Android FAQ

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===Q: Does the T-Mobile G1 support VOIP?===
===Q: Does the T-Mobile G1 support VOIP?===
A: No, and it probably never officially will. From an interview with the CEO of T-Mobile: "When I talked to Cole Brodman, the CTO of T-Mobile, after the event about what would stop something like Skype from designing a program that could run on the phone, negating the need for a massive voice plan, he said he had "worked with Google" to make sure Android couldn't run VOIP." http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/09/three-years-and.html
A: No, and it probably never officially will. From an interview with the CEO of T-Mobile: "When I talked to Cole Brodman, the CTO of T-Mobile, after the event about what would stop something like Skype from designing a program that could run on the phone, negating the need for a massive voice plan, he said he had "worked with Google" to make sure Android couldn't run VOIP." http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/09/three-years-and.html
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===Q: How do I install an ssh daemon on the G1?===
 +
A: You want to take a look at installing dropbear. See the following links for details. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=442754 - Dropbear http://www.gotontheinter.net/node/2
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 +
===Q: How can I unlock my G1?===
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A: http://www.unlock-tmobileg1.com/ or call T-Mobile
 +
 +
===Q: Are there any open source examples of OpenGL apps for Android?===
 +
A: Yes. Andy Ross put together a GPL'd native code OpenGL demo and performance rig.  There's a makefile build system and a perl wrapper around the compiler.  Probably worth looking at if you need sample code: http://plausible.org/andy/Game1.tar.gz
 +
 +
===Q: Is it possible to bypass the Gmail signin on G1 when activating the G1?===
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A: Yes. Please see the following thread for details: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=436767&highlight=activation
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===Q: Are there any G1 car mounts available?===
 +
A: Yes, search the following site: http://www.brodit.com/
==Devices: Ports==
==Devices: Ports==

Revision as of 03:27, 15 December 2008

If you ask a question on IRC, and get an answer, feel free to add it and the answer to the Unsorted section of the FAQ. If not you may get lucky by adding it to the unanswered questions section below.

Contents

General

Q: What is the target audience of this FAQ?

A: Well considering that most of these questions were asked on #Android@irc.freednode.net, I would say visitors to #android. However, it's really for anyone who has serious technical interest in the Android platform.

Q: How do I get my questions about Android answered?

A: There is a list of mailing lists here: http://source.android.com/discuss Also you can try IRC (#android@ircfreenode.net) Also the xda-developers mailing list has a lot of Android discussion.

Q: What Android related IRC Channels are there?

A: #android and #android-dev (Both on irc.freenode.net). Also saurik is hosting: #android@irc.saurik.com

Q: What is infobot?

A: An IRC bot that collects a lot of "interesting", and occasionally (rarely) useful information. Be aware, infobot sits on many IRC channels... and logs: http://ibot.rikers.org/%23android/ (Update: infobot has been banned from #android.)

Q: Is this the canonical FAQ regarding Android?

A: Absolutely not. Check the following:

Q: Can I use the Android "bugdroid" image on my site?

A: Yes, the "bugdroid" seems to be considered creative commons, although the font used in the Android logo is trademarked and off limits. (not the font on the G1, the futuristic font used to create the word "Android" on many of the logos.

Q: Where can I report bugs?

A: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list

Application Development

Q: Are there any videos for developers?

A: See http://www.youtube.com/user/androiddevelopers

Q: Where can I get the SDK?

A: http://code.google.com/android/download.html

Q: Are there any books that cover Android development?

A: Yes there is currently a number of books available. Here is a link to an Amazon list: http://www.amazon.com/Android-Programming-Books/lm/R3IDV45VDVAY3M

Q: Is python available for Android?

A: See Jythonroid http://code.google.com/p/jythonroid/

Q: How do I switch orientation in the emulator?

A: Numpad 7 will do it.

Q: Does Android support writing native applications?

A: It depends on what you mean by support. Currently, there is no "supported" method of writing native apps. However, it is possible. (see links below). That said, there is a tentative long term plan by the Android development team to provide an NDK (native Development Kit) for those edge cases where Java apps do not make sense.

