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PaulOBrien

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Everything posted by PaulOBrien

  1. Changelog r2: Corrected boot image flash issue r1: Initial release
  2. Vodafone have today announced the 'Smart platinum 7', a premium flagship device commemorating 10 years of Vodafone branded devices (the first was the Vodafone 710 3G clamshell) and 85 million sales. The £300 Smart Platinum 7, available from the 20th June, offers Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, a Snapdragon 652 CPU, 5.5" 2K AMOLED screen, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM expandable via microSD, 16 Megapixel / f/2.0 camera with PDAF and a dedicated camera button, all powered by a 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support. Premium design as well as specs is the order of the day, with a metal body under 7mm thick, 2.5D gorilla glass and aircraft grade, diamond cut aluminium. It's actually quite a looker! As well as being available for £300 on Prepay, the device will be available on a £28 per month contract, which includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB of UK data and 500MB of inclusive roaming allowance. Vodafone will also be selling their first VR headset as an accessory for the Smart platinum 7. The 260g 'Vodafone Smart VR headset' is said to be 'comfortable and lightweight (260 grams) to deliver a fully immersive VR experience', although it's not clear what technology the headset uses (likely Google Cardboard) and whether it will be compatible with Google Daydream going forward. If the new device can be as good at £300 as the Smart ultra 6 has been at £150, then we're in for a treat! We will of course be getting one in the office, so we'll let you know our thoughts in due course. We don't yet know if the device is OEM'd by ZTE like the ultra 6 (although it seems likely), we're digging around now and we'll let you know when we know more! View full item
  3. Vodafone have today announced the 'Smart platinum 7', a premium flagship device commemorating 10 years of Vodafone branded devices (the first was the Vodafone 710 3G clamshell) and 85 million sales. The £300 Smart Platinum 7, available from the 20th June, offers Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, a Snapdragon 652 CPU, 5.5" 2K AMOLED screen, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM expandable via microSD, 16 Megapixel / f/2.0 camera with PDAF and a dedicated camera button, all powered by a 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support. Premium design as well as specs is the order of the day, with a metal body under 7mm thick, 2.5D gorilla glass and aircraft grade, diamond cut aluminium. It's actually quite a looker! As well as being available for £300 on Prepay, the device will be available on a £28 per month contract, which includes unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB of UK data and 500MB of inclusive roaming allowance. Vodafone will also be selling their first VR headset as an accessory for the Smart platinum 7. The 260g 'Vodafone Smart VR headset' is said to be 'comfortable and lightweight (260 grams) to deliver a fully immersive VR experience', although it's not clear what technology the headset uses (likely Google Cardboard) and whether it will be compatible with Google Daydream going forward. If the new device can be as good at £300 as the Smart ultra 6 has been at £150, then we're in for a treat! We will of course be getting one in the office, so we'll let you know our thoughts in due course. We don't yet know if the device is OEM'd by ZTE like the ultra 6 (although it seems likely), we're digging around now and we'll let you know when we know more!
  4. When you're messing around with hacking your Honor 5C, it's actually very difficult to brick. Believe me, I've tried! But it is easy to get in a situation where, if you don't know the relevant key combos, you can get a bit stuck. To help avoid this, I'm clarifying the key combos for our devices below. The key thing to note is that the keys can behave differently depending on whether you have a cable to a computer plugged in or not. No cable plugged in: Volume down + tap power button: Normal boot Volume up + tap power button: Recovery mode (reboot / factory reset / wipe cache options or TWRP if flashed) Both volume buttons + tap power button: Flash dload image from microSD card Connected to a computer: Volume down + Power on: Fastboot mode (exit with 'fastboot reboot' or a long power button press) Volume up + Power on: Huawei eRecovery (reboot / download / shutdown options - used for 'recovery loop' fix, see below) Both volume buttons + Power on: Flash image via HiSuite (NOT from microSD card) The key one here is the 'both buttons' combo. When you get your device very broken, the restore method of choice is to use a microSD with a dload folder. Based on the above, remember you need to do the both buttons combo WITHOUT a cable plugged in, or it will try and use HiSuite instead of the card. Lots of people have noted that when using TWRP, the device can get into a continuous recovery loop. The fix for this is actually very easy - go into eRecovery (volume up and power on when connected to a computer) and select 'Shutdown'. When you then power the device on, it will boot normally instead of booting to recovery. One final thing - when flashing from microSD, be VERY careful. Flashing a Lollipop image over Marshmallow without using the rollback image can make bad things happen, wherever possible try and flash a full image that matches the build you are using. Hope this is helpful! :) P
