This just in!
Kevin Shen of RootzWiki fame has crafted a very detailed review of the Droid 3 ICS Alpha #2.
I think some portions of the review are mildly inaccurate:
- 6-8 hour battery life? Battery life isn’t great and it probably shouldn’t be with all of the dalvik heap loading and unloading in the Launcher. There might be some specific issues w/ media playing for longer amounts of time, etc. But, I’d need to do some debug/testing. For me, I get through the day fairly easily with moderate use: hour+ screen time, 30min to an hour of phone calls, web use, twitter, xabber, email.
- WirelessTether works. I used it for 12 hours total over the last 3 days of traveling.
- I’m not sure I understand a “Final Conclusion” for an Alpha ROM, but what the hey! Always nice to get some press.
For me, the take away is that I need to post some “HOW TO INSTALL THIS ROM” notes somewhere right around the download link on various websites:
- DON’T LET GOOGLE “RESTORE FROM MY GOOGLE ACCOUNT TO THIS PHONE” DURING THE GAPPS SETUP. That would probably be a Gingerbread ROM and those settings will tend to screw up ICS. You won’t notice that you didn’t let Google restore your ring tone, trust me.
- Wiping data/cache/dalvik-cache is king. Even when going from Alpha #1 to Alpha #2. Sometimes you can get away with not wiping, but many times, it’ll cure alot of problems.
- Finding the right GApps for this build has been a PITA. Whether it’s Calendar or Exchange not syncing or Voice Search bombing out — I’ve probably looked at 4 different builds and seen 4 different sets of results. It’s a work in progress. I’m looking at a set of Nexus S GApps now.
- If you have apps that can or might use the camera in anyway, then there will be issues with stability in the current build.
- Reboot every day or 2. Currently, the dalvik heap gets constantly worked over by the Launcher (see below).
- Lastly, Launcher2 uses a newish OpenGL feature “IMG_OES_Request” this loads texture memory into GPU memory where it’s safe and sound. The Gingerbread GPU drivers for most phones don’t support this feature. So instead, we hack that particular call to be handled by software and these textures are loaded into the dalvik heap where they get loaded and unloaded, and loaded again and unloaded again. This causes the Launcher to be fairly unstable if you page through window after window of apps / widgets and will probably crash on the 1st or 2nd pass through. Just be aware of this current issue and know that there’s not a whole lot I can do to fix it directly. And this may be vastly improved over the next build or 2 due to improvements in Trebuchet (the CM9 Launcher based off Launcher2) by Nebkat.
So as most of you have seen, the D3 now has CDMA/GSM 3G in ICS..
What does this mean!?
For me, it means upgrading the status of this project to “Alpha”. And I’d like to cover what you can expect out of the Droid 3 if you choose to install ICS at this point.
Many of the base phone functions are now working. And that includes:
- Phone is usable in CDMA and GSM modes for making/receiving calls as well as 3G data.
- Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS all work
- HW acceleration is working tho sometimes .. “a work in progress” due to the Gingerbread version of our PVR driver.
- Audio is probably better than it was in CM7 (imho)
Here’s what will not be working (at least at the start of Alpha):
- The camera, and several video codecs. They rely on a device which isn’t present in our kernel: “/dev/ion”. I’m looking at re-writing it against our memory management unit. Will take some time.
- Wifi Tether is broken at the moment and needs debugging
- Voice recognition needs debugging / fixes
- Data usage stats are “stubbed” in so that only the total will show, not the per app break down. Needs kernel module fix.
- Dock Audio hasn’t been added to the build (I need to decompile the app and rewrite it)
- HDMI support hasn’t been added to the build (same as above and then troubleshoot through the hwcomposer).
Unfortunately, related to those above some of the neater features of ICS like “Face-unlock” (requires a working camera), and the bump sharing which requires the NFC chip, which I believe we don’t have in the phone.
When you encounter bugs you can log them on the Bugtracker at:
I encourage everyone to use it and look for previously started bugs where you can add your comments.
A note about Google Apps:
For this stage, I will be including GApps in the build (minus GTalk which attempts to use the camera). This should solve many of the installation issues and hopefully make upgrading from build to build less of a hassle. At the end of the testing stage I’ll remove GApps again and you can install them on your own.
RomManager support for Droid3Bootstrap users:
Same as the CM7 builds, I will start putting the ICS/CM9 builds in RomManager for the folks on Droid3Bootstrap.
So with all of that out of the way.. Let’s get the Alpha rolling and have some fun.
You can expect the first alpha build to be available tonight / tomorrow.
So there’s this great phone … you may have heard of it … the RAZR … Or perhaps not? Maybe, you’re blind, deaf or managed to live in a cave eating plants and small woodland creatures … to avoid the massive barrage of commercials on TV about it. After all “it’s too powerful to fall into the wrong hands..”
And it *is* a great phone! … Except that Motorola has managed to keep the fastboot restore files for it, completely under wraps.
What does this mean? It seriously hampers development on a phone if you can’t fix it when things go badly. And the whole crack-flashing experience takes a beating as well. I’m not sure about you, but flashing into a brick w/o some way of recovering makes me wanna hit random people in the face.
So … I’m happy to announce that this latest version of Safestrap (v1.07) also includes a build for RAZR owners who want to try a few ROMs but want a little protection against a return trip to the local Verizon store for a phone exchange.
<WARNING: SAVE YOUR OWN ASS JARGON — USER BEWARE>
“This software has been tested on more than 1 model of phone and does indeed work well to protect the user against bad ROM installs which might normally soft brick phones. However, do to hardware malfunctions, unforeseen battery issues and plain old bad luck, you can still manage to brick your phone using Safestrap.
SO IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE SAFESTRAP (or ANY Bootstrap) WHILE NOT HAVING A FULL FASTBOOT RESTORE YOU ARE TAKING A RISK WITH YOUR PHONE. If you do manage to brick your phone PLEASE don’t call me up and say I did it to you on purpose. Hence this nice warning.”
I can recommend that you read the following helpful sections of this website which might cover in more detail how Safestrap works, etc:
To download RAZR Safestrap head on over to the Downloads