Android

Flashing Android OmniROM KitKat 4.4.4 on an Acer Iconia A500 tablet

Attached are the slides from my presentation tonight at the KWLUG on how to flash a custom Android ROM (in this case OmniROM) on the Acer Iconia A500 tablet. The podcast is here.

The whole process was done without any Windows software. All was done from Linux.

  • Getting a CPU ID using APX mode, then getting an SBK (Secure Boot Key) from that.
  • Installing Timmy Dean's V4 Rollback.

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Fixing bricked Acer A500/A501 tablets with data errors, only booting in APX mode

When using nvflash or APX Tool to repartition an Acer A500/A501, some people get data errors, and assume their device is bricked, and is good only for parts.

For example, the command:

nvflash --bct flash.bct --setbct --odmdata 0x100c0105 --configfile flash.cfg --create --bl bootloader.bin --sbk 0x... 0x... 0x... 0x... --go

Will output:

failed executing command 11 NvError 0x120002
command failure: create failed (bad data)
bootloader status: failed to create the partition (code: 10) message: nverror:0x3 (0x3) flags: 0

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Solutions for Android battery drain because of suspend_backoff/Wakelocks

If your Android phone is suffering from suboptimal battery life, you may be suffering from suspend_backoff problems. This happens when the phone is woken up by applications in quick succession, so it decides to keep the phone awake for a little while. For example, there is data to be sent over WiFi, so the WiFi connection is kept awake, which keeps the phone awake.

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Using an Android tablet with PDF and Aldiko for presentations to VGA or HDMI projectors

I use a 15.6" laptop for daily work, but it is kind of heavy lugging it to conferences and talks. This is aggravated by the roller case for it which has some weight in it. Add a power supply, and other sundry items, and it becomes inconvenient when I am not traveling.

So, when I saw someone givining a presentation off of an Apple iPad, I was jealous and thought: why can't I do the same from my Android tablet? Turns out that the iPad has a display port, and Apple sells a display port to VGA adapter.

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FolderSync: an Android app that can sync your photos over SFTP

Manually copying the photos you take using your phone can be a tedious task. You need to find the time, connect the cable, find the last photo that you synced, and sync everything after it.

However, there is a useful and automated solution: the FolderSync Lite app.

This app is targeted towards cloud storage services, including several popular ones, such as Amazon S3, DropBox, Google Drive and UbuntuOne.

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The Android repeat notification problem: and apps that solve it ...

Anyone who used Android knows that it does not, by default, repeat notifications for important events, such as missed called, text messages, email or calendar. One has to manually switch the screen on and look at the notification bar on the top to see what they missed. Ideally, Android needs to have a visual or audible notification that there is a notification that happened in the past.

Luckily there are many apps that provide this, and I review some that I have tried in the past, with the pros and cons for each.

Light Flow

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High CPU usage on Sony Xperia Arc with Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0

After I upgraded my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc from 2.3.4 (GingerBread) to 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), I noticed that it was laggy and slow.

With Gingerbread 2.3.4, and ADW Launcher as the home screen, everything was fine.

Upon using the "top" command, either from ConnectBot, or from adb via the USB case, I noticed that com.google.media and com.google.acore are eating up most of the CPU time.

You can also go into Settings Developer Options and turn on the CPU overlay which will tell you the top processes eating up CPU.

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Speed up your Sony Xperia Arc by removing junk applications

Note: This article is Android version dependent. Before you do it, you have to upgrade your phone. Use the article on Making your Sony Xperia Arc faster using Android 2.3.4 Global Generic 4.0.2.A.0.42.

Root your phone

Root your phone using zergRush.

Remove the junk applications

$ adb shell
$ su
#

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Making your Sony Xperia Arc faster using Android 2.3.4 Global Generic 4.0.2.A.0.42

If you have a slow Sony Xperia Arc, then probably you have Timescape and carrier bloatware that makes your phone slow (e.g. Rogers in Canada). In this tutorial, I will explain the steps that I did to make the phone considerably faster.

Install PC Companion and Update Service

In order to flash a new ROM on your phone, you will need first to install Sony Ericsson's PC Companion as well as Update Service on your Windows computer. This is needed so that the required USB drivers are installed and configured.

Install Flashtool

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Slow Android on Sony Ericsson Xperia? Speed it up with ADW Launcher

Do you have a Sony Ericsson Xperia phone running Android? Such as the Xperia X10 or Xperia Arc? Is it slow and lags often?

We have a solution for you ...

But before we tell you, we have to explain why Sony Ericsson's Android can be slow. The reason is Timescape, Sony's user interface for Android phones. Even if you disable all the Timescape widgets from your home screens, it will still be running under the hood.

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