Tutorials

HOW TO: Delete System Applications On Rooted Phones

13

This tutorial shows you how to remove system applications that come installed on your phone, or ROM of your choice that you don’t actually want.

Notes

  1. If the ROM you are using has the Read/Write via Overlay Filesystem on then there’s no need to boot into recovery
  2. If you’ve used the S-OFF hack to enable full read/write access to your system partition then there’s no need to boot into recovery
  3. If you’re using the latest Amon RA Recovery, then you can just use the “Mounts” option to mount the system partition

Requirements

  1. A rooted phone
  2. The adb driver setup on your computer – how to

Video Tutorial

This video shows you how easy it is to do everything below!

Making the System Partition Writable

This change isn’t permanent, meaning that when you leave recovery mode your system partition will revert back to read-only.  It’s only temporarily writable so that you can get rid of those unwanted apps.

  1. Connect your Desire via USB cable
  2. Open the Command Prompt/Terminal on your computer (Start Menu > Run > Cmd)
  3. In the command prompt window type: adb reboot recovery
    Your phone should restart in recovery mode
  4. Type: adb shell
    The first character in the command prompt will change to a #
  5. Type: mount -o rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
    This mounts the system partition and gives you read and write access to it

Backing Up Applications

Before you start deleting apps, I’d strongly recommend backing them up onto your computer first.  Here’s how:

  1. Type: exit
    This leaves shell mode
  2. Type: adb shell ls system/data
    You should now see a list of all the apps (.apk files) in your system folder
  3. For whichever apps you want to backup type:
    adb pull system/app/<full_name_of_app.apk> <full_name_of_app.apk>
    where <full_name_of_app.apk> is the name that was listed in step 2
  4. If you look on your computer in the directory that Command Prompt is pointing to e.g. C:/Users/Ash then you’ll see a copy of that .apk file that you just backed up

Deleting Apps

Note: PLEASE make sure you’ve backed up any applications before deleting them.
Also, be sure that you’re not deleting any important system apps like Rosie (the HTC Sense framework!).  Deleting things like Quick Office, Peep, Teeter, Facebook etc is fine.

  1. Enter shell mode again by typing: adb shell
  2. Type: cd system/app
    This takes you into the system/app folder
  3. Type: ls
    This will show you a listing of the apps (.apk files) in the folder
  4. Type: rm <full_name_of_app.apk>
    where <full_name_of_app.apk> is the name that was listed in step 2
    This deletes the application permanently from your phone
  5. If in step #3 there was a <full_name_of_app>.odex file as well as .apk then delete that too using: rm <full_name_of_app.odex>

Rebooting

Once you’re done deleting your applications you can restart your phone and if everything went well then it will start normally and you’ll find that the deleted applications no longer show up in your app drawer.

Restoring Applications

If for whatever reason you decide that you want to reinstall those system applications you backed up, you can do the following:

  1. Make your system partition writable using the steps in Making the System Partition Writable
  2. Locate the apks you backed up before deleting
  3. Type adb push <full_name_of_app.apk> system/app/<full_name_of_app.apk>
ypmount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
Squared 5 Logo

HOW TO: Convert Your Desire Videos For Playback On PC (and other devices)

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This guide shows you how to convert the 3GP videos that your phone records into videos that you can play on your computer and on other gadgets and devices, like the Sony PlayStation 3.

Requirements

  1. MPEG Streamclip Video Convertor (free) – download here

Installation

  1. Unzip MPEG Streamclip into a location of your choice
  2. That’s it – there’s no installer for it or anything

Usage

  1. Connect your Desire to computer in Disk Drive mode
  2. (optional but recommended) – Copy the video you want to convert onto your computer somewhere
  3. Open the folder you extracted MPEG Streamclip to and run MPEG_Streamclip(.exe)
  4. Go on File > Open Files and select the file you want to convert
  5. Select File > Export to MPEG-4
  6. Use the following setings (most of them should be set by default anyway):
    • Compression: leave as default
    • Quality: 100%
    • Sound: MPEG-4 AAC
    • Frame Size: the one which says unscaled next to it
    • Frame Rate: leave blank
  7. Press Make MP4
  8. Select the location and filename of your converted video
  9. Wait while it converts (should be pretty quick)
  10. Test your video on your favourite video player

Notes

  1. For the frame rate setting, you could enter the frame rate of your source video
    I noticed after conversion that the framerate of my convereted video was one less than the source’s
  2. If your videos are already MP4 files there’s no need to convert.  They should already be compatible with most players

Alternative

Instead of converting to an MP4, you can also convert to an avi (in case you get issues playing the MP4)

  1. Press File > Export to AVI
  2. Use MPEG-Layer 3 or MPEG-4 AAC as the audio codec
  3. Make sure Frame Size is unscaled
  4. Enter a frame rate if you want
  5. Click Make AVI
Froyo

HOW TO: Force Apps to SD (Without Rooting) On Froyo

53

Several readers have recently reported that they’ve managed to run out of free space, even with the Froyo implementation of Apps2SD.  The way Google implemented it was poor to start with, but what makes it worse is that many apps in the Market still haven’t been updated to allow installation to SD card.

