Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Gingerbread on Nexus One

I finally got around to baking Gingerbread. Not the edible sort. But Android 2.3, based off Cyanogen’s git repositories, for the Nexus One. With the final CM6.1 already released, and Gingerbread sources also available publicly, much development attention has already turned toward the upcoming CM7. My nightly automatic builds of CM6 from git repositories have started to stagnate (i.e. little material changes)… so I thought at some point I should start to dip my feet into Gingerbread too.

Having been building CM6 from sources for some time, getting started with CM7 wasn’t too difficult. I was stuck for a little moment with retrieving proprietary files… I kind of suspected I had to fetch it from the phone, but I was kind of lazy and wanted to copy files around from CM6 source tree to CM7 source tree, which didn’t work probably because I was just careless putting the files in the wrong place. You see, I build on my Linux PC. It’s USB port isn’t very accessible, so it is a bit troublesome to plug my phone into it. Anyway, this little glitch was sorted out, and I got a CM7 ROM without too much difficulty.

CM7 (or perhaps it is Gingerbread) requires the Nexus One’s hboot to be upgraded to 0.35. Earlier handsets came shipped with 0.33. The CM7 installer script checks the hboot version. I’m not sure if removing the check, so that the ROM will install anyway, would eventually produce other problems. I didn’t try that. I decided to just go ahead and risk the hboot upgrade, and thankfully the upgrade came off successful. The 0.35 hboot will still work with CM6, in case you’re wondering. (And in case you’re wondering what’s the big deal with hboot upgrade… well, it’s like the radio upgrade… if it screws up, you will have a brick.)

So… nandroid, wipe, CM7 installed, and booted up. Having already read all about Gingerbread, I wasn’t surprised with what I saw. There isn’t anything revolutionary new. There is a new keyboard, it looks like the UI has taken on a new darker themed skin… and that’s pretty much it. There is a new over-scrolling effect: a bit of orange will peek through the edge that is over-scrolled. Generally, all the apps seem to work ok. That includes Maps and GPS which some other people have reported trouble with. (Either it’s been fixed in the source I used, or perhaps the problem doesn’t affect everyone the same way.)

What’s broken for me, though, is video recording. It doesn’t work at all. Some people say it works in lower quality modes… but it just doesn’t work in all modes for me. Another minor issue is that the APN list is lost (I suppose a default list just hasn’t been put into the source… but I didn’t check up on that).

But a bit of disappointment though is the Quadrant benchmark score. I ran it twice and got results of 1166 and 1178. I hope it’s just a matter of optimization that needs to be cleaned up later. The CyanogenMod Settings (CMParts) hasn’t been added to the ROM yet, so there isn’t anywhere I could check on the JIT settings. Oh yes, most of the CM-addons are not in yet.

For daily use, I’m going to be back on CM6. But it’s nice to check-in once a while to see how CM7 is coming along.

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