Time to change that Samsung Galaxy a bit? Time for the Galaxo how to. Just remember that unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty. The risks are very slim but they do exist and neither I or anyone else will take any responsibility for any problem that could occur. However you will always loose all your data on the phone! Any external SD card will be left untouched.
That was the disclaimer on to more fun stuff! This guide will flash (install) Galaxo by Drakaz on your phone. We will use Galaxo 1.6.2 which is built on the XEJC6 firmware. It's not as hard as it look, I just wrote a quite extensive guide divided in many steps. My goal is that you should be able to achieve this without any pre-knowledge at all. more straight forward instructions are always published with the ROM. Note that this guide focus on how to do this on a Windows computer, it’s possible on Mac and Linux but since I don’t have any experience on that I’ll let you look for that answer somewhere else.
Phase 0: Preparations
0.1 First of all you need to follow this guide to install the correct firmware and get all the files needed.
0.2 Back-up anything you want to save from your phone and make sure your battery is charged to minimum 60%. Enable USB Debugging in Settings->Applications->Development
0.3 Make sure you have the files needed, ie. Recovery 4.6.2, Galaxo 1.6.2 and the XEJC6 firmware as linked in the Odin guide. You should still have the SDK installed and ADB up and running. Just like last time I will assume you installed the SDK in C:\Android so if you didn't just change the paths accordingly.
Phase 1: Install the Recovery
1.1 Extract the Recovery 4.6.2 zip. You should now have 2 files, recovery.img and RECTOOLS.tar.gz
1.2 Copy the extracted "recovery.img" to "C:\android\tools\"
1.3 Change the name on "Galaxo_V1.6.2.zip" to "update.zip"
1.4 Extract the firmware zip and rename "I7500XEJC6-PDA-CL209906.tar" to "SAMSUNG.tar" (in caps!)
1.5 Connect your phone and mount your SD card, now copy "SAMSUNG.tar", "update.zip" and "RECTOOLS.tar.gz" to the root of the card. This can be done with the ADB Push command if you prefer it but in my opinion that doesn't exactly make it simpler
1.6 If you followed the above steps correctly you should now have "recovery.img" (from the Recovery 4.6.2 zip file) in C:\android\tools and in the root of your SD card "SAMSUNG.tar" (renamed from the firmware zip), "update.zip" (renamed Galaxo 1.6.2 zip) and "RECTOOLS.tar.gz" (from the Recovery zip)
1.7 Shut down your phone and connect it to your computer via USB
1.8 Press "windows-button + R" and type in cmd, Enter
1.9 In your cmd window type "cd c:\android\tools" and press enter
1.10 Type "fastboot flash recovery recovery.img" (without the "") and press enter. The response should be "Waiting for device" like shown in this picture
1.11 Start your phone in fastboot mode by pressing "Call + Power/End call"
1.12 Your phone should show you a terminal-like black screen with white text that say FASTBOOT in the top. The cmd window on your computer should find your device and after a short while say "OKAY" as will your phone. If it stays on waiting for device try typing in the "fastboot flash recovery recovery.img" again but this time don't hit enter until you've started your phone in fastboot. You will have something like 10-15 seconds before the phone restarts so be quick on that Enter key. If you get the same result again, go back to the Odin guide and make sure that you have ADB live and kicking.
1.13 Your phone reboots and the cmd window will go back to showing c:\android\tools and accept input. Just shut your phone down again.
Phase 2: Flash Galaxo ROM
2.1 Boot your phone in recovery mode by pressing "Volume down + Call + Power/End call". It should now look similar to this picture (older version, picture borrowed from Drakaz)
2.2 Just in case you Galaxo update doesn't work as planned or you decide to switch back, make a Nandroid back-up. Do this by selecting "Nandroid backup" with your navigation pad and pressing "OK". This will take a while and when done return to the previous screen. Make sure it says "backup complete!" in the bottom of the screen. Now you can always return to this "clean state".
