Sunday, 25 December 2011

Ainol Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 Rooted UK Rom V3.0

Update March 2021:

Fixed the download links at the bottom of the page. All versions can also be found here: Ainol Novo 8 Firmware links

Comments locked as this release has been superseded, head to Ainol Novo 8 News to see the latest version.


Original post:

MERRY XMAS TO YOU ALL AND A BRAND NEW ROM!!!

Yup that's right folks, I have been promising a new rom for a couple of weeks and what better day for it to be released than today :) I'm going to keep this fairly short and sweet as I am overloaded on xmas grub and want to slob out.

This firmware is frankly pretty awesome, it's based on the latest 22/12/11 release with full Root and added bits from Cheeyee @ Chinadigital (make sure you thank him) which gives you 2GB userspace, USB Bluetooth dongle, USB GPS dongle and USB Gamepad support. If that is not enough for you you also have the latest Google apps, Market, Facebook, Skype (which now works) and Dolphin Browser HD. Flash support has been cooked in as well and seems to work fine. This is presently English only, I shall try to make a Multi Language in the next week or so (and have it work a bit better than in V2.0)

Not Enough For You?

Then how about this . . . Power issues are fixed, performance issues seem to be addressed (can't test iPlayer as the BBC has broken it at the time of writing) The Market has gained the ability to see near enough every single app there is, that's right you read it correctly Angry Birds, Facebook, Dolphin HD and Skype are are visible on the market, you can even update the rom installed versions. Install Chainfire3D and the Pro key then use the market fix to see and install Tegra games so you can have legit versions of those as well.

You still want more?

Fine ;) This rom is pretty much bursting at the seams with loads of other stuff, there's more done, fixed and added than I remember. Install, enjoy and explore :)

SCREENSHOTS TO FOLLOW LATER

Download Links:

Ainol Novo 8 2.3.4 UK Rom V3.0

3.0 Patch to 3.1:
Install after 3.0 fixes Contact and Calendar issues.

Ainol Novo 8 2.3.4 UK Rom V3.1 patch

The Readme.txt:

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Ainol Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 Rooted English Rom
Version: 3.0 (25/12/11) *Merry Xmas*
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Author: Nebular Nerd (aka Oberth & thedaybeforetomorrow)
Homepage: nebularnerd.com
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

About:
After manually de-Chineseing every firmware and trying to cram in
all the basic Google apps and such that are needed I set upon
creating an all English firmware, The result is a ready to flash rom
with all the Google stuff and a few choice extras bundled in.

Using a rather heavily modded version of the 2.3.4 22/12/11 release, I have
replaced, added and tweaked various things to give a decent firmware that will
make you proud to show off your tablet and give those silly fruit flavoured
ones something to really get upset about :)

While I take credit for the putting everything together in one easy to use
package the real credit should goto all those people I sourced the component
parts from. Big thanks this time round goto cheeyee @ ChinaDigital for his
amazing work on adding USB support for various stuff and tomx2h @ imp3 for
adding it all to the latest build.

As of writing (25/12/11) there have been over 1000 Downloads from
hosts with download counters of my previous two versions, so lets see what V3.0
does for the figures.

Enjoy the firmware :)
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Changelist / Whats New:
25/12/2011 Version 3.0
*IMPORTANT* English only release, Multi Language to follow.
*IMPORTANT* Power issues no longer present.
*IMPORTANT* Do not update Adobe Flash to later versions.
*NEW* Base Firmware with lots of mods inc. AdHoc
...Major thanks to tomx2h at imp3 for his work.
*NEW* 2GB Userspace patch based on cheeyee @ Chinadigtal's work
...again thanks to tomx2h for adding to base rom.
*NEW* USB Bluetooth, USB GPS, USB Joypad support
...Major thanks to the cheeyee @ Chinadigital for original
...work, and tomx2h at imp3 for adding to base rom.
*NEW* Added Dolphin Desktop Toggle, Google Currents and Google Earth
*UPDATED* Dolphin Browser 7.2.0, FaceBook 1.8.1, Skype 2.5.4.21.162
*UPDATED* Google Maps 6.0.2, Streetview 1.7.1.0, Market 3.4.4
*UPDATED* Google+ 2.2.0.233662
*FIXED* Skype should now work
*FIXED* Even better market results (see features section)

