OnePlus Two & OnePlus X - Enable ADB and MTP under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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If you plug your OnePlus Two or OnePlus X on a Ubuntu 14.04 LTS workstation while in MTP mode, you'll notice that you won't be able to access your phone filesystem.  You'll only get a read-only cd-rom emulation drive holding some windows and OSX drivers.  But if you connect in PTP mode, no problem, everything works fine.

This comes from the fact that OnePlus Two and OnePlus X are not known as a MTP device under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

You'll also realize that your OnePlus Two / OnpePlus X won't be recognized as an ADB device, even if ADB has been enabled on the phone. Thats again because vendor ID is not included in the default list.

This short article explains how to declare your OnePlus Two / OnePlus X as an ADB and a MTP device on your Ubuntu 14.04 LTS workstation to get a fully functional access to your device.

Read more: OnePlus Two & OnePlus X - Enable ADB and MTP under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

OnePlus One - Enable MTP under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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If you plug your OnePlus One on a Ubuntu 14.04 LTS workstation while in MTP mode, you'll notice that you won't be able to access your phone filesystem.

But if you connect in PTP mode, no problem, everything works fine.

This comes from the fact that OnePlus One is not known as a MTP device under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

This small article explains how to declare your OnePlus One as a MTP device on your Ubuntu 14.04 LTS workstation to get a fully functional MTP access.

Read more: OnePlus One - Enable MTP under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Wiko Cink Peax 2 - Root & Install CWM Recovery

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Wiko Cink Peax 2 is distributed by Wiko, a french importer of chinese phones.

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It is a very affordable Android smartphone based on a MediaTek MT6589 chipset.
It's main characteristics are :
 * an ARM Cortex A7 quad-core processor
 * a PowerVR Series 5XTCortex graphics
 * 1 Gb RAM
 * 4 Gb flash memory
 * a microSD connector
 * a dual SIM.

This phone come with Jelly Bean 4.1 but, unlike many chinese phones, it doesn't come pre-rooted.

This article explains all the steps needed to root your Wiko Cink Peax 2 under Jelly Bean 4.1 and to install a custom CWM Recovery that will allow you to do ROM backup and restore.

This procedure has been done to be run on a Ubuntu workstation, but it should be easily adapted to any other Linux flavour, and even to a Windows PC. As a pre-requisite, you need to Install Android ADB tools on your Ubuntu box.

Read more: Wiko Cink Peax 2 - Root & Install CWM Recovery

Moto G - Recover from failed update to Kitkat 4.4.4

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android-motogIf you have rooted your Motorola Moto G and installed TWRP recovery following this guide, latest Motorola OTA update to Kitkat 4.4.4 must have failed.

If you have accepted latest Kitkat 4.4.4 OTA system update, your phone may be in infinite boot loop : during normal boot process, it reboots automatically after less than one minute.

This comes from the fact that TWRP doesn't handle properly the upgrade process. To solve the problem, you phone just need to get back the stock recovery to let the upgrade process run. You'll then be able to flash back latest TWRP recovery.

The complete procedure has been tested on a Moto G 8Gb running Kitkat 4.4.2 from a Ubuntu Trusty 14.04 workstation.

As a pre-requisite, you must have latest Android SDK or latest ADB package installed on your computer.

Read more: Moto G - Recover from failed update to Kitkat 4.4.4

Nexus 5 - Upgrade your Rooted Phone from Kitkat to Lollipop keeping all your Data

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nexus5-lollipopIf your Nexus 5 is rooted and using a custom recovery like TWRP, latest Lollipop OTA update will fail.

In fact, Google has changed its OTA update procedure. Instead of replacing thousand of files on the system partition, it replaces it has a binary structure. So, before replacing it, it checks that system partition is exactly as it is supposed to be. And if your phone is rooted ... this is not the case. So, OTA update procedure will refuse to execute.

But hopefully, with a little of effort, it is possible to smoothly upgrade without doing a factory reset. This guide explains how to upgrade your Nexus 5 from a rooted Kitkat to a rooted Lollipop while keeping all your data.

It is using Google developper tool fastboot and latest factory image published by Google. As it involves flashing a ROM, it is for advanced users only.

As a pre-requisite, you must have Android SDK or latest Android tools packages installed on your computer. A guide is available on the site for Debian and Ubuntu.

This procedure has been done from a Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 computer, but it should work on any computer with fastboot properly setup.

Before going further, you should do a complete backup of your phone with TWRP. Just in case ...