Q: How can I control the keyboard backlight?

A: The keyboard backlight can be controlled via /sys/class/leds/keyboard-backlight/brightness It appears that it's a simple on-off control (echoing '0' turns it off, echoing '1' or higher turns it on). For some reason, the default system backlight control stuff seems to set this to "83", but I don't know why. I can't seem to see any difference between 83 and any other number. The file is readable by anyone, but only writable by root, so you'll need root access to the phone to manipulate it this way..

Market

Q: Is there a web interface to the Android market?

A: Sorta. See: http://android.com/market

Q: Is there a way to see the marketplace comments on the web (without a phone)?

A: Not currently, but trust us - you aren't missing much.

Q: Why does the Market take up 14 MB on the G1?

A: Bug caching code needs cleanup. Android team is aware, and plans to fix.

Q: When will I be able to buy apps from the Market?

A: According to this CNET article, developers will be able to charge for applicaitons starting "early in the first quarter 2009". http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10072682-94.html

Applications

Q: Are there any IRC clients?

A: ircbeta.apk http://forums.tmonews.com/index.php?topic=5959.0

Q: Are there any decent ssh clients?

A: ConnectBot rocks. It is available in the market. If you want to run a prerelease version or play with the source check here: http://code.google.com/p/connectbot/

Q: Any reason K-9 is a fork instead of contributing back to the core email app?

A: Long story. Short version is, we're trying.

Q: The Adobe flash player still hasn't come out yet right?

A: Nope. It is unclear whether or not there ever will be a Flash player, but signs are promising: http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/17/finally-proper-banner-ads-for-android-flash-demoed-on-a-g1/

Q: Is there a PDF reader for Android?

A: Yes. Check out http://www.android-portal.com/2008/11/07/multireader-free-word-viewer-pdf-reader-for-android/

Q: Is there an easy way to disable gmail checking?

A: It's in setting, see settings -> data synchronization.

Q: Is there a way to make a shortcut to disabling Gmail sync?

A: Using anycut you can make a link to the sync settings.

Devices: Developer Devices

Q: What is this I heard about an Android Developer Device?

A: It has been said (by infobot) that devphones is a phone with magical powers and will make all your wildest dreams come true. You can read about them here: http://code.google.com/android/dev-devices.html - in order to buy one, you have to pay a $25 to be in the "developer club" and then you can get into the back room where they keep them behind a curtain of lava. very expensive to ship outside the US, or sporting this: http://tinyurl.com/54sxg2, or ...

Q: What is the difference between the G1 and the Android Developer Phone 1?

A: The differences are cosmetic, radio lock configuration, and bootloader. Cosmetic differences consist of the removal of T-Mobile branding and a new etched back design http://android.brightstarcorp.com/images/placeholders/dev3.jpg.

Q: Why is shipping so expensive to my country for the Android Developer Phone 1?

A: Quoting from help page on ordering side: "For Orders shipping outside the US, shipping pricing includes cost of shipping service and the applicable customs, duties, import and country specific other fees."

Q: I was wondering if there are physical stores you can walk into and buy one of those phones?

A: Nope, sorry.

Q: Does the G1 have a compass in it, i thought it did.. but I couldn't figure out how to launch it?

A: Yes, it has a built in digital compass. You will need to install an application that calls compass's API in order to actually use it. Search the Market for "compass" to find these applications.

Q: Will the Android Developer Phone 1 work on AT&T's network?

A: Yes, however, like the T-Mobile G1, it is not compatible with AT&T's 3G network. (You will be limited to EDGE speeds).

Q: What's this I hear about being able to turn a T-Mobile G1 into an Android Developer Phone?

A: Excluding cosmetic differences, the two differences are the radio lock and the enhanced bootloader. The radio lock can be removed with a simple request to T-Mobile. That only leaves the bootloader as the major difference. There currently is a bootloader floating in the wild, that seems to be very similar to what is expected to be running on the ADP1 (Android Dev Phone 1). The catch is you can only install this boot loader if you are one of the lucky few that has a "rooted" G1. This means that you are out of luck if you are running a stock version of RC30+. See http://www.gotontheinter.net/node/7 for details.

