February 20, 2013 By: egzthunder1
Often times, we find certain aspects of flashing ROMs, kernels, and anything that needs to be installed via recovery a bit of a pain. For instance, on older Samsung Galaxy devices (anything before the Galaxy S3), having a custom recovery involves having a kernel lumped alongside because the recovery and boot partition are stored in the same location. This means that updating the kernel will wipe your custom recovery. Now, most owners work around this limitation by flashing what is known as a repack, which is a stock or tweaked kernel that includes a custom recovery image. The likes of HTC and Motorola don’t do this, albeit they do have a few other issues, which we will not talk about right now. Sony Xperia devices are no different from Samsung in that regard, as they also lump boot and recovery in the same area. However, the Sony Xperia T had a little something that was different than other devices with the same “issue.” Upon taking a closer look, XDA Recognized Developers lilstevie, Dees_Troy, and XDA Elite Recognized Developer Rebellos found a small gift from Sony at the very end of the eMMC memory: unused, unpartitioned 300 MB worth of memory. So, ideas started flying around and the devs got to work.
After several weeks of looking into things, and doing some major trial and error, they took that unused space and turned it into a new home for the recovery image. This is completely separate from the kernel (to a certain extent anyways), which means that flashing a new ROM with a new kernel will not replace the custom recovery image. What has been done was to replace a single stage of the entire boot process known as appsboot, which is patched/replaced by LK. It then loads a new stage (mmcblk0p16) that contains the kernel. From that point, the kernel will listen to commands to call upon recovery, which is located on FOTAKernel. The best part is that even after this, there may be enough free space at the end of the chip to do some more creative things such as the ability to store more kernels—perhaps even space for a multi-boot style menu (thanks XDA Recognized Developer cdesai for the explanation). Other added benefits include the ability to use either Sony .elf files or regular Android boot.img, and the ability to go into recovery from the ROM (reboot into recovery).
You will have to make sure that you are running a 4.1.2 official kernel (no CM or other AOSP variants supported as of yet). Also, ICS is not supported either by this release, mainly due to differences in the 3.0 kernel which will cause the device to not boot. Lastly,please understand that this will modify your partition tables. If you are OK with the inherent risks, make sure that you read and understand the installation instructions and take it for a spin.
Since getting the Xperia T the biggest annoyance is only having one bootable partition.
To combat this issue I have spent some time porting the Little Kernel bootloader. This
allows booting different kernels for recovery and boot as well as a full implementation
You can find more information in the original thread.
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January 26, 2013 By: jerdog
Here at XDA, we take the responsibility of carriers and OEMs to provide timely updates to their devices (and to honor their GPL requirements) seriously. There are those who do a good job (Samsung is one of them), those who don’t always do a good job (HTC, Motorola, LG), and those who do a terrible job (Huawei, ZTE, Rockchip to name a few). But there is one who right now is doing a terrific job, and that is Sony Mobile.
Back at the end of 2012, we selected Sony Mobile as our OEM of the Year for many reasons. One of those had to do with their public support of the developer community. Another was the release of beta OS builds for impending updates, shared on XDA by Sony staff in order to seed the ROM development pipeline. In addition, they were very active in supporting AOSP for the Sony Xperia S in the Google AOSP device tree, released the AOSP binaries, and eventually branched out to open their own Github for future AOSP development.
On Friday, Sony continued their string of community contributions by releasing an ALPHA build of Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2) for the Sony Xperia T. This build is most definitely an alpha, meaning that many of the core components do not work, so it is not meant to be flashed or even mucked around with by the end user. It is meant solely for custom ROM developers to take and use and help make it better in preparation for Sony’s upcoming official build of Jelly Bean for the Xperia T. In order to flash this you will need to use their EMMA tool and your device must have its bootloader unlocked, or else the device will boot to a black screen and you will need to return to stock via Sony’s Update Tool. More information can be found at their Developer World blog. Again, this is not for the end user.
Sony evidently wasn’t content just to be the only OEM to provide OFFICIAL alpha builds for their devices. They ALSO released the kernel source for the alpha build. No other company in our memory has ever done this. Sure, one could argue that it is their obligation to release the kernel source under GPL requirements because they distributed the alpha build. But let’s keep in mind that we’re talking about an ALPHA build—something that is essentially in the infant-stages of its evolution, and not a production build or a finished product.
Let’s also keep in mind that instead of letting it leak like other manufacturers do, and thus not need to adhere to the GPL because they can claim ignorance and that they themselves aren’t the one distributing, they are embracing the fact that the GPL is not harmful. They are stating their case that this is how OEMs should work with the community. They are saying that this sort of thing encourages trust and a sense of togetherness between the community and the OEM, which in turn trickles down to the consumer’s good will towards the OEM. It’s a veritable marketplace “circle of life.” (You’re welcome for having planted the Lion King firmly in your subconscious for the next few hours.)
Other OEMs, like Samsung, frequently release incomplete kernel source that will not build (GPL violation); or fail to release the kernel source for a production build that they later retract even though it was distributed and is live in the wild on consumer’s devices (GPL violation). Or in the case of HTC, just plain ignore the GPL and wait for petitions to be filed or lawyers to be engaged before releasing the kernel source for a software version that is now out of date (GPL violation).
Let this be a lesson to the OEMs out there: When you choose to embrace the very ecosystem that has driven your profits high, and endeavor to work with that ecosystem in a mutual give-and-take, you will see positive results and karma that far exceeds your expectations. Or you can choose to neglect the very base that at one time made you the top smartphone manufacturer in the world and ultimately see your profits and market share slide into the abyss where there is little to no hope of return. Your choice. Choose wisely.
January 19, 2013 By: jerdog
At the end of last year, we started selling XDA cases with our friends at CruzerLite, and we’ve seen some phenomenal interest. Our current lineup is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Google Nexus 4—but we want to add more. So we have decided to hold a poll and let the users choose which device(s) to add to our current lineup.
Below you will find some of the top devices at XDA. Please choose one from the list that you would like to see offered, and we will pick from the top 3 devices. The voting ends on February 15, so make sure you place your vote for the devices you love!
EDIT: The results are in, and displayed below. We’ll keep you updated as to the final options when they become available.
December 30, 2012 By: jerdog
When you purchase a device, it’s always desirable to be able to use it as you wish. Sadly, this is often not the case. This is because most of the time, people purchase devices with a carrier subsidy. What this means is that essentially the carrier is letting you purchase the device at a reduced rate, say $300 off suggested retail, with the terms of a contract stating you will stay with them for (usually) two years. This guarantees that they will keep their ARPU (average revenue per user) over that time.
The trade off is that if you break the contract, they will charge you an ETF (early-termination fee), which adds up to the same amount they “discounted” the phone for, prorated of course. Usually rolled in with that trade off is an agreement between the manufacturer and the carrier that the bootloader is locked, giving the carrier the full control of the device instead of you. Of course, with the talented developers here at XDA-Developers, bootloaders are often hacked, returning the control of the device to the user.
What often doesn’t happen though is manufacturers deciding to give you control of the device on their own, which is exactly what Sony has done with their beta flash tool they call “Emma.” Sure Samsung “leaked” ODIN, but that’s entirely different. This is Sony creating a tool and freely making it available, and then going the extra step to show you how to use it. The tool is for the Xperia S, Xperia Arc, Xperia Arc S, and Xperia T, with more devices to be added in the future. Emma is essentially a “return to stock” tool that will work regardless of what software you currently have installed on your Xperia device, though it does require the bootloader be unlocked which Sony is again more than happy to show you how to do. The other requirements for the tool are that you have Windows installed and a current version of JAVA.
You can use the tool to choose between different stock versions of firmware, which the tool will automatically download for you from Sony’s servers. There are some quirky things with the tool however, with the connection to the Sony servers being temperamental and general JAVA issues. That said, the tool is still in beta, so head on over to the discussion thread to address any issues you might be having and to download the tool.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. And for many of us, heavy use can result in a bit of wear and tear—especially on the moving parts (i.e. the buttons). In case of Android, almost all hardware button functions can be performed using on-screen controls or third party apps, but losing the power button can render your device practically useless.
Without a power button, you can’t turn the screen back on once it times out unless you restart the device, which isn’t practical, especially on devices without removable batteries. You can also connect the device to the charger or a USB data cable to wake it, but that severely limits your mobility. If you choose to disable the screen timeout feature, the battery will run out quicker than your wallet runs out of money. If you own the Sony Xperia T or TX, and find yourself with a malfunctioning power key, we’ve got something for you that should save the day.
XDA Forum Member recoba23 made a mod that allows you to wake the screen of your Sony Xperia T or TX using the volume keys. As you would expect, this mod requires you to have the screen on to be able to flash it, but you can do it via the USB method if your power button is already dead. It can also come handy if you simply prefer to use the volume keys to wake the screen.
For the download link and installation instructions, head over to the forum thread.
November 30, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
When device developers are faced with a locked and unlocked scenario, things can get interesting. While many devices are either unlockable or not, there are some situations where only some devices are unlockable. Or, in the case of some Verizon devices, it started out unlockable and then Verizon shut it down. In these cases, developers have to find interesting ways to provide the same things to locked and unlocked devices. Now, Sony Xperia T owners who have locked bootloaders, but still have root, can have ClockworkMod Recovery.
