Sunday, June 19, 2011

CyanogenMod 7 on Orange Boston (Z71 Variant)

Some time back, to be more precise, when my girlfriend bought herself an iPhone 4, I wanted to see whats possible with my old Android phone: an Orange Boston (Commtiva Z71 Family) and decided to run some custom ROM on there.

I already updated it with the official android 2.1 for this phone: but still I wanted to go further and decided to try out the cyanogenMod ROM.

There is a blog out there which is dedicated to tweaking this phone: boston-mania and so I just did what they said in their latest post (back then it was this one) and it seemed to work just fine: at least at first sight.

After some hours I found the first bugs with the build from cyanogen they used in this post (the orientation sensors didn't work) and since in the blogpost they were using a nightly build, I wiped the phone again and installed the official cyanogenMod 7.0.3 release for my phone.

Weird as it gets, now I had actually 2 BIG problems:

  • My SD-Card kept on unmounting itself and could not be mounted again
  • The battery lasted for about 6 (yes: six!!!) hours until it died

For the first Problem with the SD-Card, I found a solution which doesn't seem like a solution first: but as a developer I can only guess how this might be related ;). What I did to fix that is to turn on the WiFi, connect to a hotspot of your choice and reboot without deactivating the WiFi. Than it just works fine and you can also deactivate WiFi again and the SD-Card will remain working.

For the second problem with the battery life, I first tried other measures like using JuiceDefender. Its a tool which can be used to deactivate your data-connections and only sync on a predefined schedule. This gave the battery extra juice up to 10 hours. But c'mon: 10 hours is really not enough for a phone, is it?!

After I researched quite some time I found a reasonable explanation for the battery drain: it seems, when a phone-sensor is activated, it doesn't deactivate itself again: it just continues running till there is no battery. Since those sensors are actually getting active as soon as the screen is activated (i.e. the orientation sensor) the battery will die very fast.

With the breadcrumbs from others reporting those problems, I found a way to get everything working as it should:

Now after several days of trial, I can say the battery lifetime is up to 2 days again :) Ironically this is what I got with the original android-version from the manufacturer.

I really hope, these problems will be fixed in the next release of cyanogenMod (I will check the bugtracker for that): otherwise I think I will stay with my current solution or actually I'm already thinking of switching fully to SuperAOSP, since the provided kernel-updates are more than a relief for cyanogenMod-Z71 users. The only reason I didn't do that yet is the fact, that there is almost no community around SuperAOSP: really too bad!

Battery, Batteryfix, Android, Cyanogen, sd-card, unmounting, CyanogenMod, Apanda A60, Chinavision Excalibur, Cincinnati Bell Blaze , Gigabyte Gsmart G1305, Motorola XT502, Muchtel A1, Nexian Journey, Optimus Boston, Orange Boston, Spice Mi-300 , Vibo A688 and Wellcom A88

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