hack

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!]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 1 2009

We started the week off with a hardware hack that allows users to use the T-Mobile G1 with an iPod dock and speakers. Though this hack is not pretty and only somewhat useful, it is very interesting and really gives the iPod the good old one two. Open source developers who prefer using Python to Java can now rejoice as Damon over at damonkohler.com has managed to get it running on his G1. As most projects are in the first stages this is still a little rough, but it does show great promise with future development. More photos of the OpenMoko FreeRunner running Android have surfaced. Nothing new or exciting to report here. ShopSavvy needs your help to win the Crunchies 2008 Best Mobile App award. Voting only takes a few seconds and two clicks of the mouse. Please help Big In Japan win the award for creating such an amazing application. Google has sent out an email to those registered as developers informing them that paid applications will indeed be available in mid January. So grab the free applications while you can. HTC has a firm belief that the cupcake update will become legitimately available through Google in time. HTC has no say while Google and T-Mobile are in full control of what is included in the update. Right now Google and T-Mobile are declining to comment on such a statement. The guys over at VentureBeat have managed to get Android running on the Eee PC 1000 netbook. Though there are still a few issues with the port, they say that the process was fairly easy. There were a few other discoveries made while digging through the source code. The RC29 firmware has made its way to the Internet and now users who upgraded to the RC30 firmware and lost root access can now regain it. The process is fairly easy to do and has been confirmed to work. As with all firmware updates we advise you to proceed with caution.

Regain root access of your G1 with leaked RC29 firmware

How many of you upgraded your T-Mobile G1 to the RC30 firmware only to find that you no longer had root access?  A member by the name of “chavonbravo over at the XDA-developers forum has gotten his hands on the uploaded image for the RC29 firmware. The process is quite simple, simply rename the file, copy it over to your microSD card, and run through the standard procedure for re0flashing your G1. This method has been tested and does indeed work but proceed with caution, as with all firmware hacking of any kind there are risks involved. Good luck to all those who are going to revert to a much easier hackable firmware. With this new method out there, how many of you are now going to slave away trying to regain control of your handset?

Small hack makes the iPod docks compatible with T-Mobile G1

In an effort to at least show that the iPhone has nothing on the T-Mobile G1, someone has found a way t make the G1 work with an iPhone/iPod Touch dock. This hack may not be what you expect or anything to look at really, but it does show that this is in fact possible. The easily recognized iPod dock connector has a very well known pinout so the process was not too hard to figure out.  To figure out the pinout of the HTC USB connector he just split open the hands free adapter he got with his T-Mobile Dash. Below is the process outlined to create this converter.
Most of the wires were labeled, “L” “R” “M” ect. It took a bit of fiddling to discover that connecting pin 7 to the audio ground ( pin 8 ) turns on the external audio. Sparkfun sells 30 awg (Gauge) wire wrap wire that is perfect for soldering to the ultra tiny pins on both the HTC ExtUSB connector and the iPod Female connector. We used pins 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, and 23 on the iPod Female connector. If you gently bend the pins out it makes it much easier to solder, but be careful the pins break easy. 1 & 2 are Ground - 3 is Right Audio + 4 is Left Audio + 16 is USB Ground - 23 is USB Power +5 It is important that you do not mix the audio and power grounds or you can get a nasty hum. On the G1 side of things the upper half of the connector is a standard mini-usb pinout, the bottom is very different. We used Pins 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. 1 is USB Power +5v in 5 is USB Ground - 6 is Left Audio + 7 is marked “AG” on the T-Mobile Dash headset board, connect this one to pin 8 to enable audio. 8 is Audio Ground - 10 is Right Audio + Now we wire the two connectors together like so: iPod pin - HTC ExtUSB pin 1 ———— 8 3 ———— 10 4 ———— 6 16 ———— 5 23 ———— 1 Don’t forget to solder together pins 1 & 2 on the iPod side and pins 7 & 8 on the G1 side. When its done it looks like this: droid-dock So we have audio from Audio player and YouTube, and the speaker dock charges the G1 too. Have fun!
[Via Webnetta]
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