February 9, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
About a month ago, we wrote about Team EOS, and the impressive work they have done for the previously neglected Motorola Xoom tablet. Despite already having many “firsts” under their collective belts thanks to their previous releases, their newest offering brings a couple of new highlights not yet seen in the Xoom Development Community.
Thanks to the laborious efforts of XDA forum members Solarnz, Nusince, Bigrushdog, GPstar, kcrudup, and phokus; the fully open source, AOSP-built, and heavily-modified EOS Ice Cream Sandwich releases have finally shed their nightly tag. Growing up to full release status, this ROM has a few more “firsts” of its own. In addition to offering a nearly fully customizable UI and their usual performance enhancements, they have included user-friendly overclocking support that automatically disables itself in the event that you were a tad over-zealous in your clock speed ambitions. Furthermore, this is the first custom ROM on the platform to support all four variants of the device—no matter if it’s a WiFi-only, 3G GSM, 3G CDMA, or 4G LTE device.
The feature highlights, according to the developers, are as follows:
Xoom owners of all flavors can get their fill by visiting the ROM thread.
Wireless network connectivity is a wonderful thing. Can you imagine what life would be like if we had to connect our mobile devices via Ethernet every time we wanted to send an email, check a stock quote, or even browse our lovely forums? Calling that inconvenient would be a gross understatement. That said, there are still situations in which in which we must rely on wired connections in order to get online.
The driver was originally intended for the previously covered Team EOS Ice Cream Sandwich ROM, but clotai has also compiled a version for the Rogue kernel. To get started, proceed to the kernel module thread.
January 18, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Just a few days ago, we wrote about how the IML77 update was already rolling out to select Motorola Xoom users who had opted in to the Motorola Feedback Network. After a week’s worth of observation, the update has now been cleared for public consumption!
If you’re a rooted user who would prefer a pre-rooted stock build, XDA has you covered. Alternatively, if you’re looking for one of the two most prolific custom ROMs currently available, that’s a possibility as well. Now, however, users who haven’t yet rooted their devices can join in on the Ice Cream Sandwich party.
Unfortunately, this OTA is still nine days after Ice Cream Sandwich was rolled out to the Asus Transformer Prime—a device that is neither a Google Experience Device nor the Honeycomb reference tablet. While this may be a little discouranging for Motorola-wielding forum members, the update’s arrival is still a more than welcome addition to the tablet’s arsenal.
Looking to get in on the discussion? Continue on to the original thread.
[Thanks to F14Scott for sharing.]
Just a couple of days ago, we wrote about how CyanogenMod 9 had triumphantly been kanged for the Motorola Xoom tablet. However in writing this, we largely (and unintentionally) ignored some of the most important developers and releases for Google’s reference tablet.
Anyone following the Xoom development timeline has surely noticed that the Team EOS, the evolution of TiamatXOOM, has racked up more than a few “firsts.” From the first true custom ROM to the first the first 4G-enabled release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, EOS is a staple of the Xoom development community. In fact, although the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the WiFi-only Wingray has already started making its way to select WiFi-only devices, the 4G-enabled Stingray’s update release schedule is still unclear.
So who are they, and why do they do what they do? Simple. The EOS team—comprised of XDA forum members Solarnz, Nusince, Bigrushdog, GPstar, kcrudup, phokus, and MADIndustries—feels that although the Xoom is a “very capable hardware platform,” Motorola’s tablet “has been plagued from day one by short sighted decisions made in an attempt to rush to market a much needed answer to a competitors growing titan.” The result? The Xoom has become the “red-headed stepchild of the Android development community.” Naturally, it has been the goal of EOS to help alleviate this—and this, they have achieved.
Through laborious efforts centered around AOSP-based builds of Ice Cream Sandwich, their offerings have “received a number of enhancements and modifications, based primarily around usability and function. It is also the only ICS build currently available that fully supports LTE data services thanks in no small part to the efforts of Bigrushdog. Features are being added every day as we push ahead towards a release candidate and our first official EOS release.”
[Thanks to Solarnz and Nusince for all of their help in putting this together!]
