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Modding your Joying/FYT SC9853i unit without root

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See title: Only for SC9853i Joying/FYT 8.1 units.
Due to some changes in the flashing process since the previous PX5 and Sofia 3GR models it is now partly possible to mod your unit without root. (A custom Rom might be the next step.)

Some info to start with:
(partly from 4pda, partly from a "hint" from @julien_blanche, mostly from own knowledge)

Contents of a firmware zip:
Code:
6521_1.zip           # The zip that contains the boot.img; the system/vendor/oem partitions and a few other things.
Allapp.pkg           # Special file that contains all FYT apps (actually a special XAR archive.)
config.txt           # file comparible to the build.prop which can contain additional properties
lsec6521update       # The binary that really does the update
oem                  # Folder containing some additional apps
Stm32ud.bin          # The MCU binary. It is not always in every firmware
updatecfg.txt        # Contains instructions for the flashing process
crruptoff            # Special file for "WiFi only". Not in the normal firmwares. Be careful!

Some commands that can be put inside updatecfg.txt
Code:
twipe_all     # Wipe entire system
twipe_data    # Will wipe data partition (but not /sdcard, internal memory). Wiping the /data partition will wipe all config, all 3rd party apps and updates of system apps. This is the same as a "reset to factory defaults"
twipe_sd      # Will wipe internal memory /sdcard (but not the data partition)
dellapp       # Remove all 3rd party apps
make_updates  # Make an upgrade U-disk boot file
Some properties that can be put inside config.txt. Say you live in Brazil and you want your locale settings immediately on Brazil, you can add that, for example:
Code:
persist.adb.tcp.port=5555  # set adb over tcpip to active
ro.product.locale = pt_BR
The file crruptoff:
If you have a unit with a 4G module, but you don't have 4G (or don't want to use it), you can use this file. Put one line in this crruptoff being "fixwifi" and save it to the sdcard/usb-stick you use for flashing.
You can use it to get rid of the "No SIM" notification in your notification bar.

The Allapp.pkg
The Allapp.pkg file is a special XAR archive with a directory structure. You can use ApkPack.exe to create or extract it.
All apks (*.apk) and all libraries (*.so) will be installed as system apks and libraries, which means you can't uninstall them, but on the SC9853i units they are installed under /oem and not under /system.
Inside this Allapp.pkg you will also find two other files: fyt.prop and skipkillapp.prop.
The fyt.prop is identical to the build.prop but gives the option to add extra properties or replace/modify properties in the build.prop.
The skipkillapp.prop contains apps (package names) with values from -15 to 15.
When going into "deep sleep" the packages not mentioned in this list will be killed. Applications in this list with positive values will absolutely be killed (unstable otherwise??). The ones with higher values first. The ones with values 1 and 0 as last, where the app with value 0 will be the last killed before going into deep sleep.
The apps with negative values are considered system apps and will not be killed. In this case the most negative number (-15) has the highest priority. My assumption (not tested, not verified) is that negative numbers approaching 0 might be killed if the system needs the memory?
So in other words: If you do not want that some of your apps are killed, you can add them to this "skipkillapp.prop" by their package name. Say you use @realzoulou's DAB-Z app, you would add a line for DAB-Z (com.zoulou.dab). Or for example if you are a Tasker user, which is normally killed as well:
Code:
com.zoulou.dab = -10
net.dinglisch.android.taskerm = -10
(I would suggest not using values like -15, -14, -13 to make sure you do not really interfere with the real system apps).
And then you need to add this file to your own allapp.pkg

Creating an Allapp.pkg and flash it to your device (post #2)

And if everything goes wrong and your machines gets in a boot loop or doesn't get past the boot logo. (post #3)
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28th September 2019, 10:21 AM |#2  
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Creating an Allapp.pkg and flash it to your device
Use the (English) version of ApkPack.exe (english version attached) to unpack/repack an Allapp.pkg. (It also works with wine on Linux/MacOS)
Quick example:
  • Create a folder Allapp
  • Copy some wanted apks or mods into the folder.
  • Use the ApkPack.exe to create the Allapp.pkg
  • Simply copy the "Allapp.pkg" and "lsec6521update" onto a clean FAT32 formatted SD-card or USB-stick.
  • Put the USB-stick into your unit and it will recognise the update and flash it to your unit.
  • Other options:
    • Copy the "Allapp.pkg", (optional) "updatecfg.txt", (optional) "config.txt" and "lsec6521update" onto a clean FAT32 formatted SD-card or USB-stick.
    • In my case having a 4G unit without using 4G and wanting to use Google Assistant for calls: Copy the Allapp.pkg, config.txt (see above), crruptoff (see above) and lsec6521update onto a clean FAT32 formatted USB-stick.
    • Note that when NOT using an updatecfg.txt, nothing will be wiped on your unit. Only added/replaced.

