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Fairphone Fairphone/Guides

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How to improve the GPS signal

There are three different measures to increase your GPS functionality:

Activate A-GPS & EPO

You probably already know this, but just in case: In Settings → Location access, activate GPS satellites (on/off switch), then click on GPS satellites. Here, activate EPO assistance & A-GPS. Enter A-GPS, click Network Request. Enter EPO settings, click Auto download, then Download at the bottom.

Download & install EPO files

Download completed? Congratulations! This means that you can skip this step: your GPS now has data about the GPS satellites' movement across the sky for the next 30 days; the system will try to get new EPO files every 15 days, so that the information never gets outdated.

Unfortunately, as you might have noticed, the download function doesn't really work; this is because Mediatek's FTP server seems to be unstable at times. This has annoyed so many people that there's a thread dedicated to getting the EPO files. Basically, there are three extra-methods of getting the files:

1. From the MediaTek website

MediaTek seems to have heard the users, because you can now get the current EPO files at these locations:

2. Through EngineerMode

Start EngineerMode (Dial*#*#3646633#*#*) → Swipe to LocationLocation Based ServiceEPO. Under EPO functionality, click EPO (IDLE) to start the download. You don't have to delete the old EPO-files before downloading the new ones.
You can also set how often you want your phone to download the new files under update period setting; since MediaTek updates them once every 24 hours, I've set mine to 1440 minutes.

3. Through FTP

  • Name: epo.mediatek.com
  • Port: 21
  • Login: epo_alps
  • Password: epo_alps
  • The files you need: EPO.DAT and EPO.MD5


Put the files EPO.DAT and EPO.MD5 into /data/misc. If you don't have permission and don't know to to change this:
  • Open Terminal, and type:
    • su
    • mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
    • chmod 777 /system/app
Then it should be possible to insert the files. The properties of each files need to be set like this.

4. Check the EPO download thread

If you cannot access the server through EngineerMode or FTP, check our thread in the forum; if the server is unstable or down, then somebody will usually mirror a version of the latest EPO files.

5. The easy way

Download the app from play store, MT GPS EPO Fix and read it's description for 'How to'


Now check whether the system has accepted the files by entering EngineerMode: Dial *#*#3646633#*#*. Swipe to Location → Location Based Service → EPO. Under EPO file info, you should see the correct date (2014-01-19). The files are valid for a month. Below, you can set the update period; I've set mine to 2x a day, but I still have to download the files manually.

Set NTP server

In order to sync quickly to the satellites, you should always connect to your nearest NTP server. You can do this yourself by editing gps.conf in system/etc, but I recommend:

Download FasterGPS, grant super user access, and set your region and country. Correct files will be written.


Done! Now turn on your GPS, step outside, start EngineerMode (Dial*#*#3646633#*#*) again, and go to Location → YGPS. Then watch the magic happen (hopefully ) Under information, you can find stats like time to first fix, accuracy etc - Remember, after the first TTFF, reconnections should go a lot faster.

How to fix location issues

When recording a track, the Fairphone GPS module has the 2 major problems: It is unable to correctly calculate distance and speed, often giving out numbers that are way larger than the recorded data (Example: On a 2km hike, it will show a speed of 90km/h and a total distance of 110 kilometers.) It also gives out wrong elevation data, meaning that your recorded tracks will sometimes be 100 meters above ground. Since I am sure most of you were not floating through the sky at the speed of sound, here are the fixes:

Fix recorded speed and distance

  • Download and install the Xposed Framework (gives you the ability to modify the ROM without flashing a new one)
  • Install the module GravityBox (allows various changes throughout the Stock Android interface, as well as a few fixes).
  • In GravityBox, enter General Fixes, and check Fix location issue

How to fix elevation data

This problem exists with some track recording apps like My Tracks. Here, the saved KML track will be shown as floating through the air or disappearing into the ground. A fix for this problem is:

  • Get an app with ClampToGround mode - this will ignore any altitude, and places the KML feature on the surface of the ground, following the terrain. More info here
  • Example: Download OruxMaps, enter SettingsTracks/Routes → Activate Clamp to ground KML

How to lower the loudspeaker volume

Not on the wiki yet. See this post on the XDA Fairphone thread.

How to partition your Fairphone

First, check if you need to do this. If you just want to move app data of a single application to the internal data partition to free space, you can do that via app settings in the menu bar. Choose the app you want to move, tap it, and choose "Move to Phone Storage". If you want all future apps to store their data on the internal phone storage, go to System Settings > Storage > Preferred install location, and choose "Phone Storage". If you however want to repartition your device, remember the risks.

Doing this will reset your phone completely, so all your data will be lost
These instructions are for the first batch model (December 2013 / January 2014) without the unified storage upgrade applied.
  • Install and open this App (just click the link with your phone browser)
  • Choose any size, confirm
  • Message "Operation completed succesfully [..]" should appear
  • Turn off your phone
  • Turn on your phone while holding the volume up button
  • Don't worry, the next screen should show you a dead android saying "no command"
  • To activate the options, press your power button once
  • Press the volume down button until you are on "wipe data/factory reset"
  • Press the volume up button to select this option
  • Same goes for the next step, just choose "Yes" when being asked if you really want to do it.

Credit goes to mrueegg and arghwhymustiregister.

How to disable second SIM slot notification

This can be done in GravityBox, which is a Module for the Xposed Framework. If you got neither of both follow these instructions:

  • Download the Xposed Framework (or see here)
  • Install the Framework, launch it, go to the Framework section and choose Install/Update - then, reboot.

