More Joggler upgrades


For an old defunct product, the O2 Joggler continues to surprise. If you still have one and have been neglecting it at all recently, there are a few potential upgrades around at the moment:

  • There was nothing actually wrong with the original O2 software, except that it was just a little… limited. The refresh of PnP to PnP Mk II should give the built in software a much needed boost.
  • Perhaps more surprisingly O2 are releasing an update themselves! It’s good to see that O2 are tidying up loose ends before deserting the Joggler completely. I’m interested to see just what the update will do, so my Joggler is back to running the original software for now. In case you’ve done a little too much hacking, there’s a reflashing tool which might help ahead of the April 30th update.
  • For me, the most promising Joggler hack is still the Android image, and even this is getting an upgrade. It’s not quite done yet but even so the Ice Cream Sandwich port looks like it was made for the Joggler!

And people are still hacking, so these probably won’t be the last upgrades!

Update: well the deO2ification update finally arrived on my Joggler and despite thinking I knew what to expect, I was really disappointed by one thing that vanished with the update. I was expecting the radio app to go, but I’m actually going to miss the O2 clock! If you’re more interested in replacing the radio, I can definitely recommend the SqueezePlay OS. It really works well on the Joggler and is probably the most straightforward replacement to the newly updated stock OS. The only slight problem is that I haven’t managed to get it to play any of the BBC channels so far. (18 May 2012)

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Joggler upgrade


Since I’ve been running Android on the Joggler I’ve had a USB stick stuck out of the side, which isn’t ideal. My first attempted improvement wasn’t a great success: a tiny USB stick which turned out to be excruciatingly slow.

Plan B was a big improvement:

I was a little worried that this right angled USB adapter might end up pointing down, but it turned out to be perfect for the job. Result.

Intermission


At the risk of stating the obvious, I’m having a short summer break from blogging, mostly due to an ongoing project to buy a new house. That’s not exactly been going smoothly, so when we do eventually move I’m sure there’ll be a few posts on the subject! Until then I’m wondering whether to blog at all, and perhaps stock up a few posts for a new season, or just stick to the odd short ramble. Here are a few bite size updates from the last few weeks for example…

It seems a bit like I’ve spent every spare minute on Rightmove but investigating house locations has been the perfect opportunity for a spot of mapping; after initial success with Open Street Map, I’ve made a few more edits. I did think the map was pretty complete where I live but on closer inspection there are actually quite a few details missing.

I’ve also spent a bit of blogging time playing with Google+ instead. Meh. I think the most interesting thing has been the discussions around using your real name, but that issue is not exactly unique to Google+.

Exploring the Android Market looking for apps that will work on the Joggler has been a welcome distraction. Need to add a few more to that list, including my new favourite clock. I’m impressed with how well the Joggler has taken to it’s new life as an Android device, but it is somewhat tied the wall, so I’m seriously tempted to buy a ‘proper’ tablet. I’m sticking to my dumb phone so I want something portable enough to make it out of the house on a regular basis. For a budget option the Andy Pad seems like it might be worth a look, except that I’d want to try before buying, and now there are rumours about a Samsung Q mini tablet/giant phone, except that’s not going to be cheap at all!

And we’ve been on holiday to Germany, which was much more fun than any of the above.

Need another holiday already though!

New Joggler Apps!


Not technically new apps for the Joggler and as I’m not expecting to see any of those again, I cheated: all these apps run very well on the Joggler… after installing Android! I think my quest to find a better alternative to the stock Joggler software is finally at an end.

There are still a few apps left to find a replacement for but I didn’t use these ones much anyway: O2 Calendar, Video, Games, YouTube and Messages (SMS). Here’s what I do have working so far:

Clock

I’m still looking for something to use as a standby screen but, if all else fails, I can write my own now. I like the retro clock widget for a date display on the home screen though.

Photos

Perhaps not the obvious choice for showing photos. I quite like the RealPlayer app, unfortunately it doesn’t play music from my media server, so for now it’s only there for photos.

Music

It doesn’t seem to want to display album art, and the Joggler doesn’t do wma files, but this is definitely an improvement over the Joggler’s standard music player!

News

Works reasonably well on the Joggler’s screen and has feeds for pretty much anything.

Sports News

Added a whole page of news for Jo’s team!

Weather

At a glance weather. All weather forecasts are a work of fiction anyway aren’t they?!

Traffic

The Google map traffic layer is a definite improvement on the Joggler’s original traffic map.

Tools

I have to say, the Button Savior app was a genius suggestion; no more getting stuck in full screen apps!

App Shop

Android Market has that pretty well covered, although the AndAppStore also works, so another massive win over the Joggler’s selection.

Internet Radio

It’s pretty basic but, with a local radio added from Global Streaming, AndroRadio does a solid job. I’m leaning towards Resco Radio at the moment though since the UI is a bit nicer, plus it has a volume control which is very handy without any hardware controls.

