The fastest custom ROM for Motorola Defy Plus (MB526)

Some screenshots (yeah, you can take screenshots on Android 2.3.7.) to wet your appetite: O.O

This guide will show you my way to root and install WIUI 3.1.27 (Gingerbread) on a Motorola Defy Plus (MB526) with Bootloader 7 (version 9.1). The guide has 3 parts, determining what ROM you already have on your device, rooting the device and installing the custom ROM.

DISCLAIMER: I and all developers of those tools will not be held responsible for any damage you will do to your device and i strongly advise you to read all the internet regarding this, and decide if you will go or not this way. Rooting WILL VOID THE WARRANTY of your device. So DO IT ON YOUR OWN RISK!!!

~~~ The device (Motorola Defy+ MB526) stock stats: System version: 45.0.2310.MB526.AsiaRetail.en.03 Android version: 2.3.6 Kernel version: 2.3.32.9-ge281b6e hudsoncm@il93lnxdroid54#1 Build number: 4.5.1.134_DFP-231

~~~

Since i have bought my Motorola Defy Plus (MB526) device i’ve been testing many custom ROMs and also made some tutorials on rooting and installing new ones.

The thing that make us click (and the technology manufacturers exploit) is that we will never be satisfied with what we have, it’s human nature, we want the newest, fastest and the most feature rich devices (without buying new ones 🙂 ).

So we have a low specs, old device that the manufacturer stop updating the original OS since the conception, the case here the Motorola Defy Plus coming with Android 2.3.7 with no official system updates.

But we want Android 4, 4.1, 4.4 and even 5 on our little matchbox but we can’t do nothing about it. This was true until really great guys made Cyanogenmod (CM) which is a custom Android that can run on old or new devices.

I have used CM 10, CM 10.2 and CM 11 (KitKat), yes, KitKat on the Defy Plus and Quarx is working on Android 5 Lolipop for the Defy Plus. O.o

Everything was fine but let’s be honest, you can’t put a Lamborghini engine on a Fiat Panda. That’s the case with newer Android on old devices, everything started to work slow…very slow.

So when you saw people around you just tapping and tapping and i had to wait a few seconds till an app fired up, i started Googling for the lightest and fastest ROM for Motorola Defy Plus. There were several ROMs people recommended but i first tried WIUI, a custom version of MIUI + Cyanogenmod. MIUI is a custom chinese version of Android/Cyanogenmod, used on XIAOMI phones etc. Yeah, you got that right, Android -> Cyanogenmod -> MIUI -> WIUI. Round and round we go. 🙂

Please don’t get me wrong, all Cyanogenmod versions are amazing and you should try them. I used the versions above for very long time but i just needed more speed and different looks.

Ok, i got you dizzy already, let’s get our hands dirty.

~~~

PROLOGUE:

You can be in one of two situations:

  1. If you are on a custom ROM, probably Cyanogenmod. In this case you should download this stock ROM and flash it with RSD Lite. NOTE: This guide is based on a device with the specs at the beginning of this tutorial and the links are for software that worked for me. If you know other stock ROMs work for your device, please use them. The guide here, the XDA thread for WIUI said to flash CEE or Nordic stock ROMs, so you can try those instead of the link i gave you for the stock ROM. I will not go into details of how to flash a stock ROM, there are tones of tutorials online. After flashing the stock ROM, continue with PART 1 below.
  2. You are on stock ROM. In this case continue with PART 1 below.

PART 1 – ROOTING:

  1. On your brand new flashed stock ROM go to Settings>Applications>Development>Enable USB Debugging;
  2. On your device go to Settings>Applications> Enable Unknown sources;
  3. Download FRAMAROOT to your phone directly and install the apk;
  4. Open FRAMAROOT and just tap Ghimli;
  5. Your Defy+ is rooted!

~~~

PART 2 – Flashing WIUI 3.1.27.:

  1. Download and install on your phone 2nd init – ver.2.3; This version has the Clockworkmod 5.x version (now you understand the NOTE 1 at the beginning of the post);
  2. Open 2ndinit and press Install bootmenu – the red text will become green after successful install;
  3. Go here and read the thread. I downloaded and put on the root of the SD card the Stable GB+ 3.1.27. version. The installation guide say that the developer started with flashing the CEE or Nordic original Defy Plus ROM but it’s not the case. We have already covered steps -1 and 0 with the PROLOGUE and PART 1 of this tutorial. The following steps are from point 3. of the XDA guide. Also there is no need to download and install Google Apps, they are embedded in the WIUI ROM.
  4. Follow the guide on XDA forums starting from point 3.;
  5. Enjoy a fresh look for your Defy Plus with lighting speed. ^-^

New device stats: Android version: 2.3.7. Yes, it’s the same Android version as the original Defy Plus but it looks awesome and it works lighting fast. ^-^