January 13, 2012 By: liwen
Motorola has begun rolling out a supposedly secret update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the XOOM tablet. It will go out only to those who signed up to participate in the “Motorola Feedback Network” program, and will presumably become available for mass consumption shortly after those testers approve of the update.
But of course, you don’t have to wait if you don’t want to, thanks to solarnz who has posted a link to the update package. Since it’s a regular update.zip, you can simply follow this guide to flash it – just keep in mind that you’ll lose root access. Otherwise, people are reporting that it behaves just like any other OTA update, so it’ll leave your data intact.
However, before you get too excited over the prospect of running some official Ice Cream Sandwich on your XOOM, don’t take our words for granted. Instead, read up in the forum thread to see what other people have reported with this update.
Image credit: AndroidCentral
To my fellow Motorola Xoom owners out there, you can breathe a sigh of relief—we now have a taste of what we’ve been waiting for. Thanks to the hard work by the Rogue developer team, an incredibly highly functioning port of Cyanogen-infused Ice Cream Sandwich is now available for public consumption.
According to XDA forum member Steady Hawkin, the ROM is nearly fully featured. And aside from face unlock, everything seems to work perfectly. This even includes full Camera, HDMI, and video acceleration support—all of which were snagged from the leaked 4.0.3 update. Bundled with the kang is the Rogue XM kernel, which features an overclocked CPU and GPU.
Reception to the release is similarly stellar, with users commending the ROM’s speed and stability. I’ve been running the release myself for the past 7 hours, and have found it to be nothing other than an absolute dream. The release is technically intended for the WiFi-only Wingray Xoom. That said, the ROM works on the mobile data-enabled Stingray models as well—just without mobile data support.
+Source from CyanogenMod 9 (1/9/11)
+Full support for Camera, HDMI and Video acceleration (from the leaked 4.0.3 ROM)
+Rogue XM Kernel 2.0.1
+Disabled lockscreen rotation
+Allow apps to write to SD card (thanks kcrudup)
+Tweaked ICS boot animation (thanks Sardo Numspa)
-Face unlock does not work
If this isn’t enough to take your mind off of the Transformer Prime, the Prime’s official ICS OTA update, and the recently announced 1080p variant, I don’t know what is. Head over to the usual place to get the goods. You know you want to. While you’re there, be sure to click the thanks button a few hundred times.
XDA Member epic118 has just released Xoot for the Xoom. Not only is it fun to say, but it’s actually a pretty useful little tool for Xoom owners. He doesn’t mention OS compatibility, but the .rar file contains .dll, .bat and .exe files so it’s safe to assume this will work on at least Windows.
The functionality of it is quite nice and includes the following:
Root your XOOM (thanks solarnz)
Convert from a region XOOM to a GED XOOM
Flash non-flashable boot animations
Includes ADB and FASTBOOT for all your Android developing needs!
For those who don’t know the difference between the regional Xoom and the GED Xoom, epic118 offers an explanation:
A region XOOM is one that’s not in the US. It may have changes made by Motorola, and get updates slower. A GED XOOM is a XOOM that’s in the US. It’s known as a Google Experience Device, and cannot be modified my Motorola.
So if you have a Xoom and want to have some fun tinkering with it, you can read more details, get the download links and instructions from the original thread. Since root is involved along with some other heavy mods, remember that this can harm your Xoom if you’re not careful and no one is responsible for your device but you.
XDA member razorbladex401 has managed to get Android 4.0.3 working on the Motorola Xoom WiFi just a short time after Google made the new software available. The port lacks camera functionality, plus there are certain issues with green coloring on the screen at times. For download links and instructions, hit the discussion thread. Or, if you have the 3G/4G version of the Xoom and want to try 4.0.3, check out this ROM from xxspark89xx.
If you thought that simply because you weren’t buying a Verizon-bloated Galaxy Nexus that you would be privy to a true Google Experience, guess again! As first noted by XDA forum member Luxferro, who discovered that his GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus‘s build.prop fingerprint didn’t quite match up to the expected, not every Galaxy Nexus is a Galaxy Nexus.
What is “Nexus?”
