Sunday, November 7, 2010

Android 2.1 on X10 Mini

I recently got Android 2.1 up and running on my X10 Mini. Although it isn't yet available for Indian X10 Mini owners but through the instructions at XDA-Developers forums, I became one lucky Indian to have the Eclair on my phone!
If you are still running the old 1.6 firmware, you can upgrade to 2.1 easily. There are two techniques. One is to directly flash a firmware into your phone, and other is to make SE Update Service believe that your phone belongs to a place where 2.1 has already been rolled out and then SE Update Service application will put new firmware onto your phone.

The first method

The second method

For the first method to work, you must have Java(at least JRE) installed in your system. To check, just open a command prompt and type java and press enter. If you get some large output, that means java is installed and working. If you get "Java is not recognized as a.........." that means Java isn't installed. Go here and get Java for your OS and install it.

In the second method, you need a rooted phone. Rooting a phone can be done by two techniques. I'll tell you the second one because thats the easiest and even non-engineerig background people will be able to do it without ease! You just need to install an application called UniversalAndRoot on your phone, launch it and tap Root!!!! Thats all!!! After the rooting, you need to install RootExplorer on your phone. Then overwrite the build.prop file in your phone's system directory with the one downloaded from here . After that turn off your phone and turn it on. You will get an error that some application has crashed. Now again turn it off. Launch SE Update Service on your computer and follow the instructions. Your computer must be connected to a high speed internet. In the step when it instructs you to release the back key, don't release it. You will see the New Software Available prompt, release the back button and install the software.

Whats new in the new firmware?

The social phonebook
This is my favourite feature in the new firmware. Your contacts' profile photos from their facebook profiles are displayed when they call you or when you call them. Also, you can see their twitter and facebook status updates right in the contacts. To link any of your phone contacts with his/her facebook/twitter profile go here otherwise if the contact has same first name and last name on facebook, his/her profile will be automatically linked to your phonebook's contact entry.

Double tap to zoom
In the browser now you can zoom to a specific part of the webpage by double tapping. Also its nice when you double tap and the text columns adjust automatically to make reading easier. You can download Dolphin Browser HD from the Android Market to have an still better experience. Dolphin Browser HD has a plugins API and several plugins have been developed for it. For example web2pdf plugin can convert whole webpage to a pdf file.

Live wallpapers
Now you can have animated wallpapers on your phone. I installed the Aquarium live wallpaper and it is very beautiful. There are several more good live wallpapers available for free download from the market to spice up your phone.

Video recording with continuous autofocus
The new firmware makes your phone capable of VGA@30fps video recording with continuous autofocus, which is a big plus.

Skype is available for Android 2.1 but it isn't supported on X10 Mini. I installed it but it used to crash whenever I tapped any contact's name to call.

Minor changes in interface
There are several minor changes in the interface. The blue ambience has gone deeper blue. The lock screen has changed. The call receive/reject screen slider has changed. It looked confusing for me at first when I got the first call. I was confused which way should I drag the slider to receive the call. Finally I went with my intuition and dragged the slider to the right to receive the call. Dragging to the left rejects the call.
The settings menu entries have got icons beside them. The wakeup key has changed. The middle key should now be used to wake the phone up, instead of any of the three keys.

Album issue
The album has gone damn slow at initial launch. You need to wait patiently till all the thumbnails are generated. Anyways, after loading the thumbnails it regains its elegance and is fast as ever.

I have discovered some more great apps that you should try:
PowerAmp: The best music player for Android
RockPlayer: Play all video formats on your phone
TapaTalk: It can let you browse and post in any TapaTalk enabled forum.
iReader: It can view chm files(the compiled help manuals of windows)
Call Recorder: You can record any calls
Android Notifier: Get notified on your pc about any incoming calls or SMSes when your phone isn't in your direct sight.
goChat: Facebook chat on your phone
Recordoid: Record voices
Wyse Pocket Cloud: A VNC client. You can control your Windows or Linux or even Mac computer from your phone directly as if you are using your PC, on your phone
Camera Zoom FX: Its a good replacement for the inbuilt camera

For downloading more and more apps visit this page To be able to download anything you must be registered there. You should also register and keep visiting xda-developers forums x10 mini zone


Anonymous said...

Nice tips. I love how you illustrate the steps.

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