Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sidecutters

Yeah, we’re trying to tackle the daunting task of attempting to compile an update guide for Android mobile phones. At the outset, please allow us to caution you that a ROM (or software) update is easy, but could seriously damage your mobile phone if performed incorrectly. In this article, we’re trying to see the various update options available from various Android mobile phone manufacturers, and the requirements and the possibilities of the upgrade. In most cases, the update would simply require you to connect your Android mobile phone to a computer, and then perform the update using updater software downloaded from the phone manufacturer’s website.

We’ll be looking at the update procedure for phones from major manufacturers, such as Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, HTC, and comparing those procedures with the update process for the Spice Mi-300. First off, the bare necessities.

General step-by-step upgrade process

1. The mobile phone must be fully charged. It’s no good if the phone is 80% charged – you could “brick” your phone and make it completely unusable.

2. Check if an update is available for your specific phone, from your phone manufacturer’s website – don’t visit a third-party website for updates; it could corrupt your phone. (Unless, of course, you’re the kind of geek that wants to use a full-fledged custom ROM on your phone)

3. Download the software or the updater tool that would be required to perform the update for your phone.

4. Perform a full device backup (either using the provided software) or using third-party tools. ALL data on the phone would be lost during the update.

5. Run the update software, as specified in the instructions for your phone.

6. After the update is completely finished, and your phone has rebooted – perform a Factory Reset. This step is completely necessary to finish the upgrade process. You would need to access (from the homescreen) Menu > Settings > Privacy > Factory Data Reset.

7. Restore the data that was backed up previously, in step 4.

8. Configure all required settings, such as your Google account, your personalized wallpapers and ringtones, and fully enjoy your newly updated Android mobile phone!

Manufacturer-specific information

Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson has been bombarded by the community at large for bringing out the 2.1 upgrade for the Xperia series of mobile phones so late. In our opinion, the upgrade was well worth the wait; no other device manufacturer in the Android mobile phone space has a similarly skinned- and unique interface. They also have the simplest upgrade process – get the PC Companion software from their website, and run through the upgrade process. You can visit this link for selecting your specific phone model, and downloading the PC Companion software - http://www.sonyericsson.com/update/?cc=in&lc=en

 

HTC

HTC logo

HTC has a similarly easy process, with updates being delivered via the HTC Sync software. You would need to check using the software to see if an upgrade/update is available for your specific mobile phone. If you have an HTC Android phone, then you can obtain the necessary HTC Sync software using this weblink http://www.htc.com/in/supportdownloadlist.aspx?p_id=316&act=sd&cat=all

 

Motorola

Motorola logo

Motorola’s update process is very hard to understand; we’ve been all over their India website, trying to click on the “Software update” section of their support website, and it keeps redirecting us to a country selector tool. We had some luck in obtaining download links for the US-based website, but that’s not much good for us Indians, is it now? If you’re curious to see the upgrade procedure for a Motorola Backflip in the United States, check this weblink : http://www.motorola.com/Support/US-EN/Android_Products/Software_Update_Landing_Page/Backflip_Software_Update_Page

If you are able to find the software or upgrade for Motorola Android phones in India, then you’re welcome to let us know in “Comments” below. We’ll update this section when we do know.

 

Samsung

Samsung logo

The current mindshare holder in the high-end Android phone segment, atleast in India, Samsung has a fairly simple update process as well. You would need to download the Kies PC Synchronisation software from their website, and then check for upgrades using the software. The Kies software for the Samsung Galaxy S i-9000 can be obtained from this weblink http://www.samsung.com/in/consumer/mobile-phone/mobile-phone/touch-phone/GT-I9000HKAINU/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&tab=support

 

Spice Mi-300

Spice logo

The simplest and the easiest Android upgrade that we have found so far – and also, the only Android upgrade in India that has step-by-step instructions. It just beats us as to why none of the other mobile phone manufacturers mentioned here have come out with an upgrade “guide”. Anyways, the upgrade is available from this link http://www.spiceglobal.com/spicemobiles/Model.aspx?Id=167 and the User Guide section has a .PDF with upgrade instructions. (We should note here that this .PDF was the first to alert us to the fact that an Android phone MUST be factory reset after upgrading)

4 comments:

Christopher Hsieh said...

LOL, I think I walked the highwire when I updated/switched firmware/restored old backup ROMs on like 25-40% battery.

But all you guys updating your phone, please don't risk doing it at 50%. Listen to what the blog says.

Cheers,
Chris

The Indian Geek said...

Ha ha ha... Thanks, Chris, for that.

We've walked the high-wire ourselves, once, and almost bricked the phone (The update finished with something like 12% battery left!)

From what we've seen, the actual flashing process takes up a huge amount of battery power; and if there are some problems with this, then the battery keeps draining. So yeah, a full battery is the best way to go when flashing custom ROMs.

Thanks again, for your comment.

Unnat Acharya said...

forgot lg?

The Indian Geek said...

Yes, actually!

Thank you Unnat, for bringing that to our notice. We will remember LG the next time around....

Cheers.

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