hack

Nexus One multitouch browser ROM hack released

The absence of multitouch on the Google Nexus One has proved a frustrating limitation for many owners - and an arbitrary one, too, since the HTC hardware itself certainly supports recognizing more than one point of touchscreen contact.  Happily what Google won't deliver, hacked ROMs will, and cyanogen has released a hack that enables multitouch in the Nexus One's browser. Actually, it's more interesting than that, as the crafty tinkerer has made sure that his multitouch framework will work not only in the browser but be potentially recognized by other applications.  That paves the way for pinch-zoom and other multitouch gesture support elsewhere across the system - Google Maps, we're looking at you - if developers decide to get their hands dirty and mod them. Installation instructions (and the ROM files themselves) are here; be sure to back up your bookmarks first, though, as loading the hack will delete them and your browser settings.  cyanogen says the mod will be rolled into an upcoming ROM designed for the Nexus One.

Nexus One 3G settings fix?

A simple fix could address multiple complaints about Google's Nexus One smartphone and its patchy 3G performance.  According to Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun, setting his smartphone to automatically choose its preferred carrier caused it to instantly hop on board T-Mobile's 3G network.
"In “Settings,” I went to “Wireless & networks.” Look for the “Mobile Networks” option at the bottom of this listing. The next screen has a “Network Operators” section — tap it. Your Nexus One will search for compatible GSM networks in the area. Once it’s complete, you’ll see the choices, which will consist of T-Mobile and/or AT&T. You’ll also see a choice to Select Automatically — tap it and your phone should say “Registered on network.” That’s it. That’s all I did and I immediately saw the phone jump from EDGE to T-Mobile’s fast 3G network."
Previously Kevin had been stuck with EDGE connectivity, despite other handsets (with similar support for the T-Mobile 3G bands as the Nexus One has) being able to pull in high-speed 3G downloads and uploads while in the exact same location.  Even after rebooting, the Nexus One now automatically locks onto the T-Mobile 3G network. It's unclear what the explanation for this fix is, though it seems that somewhere in the setup or firmware of the Nexus One the handset has been instructed to prioritize EDGE connectivity over 3G.  It's possible that this is to ensure broader connectivity overall - though at a lower speed - but so far Google and T-Mobile are yet to comment.  Nexus One owners, let us know if this works for you!

Google is Blocking the Maps Navigation Hack for International Users

If you are running Android 1.6 on your smartphone, then you are one of the lucky ones who got the update to be able to use Google Navigation Maps Beta. Unfortunately, if you live outside the United States, you might not be so lucky afterall. Even if you were able to hack your Android device. As we all remember, the Google Navigation Maps Beta was only available at first for Android 2.0 devices in the US only. However, Google decided to give the update to Android 1.6 users too, but also available for US users only. It wasn't long before someone got Google Navigation to work on devices outside the US, thanks to a "little hacking". Apparently, Google is now blocking this hack for all the Android smartphones that had access to the Google Maps Navigation beta outside of the US thanks to the hack. Maybe Google is doing it to cover their butt... errr, to cover themselves from any legal action. So, we must blame licensing restrictions, and not Google, from preventing the use of Google Navigation outside the US. Hopefully, Google is hard at work to get this working on all the Android devices of the world. I can only hope.

Android OS 2.0 Donut released to devs: multitouch, CDMA and more

Google have released elements of Android OS 2.0 Donut to the developer community, and the changelist is already prompting excitement.  Among the differences already noted are multitouch and gesture support, together with CDMA compatibility opening up the possibility of Android devices on US networks like Verizon and Sprint. There's also improved universal search, automated backups and what developers are already calling a huge amount of performance tweaking that should hopefully see the platform running more smoothly even on existing hardware.  More technical issues have been tweaked, too, with WPA Enterprise encryption support together with VPN functionality. It seems Google and HTC have been thinking along the same lines, too, as one of the most visible changes is the connectivity bar in the above screenshot, which allows for one-touch homescreen control over WiFi, Bluetooth and other connections.  The first hacked ROM suitable for the G1 has already been prepared, though be warned: core aspects such as network connectivity do not work, and this is really a build for early testers rather than those looking for the most functionality from their Android devices.  Such users should wait a while, as the frontline devs are promising new versions of OS 1.5 Cupcake with elements taken from 2.0 Donut. [gallery] [via Engadget]

HTC Hero ROM on HTC Magic [Video]

Hot on the heels of the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) "Rosie" HTC Sense video demo comes this, HTC's second Android device, the Magic, supposedly running the official firmware from the upcoming HTC Hero.  Unlike the LeakDroid SuperHERO ROM, this Fatal1ty ROM is tipped as being almost unmodified. In fact, all they've apparently done is tweaked it just enough to make it run on the Magic.  Because of that it supports Flash, as well as all the HTC widgets expected to be on the production Hero.  There's also multitouch support, and in the latest version both GPS and the camera are functional. The one significant drawback we're hearing is that Sense must be completely reloaded whenever the Magic's home button is pressed, something which as you'd expect slows matters right down.  That could be a memory issue or something else to be addressed by the hacked ROM creators.  [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AI2c8QmM-0[/youtube]

