(Updated) Xperia X10 died and Sony-Ericsson were quick to replace

June 17, 2010

I’ve been using a Xperia X10 for the last couple of months courtesy of Rogers Wireless, who were kind enough to provided it to me as a review device / loaner. While I can’t say that the phone was great, it was performing much better than my HTC Magic running on the E911 update that was provided by HTC and mandated by Rogers.

My real gripe with the X10 was centered around the Timescape and Mediascape applications and the drain that they put the CPU and battery under. The applications are a great idea and the UI designers at Sony-Ericsson must have put a lot of thought into them. It’s just that the implementation on the X10 leaves quite a bit to be desired. Timescape in particular can at times almost bring the phone to a halt. Hopefully with the upcoming 2.1 upgrade, SE will have made the apps more efficient.

After I started using other applications to perform the same tasks that Timescape and Mediascape were performing and also using a little bit of discipline with my WiFi / GPS usage, I found that the extreme battery drain the X10 was experiencing had been somewhat alleviated. I was actually no longer having problems making it a full day on a single charge (as long as it wasn’t used too much).

I’ve really started to enjoy the X10 over the last several weeks since installing ADW-Launcher, Beautiful Widgets and MixZing Media Player on it. These apps, and others that I’ve been installing / using on the it certainly go a long way in showing what it’s capable of and in my opinion do a much better job than the included apps.

As a home replacement ADWLauncher is probably the best one that I’ve seen with maybe the exception of LauncherPro, which is not available for Android 1.6. Using ADWLauncher, you can have anywhere up to 7 home screens vs the stock 3 screens that come with the X10. In addition to having the Launcher2 (Android 2.1) fly in effects, it has the ability to dock app shortcuts on either side of the app drawer button. If you swipe upwards on the the drawer button there is an additional 6 spots for app shortcuts. Best thing about ADWLauncher is that it’s free in the Android Market.

Beautiful Widgets is a paid application from the Android Market that you can use to add some really nice looking control switches to your home screens. It includes functions such as Silent, Vibrate, Airplane Mode, GPS and WiFi. In addition you’ll find a home screen widget that incorporates a digital clock, calendar and weather. Clicking on the clock brings up the clock app, clicking on the date brings up the calendar app and clicking on the weather brings up a weather app.

MixZing Media Player is a nice simple player that’s available free from the Android market that packs in a lot of features and it has several different home screen widgets. If you want more from it, there is a paid upgrade to it available in the Market that’s supposed to enable many more features.

Other apps that I’ve been using instead of the stock apps would be Handcent SMS for messaging, Seesmic as a Twitter client and for what it’ s worth Facebook’s own app for keeping up to date on Facebook.

Now back to the title of the post “Death knell of a Xperia X10 (Original post title)”. So far I’ve not written anything about that because I just wanted you, the reader, to know first that I’m not griping about the X10. It’s actually been growing on me the more that I’ve used it. I’ll actually miss having it around, but it seams that the X10 has itself decided that yesterday was going to be the last day that I would be able to enjoy its company. It’s now sitting on the table beside me not able to boot. It’s only going through the Sony Ericsson splash screen and stopping with a big yellow triangle containing an exclamation mark.

I guess that I should have seen it coming (hind site is 20/20 after all). A couple of days ago, I started having problems with my Beautiful Widgets home screen widget not displaying the weather, this even though I could see it on another device that had Beautiful Widgets installed as well. I tried removing and replacing the widget but that didn’t work, so I ended up having to re-boot to get it to work again. And now that I think about it, over the last week or so I’ve had to reboot the X10 a few times for other problems as well.

Anyway, the night before (second time) the X10 didn’t charge when plugged into the wall charger. I thought no big issue, I’ll just plug it into my PC when I get to work. I Plugged it in there and it acted like it was charging so all was good (at least that’s what I thought).

Several hours later, I wanted to connect to WiFi to go get the latest Swype beta for the phone (Just got my invite). WiFi wasn’t connected and it should have been because I have the X10 set to always keep WiFi alive when connected. After attempting for several minutes to get WiFi to connect and failing (When turning on I was repeatedly kicked back to the home screen from the settings page), I decided that a reboot was in order. I powered down the phone and attempted to restart it but had no luck, the phone would not boot past the lock screen. It would get to the lock screen for a second or two and then right back to the Rogers splash screen for a min or so and then the screen would just go blank with a white bar across the top.

I then attempted to reboot by pulling the battery, which fielded no better results. I did however notice an odor that had no place in a properly functioning electronic device and the X10 was much hotter than normal.

On a whim I decided to give Rogers tech support a try to see what the had to say and the tech at the other end of the phone line tried to help me through a restore using Sony-Ericsson PC Companion. By the time we were done the x10 would no longer boot past the Sony-Ericsson splash screen, ending up on a screen with a yellow triangle that has an exclamation mark in it. Not the techs fault, probably something fried in the phone.

Seems strange that the death knell started ringing for the X10 when the Acer Liquid E review unit arrived from Rogers. Maybe the it wasn’t looking forward to the head to head competition that I had planned for them. Anyway I now have no excuse to put off my final review of the X10 and will be working on it over the next several days (Weather permitting).

Update……

I was called by a representative from Sony-Ericsson’s social media department this afternoon, actually only a few hours after I had posted this entry to my blog. I was pleasantly surprised at being contacted by SE directly, let alone how quickly considering that I hadn’t made an effort to contact their customer service. SE had even gone to the effort of going through Rogers to request that I supply them with a contact number (Thank you @RogersMary for passing that along). It wasn’t expected and I really appreciate it.