Read more: Nexus 5 - Upgrade your Rooted Phone from Kitkat to Lollipop keeping all your Data

Moto G - Root, Remove Ads & Extend Battery Life under Ubuntu

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android-motogIf you want to root your Motorola Moto G, a lot of stuff is available on the net from different sites and forums.

But most of the stuff you get on the net is oriented toward using Windows tools.

Obviously you can handle all the needed steps from an Ubuntu workstation, but all different steps are not trivial to setup and follow.

This article is a step-by-step guide that explains all the steps needed to unlock your phone bootloader, install a custom recovery, root it, get rid of annoying ads and extend your battery life.

The complete procedure has been tested on a Moto G 8Gb running Kitkat 4.4.2 from a Ubuntu Saucy 13.10 workstation.

As a pre-requisite, you must have latest Android SDK or latest ADB package installed on your computer. An installation guide is available for Debian and Ubuntu computers.

Read more: Moto G - Root, Remove Ads & Extend Battery Life under Ubuntu

HTC Wildfire - Unlock Bootloader and Flash CyanogenMod under Ubuntu

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HTC Wildfire

Last week I recovered an old HTC Wildfire and I decided to give it a new youth with latest Stable CyanogenMod 7.2.

Since HTC has changed its policy toward developpers, I decided to unlock its bootloader directly with HTC procedure available on HTDDev Unlock Bootloader official site.

To my surprise, procedure is not that simple, especially if you don't have any Windows OS under the hood.

In fact, you need to upgrade your phone bootloader with one of these HTC specific RUU.exe files, which is not supported under Linux. But, as always under Linux, some people made it possible ...

This guide explains how to convert your fully locked HTC Wildfire mobile phone to a fully open CyanogenMod device, by using only a Linux computer, without the help of any proprietary OS.

Read more: HTC Wildfire - Unlock Bootloader and Flash CyanogenMod under Ubuntu

Samsung Galaxy Pro - Root & more

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I recently recovered an old Samsung Galaxy Pro GT-B7510 as it was becoming totally irresponsive and unusable because of low RAM and ROM size.

In fact system partition is around 215 Mb and data partition is around 185 Mb ...

So, I decided to root it to be able to install Link2SD and open possibility to link apps to a specific SD card partition.

This phone is running Froyo 2.2.2 and to my surprise, I didn't find any exploit or any One Click solution that worked. The only rooting procedure that worked for me was thru Samsung recovery.

This guide explains how to root your Samsung Galaxy Pro GT-B7510 running Froyo 2.2.2 in a very simple step thru stock Samsung recovery.

This operation has been done with a Ubuntu computer, but it should work with almost anything able to access your phone SD Card.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Pro - Root & more

Android - Applications for Rooted Devices

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I have to admit, first thing I do with a brand new Android phone is to root it. In fact, the rooting possibilities of a device is one of my main selection criteria. Why ?

Answer is quite simple : Having a rooted phone allows you to install some very interesting applications, that will open a whole new field of possibilities.

These applications may allow you :

  • to navigate and modify your phone fielsystem (incuding the protected parts)
  • to remove all unwanted ads in many free applications
  • to backup/restore all your applications data (when changing phone or tablet for example)
  • ...

This article lists few very interesting applications to be installed on a rooted Android phone. Your only pre-requisite is to have a fully rooted phone.

If you hold a Google Nexus or a Motorola Moto G, you'll find some rooting guides in the Android section of this site.

Read more: Android - Applications for Rooted Devices

Android - Download YouTube video and convert them to mp3

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YouTube has fastly become a universal source for video or audio files. But its main drawback is that these streams are only available online.

When using a smartphone or a tablet, it could be interesting to be able to download these files on your device and then to be able to watch them or listen to them offline.

Hopefully, thanks to a very powerfull application called YouTube downloader for Android this becomes possible. You can even decide to keep only the audio track and to transcode it to mp3. Last and best thing ... this application is totally free and without ads.

This article explains how to install and configure YouTube downloader for Android. This application will allow you to record any video clip on your device and thanks to ffmpeg, you will also be able to keep only the audio track converted into a mp3 file.

So, thanks to this fantastic tool, you'll be able to watch or listen to your favorite YouTube clip from anywhere, even without network connectivity.

It has been tested on a Nexus 4 under JB 4.3 but it should be applicable to any device running Android 4.0+.

Read more: Android - Download YouTube video and convert them to mp3

Archos 97 Titanium HD - Root your tablet & more under Ubuntu

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archos-titanium-97-hdArchos 97 Titanium HD is a early 2013 tablet providing a very good HD display (2048×1536), a Rockwel RK3066 SoC (Cortex A9 Dual Core with Mali 400) and 8 Gb memory.

Some relative asked me to extend system memory to be able to go beyond the 8 Gb limit. So I had to root it to be able to install Link2SD and open possibility to link apps to a specific SD card partition.

Even if the rooting approach is very classic (flash a custom CWM Recovery partition and flash SuperSU to root the tablet), it is involving some non trivial operations when done from a Linux PC.

This article is a step-by-step guide for Archos 97 Titanium HD that explains all the steps needed to compile flasing tool, get partitions details, flash a custom recovery, root it and then install a set of applications for your newly rooted device. The complete procedure has been tested on a Archos 97 Titanium HD running latest official Archos firmware (Jelly bean 4.1) using a computer under Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 64bits.

It should be usable with any Ubuntu or Debian flavoured computer. As a pre-requisite, you must have latest Android SDK or latest ADB package installed on your computer. An installation guide is available for Ubuntu computers.

Even if writen and tuned for Archos 97 Titanium HD, this procedure could also be used as a base to root other tablets based on Rockwel RK3066 SoC. But this is another story …

Read more: Archos 97 Titanium HD - Root your tablet & more under Ubuntu

Android - Extend your Phone Battery Life

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Latest Android smartphones are becoming as powerful as standard computer. They host multiple cores processor, RAM in Gb, ... They are also providing huge screen size, reaching 5'' or more.

Even if these high end features are very comfortable in day to day use, they have a huge drawback : they are draining your battery at high speed.

For example, under normal usage, a Nexus 5 battery won't last more than one full working day. In fact, the embedded battery is not a heavy duty one as it holds only 2300 mAh (200 mAh more than previous Nexus 4). Snapdragon processor and the large 5'' screen are drawing most of the battery power.

Thanks to some very efficient applications, it is possible to reduce drastically your battery usage on these latest mobile phones.

This article explains what application should be installed and tuned to maximize your Android phone battery life. On some of the latest phones, according to your usage, you can expect to almost double your battery life !

Please note that these applications don't need to have a rooted phone.

Read more: Android - Extend your Phone Battery Life

Android - Extend Application Memory of your Device

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With CyanogenMod and other custom ROM is is possible to give a new life to our old phones like HTC Wildfire, HTC Chacha, ... Running modern OS like ICS or Jelly Bean, they can go back to service.

But, other than their weak processor, the main drawback of these old phones is their very limited main memory. Because of that limitation, it's almost impossible to install all needed applications.

Hopefully, with the help of Link2SD and a specific partitioning of your SD Card, all your applications can be moved to your SD card quite easily. This allows you to install as many applications as you want, straight on your SD Card, leaving your main memory untouched.

This articles explains how to partition your SD Card and how to configure Link2SD to allow you to install as many applications as you want on your old Android smartphone, even if it has a very limited amount of main memory. With Link2SD approach, instead of linking /data/app folder (you move all applications), you can select whichever application you want to move (in case of compatibility problem). You'll manage where to install your applications (main memory or SD Card) with just a few clicks.

As a pre-requisite, your phone needs to be rooted. As you will need to partition your SD Card, the best is to have a modern version of ClockWorkMod Recovery installed as it will do the partitioning job straight from your phone. Otherwise, a Linux computer will be needed to to the partitioning job.

Read more: Android - Extend Application Memory of your Device

HTC Chacha - Give it new life with CyanogenMod 10.1 under Ubuntu

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htc-chacha-cyanogen

I recently recovered an old HTC Chacha as a spare phone and I decided to give it a new birth with latest CyanogenMod 10.1.

With HTC policy toward developpers, its now possible unlock its bootloader directly with HTC procedure available on HTDDev Unlock Bootloader official site.

The procedure is not that simple, especially if you don't have any Windows OS under the hood.

In fact, you need to upgrade your phone bootloader with one of these HTC specific RUU.exe files, which is not supported under Linux. But, as always under Linux, some people made it possible ...

This guide explains how to convert your bootloader locked HTC Chacha mobile phone to a CyanogenMod 10.1 device, by using only a Linux computer, without the help of any proprietary OS.

Read more: HTC Chacha - Give it new life with CyanogenMod 10.1 under Ubuntu

Nexus 4 - Root, Remove Ads & Extend Battery Life under Ubuntu

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If you want to root your Google Nexus 4, a lot of stuff is available on the net from different sites and forums.

nexus4-front

But most of the guides you get are using some tools running under Windows.

Obviously, you can do the same from an Ubuntu workstation, but all the steps are not trivial.

So, this article will explain all the steps needed to :
 * Setup udev to properly recognise your Nexus 4
 * OEM unlock it
 * Install TWRP custom Recovery
 * Root the phone
 * Enable USB Debugging mode

 

The complete procedure has been tested with a Google Nexus 4 running Jelly Bean 4.2.2 or Kitkat 4.4.2 from a Ubuntu Precise LTS 12.04 computer.

As a pre-requisite, you must have latest Android SDK or latest ADB package installed on your computer. An installation guide is available for Ubuntu computers.

Read more: Nexus 4 - Root, Remove Ads & Extend Battery Life under Ubuntu

Nexus 5 - Root, Remove Ads & Extend Battery Life under Ubuntu

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If you want to root your Google Nexus 5, a lot of stuff is available on the net from different sites and forums.

nexus5-front

But most of the guides you get are using some tools running under Windows and focus on a specific goal : root the phone, optimize battery life or tweak usage.

This article explains all the steps needed to :
 * Setup udev to properly recognise your Nexus 5
 * OEM unlock it
 * Install TWRP custom Recovery
 * Root the phone
 * Install an ads blocker
 * Extend its battery life

 

The complete procedure has been tested with a Google Nexus 5 running Kitkat 4.4.2 from a Ubuntu Saucy 13.10 computer.

As a pre-requisite, you must have latest Android SDK or latest ADB package installed on your computer. An installation guide is available for Ubuntu computers.

Read more: Nexus 5 - Root, Remove Ads & Extend Battery Life under Ubuntu

Nexus S - Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and Photosphere

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With the arrival of Jelly Bean 4.2, Google Nexus S has been left on the side of the road by Google, which has decided not to provide JB 4.2 update for this phone.

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Hopefully, thanks to the CyanogenMod team, Nexus S has been one of the first device to get CM 10.1, which is based on Jelly Bean 4.2.2.

The only bad news about it is that the Google Apps provided for CM 10.1 don't install PhotoSphere on devices like Nexus S.

But, some people have been able to extract the proper applications and libraries from official JB 4.2 devices to get PhotoSphere installed on other devices.

So, this article explains all the steps needed to flash CM 10.1, Google Apps & PhotoSphere on a rooted Nexus S.

It provides the PhotoSphere package that needs to be flashed on the top of Google Apps.

 

A pre-requisite is to have rooted your Nexus S and installed a Recovery like ClockWorkMod or TWRP. If needed, a step-by-step rooting guide is available from this site.

Read more: Nexus S - Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and Photosphere

Nexus 4 - Upgrade your Rooted Phone to Kitkat keeping all your Data

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nexus4-kitkatIf your Nexus 4 is rooted and using a custom recovery, latest Kitkat OTA update may completly crash your phone. This is what has happened to mine two days ago ...

If you really want to try the OTA update, make sure you've done a complete ROM backup with your recovery. It may save your data !

Otherwise, this article explains how to safely upgrade your rooted Nexus 4 running a rooted stock Jelly Bean 4.3 and a custom recovery to the latest Kitkat 4.4 without losing your data. As a result, you'll have upgraded your Nexus 4 the same way as with an OTA update. 

It is using ADB tools and latest factory image published by Google.

As a pre-requisite, you must have latest Android SDK or latest ADB package installed on your computer. An installation guide is available for Ubuntu computers.

It has been tested on a Ubuntu 12.04 computer, but it should work on any computer with an operational ADB setup.

Read more: Nexus 4 - Upgrade your Rooted Phone to Kitkat keeping all your Data

Android - Use your phone as a Handheld GPS Navigator with Offline Maps

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Going for some trekking in the far Himalaya, I'm planning to use my Android phone and My Tracks application as a Handheld GPS Navigator. This will allow me to keep track of the complete journey maps and statistics.

My Tracks is a very neat and simple Google application that keeps track of your complete journey. It is using your phone's GPS and Google Maps to draw the real time map of the journey. One main drawback of using Google Maps for this purpose is that it is using the data connection to retrieve the maps data from Google servers when needed. As 3G connection may not be available when I'm lost in the Himalayan peaks, the whole chain may be broken ...

Hopefully, even if Google Maps for Android doesn't officially include a caching feature to use maps offline, latest version includes the "Ok maps" easter egg that allows you to save current map for offline use. So it then becomes possible to preload your journey maps to be able to use My Tracks as a offline Navigator.

