November 7, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
Do you remember all the way back to Android 2.1 Eclair? Yes? Maybe? It was released back in January 2010—almost 4 years ago. The Motorola Defy shipped with that OS. And now, years later, the Defy received a fresh build of KitKat, making it one of the first devices with just 512 megabytes of RAM to get the OS up and running.
XDA Recognized Developer Quarx did it again. He is the main developer for almost all new version of Android since Gingerbread on that device. The available build is CyanogenMod 11, but a more pure AOSP version will be released soon as well. The current build is described as alpha, and is not intended for daily usage. However, Quarx is working hard to fix things. And according to his changelog, the next build will have working camera, video playback and recording, radio functionality, and more. Essentially, the only things missing will be WiFi and Bluetooth. That’s very impressive, considering how most devices from that vintage are already resting in peace. Some devices just refuse to go to retirement, all thanks to the devs here on XDA!
If you are the owner of Motorola Defy or Defy+ and are not afraid to test the newest Android on your device, head over to the ROM thread to get started.
[Thanks to TK for the tip!]
The Motorola Defy is not only impervious to water, sand, and good old fashioned brute force (within reason obviously), but it is also apparently not the slightest bit phased by Motorola’s own unwillingness to keep the updates coming. When the device isn’t scuba diving or spelunking, chances are that it’s kicking back and enjoying one of the latest versions of Android, all the way up to 4.2 in the form of an unofficial version of CM10.1 thanks to XDA Recognised Developer Quarx.
Now this is very much an alpha version and really not suitable for daily use. However, it certainly proves that 4.2 isn’t out for the question for this plucky little device. You’ll be able to boot up and swipe around, make calls and send texts. A lot of the basic functionality is there. However, there are obviously going to be quite a few bugs, and some of them are fairly annoying. You may find your SD card not recognized, WiFi needs to be connected manually, camera/video recording is not fully functional, and neither are the device’s USB capabilities. All in all though, a promising start for 4.2 on the Defy
If you would like to try this version of CM10.1 for yourself, check out the original development thread for more info.
October 17, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
Despite being somewhat abandoned by Motorola as far as official updates are concerned, the Motorola Defy & Defy+ are refusing to accept that the latest versions of Android are out of the question. Having recently received an unofficial version of CM10 based on Android 4.1.2 thanks to XDA Recognized Developer Quarx, these devices continue to defiantly (see what I did there?) push the limits of what they are capable of.
As you might expect, this build is still in quite an early stage. There might be bugs, and it may not be suitable for use as a daily driver quite yet. That said, the general feedback within the development thread seems to be very good, without any deal breaking issues being reported so far. The build includes its own custom kernel, the (love it or hate it) CRT screen off animation, and a patch for the flashlight function.
Zips are flashable via recovery of choice as you might expect, and both the Defy and Defy+ use the same ROM. So if you’re itching for the latest and greatest on your Defy/Defy+ then check out the development thread for more info.
Update: The good feedback for this ROM continues to roll in and it seems that my comment about possibly not being suitable for use as a daily driver is inaccurate. Stability, you can haz it.
Keeping applications in memory can serve various potential uses. While aggressive RAM conservation may benefit the user experience when opening very large apps, users typically see the best performance and battery life by having frequently used apps in RAM. While it’s not possible to put all of your applications in memory, keeping the go-to applications like the dialer, contacts, SMS app, etc can make the menial tasks of the day much faster. For Motorola Defy users, there is now both an easy way and a hard way to get this accomplished.
The easy method was posted by XDA Senior Member kanpurite, and the hard way was posted by Senior Member espaciosalter20. Both methods work equally well, and users can choose whichever one suits their needs best. The easy way is for users who just want a few apps to perform a little better. In contrast, the hard way is for users who want to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.
The easy method involves creating a local.prop in /data and writing in a line for each application you want left in memory. By far the more interesting technique is the difficult way. It involves extracting and modifying the services.jar and manually modding it to leave the apps open in memory. No matter which way you choose, you’ll have your apps stored in memory.