While I was speaking to the gentleman from SE social media, I was informed that SE was in the process of getting a replacement unit ready to be packaged up to send to me. I’ll return the defective unit to them so hopefully they will be able to analyze the failure and use the results to build an even better product in the future.

While we were on the phone we had a good chat about the X10 and what I thought of it. I let him know that I believe that it’s a well constructed device in regards to hardware but that SE implementation of their Custom UX User Interface made the phone feel more like a first generation device rather than one with some of the best hardware specs available. I passed on to him that SE needs to do some work with their Timescape and Mediascape applications to speed up the UI on them, after all a phone with a 1gh processor shouldn’t be having any sort of slow downs wen running Sony-Ericssons signature applications. I believe that he understood where I was coming from and will pass this feedback along to the SE development teams to hopefully reduce the amount of overhead processing required by the apps.

It’s SE’s first Android device and they really reached far on it, they were trying for a Jaguar but fell short and ended up with a Cadillac. Given some more time and effort I believe that SE will succeeded in reaching the lofty goals that they set for their UX User Interface. The future update to Android 2.1 will help in of itself but in my opinion SE should abandon 2.1 ideas and go directly to 2.2, Timescape and Mediascape are a couple of applications that would probably benefit from Froyo’s JIT implantation.

End Update…..

See this post and other great informative Android posts at http://www.leavenodroidbehind.com/

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1.6 Update for LG EVE Delayed until September

June 7, 2010

Finally some news out of LG regarding the expected “Spring” update for the LG EVE. Unfortunatly it’s not good news. A spoksperson for LG has confirmed that the expected Android 1.6 update will not be available as origionally indicated by LG.

In an E-Mail that I received from the LG spokesperson, I’ve been told that due to internal delays the update will not be ready to release to Rogers for testing until early September. In addition the E-Mail also states that due to technical limitations on the device, the EVE will not be getting any future update to Android 2.1

This is indeed a sad day for owners of the LG EVE as, their devices, have basically been declared obsolete. All I can say as a HTC Dream owner is “Welcome to the club” . We can only hope that the September date holds and the 1.6 update does not keep getting pushed out.

Here is the email that I received.

Hi Don,

On behalf of LG Canada, thank you for your inquiries regarding the LG Eve. Here is LG’s official response.

LG Canada has been working to release the Android 1.6 OS upgrade for the LG Eve, which is now expected to be delivered to Rogers for testing in early September, 2010 due to internal delays. Once certified by Rogers, the upgrade will be made available for download from the LG website and will require a PC sync. We appreciate your patience and thank you again for your inquiries.

LG remains committed to investing in the Android platform and will have some exciting innovations for you this year. However, a 2.1 OS upgrade for the LG Eve will not be made available as the device cannot adequately support the features associated with it.

Best,

Sheryl

gbd

Over-clocking that recently rooted Rogers Magic/Magic+

May 25, 2010

For those of you that followed my recent posts to root their Post E911 Magic / Magic+ devices and are running on the current version of CyanogenMod (CM) 5.0.7. If you want to get a little more umph out of the device without pushing the hardware too hard, Here is a procedure to over-clock the phone to 576Mhz.

First if you don’t have it, download the latest version of  CM and the EBI1 port file from the CM forum.  The MD5SUM’s for the versions that I used to Over-Clock my Magic+ are

(d9a5de5ecc458d12a3227d6facea00b9) for update-cm-5.0.7-DS-signed

(591ca4356de8d9478797932e0586ea88) for bc-5.0.7-ebi1-signed

Next download the Over-Clock Kernel from DroidBasement.com. The file that you are looking for is

boot-cm_2633.3_ds_32a-oc-uv-xtra-fp-050910.zip with a md5sum of (8a0fe4757c1d6de670e18ac0b4f105da)

Always check for the newest version of CM and the OC Kernel (If you’re not sure if they will work together then post a question in CM forum or on the DroidBasement site.)

1. Perform a Nandroid Backup

2. Flash the latest CM Update

3. Flash the latest EBI1 port file (I’m not sure if it’s required but flash just in case)

4. Flash the latest OC kernel

If you are already at the latest CM release with the corresponding EBI1 port then just perform steps 1 and 4

The instructions on DroidBasement.com say to install SetCPU (paid) from the Market and gives instructions on how to set it up. I found however that  OverclockWidget (free) from the Android market works fine for me so that’s what I used.

If you choose to use SetCPU the instructions for it’s setup are on the page you downloaded the OC port file from. If you choose to use OverclockWidget then this is how I set it up.

1. Place the widget on one of your home screens.

2. Select the Widget to open it and select Advanced Setting.

3. scroll down and check “Use your frequencies” then select Detect frequencies

4. scroll back to the top and under “Screen On Freq Setting” set Min to 245760 and Max to 576000

5. Check the Differ Freq Screen Off

6. under Screen Off Freq Setting set Min to 12880 and Max to 245760.

7. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Save.

There you have it. You should now be running CM 5.0.7 with a max CPU setting of 576Mhz. All credit goes to Cyanogen and his team over at http://www.cyanogenmod.com/ for the excellent Rom and to http://droidbasement.com/db-blog/ for the OC Kernel

Rogers post E911 Magic to CM 5.0.8 (Android 2.1) with Dream E911 Radio

May 10, 2010

For anybody wanting to try it, I have a newer guide that hasn’t been tested and I haven’t received any feedback on yet. The newer guide is shorter with less download links and should be much less daunting. If you want to stick with the tried and true then this is the guide for you as many people of used it and successfully rooted their Rogers Magic/Magic+. Here is a link to my new shorter guide. (Edit), The newer guide has been tested and works. You’ll be better off following it.

