Sony Ericsson provides Tutorial to Build/Flash Android Kernels

After the whole issue with not providing timely updates to the Xperia series of phones, and locking down the bootloaders, Sony Ericsson seems to be set to get back to the main stage. Apart from releasing a bunch of awesome new phones, SE recently announced that all their new phones will have the ability to have their bootloaders unlocked, thus providing the ability to flash a custom ROM on it. And THAT is what Android is all about. Choice.

Well, SE has stepped up. Again. They now have a tutorial on their Developer Blog on how to build and flash a custom kernel.

You can read more over here, where they do state that “Since the launch of the unlock boot loader site, we have received a lot of really great feedback. The Sony Ericsson Developer Program wants to continue to build on this open dialogue with external developers.

Developers and advanced users can now unlock the boot loader, which is the first step to be able to flash your own image. Now we have seen quite a few comments in different forums like the XDA forum, where developers run into problems when building their own image, and and trying to flash the image using Fastboot. With the help of our Master Software Architect, James Jacobsson, we put together a short article on how to do this.

Before moving on, we’d like to remind you again that there is no turning back when unlocking the boot loader. You may void the warranty of the phone, and you will not be able to revert the phone to a locked or original state if you unlock it.”
It gets better though, they actually say that while they won’t offically support this, they do say “We will monitor the Building the Linux kernel for Xperia phones thread on the XDA Developers forum. However, we cannot guarantee an answer for every question asked in this forum.”

They’re going to support XDA! That’s close to officially acknowledging XDA! Now if only Samsung and HTC would get over the bootloader issues (Samsung doesn’t lock it, FYI, but they are slow in supporting it!). The Galaxy S has a Massive number of Custom ROMs available, which we will try and cover. Hopefully, soon, there’ll be more for SE phones too!


Video Chat on your Android Phone

Last week, Google Announced Video Chat for Android Phones running 2.3.4 (Gingerbread). You can even use it for Voice Chat, something you needed an app like Fring or Nimbuzz to do until now. The only bad bit was the 2.3.4 part,which meant it was limited to the Nexus S as of now. The way manufacturers issue Android updates, it might take forever to get this nifty little version of Google Talk on your device. Of course, there are the good folks over at XDA Developers working round the clock to get everything set up for all kinds of Android users (and non android users too).

So here’s a little hack to get Google Voice/Video Chat working on your Gingerbread Device (whichever version you’re running). It might even work on Froyo devices.

DISCLAIMER– WE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU END UP BRICKING YOUR PHONE, VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY etc.

First up, ROOT USERS ONLY. If you haven’t rooted your phone, then you can’t use this. Also, it doesn’t seem to work properly on all devices. I’ve read that it works best (the way it’s supposed to) on HTC devices Running Cyanogenmod 7+. For Galaxy S devices, it supposedly does only one way video right now, and doesn’t seem to able to find the front facing Camera.

Anyways, head over to this thread over at XDA and download the file and get cracking. Let us know what your results are! AND BACK UP YOUR CURRENT GOOGLE TALK APK.

There are three ways to push this app:
  1. Using Root Explorer (Try the Super Manager App, available on the Market).
  2. Using CWM to flash the update.zip. Check here, and if that doesn’t work, try this.
  3. Using ADB, Follow the steps below;

(lines starting with # are comments)

Code:
#mount the /system partition as writeable
adb remount
#backup the old Talk app
adb shell mv /system/app/Talk.apk /system/app/Talk.apk1
#uninstall the old gtalk, I think it clears the related cached bytecode too.
adb uninstall com.google.android.talk
#copy the two new files
adb push libtalk_jni.so /system/lib/
adb push Talk2.apk /system/app

 

Mixed reports coming in so far, so let us know what you think. It should work like the video below:

 

 

 

Follow us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.