2.3 Before we update it with Galaxo we perform a wipe, select the entry "Wipe data/factory reset" press "OK" and then confirm. get a cup of coffee while you wait and then we'll sprint through the last part.
2.4 Time for the actual Galaxo update! Select the entry "Apply sdcard:update.zip", confirm and start to get exited
2.5 When the update is done you only have one step left, and that is to restore Google applications. Drakaz are not allowed to put these in the ROM so instead we pull them from the firmware (this is why we have the SAMSUNG.tar file). Select "Restore G.Apps" and confirm. When it's done select "Reboot system now" and enjoy your new Samsung Galaxy, powered by Galaxo rom.
2.6 Phone doesn't start, stays on the blue Samsung logo? Most likely Restore G.Apps failed. This can happen, select "Mount SD(s) on PC" and on your computer look for the recovery.log. Open it in notepad, at the bottom you will find why it didn't work. Most of the times it's one of these 2:
File not found - Did you forget to copy SAMSUNG.tar? Did you name it properly (remember CAPS)? Did you copy it to the root and not some folder?
Checksum failed - Did you remember to perform the wipe before applying the update.zip? Do you have the correct file (I7500XEJC6-PDA-CL209906.tar renamed as SAMSUNG.tar)?
When you feel that you have checked the above, delete the SAMSUNG.tar and copy it again (don't overwrite! Shouldn't make a difference but I've seen it). Unmount the SD and start over from 2.3 performing the wipe.
Optional Phase 3: Personalize your Galaxy
Some small steps I have taken to get the most out of my phone:
The Galaxy stock keyboard is in my opinion junk. To get a mod of the Desire keyboard have a look here: http://einartysen.se/change-to-htc-keyboard-on-your-non-htc-android-device/
I got tired of the vanilla Android look and got myself a theme, there are many more out there. Just Google on Galaxo themes, note that there are a couple of different ways to install them. This is the one I use http://www.frandroid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=8640 with instruction (Google Translate does the trick if you don't speak french).
If anything is unclear, let me know in the comments and I'll work trough that part again!
This guide could not have been written without Drakaz hard work for the community and everyone else dedicating time to trouble shoot and explain in forums like: www.frandroid.com www.phandroid.com www.hdblog.it and last but definitely not least www.swedroid.se and their Wiki.
Tired of your Galaxy? Getting tired of Samsungs unwillingness to update your phone? Then it might be time to consider rooting it. Before you look any closer you should remember that unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty. The risks are slim but they do exist and neither I or anyone else will take any responsibility for any problem that could occur. However you will always loose all your data on the phone! The external SD card will be left untouched.
That was the disclaimer on to more fun stuff! This guide will upgrade your phone firmware and baseband to I7500XEJC6 which is a leaked official (almost) firmware from Samsung. Tool for this is Odin Multi Downloader and this guide should work fine with later versions as well. It's not as hard as it look, I just wrote a quite extensive guide divided in many steps. My goal is that you should be able to achieve this without any pre-knowledge at all. After that you can choose to continue and install Galaxo 1.6.2 ROM and Recovery 4.6.2 by Drakaz. The recovery image contains a set of tools that can be accessed by booting the phone in recovery mode whilst the ROM is a modification of the actual phone OS that you will boot every day. Read my next post for that here. This is not very hard and you should be good to go in about an hour if the drivers doesn’t give you a very hard time. Note that this guide focus on how to do this on a Windows computer, it’s possible on Mac and Linux but since I don’t have any experience on that I’ll let you look for that answer somewhere else.
Phase 0: Preparations
0.1 Time to get your phone ready, and get the necessary files.
If you already have ADB (Android DeBugging) up and running just skip the driver steps, otherwise keep reading.
0.2 Get the Android SDK from here: http://developer.android.com/sdk/ then unzip it wherever you like. This guide will assume that you unzipped it to c:\android\ to keep it simple.
