Cyanogenmod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Full HWA on Motorola Devices

Chrome on Defy with HWA

Hardware Acceleration on some aging Motorola devices has been a long time coming. My Motorola Defy is one of those aging devices. Last week, Quarx2k and Epsylon3, our wonderful Defy developers, released builds for the Defy and Defy+ with full HWA support. However, this wouldn’t have been possible without the work of Kabaldan, who discovered a method that could bring full HWA to any locked down Motorola device, such as my Defy and the Motorola Milestone.

Not sure what HWA is? It’s short for Hardware Acceleration. Here’s HWA as explained by the folks at XDA:

Hardware acceleration for Android is (in the most basic of terms) the use of the GPU to aid in the drawing operations done by a given application or view. Aside from allowing the CPU and GPU to work simultaneously, this also allows the drawing operations to be done on much more specialized and efficient hardware for the task. This results in a better overall user experience.

Quarx2k released his first full HWA build on July 6. There’s since been another build for both Defy and Defy+. You can find all builds by Quarx2k here.

The best part of having HWA for me, is having a fully functioning Chrome in Android now. Something I’ve been waiting to have on my Defy for quite some time.

Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) Themes for Cyanogenmod

green

My post about making Cyanogenmod look like Ice Cream Sandwich has been pretty popular. There are a lot of folks out there wanting to make their Cyanogenmod 7 phone look like it’s running Ice Cream Sandwich, and for good reason. The Ice Cream Sandwich style is very nice to look at.

Sonny Sekhon, the author of the original Ice Cream Sandwich theme for Cyanogenmod’s theme chooser, has released a number of other Ice Cream Sandwich based themes, in colors other than blue!
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Sonny has added Ice Cream Sandwich themes in the following colors: green, red, purple, gingerbread color, orange, dark blue, cyan and pink.

All of those are free and can be installed right from the Android Market. Sonny has a donate version available as well, if you like his work and would like to support him, buying that theme would probably make him a very happy dude.

If you’re looking for Ice Cream Sandwich themes for ADW or other launchers, you’ll definitely want to have a look at this post. That post contains a lot more than just Ice Cream Sandwich Cyanogenmod themes.

You can have a quick look at each of the new Ice Cream Sandwich theme colors in the gallery below (after the break). If I missed a theme from another developer, leave a comment and I’ll add it to this post.
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Cyanogenmod 9 Is Really, Really Here

defy_ics_02

Well lookie here! Epsylon3 has released the first Cyanogenmod 9 nightly build for the Motorola Defy. There’s still a pretty hefty list of things that are broken, but it’s way smaller than it was last week.

Download links for the Cyanognemod 9 (CM9) nightlies can be found at http://tanguy.forumdoandroid.com/. That site contains links to various downloads. If you want to run Cyanogenmod 9, you’ll want this link http://defy-cm.net/ics-test0/.
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As expected, some things are still broken:

  • Fix orientation sensor
  • Fix Google maps
  • Fix 3D
  • Fix camera (will be hard)

Don’t think I’m quite ready to try this out yet. I’ll give it a shot on my Defy once the orientation sensor is working properly. Might wait for the camera to be 100% functional too, I use my phone camera often for taking pictures and video of my daughter.

Here are some screenshots:

You can find a video after the break.
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First Cyanogenmod 9 Test Builds

about_ics

A thread at the XDA Developers forum has been discussing progress on Cyanogenmod 9 (CM9) for the Motorola Defy. The first post includes a video of a Motorola Bravo running Cyanogenmod 9 with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). The Motorola Bravo is running Cyanogenmod 9 for the Defy, but it seems to work. You can see the video here at the end of this post.

In the most recent post in the thread, josuearisty provides a link to http://defy-cm.net/ics-test0/. There you’ll find two builds of Cyanogenmod 9 for the Motorola Defy.

UPDATE 11/29/2011: Epsylon3 has updated his original thread, his first post now links to http://defy-cm.net/ics-test0/ as well. There’s also a new nightly, 111129.

I’m not even going to install it, it probably has a lot of the issues the ROM from Epsylon3 has. It’s still encouraging to see nightly CM9 builds for the Defy popping up though.
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I was a little worried about Cyanongemod 9 even being released for the Defy, but the Defy is one of the most popular devices for the Cyanogenmod team, according to the Cyanogenmod stats site anyway.

According to the Cyanogenmod stats site, there’s nearly 50,000 Defy’s running Cyanogenmod. The Motorola Defy is the umts_jordan device.

If you’ve got a Motorola Defy and are really, really anxious to run Ice Cream Sandwich, you now have two options. The AOSP ROM from Epsylon3, or a Cyanogenmod 9 nightly from http://defy-cm.net/ics-test0/.

I’ll be holding off on Ice Cream Sandwich for at least another month, probably more. I need to have a very stable phone, and can’t afford to run bleeding edge software on it.

If you’ve tried Ice Cream Sandwich in AOSP or Cyanongemod form, let me know, I’d love to hear what you think of it. You can see the video of Cyanogenmod 9 on the Defy after the break!
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Cyanogenmod 9 Incoming: Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) Source Code is Available

Ice Cream Sandwich

The source code for Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) is now available. You can find instructions for downloading the source at the Android Open Source Project site.

Steve Kondik, the original creator of Cyanogenmod, tweeted the following last night:
[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/cyanogen/status/136313427248431104"]

Sounds like we’ll start seeing the first Cyanogenmod 9 builds in the next couple months! Exciting news for everyone who has been abandoned by their handset manufacturer. I highly doubt my Motorola Defy will ever see an official upgrade, even to Gingerbread. Ice Cream Sandwich should run quite well on the Defy’s hardware.

This is exciting news for everyone in the Android community really, not just those who’ve been abandoned. The more choices you have the better, and Cyanogenmod is available for a multitude of devices.

Can’t wait until the nightly builds start popping up, it’s gonna be a fun next couple of months! If I had to guess, I’d say we’ll see an alpha or the first nightly builds of Cyanogenmod 9 within a month, or a little more. Hopefully by Christmas (and this is just me wishing) we’ll have something!

Steve also mentioned on Twitter that work will progress on Cyanogenmod 7.2 until it’s ready to be released, while simultaneously working on Cyanogenmod 9.
[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/cyanogen/status/136324771578261504"]

If you’d like to get the Ice Cream Sandwich look now and not wait until Cyanogenmod 9 is out, have a look at my post Make Cyanogenmod 7.1 Look Like Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Kinda).