that you do not even need Android to do this as it is a java emulated version. You will be required to use some sort of a java player on your device such as JBlend, which happens to be the one that is recommended by the OP. According to zainuintel, the app should be compatible with most QVGA devices running Windows Mobile. So, if you still have your old device(s) laying around and want to take them for a spin, for old times’ sake, certainly give this one a go.

Please leave some feedback in the thread if you do decide to try it out.

Angry Birds on BA

YES! i have figured a way on how to play Angry birds on this device!

You can find more information in the original thread.

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BA Android

Long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, there was once a device spotted in the wild, running Google’s attempt to enter into the mobile platform world. This device, praised as one of HTC’s best devices ever released at the time, was running an emulated version of a new operating system called Android. This device was the HTC Blue Angel. Long left for dead, but not forgotten by many (including yours truly), some development has still prospered even though people have moved on to bigger and better things (no, we don’t mean tablets). After several years in hiatus, this project was picked up again by one of the only remaining devs for the Blue Angel, XDA member d-two. While doing a parallel development for a multi-language WM6.5.5 rom, which is almost complete in its fifth incarnation (RC5), the dev has been working tirelessly into getting one of Android’s latest versions to work on this device. The dev has not posted any download links just yet, but there is a video showing that this indeed is the real thing, booting from HaReT into AOSP’s lockscreen. The dev is also working on what seems to be a NAND boot, for which he posted a video.

If you know anything about kernel porting and development for WM devices, please be sure to stop by the thread and leave some feedback or suggestions to help the dev make this into a fully functional port.

Kernel 2.6.36

Working

  • Buttons
  • ASIC3
  • Theoretical WIFI 
  • Bluetooth
  • IRDA

You can find more information in the development thread.

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Blue Angel

On this series of articles, we will be talking about the Legacy devices, those early times great smartphones that marked the first steps and bases of the actual models. All Legacy Devices will be covered on the same order as threads are placed on XDA-Developers section.

Enter the Angel – hTC Blue Angel

This week we will talk about the powerhouse known as the hTC Blue Angel. Towards the end of 2004, hTC was enjoying the success of its innovative Wallaby, a mildly powerful device that provided some specs of the most commonly used PDAs, while giving the opportunity of using the device as a mobile phone. Other manufacturers were beginning to get into this game as well, including HP with its ipaq 6300 series. This device far surpassed the capabilities of the Wallaby as it came equipped with extras such as Bluetooth, Wifi, a camera, and even a detachable keyboard (just like the Wallaby). This was a wake up call for hTC, and they came up with a whole new concept, which actually bled down into the whole mobile industry. Right around December of that year, hTC released the hTC Blue Angel, which was a technological wonder packed with some of the following specs:

  • 400 MHz Intel XScale Processor PXA263
  • 128 MB RAM and 32 MB of ROM
  • 64 MB of ROM
  • SD Card Slot for non-SDHC cards (up to 4 GB)
  • 802.11 b Wifi
  • Bluetooth 1.1
  • GPRS capable
  • 0.3 MP camera
  • Slide Out QWERTY keyboard
  • QVGA TFT screen
  • and more…

It wasn’t just a matter of the specs being fantastic (even in comparison to some of the much more recent devices, the specs can be considered quite high), but the overall feel and functionality of the Blue Angel was as smooth as a device running WM 2003 SE would ever get. The device was released world wide to a whole bunch of different carriers, and the Blue Angel itself had a little brother for countries with CDMA networks, called the hTC Harrier. Moreover, there were variants of the device like the Siemens SX66, which came with no camera and was sold under Cingular Wireless in the US. Needless to say, the fact that the devices were carrier driven, a lot of features were locked, and tons of memory (rather scarce) was used by carrier apps. This was enough motivation for people to try and unlock the device to get rid of all the unneeded programs. In the process  of removing these apps, a few things were discovered:

  • Carriers had a reserved partition of the storage, safe from hard reset effects, where they stored all their cabs. This is why the specs call for 64 MB but only 42 MB accessible. This was known as the ExtRom.
  • Removing the apps and unlocking said ExtRom allowed the user to have access to the full 64 MB of storage.