Another example:
  • Create folder Allapp on your pc/laptop
    • add (2019-08-14) main server mod with extended navi_app.txt and "BT to background" hacks. (see my github repo. Be careful to choose the one for your specific firmware date)
    • add BW-RDS radio mod (see my github repo. Only choose version for Android 8.1 if you want full functionality)
    • add oandbackup (dk.jens.backup_305.apk) (Free and open source backup restore apk)
    • add latest MagiskManager-v7.3.2.apk
  • Use apkpack.exe (attached) to create a new Allapp.pkg by selecting the folder to be packaged, the name of the file being Allapp.pkg, and select button "Packed" (sloppy translation from Chinese)
  • Copy created "Allapp.pkg" and "lsec6521update" onto a clean FAT32 formatted USB-stick.
  • Insert in your unit and the flashing process will start (Note: It will mention "Setting to factory defaults" before flash reboot, but it is really not doing that)
  • After the (very quick) flash and normal reboot, you will have 2 new apps and 2 modded apps.
Attached Files
File Type: zip ApkPack.zip - [Click for QR Code] (728.8 KB, 102 views)
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28th September 2019, 10:22 AM |#3  
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Some pre-build flashable images
Only for real Joying SC9853i units. Other FYT compatibles are not supported.
All SC9853i FYT models are actually the same, but boot images are mostly different and apks have different names. In the latter case you would have 2 identical apks with the same package name, but with a different apk name residing in different folders. Neither of them will work anymore as Android doesn't know which one is the correct one.

The zips that can be found in this post can be directly unzipped to a clean, empty Fat32 formatted USB-stick or SD-card. You do not need to be rooted and you don't need my JET apk.
When this USB-stick or SD-card is inserted into your unit, the unit will recognize it as a flashable firmware and start flashing the files to your unit.

Notes:
  • These flashable firmware files will leave all your installed apps and settings as they are. Only the files in these Allapp.pkg files will be overwritten.
  • The zips containing boot images will only overwrite the boot image. All apps and settings remain as they are.
  • The "combi" zips are just combinations of possible mods and/or boot images. They behave the same as the previous two.
  • The zips that can be downloaded from this post are all on one of my github repositories. You can find it here: SC98531BinRepo.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boot images
2019-09-17 | 20190917-rooted-boot-image | 20190917-normal-boot-image
2019-08-14 | 20180814-rooted-boot-image (thanks to @julien_blanche)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Main server apk mods (the 190000000_com.syu.ms.apk)
The ORG version is the apk as delivered by Joying in their firmwares.
The ORG_extended is the Joying one including an extended navi_app list and ability to put the BT app during call to background
The NoKill is the extended one where not all apps are killed when going into "deep sleep" (turn of ignition)

2019-09-17 | 2019-09-17-com_syu_ms-ORG | 2019-09-17-com_syu_ms-ORG_extended | 2019-09-17-com_syu_ms-NoKill
2019-08-14 | 2019-08-14-com_syu_ms-ORG | 2019-08-14-com_syu_ms-ORG_extended | 2019-08-14-com_syu_ms-NoKill

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other mods
As far as I know there is currently only one mod being the one for the radio which I made.
The ORG version in tis case is the one delivered with the Joying firmwares.

Radio | SC98531-Radio-ORG | SC98531-Radio-Mod

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Combinations
These are combinations of above files which I found useful. Undoing them can be done by using one of the above ORG zips.
2019-09-17 | 2019-09-17-radio_mainserver | 2019-09-17-rootedboot_radio_mainserver
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28th September 2019, 10:23 AM |#4  
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And if everything goes wrong and your unit gets in a boot loop or stops on boot logo
- Download a fresh firmware from the Joying blog.
- Unzip it to an SD-card/USB-stick (as normal)
- Put the USB-stick/SD-card in your unit and "push" the Reset (RST) with a paperclip or something like that. When the boot logo appears, reset the unit again. Now the flashing process should start.
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28th September 2019, 02:14 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfer63

See title: Only for SC9853i Joying/FYT 8.1 units.
Due to some changes in the flashing process since the previous PX5 and Sofia 3GR models it is now partly possible to mod your unit without root. (A custom Rom might be the next step, but I have my Joying 9853i unit only 3 days now.)