HTC Sense SuperHERO ROM gets video demo

If you fancy a taste of HTC Sense on your G1 or Magic, the regular "Rosie" ROM leaks have already provided a way.  The LeakDroid project has been taking the Haykuro ROMs - which include the new HTC Sense UI - and developing builds for those with earlier devices.  Android HDblog have been playing with the latest so-called SuperHERO ROM, and put together a video demo which you can see below.  They've loaded it up on the HTC Dream (aka the T-Mobile G1) and given their opinion of the changes. Unsurprisingly the multitouch browser support, new PMP functionality and social networking integration all get high praise.  Less impressive are the slow performance and occasional crashes, together with the absence of screen-rotation support (that currently leads to more crashing).  Still, it's free to try and with the news that official "with Google" branded devices are unlikely to see HTC Sense officially these hack projects might be your best bet. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxQsRO8wljE[/youtube]

Android runs on Samsung Omnia i900

While most of us are looking toward future devices to give us our Android kicks, some people are more interested in using their existing devices with Google's platform.  Over at the MoDaCo forums they're working on porting Android to Samsung's Omnia and, as the screenshots here show, they've had some degree of success. The Omnia is usually a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone, with a 3.2-inch WQVGA resistive touchscreen, 5-megapixel autofocus camera, 2100MHz 3G, Bluetooth and WiFi.  So far, the porting team have managed to transfer Android to the smartphone, boot it and load the kernel, and get basic touchscreen support. There are still problems, though; most of the hardware lacks Android support, so no phone or camera access, and some of the hardware buttons don't yet work.  The touchscreen occasionally freezes, and sometimes the whole screen turns black, shows streaky text or other glitches, which have to be fixed with a restart.  Still, it sounds like you can try it on your own Omnia without necessarily losing your Windows Mobile install; Android is loaded from a microSD card. [via Patrick Soon]

HTC Hero Android build leaks: new PMP, browser & more

Firmware from the HTC Hero has leaked, and been installed on the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1).  The new firmware shows a refreshed GUI with hints of HTC's own TouchFLO 3D interface incorporated, and has been liberated by Haykuro of the xdadevelopers forum. What's so-far unknown is whether any of these visual changes will make their way into Android 2.0 Donut, or if they're all HTC's own work.  The HTC Dream in the video below is running OS 1.5 Cupcake, certainly.  Right now, all of the main Google apps work, and there are some new additions such as the redesigned calendar There also looks to be Flash support in the browser and new social networking additions, including Twitter and Facebook apps.  While originally Haykuro had said that he wasn't at liberty to release the update for general download, there's now talk that it will be made available for those who have root access on their Android handsets. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKQj1xXFDSo[/youtube] [gallery] [thanks hersh!]

Android netbook gets video demo

We've seen netbooks running Android before, but they're still rare enough to prod our curiosity.  Over at NetbookNews they've been playing with an i-Buddie netbook that's been loaded with Google's open-source OS, and the Atom N270-based ultraportable certainly runs Android. It can't exactly be said to run it smoothly, however, with numerous error messages popping up throughout the demo.  It's unclear exactly whether this is of i-Buddie's doing or something the NetbookNews team have attempted themselves; we're thinking it's the latter. While the end result does look a little like a smartphone stretched to unwieldy lengths across a 10-inch display, don't underestimate Android's potential for netbooks.  According to the latest rumors, ODM manufacturer Compal is already ramping up for Android netbook production this year, while Intel are preparing to support the OS with their mobile processors. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFnqwdIqEW0[/youtube]

Multitouch hack for T-Mobile G1: Video Demo

While the hardware of the T-Mobile G1 can support multitouch, and the users certainly could deal with it, neither HTC nor Google themselves gave the smartphone the ability to recognize more than one simultaneous touch.  Now that's all changed, thanks to coder Luke Hutchison, who has put together a multitouch hack for the G1.  As you can see in the video demo, the hack adds pinch & spread zooming to the G1's browser, together with maps support, replacing the usual zoom controls. Right now this is more a proof-of-concept than anything else, though it's usable, and needs OpenGL acceleration support and kinetic scrolling (where the page continues scrolling after you "flick" it) before it will go as smoothly as multitouch on the Apple iPhone is.  Installation is not for the faint-hearted, either, requiring a reflash of the G1's hardware and the potential risk of bricking your smartphone. If you're brave, the full instructions are here.  The hacked apps - Browser and MapViewer - also include accelerometer-linked screen rotation, so you can use them in landscape mode without needing to flick out the keyboard.  There's also a photo browser with multitouch support. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZEshnuQcno[/youtube] [Thanks Simon!]
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