Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wow I've Really Come a Long Way

I am currently on my way to completely hacking the way the LG LX350 adds/stores/deletes: Games, Apps, Ringers, and Screensavers. So far I figured out how to edit many different elements of this "database" of Apps, etc.

Here's a brief summary of what I figured out so far:

  • How to add entries in the phones database so that I can add games, and apps. This allows me to pretend the phone installed something.
  • How to remove entries and "notify" the phone about that [equivalent to uninstalling]
  • How to add ringers and images [and screensavers which is basically interchangable with images to the phone (drawback: I have not completed ringers yet... See below for how to help...)
  • How to update the different file pointers for camera images [basically], voice memos, ringers[limited] , and screensavers.
  • How to store (better said, "install") the apps/games in different sections
  • I also have much more knowledge about the "memo" database system.
So, as you can see, I'm making good progress...

BUT there's still a long way to go!

However, there is some help that I need from you:

1. I don't have any Ringers installed on my phone. I need some information, such as the type of ringer the LX350 accepts. [e.g. mp3,m4a,qcp,wav...?] I also need people to send me some info from their phones so that I can figure out the ringer part of it. [I have apps, and screensavers cause they came along with the phone]. All I need are two files from your phone. Here's how to help out:

Load up BitPim and view the filesystem. Go to the folder brew/shared/ams/db Over there you will see a number of files. Save the files "contentinfo" and "executioninfo", and send them to me. [Whoops forgot 'bout the email. Will post one soon...] I will then analize how different ringer formats are stored, etc.

It would also be helpful if you have images as well. Please Note: by sending me this file I will have absolutely no access to the actual content. The file only contains a database which your phone uses to organize all the data. There is no need to be concerned about privacy [or piracy] issues.

2. Please comment this post to show your support for a program to Add games,apps,etc. to your LX350. Most of the feedback I have gotten so far revolved around "The LX350 has been discontinued". It seems to me that not that many people have this phone, so I keep thinking why bother? I need to see if there really is a "market" for this phone.

On the way to finally crackin' this phone... Wish me Luck!

Thank You!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Using Phone With Data Cable and BitPim

This is where I got quite frustrated about this phone. At first I figured that since the phone is quite new, it would have advanced features as far as mobile->computer communication. Sadly, I was wrong. After much research it seems that the only things you can do with your phone (officialy that is, but read on...) [through your PC] is Contacts/Calendar management, Picture/Video Downloading [not uploading to your phone] and Phone as Modem. (Parenthetically, Sprint charges money for this service [i.e. to use your phone as a modem. It's not just minutes.], so call up and be sure about the charges!) The official programs for doing these types of things cost money... Usually in the $25 range + cable fees.

First of all you should know that non-OEM cables work just as well as regular. That should save about $10. For non-OEM you will probably have to go to ebay [See Right - Side bar]...

Here, however, is the "clincher": It is possible to do a lot more with the phone by using BitPim. BitPim does not support lx350 yet, but you can use the FileSystem view to manage the files on your phone. Here are a few useful things I discovered on BitPim: I don't gaurantee that any of my methods will work for you as well. Use them at your own risk.

  1. Add Pics (or Vids). Go to the Dcam folder. Then go to Review. Here you will see all your pics numbered. Of course you can simply right click on anyone of them and save... Or you can right click on anyone of them and click overwrite. Select a picture and BOOM! Just be careful about the pictures size (file as well as pixel).
  2. The phone comes with a bunch of demo games. These - as well as everything from "My Content" [on the phone menu] are located in /brew/shared/ams/. There are a bunch of numbered folders here: each one stands for a game/app/screensaver [I'm not so sure about ringers, though]. Here's how to do games: go to the respective folder (you'll have to know which one this is - that could take a bit of trial and error...), right click on the Jar/Jad files and replace each with your own game... All done.
    [For those who are a bit more advanced: I figured out that all the content information is stored in the DB folders. The two files in there executioninfo and contentinfo contain the basics of the info the phone uses to map numbers to content, and to run the games. You can use these files to figure out which number is which game. Or if you're very advanced you can play around with these files and maybe figure out how to add games.]
  3. There is also a way to save your Voice Memos [qcp files] (no matter how many times I tried putting voice memos on to my phone it would fail). Simply direct the filesystem view to the folder /VoiceDB/All/Memos. The voice memos will be saved as Mem[num].qcp Right-click on one and click save. You will need a program that either plays or converts qcp files. I will be putting a link to one shortly. If you have one put it in the comments...
  4. The PIM(Personal Information Management - e.g. Phonebook) information is all located in the folder: /pim/. I'm no expert at figuring this database out, and I definitely would not recommend that you try. The best method is to wait until BitPim supports the LX350. [Backing up the entire folder might also work as a backup, but I have never tried it]. It seems that there should be some sort of method for editing the PIM by communicating with the phone, instead of editing files.
  5. The notepad/schedule files are located in the folder /sch/. The notes are in memo.dat and the schedule seems to be spread over the other three files, the bulk in schedule.dat
  6. All the text messaging information seems to be in the folder /sms/ The messages are stored in the .dat files and each one has a number. There are also other files with different information.
Please: If you need any more help/information. Or if anything written here is vague, please comment. I read the comments you post!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

