May 20, 2010

MoDaCo-ing the HTC Tattoo

I finally gave in to my curiosity and decided to run a custom ROM my HTC Tattoo plus the phone is running low on memory and I constantly get notifications and it bugs the living daylights out of me. Plus the phone seems to be lagging quite a bit recently especially when I’m typing text messages or emails. Believe it or not I have to wait for the device to catch up with my typing, it’s not like I type super fast, it’s just the Tattoo is already overloaded thanks to my need to try out the many available software out on the Market. Oh yes you can now get Market on the Tattoo by rooting the phone, no custom rom needed just root and voila thousands of apps at your fingertips. I’ve listed out some important resources needed to root the Tattoo here.

After doing some research I decided to run Modaco on my Tattoo. Modaco seems to be the most stable release and has a very active forum for support when things get messy. You can get the files off their forum. I got the file with the default additions which comes with Spare Parts, Titanium Backup, WaveSecure, WiFi Status Indicator, Dropbear.

Installation was a breeze. All you have to do is follow these instructions

To install the ROM:

  • Ensure you have a custom recovery image installed (see ‘requirements’ above)
  • Download the zip file of your choice from the links below (or the online kitchen) and copy to your SD card
  • Restart your device in recovery mode (power on with the volume down button held and select ‘Recovery’)
  • Select the option to apply an update zip, and select the zip file you copied to your memory card
Modaco succesfully installed

Modaco succesfully installed

 After a reboot and you’re done. The reboot can take quite a while though and at first I got a little worried because the phone never took that long to reboot. After the reboot I was presented my home screen with the HTC Sense UI still intact, was afraid I might lose it during the upgrade. A quick check on the About screen confirms that Modaco rom is installed onto the device.

Now to test drive the new rom. I had some text messages that came it when the phone was rebooting so I decided to reply them first. Opened the Messages app and I clicked on the text area and waited for the keyboard to appear and after a few attempts nothing. The keyboard somehow vanished from the phone. I started panicking and since I was out of the home there’s no way I can even get on Google to look for a solution. I was stuck and the only solution I could think of was to restore my NANDROID backup and boy thank god it was easy as clicking a few buttons. Within minutes I was back on my original ram sending texts and surfing the internet.

Once I got back home I manage to get on Google and found that a few other people had similiar problem as me. The solution ? Reboot the device a few times until the keyboard appears. I almost gave up again because I was on my 5th reboot and still no luck, thankfully it was lucky number 5 for me. It could vary for you I guess. I can say it feels a lot more zippier than before. The keyboard though still slightly laggy but at least this time when I press the keys it appears on the screen without the need to wait a few seconds. I was a happy camper .. so far.

One of the apps that I use frequently is Wireless Tether. This app is a godsend !! I fired it up and all I got was a black screen with the title SU Request and nothing more. Tried a few more times and the same, even went to the extend of rebooting the phone a few more times just in case and yet the Wireless Tether refused to work. Back to Google for me. After going through numerous forums. I finally found someone who had a similiar problems as mine. You just need to enable USB debugging (Settings > Applications > Development) on the phone and you’re good to go.

USB debugging

USB debugging

There’s a few neat features that comes along with the Modaco rom. If you’re on WIFI there’s be a little icon on the top indicating you’ve got WIFI on. Easy way to know if you’ve got it on or not. Another neat thing is the SURequest manager. The nifty little app keeps control of who can access the root portion. You have the option to allow or deny access which in a way makes the phone way more secure than having root access to any application that requests for it.

Root permission

Root permission

So far after a week of usage with the Modaco rom I’ve yet to encounter any issues. Calls are received and made with the same ease. I’m able to run internet radio, sportypal (software to track my jogs/runs) and reply to text messages all at the same time. Who said Android was not that good at multitasking ? I’m extremely happy with the Tattoo for now but of course every time I think about Eclair my mouth starts watering and no I’m not talking about dessert 🙂

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