The Motorola Defy: a phone that, much as its name suggests, should be able to withstand elemental rage. When it came out last year, lots of blogs and websites showed how the Defy was impervious to submersion by dumping it in a cup of water. This resulted in the feeling of complete and absolute immunity, with many touting the device as “immortal.” However, as with most “immortal” characters of virtually every story, there is always something to which they are vulnerable.
In the case of mobile devices. and in particular that of the Defy, the Achilles’ Heel is the flashing custom ROMs. It is really no surprise that this is the case, as many Motorola devices have had a set of complications when it comes to flashing unsigned code. If you happened to hit the “weak spot” by mistake and bricked your device while trying to flash it, XDA Forum Member rtk217 has a guide to bring it back from the dead.
The guide goes into very minute detail as to what you need to flash, and in what order. The dev has provided tons of resources as well such as direct links to the files needed, alternatives to options that may require extra hardware, and a lot more. Needless to say, a device can be bricked for a multitude of reasons, and the level of bricking could range from partial to completely unrecoverable. All in all, this may or may not work for you based on your actual situation, but if you are already bricked without a clue as to what to do, you really have nothing to lose. What are you going to do? Brick it more?
Having said this, please do proceed with care and read the entire guide before attempting to get started. Make sure that all the files were downloaded successfully by checking the md5sum against the download source to ensure that you are not trying to flash corrupted files onto your boot partitions. Leave some feedback for the dev if this guide helped you in any way.
I tryed to flash custom 2.3.6 fixed sbf.
which didnt end well, after powerup i would go straight to bootloader with err codes.
You can find more information in the guide thread.
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Jelly Bean seems to be on everyone’s mind, as of late. The latest and greatest to come out of Google’s sweet treat factory is ravaging the site with its popularity and feature-packed nature. As such, ports are flying left, right, and center onto most devices (old and new) on the site. However, as is the case with most new OS versions, there are also complications and issues that need to be overcome in order to make the best out of the new release.
One of the bugs (not really a bug per se) that has plagued a few devices, including the Motorola Defy, is the fact that logcat apps are blocked by the OS itself, as Google seems to have added an extra set of permissions that these apps do not normally need in order to function. This is particularly important for ROM devs and people who need to know exactly what went wrong and what triggered it.
XDA Forum Member rtk217 found a simple way of granting said permissions via terminal emulator. Needless to say, your device must be rooted to do this, since you will be requesting superuser permissions through the terminal. This is a permission issue, which means that if you use more than one application for logging purposes, you will need to repeat the process for every app. The system must grant the app the required permission to work.
Please take this for a spin and get your apps working again. After all, we all need to provide a logcat from time to time.
so as you may noticed catlog /logcat/ alogcat and such are not working properly or at all.
that is because google added a new permission request from programs which they dont usually request.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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[Thanks WhammyDroid for the tip!]
For those unfamiliar, Boot to Gecko (B2G for short) is a mobile operating system currently being developed by Mozilla. According to Mozilla, the purpose of the OS is as follows:
We believe that the next frontier for Web applications is full device integration, so that Web developers have the same capabilities as those building for OS-specific stacks. Boot To Gecko is intended to identify those missing device capabilities and other application needs, and design standardized solutions for app developers to use.
What that translates to is more options for mobile users in terms of what kind of operating system they choose to run. There may come a time when there are devices capable of running Boot 2 Gecko, Android, and the newly open sourced webOS. The winners in all this are the end users and developers, who will have more stuff to play with than ever before.
Earlier this year, we brought you news of B2G being ported to the Samsung Galaxy S II. Afterward, it kind of disappeared for awhile. It’s back again, this time on the Motorola Defy. Posted by XDA Recognized Contributor m11kkaa, the ROM is still pretty rough. It is booting, and the touchscreen and sound work. Unfortunately, those are the only things that work.
This ROM isn’t usable as a daily driver, and likely won’t be for quite some time. However, the bugs are being worked out, as development continues and more developers get interested in the project. It may only be a matter of time before Defy users have fully functioning B2G on their devices. For more info, check out the original thread.