This guide shows you how to force all applications to be installed to your SD card.

Requirements

  1. Phone running Froyo
  2. ADB installed – how to

Instructions

  1. Ensure you have debugging enabled on your phone (Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging > Turn On)
  2. Connect your phone to USB
  3. Open Command Prompt/Terminal
  4. Type: adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2
  5. Press Enter
  6. That’s it!

FAQs

  1. My widgets keep disappearing, help!
    To prevent widgets from being removed, you’ll have to move their associated application back onto phone memory – to do this see FAQ #2
  2. How do I move certain apps back onto phone memory?
    You can move any application onto phone memory by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > On SD card, select the app you want and press Move to Phone
  3. How can I revert to the original settings?
    Just open Command Prompt/Terminal and type: adb shell pm setInstallLocation 0
  4. Any other hidden commands?
    There’s one more to force all apps to install to phone memory, but I doubt you’ll ever want to use it: adb shell pm setInstallLocation

[via Androinica]

HOW TO: Transfer MicroSD Card Contents (including Apps2ext)

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Today I received my 16GB MicroSD to replace my now full 8GB.  Normally to transfer contents it’s quite straightforward – just copy everything to computer then back onto the SD card (or from SD to SD if you’ve got a card reader).  However, if you’ve got a rooted phone running apps2sd (also known as Apps2Ext) then there’s slightly more work involved to make sure that you end up transferring all your apps too.  The method below describes how I managed it, and under that I’ve listed a few alternatives…

Requirements

  1. Rooted phone
  2. SD card with ext partition
  3. ADB installed – how to

Instructions

  1. Make sure you’ve still got your old SD card in
  2. Create a new folder on your computer called SD Card Backup
  3. Create 2 subfolders, one called FAT and another called EXT
  4. Connect your phone to computer and set to Disk Drive mode
  5. Copy all your SD card contents (FAT partition) into the FAT folder
  6. Open Command Prompt/Terminal on your computer
  7. Type: cd<space>
    Make sure you use a space character, don’t type <space> and don’t press Enter yet!
  8. Drag and Drop the EXT folder into your command window, and you’ll notice that the full path to your EXT directory appears
  9. Press Enter
  10. Set your phone USB connection to Charge Only
  11. Type: adb pull /sd-ext/app .
    Don’t forget that “.“!
    Press Enter
  12. Wait while all your apps are copied into your EXT folder
  13. Once copied, insert your new SD card and use the same method you previously used to partition your new SD card as you want
    I use the Amon RA recovery, flashed using Unrevoked.  My partitions are: 4GB ext, 32MB swap (not really needed) and the rest as FAT
  14. Connect your phone via USB again
  15. In the command window, type: adb push . /sd-ext/app/
  16. Wait whilst all your apps are copied back to your ext partition
  17. Copy all your FAT files back onto the FAT partition

Alternate Methods

  1. Use Linux.  Mounting your SD card in Linux will mount your ext partition too.  It’s then a simple case of just copy and pasting your files from old SD to computer, then computer to new SD
  2. Titanium Backup.  You can use Titanium Backup’s Batch feature to backup all the apps to the phones Fat partition, then copy the backups to new SD and do a batch restore
  3. MyBackupPro – similar to Titanium Backup, MyBackupPro allows you to backup all apps and their data, then restore them.

Why My Method?

I chose doing it the adb way because it doesn’t involve copying everything onto the SD card first – otherwise you’re waiting for everything to be backed up to SD, then to computer, then back to SD and then restoring using Titanium/MyBackupPro.  It’s also good to have a copy of your apps saved on your computer just in case something goes wrong with your phone or SD card.  If you already have adb installed, then it’s really quick to just run the adb command and grab all your apps.

HOW TO: Install An Official Update Zip File

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This simple guide shows you how to install an official update file for the Desire.  This doesn’t involve rooting, debranding or anything of that sort.  It’s the equivalent of manually installing an OTA update for your phone.

Note: It’s worthwhile backing up all your data before installing any update (even if you’re installing an OTA) just in case it does perform a wipe.

