Category: Phones

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I’ve been running Gingerbread for a week now, and have a few issues. The worst one so far is the higher battery consumption. On 2.2.1 I used to be able to reach 16 hours on average with moderate usage of 3G data, voicecalls, email, SMS, Latitude running in the background, GPS, WiFi, Sync all enabled. I have always had my screen on the lowest brightness setting to conserve battery there. With Gingerbread, its been slashed to around 7 to 8 hours.

Looking at my battery usage, the process Android OS has been suspiciously high – around 30% or more of my battery use – more than Display, which was a dead giveaway something was wrong. I went through the proceess of removing widgets and apps that created running services. I even switched back from ADW Ex to the default Launcher. Still had Android OS registering high.

I cleared the cache from the boot menu, but still Android OS was still registering high battery use.

I did a bit of Googling, and came across this thread on Android google code site:

The prevailing view is that the WiFi  Sleep Policy is the cause of the high battery drain. It has been suggested that having a sleep policy set to Never when plugged in results in the high Android OS utilization. I have tried switching to Never as the thread suggests, and this has worked for me. I managed to get 16hrs on battery, with 28% left by the end of the day. This morning’s graph shows a very gentle slope compared with my previous ones.

Battery UsageBattery Usage - Graph

I would say its conclusive in my case that changing my WiFi policy to “Never” has fixed the issue.

For those of you having this issue you can change your settings as follows:
Hit the menu button and navigate to Settings->Wireless & Networks -> WiFi Settings

Hit the menu button and select Advanced as shown above.
You’ll see the following screen:

Click Wi-Fi sleep policy and a dialog box appears.

You should see Never when plugged in is currently selected.
Change to Never and you’re done.

You will have to fully charge the phone to clear the battery usage info, but monitor your battery usage and see if this helps your battery usage.

Thanks to the people on the android issues page for their suggestions, and the other sites I have visited.

Thanks also to Aatif for his great post on how to take screenshots of phone using the Android SDK. His post can be found here:


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Note: This is a long post. Please make yourself familiar with all the steps before proceeding with the upgrade!

Quick update: Once FRG33 is installed, you don’t have to go through with the rest of the updates. People have confirmed the OTA’s come through pretty fast. In my case they didn’t and I was impatient and applied the updates manually. Also thanks to everyone for confirming the passimg step. I have updated to reflect this.

Additionally, for those having troubles with files, try use the MD5Sum’s to confirm file integrity.

For the passimg step, make sure you extract from, and then rename it to If you are using windows, make sure its not been renamed

Gingerbread has finally been released, and once again, I have found that my Nexus One is burdened by a Vodafone UK ROM, blocking me from receiving the Gingerbread update. Google designed the Nexus one to be open and updated regularly, but Voda are hindering this by needing to first “check the firmware” before allowing their branded phones updates. I am not getting the Nexus One experience Google intended. My best guess is that there is some sort of key or certificate that is installed on the phone that the software update process uses to check if the signed update file can be installed on the phone. Its time to ditch this Voda Rom!
I am going to install stock US google rom.

This is the message that started me down this path. When trying to install the Gingerbread image from the link, I got this message:

“– Install from sdcard…
Finding update package…
Opening update package…
Verifying update package…
E:failed to verify whole-file signature
E:signature verification failed
Installation aborted.”

I then discovered there was another release since 2.2.1 – FRG83G 2.2.2. But after downloading and attempting to apply that update I got the same error.

Standard Warning

Anything you read on this page, you carry out at your own risk. Whilst a lot of your phone is backed up in the cloud by Google, there will be lots of things that aren’t. Make sure you know which apps store data on the phone, and see if you can back this up to the SD card. Additionally, you should take a backup of your SD card contents to your computer.


During the upgrade process you will need to repeat these steps documented here. Make sure you are familiar with them before starting the upgrade process.

Coping files to SDcard

For each update you will have to copy a file to the SDcard. In one case you will rename to, but for the rest of the updates, simply Ensure you safely eject the media from your computer, and then turn USB storage off before rebooting.

HBOOT Mode, Recovery Mode, Applying an

  1. Power down the phone.
  2. Hold the Volume Down button and press and release the power button. Do not release the volume down key until you see this screen:

    HBOOT Menu

    HBOOT Menu

  3. You will see the screen flash up some messages and then return to the screen above. It is simply the device searching for a number of predefined images, such as which you will use when you are installing the default Google ROM. For this process don’t worry about it
  4. Use the Volume Down key to select Recovery. The phone will now appear to reboot, and you will see Nexus One logo, and then you will be presented with the following screen:

    Recovery Warning Screen

    Recovery Warning Screen

  5. To continue, hold the power button and tap the Volume Up key. Once you see this screen you can release the power button.

