My latest Blackberry firmware utility, Sachesi is now available.
Sachesi allows you to extract, search for and install Blackberry firmware. This is a continued evolution of the original Sachup and Sachibar applications.
I have reverse-engineered a lot of the internal tools used on your Blackberry 10 device. I now present you with my findings, a firmware grabber application called Sachup and an application (.bar) side-loader and operating system+radio installerSachibar:
Update! 4th July 2013
Download here. [Windows] Update! 14th June 2013 #2
Download here. [Linux 64-bit, requires Qt]
Sachup Firmware Grabber – Windows (12th June)
Sachup Firmware Grabber – Linux (12th June)
Sachibar Application and Firmware Installer (12th June)
Changelog 4th July
Bug fixes for signed extracter. Now extracts RCFS partitions from Core and Radio.
Simply request tokens here. Keep note of the ‘PIN’ you chose.
Edit config.txt from Android-Pack. Fill it in according to the examples and instructions it contains.
Copy the two .csj files that were emailed to you in to the same folder as this pack. Then run RegisterToken.
You should have a debugtoken.bar if everything went successfully. Now you can continue.
Windows: Drag any Android app .apk on to ConvertAndroidApp. Mac/Linux: Run ./ConvertAndroidApp.sh MyAndroidApp.apk and install resulting .bar file.
Remember: Every 30 days you just need to run RenewToken
Frequency Asked Questions
Why does it tell me my keystore password is incorrect?
This usually means you are registering a second time. To register a second time you need to move or delete your debugtoken and your old registration files. They are located in %APPDATA%\..\Local\Research In Motion
My app crashes/doesn’t work properly. Why? Catlog is your friend! Sideload this. Crash your app. This will tell you why.
If you would like to thank me for my time and effort, you can donate to me here.
This has been working for months now. Sorry for not getting it out to you guys earlier!
Over the past week I have been testing out one of Nokia’s newest handsets in the Asha (S40) range. This is my first in-depth experience of S40, as I usually stay away from ‘dumbphones’. Here is my review of the handset.
First off, to the specifications. The handset is running the latest Series 40 DP 2.0 firmware, which is now considered to be a smartphone OS by Nokia. The device has a 1GHz processor with no GPU and contains just 64MB of RAM. The screen is a 240×400, 3.0″ capacitive LCD. The device is labelled ‘Made in India’.
My first impression of the device is that S40 has completely overhauled its UI to look more like a smartphone. Instead of navigating with a D-pad or simple touches, you are now able to swipe around the UI. It is a very welcome change and makes the device much easier to use. Swiping to the left or right cycles between: a homescreen with contacts and shortcuts, a grid of applications and an always open app. Unlike on Nokia’s smartphone operating systems, the homescreen can not accomodate widgets and does not allow you to place objects wherever you choose. Similarly, the application grid is quite rigid in that it does not support folders and has no way to make in-built applications disappear. However, you can organise the application grid by holding down, selecting an icon and then choosing where you want it to go. Lastly, the always-on application is only select-able from three options: Dialer, Music and Radio.
You can also touch the top of the screen to bring down the drop-down menu (similar to the one on Symbian, Meego and Android). It has quick toggle actions for SIM manager, mobile data, wifi, bluetooth and profile. It also has app launchers for music, dialer and messaging.
With the move to full touch, the S40 DP 2.0 devices also have the largest screen size ever supported by S40 at 240×400. While still visibly pixelated at 3.0″, the resolution is enough to handle what the device is capable of.
Having full touch means that the OS needs to have an adequate replacement for the T9 or QWERTY keyboard. On the device, the virtual keyboard has options for: QWERTY, T9, Handwriting and, language permitting, Stroke. The QWERTY and T9 are the standard affair with custom dictionary, predictive and auto-complete available. While I found the QWERTY and T9 very fast and easy to use on the capacitive screen, I found the handwriting next to useless as it only allows inputting a single letter at a time with the input recognition interval making this quite annoying. There is a setting to adjust recognise time-out for handwriting.