Google Maps

Yes!

Probably the best addition to the Joggler is having a working web browser, so for loads more stuff there’s no need for an app. I can check bus times with www.mytraveline.mobi, and look up trains on www.nationalrail.co.uk for starters. Definitely the best value gadget I have!

Enjoy Android on O2’s Joggler in 3 easy steps


A few people have asked after my last Joggler post, so here’s how to unlock the potential of your dusty Joggler…

Step 1 – Prepare a USB stick

Follow the instructions at the top of the Android Prebuild Image page of the Joggler Wiki. I used the simple option, writing the empty partition .img file from Christian with the Image Writer for Microsoft Windows tool.

Step 2 – Download Android image

There are a few Android images around, but you can now download the best image I’ve found so far from Mijuu’s Porting Life blog.

Step 3 – Enjoy

Just unzip the image to the Android partition, boot up* and enjoy.

* I still haven’t made it to the Hursley Chinese lessons so I did have to switch to English. This is easier with the latest image which has a language option in grub.cfg – change it from LANG=zh to LANG=en before booting. To change the keyboard, long-press the text entry field and change the input type.

Step 3a – Get the market working

To get the most out of Android on the Joggler you’ll definitely want to install a few apps. Thanks to Angelo, it’s easy to get the Market working; the latest instructions are on the Joggler Wiki.

And finally, a few links which may be of use:

Updated: updated steps for latest version, Mijuu Release 1.2.3/Android 2.2.2. (22 June 2011)

Update: James Pearce has been doing some great work on creating a pre-loaded image to make it easier to get Android up and running on a Joggler. I haven’t tried the tweaked images but they seem well worth a look to avoid headaches coaxing the Market in to life using the vanilla image. (11 August 2011)

Update: the 1.2.3 release from Mijuu is probably still the best version of Android I’ve found for the Joggler, but there have been a few updates since I originally wrote this post. (3 April 2012)

Joggler OS


For the last couple of days I’ve finally begun to seriously consider deserting the standard O2 Joggler OS. I’ve tried a few alternatives since I first got the Joggler last year but, despite the limitations of the O2/OpenPeak software, none of them have tempted me to switch permanently. The pros have outweighed the cons enough to keep it in regular use… so far…

Pros:

  • It’s simple
  • It works pretty reliably
  • The traffic app is quite handy
  • The  internet radio is better than DAB
  • It streams music from my router

Cons:

  • It’s limited
  • The traffic/radio/music apps are pretty basic
  • No new apps – O2 are clearly not interested in the Joggler any more
  • The calendar is terrible
  • The SDK is disappointing

The O2 calendar app itself was more usable than many I’ve tried but it ultimately failed, mainly because it never actually shows you what’s in the calendar unless you go looking. It really needed to display reminders on the clock screen. It also relied on the O2 servers for all the data, which tended to be really unresponsive, and was certainly no good with an unreliable broadband connection. As for the SDK, I’ll admit to being a bit biased, not being a Flash developer. It still wasn’t great though.

First up, a couple of strong contenders. There are others but for me the Joggler isn’t just a small server to run some Linux variation on.

Jolicloud

I really like the idea of Jolicloud, and it was pretty simple and finger friendly. Unfortunately it always felt a bit sluggish on the Joggler, and it didn’t seem to replace the combination of O2 apps I was happy with, or open the door to new and interesting possibilities.

MeeGo

MeeGo is another OS that should be well suited to an always on touch screen device. I tried the image hosted on bug10738.openaos.org a while ago and it did work really well but, again, it always felt like the Joggler was struggling a bit. Definitely lots of potential though, and I would probably have spent a bit more time experimenting with MeeGo if I hadn’t tried Android…

Android

I wasn’t really expecting much from Android, having seen less than enthusiastic reviews of previous attempts with Android 1.6, but I tried a more recent 2.2 version. First impression was that it was way more responsive than either Jolicloud or MeeGo, and the Android UI is a perfect fit for the Joggler. The first image I tried did have a couple of problems: the screen was a bit fuzzy and the the replacement for the usual Android buttons wasn’t ideal (I liked the gestures but you have to switch between them and being able to get at the notifications). Still, I had seen my Jogglers future, and it had a little green robot in it.

Downloading the second image was marginally more tricky because it wasn’t in English, but it has been well worth it because the screen is rock solid now. It also has virtual buttons in the status bar, which aren’t as fun as the gestures, but work all the time which is a bonus.

So now I just need to find replacements for the O2 apps I use the most. I’m planning to try out Dale’s traffic checker at some point, but TomTom now make their live traffic service available free on the web, which works ok:

Certainly more detailed than the O2 traffic app! It looks like there are a few music apps to try out as well, and I’m definitely keen to download the Android SDK to finally write my first ‘Joggler’ app!!