19/11/2011: Version 2.0
*NEW* Multi Language support.
...Google apps and firmware seem ok, other apps are dev dependant.
*NEW* Default Wallpaper
...Thanks to EgFox @ DeviantArt http://eg-art.deviantart.com/
*NEW* Google Books, Google+ Added to rom
*NEW* Dolphin HD Broswer added
*NEW* Facebook added
*NEW* Skype added
*NEW* FlashPlayer 10.3 apk added to zip for installation latest 11.x causes
...serious performance issues with any flash media.
*NEW* LCD Resolution added, handy for making things bigger in the
...absence of the normal Small,Med,Large settings. Also semi fixes iPlayer
...performance issue. Use it to set dpi at 200 and iPlayer is watchable.
*FIXED* Calendar now works, no longer force closes.
*MODDED* Headphone volume output level no longer deafens you.
*UPDATED* Better readme.txt layout.
*UPDATED* Latest YouTube and Google Music.

8/11/2011: Version 1.2
Tidied and formatted readme.txt.

6/11/2011: Version 1.1
Minor update to correct bug in build.prop preventing Chainfire and Tegra
games from working.

5/11/2011: Version 1.0
1st Release.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Installation
Flashing this is a breeze, simply copy all the contents of the zip to your
SD Card, insert into your Novo 8 and boot into Recovery with Power & Vol+.

Once booted perform the 3 wipes and then install the update and reboot.

If you spot the error about the factory_update_param.aml file missing
when booting into recovery mode just ignore it. 

This take a couple of minutes to boot the first time as it has quite a bit
of work to do so sit tight and wait.

Post install look for the Wallpapers app to change the desktop background to
whichever one takes your fancy.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Features:
* Fast and Smooth 160dpi rom with build.prop tweaks to improve various things.

* Full English Rom set to UK region, no hidden Chinese menus to pop out at you.
...All Chinese only apps removed or replaced with english versions.

*UPDATED*
* Latest Market 3.4.4 with heavily modified build.prop to show as many apps as
...possible. This new build seems to show near enough everything going,
...Facebook, Dolphin and Skype appear as well as some premium games.
...I believe it's a combination of cheeyee additions and my build.prop making
...the tablet look like a fully featured phone. Tegra games will also appear
...if you install Chainfire with the Plugins and then run the Fix Market.

* AC3/DTS Hardware Decoder works. Stock Video Player will handle most stuff
...Download Big Buck Bunny from their site in 1080 MP4 & H.264 as test files
...If it all is working both will play smoothly and seek should work. I test
...these and other files from a 16GB Class2 MicroSD in a USB reader. It will
...play really large stuff from a NTFS formatted external drive as well.
...Test file for this is a 13GB 1080 AVC/DTS MKV file that plays without issue.
 
* 3G Modem support, confirmed working with these dongles.
...Huawei E160 3G USB Dongle (by ompudsman @ MP4Nations)
...Huawei E1750 3G USB Dongle with Virgin UK sim. (by GFZ @ XDA)
...Huawei E173u-2 3G USB Dongle (by Razy @ My Blogspot Page)
...Any other 3G Dongles working? Help the community and let us know :)

*NEW*
* USB Bluetooth Support
...Tested with 3 dongles and all work fine with my Bluetooth GPS Keyring
...CoPilot on an 8" screen is rather good fun :)

*NEW*
*USB GPS and Gamepad support
...Untested but reading cheeyee's threads on Chinadigital I reckon they
...will work as he describes.