And now: The Complaints

Okay so there are pleanty of advantages of this phone. They probably even outweigh the disadvantages by a lot. However it is only fair that I warn you about these so that you don't get stuck with a phone without a feature that by you is considered "KEY." Here they are:

  • Bluetooth: It's really great except it doesn't have OBEX. "So what", you might ask? Well if you're the type of person whose used to using Bluetooth to get the latest ringers, pics, etc. then this is bad news. The only things you can transfer are contacts and calander entries (and use handsets...). This really disappointed me cause I'm not in the mood of paying a fortune to get new ringers etc. Aside from the price of the ringer (which, paranthetically, I wouldn't mind paying, there's that annoying data transfer cost. It really is outrageous that they couldn't include OBEX (actually i did a little research, and I noticed that many phones from Sprint/Verizon are missing this Bluetooth component... Make sure to double check before you get a phone - that is if you want this feature)
  • Only 15 second videos. There's no way to change this. That's the limit - that's it - too bad.
  • Limitations on Data Cable: This really is a long story. I'll write another post on it...
  • Very bad picture album interface: I'm the type of person who likes things nice, neat, organized and accessible. For some reason all the pics you ever take are stored in one big "folder." So for example if I want to take a look at picture 115 out of 193, I have to go scrolling through approximately 80 pics (working backwords). The only sorting they have is between pics and vids if you activate the filter. Pretty annoying, but it'll only apply if you're big in pic taking. [It also might not apply if you go online. I think that you are then able to create albums, but I'm not really so sure.]
  • Picture Delay: The phone does not take the picture immediately after you click the capture button. Instead it takes it a bit later (how long depends on the resolution being used), and that's precious time. For example if you click capture and the target moves - the picture is messed up (either blurred, or missing the target). The same is true if you move.
  • 100 Message Limit: No matter how many folders you create the combined total of all incoming texts cannot go over 100. Similarly, the sent messages cannot exceed 100. This is a bit misleading cause some would think that when you create folders, there is now more space for additional texts. [I believe that drafts and outbox have separate counts].

Introduction

I recently started up a brand new plan with Sprint, and as part of my plan I got a brand new LG LX-350 phone. I'll start off with my personal experiences with this type of phone. This should be a real help for anyone who is interested in buying a new phone, or anyone who already has a Lx-350 and wants to know how to get the best out of it. Here are some of the major advantages I noted so far:

  • Brilliant color displays (both external and "regular")
  • Pretty good battery life with moderate usage. It saves a lot of energy since the external display hides itself after 8 seconds (configurable).
  • Has all the features you would want an up to date phone to have, like Games (J2ME) /Pics/Screensavers/Ringers...
  • 1.3 Mega Pixel camera, for all your picture taking needs. Really clear!!! You can also adjust the resolution for space saving, etc...
  • Bluetooth handset/vcard/vcalendar support [see disadvantages for details]
  • Scheduler, Calander, and all those other useful tools.
  • Messaging, with support for up to 25 messages sent at a time.
  • Video recorder. Very good Flash for both camera and camcorder.
  • 32 MB memory (about six are used up right away)
So really, it's a nice solid phone. Definitely one of my more upscale phones. I haven't had any serious reception problems yet and the voice quality is 8 out of 10. Would highly recommend it for those looking for a "moderate yet useful" phone.