So you bought a 9853i unit finally, congratulations with your new unit and thank you for joining us with intel platform. I guess head unit currently on your bench not on your car ? Is this transformation only for developing purposes or after some time you are going to put it inside your car ?
Anyways thank you for your detailed guide, hope it continues
28th September 2019, 02:26 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julien_blanche

So you bought a 9853i unit finally, congratulations with your new unit and thank you for joining us with intel platform. I guess head unit currently on your bench not on your car ? Is this transformation only for developing purposes or after some time you are going to put it inside your car ?
Anyways thank you for your detailed guide, hope it continues

Actually Joying asked me to test the unit, do some bug tracing/finding and write a review. I requested a VW unit with a universal motherboard as my Skoda does not have SWCs, so I needed an external resistance-based SWC "thingy". Those do not work with the VW canbus motherboards. So they did send me such a "custom" unit. I only needed to pay the import taxes being 63 euros. I consider that a good bargain for a new unit. As far as I can see/check I have one with an IPS-screen. The screen is absolutely fabulous, the best I've ever seen, and with 10.1" quite big (I've seen small cars with smaller windscreens )
I got it Tuesday evening. Did some tests on the bench and installed it on Thursday in the car. Drove some 30 km Friday and did the above mentioned flashing ("another example") this morning.
So far, so good.
29th September 2019, 03:39 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfer63

Actually Joying asked me to test the unit, do some bug tracing/finding and write a review. I requested a VW unit with a universal motherboard as my Skoda does not have SWCs, so I needed an external resistance-based SWC "thingy". Those do not work with the VW canbus motherboards. So they did send me such a "custom" unit. I only needed to pay the import taxes being 63 euros. I consider that a good bargain for a new unit. As far as I can see/check I have one with an IPS-screen. The screen is absolutely fabulous, the best I've ever seen, and with 10.1" quite big (I've seen small cars with smaller windscreens )
I got it Tuesday evening. Did some tests on the bench and installed it on Thursday in the car. Drove some 30 km Friday and did the above mentioned flashing ("another example") this morning.
So far, so good.

cool !! welcome to the joying club !!!!
29th September 2019, 09:09 PM |#8  
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this seems to be an fantastic tweaking guide...altough too complicated for me
is it possible maybe, to have some "already cooked" files that can only be applied easily?
thanks
29th September 2019, 10:03 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thierry34

cool !! welcome to the joying club !!!

Thanks , but this is my 3rd Joying, actually the 4th as I once had a hard-bricked motherboard.
I now switched from a Joying PX5 to a SC9853i.
30th September 2019, 04:53 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaudio

this seems to be an fantastic tweaking guide...altough too complicated for me
is it possible maybe, to have some "already cooked" files that can only be applied easily?

To be honest: i don't think it is complicated at all to do this yourself if you only want to replace a few apks with modded apks.
The complexity lies in the modding of the apks, and you have to make sure you use the correct main server version mod on the same firmware version.

All Joyings follow the same release firmwares (sometimes models are released having intermediate firmwares, but when a new release is published and you flash it, they are equal again) where it would be relatively easy to make some "ready to flash" Allapp.pkg files.
Joying compatibles sometimes have slightly different file names for the apks. As the Allapp.pkg will replace or add the apk with the same name, this will give errors. You will have 2 identical radio apks when it comes to the package name, in 2 different folders. Both will not work anymore in that case. See example below
Code:
Joying                         Zhan
000000000_com.syu.ms.apk       000000000_com.syu.ms.apk
180043001_com.syu.music.apk    180053002_com.syu.music.apk
180043001_com.syu.radio.apk    180053002_com.syu.radio.apk
4th October 2019, 12:21 AM |#11  
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Very nice info! I just installed one of these units in my car this past couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to making custom ROMs for them. Or at least, start with making custom APK's for the built in apps.
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