0.3 Download this very small zipfile and extract the file android_winusb.inf to c:\android\usb_driver\i386 (or if you use a 64-bit windows c:\android\usb_driver\amd64)
0.4 Install Samsung PC studio from the CD that came with your phone (or get it here from Samsung)
0.5 Activate USB debugging on your phone, Settings->Applications->Development->Enable USB debugging
0.6 Connect your phone to your computer, Windows will start to install your drivers but will fail on one device
0.7 Open the Device Manager. Right click on the unknown device and select “Update driver” then “Browse my computer for driver software”
0.8 Choose to search the location c:\android\usb_driver\i386 (or \amd64). Choose to install the driver even though it isn’t signed.
0.9 Time to see how it went, you should now have “ADB Interface->Samsung Galaxy Composite ADB Interface” in your Device Manager. To make it more exiting this isn’t always the case. I used to have it, but not any more. ADB still works though…to be sure Press “Win-button + R” and type in “cmd” then press “Enter”
0.10 In the terminal window that opens type (without the “”) “cd c:\android\tools” and press enter. Then use your very first ADB command by typing “adb devices”. Now you should get a reply that looks something like this:
0.11 If you did get I7500xxxxx, congratulations. ADB is up and running! If you didn’t we have something of a problem on our hands. Could be of several reasons but start with de-select debugging, connect to your computer and mount your SD card. Unplug and redo from step 0.XX. I also added some alternative drivers from Samsung here. Post in comments if you can’t get it to work! There are so many alternative drivers and ways to install them floating around that posting everything here would be impossible. With the first device I tried only the first driver was needed, with the second I installed the second zip as well to get it to work.
Just found a new driver...once again. Amazing how hard it can be but several people says that this is it :) Here's the link
Phase 1: Update your Firmware with Odin Multi Downloader
1.1 Unzip both the Odin and Firmware zip files at any location
1.2 Right-click Odin.exe and choose “Run as administrator”, it's absolutely necessary that you do it as an admin!
1.3 Start with pointing out the .ops file included in the Odin zip file. If you downloaded the I7500XEJC6 firmware above it should hold 4 different files ending with .tar. Other versions can hold only 1 and is then called a “one package” (note on that below). Point out your corresponding files to BOOT, PHONE and PDA (the CSC file included can be used, some people claimed different benefits from this I tried both without noticing any difference. However that is the localized file for the carrier. This leak is from Russia so before using it you should write down your APN settings and the menu positions to get to the change language options unless you speak Russian :) ) like showed in the picture below.
(If you only got one .tar file just tick the box next to “One Package” and point that file out on the right, ignore the rest.)
1.4 Time to back-up anything you want to save from your phone, search the market for backup and you’ll find many options.
1.5 Shut down you phone and connect it to your computer via USB
1.6 Start your phone in “Download mode” by pressing and holding “Volume down + OK + Power” buttons
1.7 You phone should now say “Downloading…” and show a SD card like icon
1.8 In Odin, look at the white frame on the left, it should say “<1> Added!!!”, “<1> Detected!!!” just like the picture above
1.9 Time to hit that switch! Press Start in Odin and go have a cup of coffee while Odin does it Magic. When finished it will reboot, this could take a couple of minutes
1.10 If it got stuck on the Samsung logo, have no fear. A wipe should get you going. Shut down your phone (pull the battery if you have to) and boot in recovery mode by pressing and holding “Volume down + Answer + Hang up/Power” buttons. When you see the triangle with a ! all you have to do is press the “Menu” button. The phone will perform a Wipe and then restart. Still not working? Start over from step 1.XX – Download mode.
1.11 Perform a wipe as instructed in 1.10 and you’re all done! In Settings->About phone you should now see that Firmware version says something like Galaxy 1.6 and Baseband version says I7500XEJC6. The picture below shows that screen after Galaxo installation.