PLEASE DONATE to the makers of Framaroot, Cyanogen mod and WIUI. If you choose to DONATE TO THIS WEBSITE, I will donate myself to Framaroot, Cyanogen and WIUI! ^-^

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Best android offline navigation software

When it comes to mobile navigation on an android device, you basically have two options:

  1. Use an online mapping and navigation software (like Google Maps) that requires an internet connection to load the maps and calculate navigation routes. The bad thing is that you must pay data traffic on your mobile and the worst thing is when you use those services abroad, on roaming costs and this can put you on the yellow path of going broke. The good thing is that you always have the latest version of the map.
  2. Use an offline mapping and navigation software (like OsmAnd and many others) that can store the maps on the device and even operate the navigation offline. The bad thing (which is not such a bad thing) is that you must take care to update the maps at their latest version. The good thing is that you will not pay a dime to look at the maps or use the navigation features of the app.

The software i tested and use for offline navigation is OsmAnd that has three versions:

  • OsmAndFree – can be downloaded from the Google Play that have some limitations, like the number of downloads you can make for maps, voice guidance etc.
  • OsmAndPlus – paid version from Google Play with full features
  • OsmAnd~ – i downloaded the app via F-droid app, a repository for FOSS (free and open source software) android apps. This is a free version with a donate link that have no limitations.

OsmAnd is using data from Openstreetmap (OSM), an open map system build buy the contributors and works great. I tested the navigation part in different parts around the city and i was pretty impressed.

As a contributor to OSM i can add Points Of Interest (POI) directly from OsmAnd and you can even track your route with the app and upload that in OSM.

The great thing about apps like OsmAnd is that you can load on the SD card of your device, the maps of the locations you will travel and use them with no data cost. Imagine the roaming cost for downloading map data abroad, with those money you can get a cab and go around the country and you will still have money left.

IDE for Django with GVim or PIDA

MacVim icon, glossy style

Image via Wikipedia

Extending the previous post IDE for Python with VIM to Django, here is what makes my final setup for Python/Django development: the good old GVim.

After installing GVim and tune it for Python development following this, you just have to make a combination of installing/configuring scripts and editing you vim configuration vimrc file. On my Debian box the Vim directory where the plugins/scripts and the vimrc file are is /etc/vim.

Here is my plugin folder:

minibufexpl.vim – a script that give tabs to Vim (I use it in GVim also)

NERD_tree.vim – filebrowser inside Vim

pythoncomplete.vim – ships with Vim 7

snipMate.vim – give you the ability to trigger code templates (snippets) from a word/characters followed by the <tab> key in INSERT mode. I think it’s one of the greatest Vim plugins. Please check the plugin link to learn about it and after that add Django snippets from robhudson. Trust me, after a little spin with this plugin you’ll se a huge boost in productivity in python, django and even django templates (don’t you “love” typing by hand those {{}} and {%%}? ).

taglist.vim – a source code browser. It doesn’t work with django snippets but i personally can live with that.

For the vimrc file there are lots of hacks online but i will give you an example with what i added to my vimrc file:

“” CYRUS STUFF

” To save, ctrl-s
nmap <c-s> :w<CR>
imap <c-s> <Esc>:w<CR>a

colorscheme desert
:syntax on
set tabstop=4
set smartindent
set shiftwidth=4
set expandtab

filetype on
filetype plugin on
filetype plugin indent on
set ofu=syntaxcomplete#Complete
autocmd FileType python set omnifunc=pythoncomplete#Complete

” Line numbers
set number
nnoremap <F2> :set nonumber!<CR>:set foldcolumn=0<CR>

” autostart NERDTree
autocmd VimEnter * NERDTree
autocmd VimEnter * wincmd p “put the cursor in the main window

” minibuffexlporer additional settings
let g:miniBufExplMapWindowNavVim = 1
let g:miniBufExplMapWindowNavArrows = 1
let g:miniBufExplMapCTabSwitchBufs = 1
let g:miniBufExplModSelTarget = 1

” taglist si ctags
let Tlist_Ctags_Cmd=’/usr/bin/ctags’
let Tlist_Use_Right_Window = 1

” Django si HtmlDjango snippets
autocmd FileType python set ft=python.django “For Snipmate
autocmd FileType html set ft=htmldjango.html “For Snipmate

There is one more tool that i use and that’s PIDA.

PIDA is a little different than a general IDE , it is a framework for integrated development because it works with different editors. I use PIDA with VIM, but you can use it with Emacs or medit.

Some people may argue that some can use just VIM or GVIM but what i like about PIDA is that you can have two or three shells inside the interface. The rest is just vim plugins and configurations (if you use Vim as the editor) plus some goodies that i let you discover.

Have fun!