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Installing Android on the Geeksphone Keon


Here’s a clean, clear and to the point english post on how to install Android on your Geeksphone Keon developer device:-

Android on Keon

STEPS:-

  1. If you don’t already have adb and fastboot installed on your system:-
    1. Get the packages from here.
    2. Extract the contents of the zip file and navigate to the adbfastbootmac directory [Note: This package works on macs, if you are using Linux or any other operating system, a simple online search should help you figure out how to get adb and fastboot]
  2. On your Keon go to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Device Information’ -> ‘More Information’ -> ‘Developer’. From the list of checkboxes, enable the ‘Remote debugging’ checkbox.
  3. Connect your device to your computer using the USB cable.
  4. Back on your computer’s terminal do the following:-
    1. If you are using the package mentioned above, run ‘./adb devices’
    2. You should see a device named ‘full_keon’ as a part of the output. If you don’t see it listed out there, try reconnecting your device or check whether the Remote Debugging option is enabled.
  5. Now let’s get down to the magic:-
    1. Download and store the following zip packages to you device’s SD-Card:-
      1. TWRP recovery
      2. Android ICS ROM for Keon
      3. Google Apps
      4. Additional Ring Tones
    2. Start the Keon in the fastboot mode :
      # ./adb reboot-bootloader
    3. Install the new recovery :
      # ./fastboot flash recovery TWRP-GK.img
    4. Boot the recovery :
      #./fastboot boot TWRP-GK.img
    5. On the device’s screen now tap on ‘Backup’ to create a backup of Firefox OS.
    6. Once done, tap on ‘Wipe’ → ‘Swipe to Factory Reset’.
    7. ‘Install’ (select the ROM) → ‘Add More Zips’ (select the Google Apps and Additional Ringtones zip files) → ‘Swipe to Confirm Flash’.
    8. ‘Wipe Dalvik and Cache’.
    9. Tap on ‘Reboot System’.
  6. Voila! You’ve now successfully installed Android on your Geeksphone Keon device.

NOTES:-

  1. Make sure that the device has at least 50% battery power before commencing with the process.
  2. Since the Keon has only one soft touch button on it, it is mapped to the back functionality. If you want to use all three default Android soft-buttons, the easiest way to do that would be to install the “SoftKey Enabler” app from the Android Play Store.

SWITCHING BACK TO FIREFOX OS

If you now want to switch back to Firefox OS, all you need to do now is as follows:-

  1. Turn off your device.
  2. Press the power and the volume up buttons of the Keon at the same time to boot into the Team Win Recovery image.
  3. Tap ‘Restore’ and select the backup file created earlier during the Android setup, and confirm.
  4. Once the process completes, you should be able to use Firefox OS again! 🙂

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the steps I’ve mentioned here are what I followed to try out Android on a couple of my Keons. These steps involve flashing the device, hence involve a very real risk of ending up with a bricked [dead] phone. As such, go about the process at your own risk. I’m in no way liable for any unforeseen results coming out of this process.

References:

  1. http://sys.nodo21.org/geeksphone-keon-rom
  2. http://forum.geeksphone.com/index.php?topic=5672.msg60983#msg60983

 

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Programming on Mobile Devices


This is a thought that’s been rather bugging me for sometime now:

Is writing code (programming) via mobile devices really not a very feasible idea?

In the current scenario, almost all conventional programming is done on desktop computers (PCs, laptops and the likes), wherein we have a standard keyboard which is used to write down all the code, and a relatively large enough display device to help us visualize what we are writing. However, with the mercurial rise in popularity of mobile devices we have seen a huge shift from conventionally used devices to mobile devices with almost all major aspects of modern day computing making a gradual yet steady shift towards mobile computing.

We see a lot of developers now focusing on “Programming for mobile devices“, however there is an evident lack of focus on “Programming on mobile devices“, which is actually quite weird in my honest opinion. On one hand we are talking about a truly mobile world, where almost every aspect of computing is being made available for on the go mobile devices. Whereas, on the other hand, for the very basic necessities for enabling these mobile functionalities we fallback to traditional computers (and by traditional, I do take into account laptops as well, because no matter how small in size they may be, they still follow the same desktop oriented norms).

Why is it so that we aren’t yet completely comfortable with the thought of being able to write a piece of code on our mobile handsets? I know some people may argue that it is possible to write code in some ABC language using a XYZ software on a tablet device. However, what I ask is that are you really comfortable with the current scenario? Why can’t we find a nice alternative way to make programming on devices such as mobile handsets more intuitive, organic, comfortable and developer friendly?

The main problem with devices as small as mobile handsets as I see it, is a combination of low resolution / small screen size + lack of a comfortable keyboard / input device. But is it really the main challenge that we are talking abut here? Or is our mindset the main challenge? Is it really that difficult to take on the challenge of redesigning the existing programming methodology and create an efficient solution for mobiles, or is it just that we are just too lazy and or narrow minded to explore the possibilities of programming on mobile devices.

I have heard the proverb which says “Nothing is impossible“, however, I think there’s an even more dangerous public opinion which states “This is not feasible!” which generally results in the eventual death of ideas. But is feasibility really applicable here or should it be the willingness and openness in one’s mind to imagine and realize the things which others might reject as non-feasible and bring about a much needed change in the paradigms? What do you think? Please do leave your thoughts on this as comments below.

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