 

Source: Google Mobile Blog, XDA

Running a New Rom on your SGS: Groundwork

The Samsung Galaxy S is an awesome device. But you can easily squeeze more out of it. All you have to do is flash a new rom. Thanks to the developer community, there are a bunch of choices out there for you to pick, with different kernels, modems and roms designed for more speed, better battery life, etc.

But before you can do all that you need to prepare your phone (assuming you’re running a stock rom) to be flashed. So we’ll go step by step (and make sure you follow them EXACTLY in the order mentioned. It’s quite hard to “Brick” your SGS, but you wouldn’t want that to happen anyway). (Incidentally, the steps mentioned here are for the SGS i9000, and not the Fascinate, Captivate or other SGS variants.)

Before that, you need to check if you have three button mode enabled on your SGS. This lets you get into download and recovery mode, which is essential.

  • Shutdown your phone
  • For Download Mode, hold <volume down>+<power>+<home>. You should get a Yellow Screen with “Downloading” on it. If you do get this, then you have download mode enabled
  • For Recovery Mode, hold <volume up>+<power>+<home>. You should get a recovery menu, which you can Navigate using the volume keys. Assuming you are on a stock rom, with the stock recovery, you need to use the home button to select an option

Next up, you’ll need to download ODIN. You can download ODIN3 over here.

DISCLAIMER– WE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU END UP BRICKING YOUR PHONE, VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY etc.

ROOT your device:

If you are running an Eclair device (Android 2.1, check under settings -> About Phone), you need to just root your phone. Use z4 root, and root your device (make sure you select the permanent root).  You can download Z4Root here.

If you are on a Froyo Device (Android 2.2/2.2.1), you need to use ODIN to flash CF Root onto your phone.

  • Open Odin, make sure Clear EFS and Re-Partition are not selected
  • Download the Right CF root, which you can find over at XDA, at this thread.
  • Unzip the CF Root file
  • Click the PDA button on ODIN and select the CF Root.tar file from the unzipped CF Root folder
  • Put your phone in Download Mode and Connect it to the computer via USB
  • Click the Start button and it should be done!

Now that you have rooted your device, you need to download Clockworkmod Rom Manager from the Android Market. You can Download the free version here or just scan the Barcode below for the market link. You can also use the Paid version that gives you a few more features (not necessary).

Rom Manager (ClockWorkMod)

You should also download Titanium Backup (scan the QR Code to the right, or click here). Titanium Backup lets you backup EVERYTHING (contacts, apps, accounts, etc). It’s highly recommended that you run scheduled backups.

Titanium Backup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now open Rom Manager, and select Flash ClockWorkMod recovery.

You’re now set to Flash whichever Rom you want onto your Device. To do that, all you need to do is download the .zip file of the rom (DO NOT OPEN IT), reboot your phone into recovery (you can do it from Rom Manager Itself), and select install zip from SD Card, select the zip file and run it.

If you need to figure out which rom to select, do come back. We’re trying to make this a series of posts, where we’ll list all the Roms available for your SGS, along with Pros and Cons. We’ll also list out different Kernels, and Modems.

Follow us on twitter, @myportableworld!

Voice & Data soon on Nitdroid N900

In case you haven’t been following Nitdroid, it’s a community driven quest to port Android (FroYo) onto the Nokia N900. And they’ve been doing some brilliant stuff.The one thing missing so far has been Voice & Data use on the phone (well, not one thing, check here for list of things that are still WIP).

Anyways, here’s a video going round of something coming soon to Nitdroid – yup, voice & data. Check out the video below.

You can read more about Nitdroid over at the Wiki, or at these threads on Talk Maemo. (Nitdroid Development Thread, Nitdroid Installer Thread)

Do let us know if you’ve tried it out and it works! We’re @myportableworld (and @myportableworld too btw.)

Source: Engadget

DIY Solar Charger for the N900


Ever feel that your N900 is draining too fast and need to keep it juiced up. What if you can’t find a outlet to plug in your charger? An ingenious person has hacked up a solar charger for the N900 using a car charger and a 1W Solar Panel. It’s simple really! This DIY solar charger should work with most other phones as well as long as you get the car-charger, a solar panel and some alligator clips as shown in the video here.