  1. First of all you’ll need the update file
  2. Make sure the update file is called update.zip – rename it if you need to
  3. Copy this file to your SD card – make sure it’s in the top-level, not in a folder
  4. Turn off your phone
  5. Hold down Volume Down and press Power.  You should end up in the HBOOT menu
  6. Select Recovery (move down with Volume Down, select with Power button)
  7. You should now see a screen with a red exclaimation mark
  8. Hold down the Volume Up button and press Power
  9. Select apply SD:update.zip
PSFreedom

HOW TO: Run PSFreedom On Your Desire (PS3 Jailbreak)

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IMPORTANT: Sony have released the 3.42 update which patches this exploit.  If you want to retain the ability to jailbreak don’t install this update!!!
Instructions are available here on how to avoid the update and still play online.

As mentioned in the Twitter article yesterday there’s an open-source exploit available for the Sony PlayStation 3 which lets you run Homebrew software on it.  This hack has now been ported to Android – this means you can now connect your phone to your PS3, run the jailbreak and be able to run homebrew.

Note

In order to use this you need to Enable PSFreedom first to launch the jailbreak on  the PS3.  Whilst it’s on you won’t be able to use the normal USB capabilities of your phone (adb, file transfer, charge etc), but straight after running it you can disable it.

Requirements

  1. Sony PlayStation 3 on the 3.41 firmware.  DO NOT UPDATE TO 3.42 (see here)
  2. A rooted phone running OpenDesire 4.0.4 – link
  3. Either: Enable PSFreedom Homebrew (link) or Enable PSFreedom BDMV (link).  BDMV is the one for backups.
  4. Disable PSFreedom (link)

Installation

  1. Copy the Enable PSFreedom File and Disable PSFreedom file to your SD Card
  2. Reboot the phone in recovery mode
  3. Select “install zip from SD Card
  4. Select the Enable PSFreedom file
  5. Reboot your phone

Uninstallation

  1. Reboot the phone in recovery mode
  2. Select “install zip from SD Card
  3. Select the Disable PSFreedom file
  4. Reboot your phone

How To Use

  1. Turn off your PS3 (unplug or turn off the switch on the back)
  2. Connect your phone via USB cable to the PS3 (make sure you’ve got PSFreedom Enable on using the Installation steps above)
  3. Restore power to the PS3 by turning the switching on or plugging the cable back in.  Don’t turn on yet
  4. Press the Power button and then QUICKLY press the Eject button.  If you do this right you’ll know because it takes a few seconds longer to start up
  5. In the Games section of the XMB (Cross Media Bar) you’ll see two new options.  If it’s not worked, repeat steps 1-4.
  6. Disconnect your phone and run the Uninstallation instructions to restore normal USB functionality

FAQs

  1. Do I need to repeat this every time I want to run the exploit?
    Yes, as it’s a soft-jailbreak the jailbreak needs to run each time you turn your console on.  There’s no harm in leaving your phone with PSFreedom Enable on if you don’t the USB features for a while.
  2. Will it only work on OpenDesire?
    For now yes.  The exploit needs to modify the kernel and for now it’s only been done for the OpenDesire one.  We’ll probably see the hack coming to other ROMs in the near future
  3. Can I Run Backups?
    Yes, if you use the BDMV file.  There’s a Homebrew Backup Manager which lets you install the contents of game disk to your hard drive.  After that you still need a disk in the drive (any disk) to launch the game.  Please be sensible with this and use it for games you own.  More detailed instructions (and warnings) on this here (first post, scroll down to the FAQs on backups).

via PSFreedom

Font Select

HOW TO: Replace the Default Font

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This guide shows you how to replace the default Android font (Droid Sans) with a custom font of your choosing.

Requirements

  1. A rooted HTC Desire
  2. The font package zip file – link
  3. The font changer .apk file – link

Installation

  1. Copy the font-package.zip file to your SD card
  2. Reboot your phone in recovery mode – instructions below if you don’t know how:
    • Using adb: type in Command Prompt/Terminal: adb reboot recovery
    • Using Boot Control widget: click the widget and select Recovery console
    • Manually: turn off your phone.  Turn on your phone holding the power key down.  Select recovery from the menu that appears
  3. Select install zip from sd card and select the font-package.zip file
  4. Once the install is complete restart your phone.
  5. Install the Font Changer apk file (instructions here if you don’t know how)

How to Change Font

  1. Run Font Changer. You’ll be presented with a list of fonts that you can choose from
  2. Select a font that you like and a preview will appear
  3. If you’re happy press Yes, then press Yes again when prompted to restart your phone
  4. When it’s restarted you’ll see that the system font will have changed to your selection!

