[ROM][A500 & A501] Android 4.4.4 (OmniROM unofficial)

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HenrikE

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
72
126
Freshly built Android 4.4.4 ROM based on Omnirom KitKat !

The Team 'IconiaHD' is proud to present a new ROM for your Acer A500 or A501 tablet.

This small team is composed of:
- HenrikE: A200 owner, responsible for an unofficial CM-10.2 build for the A200
- Doume: A200 owner, experienced linux developer
- macia10: A501 owner, tester


IconiaHDlogo_200.png



This is essentially the same rom as we published for the A200 here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2693179 and here: http://www.acertabletforum.com/forum/acer-a200-roms/10043-rom-a200-omnirom-kitkat-4-4-2-a.html
We have now modified our sources to support also the A500!


Why Omnirom, and not Cyanogenmod ?
Google , through AOSP repository, has dropped support for the Tegra 2 platform. The Tegra 2 does not support the 'neon' instruction set, and more importantly relies on a set of old (ICS) proprietary hardware libraries. AOSP has dropped support for both non-neon devices and the older hardware libraries.

Cyanogenmod has decided to follow AOSP on this and has dropped Tegra 2 support since CM-10.2. With CM-10.2 the differences were not yet very big and could be overcome. But with CM-11 it has become an unreasonably large effort to add Tegra 2 support.

Only Omnirom, for now, has included the forward-ported code in its repository to support machines like Acer A500


How to install

Recovery
To flash this rom, it's necessary to have a recent recovery (at least CWM 6.0.4.4 or TWRP 2.6.3.1) having Selinux capabilities.
Otherwise the flash operation fails with status 0 or status 7. There are also some problems installing GApps with Thor's recovery v.1.8.1.
We recommend using CWM 6.0.4.5 by nelsontky: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2583710

Flashing
Boot in recovery mode to flash the KitKat Rom.
First, don't forget to execute a 'Wipe Data/Factory reset'
Flash the KitKat Rom
Flash the Minimal Gapps
Do a 'wipe cache partition'
Flash the SuperSU zip file if you need it
Flash the Netflix fix if you need it

And reboot System !

Be patient on first boot... There's a lot of background work to do, before coming to the 'Welcome' screen. Don't worry if you are stuck with a black screen for several minutes. Next boot will be much faster.
After first configuration, it's recommended to reboot the tablet to avoid some unstabilities after 1st boot.

Enjoy KitKat !


Screenshot_1_800.png


Screenshot_2_a500_800.png



Downloads
Download build 8, 2015-02-10, from here:
NOTE: This is an untested build! If you try it, please report back on how it runs! The A501 version probably has the same stability problems as earlier builds, but please feel free to test it. It's at least possible that some update of the OmniROM sources has helped.
A500: omni-4.4.4-20150210-a500-IconiaHD.zip
A501: omni-4.4.4-20150210-a501-IconiaHD.zip
(Build 7 was for A200 only)

Download build 6, 2014-07-14, from here:
Primary A500: omni-4.4.4-20140714-a500-IconiaHD.zip MD5: c5fcabf327c390f5c4ef5495edda616c
Mirror A500: omni-4.4.4-20140714-a500-IconiaHD.zip
- fixed Plex video streaming (reverted to 4.4.2 version of Http Live Streaming)
- sync with OmniROM repos
- network location works
This build is A500 only since the issues with the A501 version are not yet solved.


Download build 5, 2014-06-23, from here:
Primary A500: omni-4.4.4-20140623-a500-IconiaHD.zip MD5: 7d6b17f7dc9027371a56f04b9377efe9
Mirror A500: omni-4.4.4-20140623-a500-IconiaHD.zip
- updated to Android 4.4.4
- sync with OmniROM repos
- permanent Netflix fix from Asus TF101 included
Unfortunately we can't release the A501 version yet because we are struggling with serious stability problems related to the 3g driver.


