It feels as thought the quest for better GPS reception and faster GPS locks has been ongoing for a very long time. However, Android users can actually do something about it, as fixes and tweaks to improve GPS have been forthcoming on virtually every rooted Android plagued by GPS woes. While not strictly having any GPS issues to begin with, the HTC One S now joins the fray with a few tweaks to help improve GPS for users.
The tweak, originally seen on the Desire HD and One X, comes from XDA Senior Member MacroHD. It is available in the form of an easily recovery-flashable update.zip. Users who use this may not see an immediate improvement to their GPS, but MacroHD assures users that it is, in fact, faster. One S owners who want to attempt this should give that GPS Status app a try to help expedite the process. Otherwise, this looks like a nice, safe, and simple tweak to help GPS work more rapidly faster. The mod itself involves a variety of build.prop tweaks as well as gps.conf_V3 tweaks. In his words:
with the faster_gps_fix you may not see a faster result at first try. thats because your device have to redownload the a-gps data. so make sure you have a data connection.
you also can redownload the a-gps data manuall with a market app called GPS-Status for example.
HTC Sense 4.0 seems to be a love-it or hate-it affair for most users. For those who enjoy its take on the Android UI, it is now available for the Desire and Desire HD thanks to a couple of ported ROMs. Both ports are based on Android 4.0.3 and originally come from the HTC One V, which comes preloaded with HTC Sense 4.0. These releases will thus give you the latest Sense experience, if you are so inclined.
The port for Desire was made by Recognized Contributor shaky156. And even though it has a long way to go until it is usable as a daily driver ROM, it is an encouraging initial release. Earlier this year, we saw the Desire HD receive a Sense 3.6 ROM. However, this port is instead based on the newer Sense 4.0. Being that the Desire is over 2 years old, it’s great to see the latest Sense on it.
The Desire HD port was created by Senior Member HTC_Phone, who has made a lot of progress since his initial release, and has quite a bit working now. One thing worth noting on the Desire HD ROM is that it is Sense 4.0a ,which is the a version of Sense 4.0. This ROM is on the same path to being a completely functioning ROM and is already usable as a daily driver.
The current “not working” list for the two releases is as follows:
April 23, 2012 By: Former Writer
The trend over the last month or so on XDA has been getting a number of devices downgraded so they can get to a bootloader that can still be unlocked with S-Off. Those devices are, of course, almost all HTC devices ever since the release of HTCDev, which unlocks the bootloader while maintaining S-On. In the march of obtaining S-Off, a few devices have already had a contingency plan in place to get users down to a software version that can be properly hacked.
XDA Forum Member Setherio has been maintaining and updating a thread for nearly a year now that allows the HTC G2 and Desire Z, the HTC MyTouch 4G and the HTC Desire HD to be downgraded to Froyo in order to then update to a rooted Gingerbread ROM. The process is quite a long one, but that is to be expected when it serves as a guide for multiple devices. The process runs users through gaining temporary root, the entire downgrading procedure—including Fastboot downgrades—and then reminding users to not apply any large OTA updates to avoid being thrown back to unrooted Gingerbread and forcing them to start the process all over again.
As root methods for newer iterations of Android have been getting more and more difficult for HTC devices, any method that can bring full root should be looked at. As usual, be extremely careful when completing the steps, and make sure the steps you are following are indeed for your device.
For much more information, a plethora of download links, and even some troubleshooting help, head over to the original thread and let the downgrades continue!
This Week in Development, new comer Jordan covers all the exciting stories you need to know from the XDA-Developers forum. In addition to Android’s possibly inadvertent fail, he covers ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Note and HTC One X, and HTC One V ROMs being ported to the Desire S and Desire HD. Jordan mentions the addition of a forum for the HTC One V. Additionally, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler‘s CASUAL and Shelr articles are discussed. The strangely addictive Crazy Birds game and an Android VNC are covered, along with the accelerometer fix for the T-Mobile Galaxy SII
Check out the video below.
April 8, 2012 By: Former Writer
With the release of new Android devices, it is inevitable for their software to get ported to other devices from the same OEM. We’ve brought you some of this recently with the Xperia S UI being ported to various older Xperia devices. With every new generation coming out, it’s going to end up on an older generation device, one way or another.
For the HTC Desire S, that time is now. XDA Senior Member proxuser has ported over a ROM from one of HTC’s newest offerings, the HTC One V. While the ROM is still a work in progress, there is a lot of promise with the ROM currently. To begin with, the official list of what’s working is longer than what isn’t working, and that is always a great sign. To be more specific, what isn’t working currently is only:
So camera, hotspot and USB tethering. Considering what some devices go through with ports, that’s a phenomenal thing. With revision 3.3 only three weeks from release, it’s clear that proxuser is going to support this for quite some time.