Optional next step…Flash Recovery and Flash Galaxo Rom
This guide could not have been written without Drakaz hard work for the community and everyone else dedicating time to trouble shoot and explain in forums like: www.frandroid.com www.phandroid.com www.hdblog.it and last but definitely not least www.swedroid.se
When I updated my Galaxy to Android 1.6 I lost my HTC keyboard. Luckily I’ve found the simplest solution so far, and yes it does support other languages than English. Right now my phone has HTC softkeyboard with Swedish letters but one of the best things is that it allows me to change that to English in a whim just like if it was the stock one!
So how is this done?
For starters, it’s all made possible by jonasl at xda-developers.com who extracted this from a HTC Desire ROM. I had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of this method I’m just sharing what I’ve learned. The files needed (and instructions, full feature list and more details) can be found in this thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=5475701. I’m just gonna make it a bit clearer and not use the ADB method which in my opinion require a bit more technical knowledge.
Update 20100531, just like Albin stated in the comments this has gotten a lot easier now. Get the files at the link above, add to your sd-card and install with any app manager. Just make sure you enabled "Unknown sources" in Settings->Application. Done! Updated version works with the pre-FroYo release as well.
- First, get the files. There are one version for low resolution phones (Samsung Galaxy, HTC G1 etcetera) and one for high resolution (Nexus One, Motorola Droid/Milestone etcetera). Note that the later version of low-res only works on Android 1.6 and up, if you have an older version of Android use an older version (available further down)
- Unpack the zipfile at any location.
- Connect your phone and mount your SD Card (Notification bar->Mount) and copy HTC_IME.apk and .htcime to the root of your SD card (if you want to be able to recalibrate your touch input you also need to copy Clicker.apk)
- From your computer double-click .htcime and choose to open it with Notepad (can be found in C:\Windows) or other text editor.
- Put a # in front of every language you DON’T intend to use, the rest will be available in the same order as in the list. DON’T change the number in front of each line (Language ID)! Then it should look something like this (with more languages further down):
- Dismount your SD card (reverse mount procedure) and unplug your phone
- If you don’t have a file manager on your phone, get one from the market (Astro file manager, Linda etcetera) anyone should do
- On your phone, go to: Settings -> Applications. Tick the box next to “Unknown sources” (otherwise you can only install applications from the market, remove it when you’re done if nervous)
- Open the file manager you’ve chosen. Find the files you copied and select HTC_IME.apk and chose to install
- Then go to: Settings -> Locale & text. Tick the box next to Touch Input
- Start to write a text message (any text field will do really)
- Touch and hold the text field until you get a pop-up and then select “Input method”
- Mark “Touch Input”. Re-select the text field and the keyboard that shows up should be the HTC one.
- To chose between your languages and the different versions of the keyboard (QWERTY, Compact QWERTY or Dial pad) tap the settings button as shown here
Every blog and paper already published their summaries and lists of both the previous year and decade. I say let’s forget the past, and focus on the future. At least for a little while. I will tell you what you can (might) expect from the future of mobile electronics, maybe not in a year but in 1-5 this is the development I predict.
Since I got my first smartphone I’ve been convinced that it was only a matter of time before the rest of my friends and family followed me into the modern age (i.e. got themselves one of their own). iPhone started exactly that movement. Suddenly there where a phone easy enough, funny enough and produced by a company with enough market share (I’m convinced that an identical phone from HTC for example never would have had the same impact). So slowly my friends and family is jumping on the wagon. What the iPhone started now has turned into friends with HTC Hero, Windows Phone (old Windows Mobile), iPhones and devices from any and all brands. Of course that means that I’m now starting to plan my own jump off from the same wagon. Here’s what I want, and other will figure out in a couple of years:
- Standard phone features e.g. calling, SMS (starting to feel very outdated but, for a few more years) and such
- All my internet needs in a mobile device, including mail (and wave/other collaboration tools), streaming videos, streaming music, reading blogs and news sites
- eBook reader (no use fighting it, sorry librarians and other “paperback-huggers” time to adapt)
- Some games and other miscellaneous stuff.