August 3, 2012 By: Former Writer
Often times when upgrading between different versions of Android, especially if done unofficially, the manufacturer-provided apps fall behind and retain last year’s designs. While this isn’t a huge deal, as they will generally function perfectly, opening up an application on ICS or Jelly Bean and seeing an app with Gingerbread styling can really mess with a device’s feng shui. For the Motorola Defy, which recently received an unofficial update to Jelly Bean, the apps that can be ported to it are still themed for Gingerbread.
Rather than commit digital fashion suicide, XDA Senior Member royale1223, along with a number of other members, have given the FM Radio app a makeover to make it look better with the new Holo theme. Of course, the looks weren’t the only thing changed. The code has also been updated to make the app work more like a Jelly Bean app. As royale1223 explains:
Two weeks ago maniac103 decompiled the MotoFM radio from GB. You all know the Moto FM Radio. The UI is ugly. It won’t look good in JB. So I decided to give her a makeover. The coding part is almost done. Since I suck bigtime in drawing It’s time for tha community to give something back. I know there are some real talented designers here.
While that states that app is almost done, the modified application has actually been released. Starting out as a red, blocky application, it has gained a new, sleek blue/silver look and has been made to work better with Jelly Bean. If there had been before and after pictures, they could’ve done an infomercial.
For more info, check out the original thread.
Among the newest devices to receive Jelly Bean include the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide, Motorola Defy, and the HTC Desire HD. These devices are all a little older than some would expect to be receiving ports. But if the HTC HD2 can get it, newer devices should be able to as well.
The MyTouch 4G Slide Jelly Bean ROM was developed by XDA Senior Member xmc wildchild22 and is built from source. XDA Senior Member Quarx is responsible for the Motorola Defy ROM, and XDA Recognized Developer randomblame (also responsible for the Iconia A500 JB ROM) brought Jelly Bean to the Desire HD.
For all three ROMs, there’s a comprehensive list of things working and not working. For the MyTouch 4G Slide, here’s what isn’t working:
onscreen keyboard (I have to wait for the patches form CM for our hard keyboard phones)
For the Desire HD, which has a much shorter list:
mic – works in calls but crashes apps
audio routing – in phone calls audio comes out the rear speaker and when headset is plugged in audio comes out of both headset and speakers
There isn’t a running list of what’s not working on the Motorola Defy, but there is a list of things that are working:
Audio (thanks to maniac103)
For the MyTouch 4G Slide a
nd the Motorola Defy, the list of things not working is still pretty long—so they cannot yet be considered daily drivers. They are stable enough to try out, however, to see what Jelly Bean is all about. The Desire HD ROM, on the other hand, seems to be a bit more suitable for every day usage.
For additional information, download links, and more, click the corresponding link below:
Update: Between the time of writing and publishing, the Defy port has made incredible progress, now even featuring hardware acceleration. It is now suitable to many as a daily driver.
July 8, 2012 By: FallenWriter
Motorola has a long history of locking down their Android devices in order to prevent customization. From the eFUSE debacle surrounding the original Droid X to their general lack of interest in listening to the developer community, they have proven time and again their willingness to bite the hand that feeds them. Regardless of this, many users have a preference for the high level of hardware build quality provided by their Motorola overlords, and as such continue to purchase the locked down devices.
However, thanks to the efforts of XDA Recognized Developer kabaldan, locked down Motorola devices like the Milestone and the Defy can now enjoy fully functional hardware acceleration.
What is Hardware Acceleration?
Hardware acceleration for Android is (in the most basic of terms) the use of the GPU to aid in the drawing operations done by a given application or view. Aside from allowing the CPU and GPU to work simultaneously, this also allows the drawing operations to be done on much more specialized and efficient hardware for the task. This results in a better overall user experience.
The downside to this, which we covered previously, is the increased memory usage associated with hardware acceleration. Each individual process that is fully rendered by the GPU adds to overall memory footprint used by the system. This means that older devices with already limited capacity may suffer performance issues in certain tasks. With newer devices like the Galaxy SIII, this is less of a problem.
Thanks for the Info, but OEM’s Already Include this Awesome Feature. Don’t They?