Download build 4, 2014-04-29, from here:
Updated! If you downloaded build 4 with an older date, please download again!
Primary A500: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a500-IconiaHD.zip
Mirror A500: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a500-IconiaHD.zip
Primary A501: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a501-IconiaHD.zip MD5: 898feec518b2fb60e1a551208f318a7f
Mirror A501: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a501-IconiaHD.zip
Changelog
- First release for A501, includes MBM HAL to support GPS and 3g
- Fixed network location provider
- Fixed boot animation
- Removed apps Movie Studio, Voice Dialer, OpenDelta
- Sync with OmniROM repos


Download build 3, 2014-04-04, from here:
omni-4.4.2-20140404-a500-IconiaHD.zip
Changelog
- First release for A500

Build 1&2 were for A200 only.

GApps are here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2397942
For the A200 the Pico package is the only one that is small enough so we generally recommend that. The A500 has more space in the system partition and should be able to use the larger packages as well.


SuperSU is here: (needed only if you wish to have a full rooted access)
SuperSU is needed for root, get the latest CWM flashable zip from here:
[2014.02.06] SuperSU v1.93 - xda-developers


Netflix fix for builds 1-4 (not needed for build 5) is here: netflixfix.zip
Flash in recovery. It will just copy this simple script to init.d. It is run during boot and changes a setting in the Netflix configuration to use a player backend that works with the Tegra 2. This is a workaround for a bug in Netflix that makes it choose a video player backend that is incompatible with the Tegra 2. The config file is created the first time Netflix is started, so the very first time you start Netflix it will force close. After that, reboot, and then Netflix should work.


Remember : in all cases, it's a good idea to make a backup before installing!
We're not responsible, in any way, if you brick your tablet!

Big thanks to:
- the Omnirom team
- pjsports for the A500 JB kernel and device tree
- nelsontky for building the recovery
- and everyone else that has been working on the Iconia A500 / A200!

The kernel, and the device tree are available at GitHub: IconiaHD Github
 
Last edited:

HenrikE

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
72
126
Known issues:

All builds
Noise in audio playback, caused by a too low default minimum CPU frequency. Solved by increasing minimum frequency to 312 MHz.
-In Settings / About tablet, tap build number 7 times until you get a message "you are now a developer". This enables the performance menu.
-In settings / Performance, increase minimum cpu frequency to 312 MHz. Also tick "set on boot" to make it permanent.

Build 6
General
-Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up
-A501 version is unusable because of random reboots

Incompatible apps
-?

Notes
-XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)

Build 5
General
-Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up
-A501 version is unusable because of random reboots

Incompatible apps
-?

Notes
-XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)

Build 4
General
-Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up

Incompatible apps
-?

Notes
-XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)
-Netflix needs a workaround to run, see first post

Build 3
General
-Network Location Provider does not work
-Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up
-The boot animation stops after few seconds, instead of looping until boot is completed

Incompatible apps
-Movie Studio (built in)

Notes
-XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)
-Netflix needs a workaround to run, see first post

Build 2
A200 only

Build 1
A200 only
 
Last edited:

kronflux

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2012
523
522
33
Edmonton
Samsung Galaxy S7
Google Pixel 2
I'd really prefer to see someone port a clean working copy of CyanogenMod 11 to this device, personally. the TegraOwners team already has a working port of OmniRom on the A500, which is a little laggy, but otherwise fully functional(including netflix, sound recorder, etc.)
 
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HenrikE

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
72
126
I'd really prefer to see someone port a clean working copy of CyanogenMod 11 to this device, personally. the TegraOwners team already has a working port of OmniRom on the A500, which is a little laggy, but otherwise fully functional(including netflix, sound recorder, etc.)

Well then why not try doing it yourself?
The main idea with this rom is to provide an open source alternative for the A500. Not everyone appreciates the closed source policy at the "other forum".
 

kronflux

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2012
523
522
33
Edmonton
Samsung Galaxy S7
Google Pixel 2
sorry, I sort of worded my post a little harshly and it came out wrong.
I'm actually plenty happy to see an alternative to their roms, and to see that someone is working on the A500 at all.
I meant to say that although it's nice to see, I would personally rather see someone try to port it(even if it's a failed attempt, and post their results so others can try and help out), even though it's a lot of work and a lot harder than AOSP at the moment.