* Preloaded with latest Google Browser, Gmail, Maps, Streetview, YouTube,
...Google Music, Latitude, Google Books, Google+, Google+ Messenger,
...Google Search, Calendar, Google Earth and Car Home.

* Preloaded with latest Facebook, Skype and Dolphin Browser HD.

* Google accounts will sync Contacts, Mail and Calendars correctly.

* YouTube plays HQ videos just fine without stutter or lag.
...(Assuming you have a good wifi signal and net speeds)
 
* The stock video player plays most MPG, MP4, MKV files with AAC, MP3, AC3
...audio. It's not set as the default player but use file explorer to pick
...a file and it should pop up in the dialog box and it will set all the
...formats it can play to use it.
 
* Most of the Games and Apps I have tried while testing work fine. Get
...Chainfire3D and buy the Pro key to enjoy some of the nice Tegra Games.
...I shall add a list of Tegra games that work to my blog.

* Wifi seems better under the new firmware.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Bugs: 

*FIXED*
With V3.0 all the power bugs have been squashed so not much left.

*FIXED*
Market is awesome in this version, a couple of things may be missing
but not much.

* Your Novo may disappear off the Market site for a while or completely. Mine
...went and then came back about a day later, this is down to the modified
...build.prop You can still download apps directly through the Market app on
...the Novo regardless.

* Possible others bugs (Let me know by posting on my blog or the threads)
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

To Do List:

* Make Video Player the default app for video files, Meantime if you select a
...video file inside one of the file explorers as soon as you pick the video
...player and select default action any files it can play will then use it.

* Add widgets to homescreen automatically.

* Fix iPlayer performance both in app and browser, close as I can figure this
...one it's Flash not performing but YouTube and other flash files play ok
...so it's a puzzler, best I can recommend is to use LCD Resolution to drop to
...200 dpi and you can get watchable streams at Medium quality through the app.

* Other stuff I think of.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Sources used:
* tinyurl.com/75sosxc The base for my rom was this prerooted one.
...(Translated, may not load first time especially in Chinese busy times)

* tinyurl.com/6y57c4s The tweaks used for the Market.
 
Other various sources for stuff about some of the other little tweaks.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Disclaimer:
As with any custom firmware there is a risk of things going wrong so if it
bricks your unit try a recovery image from Ainol and start again, if you are of
a nervous disposition or the type of person who sues for a hobby please do not
attempt to install this. The rom works fine on my unit and others have tried
without issue, however mileage does seem to vary with this tablet.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Quick update on 3.x firmware progress

Just a quick post to let all of you watchers know how things are going. The new 3.0 version is currently in testing and will be released sometime between xmas and new year. The power bugs present in the first releases are no longer present so no more random waking up and all that rubbish.

Quick feature and bugs list:

  • Currently English/Chinese only, I may release this first then do a 3.1 release for Multi Language.
  • YouTube app seems to have developed a stutter all of a sudden.
  • Oddly though flash performance in the browsers is much better so YouTube works great in the browsers.
  • iPlayer app and broswer performance still a bit off but much better, not tried at 190-200dpi but the really bad stutter from before is gone and it just hesitates for a frame or two or plays at a lower frame rate.
  • Lots of updates to all the included apps so latest Google Maps, Market and so on.
  • I'm trying to find someway to install certain apps after installation such as Flash and Skype as these really do not like being cooked into the rom, if I can't then I shall at least include the ones you cannot get from the market in the download so you can install them yourself.
  • Other little things that I can't remember right now :)

It's coming and coming soon so watch this space . . .

*UPDATE*

It seems a new firmware has been released, possibly an official non beta 2.3.4 so I'm going to stop work on the current version I have and restart on that one, It will not add much delay to the release but will be worth the wait if it fixes some more bugs.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Nebularnerd.com now live :)

Everyone please update your bookmarks as I now have a proper domain of nebularnerd.com registered for this blog, the blogspot address still works but some site features like followers and such no longer behave when that address is used.
I shall be looking to slowly add more feature to the site but rom development comes first :)