Let’s take a few steps back and figure out what’s going on. To do so, we must take a look at what a Nexus device is, and what the term has come to mean. According to Andy Rubin himself, a Nexus device is, “the pinnacle of what we can achieve when integrating Android onto a piece of hardware.” In other words, a Nexus device should represent Android done right, i.e. the absolute zenith of technology—in both software and hardware.
The mere existence of the Nexus program is a tacit admission by Google that although Android’s fundamental distribution model has lead to industry-leading platform adoption, carrier and OEM control is hardly ideal. Instead, Nexus gives Google a chance to “take back” their OS and show the world Android in its full glory.
Previous Nexus Devices
The Nexus line began with the HTC-built Nexus One, the phone which ushered in Android 2.1 Éclair. Barring a select few carrier-controlled versions, this device featured pure Google software in the majority of its configurations. The hardware was great, too—a Samsung-sourced AMOLED panel here, 512 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz Snapdragon SoC there. Just a few months later, Froyo came; and naturally, the Nexus One was the first phone to receive the JIT- and Flash-enabling goods.
Next up was the Samsung-built Nexus S, which brought the first taste of Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the masses 11 months and change after the arrival of the Nexus One. While not quite the latest in hardware—as the Samsung Hummingbird and Super-AMOLED panel had been seen in the Galaxy S roughly six months earlier—the software in the most markets was still controlled directly by Google. While not bearing the moniker “Nexus,” the Motorola XOOM, which delivered Android 3.0 Honeycomb for us on a Aluminum-backed platter, was also a Google-controlled device in its home turf.
When the Galaxy Nexus was officially unveiled on October 19th in Hong Kong, the hardware and software evoked a visceral lust many had not experienced before towards a phone. Packing a 720p Super-AMOLED HD display, a powerful dual-core OMAP4 SoC, a full GB of RAM, and—most importantly—Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich; the Galaxy Nexus was a show-stopper.
A Fly in the Ice Cream-Flavored Ointment
Unfortunately, not all is perfect in Android’s latest tasty treat. Reports quickly surfaced about how Verizon’s 4G LTE variant would feature both VZW branding and a short order of mild bloatware. Bloatware on a Nexus device? BLASPHEMY!
At least unlocked GSM owners were safe… Right? Wrong.
As quickly discovered by community members who failed to receive the 4.0.1 update, and subsequently weren’t able to perform a manually install, there are several software configurations of the GSM Galaxy Nexus. The true, Google-controlled version is yakju—the rest being Samsung-controlled variants, thereof. All carry the hardware code name maguro, so it is plausible that they can be flashed to yakju. However, according to Android software engineer Jean-Baptise Queru, it is unclear at this time whether this is actually possible.
yakjusc and yakjuxw are indeed the two Samsung-prepared builds I’m aware of at the moment, but I’m discovering them as they get released. I only have some visibility over the builds that are prepared by Google, i.e. yakju. Everything else comes from Samsung and I don’t know what their schedules and release plans are. I can’t guarantee that flashing the yakju files that I posted would work on a device that originally shipped with yakjuxw, as I don’t have access to such devices. The hardware is supposed to be close, but I don’t know for sure that it’s close enough. JBQ
Where Does This Leave Us?
All builds other than yakju are not controlled by Google themselves, leading to the very real possibilities of update delays and carrier- and/or OEM-installed bloatware. This doesn’t taste like “Nexus” anymore, does it? Since Nexus represents Google’s regain of platform control, anything other than unfettered Google is no longer Nexus.
To answer the question in the title, those lucky enough to own yakju devices can breathe a sigh of relief because they are able to enjoy a true, Google-controlled Galaxy Nexus. However, all other Galaxy Nexus owners better start getting familiar with fastboot and adb in order to get the unadulterated Android experience.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or drop in to the discussion in the original thread.
Oh, and… SamSONg, I AM DISAPPOINT.
[Thanks to my fellow XDA Moderators xHausx and M_T_M for the tip!]
August 31, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
The development world never sleeps, at least not on XDA. Immediately after receiving the 3.2.2 OTA yesterday, XDA forum member AceXMachine promptly provided the stock images to fellow XDA forum member solarnz. Does that name sound familiar to you? It should. The Tiamat team member has plenty of ROM, kernel, and recovery work under his belt.