  5. Huawei have helpfully released the kernel source for the Honor 5C on their download site. Impressively, the version posted there (3.10.90) actually matches the current release build (B102). However, the download itself is only part of the puzzle - it's important to then know how to compile it and use it. Hence this guide. :) This guide refers to building on Linux. You can probably build on OSX or whatever too but seriously, it's less pain in the long run to spin up an Ubuntu VM. Here's a step by step on how to build the kernel! I strongly recommend building stock first and testing that works for you, then you can start adding your tweaks in. I'm interested to hear what you add / change! Open a terminal window on your Linux machine / in your Linux VM. No GUIs here. :) Change to the directory where you want the kernel / toolchain to live. First of all, we're going to clone the toolchain from AOSP. git clone https://android.googlesource.com/platform/prebuilts/gcc/linux-x86/aarch64/aarch64-linux-android-4.9 Next we're going to clone the kernel source itself from my git repo on bitbucket. git clone https://gitlab.com/paulobrien/android_kernel_honor_5c.git -b stock kernel We need to add the toolchain location to the path. export PATH=$(pwd)/aarch64-linux-android-4.9/bin:$PATH We need to specify that we are cross compiling for arm64. export CROSS_COMPILE=$(pwd)/aarch64-linux-android-4.9/bin/aarch64-linux-android- Let's create a directory for our output to go in to. mkdir out We've got the kernel downloaded, so let's change to that directory so we're ready to go. cd kernel A bit of cleaning up before we get started. make ARCH=arm64 O=../out mrproper Specify that we're building for the 5C. make ARCH=arm64 O=../out 5c_extracted_defconfig And build it! make ARCH=arm64 O=../out -j8 When this process completes, we can check the '../out' directory and you should find the file arch/arm64/boot/Image. This is the kernel that you've just built! You can't flash it as is though, you need to put it into a boot image first. Here's how you do it... Change out of the kernel directory back to its parent. cd .. Download tools for manipulating the boot image. git clone https://github.com/xiaolu/mkbootimg_tools.git Download the stock boot image (actually we're using the root ready version for convenience). wget -O boot.img http://nigella.modaco.com/files/boot.policypatched.h5c.b102.img Extract the boot image. mkbootimg_tools/mkboot boot.img boot.extracted Copy the new kernel into the extracted boot folder. cp out/arch/arm64/boot/Image boot.extracted/kernel Build a new boot image. mkbootimg_tools/mkboot boot.extracted boot.newkernel.img You now have a new boot image (boot.newkernel.img). All that's left is to flash it to your device! Reboot to bootloader (either using 'adb reboot bootloader' or by powering on with volume down held), flash using 'fastboot flash boot boot.newkernel.img' and then reboot using 'fastboot reboot'. Job done! In the About screen of settings you should see the date of the new kernel and details of your build machine.
  6. I'm going to straight up admit that, while EMUI does add a ton of useful tweaks and improvements to Android, not everything in it is to everybody's taste, particularly if you are a big stock Android fan. In this guide (which was written based on Honor 5C software version B102 but probably works well on most Huawei / Honor devices), I'll take you through ways to make your device feel more like stock. Feedback is welcomed and I'll be updating this document frequently with additional info and improvements. I am going to walk through the process from a freshly reset device, but you can of course pick out just the bits you want! Launcher After going through the setup wizard on your device and configuring your Play Store account, one of the first things you will likely want to do is replace the standard EMUI launcher. It's particularly non-stock feeling due to it's lack of app drawer. This is nice and easy, because the standard Android launcher is available from the Play Store. The process From the Play Store, ensure all currently installed apps are up to date (particularly 'Google'). From the Play Store, install 'Google Now Launcher'. In the Settings app, select the 'Apps' option, press the Advanced button and select 'Default app settings'. In this screen you can specify the standard Launcher. Choose 'Google App'. Press the home key and you're done, you should now have the standard launcher! Further tips On pre-Marshmallow devices, you may notice that third party launchers (including Google's) don't correctly make the top and bottom bars transparent. Sadly this includes my favourite launcher, Action Launcher 3. Another alternative, Nova Launcher, does have this feature however. Icon themes As you can see in the above images, even with a custom launcher installed, many icons (such as the Play Store) are 'customised'. These backgrounds are applied using a theme. The default Honor 7 theme is called 'Spectrum', but I've made a special version, 'Spectrum Pure' that removes these icon customisations. The process From this post on MoDaCo, download the 'Spectrum Pure' .hwt theme file. Copy the .hwt file to /sdcard/HWThemes on your device (you can use the built in 'Files' app for this if needed). Launch the 'Themes' app, select the 'Mine' tab, select 'Spectrum Pure' and press 'Apply'. When you go back to the homescreen, your customisations should be gone! Note that some launchers need to be restarted to pick up the change, so if in