Devices: T-Mobile G1

Q: I've heard that magnetic flaps on cell phone cases mess up the G1's compass. Is this True?

A: Short answer, it does cause short term issues with compass, long term is unknown. Better safe than sorry. See here for more details: http://forums.t-mobile.com/tmbl/board/message?board.id=Android3&message.id=11062

Q: What is the egl library on the G1?

A: libhgl.so (Currently only used by apps using opengl at the moment (since the current version doesn't do multiple context support))

Q: What processor does the G1 use?

A: The Qualcomm MSM7201A RISC Chipset: http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=cpu&id=a7201a http://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2008/080923_T-Mobile_G1_to_Run_on_Qualcomms_Advanced_Dual-Core_Chipset.html

Q: BTW, are other HTC's power adapters working on the G1?

A: Any USB power adapter should work.

Q: Can I get an adapter that lets me listen to the G1, while still charging it?

A: Google for: "3 in 1 USB 11 pin Adapter for HTC TOUCH MOGUL PPC6800"

Q: What is the latest version of the G1 firmware?

A: See http://android-dls.com/wiki/index.php?title=OTA_Updates

Q: Is the G1 supposed to fall back to 2G if 3G is not available?

A: Yes it will fall back to EDGE if 3G is not available? The current implementation seems a bit buggy, however.

Q: Not having root sucks. Any progress on a fix?

A: Yes. If you are running a G1 with rc29 or lower, you can use an exploit. See: Rooting Android. If you are running rc30 or above you are currently out of luck. Buy an Android Developer Device if you really want/need root.

Q: Whats the price for the G1 for developers?

A: Same as for anyone else. You may want to investigate the Android Developer Phone 1 instead.

Q: Does the T-Mobile G1 support VOIP?

A: No, and it probably never officially will. From an interview with the CEO of T-Mobile: "When I talked to Cole Brodman, the CTO of T-Mobile, after the event about what would stop something like Skype from designing a program that could run on the phone, negating the need for a massive voice plan, he said he had "worked with Google" to make sure Android couldn't run VOIP." http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/09/three-years-and.html

Q: How do I install an ssh daemon on the G1?

A: You want to take a look at installing dropbear. See the following links for details. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=442754 - Dropbear http://www.gotontheinter.net/node/2

Q: How can I unlock my G1?

A: http://www.unlock-tmobileg1.com/ or call T-Mobile

Q: Are there any open source examples of OpenGL apps for Android?

A: Yes. Andy Ross put together a GPL'd native code OpenGL demo and performance rig. There's a makefile build system and a perl wrapper around the compiler. Probably worth looking at if you need sample code: http://plausible.org/andy/Game1.tar.gz

Q: Is it possible to bypass the Gmail signin on G1 when activating the G1?

A: Yes. Please see the following thread for details: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=436767&highlight=activation

Q: Are there any G1 car mounts available?

A: Yes, search the following site: http://www.brodit.com/

Devices: Ports

Q: What devices has Android been ported to?

A: List in progress. See the following projects for status:

Q: If I'm interested in porting Android to a new device or architecture where should I go?

A: There is an android-porting mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/android-porting

Q: Is there there are any x86 port of Android?

A: Yes, but it hasn't been published yet. As a note, the Asus Eee has been mentioned as a target for the x86 port.

Unsorted

Q: How do I leave the bootloader?

A: SEND-MENU-END

Q: What is fastboot?

A: A reflash protocol for android devices, or source code at http://tinyurl.com/57nusq, or cheat sheet at http://www.gotontheinter.net/fastboot

Q: How do I clear my notification bar?

A: Pull down the notification bar using a top to bottom finger swipe (like a windows shade), then hit the clear notifications soft button.

Q: What browser does Android ship with?

A: It's a browser based on the open source Webkit engine, which is the same engine used by Apple's Safari browser.

Q: What filesystems does G1/Android natively support?

A: YAFFS, vFat (FAT32)

Q: Does android have any native video codecs?

