Un-Ninja the NinjaTel Phone

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Boris Sverdlik


First I'd like to thank @ISDPodcast, @EFF and more so @ThemsonMester for getting me a @ninjanetworks badge, as apparently I'm not cool enough to get one on my own.

More on this in another post..

I was kind of disappointed that none of the cool features seemed to of worked on the phone, but the idea of bringing back a party line was awesome..

Many thanks to Facebook, Zygna and Ninja Networks for throwing the party and coming up with the idea... The phone itself is a HTC ONE V, which is the prepaid version that Virgin Mobile has available for purchase. It's slightly out of date spec wise, but what can you ask for when it's free..

I have pulled down all of the apps separately and have to recompile them, because most overwrite the stock applications, such as NinjaLaunch.

The launcher itself is a customized ADW implementation that is appropriately named com.android.launcher.

I was able to install it on a non rooted galaxy S3, by simply installing the APK but your mileage may vary.

Also, if @ninjanetworks ever gets back to me on the licensing I'll post the rom.

For the lucky few that did get the phone, you will be happy to know that the phone has already been rooted, but the bootloader is locked. In order to get to any of the settings all that was required was pulling up the IDE app in an area where the phone couldn't connect to any of the pre-installed wireless access points.

Once in IDE, I had configured it to use my MiFi and was now able to access the internet through the download dropbox icon. I went a step further and navigated the file system to re-install the Play Store (PhoneSky.apk) using the file browser in IDE.

Then using the play store installed Launcher as well as a task manager that would let me break out of ADW at will. For Some reason GO launcher was not able to overwrite the home button. Either way, I didn't want to overwrite the rom until after the con..

In order to back up the rom you have a few options (if you have the SDK INstalled) The full how to can be found here.

1) Plug the phone into the USB port, and run:

adb backup -apk -shared -all -f filename of the backup

The screen will then prompt you to put a password in for the backup file. This should only take a few seconds.

2) The simplest way to backup the Rom is to install the Clockwork Recovery Mod and in recovery navigate to backup/restore. Make sure to run Fix permissions in CWM or it will fail.

The directions for installing CWM can be found here. Once you have backed up the rom, you have to unlock the boot loader. I'm not really sure why it was left locked, considering this seems to be a developer model, but the process is fairly simple... You do need to sign up for an HTC Dev account in order to upload your token and receive the unlock file. Select Other as your model...

More Directions on unlocking the boot loader can be found here.

Finally once the boot-loader has been unlocked then all that's left is installing a new rom. The directions are fairly straight forward. Copy the download rom onto the sdcard reboot into recovery mode either by holding power and volume down button or running fastboot reboot-bootloader.

Use the volume buttons to navigate to recovery and select by clicking the power button. Download Rom from here. First, make sure to wipe data/cache to factory reset Then install the rom by selecting install from zip file and navigating to the rom you have downloaded.  

I have had some problems getting CyanogenMod 9 Alpha working, but the Vanilla and Sense roms work fine. Hopefully I will have a chance to recompile all of the apps from the original Rom tonight, and if so will post.  Enjoy your free dev phone :)

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Rhubarb Gelato Can you post detailed instructions on how you used the ide to get out of the launcher and change settings, etc?

In addition after flashing various roms, they all "work" fine, but none of them seem to be able to use various standard at&t sims and actually be able to join the network.

That aside, because of the nature of the companies involved (like lookout for example and who their partnerships are with and investors are, etc) I dont trust the radio / hboot of the device. There should be more details given or a specific rom posted which will flash on to this device fine with a proper hboot and radio as well instead of just the rom. Ive yet to find any compatible RUU unfortunately, so all I have is a ninja paperweight. The wifi on other roms doesnt even work that well, constant signal issues and loss even when within 10ft of various ap's.
Ninja Phone @Rhubarb - I have the same problem. Won't recognize AT&T SIMs. Did you get it to work?
Ninja Phone As posted above, my AT&T GoPhone sim didn't work. Turns out you just need a 128Meg SIM. Chances are the SIMs you tried just were not compatible with the picky HTV One V. Quick stop at AT&T and I was up and running with the instructions above.
Boris Sverdlik I just clicked through ide to /system/apps/skyphone.apk clicked it and it let me re-install

it works with a prepaid tmo i got.
Robert Imhoff Complete "Ultimate" write-up on this now available: http://db.tt/YM8URSuA
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