doubt, reboot your device. Third party apps A number of third party apps are installed out of the box, thinks like '50+ free games, 'Bubble Bash', 'Dragon Mania', and Puzzle Pets. You can get rid of these if you prefer. The process In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Uninstall' button. Further tips The Facebook and Twitter apps can be removed in the same way if you don't want to use them. Additional Honor apps As well as third party apps, a number of additional apps are included by Honor that have no stock Android equivalent. You can remove, in the same way as above: Backup Compass Honor Club Mirror Smart Controller (if you remove this though, you will need to install a different app to enable IR functionality) Vmall WPS Office The process In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Uninstall' button. Disabling un-uninstallable apps The above apps are all easily uninstalled, but there are also other apps that while you can't uninstall them, you can disable them. The apps you might want to disable are: Email (if for example you are using the Gmail app instead) HiCare Magnifier Notepad Weather The process In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Disable' button (this will be greyed out for system apps). Keyboards Out of the box the Honor 7 includes a Huawei customised version of Swype and 'Android Keyboard (AOSP)', which is a basic build of the stock Android keyboard. If you are not using Swype and you want to use the stock Keyboard, you should use the Play Store version rather than the provided build to ensure you get updated. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Keyboard'. Launch Google Keyboard and complete the setup wizard (this is important!). In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the 'Menu' button and the 'Show System' option. Select 'Android Keyboard (AOSP)' and press 'Disable'. Select 'Huawei Swype' and press 'Disable'. Calendar Honor have replaced the stock Calendar app with their own, however Google Calendar can be installed from the Play Store. The Honor Calendar app is not un-installable or disableable, however using adb access from a computer, there is another solution. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Calendar'. On your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device. Run the command 'pm hide com.android.calendar'. You should now have only one Calendar app in your launcher, as shown below (before / after shot!). Clock Just as with the Calendar app above, the stock Android clock application can be downloaded and the Honor equivalent disabled using ADB. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Clock'. If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required. Run the command 'pm hide com.android.deskclock'. You should now have only one Clock app in your launcher. Messaging If you are not a fan of the Honor Messaging app, you can download and install the Google version and, once again, remove the Honor version. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Messenger'. Launch the app and set it as your preferred handler for text messages. If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required. Run the command 'pm hide com.android.mms'. You should now have only one Messaging app in your launcher. Files, Music, Recorder, Videos Stock Android doesn't have a Files app per se, nor music, recorder or video apps. These can be removed using the same method as above. The process If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required. To remove 'Files': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.hidisk'. To remove 'Music': Run the command 'pm hide com.android.mediacenter'. To remove 'Recorder': Run the command 'pm hide com.android.soundrecorder'. To remove 'Videos': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.hwvplayer'. These applications should now have disappeared from your launcher. Screen Lock and Torch The Screen Lock and Torch shortcuts are currently parts of packages that can't be disabled without ill effects - these need to be removed via a custom ROM. FM Radio This can be removed using the 'pm hide' process, but this will remove all FM Radio functionality (there is currently no stock Android equivalent app). Calculator The stock Android calculator currently isn't available from the Play Store - I will post the APK here in due course. Contacts / Dialler The Contacts / Dialler cannot be changed to the stock Android versions at this time. Notification pulldown / Settings app / Stock app icons / Lockscreen The notification pulldown colours, settings app colours and icons, stock app icons and lockscreen can be modified using a custom theme. I am working on a 'Stock Android' EMUI theme that I will post here in due course. Stay tuned.
  7. Stockify is a theme for Emotion UI (EMUI) that restores a more 'stock' Android look to your device. It is tested and optimised for the 5C, as shown above! To install, download from the Play Store, launch the app and press the install button. You will then be directed to the Theme chooser on your device, where you can select the Stockify theme. You will automatically receive theme updates via the Play Store! The Stockify installer system is Open Source - if you make your own themes, you too can distribute them via the Play Store! More details can be found here at GitLab. Enjoy! :) P