The Asha 310 comes with dual-sim functionality. This is the first phone I’ve used with this, so I am fairly new to the concept. The second SIM is hot-swappable, which means you can change it without rebooting the phone, a term that Nokia calls ‘Easy Swap’. To test the dual-sim I put various sims in to the device and experimented with the sim manager. The sim manager app allows you to choose which sim you would like to use for calls, SMS, MMS or data (separately). Each category has the option of SIM 1, SIM 2 or Always Ask. When experimenting with the sims, I noticed the signal can vary between both sims even if they are on the same carrier which may mean they use different antennas or conflicted somehow.
One issue I discovered with the Active SIM technology is that when a SIM begins to use 2.5/2.75G data, the second SIM goes offline. Accommodating for this, the OS generally uses 2.0G data unless it is necessary to go faster (eg. browsing).
As the phone is only capable of 2G, low signal is always an issue in Australia. While my 3G handsets show full reception everywhere, this 2G handset is most often on 2 bars and can even have no bars entirely when inside, as seen below.
Low signal is an issue on 2G
Nokia is making a huge push for apps now that they have declared S40 as a smartphone OS. Some noticeable inclusions are messaging apps eBuddy, Whatsapp, Viber and Line. You won’t be able to do voice or video calls using apps, but you can send voice and video clips. Skype is unfortunately absent. Also noticeable is the huge push for games. Angry birds and many other familar apps are available in Java (J2ME) and pre-loaded on to the phone. Nokia is also promoting 40 free EA games in the Nokia Store. These games are all written in Java and it shows, with the 2D graphics looking unlike the equivalent games on Symbian and other smartphone OS. Unfortunately native apps are still not possible. If Nokia allow Qt apps to run on this OS in the future, I would be very impressed!
Many of the apps are now rotatable to landscape (using the accelerometer) due to the full touch UI.
If you are a browser fanatic, you will probably need to use a proxy-based browser to get your work done. The phone comes with the Nokia Xpress browser and you can also download Opera Mini or UC Browser from the store. A standard browser also comes with the device and is more heavily promoted with the default app grid layout. Unfortunately that stock browser is extremely slow and often runs out of memory (shown below) when loading simple web pages, even with no apps open proving that the 64MB RAM may not be enough. I would recommend replacing it with Nokia Xpress instead or UC Browser.
Common sight for stock browser pushing 64MB RAM
As this is a low-cost handset, there are some missing features that people tend to take for granted. One of those is the flashlight. Many Nokia phones have a light next to the camera that can be used as a flashlight — especially low-cost phones. Unfortunately this phone is an exception. In comparison to the Asha 300 which was cheapest phone ($50) I could find in my local store, the camera has also been downgraded to 2MP (5MP on the Asha 300). Another missing feature that I find quite handy on S40 is USB OTG functionality. On the Asha 300, you are able to plug in USB flash drives directly in to the phone using a USB OTG cable and then explore the filesystem, read and write files. Unfortunately the Asha 310 just has a standard microUSB port that is not capable of using a USB OTG cable. Lastly, as the screen is LCD instead of AMOLED, there is no ‘sleeping screen’ to notify you of the time or new messages. Coming from other Nokia phones, this can be quite annoying but not too unexpected for a low-end device.
Overall, the device is a budget 2G dual-sim device with Wifi that has made some cuts (in RAM, USB OTG, flashlight) to improve value. The major limiting factor would have to be the 2G. If you’re in a country where 3G is unreliable or simply not an option, this is otherwise a great phone.
I hope you liked my review, even if you do not plan to buy the phone. It is quite interesting to see the direction of future low-end handsets such as Series 40.
Here is the latest Symbian release based on v0.7-518, 8th April 2013.
It includes all the latest changes from github such as improved UI (showing game list and game images in menu), improved compatibility and speed.
It also includes improvement to video RAM management for first-generation Symbian^3 devices. Jetpack Joyride should now be playable because of this (when buffered rendering is off and frameskip is on).