Droid 2: Your Patience has Paid Off!

Custom Gingerbread ROMs are abounding over at DroidForums.com! Yes, none are final but they are (in my humble opinion) finally ready enough for the real world. That means a featured post here on ADB! Both of the main ROM creators for the Droid 2/X have finally released some very decent, stable, and custom Gingerbread ROMs for your Motorola phone. Already got the OTA? No problem, these are just here to enhance your experience. Especially the Apex 2.0. His ROM had to be one of my favorites when I had my Droid 2. That favoritism continues with version 2.0 based on the latest Gingerbread available. His latest (RC2) build is really, truly 100% AOSP Gingerbread. No Blur whatsoever. This makes the pure Google experience of the Droid 1 totally possible and in my opinion is the ROM we’ve been waiting for. So long as there is at least one pure AOSP ROM for every phone, it will be a beautiful world. Bootloaders be damned, you can get a pure Google experience on your Droid 2 right now via the Apex forum hereContinue reading

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Leaked: Droid 3 Coming Q2?

Image via Technobuffalo.com

Oooh. That beautiful slab of black you see above is most likely the next in the heralded line of Droids from Motorola. Glossy black wrapped in chrome and sporting a great looking new 5 row keyboard, this beast of a phone has already been leaked. Yeah, I know my post about it is a little late and most certainly not exclusive, but I make up for it in original commentary. And my dashing good looks. Find out all my impressions, predictions, and fantastic wizardry with just a single click! Continue reading

Long Term ROM Review: Apex 2.0 “Beta”

Well guys I know its been a while, but life happens ya know? And one thing you can always count no matter what happens in life is that the world keeps spinning. Including the tech world! One of our favorite devs, Fabdroid/@bigxie has done just that and released the “beta” version of his Apex ROM for the Droid X and Droid 2. Now this isn’t like what most people think of when they hear “beta”. Like he says himself, it’s “beta” in the Google sense of the world. This is no doubt a daily driver ROM. I’ve been going back and forth with other ROMs based off of various (read: waaaay too many) different leaks of the Gingerbread build from Motorola. ZombieStomped, Liberty GB, Rubix BlurryBread all come to mind and none have left me properly satisfied. Granted Liberty isn’t finished yet and I’ll of course be giving it a fair shot when it’s got some polish and finish. But until now there hasn’t really been “that” ROM based off Gingerbread for our Droid 2. In fact, this is one of the few I’ve tried that’s being made for the Droid 2. Most of the ones I’ve flashed that get updated are actually Droid X ROMs and then having the DXtoD2GB.zip flash file on hand. But this Apex 2.0 has really come along and I think you’ll be very impressed with how it looks, feels, and performs.

Keep clicking if you want to find out more in my in depth review and whether it’s worth installing for you or not!  Continue reading

Droid 2 GingerBlur Day 5(?): Yeah it’s been a while…

So apparently I kinda suck at this “daily blogging” thing. I think until my life gets a little more stabilized I’m gonna stick to more feature writing and app reviews and only kind of do these daily check ins. It’s a lot harder than I thought!

I guess one of the main problems has been A) my phone has only been running the new leak about half of the last 3 days and B) I’ve been a little busy with a new job, new house, and moving. Ha. Hopefully things will level out within the week so I can get back to some daily reports on the usefulness of this ROM. To any newcomers (and just to bring us back up to speed) I am now running the 2.3.3 Blurred official unofficial build for the Droid 2. Leaked by Team Black Hat and P3Droid, this newest update has brought speed, updated features, and a whole new Blur experience.

At this point I’m more or less completely covering up the Blur aspects of this phone. My ideal ROM would be one that simply keeps the dock app (just for the scrollable widget bar at the bottom) and the Blur phone app (just for the predictive dialing). There’s not much else that a hardcore AOSP Android user like me would keep, but the rest of Blur certainly does seem to add functionality instead of detract (like the original Blur).

Performance is increased too. Quadrant went from an average performance run of 1700-1800 to usually 2000+. It’s also quicker in feel too. The stock home loads quickly enough, but still scrolls slow. It doesn’t feel like a glitch either. It actually feels like Motorola tuned the scroll speed down. The app drawer, however, couldn’t feel more sprite. Minus effects, it’s super snappy and loads apps lightening fast. This new software really makes the phone feel like the more powerful Droid it is. App switching is also totally lag free. Jumping in and out of the browser between multiple apps is like a dream. The ability to switch the recent apps (long press on Home) to the full app drawer without actually loading your homescreen is also a neat idea. It sounds weird in print, but can be really handy in a pinch.