The answer to that question is multifaceted. On one hand you have devices like the Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, and Samsung Galaxy SIII that have tons of RAM, processing power, and the most up to date versions of the Android operating systems built into them from the factory. Older devices though, like the Motorola Milestone and Defy have been left out in the cold, to suffer without any future support from OEM’s. To make matters worse, Motorola in its infinite wisdom decided to sign the boot and recovery partition for the majority of their devices and prevent anyone from being able to replace them. This greatly crippled development of those devices, as custom ROM’s and recoveries are the cornerstone of development.
As time passed, a workaround was created that allowed custom ROMs like CM9 to be loaded onto locked devices, at the cost of hard bricking your device if done improperly. Full hardware acceleration though was one of the last issues that needed to be solved. Thanks to his clever workaround, kabaldan was able to come up with a method that should work for any locked down Motorola device.
Where’s the Link, Darn it? You Write Too Much!
Kabaldan is already hard at work including the newest drivers into his latest CM9 Milestone build here, while XDA Senior Member Epsylon3 already has it built into his CM9 build for the Motorola Defy here. So rejoice Motorola users, sticking it to the man has never made your device run so smooth.
May 14, 2012 By: The-Captain
Many may be unfamiliar with the Motorola Defy and its slightly upgraded sibling, the Defy+. Unfortunately, their state of development has somewhat reflected this, as Motorola’s dust- and water-resistant smartphone has mainly seen development work in the form of Android 2.2 and 2.3 releases.
However, the Defy has finally received a nearly fully functional dose of Ice Cream Sandwich thanks to Senior Member Epsylon3 who has made significant progress and does not have far to go before it is completely functional. According to Epsylon3, the list of things that are broken on the Defy include:
Those on the Defy+ will also suffer from a buggy hardware accelerated UI. However, these aren’t that big of a deal considering phone, text messaging, themes, regular camera, and pretty much everything else works. One thing worth noting is that the Android 4.0.4 ROM uses an Android 2.2 kernel.
Want to keep up with the latest progress? Head over to the original thread or check the XDA Wiki page dedicated to the ICS status of the Motorola Defy. But if you have been waiting for a stable ICS rom to put on your Defy, now is defiantly a good time to do it.
Multi-boot has been around for quite some time now, and is something we would like to see more of. Multi-booting can have a number of fun and even functional uses, such as having a ROM for gaming and a ROM for business, or even using one ROM for your secret family and one ROM for your real family so you don’t get mixed up. In any case, multi-booting is here and for users of the Motorola Defy, it’s only getting easier.
XDA Senior Member royale1223 has released a version of an application called MultiBoot for the Defy, which allows users not only to boot into multiple installments of Android, but provides an easy to use management GUI that helps users keep track of what’s what.
While the program is extremely helpful, it is not all fun and games when using it for the first time. The developer takes users through the steps of using it, including creating Ext3 data files, and then using the Multi Boot Manager application to install various iterations of Android. As this is a work in progress (albeit a relatively stable one), there are still some bugs and some things that may not work quite right just yet. With that in mind, the developer urges users to make a full backup, both Nandroid and full SD card backups before using.
You can find additional information, the full instructions, screen shots, explanations and a very nice thank-you list in the development thread.
February 15, 2012 By: Former Writer
One of the things most rooted users who use custom ROMs can often take for granted is the Reboot option in the power menu. How often have users gone to that highly convenient option when something isn’t working quite right and a reboot is needed to fix the problem? The answer is, most likely, a whole bunch.
Users carrying around the Motorola Defy can now share in the Reboot functionality with a relatively simple modification. XDA Senior Member spear1304 has released a tutorial method that will take users of the Defy through a step by step process to add the Reboot to their power menus.
The mod itself is a tad complicated, as it features some apk modification and smali editing along with a little build.prop editing. However, spear1304 has been kind enough to post exactly what edits need to be made so users aren’t going into the endeavor blind. Spear1304 has also suggested that everyone use Notepad++ to edit the code, as using most stock OS notepads can cause issues with the code working.
If you’re a Moto Defy user and you’re looking for a little bit of a challenge or just want the Reboot option without flashing additional modifications, you can find download links, instructions and the whole step-by-step tutorial in the original thread. Don’t forget to make a backup of any file you edit, just in case something goes wrong.