Unfortunately, this device was not cheap, but boy did it pack a punch. The battery life on this device was astounding with a 1490 mAh battery pack. Extended packs were available (between 2400 mAh to even 3200 mAh), and this could allow a BA to survive for over a week without charging it (with moderate use). The major flaw was probably the fact that the stylus holder was not properly designed and as such, it would constantly fall off its socket.

At this point you are probably thinking, “looks like a nice device and all, but why all the fuzz?“. The Blue Angel was the first device to ever have had a version of WM ported to it with both Microsoft and hTC claiming that it couldn’t be done. By 2005/2006, the dawn of Magneto (code name for WM 5) was imminent, and our devs were running all over the world trying to get system dumps from demo devices equipped with this OS. It was finally done, and a few months later, we saw the birth of WM5 in a device not designed for it. After many rom revisions, fixes, troubleshooting, and intense testing by all of the community, WM5 finally became usable. Shortly after, Microsoft came up with WM 6.0, which was also ported first to the Blue Angel. The same story repeated for 6.1 and 6.5 as well and with them, also came finger friendly functionality.

You want to talk about versatility? The Blue Angel has full Linux based mobile OS systems capable of running on it (Openmoko, QTopia, and a few others).  To top things off, did you know that the first leaked video and screenshots of Android were taken out of a Blue Angel? Yup, the BA can run it, but since very little to no development was done to it, most drivers are missing.

To sum things up, the Blue Angel became the standard out of which many features for mobile devices were brought to the devices we use today. And even till this day, there are some people who still cook for the Blue Angel (which is a lost art… rather different from cooking for newer devices). If you own an Blue Angel or are curious about some of the roms, capabilities, or even more in the Blue Angel’s story, check out the device forums.

SD Card Buying Guide

October 25, 2010   By:

SD class

The debate on what SD card is better/compatible has been a non-issue for most newer devices, but there is a huge market worldwide that still rely on these older devices as the latest and greatest is either not their cup of tea or it is simply too far out of reach budget-wise. On top of that, memory card manufacturers have made it unclear enough to confuse many non-technical end users and possibly deceiving them into thinking that they are getting something that will either end up not working or flat out don’t need. With such philosophy in mind, XDA member Chef_Tony has put a guide together in the Blue Angel section to help people choose what they need. You may be wondering, why is this in the Blue Angel area? The answer is very simple. One of the biggest downfalls of the BA (among other old devices) is that they appeared during or before the development of SDHC cards, which means that most high capacity cards (most 4 GB and larger cards with a few exceptions) will not be recognized by quite a few devices, the Blue Angel being one of them. There have been a few fixes for several devices over the years, but only a few devices saw a positive reaction come out of them.

In either case, the guide also goes very well into detail as to what the nomenclature of each card actually means (some with multiplier numbers like CD and others known as “Class II, III” and so on. So, if you ever look at 8 GB cards, one Class 2 and a Class 4 and try to figure out why they differ in price by almost a third, when you read the specs in this guide, you will learn to understand why. As Chef_Tony was not going for advertising bucks, he left brand comparisons out of the picture on this wonderful guide. This way, you will be able to make your decisions based on facts and not based on branding.

While the guide only discusses regular SD cards, this will hold true for all other SD variants (micro and mini), and will also apply for other types of flash memory too (Pro/Duo, CF, etc). Lastly, the guide also will give you tips on how to get the best out of your card and also to avoid any potential security risks you may face upon getting a brand new card (yes, really… with a brand new card).

The guide is not too long but goes straight to the point. It can be found here. A big thanks goes to Chef_Tony for taking the time of putting this together.

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