For those of you that followed my earlier post, I’m sorry but to get the Dream post E911 radio onto your Magic you’re going to end up wiping it again. If you’re in this boat just refer to the end of my original post to get the Dream E911 Radio onto your Magic

* ** This procedure is not for the light of technical skills, you could very well end up bricking your phone. If you still want to continue, you are taking sole responsibility to whatever happens to your phone. Read the guide and if you are unsure ASK before continuing. ***

Here is the entire procedure that I performed to get from POST E911 update to Cyanogen 5.0.7 (Android 2.1) on a Rogers Magic+ This procedure will leave you with a rooted Magic running Android 2.1 (CyanogenMod 5.0.7). The Radio will be the Radio that is running on the Rogers Dream post E911 mandatory update so hopefully it should be approved by the system scanning that Rogers is doing and you won’t end up getting your data disabled.

First step is to download the tools and files you will need to perform this procedure and to place them in the proper spots that you will need them. At one point you will need to be able to connect to a WiFi or 3G network to download Astro File Manager. Wanting to be carefull, I will be rooting the phone then unrooting to go back to a known  start point before starting the rooting process using CyanogenMod 5.0.7

** This is for the Rogers Magic post E911 update or Magic+ only **

1. Download the Android SDK

http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

2. Download Amon_RA’s recovery image (Yes is says Hero but it’s the one you use)

http://rapidshare.com/files/360227978/recovery-RA-hero-v1.6.2.img

(md5sum  ef209630079493f741cd93e731772ff2)

3. Download the new RUU from Europe

http://www.multiupload.com/XQEH9NVGY7

(md5sum 93dfc58bf37ea8e878ec189c18f79d55)

4. Download the Rogers RUU from last July

http://tinyurl.com/37l7hmj

(md5sum 5e5f80aff042b80a14378c3abcb3bb36)

5. Download Zinx’s Recovery Flasher (Version 1.1.1 is what worked for me)

http://flashrec.googlecode.com/files/flashrec-1.1.1-20090908.apk

md5sum (baa8ba9a36a11c9daf52e7e6e88636db)

6. Download The new Cyanogen ROM

Download from CyanogenMod.com http://tinyurl.com/3aduohn

New link http://bit.ly/b3jKHp

7 Download the Kernel port file (allows cyanogen to work with Rogers radio)

Download from CyanogenMod.com http://tinyurl.com/3aduohn

New link http://bit.ly/b3jKHp

*** Make sure that the Kernel port file matches the Cyanogen main file ***

8. Download the Google Add on pack.

http://kanged.net/mirror/download.php?file=gapps-ds-ERE36B-signed.zip

(md5sum 6ce87e782a4c261386760203851b227d)

9. We need to download one additional recovery that will work after we revert to Rogers RUU

http://rapidshare.com/files/360149641/recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.7.0H.img

(f78bc0ff51f233666a9a5f72b56aabec)

9.5 Download “update-hboot-1.76.2007-signed.zip”

http://rapidshare.com/files/313034025/update-hboot-1.76.2007-signed.zip

(md5sum 0567f3c6260f64afaf58ae23f67891b9)

10 Download “Engineering SPL 1.33.2005”

http://rapidshare.com/files/247838950/update.Engineering-SPL-HBOOT-1.33.2005-signed.zip

(md5sum 2B1AAA9012DC28F88C482E1B21A46FDD)

11. Download Dream E911 radio 3.22.26.17

http://rs133.rapidshare.com/files/345124144/3.22.26.17.radio.img

(md5sum 0eb7c5530ef38eeaa07590e6924c7814)

There we have it, hopefully this will be all the files that we will need.

Now that we have all of the files we need to get to root with Cyanogen 5.0.7, lets get started. In this part we will apply the RUU that will allow a SPL downgrade and then reapply the original Rogers RUU to get back to a known starting point.

12. (I already have the Android SDK so this is from memory) First step is to extract the Android SDK, after you extract it, find the “Tools” folder and copy it to the root of one of the drives on your PC. I’ll be using c: for this example

13. Using the SD card that came with the Magic you now need to create a Goldcard. Follow this procedure.

http://theunlockr.com/2010/03/10/how-to-create-a-goldcard/

14. Copy all of the Zip files and the “recovery-RA-hero-v1.6.2.img” that you have downloaded to the Root of your SD card

15. Copy the “recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.7.0H.img” and “3.22.26.17.radio.img” files to the c:\tools folder

16. With the SD card in your Magic, run the RUU “RUU_Sapphire_HTC_Europe_3.05.401.1_test_signed_NoDriver.exe”

17. When the RUU has completed and the phone has rebooted open up a command prompt on your PC and navigate to the c:tools folder. On the phone go to settings-applications-development and turn on USB Debugging

Enter the following commands from the command window on the PC

adb devices (you should see a device listed)
adb shell (you will get a prompt #)
# flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-RA-hero-v1.6.2.img

18. Turn off phone and turn on again holding Power+Home. RA Recovery should appear

19. Select Flash zip from SD card and flash the file “update-hboot-1762007-signed”

You have now downgraded the SPL to a point where you will be able to run the Rogers origional RUU

20. Run the Rogers RUU “RUU_Sapphire_Rogers_WWE_2.17.631.2_release_signed_NoDriver”.exe

We are not at a known starting point where we can be assured that we have the Rogers radio. When the phone reboots, if you are using 3G, sign into your google account. If using WiFi, just skip through everything to the main screen and then connect to your WiFi.