If you have installed the Xposed Framework:

  • Open Xposed, go the Download section and search here for GravityBox [JB] - install it.

If you have installed GravityBox the option can be found in:

  • Statusbar tweaks

In Auto-hide signal icons choose both Auto-hide SIM Slot 2 and Disable notifications.

Installing/Reinstalling Google Apps

How to install Google Apps on Fairphone FP1 Stock Android (AOSP)

This how-to is assuming you have already flashed Fairphone Stock Android on your phone.
  1. Download & copy [1] to your phone storage
  2. Turn off phone, boot into recovery (hold Volume up & Power for several seconds)
  3. Select apply update from sdcard
  4. Select googleapps.zip, confirm
  5. Wipe data/factory reset
  6. Reboot

Where did I get this file? After flashing AOSP, I hunted the web for a fitting Google Apps package (gapps.zip), but neither gapps-jb-20130812-signed.zip (serving Android 4.2.2) nor any other would work. However, when you first start the Google Apps installer under Fairphone OS, it temporarily downloads a googleapps.zip to the phone's storage. It is deleted right after installation begins, so I simply started the installer, waited for the download to finish, enabled USB storage, and copied it before it got deleted.

How to solve problems with installing Google Apps via widget

Not on the wiki yet. See this post on the XDA Fairphone thread.

Fixes for Google Play Store

How to download free apps from the Google Play Store without an account

Install the Yalp Store from F-Droid.

How to add a Google Play Account without using the Google Play Store

First, you will need an android ID:

  • On Windows: Download this .bat file into the same folder as Android Checkin and execute it.
  • On Linux/OSX: Open a Terminal, go the folder where Android Checkin is located and type
java -jar android-checkin-1.0.jar youremail youremailpassword

After that go to your System settings and click on Add account in the ACCOUNTS section, choose Google Play Account and enter your prior used mail, password and the generated ID. Original reference.

How to change the serial number

The Serial number of FP1 is initially set to 0123456789ABCDEF. You can use XPrivacy after installing the XPosed framework to fake a valid serial number (might be needed for some apps).

From an XDA forum post by 9x6:

Haven't tried this myself for this app, but the general principle should be:

  • Open the Navigon item in XPrivacy (tap on the app icon in the list)
  • Tap the menu button (the left-most of the three hardware buttons at the bottom of the front face of the phone)
  • Select 'Settings'
  • Depending on what you want, deselect 'use global fake data' (if you want to only provide Navigon with this serial number)
  • Change the default 'DEFACE' serial number to the relevant serial number. Don't select the check box in front of the number (as it will give you a randomised serial).
  • Make sure Identification/Serial is still selected (otherwise the problematic serial will still show).
  • Leave XPrivacy and reset the data Navigon app (Settings > Apps > Navigon > Clear data).

In the troubleshooting forum one user trying to get navigon to work reported a bootloop that they think was caused by using an XPrivacy based approach. Just in case, it may help to be familiar with disabling XPosed from recovery if things do go bad.

Bricked your Fairphone?

If your phone does not boot properly anymore (stuck in blue loading screen, error messages when booting etc.), then it may still be possible for you to restore your phone. The important bit here is to find out whether you have softbricked your phone (you can still boot into recovery) or hardbricked it. This would mean that it will be very, very hard to recover your phone's functionality. This is the information the XDA community has gathered:

How to restore Fairphone if you softbricked it (OS X, for Windows/Linux see end of section and below)

For this, we will use ADB sideload, an Android developer's tool to remotely install software on the phone:

  1. Download the operating system you wish to install. The original Fairphone ROMs can be found here.
  2. Download [developer.android.com/sdk/index.html#download the Android SDK], extract
  3. Put YOUR_ROM.zip (YOUR_ROM being the name of your zip-file) in the folder /sdk/platform-tools/
  4. Connect Fairphone via USB, boot into Recovery mode (hold volume up button, press power button)
  5. Select “Apply Update from ADB”
  6. Open Terminal on Mac, change to folder /platform-tools (pro tip: drag & drop the folder into the Terminal window)
  7. Enter ./adb sideload YOUR_ROM.zip

Linux should work much the same as OS X. I don't have much experience with ADB sideload on Windows, but if I am not mistaken, then all the commands are the same, except without the ./ in the beginning (e.g. your last command would be adb sideload YOUR_ROM.zip)

How to restore Fairphone if you totally bricked it

So you ended up here? That's a bummer! But if you just go for some air, perhaps a walk or some coffee it will be alright when you come back. Also know that not all hope is lost and there is a way forward. Of course everything will be deleted from your phone, but you had a backup, right?

First you need to download a few things to your computer. Tools in this guide are for Windows/Linux (for Windows 8 look here[2]). If you find a method that works for other platforms, please add that information.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. So when everything is downloaded, install the drivers (optional on newer Windows versions).
  2. Unpack the SP Flash Tool and the Fairphone binaries.
  3. Start SP Flash Tool and load the scatter-loading file from the Fairphone binaries. This will set everything up and it should load all pieces into the right place. (if you want to know more about SP Flash Tool, look at this thread.)
  4. Remove the battery from your phone.
  5. Go ahead and press the download button in SP Flash Tool.
  6. Now it's time to connect your phone. Insert the battery back in and connect the USB-cable. (No need to press any buttons.)
  7. After under 2 minutes a popup with a green check mark should appear, telling you that SP Flash Tool is finished.

If you get the error "PMT changed for the ROM: it must be downloaded", simply change the dropdown in SP Flash Tool from "Download only" to "Format + Download".