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.
February 13, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
Since HP announced the release of the webOS source code, the recently abandoned operating system has grown a rather loyal following. Progress has been made in homebrew development and in custom builds for webOS native devices. Many forum members have been clamoring for a port of webOS to Android devices for several months now. Initial ports were expected to appear for the Motorola Droid or its GSM counterpart, the Milestone, since the devices share the same OMAP3 3430 processor with the Palm Pre (the very first native webOS device).
Recently an HTC EVO 3D was spotted running a build of webOS 3.0, the version that came with the notorious HP TouchPad. Originally posted by Ryan Hope (@_puffthemagic_) on Twitter, the 3 still images of webOS running have now been supplemented with a YouTube video that can be found here. While not functional enough for actual use, the operating system boots without issue. Ryan originally started work on the port before HP released the source code for webOS. With the release of both the Android kernel and the full webOS source porting progress can only move forward from here. Could this mean widespread availability of webOS ports on Android devices soon? Depending on interest level and developer involvement, it is a possibility!
It is not usual for us to write about roms, but in this case, it looks like Gingerbread just hit a Milestone (pun very much intended). We have seen a lot of devices jumping into the Gingerbread bandwagon, leaving behind a fully stable version of Froyo for those not ready to make the switch. For those of you adventurous enough, it seems that the latest device to be graced with a working rom of Android 2.3 is the Motorola Milestone. XDA member edgardcastro brings us this brand new rom based on AOSP. As this is a first release, there is still quite a bit of active development going on with this rom, so you may encounter bugs and some instability. So far, the only thing that is reportedly not working is the GPS, which is a common occurrence for most initial ports of Android.
Again, this is a first release and by no means is this a finished product. So, if you have any constructive feedback for the dev, please share it.
This is a STRICTLY AOSP Gingerbread build for the Motorola Milestone.
Please understand that this is the FIRST usable build of Gingerbread and therefore there’s a LOT to be done to make it work as expected. Memory tuning, performance tuning and so on will be done in the next releases. Things might break or maybe everything will work perfectly for you. Let’s see how it goes.
You can find more information in the rom thread.
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October 22, 2010 By: ElCondor
Many reviewers have been positive about the changes HTC made to its custom Android UI, HTC Sense. Especially the htcsense.com service, which offers many features to keep track of your lost or stolen phone, is well received. However, because HTC doesn’t update its older phones to have this new version of Sense – which is a bit odd in our opinion – you will have to buy either the Desire Z (Vision) or the Desire HD (Ace, we will be calling these devices by those names in this article). To solve this, some developers ported the ROM from one of those device to other phones. This means that you can enjoy all the goodies of the Sense HD on your own phone!
To make it easy for you, we’ve created a list which includes all Sense HD ROMs, sorted by device. We also added a short description of every ROM, so you can almost immediately see whether that ROM fits your needs! In future, you can expect more of these posts on the XDA portal, but more about that later. Keep in mind that all the ROMs listed below are running Froyo, and that they are all not completely stable, the camera and with some ROMs, Bluetooth won’t work. Please follow all instructions that are given by the developer strictly to prevent damage.
MotoFroyoSense | Offers not only Sense HD, but also some nice features from MotoFrenzy. These features are basically hardware keyboard enhancements, such as shortcut keys. XDA member Dexter_nlb also included a special patch which overclocks the phone if wanted. Source: Ace. Visit thread.
The developers are still trying to find out a way to port the Vision ROM to the T-Mobile G2. We thought it shouldn’t be that hard, considering the identical specifications of both phones, but it seems more difficult than first thought. We’ll keep you updated when it comes out though.
IncDoes | XDA member IncredibleDoes offers two flavours of his port: one is the Vision port, and the other is the Ace version. These are completely ported ROMs, so everything will be the same as the Vision/Ace.
Visit threads: Vision | Ace
SkyRaider Sense | This is not a complete ROM port, but rather a hybrid of various UI elements from various phones. XDA member ihtfp69 implemented some parts of the Ace UI, for example the Skins feature and the application history in the notification area. Source: Ace. Visit the thread.
The HTC EVO is known for its capability of 4G networking, but unfortunately, the Vision and Ace aren’t.
JT_ROM DesireZ EVO | This ROM by XDA member jdeloach is based on the Incredible’s IncDoes ROM port, and thus offers the full Sense HD experience on your EVO. Source: Vision. Visit thread.
RCMixHD | Considered to be a reliable ROM featuring complete Sense HD experience. XDA member Robocik frequently updates the ROM with new fixes and enhancements. He also included some nice videos to the thread, so you can see whether you like it or not. Source: Ace. Visit thread.