The port for the HTC Desire HD is even closer to completion, as the same developer is working on the same port as well. For the time being, the only thing that isn’t working is the camera, so maybe getting hotspot and tethering fixed on that phone can bring some hope for Desire S users.
In any case, both of these ROMs are nearing completion, so Desire S and Desire HD users will soon be graced with the HTC One V goodies. Additional information, screen shots, a review video, change logs, feature list, credits and thank you list, and download links can be found in the Desire S and Desire HD threads.
When an XDA forum member goes off on a modding spree and makes a whole bunch of cool stuff, it’s always a good time for users looking to make their devices look cool and behave better. This is especially true when the mods are released simultaneously, and users can just browse the thread like kids in candy stores looking for their perfect combination of mods. XDA Senior Member rayford85 has released a number of modifications for those carrying the HTC Desire HD, specifically those running the CoreDroid ROM and gives users a good range of things to download and install.
The modifications consist of several notification bar tweaks, an icon pack, a themed battery mod, and a notification drop down mod that adds a transparent metal colored wood grain, while giving users the ability to change tracks by long pressing the volume buttons. The mods themselves are easy to install, and can be flashed via custom recovery. Additionally, rayford85 has set up his second post for users who want to add to the magic and so far include splash screens, HTC Sense Skins and 4ext themes.
For additional information on making your CoreDroid-enabled DHD even better, check out the modification thread for all the download links and links to other compatible mods. If you’re a developer, you can even submit your modifications to be added to the list.
The HTC One V’s similarities to its older brother, the Desire S, make it ideal for developers to port ROMs between the devices. XDA Forum Member proxuser has come up with an Android 4.0.3 ROM sporting HTC Sense 4.0 for the Desire S and also the Desire HD.
One would assume that this ROM could be much heavier and less stable than stock because it is built for a more powerful device, but the developer assures us that this is simply not the case. In fact, he conjectures that this is the fastest and most stable ROM for the two devices. However, the ROM isn’t quite flawless. Fortunately, the list of things that work is much longer than the things that don’t. Currently, the main issues are the camera, WiFi hotspot, and SD card mounting functions.
Overall, the ROM seems to be good enough for day-to-day use for most people. Visit the Desire HD and Desire S threads for all information and download or check out a hands-on video to see how it looks.
The billion dollar question right now in the Android world is whether or not your device will receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. As they so humorously put it:
Few innovations have improved upon ice cream as much putting it between two cookies and making a sandwich. Which is why we all want Ice Cream Sandwich! Ok, that’s not the real reason, but we’re all excited about Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, coming to HTC.
While there is constant speculation as to which devices will be added to the ICS list, not very many firm answers are to be found. Luckily, HTC has just released a public statement as to which devices are slated to receive Google’s latest tasty treat.
Timing is the next important question. HTC has spoken up on this issue as well, stating that the updates for the Sensation and Sensation XE would begin in the coming weeks, with the Sensation 4G andSensation following thereafter. However, the schedule still remains unclear for the other devices slated to receive the OS update.
As for timing, we’re in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE and upgrades will be more widely available in the next few weeks. The update for the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XL will follow. Please note, once we start pushing out updates it will take time for all carriers in each country to get the update. We are working closely with our carrier partners to nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.
While many of us are still irked at the fact that HTC’s first generation Snapdragon devices such as the original HTC Incredible and the legendary Evo 4G are not on the update list, their omission is understandable given that not even the HTC-built Google Nexus One is receiving ICS in official capacity. However, the fact that these devices will be receiving Sense 3.6 rather than Sense 4 is a bit of a bigger blow. However, you can bet that our developer community will have that covered, as they have already begun to do so.
Source: HTC Blog
[Thanks to all who sent in the tip!]
Vanilla Android, in the form of AOSP and AOSP-derived builds, is generally the first most devices see of a new Android version. While there are some fun ICS leaks for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S II with their manufacturer skin pre-installed, most devices still have to flash a CyanogenMod 9 or some other AOSP-derived build to get ICS.
For owners of the HTC Desire HD, there is now an additional option. In a collaborative effort from the teams that brought Desire HD owners BeatMod and Smartdroid, comes a Sense 3.6 Port that also happens to be Ice Cream Sandwich based. XDA Recognized Developer zFr3eak and XDA Senior Members memnoc, BiCh0n and XxXPachaXxX are all in on the project, and are working fervently to get the bugs out.
The ROM features are pretty basic as this is still in beta mode. Currently it’s just stock Sense 3.6 with Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 but it can be assumed that once all the kinks are worked out, more modifications to the ROM will come. The list of things that are currently working are:
SMS / MMS
And what still needs a little work:
So while it may not be ready for a daily driver level of use just yet, users can still flash it and check out the look and feel of Sense 3.6 with Ice Cream Sandwich.
