Saturday, December 11, 2010

How to get Froyo on your SaskTel Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant

EDIT, APRIL 2011: Hey guys, I noticed for some reason this blog post is getting lots of traffic. Just a heads-up, the info might be out of date and inaccurate by now, especially considering that Android 2.3 is starting to roll out to the Vibrant phones!

Irritating news yesterday, as Samsung Canada announced Froyo (Android 2.2) was available for the Galaxy S Vibrant on SaskTel - and SaskTel said that was false.

Well, good news, a bunch of enterprising hackers have figured out how to get Froyo on their SaskTel Vibrants anyway. Basically, we're going to flash our SaskTel Vibrants with Bell firmware. I'm collecting these links as a helpful internet denizen, but I can't take any credit for any of the process (I do want to thank Bman_1 for pointing me in the right direction).

Standard Disclaimer: While this worked for me, there's a chance it may not work for you. If messing with your phone's firmware makes you queasy, wait for the official SaskTel update. You and you alone are responsible if you brick your phone. These instructions are largely based on this forum post with a few more details added.

UPDATE DECEMBER 19/2010: I can't say whether it's because of this procedure or not, but my Vibrant bricked itself a few days after this update. I heard it turn itself off (it played that off animation) and I was unable to revive it. It died randomly while I wasn't touching it. BEWARE!!!

--== How to get Froyo on your SaskTel Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant ==--

1. Download Kies Registry Patcher from this forum post on XDA-Developers. You will need to register for the forums. Yes, a small pain, but you want the latest version of this software.

2. Download and install Samsung Kies. This is Samsung's massive, bloated updating program. If you already have it installed, make sure you have version installed.

3. If you have Kies open after installing it, close it. Launch Kies Registry Patcher.

  • Set "Enable Spoof" to true
  • Set "Spoof Product Code as" to BMC (this is Bell Mobility Canada's code). 
  • After you select BMC, "Spoof Software Revision as" should say "I9000UGJG9/I9000BMCJG9/I9000UGJG9/I9000UGJG9". Kies version should be the same as above.
  • Click "Write Registry" and click "yes" to apply the update. 
  • You're done with the Kies Registry Patcher for now, but leave it running in the background. You'll need it in a minute. 
4. Open Samsung Kies. Now, refer to Samsung's great step-by-step instructions to updating your phone to Android 2.2. 

5. When you get to Step 13 on Samsung's upgrade instructions, you'll be waiting 2-5 minutes while the firmware is downloading to your Vibrant. This is a great time to snag a copy of the ROM, so go back to Kies Registry Patcher and select Rom (top menu bar) then "Save ROM". Don't worry, the update takes a few minutes, you'll have plenty of time to make this step. 

6. After Step 14, your Vibrant will reboot itself. The first bootup to 2.2 will be the longest bootup you will ever experience, DON'T PANIC and DON'T PULL THE BATTERY. It will start up after a few minutes. 

Once your phone has booted up, you will be running in the slowest and ugliest Android environment you will ever experience. BE PATIENT. All programs and services need to re-initialize themselves in the 2.2 environment. Give your phone about 20 minutes to sort itself out, then reboot it again (shut it down by holding the power button, don't do a battery pull). 

After upgrading, my Email app (not Samsung Email) was crashing and preventing me from pulling down the top status bar. I had to remove my work Exchange account from Settings -> Accounts and Sync. After that, things were working perfectly. 

I didn't see that much of a speed increase with the upgrade (I don't have a rooted phone or OneClickLagFix) BUT the new features are really awesome. Voice Search works great, you can install Skype, and Chrome to Phone works perfectly! 

I hope this guide is useful to a few people! If you're looking for support, your best bet is visiting that XDA-Developers thread. My upgrade went perfectly so I won't be much help troubleshooting. 

Good luck! 

--== BONUS: Fix GPS Issues if you haven't already ==--

When I got my Vibrant, the GPS was lackluster. If you're running Android 2.1, visit this XDA-Developers post and follow those instructions. 

If you're running Android 2.2, the number code stops in the above link stops working. You can get to the LbsTestMode menu by downloading an app called Any Cut from the Market, long-pressing your home screen, select Shortcuts, select Any Cut, select Activity, then scroll way down and select LbsTestMode. Click the shortcut, then go back to the above-linked post and change your SUPL/CP settings.