21. Goto the market and install Astro File Manager (If you skipped through to connect to WiFi you will have to sign into google now)

22. Goto Settings-Applications and check “Unknown sources” then select development and check “USB debugging”.

23. Using Astro, navigate to and flashrec-1.1.1 which should be on the root of your SD card, then select open app manager, then select install.

22. Open recovery flasher, select backup recovery image, select download recovery image, select flash recovery image.

24. After the flash is complete shutdown the phone and restart it by holding the power and home keys.

24. Select “Apply any Zip from SD” and flash “update.Engineering-SPL-HBOOT-1.33.2005-signed.zip”

After the SPL has been flashed you will be asked to reboot your phone, the phone will reboot back into recovery and you will see a message formating cash at the bottom that won’t go away, you can ignore that message.

25. Power down the phone.

26. Restart phone by holding the power button and volume down keys, phone will boot into fastboot and you will see 3 Androids on skateboards at the bottom. Press the back key.

27. Open a command prompt on your computer and go to c:/tools

28. Run the following commands

fastboot devices
fastboot flash recovery recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.7.0H.img
fastboot flash radio 3.22.26.17.radio.img

29. Turn the phone off, turn back on again holding the home key until the phone boots into recovery.

30. Perform a nandroid backup

31. Perform a Wipe

32. Flash Zip from SD card

a) update-cm-5.0.7-DS-signed.zip (Or whatever the current CM release is)
b) bc-5.0.7-ebi1-signed.zip (Make sure it matches the CM release)
c) gapps-ds-ERE36B-signed.zip

33. Power the phone off and then back on and you are now running CyanogenMod 5.0.7 using the E911 radio from the Dream

** PLEASE NOTE **

IF YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO THE E911 RUU YOU WILL HAVE TO USE A GOLDCARD TO REAPPLY IT

*****************

If you are having problems getting your Data plan to work after rooting then you may have to manually set your APN settings. Here are the settings that you’d need

APN Settings:

Name: Rogers
APN: rogers-core-appl1.apn
Proxy:
Port:
Username:
Password:
Server: http://mms.gprs.rogers.com
MMS Proxy: 10.128.1.69
MMS Port: 80
MCC: 302
MNC: 72
Authentication type:
APN Type:

Rogers Magic Post E911 update to Cyanogen 5.0.7 (Android 2.1)

April 30, 2010

** IF YOU HAVE NOT RUN THIS PROCEDURE YET THEN DON’T PLEASE SEE MY UPDATED GUIDE THAT WILL LEAVE YOU WITH A POST E911 RADIO **

Here is the entire procedure that I performed to get from POST E911 update to Cyanogen 5.0.7 (Android 2.1) on a Rogers Magic+ There were a couple of tense moments during this where I was trying to see what would work and thought I bricked the phone. Go figure the Rogers RUU saved my ass 🙂

First step is to download the tools and files you will need to perform this procedure and to place them in the proper spots that you will need them. At one point you will need to be able to connect to a WiFi or 3G network to download Astro File Manager. Wanting to be carefull, I will be rooting the phone then unrooting to go back to a known source before starting to root with Cyanogen. I did this to ensure that I end up with the correct radio.

** This is for the Rogers Magic post E911 update only **

1. Download the Android SDK

http://developer.android.com/sdk/download.html?v=android-sdk_r05-windows.zip

(md5sum cc2c51a24e2f876e0fa652e182ef5840)

2. Download Amon_RA’s recovery image (Yes is says Hero but it’s the one you use)

http://rapidshare.com/files/360227978/recovery-RA-hero-v1.6.2.img

(md5sum  ef209630079493f741cd93e731772ff2)

3. Download the new RUU from Europe

http://www.multiupload.com/XQEH9NVGY7

(md5sum 93dfc58bf37ea8e878ec189c18f79d55)

4. Download the Rogers RUU from last July

http://tinyurl.com/37l7hmj

(md5sum 5e5f80aff042b80a14378c3abcb3bb36)

5. Download Zinx’s Recovery Flasher (Version 1.1.1 is what worked for me)

http://flashrec.googlecode.com/files/flashrec-1.1.1-20090908.apk

md5sum (baa8ba9a36a11c9daf52e7e6e88636db)

6. Download The new Cyanogen ROM

Download from CyanogenMod.com http://tinyurl.com/247zgcl

7 Download the Kernel port file (allows cyanogen to work with Rogers radio)

Download from CyanogenMod.com http://tinyurl.com/247zgcl

*** Make sure that the Kernel port file matches the Cyanogen main file ***

8. Download the Google Add on pack.

http://kanged.net/mirror/download.php?file=gapps-ds-ERE36B-signed.zip

(md5sum 6ce87e782a4c261386760203851b227d)

9. We need to download one additional recovery that will work after we revert to Rogers RUU

http://rapidshare.com/files/360149641/recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2H.img

(md5sum baa8ba9a36a11c9daf52e7e6e88636db)

** UPDATE**

Thanks to @DGFromMtl for pointing out that I forgot a download link. One additional file that’s need is “update-hboot-1.76.2007-signed.zip”

http://rapidshare.com/files/313034025/update-hboot-1.76.2007-signed.zip

(md5sum 0567f3c6260f64afaf58ae23f67891b9)

**END UPDATE**

There we have it, hopefully this will be all the files that we will need.

Now that we have all of the files we need to get to root with Cyanogen 5.0.7, lets get started. In this part we will apply the RUU that will allow a SPL downgrade and then reapply the original Rogers RUU to get back to a known starting point.