  8. Let's get some custom ROM tweaking going on for our 5cs! :) Ahead of my own MoDaCo Custom ROM for the 5c, which is coming soon, I've created a custom ROM starter template for anyone who wants to have a go. It's a bit different. Basically, this ROM template will let you create your own custom ROM VERY easily. Easier than ever before. All you have to do is... download my ROM template zip make the changes to the system of your phone just as you'd like them for your custom ROM run some commands on your device via ADB add the resulting files to the template zip That's it! No messing around with install scripts, no rebuilding anything complex, just mod - and go! ;-) Preparation ONLY if you are completing the process for the first time, you need to set up a file on your microSD card - so launch an ADB shell and type the following commands... touch /sdcard/exclude echo app > /sdcard/exclude echo priv-app >> /sdcard/exclude echo delapp >> /sdcard/exclude ROM build Once you have your system up and running how you want it, and you're ready to distribute it (just the system and cust dirs mind, it won't pull the data dir, so your personal data is safe), reboot to recovery, launch an ADB shell and type the following commands: mount /system tar -X /sdcard/exclude -zcvpf /sdcard/system.therest.tar.gz /system/ tar -zcvpf /sdcard/system.apps.tar.gz /system/app /system/priv-app /system/delapp mount /cust tar -zcvpf /sdcard/cust.tar.gz /cust You'll then end up with 3 new files on your SD card - system.apps.tar.gz (which is apps and priv-apps from system), system.therest.tar.gz (which, as the name suggests, is the rest of the system partition!) and cust.tar.gz with is the cust partition contents. Update the template zip with these 3 files and that's it. It's ready to distribute for people to flash via TWRP! If you have updated the boot image, you'll need to replace that too, the easiest way is to do a TWRP backup then pull that file from the SD card and drop it into the template zip as boot.img. That's really it! I hope this inspires a few people to start playing around with custom ROMs for the 5c... more cool things coming soon! :) Oh and the all important template file... DOWNLOAD - r2-customromtemplate-honor-5c-neml51-nemo-b102.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: bd68429b1678c93eb8c48d38a1a15610 P
  9. Note: This guide is only tested on the Honor 5C B102 Marshmallow release Marshmallow on the Honor 5C is great, making a very nice device feel even better. But one thing missing is the option to 'adopt' microSD cards as Internal Storage, something that is particularly useful on the Honor 5C given its limited 16GB capacity. Fear not, you can do it manually! In order to set adopted storage up, you will need a computer with working 'adb' and, of course, a microSD card in your phone, the faster the better. Here's the process! 1. BACK UP THE DATA YOU HAVE ON YOUR MICROSD CARD. Your card will be formatted by this process, so make sure you have saved any pictures, videos etc. from your card to your PC before you start. 2. Decide how you want to split your card. You can either commit 100% of the card to internal storage, or split between internal storage and conventional SD. This option is useful if you like to unplug your card and put it in your PC. I would probably recommend committing the whole card. 3. Open your command window / terminal on your computer and type the 'adb shell' command (with your phone connected of course). You will need to enable USB debugging in developer settings (which in turn is displayed by tapping the build number of the device 5 times) in order to see the option. 4. Type 'sm list-disks' to list the disks available for adoption. It'll look something like below - take note of the disk ID (disk:179:160 in this example). 5. Partition the disk. For this we use the 'sm partition DISK TYPE RATIO' command. For example, to partition the disk above as fully adopted storage (aka private) I'd use the command 'sm partition disk:179:160 private'. If I wanted a 50/50 split between adopted and regular, I'd use the command 'sm partition disk:179:160 mixed 50'. Easy right? 6. This process will take a while, but when it's done, the Settings -> Additional Settings -> Storage view on your device should show the new Internal Storage. Note that, for some reason, the free space isn't reported correctly, however everything seems to work OK. When you install apps, they will generally install automatically to the adopted SD, although you can manually move things around if you want to, perhaps for performance reasons (the real Internal storage will likely always be a bit faster). 7. If you want to see how you are doing for space, you can use a third party tool such as FreeSpace or FreeSpace Plus. And that's it! Let us know how you get on, and enjoy your new, expanded Honor 5C! P
  10. All Honor devices currently shipped with a locked bootloader. As long as manufacturers provide a way to unlock, then we're down with that - it helps keep your device secure and means that if you lose it, it's harder for people to steal your data (the process of unlocking the bootloader wipes the phone). There are two ways to unlock your Honor phones bootloader, which will then allow you to install things like custom recoveries, custom kernels / ROMs etc. The first is using the official Honor method, which is free, and the second is using a third party, which costs €4 Euros, but may be the quickest option if the official method isn't working for you. The official method In order to unlock your Honor device using the official method, complete the following steps: Visit https://www.emui.com/en/plugin.php?id=unlock&mod=detail and either create a new account or login with an existing Huawei account. In the form displayed after logging in, enter: Your phone model (NEM-L51 for the Honor 5C) Your phone serial number (this can be found in Settings -> About -> Status) Your phone IMEI1 (this can be found in Settings -> About -> Status) Your phone product ID (to find this, open the dialler and enter *#*#1357946#*#*) The captcha code Press the 'Submit' button. At this point you will either be provided with a code, or you will receive an error such as 'The Huawei ID used to apply for the unlock code has not been used on the device for more than 14 days.' If you get the error, you will need to use the unofficial method below. Open a command window on your PC / Mac, which needs to have 'adb' and 'fastboot' installed from the Android SDK. Enable USB debugging by tapping the build number in Settings -> About 5 times, then going back and selecting the option from the Development menu. Enable OEM unlock in the Development menu. Connect your phone to the PC and approve the security prompt on the device screen. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'adb reboot bootloader' to enter fastboot mode'. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'fastboot oem unlock [insertnumberhere]', of course using the number provided by the Huawei site. YOUR PHONE WILL WIPE ITSELF AT THIS POINT! That's it! You're done! The unofficial method In order to unlock your Honor device using the unofficial method, if for example you receive the '14 day' error from the Huwei site, complete the following steps: On a Windows PC, download and install DC-unlocker from https://www.dc-unlocker.com/. On your phone, enter Manufacturer Mode - open the dialler and enter *#*#2846579#*#*. In the app that then opens, select Project Menu -> Background settings -> USB ports settings -> Manufacturer Mode. Download the Huawei driver pack from https://files.dc-unlocker.com/share.html?v=share/88D4A98C154D4E19AF9D4A1EF09BA620. Install the Huawei driver pack by extracting the file you just downloaded (using WinRAR or similar) and running 'DriverSetup' After installing the driver pack, connect your phone to the PC. In Device Manager, after the automated driver install, you should have no 'Unknown Devices'. Launch the previously downloaded DC-unlocker application. From the drop down lists, select 'Huawei Phones' and 'Auto Detect Model'. Press the magnifying glass icon - the app will then search for your phone. You should see an image like the one below showing your phone is found. At this point, press the 'Buy Credits' option to set up your DC-Unlocker account and purchase the 4 credits required for code retrieval (this will cost €4). You can also do this directly from the DC-Unlocker website. After your credit purchase is complete, click the 'Server' section and enter your new DC-unlocker login details. Press 'Check Login' to validate the details (if the server is busy, this may take multiple attempts). Click the 'Unlocking' section, and click 'Read Bootloader Code'. Do NOT click 'Unlock'. Again, if the server is busy, this may take multiple attempts. The white area of the app will now display the bootloader code. Screen grab this just in case! Open a command window on your PC, which needs to have 'adb' and 'fastboot' installed from the Android SDK. Enable USB debugging by tapping the build number in Settings -> About 5 times, then going back and selecting the option from the Development menu. Enable OEM unlock in the Development menu. Connect your phone to the PC and approve the security prompt on the device screen. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'adb reboot bootloader' to enter fastboot mode'. In the command window on your PC / Mac, enter 'fastboot oem unlock [insertnumberhere]', of course using the number provided by the DC-Unlocker process. YOUR PHONE WILL WIPE ITSELF AT THIS POINT! That's it! You're done!
  11. I'm pleased to post my custom kernel. Going forward this will be integrated into MoDaCo Custom ROM also, but it is also available to flash separately if you choose, for example for use with the stock ROM. Points to note... This kernel is ready-patched for root and SELinux permissive by default I have patched the Honor kernel source from 3.10.90 to the latest 3.10.101 release The kernel is compiled with the UBER toolchain, version 4.9 The config has been extracted using IKconfig from the B102 release The kernel source is available in this repo at Gitlab Details on how to build your own kernel are available in this topic The kernel is in the usual update zip format, so flash using TWRP. And enjoy! Let me know if you have any feature requests, or of course any issues. DOWNLOAD - modacocustomkernel-5c-neml51-nemo-r1.zip - MD5: 260e0e48df5bdc0f72caf37c6e8671bf P
  12. I've been working on creating the basic device tree needed to get the latest TWRP built for our Honor 5cs and most importantly, accepted as an official TWRP recovery. Until the recovery is officially approved, you can download a test version here! Flash using 'fastboot flash recovery filename.img' from bootloader on a bootloader unlocked device. DOWNLOAD - twrp-3.0.2-0-nemo-modaco-rc1.img - MD5: a6ab9da03d2661fb9f46ce6c7cafc3c3 P
  13. These are for model NEM-L51 only Full ROM packages: B102 EMUI 4.1 Android 6.0.1 (United Kingdom) - DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - MD5: 63b8a82cd4af5360b5d34f9b2829059d To flash, extract the '1-' file to a SD card as /dload then insert into a powered off device with plenty of battery and NO USB CABLE ATTACHED. Power on with both volume buttons held and allow the flash to complete. Repeat the process with the '2-' directory afterwards.
