The two cheap phones I ordered for porting Firefox OS have arrived. For far my favourite is the H10. This quick guide should also work for the HTM M1 with slight alterations.
This guide will show you how to install SuperSU and gain root. The entire process was easier than I anticipated.
Step 1: Download the latest version of Framaroot
Step 2: Copy the Framaroot apk to your phone
Step 3: Use your phone’s File Manager app to open the Framaroot apk you copied in step 2.
Figure for Step 3.
Step 4: Android will have you verify the permissions Framaroot has requested. For our usage because Framaroot will exploit a permission escalation vulnerability it has access to all permissions despite only requesting photos. For this reason you must only ever install apks from sources you trust.
Figure for step 4.
Step 5: My HTM H10 came with Android 4.2.2 which has an option to check apks against Google’s blacklist of apks. This blacklist should include Framaroot so you must select Disagree from the dialogue. In general this blacklist exists to protect us from malicious apps which might use the same exploit we need.
Figure for step 5. If you see this remember to select Disagree.
Step 6: Framaroot is now installed but has not performed the exploit. Press Open to run Framaroot.
Figure for step 6.
Step 7: As of writing the latest version of Framaroot is 1.8.1.apk. The only exploit version 1.8.1 knows which the H10 is still vulnerable against is the Boromir exploit. In the future Boromir should get fixed but new exploits should appear. Should must tap on the Boromir text to perform the exploit.
Figure for step 7.
Step 8: Congradulations! The exploit should have worked but you must reboot your phone for it to take effect.
Figure for step 8.
I’ve been mulling the idea of buying a cheap disposable Android with which to port B2G onto. These cheap Androids can be quite cheap. One I bought was $56, the other $77. Shipping was for both.
My selection algorithm was:
- Order by price
- Filter to Android 4 or greater
- Check out any orange (firefox) coloured phones
- Find two distinct phones with the same System-on-Chip (SoC)
My final selection was the “M1 Smartphone” by “htm” , and the “Tengda H10” and by “htm”.
M1 by “htm”
Tengda M10 by “htm”
My last experience with cheap Chinese origin Androids was one of the first generation Android tablets. The device was a clone of the iPad and featured a resistive touch screen. Calling it slow would have been a complement. From that baseline these devices have a good chance to impress.
These devices might look quite different but they are in fact almost the exact same. The variety in the cheap android market place is misleading. Under the hood most devices are quite similar. In our case these two phones have the same SoC and camera. By having two similar devices my hope is to create a B2G configuration which will work for all MTK6572W devices. The two devices are from the same manufacturer but do differ in RAM, flash, and baseband. This should give a workable sample of similar devices.
Or maybe they’ll become paperweights!
Today I ran across a phone announcement in my RSS feed.
After a large paragraph of specifications come one of the smallest sentences possible in Japanese.
「Android は4.0。」, “Android is 4.0”.
Less than four years ago no android phones existed. Now any smartphone is an android unless specified otherwise. For every computer that has Ubuntu installed, 1.4 Android phones are sold every month.
I just picked up a Kobo Vox from Future Shop. The Vox is the first reasonably priced android tablet you can get in Canada. Americans have been able to get a Nook Colour for a while.
The build is solid and the matte padding on the back feels quite nice. The volume rocker is located lower than I expected it to be which is nice for holding the Vox horizontally as the rocker is away from your hand.
The backlight has some noticeable leakage on black screens.
The setup process rquires you to download a firmware update and create a kobo account.
In the marketing material I had read that Google’s android market would be available, this is not the case rather a getjar app is installed. Honestly I should have expected this since Google will not allow devices without GPS and other phone specific features to ship with the market.
Oddly enough there does not appear to be a way to associate the Vox with a Google account, something I have had to do even with cheap Chinese tablets. The Gmail app is really a link to the mobile version of gmail.
Update: I’ve played with the Vox for a few hours now. The lack of Google Market is very noticeable and annoying. I used this guide to install the Amazon Appstore which has more quality apps than the default getjar market. Open source apps are easier to get, often apks are available for download from the project’s website. By default the backlight is not set to auto, which it should be for the battery’s sake. I should mention again the build quality, the Vox is very nice to hold. The touch panel is very responsive.
Oh and angry birds works fine. Overall the Vox is a nice tablet.