Unfortunately I don't have the knowledge or skills to get any rom working on any device. I've even tried compiling roms before, and failed. Maybe someday! :p
 

HenrikE

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
72
126
sorry, I sort of worded my post a little harshly and it came out wrong.
I'm actually plenty happy to see an alternative to their roms, and to see that someone is working on the A500 at all.
I meant to say that although it's nice to see, I would personally rather see someone try to port it(even if it's a failed attempt, and post their results so others can try and help out), even though it's a lot of work and a lot harder than AOSP at the moment.

Unfortunately I don't have the knowledge or skills to get any rom working on any device. I've even tried compiling roms before, and failed. Maybe someday! :p

Ok no problem. We actually did try to build CM first. But we could never get it to display the user interface because of the missing support for our graphics libraries. When we realized how big the effort would be to get it working, and that support was already available in OmniROM, we switched. I don't know about Thor, but I'm guessing his reason for switching to omni were similar.

Our sources for cm11 are on github, in branch "cm11" and only in the a200 device tree. It's a fair bit behind the OmniROM version now though. It would be better to take the omnirom branch and modify it back to CM format. The differences between CM and Omni device trees are not very big.

Edit: I should add that the challenging part would be to modify the CM android_frameworks_av and android_frameworks_native packages to add support for the tegra2 libraries. There alse seems to be a quite new bug in the CM build system that makes it compile in neon instructions even when it shouldn't.
 
Last edited:

clj575

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2010
613
134
Phoenix
Prefer anything over CM, thanks! I'll have to reroot since I upgraded to the latest version of ICS. I'll report back any issues.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 

Robert417919

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2012
82
5
28025
Nice work, I thought for sure that we would never see 4.4 on an A500. I have it flashed and running. I tried Netflix and it force closes. Also the video recording doesn't work.
 

HenrikE

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2014
72
126
I found a workaround for Netflix here: https://github.com/CyanogenMod/android_device_hardkernel_odroidu2/blob/cm-10.2/conf/98netflix
It seems to work also on this rom, it displays the interface now instead of just closing. But nobody in the team has a Netflix account so we haven't been able to get further than that. I made a simple flashable zip to install the fix. Simply flash it in the recovery. It will just copy one file, and not touch anything else. The download link is in the first post.
 

Robert417919

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2012
82
5
28025
Flashed and it worked. I was able to stream and all good. Awesome!

I found a workaround for Netflix here: https://github.com/CyanogenMod/android_device_hardkernel_odroidu2/blob/cm-10.2/conf/98netflix
It seems to work also on this rom, it displays the interface now instead of just closing. But nobody in the team has a Netflix account so we haven't been able to get further than that. I made a simple flashable zip to install the fix. Simply flash it in the recovery. It will just copy one file, and not touch anything else. The download link is in the first post.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mixednuts

Dalvik_Cache

Member
Feb 16, 2014
13
0
USB Device Not Recognized

Hey everyone,

Sorry if this is a dumb question... I just picked up an A500 tonight, and can't get the USB drivers to work. Specifically, when I plug in the cable I get "USB Device Not Recognized". As a result, I can't get into boot loader mode, etc. I downloaded the Acer driivers, the Universal Android Drivers, etc, and it does the same for all of them. Any ideas?

Thanks!
Mandy
 

macia10

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2010
445
62
Łódź
Hey everyone,

Sorry if this is a dumb question... I just picked up an A500 tonight, and can't get the USB drivers to work. Specifically, when I plug in the cable I get "USB Device Not Recognized". As a result, I can't get into boot loader mode, etc. I downloaded the Acer driivers, the Universal Android Drivers, etc, and it does the same for all of them. Any ideas?

Thanks!
Mandy

Maybe a faulty usb cable?
 

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  • 64
    Freshly built Android 4.4.4 ROM based on Omnirom KitKat !

    The Team 'IconiaHD' is proud to present a new ROM for your Acer A500 or A501 tablet.