  14. I’m a big fan of Android Auto. I drive a 2016 Audi A4 with Audi’s own MMI system and while it’s nice enough and has plenty of features, when compared to the Android Auto implementation the system also includes, it feels incredibly dumb. The voice recognition is, as in most vehicles, comically bad, the navigation system suggests ridiculous routes, the music streaming integration requires me to use Napster (!) and the best ‘connected’ features require an ongoing subscription to ‘Audi Connect’ (needless to say, now the 3 months initial free period has passed, I haven’t paid to keep it going). How well Android Auto works in the car is particularly impressive given the model I have uses Audi’s non-touch MMI interface. Interaction is via a controller between the front seats and controls on the steering wheel. It works very well - I actually prefer it to the touchscreen UI used in my previous car (a Skoda Octavia vRS), mainly because it feels more suited to a car environment and is much more suitable for ‘muscle-memory’ operation. Google have done a good job of making Android Auto work in the non-touch environment. Android Auto’s UI paradigms are very prescribed and they have to be for a couple of reasons. First up is that need to work well for users without touch... the second is a nod to safety. Fully featured OS’ in the car are somewhat controversial from the perspective of distracted driving and Google may be wise to try and head this off from the start, despite the fact that in reality, it leaves Android Auto more limited than manufacturers’ own solutions (I could happily read RSS feeds on Audi’s system if I wanted to, while driving along. I don’t.) This cautious approach however causes a bit of a problem in my mind. Android Auto is missing the best feature of Android... openness. Can I install apps for my car experience? Yes, as long as they are music or messaging apps in the Play Store. Can I write an app myself and deploy it such that I can use it in my car? No, not easily, and definitely not if it doesn’t fall within one of the above categories. Can I switch the mapping app from Google Maps (even though it’s excellent, there are other great navigation apps such as Here or Co-Pilot)? No, although Google owned Waze will be supported soon, it isn’t yet. Don’t get me wrong, as I said at the start of the article, I really love Android Auto – having tried Apple’s CarPlay I feel it’s far superior – but it’s just not everything it really could be and there’s no sign of Google tweaking their approach in a forthcoming release. The possibilities for the platform are vast – I can already think of a bunch of apps I’d personally love to see on Auto – Glympse, OBD apps, eco-driving / insurer apps, dashcam / reversing cam apps, Duolingo – my language learning tool, Swarm, Weatherpro... heck, while I’m stationary (and Auto knows this of course by virtue of its extensive integration with the car systems), why can’t I watch Netflix on my in car display? Google is on to a good thing with Android Auto. Just like the forthcoming Home products, it is naturally a powerful opportunity to make the most of the inherent intelligence and voice prowess of Google's platform. I just hope that Android Auto becomes more Android and less Auto, sooner rather than later. View full item
  15. I’m a big fan of Android Auto. I drive a 2016 Audi A4 with Audi’s own MMI system and while it’s nice enough and has plenty of features, when compared to the Android Auto implementation the system also includes, it feels incredibly dumb. The voice recognition is, as in most vehicles, comically bad, the navigation system suggests ridiculous routes, the music streaming integration requires me to use Napster (!) and the best ‘connected’ features require an ongoing subscription to ‘Audi Connect’ (needless to say, now the 3 months initial free period has passed, I haven’t paid to keep it going). How well Android Auto works in the car is particularly impressive given the model I have uses Audi’s non-touch MMI interface. Interaction is via a controller between the front seats and controls on the steering wheel. It works very well - I actually prefer it to the touchscreen UI used in my previous car (a Skoda Octavia vRS), mainly because it feels more suited to a car environment and is much more suitable for ‘muscle-memory’ operation. Google have done a good job of making Android Auto work in the non-touch environment. Android Auto’s UI paradigms are very prescribed and they have to be for a couple of reasons. First up is that need to work well for users without touch... the second is a nod to safety. Fully featured OS’ in the car are somewhat controversial from the perspective of distracted driving and Google may be wise to try and head this off from the start, despite the fact that in reality, it leaves Android Auto more limited than manufacturers’ own solutions (I could happily read RSS feeds on Audi’s system if I wanted to, while driving along. I don’t.) This cautious approach however causes a bit of a problem in my mind. Android Auto is missing the best feature of Android... openness. Can I install apps for my car experience? Yes, as long as they are music or messaging apps in the Play Store. Can I write an app myself and deploy it such that I can use it in my car? No, not easily, and definitely not if it doesn’t fall within one of the above categories. Can I switch the mapping app from Google Maps (even though it’s excellent, there are other great navigation apps such as Here or Co-Pilot)? No, although Google owned Waze will be supported soon, it isn’t yet. Don’t get me wrong, as I said at the start of the article, I really love Android Auto – having tried Apple’s CarPlay I feel it’s far superior – but it’s just not everything it really could be and there’s no sign of Google tweaking their approach in a forthcoming release. The possibilities for the platform are vast – I can already think of a bunch of apps I’d personally love to see on Auto – Glympse, OBD apps, eco-driving / insurer apps, dashcam / reversing cam apps, Duolingo – my language learning tool, Swarm, Weatherpro... heck, while I’m stationary (and Auto knows this of course by virtue of its extensive integration with the car systems), why can’t I watch Netflix on my in car display? Google is on to a good thing with Android Auto. Just like the forthcoming Home products, it is naturally a powerful opportunity to make the most of the inherent intelligence and voice prowess of Google's platform. I just hope that Android Auto becomes more Android and less Auto, sooner rather than later.
