Weekly linmob round up (1)

As I decided to do weekly round ups with a focus on the mobile linux world recently, I will now try to give this idea a good start, even though i don’t have much time right now.

Let’s start with Android. Besides the 1.1 SDK was released, Archos announced an internet and multimedia tablet device supposed to run Android and featuring phone functions, powered by chips from TI. It isn’t too unlikely, that we will see some more Android running devices on next weeks MWC at Barcelone, Spain – but don’t expect a flood, as Motorola and Samsung are unlikely to announce any Android devices there.
Besides this, there are some efforts to jailbreak the european T-Mobile G1 devices, as Linux kernel developer Pavel Machek states on his blog.

As Motorola will release there first Android smartphones in Q4 2009, they need something to fill the gap until then – considering they don’t want to loose the rest of their highly decreased market share. Unwired View has pictures of some new Motorola phones: While the VE66LX is just a luxury edition of the already announced 5MP MotoMAGX slider VE66 and the QA4 seems to be pretty close to the CDMA Qualcomm BREW powered Krave ZN4, the somehow QA30 resembling GSM/3G (aimed at AT&T) QA1 seems to be the most interesting: What kind of OS it is running? Has Motorola tweaked good old p2k05 so far? Or has it finally tought MotoMAGX 3G (and probably touchscreen capability? Or is it BREW? Well, nobody seems to know yet (hopefully besides Motorola ;-) ) so we have to keep our eyes on this, as it would be a great finish for MotoMAGX.

From Motorola to OpenEZX – support is becoming better and better, and thanks to FSO OpenEZX efforts seem to be close to become really usable. There is a flash tool with GUI on the way.. So those who are not that skilled or just fear terminal emulations will be able to mess around with this, too.

One platform to run on top of OpenEZX is QT Extended, we shouldn’t forget about that. If you are interested in programming for this platform, you might be interested in ICSNetworks Youtube Videos.

That’s it for this week, see you again for the next little round up next saturday, hopefully with lots of MWC news!

ANDROID on Motorola A810

First, let’s have a look at the videos:

So, does this mean, ANDROID on EZX is possible right now, with phone functions working? No, even if the A810 is still listed as an EZX 2nd generation device in the OpenEZX Wiki, this isn’t the truth. It is in fact, as I’ve been knowing about for a long time – but never wrote here –, a phone made by china based E28 Inc. (maybe you remember them as the manufacturer of the NEUF Twin tact), and not based on a PXA270/Freescale Neptune solution, but on OMAP730/850 (like the Twin Tact, which – branded as E28 E2831 – was the first real ready-to-market phone which ANDROID was ever demoed on).

Unfortunately the guy who posted these videos and embedded them on Motorolafans isn’t the guy who shot them – so there aren’t any explanations yet.
But this should kick the porting of ANDROID to the E28 E2831, anyway, because this in fact shows that it should be possible to skilled people everyone to do such a port.

After finding these videos, I searched for explanations on how to get Android running on E28 devices – I didn’t find THE explanation, but some explanations.

I will share the links without great commenting, if you’re interested in this topic you have to read them, anyway.

Cancelled, released and whatever else

No, i don´t have great news, but I just thought that a little write up of news of the mobile devices world might be nice.

First of all, in case the Motorola fanboys belonging to my readers didn´t notice: Some pictures of the cancelled RAZR3 “Ruby” appeared recently – it wasn´t running Linux, but UIQ (as Motorola did apparently never manage to make MotoMAGX 3G capable), so this news won´t kill anybody interested in linux on mobile devices.

Nokia has launched its real answer to iPhone (i guess the well informed reader already heard about iPhone Linux) just yesterday. No, it doesn´t run Maemo/QT Extended (there might be products doing so in the future), but S60 5th
Edition (keep in mind that Nokia has plans to opensource Symbian) doesn´t seem to be a bad deal, anyway (at least it isn´t Windows Mobile). I have to admit that I like this N97, not a big surprise as I like the Nokia 5800 as well.

Android for the OpenMoko FreeRunner is about to be usable in short term, there´ll be images containing a softkeyboard soon – i believe that this makes the FreeRunner more interesting for Android hype followers (like me^^) and might help its sales.

At least these news make the FreeRunner sound more interesting, it is anyway as there are lots of distributions out in the wild made for it.

But I suppose I´ll wait for GTA03 ;) which is about to feature a new EDGE-capable modem chip (Cinterion mc75) according to Michael Lauer, who has described the difficulties in making ogsmd supporting different modems – Freescale Neptune, used in Motorolas´ EZX phones appears to be a pretty bad one. But read his blogpost yourselves.