Head on over to the original thread for more information, full feature list, change logs, screenshots and download links. As always, make a backup before flashing, just in case something goes wrong.
Sony has a couple of useful software enhancements that have found their way onto other devices. For instance, there are a plethora of ROMs being released with the Sony Bravia Engine integrated into them. Now, the Sony XLoud Engine is making its way around the bend. XDA Senior Member XxXPachaXxX has successfully ported the XLoud Engine for anyone who wants it on the HTC Desire HD.
The method is pretty run of the mill—drop a few files into some /system and some build.prop changes. Even so, be sure to carefully read the instructions and, as always, be sure to have a backup handy in case something does go wrong.
The developer has even been kind enough to put up the method for reversing the modification if something isn’t going quite as expected and includes only a few steps:
How To ROLLBACK to stock:
- DELETE ALL files, LISTED in FilePack.rar
- Erase lines for xLoud in Build.prop
- Put libaudioeffect_jni.so from your ROM to /system/lib/ (set permissions rw-r–r–)
- Full Reboot
For anyone looking to try out the Sony Xloud Engine on their Desire HD, you can find the full method, download links and even a flashable zip for those who don’t want to install it manually in the original thread.
February 10, 2012 By: Former Writer
Tools make the Android world go ’round. They bridge the gap between the creation of cool modifications and processes and the average user by taking what could be a complicated process and automating it. That makes it easy to use and highly useful.
The full feature list includes:
- Auto Update-Tool
- MUlti-language Support
- ROM Cleaner
- Android SDK installation (with auto-update PATH variable)
- GoldCard Tool
- Change Boot animation
- Change Splashscreen
- Check your getprop
- Install HBOOT drivers
- Radio S-OFF
- Reboot Mode
- Flash ENG HBOOT (S-OFF)
- Flash Recovery
- Auto Flash Radio Capability (All radios are stocked in a private server) Compatibility “Desire, Desire HD & Incredible S”
- SIM UnLock
- Change CID
- Set Super CID
- Install APK Packages
- Auto Detection Capability
- Auto Downgrade Capability
- Auto Logging for debug
Of course, there’s some pre-requisites before using the tool, including:
- HTC Sync installed
- Enable USB Debugging.
- Disable Fast Boot.
- Enable Unknown Sources in Application Settings.
- Connect Device in ‘Charge Only’ mode.
After that, the tool will work for you with all of it’s uses and features.
If this seems like a tool you should be using, then you can find the full feature list, full change log, screen shots, downloads and instructions in the tool’s original thread. As per the norm, make sure you perform a backup before using, just in case something goes wrong.
January 10, 2012 By: liwen
HTC has updated its bootloader unlock database with a few more devices, this time the Desire HD and additional Desire and Wildfire models.
Of course, HTC announced two weeks ago that all phones launched after September 2011 are unlock-able, and seems to be making pretty good progress on older models as well. The Desire, Wildfire, Wildfire S and two more devices were added just a few days ago.
So, keep it up, HTC, and Motorola better follow along.
December 8, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
Up, up, down, down, menu, back, power. Sound familiar? If you’ve ever used a standard Android recovery, I’m sure it does. Why is it that accessing the recovery partition on a modern, touch-screen device feels a little like entering the Konami code? Thanks to 4EXT Recovery Touch by XDA forum member madmaxx82, this is no longer the case for the HTC Sensation, Desire S, Incredible S / 2, Desire HD / Inspire 4G, and Desire Z /G2.
Making full use of the your touchscreen, EXT4 Recovery Touch allows you to accomplish all the typical Android recovery fare in a touch-friendly manner. Additionally, the recovery is extremely themeable, meaning that you can customize the recovery to your heart’s delight. If that’s not enough, the recovery even detects and displays your local time. Those concerned about performance needn’t worry, as the developer assures us that speed is unhindered due to the asynchronous UI rendering and a low overhead. The feature list, according to the developer:
- includes all of the many features from 4EXT Recovery Classic, see 2nd post
- brand new user interface: “4EXT UI”
- touchscreen only!
- extreme theming capabilities!
- nearly ALL YOU SEE is changeable.
- “worker bar”: create your own custom animations, there are (nearly) no limits! Use any shapes/sizes/animations et.c.
- extra low cpu needed for that: absolutely no negative impact on backup/restore speed.
- async UI rendering for optimal performance for the “heavy tasks” like backup/restore
- based upon the extremely, rock solid version 4EXT Recovery Classic v2.2.7 RC5
- with little enhancements: “preserve theme” now works
- Detects your local time zone
- Displays your local time
- Correct time is used for backups you start from within recovery
- .. explore the new interface to see more
Looking to get in on the action? Just head over to the appropriate recovery threads to get started:
[Thanks to Whiskey103 for the heads up!]