To read books, extensive articles online and browse the web somewhat comfortable I need a bigger screen than my Samsung Galaxy got (3.2”). The problem is that already a phone of this size sometimes feel a bit clumsy to carry around. When I don’t have a jacket/bag, at a party or on the town, going to the beach etcetera. There’s also an economical aspect in this. My phone suddenly cost the same as an average laptop and that’s before the bigger screen and additional features mentioned above. Phones are easily lost, stolen or broken. Nothing strange there, it’s the same with all things we carry with us everywhere. I remember an interview with a scientist researching crime among youths in Sweden a couple of years back. He/she said that one of the reasons for the increase of robbery against individuals is that we carry much higher values on our persona. We stopped having cash in our wallets but instead we got expensive mobile phones, mp3 players and so on.
Solution? As everything gets combined into the same device (do they still sell mp3 players or cameras without a mobile phone included? :) ) I predict an excelling need for different products for different occasions. I will most likely in the coming two (ehm, one if I know myself) years change my smartphone for a “stupid phone”. That phone should be small, cheap and manage just the basic functions like placing calls, simple e-mail and maybe music. A revival of my old Sony Ericsson K750i maybe? :) At the same time I will buy a tablet that is more of a hybrid of today’s:
- tablets (Archos 5-like);
- ebook reader (nook-like);
- smart phone (Nexus One-like);
- mediaplayer (iPod touch-like).
This baby will follow me to work and longer journeys, but not on short trips to the town and such. Then once again I will be telling my friends and family: This is the future of mobile electronics!
This post was inspired by numerous blogs and news sites over the year and the pictures are standard ones that's flooding the web. Any objections to me posting this pictures can be sent to me and I will sort it out. Special thanks to the Swedish site http://www.swedroid.se that always keep me in the loop on Android news.
So last week I gave in, and since “root” is a fact. So what is Root? Since Android is a Linux system the community started using the normal term for “user in full control”. Compare it with a Windows system, there are things you can’t do if your account lacks Administrator rights. Root is when you got those rights. I won’t go into details about how to root your Galaxy, there are a lot of places to read this already and they are more likely to be kept up to date than my blog. Posting some links at the bottom for you…
So what did I get for my Root experiment?
First of all, I installed another ROM (basically the OS of the phone, installation of this is also known as Flashing). What I installed is a custom ROM (user-made) by Drakaz called “GalaxoHero”. As the name implies it borrows some good stuff from the HTC Hero, it won’t give you the HTC Sense UI but a nice theme impersonating Sense.
What I like in bullets:
- Keyboard! My beloved HTC Keyboard is back, in Swedish.
- Exchange support, almost. HTC Hero ships with a application called “Work Mail” that will allow you sync with an Exchange server, only mail though. Very strange since my old HTC Magic had full native Exchange support. Need to look closer into this further down the road.
- Speed. It will never stop to amuse me when users at home manage to build a quicker system than companies with lots of paid engineers. It was exactly the same with my old Windows Mobile when I started flashing it.
- Additional settings. Being root allows you to change stuff that Samsung/Google didn’t think you needed. For example I disabled the camera button since a bug had it running 100% even when locked, quick way to drain the battery.
- Battery, might have something to do with the above. Neither the less my battery always last a day, sometimes two days.
- Market, if I wanted I could enable paid apps on the Android market even though it doesn’t support Sweden yet.
I hate that Samsung/Google “forced” me to do this. Talking to my iPhone packing friends I always said that I wouldn’t consider a product a success if I had to hack it to use it fully (iPhone Jailbreak). With my HTC Magic I never saw the need for root. Well, I can comfort myself with better hardware so maybe it was worth it, maybe :)
Links for rooting: