Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fully Body InvisibleSHIELD for the HTC Magic

I purchased the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD a while back but been putting off putting it on my phone as after reading the instructions it just seemed like a monumental task to do so. And of course you need to leave your phone OFF for 12-24 hours while it 'cures' - this alone kept putting me off as I've been having far too much fun with various roms and the phone itself for the last few weeks.

Well I had some time today and decided I might as well do it before it gets scratched without it - so I cleared a nice space on my desk and proceeded to apply the pieces.

Now Zagg didn't actually supply any instructions with the InvisibleSHIELD specific to the HTC Magic - instead they included their general instructions and recommended I watch the videos. The videos were for every other phone but the HTC Magic so weren't very useful in figuring out where each piece went - which was a let down to me - I emailed Zagg but after several emails all they would say was: "According to our policies, I am unable to send out a diagram of the invisibleSHIELD pieces for your device." - GREAT - that's helpful guys.. -1 for Support.

So I persevered and managed to figure it out. It was mostly the side strips that confused me but I think I got them right.

I have to say though that I'm less than impressed with the coverage. This is supposedly the 'Full Body' coverage and there's little gaps between it all and there were several spots that didn't line up very well - the worst was the back sheet with the camera and speaker holes.

Take a look at my photos at:

And you'll see what I mean. I've been very underwhemed by the whole experience.

Because of the multiple strips and curves on the HTC Magic I spent about two hours putting it on and getting it to stick on the edges (using the 'pinch' technique that they mentioned on their website and videos). I had to let each strip dry and stick before I moved onto the next one, and since there are a lot of curves on the HTC Magic it required a lot work.
Not exactly a fun experience there either.

The feeling of the film on the phone so far is very sticky on the screen itself which makes it hard to slide and swipe easily like I'm used to. I REALLY hope this clears up when it's cured. Already I've noticed heaps of little mini-bubbles start appearing under the surface in some spots (mostly the sloped/curved parts) and according to their instructions these should disappear within 2-3 days. I've also noticed several scratches in the film itself - again.. I'm hoping that these will clear up as I'm going to be furious if they're not.

Needless to say I will NOT be recommending it to anyone else unless this thing is fricken amazing when it cures properly - it's only been on for about 6 hours so far, so guess we'll see - apparently it takes 2-3 days for the film to cure and the micro-bubbles and imperfections to clear up.

I'll post more pics in a couple of days and let you all know how it goes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ultimate Sapphire Hacking Wiki now available

I've just finished putting the last touches on the Sapphire Hacking Wiki available at:

I urge any new HTC Magic users to read it to help them get started.
I urge any advanced users to read it and help keep it up to date!

This is a generic Hacking guide for any Sapphire handset - ie. HTC Magic, Vodafone Magic, Rogers HTC Magic, Google ION, even the TMobile MyTouch 3G!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hero on HTC Magic - three weeks in and still loving it!

I have to say I'm still enjoying this Hero ROM.
I'm using the Rogers conversion of Fatal1ty's Hero 1.4 as linked from here for my PVT32A handset: (use the original Fatal1ty rom if you have a PVT32B)

Collection of ROMS for Rogers (well.. any PVT32A phone really...)

Please people.. learn which handset you have and install the correct rom - the two phones have different boot methods and wlan drivers - so if you install the wrong one it won't boot - simple.

Read the XDA Sapphire Wiki!

So back to what this post is about - Hero.. so the first thing I did was switch TouchFlo off - the widgets and everything are lovely, but it's far too slow and just not ready for primetime.
I've applied the Camera fix to this and that's about it really.

Once you have the rom installed you can turn TouchFlo off by going to Settings->Applications->Manage Applications->TouchFlo->Clear defaults

Then press the Home key on your phone and when it prompts you first select the checkbox to Always use this or set it as defaults, then press 'Home' and not touchflo.

Okay.. got Android Home back in! yay. speed!