Right now I’m running ADW EX and Widget Locker, effectively erasing some of the main Blur points. Having root means a lot more accessibility options for various apps. My boot overclock options have been set to 1.1ghz Ultra Low Voltage,  but turning it up to 1.3ghz Medium Voltage yields impressive performance increases especially in apps like N64oid and the now infamous PSX4droid. With my regular boot options I post a decent 1886 in Quadrant and still get at least 20 hours of battery. That’s pretty much the golden hour mark right there for me: enough that it’s ok if I get up a little early, but it’ll last if I stay out late.

Overall the build feels really quick still 3 days later. I’ve removed a couple system apps that were pure bloatware anyway. Nothing too serious. I got a little overzealous once 2 days ago and had to SBF back to 2.2 stock just to get my phone working again. Also of note is there is still no fix for the WordPress for Android app (which majorly sucks) and none to Weatherbug fixing their seeming incompatibilities with this ROM. Not that big a deal as it is in fact unofficial software and was more likely than not the update from Motorola that Verizon rejected. Perhaps this is why? I’ll never know for sure, but so far as P3Droid has released I’m not sure how long I’ll be running this unofficial software. Only time will tell and a lot has to do with his post tomorrow. Here’s to hoping, and a new house. Will post back about more Star Wars goodies (I know I’ve been putting it off) and how that works out. Also, if anyone could teach me how to make new WidgetLocker themes that’d be great. I’m not having any luck getting my app to recognize my custom images. Thanks a bunch. Hope you all are enjoying Gingerbread on our Droid 2’s as much as I am. Until next time:

You stay classy, World Wide Web.

Deodexed Booting!!! FINALLY

After nearly a dozen full wipes back to 2.2 stock, I finally have the deodexed leak of the new Gingerbread Blur ROM booting and functional on my Droid 2 R2D2. This is a big deal for me. Mostly because it means I’m not afraid to do a lot more mods, but I’m also working on getting more of those Star Wars goodies back on there to post on DroidForums.com.

UPDATE: Just like that it all goes to hell again. I would recommend not using the Anim Mod for Root app on the Gingerbread leaks. I’m not sure if it’s gingerbread or the leaks, there seems to be little concrete about these leaks’ compatibility, but this app certainly does not work. As soon as it applied the new animations (a framework-res.apk mod) after the reboot I had multiple force closes. Not a happy camper. Will update if I get this figured out. SO CLOSE

CRT Screen Off animations for GingerBlur Leak

It’s a little hard not to put a bazillion exclamation marks after that title cause boy am I excited about this one! One of the main things I was disappointed to see not make it in the official update was the ever so cool CRT screen off animations. Anyone who’s used the old school CRT tube monitors will feel all sorts of nostalgia when they flash this little bugger. The download link is a few posts down, and I can’t stress this enough: DON’T FLASH THIS IF YOU’VE ALREADY APPLIED MODS TO FRAMEWORK-RES.APK!!!!!! YOU WILL BE MAJORLY MESSED UP!!! Ok, I”m done now. I missed that bulletin on XDA’s page and because I’ve already applied the Star Wars Lockscreen mod my whole thing looked really messed up… good news is the screen off animations still worked! Thank God for Nandroid, Amen?

Here’s a quick video:

And here’s the original post on XDA to get the .zip to flash.

http://tinyurl.com/crtscreenoff

You stay classy, World Wide Web.


D2/DX Gingerbread Already Rooted!!!

Damn these guys work fast! Hats off (pun intended) to Team Black Hat and P3droid for making quick work of the leaked Gingerbread Blur ROMs. No need to wait folks, root access has already been exploited on these fine pairs of ROMs and its available to download publicly right now over at MyDroidWorld. Having root for me meant getting to put the Star Wars lockscreen back on my R2 unit which is great. Now I’m working on changing up the icons. AnimMod (Root) didn’t seem to apply the desired effects which is probably because it needs to be updated. Another (temporary) disappointment was the lack of overclock/undervolting. As of this writing Jrummy16 is still working on updating the app to support the new Gingerbread kernel. No its not unlocked and no nobody has gotten the keys for the bootloader. Still waiting for Motorola to release those! But while we wait, go ahead and hit the download links below for some new GingerBlur (my term).

Droid X:  http://www.mydroidworld.com/forums/droid-x-discussion/6729-droid-x-gingerbread-2-3-3-release-prerooted.html

Droid 2:  http://www.mydroidworld.com/forums/droid-2-discussion/6730-droid-2-gingerbread-2-3-3-release-prerooted.html