Now, the developer provides us with a pre-rooted version of the stock images that can be applied to any device regardless of model or country of origin. One caveat to keep in mind is that for devices that have not yet been upgraded to 4G hardware, only WiFi connectivity will be operational. In order to streamline the process for everyone, the installation procedure weighs in at just 5 simple steps.
Straight off the 4G Xoom devices this morning (Thanks to AceXMachine for grabbing the images for me), I present to you the 3.2.2 Stock + Rooted rom!!! I haven’t had a chance to figure out what is actually different yet with 3.2.2.
NOTE: This can be flashed on any device, however the 3g/4g network connectivity will ONLY work on the 4G xooms. Everyone else will be on wifi.
And yes, this comes pre-rooted.
- Download the rom
- Place it on the sdcard
- Reboot into recovery
- Perform a factory reset (wipe data+cache)
- Install the zip file.
For those looking to get some 4G action or just update to the latest rooted version of your favorite tablet OS, continue on to the development thread.
If you’re a Motorola XOOM owner, take a look at the useful app XDA forum member ekarelis has made to re-mount the microSD card as read/write for rooted Motorola XOOM Honeycomb 3.2 users.
The app simply dismounts and remounts the microSD card in it’s ‘stock’ location as read/write. Optionally, you can also add a mount point to /sdcard/ external which is friendlier for some apps.
Note that the app is still under development so the dev states that use of this app is at your own risk. The app will forcefully dismount/remount the sdcard, so any active access to the sdcard is affected, and under extreme cases can result in data loss.
The dev is adding a lot more error checking, validation to minimise any chances of data loss and also is working on hot-swap sdcard support, remount-on-boot support, and a widget to easily get sdcard status.
For more information, head on over to the application thread.
July 12, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
As soon as the Android Developers Blog stated yesterday that changes to the way Honeycomb handled fitting Android 2.x applications to a large tablet screen, the internet was aflutter with rumors of the 3.2 update coming soon. Luckily for XOOM users everywhere, this really meant that the major update would launch today!
Several lucky XDA forum members with stock US WiFi models have already reported receiving the update. Now, however, it seems as if those waiting for root can play as well thanks to the efforts of XDA forum member Stachre.
EARLY RELEASE NOTE: I’ve just finished a couple of rounds of testing, and more updates to this procedure are coming. Please proceed only if you’re tech-savvy with your Xoom, ready to restore to stock in case of issues, and very impatient.
WARNING: Following this procedure may damage or permamently destroy your device. This procedure is provided with NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Perform this procedure at your own risk.
COMPATIBILITY NOTE: I have personally tested this procedure ONLY ON THE US XOOM WI-FI MZ604 with STOCK Android 3.1 HMJ37. If you have a non-US Xoom Wi-Fi, this procedure may break your device. If you have a Xoom 3G, this procedure may break your device.
AWESOMENESS NOTE: Instead of copying files which you’re going to adb push to the platform-tools directory every time, why not just add the directory to yourPATH environment variable (“How to update your PATH”)? That way, you can run adb from any directory you want.
Here’s a run-down on the current procedure:
- Updates the Xoom WiFi to Android 3.2 using ClockworkMod Recovery (update.zip)
- Resolves issue in updater-script: get_prop ro.product.device wingray
- Leaves existing recovery partition intact (stock update overwrites it on every reboot)
- Sets correct permission on su to enable functioning root
- Flashes the boot (kernel) partition to stock (required at this time)
- Updates system partition
- Stock kernel means no extras (overclocking, etc.) from custom kernels
- Leaves user data intact
Continue on to the update guide thread to get your Honeycomb update fix!
[For those of you who wish to remain 100% stock and have a US WiFi-only XOOM currently running 3.1, the incremental update can be found here courtesy of kurt5510 and Sparticuz. The preferred method for installation is to place the file on a USB key, and use a USB-OTG adapter to connect the key to the XOOM. Once connected, the update should be accessible through the stock recovery.]