[en] Sony EricssonP1i modding evolution – 1st part [Sony Ericsson/UIQ/gsm/modding]

21 septembrie 2008
Some while ago I discovered I can install diff’rent mods on my phone. What are they? Well, they are ordinary files from your Symbian smart-phone modified to add supplementary functionality to that particular program they’re part of. That’s the trend now. No more new programs to try, tweak and buy. Just be a part of the world in which talented smart guys break apart in small pieces all available programs in your smart-phone in order to ad an exit button, or to improve quality of pictures, or to turn on for another 60% your headset volume so you can enjoy the music as you should.
Until a year ago,  none of this was possible due to restrains imposed by a stiff UIQ system in which there were files and folders kept away from the user. Why? Because they know the user likes to customize the phone. So much that the user would attempt to modify the files in order to get what one wants. And then,sometimes,the system would fail. And nobody would want that. I can find any other reason.
Any sane person (or company management) knows that by buying the product, you agree with their EULA and so if something you done goes wrong and the product is failing, is not their fault. And with that in mind, I still don’t understand why their locked the system.
Anyway, some people were able to break the barrier separating us from so many goodies. I found out about it from SWmail first, then Esato by Ares, then Symbian Freak and UIQ Blog. With each site writing about it, the core of info was bigger and bigger. And the more I read, the more I wanted to try it although there was no guarantee involved. There is always a way. Always. 
Next,I’ll enumerate the mods I curently have on my phone. I’ll start with the most important and will complete the article over the next few days because there are many mods and they deserve proper description each and every one of them.
1.Caps Switch and Override permisions. Without these two, none of the below would be possible.
2.The camera mode: there are at least 4 versions over the internet at the moment. W90i, P990i and P1i camera mods are available. They bring burst of 6 pictures instead of 4, extra digital zoom up to 400%, auto rename from of the pictures (PICT 0000x) from DSC000x, and video (VID9857), quality increase up to 96% for the "fine mode" and video improvement from 15 fps (standard high quality) to 27 fps. Quite simple to add, just overwrite files in C drive. How it works: fantastic improvement for video, good improvement on picture quality. One problem with video: due to higher bitrate and fps, the image sometimes freezes for a tenth of a second. It did it for a few times when I’ve tried it (2nd example). After finding a tweaked version on Esato, the pauses only happened for 3-4 seconds and then the image became smoother (3rd example).
Before camera mod:

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before

 
After the 1st camera mod: there’s this huge improvement on image but also the frequent pauses that weren’t there before.

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After with multiple pauses
 

After the 2nd camera mod: as smooth as the 1st time but with only 3-4 pauses.Notice there is less light available for this last video.

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After camera modding with moddified files

Later update:

 

 Pictures.
 Not much to say here. I only use high/fine mode, 3 MP.
 
Before:
 
 
 
 
After camera mod: 
 
 
 
You can download all the above in real size here (first pictures).
 
 3.Sound full mode: this mode enables your smartphone to increase your sound in the wired headset with circa 60%. It’s a bit tricky to do it but if you follow the step by step walkthru included in the file. How it works: very,very good. No distortions or anything of such kind. There is also a version in which you can modify the sound volume to your own choice but if I’m not a professional, so I’ll leave it like this. I admit I’d still need an extra 30% volume to cover the jet engines when I’m flying but it’s better than what I had before. Definitely worth the improvement.
Later-edit: When using this mod one loses the Track ID service. I don’t know why, it just stops working.
4.Graphic mods: these mods change your UI, including icons. This means you can change the whole upper bar with signal, shortcuts, battery level, task manager, etc AND main menu icons. As you can see from below, there were some problems regarding the changed icons – not all of them were changed. It might have something to do with the fact that i have an older FW version. I either have to update (no reason as the phone works as a charm) or change the "missing" icons manually but didn’t have the time.
Later-edit: one important issue with a lot of people is the language. This means that these graphic mods are done especially for each language. Almost all of them are for English, so be sure to use UK English, not American English or another language. Otherwise, like you see in the left underneath picture, it won’t change all icons like it should.
 
 
To be continued.
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