10. (I already have the Android SDK so this is from memory) First step is to extract the Android SDK, after you extract it, find the “Tools” folder and copy it to the root of one of the drives on your PC. I’ll be using c: for this example

11. Using the SD card that came with the Magic you now need to create a Goldcard. Follow this procedure.

http://theunlockr.com/2010/03/10/how-to-create-a-goldcard/

12. Copy all of the Zip files and the “recovery-RA-hero-v1.6.2.img” that you have downloaded to the Root of your SD card

13. Copy the “recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2H.img” file to the c:\tools folder

14. With the SD card in your Magic, run the RUU “RUU_Sapphire_HTC_Europe_3.05.401.1_test_signed_NoDriver.exe”

15. When the RUU has completed and the phone has rebooted open up a command prompt on your PC and navigate to the c:tools folder. On the phone go to settings-applications-development and turn on USB Debugging

Enter the following commands from the command window on the PC

adb devices (you should see a device listed)
adb shell (you will get a prompt #)
# flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-RA-hero-v1.6.2.img

16. Turn off phone and turn on again holding Power+Home. RA Recovery should appear

17. Select Flash zip from SD card and flash the file “update-hboot-1762007-signed”

You have now downgraded the SPL to a point where you will be able to run the Rogers origional RUU

18. Run the Rogers RUU “RUU_Sapphire_Rogers_WWE_2.17.631.2_release_signed_NoDriver”.exe

We are not at a known starting point where we can be assured that we have the Rogers radio. When the phone reboots, if you are using 3G, sign into your google account. If using WiFi, just skip through everything to the main screen and then connect to your WiFi.

19. Goto the market and install Astro File Manager (If you skipped through to connect to WiFi you will have to sign into google now)

20. Goto Settings-Applications and check “Unknown sources” then select development and check “USB debugging”.

21. Using Astro, navigate to and flashrec-1.1.1 which should be on the root of your SD card, then select open app manager, then select install.

22. Open recovery flasher, select backup recovery image, select download recovery image, select flash recovery image.

23. After the flash is complete shutdown the phone and restart it by holding the power and home keys.

24. Select “Apply any Zip from SD” and flash “update-hboot-1762007-signed.zip”

After the SPL has been flashed you will be asked to reboot your phone, the phone will reboot back into recovery and you will see a message formating cash at the bottom that won’t go away, you can ignore that message.

25. Power down the phone.

26. Restart phone by holding the power button and volume down keys, phone will boot into fastboot and you will see 3 Androids on skateboards at the bottom. Press the back key.

27. Open a command prompt on your computer and go to c:/tools

28. Run the following commands

fastboot devices
fastboot flash recovery recovery-RA-sapphire-v1.6.2H.img

29. Turn the phone off, turn back on again holding the home key until the phone boots into recovery.

30. Perform a nandroid backup

31. Perform a Wipe

32. Flash Zip from SD card
a) update-cm-5.0.7-DS-test1-signed.zip
b) bc-5.0.7-t1-ebi1_R2-signed.zip
c) gapps-ds-ERE36B-signed.zip

33. Power the phone off and then back on

**** ANDROID 2.1 BABY YAH ****

**** NOTE YOU ARE ON THE PRE 911 OLD RADIO ****
**** FILL OUT THE WAIVER OR LOOSE YOUR DATA ****

http://www.rogers.com/htcwaiver

** PLEASE NOTE **

IF YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO THE E911 RUU YOU WILL HAVE TO USE A GOLDCARD TO REAPPLY IT

*****************

Moving from this guide over to Dream E911 Radio (Phone in debugging mode and usb plugged into pc) This was done quickly so go over it and please let me know if you see any issues with it.

Download these files

http://rs133.rapidshare.com/files/345124144/3.22.26.17.radio.img
http://rapidshare.com/files/247838950/update.Engineering-SPL-HBOOT-1.33.2005-signed.zip

Copy 3.22.26.17.radio.img to your c:\tools folder from the above guide

Copy update.Engineering-SPL-HBOOT-1.33.2005-signed.zip to the root of your SD card

Copy your CM files to the root of your SD card (if they are not already there)

a) update-cm-5.0.7-DS-test1-signed.zip (Or whatever the current release you have is)
b) bc-5.0.7-t1-ebi1_R2-signed.zip (Make sure it matches the CM update file above)
c) gapps-ds-ERE36B-signed.zip

Power down the phone and boot into recovery by holding the Home + Power keys

Perform a nandroid backup

Apply Zip from SD

a) update.Engineering-SPL-HBOOT-1.33.2005-signed.zip

When asked to reboot your phone go ahead, the phone will reboot back into recovery. Ignore the cash message at the bottom.

Perform a Wipe

Apply Zip from SD

a) update-cm-5.0.7-DS-test1-signed.zip (Or whatever the current release you have is)
b) bc-5.0.7-t1-ebi1_R2-signed.zip (Make sure it matches the CM update file above)
d) gapps-ds-ERE36B-signed.zip

Reboot your phone by holding the volume down + power buttons. Press the back button when you get to the screen with the 3 androids on skateboard at the bottom. If you miss the screen just pull the battery and try again

Open a command prompt on your pc and navigate to your c:\tools folder.