    This small team is composed of:
    - HenrikE: A200 owner, responsible for an unofficial CM-10.2 build for the A200
    - Doume: A200 owner, experienced linux developer
    - macia10: A501 owner, tester


    IconiaHDlogo_200.png



    This is essentially the same rom as we published for the A200 here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2693179 and here: http://www.acertabletforum.com/forum/acer-a200-roms/10043-rom-a200-omnirom-kitkat-4-4-2-a.html
    We have now modified our sources to support also the A500!


    Why Omnirom, and not Cyanogenmod ?
    Google , through AOSP repository, has dropped support for the Tegra 2 platform. The Tegra 2 does not support the 'neon' instruction set, and more importantly relies on a set of old (ICS) proprietary hardware libraries. AOSP has dropped support for both non-neon devices and the older hardware libraries.

    Cyanogenmod has decided to follow AOSP on this and has dropped Tegra 2 support since CM-10.2. With CM-10.2 the differences were not yet very big and could be overcome. But with CM-11 it has become an unreasonably large effort to add Tegra 2 support.

    Only Omnirom, for now, has included the forward-ported code in its repository to support machines like Acer A500


    How to install

    Recovery
    To flash this rom, it's necessary to have a recent recovery (at least CWM 6.0.4.4 or TWRP 2.6.3.1) having Selinux capabilities.
    Otherwise the flash operation fails with status 0 or status 7. There are also some problems installing GApps with Thor's recovery v.1.8.1.
    We recommend using CWM 6.0.4.5 by nelsontky: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2583710

    Flashing
    Boot in recovery mode to flash the KitKat Rom.
    First, don't forget to execute a 'Wipe Data/Factory reset'
    Flash the KitKat Rom
    Flash the Minimal Gapps
    Do a 'wipe cache partition'
    Flash the SuperSU zip file if you need it
    Flash the Netflix fix if you need it

    And reboot System !

    Be patient on first boot... There's a lot of background work to do, before coming to the 'Welcome' screen. Don't worry if you are stuck with a black screen for several minutes. Next boot will be much faster.
    After first configuration, it's recommended to reboot the tablet to avoid some unstabilities after 1st boot.

    Enjoy KitKat !


    Screenshot_1_800.png


    Screenshot_2_a500_800.png



    Downloads
    Download build 8, 2015-02-10, from here:
    NOTE: This is an untested build! If you try it, please report back on how it runs! The A501 version probably has the same stability problems as earlier builds, but please feel free to test it. It's at least possible that some update of the OmniROM sources has helped.
    A500: omni-4.4.4-20150210-a500-IconiaHD.zip
    A501: omni-4.4.4-20150210-a501-IconiaHD.zip
    (Build 7 was for A200 only)

    Download build 6, 2014-07-14, from here:
    Primary A500: omni-4.4.4-20140714-a500-IconiaHD.zip MD5: c5fcabf327c390f5c4ef5495edda616c
    Mirror A500: omni-4.4.4-20140714-a500-IconiaHD.zip
    - fixed Plex video streaming (reverted to 4.4.2 version of Http Live Streaming)
    - sync with OmniROM repos
    - network location works
    This build is A500 only since the issues with the A501 version are not yet solved.


    Download build 5, 2014-06-23, from here:
    Primary A500: omni-4.4.4-20140623-a500-IconiaHD.zip MD5: 7d6b17f7dc9027371a56f04b9377efe9
    Mirror A500: omni-4.4.4-20140623-a500-IconiaHD.zip
    - updated to Android 4.4.4
    - sync with OmniROM repos
    - permanent Netflix fix from Asus TF101 included
    Unfortunately we can't release the A501 version yet because we are struggling with serious stability problems related to the 3g driver.


    Download build 4, 2014-04-29, from here:
    Updated! If you downloaded build 4 with an older date, please download again!
    Primary A500: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a500-IconiaHD.zip
    Mirror A500: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a500-IconiaHD.zip
    Primary A501: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a501-IconiaHD.zip MD5: 898feec518b2fb60e1a551208f318a7f
    Mirror A501: omni-4.4.2-20140429-a501-IconiaHD.zip
    Changelog
    - First release for A501, includes MBM HAL to support GPS and 3g
    - Fixed network location provider
    - Fixed boot animation
    - Removed apps Movie Studio, Voice Dialer, OpenDelta
    - Sync with OmniROM repos


    Download build 3, 2014-04-04, from here:
    omni-4.4.2-20140404-a500-IconiaHD.zip
    Changelog
    - First release for A500

    Build 1&2 were for A200 only.

