Android-x86 Honeycomb 3.2 for Acer1825 series – Beta 3 (Acer 1825, 1820, 1425, 1420 and compatible Packard Bell)

By Christopher, January 18, 2012

ICS beta 1 is out please step forward to this release!

So it takes some/a lot of time to develop this new build (more like expected like every time), but I tried to put as much as possible into beta3. But I struggled hard with the integration of something like a slider mechanism on a phone, if you change from tablet to laptop mode and vice versa. My goal was automatically disabling/enabling onscreen keyboard and locking screen rotation in laptop mode, but it seems like this is one of these things which are not really well implemented in honeycomb and may a reason why google published that code so late (google sayed some things are really hacked together in honeycomb… and if I compare responsible files in honeycomb and ics there are a lot of changes and commented dead code in honeycomb). So the result is, I got really deep in touch with android internals, but I could not solve the problem and decided to step back and publish my new beta 3 without this feature, because I had already done a lot (see below). Inside the tips and information sections I will try to answer some unanswered questions from comments.

Please keep in mind everything mentioned in the posts of beta1 and beta2 if I do not go into inside this post.

So here is the changelog:

  • Max partitions increased to 10 (suggestion from Fabrice) –> I have not tested the influence but he discovered that android was only capable of accessing the  4th partition (so now it should be possible to use /dev/sda8 and so on)
  • Described tip from last beta is obsolete  “You could disable the blinking red frame borders with the app: dev-tools->Development Settings->DropDown Selection on StrictMode visual indicator:off” I was able to configure this setting as default at build time.
  • Battery service updating is fixed – sometimes loses icon (don’t know why?? If somebody has an idea…) but percentage is all time up to date.
  • Suspend is now working quite well, but with some restrictions: After suspend-timeout and going to supsend the device resumes  one time before going finally to suspend. normal power button works as suspend button(will show  shutdown confirmation but goes quickly to suspend) most times. before suspending backlight is dimmed – the device will finally suspend a few moments after dimming backlight, so you have time to cancel suspend process.backup button (upper left corner – with led) works as shutdown button. backup, power, space, enter, windows key …are capable of resuming. after resume it takes some time to reenable touchscreen. some times you need to suspend resume again if touch did not work (it would be very interesting if 1820/1420 users (with another touchscreen and driver) have the same problems). Further explanation, you could start the resume process with any key (except the special buttons like backup button/shutdown button, and P-Button) but this only starts the system which will be still locked and have a dimmed display. For finishing resume you need to use one of the mentioned resume buttons. I would suggest using the power button, because you could access it in laptop and tablet mode.  If you select the display timeout “never” the suspend button will not work like expected, please use max. 30minutes timeout.
  • Driver for back light is implemented, so back light could be controlled from settings menu. This also enables automatic dimming of backlight which results in less battery usage
  • I patched acer-wmi module (like arobase did for the acer1825 but I also made  some entries for 1820,1425 and 1420) for supporting our devices -this should result in less fan usage
  • I developed a hardware-keyboard-layout setting for the android settings app and changed some code inside the framework, this allows changeing layout and keychars for all input devices. Needs reboot for applying changes.  You need to select the “AT Translated Set 2 keyboard” device. Now there are available layouts for Generic (default), English (don’t know the difference to Generic, German and French (thanks to Fabrice who made the French layout for me)
  • Unused telephoning features are disabled – like sms, calling… –> less unnecessary apps
  • The touchscreen from the 1820 and 1420 should now work like a touchscreen and not like a touchpad (Thanks to Jordan for giving me detailed feedback)
  • The OpenManager app (filemanger) is fixed, so I removed the other one, if you prefer this one you will find it in market.
  • Enabled gampad/joystick support in kernel, you may need to load the modules from commandline. I tested it with a old xbox controller and module xpad. Worked out of the box.
  • Some other minor improvements and configurations
[UPDATE]I have updated the iso –> so sound is working again! [UPDATED AGAIN BE AWARE OF THE NAME IT IS NAMED beta3a] download: Acer1825-Honeycomb-x86-beta3a (168B)
added: 17/01/2012
clicks: 2046
description: Custom build of honeycomb-x86 for Acer 1825,1820,1420,1425 and similar devices (third release) -- UPDATED BUILD beta3a
Tips and information:
  • First some screenshots which show you how to change the hardware keyboard layout (this did not change the layout of the busybox terminal, only inside android). You have to select the device first.
  • USB-Host is working (see gamepad example above), you could see this if you attach an USB stick from which you are not booting right now and have no SD-card injected it will be mounted do /sdcard and is available in filemanger … more USB Host features needs special app support, you should try some apps from the market; [UPDATE]I have also successfully tested an external usb-mouse;
  • If you have problems with new suspend and shutdown buttons behavior you could also find some useful widgets in the market –> search for widget and shutdown/suspend
  • Problems with wifi seems to depend on some routers –> read comments from beta 2. If you know something about a newer firmware for our wifi card, let me know.
  • [UPDATE]It exists no easy update mechanism from beta 1 or 2 to 3, because its a beta!! XD But you could install the new beta onto another device (or to the same because every new build creates its own subfolder based on build date, but install without formating) and overwrite all files from your old installation with the new ones out of another OS or from liveusb . I have tested it my self with old beta3 and updated beta3 from other build day and it keeps all configuration and apps.
  • Someone asks for SD-Card support. It is working since beta 1 for me…
What is still not working:
  • bluetooth –> maybe from commandline but not tested
  • camera
  • microphone
  • P-Button
  • Restrictions described above
  • [UPDATE] Microphone recording from framework (like speech recognition) is not working (Microphone is working inside SoundRecorder App). I am sure the problem is that I have no proper /etc/asound.conf with needed virtual pcms required by android. I have not much experience with alsa and asound.conf and played around with it some hours, but was not able to get microphone working. If somebody could help and has experiences with that, here are some may helpful links with asound.conf examples for android:
    I should be possible to create a proper configuration for our hda-intel device, but I am pretty stuck with that in the moment.
Thanks to all people who enjoyed beta 1 and 2 and give helpful feedback. Special thanks to Fabrice and Jordan for your support and also to Michael for your generous donation!
Enjoy BETA 3 and let me know your experiences!