  16. The Huawei Mediapad M2 8.0 is a nice little tablet. 1920x1200 screen, Kirin 930 CPU (as seen in the Honor 7), 2GB RAM, 16GB expandable by microSD and LTE built in. It's available to buy from Vodafone in store for £200 plus a mandatory £10 top-up (boo), which makes for a very competitive price for a connected tablet. You can also SIM unlock and bootloader unlock for 4 euros a pop and now... you can de-brand and enable phone calls! First up, a warning - the process isn't without risks and once you do it, there's no way back to the stock Vodafone configuration, so you do the below at your own risk. With that said, I've done mine and calls work great. It's nice to have ditched the Vodafone boot screen too. :) The process is as follows (note: this is not for the faint hearted and will wipe your device)... Ensure your device is bootloader (and optionally SIM) unlocked - you can do this using DC-Unlocker. When you enter bootloader (either using 'adb reboot recovery' or by powering on with the volume down button held), you should see 'Unlocked'. Download this archive (MD5: 6ed9d5252d7a3efbb99090b4ceb6bfaa) which contains everything you need for the next steps, and extract. Put your device in bootloader mode and flash TWRP (from the twrp directory you just extracted) - e.g. 'fastboot flash recovery twrp/twrp.img'. Reboot to recovery - 'adb wait-for-device && adb reboot recovery' Ensure you have an external SD card in your device and perform a full TWRP backup to it. Push the modified oeminfo file to the device ('adb push oeminfo/oeminfo.img /sdcard/') and write it to the appropriate partition ('adb shell dd if=/sdcard/oeminfo.img of=/dev/block/platform/hi_mci.0/by-name/oeminfo). Power off your device. Remove the SD card, and copy the dload folder (retaining the structure) to it (i.e. the card will contain /dload/UPDATE.APP). Put the card back in the tablet, ensure the USB cable is not attached and turned the device on while holding volume down + volume up. The image will start to flash. Reattach a power cable after the flash starts. The update may fail late in the flash process - don't worry, this is expected! When the process completes, reboot the device and complete the setup wizard. You should now be generic with a dialler icon available and working calls! You will notice the stock theme is kinda ugly, just apply an alternate built in one using the themes app. And that's it! Let me know how you get on! View full item
  17. The Huawei Mediapad M2 8.0 is a nice little tablet. 1920x1200 screen, Kirin 930 CPU (as seen in the Honor 7), 2GB RAM, 16GB expandable by microSD and LTE built in. It's available to buy from Vodafone in store for £200 plus a mandatory £10 top-up (boo), which makes for a very competitive price for a connected tablet. You can also SIM unlock and bootloader unlock for 4 euros a pop and now... you can de-brand and enable phone calls! First up, a warning - the process isn't without risks and once you do it, there's no way back to the stock Vodafone configuration, so you do the below at your own risk. With that said, I've done mine and calls work great. It's nice to have ditched the Vodafone boot screen too. :) The process is as follows (note: this is not for the faint hearted and will wipe your device)... Ensure your device is bootloader (and optionally SIM) unlocked - you can do this using DC-Unlocker. When you enter bootloader (either using 'adb reboot recovery' or by powering on with the volume down button held), you should see 'Unlocked'. Download this archive (MD5: 6ed9d5252d7a3efbb99090b4ceb6bfaa) which contains everything you need for the next steps, and extract. Put your device in bootloader mode and flash TWRP (from the twrp directory you just extracted) - e.g. 'fastboot flash recovery twrp/twrp.img'. Reboot to recovery - 'adb wait-for-device && adb reboot recovery' Ensure you have an external SD card in your device and perform a full TWRP backup to it. Push the modified oeminfo file to the device ('adb push oeminfo/oeminfo.img /sdcard/') and write it to the appropriate partition ('adb shell dd if=/sdcard/oeminfo.img of=/dev/block/platform/hi_mci.0/by-name/oeminfo). Power off your device. Remove the SD card, and copy the dload folder (retaining the structure) to it (i.e. the card will contain /dload/UPDATE.APP). Put the card back in the tablet, ensure the USB cable is not attached and turned the device on while holding volume down + volume up. The image will start to flash. Reattach a power cable after the flash starts. The update may fail late in the flash process - don't worry, this is expected! When the process completes, reboot the device and complete the setup wizard. You should now be generic with a dialler icon available and working calls! You will notice the stock theme is kinda ugly, just apply an alternate built in one using the themes app. And that's it! Let me know how you get on!