Fastboot Devices (You should see your device listed)
Fastboot flash radio 3.22.26.17.radio.img

Reboot your phone and go through the entire setup procedure again (sorry)

Reverting HTC Magic to pre Rogers 911 Update

April 29, 2010

** For anyone wanting to take the phone direct to CyanogenMod 5.0.7 (Android 2.1), see my next post here. **

We knew it was just a matter of time until someone came up with a procedure to get rooting ability back to the HTC Magic and that time is up. Here is a guide to getting your Magic back to the state it was before the Rogers 911 patch was applied to it. This was performed without a SIM card in the phone so as not to get caught by the Rogers system and have the data blocked.

1. First step is to create a GoldCard. If you don’t know the procedure for doing this, you can use this meathod

http://theunlockr.com/2010/03/10/how-to-create-a-goldcard/

2. Download the RUU that will flash over the Rogers 911 update RUU

http://www.multiupload.com/XQEH9NVGY7

3. Download the original Rogers RUU from July 2009.

http://tinyurl.com/37l7hmj

4. Now Make sure that your Magic is fully charged, the Goldcard is in the phone and the phone is plugged into your PC via USB. Run the RUU named

RUU_Sapphire_HTC_Europe_3.05.401.1_test_signed_NoDriver.exe”

5. After the update has completed and the phone has rebooted, Run the RUU named

RUU_Sapphire_Rogers_WWE_2.17.631..exe”

Congratulations you have now reverted your Rogers Magic back to before the 911 Mandatory update and can procede to follow your favorite rooting guide. I continued on to install cyanogen and will post a guide on what steps I took to get it installed and running but I won’t have that guide ready for you until at least tomorrow morning. One thing that you have to note however is that there are few Rom’s that are compatible with the new Rogers radio for the magic. Currently you will either have to limit the choices that you have with your ROM’s and run the new radio or keep the old EBI1 radio / switch to EBI0 radio and have a better selection. If you go the second route you will have to fill out the Rogers waiver if you don’t want Rogers to cut off your data.

 

Rooted Magic

Unboxing Xperia X10

April 26, 2010

I’ve recently been given an opportunity to use the Sony-Ericsson (SE) Xperia X10 for a period of time and now that I’ve finally put aside the initial period of playing with a new toy (plus the fact that I finally have a few minutes while sitting on a flight from Toronto to Charlottetown), It’s time to get into some of the nuts and bolts of the the  Sony-Ericsson (SE) Xperia X10. This being the first Android offering from SE it’s a good start to what I’m sure is going to be a great line of phones for the consumer market. The phone does have some short comings but nothing that interferes greatly with it’s functionality as most are more annoyances than anything. Some things I may find as short comings others may see as features, after all there is no way SE is going to be able to please us all.

Xperia X10 unboxed

When you open the box the first thing that you are greeted with is the large bold screen of the X10, compaired to the screen on my HTC Magic this thing is positivly huge. It’s a 4″ TFT Capacitive LDC display, 480 x 854 pixles WFGAOnce you manage to get through with galking at your new toy and get down to the business of checking out the remainder of the box, you will find it contains a SIM card , Large 16MB Micro SD card, Charger with USB cable, a set of earbud style headphones and a mini audio cable that contains the microphone and answer button. The one thing noticeably missing is a slip case to protect that large screen from your keys when it’s in your pocket.



Charger & Cable

It’s good to see a company like SE taking some initiative by including a charger that uses the a micro usb cable to connect to the phone. Having the cable serve a dual purpose saves on some unnecessary cabling. I however, would have prefered a charger with cable attached and and the additional USB cable as the phone is not capable of achieving the entire day on a single charge (at least with my use). I need the ability to charge in multiple locations without having to drag the cable around with me so I’ll have to pickup a couple of additional Micro-USB cables to have the ability to charge the phone at work and in the car as required. Luckily the charger that I have for use in my car is of the type that you plug a USB cable into.

Headphones

The audio cable is a well thought out design that I’m really impressed with. Having the included ear bud headset seperate from the cable that contains the answer button and microphone means that I can use my own headset to listen to music without having to worry about unplugging it to make a call. I’m sure that many people who use their phones as music players will appreciate this ability. The included ear-buds have a decent sound quality and the overall volume would be sufficient for most people. The phone is capable of louder sound levels than what I would normally use for any extended period of time but others may only find it just adequate.

The SD card, what can I say but 16GB wow! It’s nice to see Android phones hitting the market with greater storage capacities. I believe that many casual users would be hard pressed to fill this amount of space up in any appreciateable amount of time but, if you do need more space, according to the specifications on Rogers Web site the phone is capable of holding up to a 32GB card. The only drawback that I see with the included card is that it’s only a Class 2 which has a maximum data transfer of 2MB per sec. For now and for most users of the phone it’s not going to make that much of a noticeable difference unless you’re in the habbit of transfering large files to and from the phone. But if and when Google decides to offer a native ability in Android to store applications on the SD card, the speed limitations of Class 2 is going to be a problem. I would have liked to see at a minimum a Class 4 and preferably a Class 6 card included with a high-end phone like this.