    GApps are here:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2397942
    For the A200 the Pico package is the only one that is small enough so we generally recommend that. The A500 has more space in the system partition and should be able to use the larger packages as well.


    SuperSU is here: (needed only if you wish to have a full rooted access)
    SuperSU is needed for root, get the latest CWM flashable zip from here:
    [2014.02.06] SuperSU v1.93 - xda-developers


    Netflix fix for builds 1-4 (not needed for build 5) is here: netflixfix.zip
    Flash in recovery. It will just copy this simple script to init.d. It is run during boot and changes a setting in the Netflix configuration to use a player backend that works with the Tegra 2. This is a workaround for a bug in Netflix that makes it choose a video player backend that is incompatible with the Tegra 2. The config file is created the first time Netflix is started, so the very first time you start Netflix it will force close. After that, reboot, and then Netflix should work.


    Remember : in all cases, it's a good idea to make a backup before installing!
    We're not responsible, in any way, if you brick your tablet!

    Big thanks to:
    - the Omnirom team
    - pjsports for the A500 JB kernel and device tree
    - nelsontky for building the recovery
    - and everyone else that has been working on the Iconia A500 / A200!

    The kernel, and the device tree are available at GitHub: IconiaHD Github
    11
    Known issues:

    All builds
    Noise in audio playback, caused by a too low default minimum CPU frequency. Solved by increasing minimum frequency to 312 MHz.
    -In Settings / About tablet, tap build number 7 times until you get a message "you are now a developer". This enables the performance menu.
    -In settings / Performance, increase minimum cpu frequency to 312 MHz. Also tick "set on boot" to make it permanent.

    Build 6
    General
    -Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up
    -A501 version is unusable because of random reboots

    Incompatible apps
    -?

    Notes
    -XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)

    Build 5
    General
    -Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up
    -A501 version is unusable because of random reboots

    Incompatible apps
    -?

    Notes
    -XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)

    Build 4
    General
    -Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up

    Incompatible apps
    -?

    Notes
    -XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)
    -Netflix needs a workaround to run, see first post

    Build 3
    General
    -Network Location Provider does not work
    -Default sound recorder app is included but the icon does not show up
    -The boot animation stops after few seconds, instead of looping until boot is completed

    Incompatible apps
    -Movie Studio (built in)

    Notes
    -XBMC should work if you install this version: http://www.mediafire.com/download/0cg8j1dg994gdu6/xbmcapp-armeabi-v7a-debug-2013-09-06.apk (found by user SDBerndt at acertabletforum, thanks!)
    -Netflix needs a workaround to run, see first post

    Build 2
    A200 only

    Build 1
    A200 only
    5
    We are having some problems getting the A501 version to work properly, that's why the 4.4.4 build is delayed. I wanted to release both A500 and A501 at the same time.

    In the meanwhile, here is an A500 4.4.4 build to play with: http://iconiahd.home.kg/wwwshare/omni-4.4.4-20140623-a500-IconiaHD.zip

    Please note that exactly this rom hasn't been tested yet! It probably works since the A200 version works fine, and the A501 version only has problems with the 3G modem. If you flash it, please give feedback on how it runs asap! Hopefully it solves the Youtube problem. Netflix should also work without the fix.
    5
    I'd really prefer to see someone port a clean working copy of CyanogenMod 11 to this device, personally. the TegraOwners team already has a working port of OmniRom on the A500, which is a little laggy, but otherwise fully functional(including netflix, sound recorder, etc.)

    Well then why not try doing it yourself?
    The main idea with this rom is to provide an open source alternative for the A500. Not everyone appreciates the closed source policy at the "other forum".
    3
    New build uploaded! I don't have an A500 or A501 to test it on so if you try it, please report back asap!