  18. Changelog r7 Updated to bring ROM in line with other Honor devices, as part of unified ROM project. Preparation for 'stock style' release Application updates r1 Initial release
  19. I'm pleased to present my MoDaCo Custom ROM for the Honor 6 Plus PE-TL10! READ THIS WHOLE POST BEFORE YOU START! No, really, it contains everything you need to know. About MoDaCo Custom ROMs MoDaCo Custom ROMs are based on official ROMs. A MCR release is designed to feel like a stock Emotion UI ROM with optimisations, tweaks and complimentary additions that enhance the user experience. The aim of a MCR is to be ultra reliable for use on an everyday device. This ROM is part of the 'Unified Honor ROM' project - ROMs with the same changes are available for all current Honor devices. A MCR version with a more 'stock Android' like interface is under development. Requirements In order to use this ROM you must have a custom recovery (e.g. TWRP) installed. The ROM is installed at your own risk. A wipe IS recommended if coming from a ROM other than MCR or stock. BACK UP YOUR DEVICE BEFORE INSTALLATION! Features Based on the B521 custom ROM starter template (you may use MCR as a base for your own ROM) ROM fully optimised with the unique MCR scripts Updated power management policies to reduce instances of 'missing notifications' All apps in ROM updates to latest versions (a considerable saving of over 1GB on /data!) Busybox installed sepolicy patched boot image ready for root selinux permissive Removed 'icons' from /system/themes (themes no longer need to include default icons again) MoDaCo Custom Kitchen (coming soon!) Multi user support Multi window support Preloaded Stockify theme stub Numerous other small refinements - please see the gitlab commits for full details This ROM is completely in version control at gitlab! https://gitlab.com/u/paulobrien/projects Want more tweaks and changes? Post your requests in the support topic. Changelog Please see the post below this one for the changelog. Installation You should install this ROM on a device that has previously been updated to the B521 release. To install this ROM: Download the zip file from the links below and copy to your internal / external SD card. Restart your device in recovery mode PERFORM A BACKUP FROM THE MENU Select the option to apply an update zip, and select the zip file you copied to the SD card. Important Note: As this ROM is partially deodexed, first boot can take a long time. If you have not wiped, you can check for any issues with adb logcat. Be patient! Downloads Please do not mirror these downloads elsewhere. DOWNLOAD - r7-modacocustomrom-honor-6plus-petl10-pine-b521.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: 6e78e7e3ffadf3306433ca4fbfb6620d Support If you have a general question, please post in the topic. Thanks It's impossible to mention everyone who contributes to the Android community by name, but to everyone out there who does great work and shares it with us all - you have my gratitude and respect. Future Updates - READ THIS! By providing this ROM I am not guaranteeing that future updates will follow. Due to limits on my time and the fact that I have a large number of devices for short periods of time, it isn't possible for me to continue providing ROM updates indefinitely. And finally... Enjoy! P
  20. Changelog r7 Updated to bring ROM in line with other Honor devices, as part of unified ROM project. Preparation for 'stock style' release Application updates r1 Initial release
  21. I'm pleased to present my MoDaCo Custom ROM for the Honor 6 H60-L04! READ THIS WHOLE POST BEFORE YOU START! No, really, it contains everything you need to know. About MoDaCo Custom ROMs MoDaCo Custom ROMs are based on official ROMs. A MCR release is designed to feel like a stock Emotion UI ROM with optimisations, tweaks and complimentary additions that enhance the user experience. The aim of a MCR is to be ultra reliable for use on an everyday device. This ROM is part of the 'Unified Honor ROM' project - ROMs with the same changes are available for all current Honor devices. A MCR version with a more 'stock Android' like interface is under development. Requirements In order to use this ROM you must have a custom recovery (e.g. TWRP) installed. The ROM is installed at your own risk. A wipe IS recommended if coming from a ROM other than MCR or stock. BACK UP YOUR DEVICE BEFORE INSTALLATION! Features Based on the B820 custom ROM starter template (you may use MCR as a base for your own ROM) ROM fully optimised with the unique MCR scripts Updated power management policies to reduce instances of 'missing notifications' All apps in ROM updates to latest versions (a considerable saving of over 1GB on /data!) Busybox installed sepolicy patched boot image ready for root selinux permissive Removed 'icons' from /system/themes (themes no longer need to include default icons again) MoDaCo Custom Kitchen (coming soon!) Multi user support Multi window support Preloaded Stockify theme stub Numerous other small refinements - please see the gitlab commits for full details This ROM is completely in version control at gitlab! https://gitlab.com/u/paulobrien/projects Want more tweaks and changes? Post your requests in the support topic. Changelog Please see the post below this one for the changelog. Installation You should install this ROM on a device that has previously been updated to the B820 release. To install this ROM: Download the zip file from the links below and copy to your internal / external SD card. Restart your device in recovery mode PERFORM A BACKUP FROM THE MENU Select the option to apply an update zip, and select the zip file you copied to the SD card. Important Note: As this ROM is partially deodexed, first boot can take a long time. If you have not wiped, you can check for any issues with adb logcat. Be patient! Downloads Please do not mirror these downloads elsewhere. DOWNLOAD - r7-modacocustomrom-honor-6-h60l04-mogolia-b820.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: 915537f165033704724152b81877763b Support If you have a general question, please post in the topic. Thanks It's impossible to mention everyone who contributes to the Android community by name, but to everyone out there who does great work and shares it with us all - you have my gratitude and respect. Future Updates - READ THIS! By providing this ROM I am not guaranteeing that future updates will follow. Due to limits on my time and the fact that I have a large number of devices for short periods of time, it isn't possible for me to continue providing ROM updates indefinitely. And finally... Enjoy! P
  22. Updated test release posted with manual code change to compensate for internal SD card being /data/share rather than /data/media on this device. P
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