AuraxTSenseH | Based on the Ace port by ownhere, this ROM offers a great experience with many features, like an app which enables you to adjust the CPU frequency, a theme and many more. Created by XDA member NeoPhyTe.x360. Visit thread.
These are all the ROMs on XDA containg Sense HD. Is your phone not listed? It is always possible that new builds appear for other devices too, so we recommend you check the development forum of your phone frequently.
XDA ROM Report is a weekly article about the very core of XDA: ROMs. If you have any suggestions of ideas for new articles, you can contact me or any other news writer. If you like this article, please let us know in the comment section below! Also, if there are any errors, or any mistakes in the content of this post, feel free to let us know.
September 19, 2010 By: ElCondor
Yesterday, we talked about the ROM leak of the HTC Desire HD, or internally called the HTC Ace. This leak contains the new HTC Sense, with many new features which are described in the previous article. We aren’t even one day further, and the developers already managed to get it working on the HTC HD2 – which ironically, is originally running Windows Mobile. A Youtube video (which has been removed for unknown reasons) shows the Ace ROM running quite stable on the HD2. Unfortunately, the HD2 ROM port is not available for the crowd yet. Motorola Milestone owners are luck though; XDA developer Dexter_nlb managed to port the ROM to the Milestone. This ROM is called MotoIncred and the download can be found in the thread.
One major advantage of the HD2 ROM is the dramatic increase in speed. In the video, benchmark tests show that the new ROM is processing graphics nearly twice as fast. Other features, such as landscape Sense and other UI changes are now available for the Milestone, and soon available when the Ace ROM for the HD2 comes out. We expect that these new features of the Ace ROM leak will be available on many other Android devices soon. Make sure to keep an eye on the portal for we will be updating it frequently when new ports are available. If you have an HD2 and want to follow the discussion and progress of the development, check out the discussion thread. If you want to download the original Ace ROM, continue to the original thread.
Update: It seems HTC is not really happy with all this stuff. The guy who leaked the ROM (dealer75) has deleted his thread containing the download link. HTC probably contacted dealer75 and he was probably forced to delete the download link. This does not mean that development has been stopped though, so don’t worry.
Update 2: The first HD2 ROMs have been released. XDA developer DarkStone1337 released the Beta 2 today. Special attention to newbies: please read and search before asking. Check out the thread for more info and download.
Having the best home screen includes having a great looking wallpaper, a good design, and now includes being able to launch applications right from there. The launcher was not made but rather recommended by XDA member iamdarren. He says the launcher is great, fast, stable and offers many options for customization.
The one i am using at the moment, is very very fast with alot of options check it out.
Launcher Pro Beta.. its on the market
Very snappy screen switching!
The link to the launcher can be seen in the discussion thread.
June 12, 2010 By: ElCondor
Although the Motorola Droid and Milestone’s build quality is very good, there are some hardware shortcomings to the devices. One of them is the fact that the sliding mechanism could scratch the back of the display pretty easily.
Forum member dproldan has found a pretty good solution for this by simply sticking some tape on the back of the phone.
Fortunately, he shared this mod with us, and made a nice little guide which illustrates the procedure very well.
Originally posted by dproldan
A few pictures showing what I did to avoid the scratches that appear behind the display because of the slider mechanism.
I’ve used a couple of pieces of black vinil cut to 10×27 mm. Any other kind of adhesive tape will work, but it needs to be a smooth surface and resistant.
Check out the mod thread for the complete guide!
Although they were recently incorporated, the new forums for the Milestone and Droid already gathered some useful information. XDA member iamdarren made a thread pointing to a thread in the Android Software Development section where XDA member miragu provided an app that lets you overclock your Motorola Milestone/Droid with Android 2.x.
Originally posted by miragu
This project consists of a kernel module for Motorola Milestone/Droid with Android 2.x to unlock any processor frequency/voltage combination and a companion graphical app to ease the configuration. The phone must be rooted so that the kernel module can be loaded.
You could overclock to 1.0 GHz before a browsing or gaming session and then return to a lower frequency like 600 MHz, though still overcloked, for battery savings and safety. It’s up to you.
Originally, the application was developed for the Milestone, but now the Droid is supported as well. For those of you not familiar with the concept, overclocking allows for much smoother gaming/browsing and other functions that use a lot of processor power. Member miragu managed to get his Milestone running at 1,33 Ghz, which is even faster than the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor for the HD2. The only requirement is that your Milestone/Droid needs to be rooted in order to get it running.
The app is free, and you can find a link to the developers site in the application thread.
Better late than never! …that’s what I think about the new forums for the Motorola Droid and Milestone. There’s so much healthy development surrounding these devices that the admins decided to add a new forum for these phones.
The forum is further divided into five subforums:
We hope this will stimulate more development and developers to come to xda-developers! Enjoy!