This article explains how to use hidden Google Maps caching feature to save offline maps and to use them with My Tracks when 3G data connection is not available. Your Android phone will then become a complete Handheld GPS Navigator.

It has been tested on a Nexus 4 running Jelly Bean 4.3 and Maps 7.1. It should work on any Android device running latest version of Google Maps.

Read more: Android - Use your phone as a Handheld GPS Navigator with Offline Maps

Android - Share your SFR 3G Data Plan

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If you are having a SFR Illimythics or Carre unlimited data plan, you must have realized that the standard Android Wifi Hotspot is almost unusable with your other devices. You can connect to your Wifi Hotspot but all the pages are blank !

This comes from the fact that operators like SFR decided to block internet connection sharing by analysing all the data you send and by checking the User Agent declared by your browser. If the User Agent is known and accepted by the operator, the packet is carried. If not it is simply dropped. You will then get a blank page on your browser.

With a Postal comparison, its like if your postal service is starting to read every letter you send and decides to carry it or not according to what you have written ! Unbelievable … but true.

This behaviour comes from the business model mobile operators are trying to build : they expect to be able to shave an egg ! When they sell you an unlimited 3G mobile data plan for your smartphone, they want to sell you a second one for your tablet, a third one for your laptop, … This is highly logical as everybody knows that with two hands and two eyes you can surf on four devices at the same time !

Hopefully, this can be circumvented with a very simple tool : Firefox. This article explains the simple steps needed to be able to bypass SFR User Agent filtering which blocks connexion sharing. It works with any device running Firefox browser. You will then be able to use Android inbuilt Wifi Hotspot feature as it was always supposed to be used.

This connexion sharing has been tested with devices running Firefox 19+ under Ubuntu 12.04, Windows 7 and Android 4.2.

Read more: Android - Share your SFR 3G Data Plan

Nexus 7 - Connect to internet using a CDMA or 3G USB key

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Google Nexus 7 is the real today's travellers tablet, as it's size is perfect to carry it everywhere. But it only offers Wifi connectivity, which can be too limited when you are on the move.

As Google Nexus 7 is providing a fully featured OTG USB port, it can be used to connect a CDMA or 3G key to the tablet. You just need an OTG cable (easily available nowadays) to connect your Mobile Data USB key.

With the help of a fantastic widget called PPP Widget, available from Play Store, you can then create a PPP connexion thru your connected USB key.

This PPP connexion will open a fully working internet connexion.

This guide explains how to configure your Google Nexus 7 tablet to be able to connect it to internet thru a CDMA or 3G USB key.

It has been tested on Jelly Beans 4.1.2 with two different Data Keys :

  • CDMA - Tata Photon Plus (EC156 model)
  • 3G - Huawei Mobile Connect E180
Read more: Nexus 7 - Connect to internet using a CDMA or 3G USB key

Slidepad 704ce - ICS 4.0 : Root, Tweaks and Google Play

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slidepad-704ce-tablet

Memup Slidepad 704ce is a very affordable Android 7' tablet with a Allwinner A13 SoC (Cortex A8 processor), 4 Gb flash memory, 512 Mb RAM, a microSD connector and a fully working micro USB OTG port.

If you have the chance to follow one of the excellent CiLevel executive training course, this is the tablet you will get as a T-Book.

This tablet is shipped in 2 versions : Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 and Jelly Bean 4.1.1.

Mine was ICS 4.0.4. Its main drawback were that  it is not pre-rooted & it doesn't include Google Play Store (only the lousy Getjar).
The version under Jelly Bean 4.1.1 comes with Google Apps pre-installed.

So, this article explains all the steps needed to root a Slidepad 704ce under ICS 4.0.4  and to install the complete Google Apps framework. After these steps, your will get a very nice little tablet with all the possibilities of Google Play Store (Gmail, Maps, ...). If your Slidepa 704ce is running JB 4.1.1 or if you want to upgrade it to JB 4.1.1, another guide is available at Slidepad 704ce - Jelly Bean 4.1.1 : Root your tablet.

Memup Slidepad 704ce seems to be the same hardware as Cybo MID7032. So, this procedure should be applicable to MID7032 (and to many other tablets embedding an A13 SoC).  If you get any success with other models, just let me know, so that I can add it in this article.

This procedure has been done to be run on a Ubuntu workstation, but it should be easily adapted to any other Linux flavour, and even to a Windows PC. As a pre-requisite, you need to Install Android tools on your Ubuntu box.

Read more: Slidepad 704ce - ICS 4.0 : Root, Tweaks and Google Play

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