A: Hardware acceleration is available for h264 at certain bitrates. (link needed with specs)

Q: What is RGB565?

A: The file format for splash screens. You probably want to create a 320x480 image. It is unsupported by any other image software, so the only way to create one is to start with a raw rgb888 file (8-bit raw, the default format in gimp or photoshop when saving as "raw image") and run it through rgb2565. Alternatively, you can save as a png and then run this script by RyeBrye on it (assumes you have working ImageMagick as well as a compiled version of rgb2565 in your path.) If you run rgb2565 with no flags, it will create an uncompressed rgb565 file which should be exactly 307200 bytes. This file can be used for replacing the initial screen you see when you start up the phone, which is done by flashing it via fastboot (details here). If, instead, you specify the -rle flag, rgb2565 will compress the image using a simple RLE algorithm. This file can be placed in the root of your boot image and named initlogo.rle, and it will show up after the initial boot screen but before the animated android screen (details here). Do not attempt to use rle compressed files to flash the initial boot screen. See http://android.git.kernel.org/?p=platform/build.git;a=tree;f=tools/rgb2565 to look at source.

Q: So if i put the update.zip on the sd, it will automatically load that?

A:Nope. You have to tell it to load it manually (see Forcing OTA Updates)

Q: How do you turn off the GPS/3g network device to save battery life?

A: In the settings, accessible by pressing menu on the home screen

Q: Hey I want to get an Android shirt. Where can I get one?

A: http://www.cafepress.com/djtachyonqr

Q: How do I save browser downloads to the SD Card?

A: Download it, the only place you can save downloads is the SD Card.

Q: Is the UI based on X-Windows?

A: No

Q: How do I install Debian on my phone?

A: http://www.saurik.com/id/10

Q: Is it possible to make Native applications for Android?

A: Yes. See the following links:

Q: Are there any open source Gtalk clients?

A: Yes. See: http://davanum.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/totally-unofficial-android-gtalk-client-sendreceive-xmpp-messages/

Q: Are there any other Android devices coming out?

A: Yes:

Q: How do I compile Android for the HTC Dream (G1/ADP1)?

A: http://source.android.com/documentation/building-for-dream

Q: How do I decompile a .dex file on Android

A: http://zeaster.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-decompile-dex-file-on-android_28.html

Unanswered

Q: How do I change the default system wallpaper via the API?

A:

Q: Is there any information on creating themes for the window manager in the sdk?

A:

Q: Is there any chance UMA will ever be on the G1?

A:

Q: Is there some kind of l10n overview?

A:

Q: Can the G1 do wifi monitor mode? (for wardriving)

A:

Q: What determines the category ("Lifestyle", "Entertainment") that an app is filed under? Does the developer get to pick?

A:

Q: Do the market and openmarket.com have anything in common?

A:

Q: Can I run a native app easily?

A:

Q: how does the UI operate?

A:

Q: How do the 3D drivers work?

A:

Q: It looks like the only part you need root for is the "flash_image" command, right? (eg to add the modified recovery, this is the onyl reason you need root to do it)

A:

Q: When we press side keys for the volume, does it also make respective changes in volume for call and music? If not, how does it work?

A: Brandorr can answer. If you feel up to it though, go for it.

Q: Are there any extended batteries available for the G1?

A: These are the batteries we could find info on:

  • 1400 mAH (standard door): http://www.seidioonline.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=BASI14TMG1
  • 1600mAH (????) There is an HTC TyTN battery being floated around as G1 compatible, but a definitive answer has yet to be determined as to whether or not it is G1 compatible. (BC® 1600 mAh Compatible Slim Extended Battery For T-Mobile G1)
  • 2200mAH (needs replacement battery door) Seems only available in the UK at this point.

Q: Does G1 or Android support multitouch?

A:

Q: For those Android devices that don't have touchscreens, is there a keyboard way to deal with notifications?

A:

Brandorr's working notes - Lots of interesting unsorted links here.

  • G1 Tethering
    • Only if you have a rooted device, then Bluetooth/USB, yes, WiFi, no. (Need links).
  • #Android IRC logs
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