Here’s a video if it in action:

via MobileSider

Block Unwanted calls on your N900

Update: This article is outdated, you can download a pre-packaged Callblocker package based on the code on this page from the Maemo Garage – https://garage.maemo.org/projects/callblocker/ . You can the deb file from the project page and install it on your N900.

Something which I really missed on the N900 was a good call blocking software. After being hounded day after day by credit card sales people and people trying to give me low interest loans, I had to find a way to get this done. A bit of hunting on the web and picking up a little bit of Python, I hacked a working solution to this problem. It’s not a perfect solution, and is a hack job, but it should do till someone writes up a good application to handle unwanted callers.

Step 1: Install Dependencies on your phone
Before we go to the call block script, you’ll need to install a few apps on your phone. First you’ll need to gain root access to your phone, so head over to your App Manager and install rootsh. If you can’t find it in your app manager, head over to this URL and download rootsh – maemo.org/downloads/product/Maemo5/rootsh/

If you haven’t installed a Python application in your phone, you’ll have to install the Python runtimes on your device. If you haven’t installed the extras-devel repositories, check for the Maemo 5 instructions here – pymaemo.garage.maemo.org/installation_device.html. Once you have that repository  installed on your phone, search and install maemo-python-device-env to install python.

Step 2: Download and move the Script to your phone
Once that’s installed, download this zip file and extract the python script from the file and save this file your device under Nokia N900/ as callblock.py .
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Step 3: Create the Block list with numbers you’d like to block
Before running this script, you’ll need to create a text file with the numbers you need to block. Add as many numbers you’d like to block on a new line. The file contents should like like below:

+918067337555
+918067348300
+918066167590

Save this file as BlockedCallers.txt in the same location you saved the call block script. Please enter the numbers in the format you see when you get the calls, so you needn’t enter it exactly as I’ve put it up.

Step 4: Run the script on your phone
Now to start the call block script, head over to the terminal, get into the root mode by entering the following:

root

and then start the callblock application and background it:

python /home/user/MyDocs/callblock.py &

Make sure you type the command as is, with the capitalizations in MyDocs typed in, or the command will fail.

Now you’ve got the script running on your phone in the background and you can close the Terminal window. Your phone will block any calls with the numbers you’ve saved in the BlockedCallers.txt file. Anytime you want to change the numbers, you’ll have to edit the BlockedCallers.txt text file and add numbers into it. You’ll have to restart the script to get the latest edits to your block numbers active.

Also when ever you restart the phone, you’ll have to follow the last steps to restart the call block application. So remember when you restart the phone, make sure you go to the terminal and enter the following two lines into it:

root
python /home/user/MyDocs/callblock.py &

I’ve been trying to figure out how to auto-start this script, but I haven’t been successful at that yet. I’ll update you as soon as I figure that one out.

If you have more tips on how to improve this script, or know how to autostart the script when the phone boots up, let us know by commenting on this post.

Links:

Click to download the script file: Here’s the zip file with the callblock script. Download it and extract callblock.py from the zip file. Edit the number to block in the file by opening it up in a text editor  and move the saved file over to your device.

Link to Python Doc (and sources) I went though and borrowed to build this example:
PyMaemo/Phone call and SMS examples

Image Credit: via hoyasmeg on flickr

Disclaimer: We are providing this script as it, without much support. I’ve tested this for a few days on my phone and it worked as expected without any issues. We’re not responsible for any problems you may face using this script.

Adding Some Great Menu Transitions To The N97

The Symbian Blog has a new post on how to get some great new menu transitions for yout N97. If you’re tired of your N97’s UI here’s how you can spice up your phone’s interface in under 5 minutes.

You’ll need to hack up your phone using HelloOX2 to allow you to install unsigned applications. It’s pretty simple, but proceed with caution.

Read the full post at the Symbian Blog on how to do this.