    Recovery Menu

    Recovery Menu

  6. Use the trackball to select apply The phone will then go through the process of verifying the image and the system and either patch and unpack a lot of files. The phone may change screens a few times. Sometimes it will autoboot. If it doesn’t autoboot, you will simply be presented with the Recover menu. Select Reboot from the menu and you are ready to move onto the next step.

PASSIMG.ZIP Update Method

This method you will have placed the file into the root of the SDCard. Get into the HBOOT menu like above following steps 1 – 2 only. Once you are into the HBOOT menu, it will automatically take over from there.

Android Version Check

After each update is applied you should check the version match what I have posted for that step. You can do this by going to
Menu->Settings->About Phone and scroll to the bottom. You should look at the last four fields:

  • Android version
  • Baseband version
  • Kernel version
  • Build number

The Upgrade Process

You should be running a 2.2 ROM already, something with a build that is FRG83 at least. This process will downgrade the phone to FRG33 Google Stock ROM and then you will upgrade from there. (I was running  FRG83D).

  1. Download all the update files listed in the Links to Files section at the bottom of this post.
  2. Unzip One unzipped you will find a zip file called Rename this file and copy to the root of your SD card.
  3. Use the PASSIMG.ZIP method above to install the file. Once you are in the HBOOT menu, it will automatically start loading the file and then prompt you asking if you want to install the updates. Press Vol Up to install these updates. Once the process has completed, you will be asked to press VolumeUp to reboot the phone.  it may prompt you to restart the phone or restart it automatically for you. (SOMEONE PLEASE CONFIRM WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS. It was 4am when I did it and I can’t remember anymore).
  4. When the phone has finished rebooting, it will be as if you have a new phone and will prompt you for your google account. Don’t enter your Google account. You should only do this once you have finished installing the Gingerbread update.
  5. Check your android version information matches the following:

    Android Version: 2.2
    Baseband Version:
    Kernel Version:
    android-build@apa26 #1
    Build Number: FRG33

  6. Next you will need the upgrade from FRG33 to FRG83. Connect your phone to your computer, delete from the sdcard and copy to the sdcard. Rename this file to
  7. Perform the HBOOT procedure above to apply the update.
  8. Once you are back in, check your android version information matches the following:

    Android Version: 2.2.1
    Baseband Version:
    Kernel Version:
    android-build@apa26 #1
    Build Number: FRG83

  9. Our next upgrade is from FRG83 to FRG83D. Connect the phone to the PC, delete from the SDcard. Copy to the SDcard and rename to
  10. Perform the HBOOT procedure above to apply the update.
  11. Once you are back in, check your android version information matches the following:

    Android Version: 2.2.1
    Baseband Version:
    Kernel Version:
    android-build@apa26 #1
    Build Number: FRG83D

  12. Our next upgrade is from FRG83D to FRG83G. Connect the phone to the PC, delete from the SDcard. Copy to the SDcard and rename to
  13. Perform the HBOOT procedure above to apply the update.
  14. Once you are back in, check your android version information matches the following:

    Android Version: 2.2.2
    Baseband Version:
    Kernel Version:
    android-build@apa26 #1
    Build Number: FRG83G

  15. The last step is the one that takes you to Gingerbread. This upgrade is FRG83G to GRI40. Copy to the SDcard and rename to
  16. Perform the HBOOT procedure above to apply the update.
  17. When you get back in you will notice the new Gingerbread look. Confirm your android version information matches the following:

    Android Version: 2.3.3
    Baseband Version:
    Kernel Version:
    android-build@apa28 #1
    Build Number: GRI40

  18. At this stage I recommend a factory rest by going to:
    menu->settings->privacy->Factory data reset
  19. Once back into the phone, it will be like new. Enter your Google account details. This is the part that should impress you. It will begin restoring all your settings, including wifi access points. Open the market once this is done. It will be the old market. Go to downloads and it will load up all the apps you had downloaded, down the the exact version you had installed! Later the market application will be automatically upgraded to the latest version so don’t worry too much about that. If your apps stored their settings in the cloud, there will be not much work to be done now.
  20. Let the downloads finish, and then you will get a notification “X applications Restored.” In my case it was 86.
  21. Remove from the SDcard.