This phone is crying out for some sort of case or slip pouch that it can be stored in. One of the specifications on the phone is that it’s screen is “scratch resistant” but I for one don’t really want to test the scratch resistance of the screen by throwing in my pocket with my keys and I would liked to have seen some sort of protective cover included with the device. Unfortunatly Rogers does not yet have any such accesories on their site, leaving it up to the customer to find other supply sources to order from. Hopefully Rogers will rectify this oversight soon and we will see some offerings on the Rogers web site. Until then a quick search with Google will lead you to many sources for ordering a case for the phone. *** update, I’ve learned today that Rogers will be stocking cases for the X10 and they should be available the week of May 10th. ***

Cover Removed

Removing the back off of the phone can be a formidable task the first time you do it. Just like the HTC Dream, it seams like you are going to break the phone when taking the back off. However after a few times removing it you will find it becomes easier to do. Under the cover you will find a 1500 mHa battery branded with the Sony Ericsson name, I’m not sure if the battery is a Sony designed battery or if they they are purchasing a standard battery and having it branded with their name direct from the manufacture. A quick search with google however does turn up with a 1800mAh replacement battery from Mugen. If you’re finding that you can’t get enough time between charges, this might be the route to go as it should equate to about 20% increase in battery performance. As the case in most phones, the battery must be removed to install or remove the SIM and Micro-SD cards, which themselves are easy to access.

X10 Front

SE went to great lengths to give this phone some clean lines and they succeed. The front of the device contains only the large screen, recessed ear-piece and three push buttons (Menu, Home and Back), gone is the trackball or d-pad found on other Android Devices. The light and proximity sensors are also located on the front but are hidden behind the clear cover that takes up almost the entire front of the phone. The volume up and down buttons are on the right side of the phone which is a switch from most other phones that I’ve used in the past where they were to be usually found on the left side. After using the volume buttons, I find that this is a much more natural location for them and I really appreciate the thought that went into the ergonomics of the phone. The camera button is also located on the right side of the phone ( which will be the top when taking pictures). The top of the phone contains the power switch Mini-RCA audio jack and a covered Micro-SD connector for charging the phone and connecting it to your computer. The left side of the phone contains the audio output and what I assume is the microphone. The bottom has only a place for attaching a strap while the back contains the impressive 8MP camera and the camera light.

The first thing to note when booting the phone is that its boot-up time is great, I’ve clocked it at under 45sec from hitting the power button to being able dial out (This is with about 60 applications installed on the phone). This is a tremendous improvement over Rogers earlier offerings in the HTC Dream / Magic and the LG Eve. When booting the user will be met with a screen where they will have to swipe from left to right in an upward curving arc to unlock the screen. After using the swipe to unlock feature (SE needs to enable users to just push the home button to unlock as well) you will be greeted by the largest piece of screen realastate that you’ve ever seen on a smartphone. SE has even gone to the lengths to reduce the size of the information bar at the top of the screen and application pull up bar at the bottom of the screen. It could be my old eyes but I personally find that the size of the information bar is too small with many of the icons being hard to make out at times.

While in use the phone is responsive with the 1GH Snapdragon processor handling just about anything you can throw at it and it has lots of internal storage for downloading those applications that we all love. I’ve made an effort to use the included Timescape and Mediascape applications that are the cornerstones of Sony-Ericisson’s UX user interface. While I’m still on the fence over the Timescape application (which by the way can be set as the home screen), I am liking the Mediascape application. I’ll certanly keep on using these applications and write more about them on an individual basis. One thing to note on the Timescape app is that it’s more of a contact based than application based interface for all your social interactions, this is why I’m on the fence over it. I’m not used to using my social media this way and the app depends on your adding all your Facebook and Twitter contacts into the main contacts list. I’m not sure if I want all my twitter contacts to end up crowding my gmail contact list when it’s synced so I’ll have to check into the settings more to make sure if I add people to the contact list it’s just on the phone and doesn’t end up being synced to gmail.

After using the HTC on-screen keyboard, there are not many others that can offer up anything close to the functionality and ease of use. The keyboard included with the X10 is one of those that can’t measure up and it’s a major disappointment as it offers little more functionality than the basic Android keyboard. I gave it my best try to get used to it but gave up and installed a different keyboard on the phone that offered up a better interface and faster input. Since there are many keyboards available in the Market or otherwise this is nothing more than an annoyance that can be quickly and easily rectified by the user. And hey, if you’ve never used the HTC keyboard how would you ever know.

The camera is easy to use and comes with many functions. I’ve not gotten into using it much yet but what I can say so far is that it has multiple settings for photo quality, the camera can be set to take pictures at 2mp 16:9, 2mp 4:3, 6mp 16:9 and finally 8mp 4:3. It has an auto exposure that you can also manually adjusted and a light that has to be manually enabled each time the camera app is started. The bright LED does not act as a flash but rather just turns on to light up a subject. The range on the light is not that great so your subject will have to be fairly close before snapping your picture. The outdoor picture quality is great and having the camera set 8mp will give you decent pictures even if you’re using the 10X digital zoom feature. I can actually forsee many occasions where I wouldn’t bother bringing my digital camera with me and would rely on the phones camera instead.

Included behind the protective screen on the front of the phone are a light sensor and proximity sensor. The light sensor is used to automatically adjust the brightness of the screen based on the ambient light conditions. SE still has some work to to do with their auto-brightness as you can can see the brightness of the screen adjusting to transient conditions. I would rather see them take an average of the light level over 5-10sec and adjust the brightness according to the average. I have no idea what they are using the proximity sensor for, one would assume it would be to stop you from making selections with your face while talking on the phone. As I’ve never had that happen to me I can’t say for sure if that’s the reason or not so I’ll do a little more research into it and post again in another blog the reason for the existence of the proximity sensor.

To install the sofware that comes with the phone on a windows based PC, it’s a simple as attaching the phone to your computer via USB and then choosing to mount the SD. As long as you have auto-run enabled on your PC the installer will run automaticly. If not you can just navigate to the removeable disk that was setup on your PC when you attached the phone and run the install.exe file found on the root of the SD card. I’ll get into the PC software at another time on a different post so I can devote some time to it.