Actually.. it'll probably still seem a bit sluggish for a while until all of the touchflo stuff gets moved out of the cache. You could prolly reboot the phone to speed this up, but I didn't bother. I'm also not using Apps2SD/Swapper/Cache2SD or any of that stuff - but then I also have the 288MB HTC Magic, not the 192MB crippled one.

So what's so great about this if you don't get TouchFLO? What's the point of getting Hero?

Well.. the applications that also come with Hero are excellent.
Lemme explain why...
  • HTC Peek - if you're a twitterer then this is cool - built in support for twitter with nice notifications. URL Shortening, Image posting, even Geo support!
  • Facebook/Flickr built in. No need for third party apps - it'll automatically grab pictures for your contacts that are also on facebook with the same name, provide you with Status updates and even links to the latest pictures they've uploaded on flickr. And you can now take a photo and Share on Flickr/Facebook/Twitter/etc too.
  • The new 'People' app is awesome - this is a huge revamp of the Contacts that came with cupcake and has lots of other neat stuff like Google Maps support (click on contacts address and it goes straight to Google Maps) and what not - you can also update your own facebook/flickr status through your 'My Contact Page' - you can also click on contacts and see THEIR facebook/flickr status and updates.
  • HTC Keyboard comes as default - no need to install it. Highly recommended though I'm looking forward to playing with CooTek's TouchPal when it's out as that looks nice too.
  • Hmm.. what else.. Power button held down now has extra options including Vibration Mode toggle and Mobile Network toggle.
  • You can set a separate wallpapers for Lock screen now too which is nice.
  • Footprints App lets you post geo-location info - so you can mark your favourite spots, take photos, etc (never used it tho tbh)
  • Other apps that come with it are a nice Weather app, Stocks app, Music app
  • Multitouch Browser - this is awesome and works pretty well - the browser has Flash support too - though I wouldn't bet on it being perfect just yet.
  • Smart Dialer with favourites and call history - I forget whether this is much improved.. but the StarContacts crap that came with that ION rom has nothing on this.

So what are the issues?
  • Broken Bluetooth Headset support. You can listen to music fine over A2DP, but you can't use the microphone for calls. It's broken.. no one has figured out a fix for it yet. And yeah.. no bluetooth filesharing yet either - but then no rom offers this yet as it's not been implemented fully (though there are third party apps that apparently offer it.. kinda)
  • LEDs are mapped incorrectly - no more orange charging LED (just a green light when fully charged) and other LED colour changes won't work in some apps. You still get green flashes and trackball glows for notifications tho! ;)
  • Camera is screwed up out of the box - just need to grab the old camera package and reinstall it to fix this. Takes all of five minutes to fix this.
  • TouchFLO is pretty useless and slow still.. this will improve I'm sure.. but for the moment.. steer clear of it!
None of the above really bothers me much.. the advantages far outweigh the negatives for me really. I tried testing out nk02's ION rom recently and couldn't believe how backward it seemed - StarContacts sucked, Task manager included had expired and it just seemed really lacking.
Within the hour I had reinstalled Hero and was instantly happier.

So I'm on Hero for now.. and here to stay! ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to install a built-in recovery rom with Nandroid backup/restore

Amon_RA and Cyanogen on xda-developers have done some excellent work building a recovery rom with root, recovery mode, and Nandroid Backup and Restore functionality.

The latest 1.1.1 version works on both HTC (PVT32A) and Google (PVT32B) magics and you can find the files to download and instructions on xda-developers.

So what can you do with a recovery rom and why do you want it?

Well.. the nicest thing with this is that you don't really need a PC to install roms and fastboot. Once you've flashed the recovery rom on your phone you can jump into it at any time by powering it off, and using HOME + POWER.

It also has root - so you can install files/etc on your rom without actually needing root access on the rom itself.
And lastly.. you can backup and restore your phone at any point using Nandroid.

Pretty cool - definitely recommend this to you all!