Enjoy Gingerbread!!!

MD5sums I took from the files I downloaded (for reference):

Links to files (Official Google links where possible)

References: (Can’t get gingerbread due to voda rom)

Constricting Carriers

Carriers are well known to tightly control their mobile phone offerings.
Optus is no exception to this point.

I recently started using a PennySIM service. Previously I have been using Exetel. Both are Optus 3G resellers, but Exetel seems to have its own infrastructure and internet access and APN for their HSPA connections, whereas PennyTel use Optus Infrastructure, including APN’s, SMSC and MMS gateways.

Since getting my hands on an Android phone earlier in the year, I discovered I had no access to paid apps in the Android Market.
I only ever saw Free apps in searches.

After doing a quick search I discovered I was not the only person to notice this, and many had proved that it was an Optus only issue.

Here is a link to an article describing the problem:

Last week whilst browsing the Android Market, I noticed apps with prices appearing! A quick search confirmed Optus has indeed officially acknowledged Apps were blocked and have now unblocked them:

We’re very happy to let all our Android customers know that you now have access to all paid apps in the Android Marketplace.

Another issue which I only found when switching over to PennySIM is that, Google’s mobile app portal was blocked by Optus (this was verified by using Exetel or Telstra service to connect to this portal).

This means I have no access to Google Wave and other cool Google apps.

This link to whirpool shows other users having trouble with site. ( )

I will be contacting PennyTel and Optus about this issue.

Why choose Android?

I have just purchased my first Android phone, and thought this was a good time to review my feelings on Android.

I have been waiting to upgrade from my aging Nokia E65 for over a year now. Nokia has been a good platform, and it’s E series phones are great. Perhaps the greatest thing about the E65 at the time was the integrated WiFi hardware and the included VoIP SIP Stack.

Initially I got the phone as an upgrade on a Capped Plan with a notable carrier and was using the phone with the standard circuit functionality. At the end of 2008, with the end of my contract in sight I started experimenting with VoIP, getting a HSPA Plan with Exetel. I have now been using VoIP with PennyTel for well over 12 months, and it works fairly well. Whilst I can’t say its has been a consumer-grade experience, I have managed fairly well.

With the E65 I can have a VoIP call starting off on WiFi, then when I move out of WiFi range, it seamlessly hands over to the 3G Packet Data connection without dropping any voice, and the same is true when moving back into range of my WiFi access point.

I guess my only gripe is that the E65 has aged and is now dated. It’s browser is limited, the screen-size is small, and it has a first-generation 3G radio which is no longer really good for delivering what I expect. Newer Nokia models might have met some of my needs but the smart-phone has moved on, revolutionised by Apple’s entrance to the market with the iPhone.

When looking for my next phone, the iPhone was squarely in view. It simply had what I considered was the next-generation of technology for the always online, always connected person. However, I soon became fairly jaded: iPhones were aggressively kept under the lock and key of both Apple and AT&T. Applications access to the 3G network was non-existent, VoIP impossible at the request of AT&T, along with the lack of external memory expansion and a fixed battery.

When Android was announced, I eagerly downloaded the SDK and tried out the emulator, instantly falling in love with it. Watching the release and development of both iPhones, and then the various Android devices, I decided on Android.

I am an advocate for Open Source Software, and particularly Linux, so to me Android is the first* truly open phone platform.

* – I should mention here that both Trolltech’s Qtopia Greenphone and OpenMoko’s Neo1973 were both pioneer’s in developing the “Open Phone”. Whilst they were not commercially successful, I feel they were the roots of the open phone movement and deserve not to be forgotten.

Back to Android..

Google has not been acting as an agent of the Carrier’s in the way Apple has been with AT&T. Whilst they have not included a VoIP stack as part of the core of Android, they have not precluded applications that do deliver VoIP functionality. With Android, I am free to use VoIP and the Internet in the way I was accustomed to with my E65, only better!

The Android Market is also an improvement over the Apple AppStore. Google don’t decide which applications can be published, they let the market decide.

In summary, whilst Android is not as mature as iPhone, and has had teething problems (which also the first iPhone’s had), it has a strong future and is a generally open platform that is attractive both to developers and end users. Next post is on Nexus One and how it is paving the way for Android’s future.