How to Revert back to the Default Font

  1. Download the font-reset.zip file from here
  2. Copy the file to SD card
  3. Reboot into recovery and install the font-reset.zip file. Restart phone
  4. Uninstall Font Changer from your applications

Credits

martino2k6 for the font changer apk and update.zip files (link)

HOW TO: Improve Your Battery Life (Calibration Tutorial)

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If you’ve been experiencing issues on your Desire where the battery doesn’t seem to last as much as it should then you can use this guide to extend your battery life.  People have reported their batteries holding charge for double the time they used to after following these steps.

Obviously if your battery is performing well already then doing this won’t have any real benefits!

Instructions

  1. Turn your phone on and charge it for 8 hours or more
  2. Unplug the charger
  3. Turn your phone off and charge it for one hour
  4. Unplug the charger
  5. Turn on the phone and wait 2 minutes
  6. Turn your phone off and charge it for one hour
  7. Unplug, turn it on and use as normal.  Your battery life should now be a lot better :)

You only need to do this once.  If you keep experiencing issues with your battery you should contact HTC or your network provider for support.

Notes

Although this will calibrate your battery and cause it to hold charge better, your battery life will still be affected by the apps you use (needless to say really).  Main battery hogging applications include Instant Messaging apps (MSN, AIM etc), GPS powered apps (CoPilot, Maps, Layar), video apps (RockPlayer, YouTube) and so on.  Just remember that whenever you finish using these apps make sure you close them properly, using the quit menu if there’s one available.  You can also visit my earlier tutorial on how to preserve your battery life here.

Credits

This tutorial is based on the original post by OneStepAhead on XDA.

chrome-page

HOW TO: Use Chrome-To-Phone

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Chrome-To-Phone is a nifty little tool that let’s you send maps, videos, web links and text from your web browser to your Android phone.

Requirements

  1. Android 2.2 running on your Desire
  2. Chrome-To-Phone App (link at end of post)
  3. Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser on your computer

Setup

  1. Install the Chrome To Phone app on your Desire (search “Chrome to Phone” in the Market)
  2. If you’re using Mozilla Firefox get the Fox-to-Phone addon from here and install it
    If you’re using Google Chrome get the Google Chrome to Phone extension from here and install it
  3. Run the Chrome To Phone app on your phone:
    • select the Gmail account you want to use
    • choose whether you want links to open automatically – I prefer manual
  4. Login to GMail on your browser – use the same address as the one you selected in Chrome to Phone
  5. That’s it – you’re ready for Chrome to Phone!

Using Chrome to Phone

You can now send content from your web browser to your phone:

Web pages

Just click the Send to Phone icon next to the Address Bar to send the current web page to your phone

Images

Right-click any image on a page and select “Send this image to Android” to view it on your phone

Text

Highlight any text, right-click and choose “Send this text to Android”.  The text will be copied to your phones clipboard and you can post it into any input box.

When you’ve sent content to your phone it’ll either open automatically, or appear as a notification (depending on your preference in Chrome to Phone), and you can click the notification to view the page in your phone browser:

Special Link Types

When you send certain link types they’ll be opened in a specific application.  Details are as follows:

  1. YouTube – any YouTube pages will be opened in the YouTube application
  2. Maps – if you send a Google Maps page it’ll open in the Google Maps app
  3. smsto:// – if a webpage has a link using the smsto:// protocol it will open in your default messaging application with the recipient field filled in
  4. market:// – any market links will launch the Android Market
  5. tel:// – will open your default call application and dial in the number for you

Chrome to Phone Mobile App

The Chrome to Phone mobile app can be found in the Android Market.  Details are:

Google Chrome to Phone

Send links, maps, phone numbers, & more from your Chrome browser to your phone!
Author
: Google Inc.
Price: Free
Description:
Google Chrome to Phone lets you easily share links, maps, and currently selected phone numbers and text between your computer running Chrome and your phone. You also need to install the Chrome browser extension on your computer, which can be found by searching for ‘Chrome to Phone’ at http://chrome.google.com/extensions/
QR Code
http://market.android.com/search?q=pname:com.google.android.apps.chrometophone

Enjoy! :)

MINI GUIDE: How To Unroot Your Phone

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If you’re rooting your phone, I’d recommend downloading your relevant RUU file first and saving it on your computer somewhere so that you can unroot whenever you need to…

To unroot your phone and restore it back to how it was just use the following instructions:

  1. Go to Shipped-Roms – link
  2. Download the RUU file which corresponds to what network branding your Desire came with
  3. Run the file once it’s download and follow the on-screen instructions
  4. At the end your phone should be restored to the exact state it was in when you got it
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