Tag Archives: froyo

How to buy, upgrade, brick, rescue and generally enjoy a HTC Magic in just 14 days

Step 1: Buy
So you’re not happy with your cheapo rebound phone, pining for your lost HTC Hero and you start checking out bargain-sites for a good 2nd hand Android smartphone. After a week or so you spot an HTC Magic, on sale for €100 and 2 days later go buy that beauty for even €10 less because hey, there’s no SD-card.

Step 2: Upgrade
Your brand new Magic turns out to be that very first Android-phone Proximus started sellinng in May 2009, with Android 1.5, but without HTC Sense and tethering. Not really the smartphone you’d settle for, so you start looking around xda-developers for an upgrade path. You install flashrec, flash a new recovery image and in recovery flash MyHero 2.0.5 and after 1 month without it, you can finally boot into that beautiful HTC Sense UI again.

Step 3: Brick
HTC Sense, great, but still Android 1.5 and no tethering, seriously? No can do Sir, so you head back to xda-developers to figure out your next step. Late at night, after browsing millions of forum posts about perfected SPL’s, goldcards and recovery images, you find a thread with links to official HTC RUU’s. Easy-peasy and you download one of those boot your Windows PC and start flashing. HBOOT updates, radio updates, … all goes well and you doze off for a minute. But when you open your eyes, the upgrade process halted and you have a white screen with “invalid Customer ID” in red and no Android. You reboot, no go. You try to enter recovery mode, no go. Congratulations, you now have a shiny (semi-)bricked HTC Magic and you go to sleep feeling an utter moron for trying to flash an official RUU.

Step 4: Rescue
The next day you start looking for information on the secret craft of goldcard creation. You spend a couple of days trying to get your SD-card’s CID on your PC, but eventually ask a colleague to adb-shell into his device with your SD-card in it to get the job done (thanks Thomas!). You don’t bother downloading crypto-software to reverse the string for all the wrong reason, instead immediately heading over to the goldcard-manufacturing-webstie, write the disk-image to SD and you try to flash the RUU with the goldcard you just created. Damn, no go! You reverse the string manually, no go. You buy a new SD card (4Gb Sandisk), adb-shelling into your own cheapo Acer this time to get the CID and create a new goldcard, no go. Over a week goes by and you decide to have another stab at it and opnly then you see that the string should be hex-reversed, not reversed. You click the link to an online hexreverser, create a goldcard with that string and bingo, the RUU flashes!

cyanogenmodStep 5: Enjoy
It looks like you’re back where you were at step 2; Android 1.5 with HTC Sense UI and no tethering, so you decide to install Cyanogenmod by first downgrading your radio & hboot and then -finally- flashing Cyanogen’s Android mod.

And there you have it, after only 2 weeks you successfully turned that old HTC Magic into a modern, fast and reliable Android smartphone. Android 2.2.1 that is, with ADWlauncher, tethering and Exchange-integration. Time well spent, except … Vodaphone has an official Froyo update for the Magic out as well and there’s already a tweaked ROM for it on xda-developers. You really should try that one out as soon as possible, now shouldn’t you?!

Switching back from Froyo to HTC’s Eclair

Although I was quite pleased with my Hero after installing HTC’s version of Android 2.1 (in the guise of VillainRom 12), I couldn’t refrain myself from wanting to install Froyo, the latest and greatest version of Android. The guys over at VillainRom provided a great Froyo rom (Froydvillain 1.2) based on the official Android sources and the work of the CyanogenMod team with CM6 and added LauncherPro, a beautiful alternative to HTC’s Sense, to the mix:

Watch this video on YouTube.

After seeing FroydVillain run on the Hero of a daredevil colleague of mine (thanks Thomas!), I swiftly booted my HTC into recovery mode, made a backup of my Eclair-installation and effortlessly slapped FroydVillain on my handset. But now, only 2 days later, I’m back on HTC’s Eclair.

Why? Because of what HTC adds to the mix. Although Froyo + Cyanogen mods + LauncherPro is a fast & slick combination, there were a number of (mostly minor) annoyances which bugged me enough to do a rollback to VillainRom 12 (i.e. HTC’s Eclair).

Some of the quirks that irked me:

  • the keyboard seemed a tad more clunky, there’s no button to hide it (the keyboard tends to get in the way sometimes) but most importantly there’s no Dutch dictionary installed meaning no spelling correction and above all no text-prediction
  • the new Android-native Exchange mail integration is great, but there’s no indication of new Exchange mails on the Launcherpro homescreen and most importantly it is too easy to accidentally delete a mail (the button is located at the bottom right of the screen!) and there’s no undo or move available
  • battery life seemed shorter and there’s no way to disable ‘always-on mobile data‘ (a continuous data-connection doesn’t help battery life)
  • the dialer application (you know, to actually call someone) does not search my contacts while typing a number (HTC’s dialer searches both numbers and names, which is a great time-saver)
  • in the browser bookmarking is less straightforward (no ‘add bookmark’ in the menu iirc), there’s no ‘reload’ in the main UI (it’s at the right side of the address-bar in HTC’s Eclair)
  • the free version of Launcherpro does not come with a calender widget (the “Plus” version does though) and I could not find one to my liking on the Android market
  • as I had to re-install my apps, Shazaam didn’t recognize me as an existing user, meaning I lost unlimited tagging

So in spite of increased speed and an overall very nice package, I decided (after having had to run downstairs last night to move that accidentally deleted important mail back to my inbox on my PC) to abandon FroydVillain and switch back to VillainRom 12. I was a little upset with Nandroid spitting out that horrible “Run nandroid-mobile.sh via adb” error, but it turned out that it wisely doesn’t like to have to work on an almost empty battery. After recharging I successfully restored good ole HTC Eclair.

Froyo + LauncherPro is a great combination, but it’s not in the same league as HTC’s polished Eclair builds yet. Thanks for the great job HTC, I’m looking forward to your Desire HD with HTC Froyo (or Gingerbread?) which I’ll probably buy from you next year.

March of the Androids

Lots of exiting things happening in Android and HTC Hero-land these last few weeks:

  • June 22nd: I flash my HTC Hero with VillainRom 10.3 (i.e. Android 2.1 aka Eclair + HTC Sense)
  • June 23th: Google releases the source code for the blazingly fast Android 2.2 (aka Froyo)
  • June 23th: CyanogenMod announces that he and his team will create CM6 based on these sources for a great number of HTC devices, including the Hero CDMA (the US model for Sprint)
  • June 29th: HTC finally pushes out Android 2.1 for Hero in Europe
  • July 1th: The VillainRom-guys announce VillainRom 12 based on that new ROM
  • July 3th: Lox, one of the CyanogenMod developers, announces the first Hero (GSM) Froyo-build
  • July 5th: HTC released the kernel sources (based on 2.6.29) they used for Hero
  • July 5th: Lox & co are working on a merged HTC Hero GSM and CDMA build based on the official kernel sources

So I flashed my Hero again, with VillainRom 12 (clearly more responsive then 10.3, a few bugs are solved as well) and I’m looking forward to flashing CyanogenMod 6 once that’s stabilized. Because, after all, Hero’s like their Androids fresh, don’t they?