So in conclusion I find that this is well built and designed phone that I’m sure will be a great device for many users and I would certainly recommend it if you are looking for a device where you can keep all of your contact interactions in one place. Android power users may be disappointed in the phone, especially if they have used Google’s Nexus1 or any other device that is running version 2.X of Android. The phone is currently running on Android 1.6 which is an older version of the Android Operating System but SE has stated that the phone will be updated to Android 2.1 later in the year.

I’ll be back with further posts on the specifics in each area of the phones operation. I just want to have a chance to give each feature on the phone a good workout before I give my final opinion on it.

Winners:

Large screen, Great audio quality, Clean ergonomic design, Amazing camera for a phone, Light Sensor included, Quick boot-up time, Quick response to user inputs, 16GB SD card

Loosers:

Poor battery life, No trackball or d-pad (some would consider this a plus), Basic on screen keyboard, Included SD Card is only Class 2, No Multi-touch capability

Items to Note:

Touch screen just a bit over sensitive and causing me to make selections when my intentions was to scroll

Auto brightness needs to smoothed out a bit. It shouldn’t be adjusting when someone walks behind you. It needs to be averaged over 10-15 seconds.

Accelerometer seems to be over sensitive as well or it requires smoothing of the output.



Intimate time with Xperia X10

April 22, 2010

Thanks to Rogers Wireless, over the next while I’ll be spending some intimate time with the SE X peria X10. I’ll be bringing you the good, the bad and the ugly of the phone, hopfully more good than otherwise . I only received the device last night and there are few things that i don’t like right off of the bat and others that I rather liked. I am however going to give the device a chance and use it for several days to see if I can get used to the differences beore I post anything about it.

One drawback that i noticed right out if the box however, was the lack of a slip pouch for the phone. No amount of getting used to the devce is going to change my oppinion on this. You would think that for the cost of the device, that this is something SE would have inclued in the package. There are also no accesories for the X10 on the Rogers website, leaving users on their own if they want to find some means to protect the screen. Hopefully this is an ovesight that will be rectified soon.

The phone is a beautiful well constructed device and the UI is well thought out. Too bad that SE decieded to limit the available home screens to 3 (same as stock android), I have gotten used to the 7 screens that come with HTC Sense. My inital reaction to the keyboard and lack of a track ball is not favourable but some more usage may change my oppinion on it. Inital use of the light (its not a flash) did not produce any useable pictures, but the lighting conditions were somewhat less than idleal.

I’m finding that the touch input is overly sensitive when scrolling and I keep on opening applications without meaning too. Again as I get used to the device this will probally become a non issue.

The accelerometer also could use a little smoothing, a couple of level apps that I tried make it look like I can’t hold my hand still.

One thing to note, I didn’t experience any of the UI lagging that I’ve seen reported on some of the pre release devices. It’s a different experience using using this phone, so far not a bad one, just different. I’ll get the phone all loaded up over the next few days and give each feature on the phone a good workout.

gbd

My Ultimate Android Dream Device

April 17, 2010

Imagine if you will, an Android phone that was running on a multi core Intel processor. This phone had all the bells and whistles that you’ve come to expect from android phones except that’s its better, faster, stronger than any phone that has been released to date. The phone comes with a beautiful 4″ oled display and 12mp camera with dual led flash (or something better). And is running the newest version of Android.

Sounds like a great phone so far doesn’t it. But now imagine if one of the options that you could purchase was a 10″ lcd touch screen that your phone can just snap into. This nice large screen also includes a front facing camera for video conferening, an extended battery and every sort of interface you could hope for.

Imagine also if this great screen also included a mobile base and Bluetooth keyboard / mouse. What if your Android phone was capable of running Chrome os and connecting to googles cloud to run Google docs and such.

Now imagine another dock for the phone itself but one that enabled a pc to have full access to the capabilities of the phones resources and enable the pc to run apps on the phone and have them seem like they are running right on the pc.

One more dock for your car that integrates your phone into the Google entertainment system of your car and to the included heads-up nav display. Also connecting to the optional rear seat multimedia displays.

So what do you think? Would this be going beyond a tablet, beyond a charging and syncing dock.? Of course it is, this is the sort of device that I’ve been waiting for. if you were looking for an iPhone / iPad killer, the device imagined here would be the one to do it.

What would you add to the ultimate Android phone?

HTC says Rogers should repair / replace my phone (again)

April 16, 2010

As a continuation of my blog post from a couple of days ago (Dealing with HTC on Magic Problems), HTC has finally gotten back to me. I’ve basically been told to bugger off and go deal with Rogers to get my device repaired or replace, as if Rogers is going to be able to repair HTC’s software. It Looks like HTC is going to wash their hands of the issue and let Rogers take the heat again. I wonder how many HTC Magic’s I’ll have to go through before I get one that works properly?

HTC did however give me a number to call to get a RMA to send my phone in for repair, I guess they’ll just swap out a few of the bits in the code. I wonder how long that would take?

Here is the text of the response that I received back from HTC

Hello Don,
Thank you for your reply. I understand how this can be frustrating for you. With the information that you have provided, unfortunately, there is not any additional troubleshooting that we can perform to resolve this for you. I can only recommend obtaining a replacement or repair from your carrier. In the case where you carrier is not providing any additional assistance, you may contact our RMA center at 1.888.617.1113. They are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST. I do apologize for any inconvenience that you may have experienced. I hope we have answered your questions in detail. Feel free to contact us again if you have any further technical inquiries, we will be more than happy to assist you with them. Thank you for contacting HTC Technical Support.

gbd