Concerning EZX: I think I´ll publish another igeekmod R2 build and then I´ll stop creating builds (at least if I really manage to run moon-buggy in my A910s terminal), at least for some time – there are chinese guys creating one build after the next one, i don´t think i have to keep up with that – when there´ll be great improvements, like multikeypress support and a taskmanager, I will “igeekmodify” that firmware – but that´s it. I am looking forward to focus on 2.6 – keep in mind that i am no hacker, please – to try things, weird stuff and so on, on A910 and E680i.

BTW: If I were a hacker, I would try to port linux to my Samsung SGH-i780, a device I really like – but Windows Mobile is, at least from time to time, a pain in the ass.

News, again: Android, OpenEZX, Motorola…

Android has been opensourced a some time ago, just in time with the release of the T-Mobile G1, and it has been adopted by the community for several devices as it seems, including OpenMoko´s Neo1973 and its younger and superior brother, the FreeRunner – certainly this is making the FreeRunner more attractive for “normal people” – the problem is that ANDROID needs a hardware keyboard ATM to be usable – and as everybody who knows the current OpenMoko Devices, knows: It should be pretty unusable.

Anyway, there have been some news regarding other devices, too (Well, there have to be, as i haven´t published a single line in october (shame on me ;) )). OpenEZX support for A910 and of course for the other devices, too – has improved, A910 is the first OpenEZX device with camera support, just to name an example. You might say “Well, who cares about this bad camera?” and you are right, but nontheless this is great news.
I haven´t done much mobile device related in the last month, i didn´t even create another Motorola-mod, but some (?) chinese guys did. It is a great mod, though I think that some of the features they implemented are.. well.. not that necessary – but they did great work that would have taken much time for me to do. One example: EDGE support – even if i don´t think that Motorola disabled EDGE for no reason. Another one? USBNET works like a charm, as it does with the unbranded firmware. I don´t know, if SIP is working, too – but anyway: this is great work, I am pretty sure that I could have done it, but: It would have taken ages for me to figure out how to get this USBNET menu option. I tried to do so, several times, in english E2 forums – but nobody wanted to tell me.
This firmware inspires me, I think you can feel that by the way I write, and I will take it as a base for another igeekmod release – hoping to have time for that on sunday. Let´s hope that no friends will think of disturbing me ;). I will basically remove some things I dislike and add a freakbox again, try to translate some chinese tools and there will be some more languages than english and chinese (at least german and french).

Finally, there are some news regarding my long time favourite cellphone builder, Motorola: They won´t go on with MotoMAGX (ok, the recently leaked and released VE66 still runs it, in a new iteration, btw), they won´t go on with UIQ (last UIQ devices were 3.5G enabled Z8 and Z10, UIQ is dead, anyway) – they will use ANDROID instead and will go on creating and producing Windows Mobile and P2K phones. I think that this is not the worst decision: they have to cut their costs – and if they had kept MotoMAGX they would have had to put much development effort into it, which would have been expensive. And ANDROID is there and quite attractive (for developers and users) thanks to its “ANDROID market” – MotoMAGX would have had no real chance against it, and “QT Software” is a part of NOKIA…
And there is even more news, which I would call “bad news”: Motorola is about to (at least that´s what they are planning to do currently) leave the european market to focus on asia and the americas. Looking at sales figures, this is easy to understand, but(!): You can´t just look at sales figures, you have to think of what you offered in europe as well, Motorola! Asia got all these nice EZX devices, and Europe? And in the US there are all these non-GSM handsets, that weren´t that bad…
It is sad. European marketing department sucks, and after that poor europeans … Well, I will stop crying. It´s not too sad. Maybe my i780 won´t stay my only Samsung, as i780 is a nice and pretty device, even though it runs Windows Mobile 6 (still no official update!) which is definitely an ugly OS – but as Samsung is looking forward to create ANDROID devices (I know that this link is old and outdated… but it shows something I dream of ;) )

ANDROID, igeekmod R2 status and new plans

This blog was really quiet lately, i have to apologize for that. I am still not at home (and without unlimited broadband internet access, which is the reason why I am writing this unsing my HTC Universal (WinMob6.1, Opera 9.5 Beta)).