XDA Senior Member Sharaz22 released the popular recovery for the Xperia T. For those who have unlocked bootloaders, this was likely a much easier process. However, for those who are stuck with permanently locked devices, you can now get in on the action. Of course, you’ll still need root. As newer firmwares haven’t been rooted yet, users will have to wait for root before they can proceed.
The installation process should be pretty easy. Just root your Xperia T, download the zip, and flash it in stock recovery. There is also a root zip you can download and install, should you need it. The only downside is that AOSP-based ROMs still won’t work because of the locked bootloader. However, if you want to flash a different stock ROMs, this is definitely what you’re looking for.
For more details, check out the original thread.
Sony has made it no secret that they want people to associate the Sony Xperia T with the newest James Bond flick, Skyfall. The shameless promotions have pretty much welded the movie and phone together. Now, Xperia T owners can embrace it even more.
XDA Forum Member ruwsoft has released a theme pack that gives users all the ringtones, images, and other theming bric-à-brac to match the experience users get with the James Bond edition of the Xperia T. This includes some elements within the OS itself that get a little 007 goodness.
To install, users need root. From there, it’s downloading the file, and using an archive manager to remove the files. Then, use your favorite root file explorer app to copy the included APK to system/vendor/overlay/framework/. Finally, reboot and your phone should have a lot more James Bond.
There are a couple of mirrors as well. One of them contains a copy of the APK in .bin format. Users simply need to change the extension back to APK. Other than that, users haven’t reported any real issues. To learn more, check out the original thread.
We initially brought you news of CyanogenMod 10 by FXP hitting the Sony Xperia T. Since then, more developers have been working on making CM10 even better for the device, and that includes XDA Recognized Developer tilal6991 and Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx. With the additional help, CM10 has gotten a whole lot better in a very short time. Thanks to this, an unofficial AOKP has also made its way to the Xperia T.
XDA Recognized Contributor championswimmer, who is a part of the KangXperiaProject that has brought unofficial AOKP to a bazillion other devices, has posted the unofficial Jelly Bean AOKP for the Xperia T. However, tilal6991 has also offered to help be a maintainer.
So far, there isn’t much information about the ROM itself. It boots and acts about as well as the local CM10 port. Since it is based off of the CM10 build, this is to be expected. The reported issues on CM10 include Bluetooth, audio routing, and, of course, the camera. There may be a few bugs that haven’t been reported yet as well. Given the developers working on all this, it likely won’t be long until both CM10 and AOKP are stable and working perfectly. For more info, check out the original thread.
September 30, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we brought you news of Nokia’s and Microsoft’s joint event aimed at introducing the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, as well as giving a brief first look at what Windows Phone 8 would bring users. Now as the devices approach their launch dates, we are happy to announce that they have been given a place in our forums, along with Sony’s new Android flagship—the Xperia T.
Heralding the launch of Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 serve as Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 launch devices. Both devices feature the speedy 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 and 1 GB of RAM, as well as HSPA+ and LTE connectivity. The flagship 920 packs a 4.5″ IPS LCD with a 1280×768 resolution, a 2000 mAh battery, 32 GB of storage, and an 8 MP camera with optical image stabilization. Its little brother, the 820, features 8 GB of storage, a 1650 mAh battery, and a 4.3″ WVGA AMOLED.
In the Android world, Sony recently announced the Xperia T. The device is the company’s late 2012 flagship Android device. The device features a powerful 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor backed by 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and a whopping 13 MP camera. The 4.55″ LCD is also noteworthy, featuring a high 720p resolution and the proprietary BRAVIA engine. Perhaps most interestingly, the Xperia T will follow in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and offer on-screen Android hotkeys. While the device will come preloaded with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, an early update to 4.1 Jelly Bean is expected.
Well, what are you waiting for? Head over to the newly created forums below to get started!
It is always exciting when a new device is rooted. It means that users can enjoy the freedom of a rooted device, usually resulting in options such as custom recoveries, and so on. Of course, it’s always better when a device gets both at once. The Sony Xperia T is the latest device to get both root and recovery.
The method is something many of us have dealt with before. It involves unlocking the device’s bootloader and installing an insecure kernel. XDA Recognized Contributor krabappel2548 released an insecure kernel that helps get users rooted. The kernel features include:
- Init.d support
- CWM included
To install it, you’ll need the Android SDK. From there, download the kernel and place it in the same folder with ADB and Fastboot. Then, use Terminal or Command Prompt to flash it via Fastboot.
There are actually two kernels available. One for root and a second for root and recovery. Additionally, krabappel2548 has included the stock kernel. If you’d like to know more, go to the original thread.