Android is getting ready and the first Android device, the T-Nobile G1 (aka HTC Dream) will be on sale in the US on tuesday (if I am wrong, sorry, I can’ t do extensive (and expensive) MultiTabbing on this device) for 199$ and a two year contract. unforunately it will take some time until the device will appear on the european markets: They say it is due to translation is needed, but the fact that T-Mobile is exclusively selling the iPhone (3G) here in Germany, they don’ t have this huge need for an internet device.. ;)
Today the Open Handset Alliance released the ANDROID 1.0 SDK (unfortunately i won’t be able to test it right now and they say that ANDROID will be opensourced later this year.„

Considering the T-Mobile G1, I have to say that I am not too impressed – HTC has better hardware in its product portfolio (e.g. the Touch Pro). The G1 is marketed (and it’s no problem to discover that) an iPhone concurrent – it has similar specs; but a keyboard (I love Qwertz/qwerty keyboards on small devices) and no 3,5mm headphone jack – which is not too bad – but it is always nicer to have one, exspecially if your phone has a music store on it .

These are my first thoughts regarding the G1, if you wnat to know more about ANDROID, get yourself the SDK and read some reviews – I am pretty sure that there will be tons of reviews soon. And if you’ve got a Motorola EZX cellphone or an other phone on which you can try out ANDROID (I am pretty sure that there some people working on inofficial ANDROID builds for several phones right know).

EZX is the keyword to start talking about A910 igeekmod R2 status: No news at all. I didn’t find the time to work on it yet – and it is not too probable, that i’ll find much time to do so, soon.
But I promise to create one more release, with igeekmod R1’s speed (the unbranded R58 is dead slow), easy to set up VoIP (might be an ugly hack) and newer SHOWQ binarys – I can’t promise more, as every additional feature will take nore and more time.

As I won’t have that much time the next time, I won’t blog that much – and I’ll need a good PIM solution – that just works. I don’t like Windows Mobile – but seems to be a stable and easy to use platform (though it’s interface contains huge usability flaws and is inconsistant). But as the Universal has a good size for couchpotato surfing, but not to carry it in trousers pockets, I might need a new piece of hardware – I had a look at QWERTY-Smartphones and PocketPCs, and the one I actually liked best (beside HTCs Touch Pro, which is way to expensive for me) is the Sansung SGH-i780, which isn’t too small but pretty thin and features good performance and battery life. Some of you may say: uarghs, Windows Mobile (and I can understand that), but I don’t like Symbian, Palm OS/Garnet is nice but somewhat outdated, Openmoko/QTopia aren’t ready (and Neo Freerunner has no hardware keyboard) yet (and aren’t that extensible Windows Mobile is. Maybe there will be a Linux for this Samsung one day, e.g. ANDROID.

That’s it for now …

A910 and other native software which is gone

Some days ago, I had to learn, that all these old news posts, which say that Motorola releases A910 as a smartphone aren´t wrong.
According to my source Motorola was developing some interesting applications for it, like Skype and a file-sharing tool (which made its way into RAZR² V8 according to my source). Unfortunately, all these apps (and firmwares, we´d really need an *.SHX flash, to repair all these broken A910s out there) seem to be gone.

But it is funny to see, that there weren´t only plans. The plans were executed and after they had developed all this stuff, they decided that it was no more fitting there product strategy. This might be due to Motorolas multiplatform strategy (Linux/Java (EZX/JUIX/MotoMAGX), Symbian, Windows Mobile, Symphony/P2K), or just to the fact, that A910 didn´t meet there quality requirements for a business phone (I could understand that, as there are phones that carry better materials than A910 does).

These all are guesses, but if there is one thing we don´t have to guess: A lot things at Motorola went wrong these days.

[added 7/8/2008]
Of course there was additional software planned and developed, e.g. a instant messanger (just extract iconres.ezx and you´ll find lots of icons related to that), which might be excluded (as the upper softwares) due to that guys which we call operators – somehow operators are users enemy in additional communications software (which they can´t charge that much for as for SMS).

If there is anybody out there reading this, owning a sweet Martinique (A910) or E2 which has any of this software (if you know somebody who has that it´d be great, too) please be so kind and extract the relevant software codegroups using this tool (this backup doesn´t include any personal data). Or just contact me by writing a little comment. Thanks!

Motorola announces A1800 in China

If you are interested in new cellphones the much I am, you’ll have already heard of Motorolas A1800 mobile phone.

There is a product page on Motorolas’ chinese website and a chinese tv commercial on youtube.

Seems to be an interesting device, but not for europe, as there are no CDMA (only WCDMA) networks here and I am not sure whether this phone is capable of GSM dual sim.

It features a 3 megapixel camera, memory extension via microSD and AGPS, to name the really interesting ones, its look reminds me of the Ming.


BTW: I will write something about further A910 plans soon.

edit: Motorola officials say, that the A1800 does not run Linux (But hey, the A1600 and the ZN5 do ;) ).