Any hope for upgrading cheapy Android Tablets?

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Jan 26, 2011 3:25:10 PM via Website

Quite a few people have the cheapy type 7 inch Android Tablets probably like mine stuck back at OS 1.6. I believe it is highly unlikely they can be upgraded to 2.1 or 2.2 and its not worth trying. Has anyone succesfully done this with a Generic Flytouch? It does seem there are great problems - it may not work at all, it may lose the Market, etc. I do know about putting the script on the SD card and of course you can get the scripts, but does anyone know anything that definately works? Many thanks.

Jan 26, 2011 7:53:01 PM via Website

New official Android updates getting onto your device will always be the job of the company that makes the device. I believe that Google employees have said that there is no hardware requirement for ANY version of Android. I know a guy on the German side of AndroidPIT that has a myTouch 3G (basically the first ever android phone ever (T-Mobile G1), but without the keyboard) and he runs Android 2.2 on it with fairly good performance.

I believe your tablet likely is powerful enough for Android 2.1 or 2.2 or maybe even 2.3, but likely your only hope is to try and find a custom ROM to run on your tablet. That will likely be a problem though, as I've never heard of your device before, and it seems like only the better-known devices have custom ROMs made for them.

Jan 27, 2011 9:15:04 AM via Website

Thanks so much for that, Douglas. These I believe are called Generic Gome Flytouch Tablets, have a camera, and a plug in unit which gives two USB ports and a LAN port, and run Android OS 1.6. They sell commonly on Ebay, have an ARM VIA CPU of about 450 MHz, and do work quite well.
They do come with MSN, and the QQ IM, which is all in Chinese, I imagine the video chat does work with the Chinese QQ. They will not run Skype or of course any 2.1/ 2.2 Apps.
More technical details:
OS Android 1.6
Boot Notice shows .... WMT 2.0.1_105
Memory Ram ... 256 Mb
Model ....Generic
Firmware .... 1.6
Kernel .... 2.6.29-00236-g4f8dbbb-dirty
They do have the Android OS Open Source Notices.
I suspect this OS is common to some phones, so if they could be identified then an upgrade of that would or should work, There is no manufacturer shown, and very little technical detail either. Having a camera the normal phone camera/ video works.
Like you I think they would upgrade to say 2.1 or 2.2 but no further given the CPU speed.
Any further help on upgrading would be very welcome, as I expect there are a lot of these Generic Tablets out there and many want information on safe upgrading. I have heard though that some tried random ROM Flashes and the units have totally locked, of course with no backup of the original OS this is very risky.
Since this is a Android OS I wonder if they could offer advice. Thanks for anything further.

Jan 28, 2011 8:57:21 AM via Website

Thanks So much on that Douglas. I think it is worth investigating since as I say, these Tablets have sold in vast numbers, and I am sure the question of upgrading will arise again and again. I have now seen virtually the same design on sale running Android 2.2 on Ebay, so it obviously can be done. Thanks.

Jan 28, 2011 7:34:03 PM via Website

The hardware looks solid enough. You have a little bit less RAM than the HTC Hero, a phone that many people run Android 2.2 on, so that is still okay.

Your first step in upgrading you tablet (aside from receiving an official update) is to start looking for rooting methods for your device. Do you know what rooting and ROMing is? Have you taken a look inside of the XDA-developer forum to see if any work is being done on a project that would work for you?

Jan 31, 2011 12:56:48 PM via Website

I think the Rooting process is well documented. There do however not seem to be any upgrade Roms available for this build of Android OS 1.6. This may be connected with it being a phone OS modified for tablet use. For instance the tablet has USB ports and a LAN port. A phone would of course not have these. Unless the Rom is designed specifically for this tablet these may not later work. Continuing to look for Roms though.

Jan 31, 2011 6:39:36 PM via Website

Well, I believe every Android smartphone has at least a mini or microUSB port, so having support for at least one shouldn't be impossible I would think. Two ports could very well be a possible problem though. Have you found a dedicated forum based around your tablet yet?

When doing searches for a ROM, I'm not sure it is a good idea to include any reference of the Android 1.6 that came with the tablet. Maybe just include the rough name of the device itself and search for Android 2.1 or 2.2 along with.

— modified on Jan 31, 2011 6:42:05 PM

Jan 31, 2011 8:16:22 PM via Website

Thanks so much for help Douglas. I found some references to this generic tablet and its OS. But there are no clear upgrade routes as far as modified or custom Roms are concerned, though of course there are with many phones. Also I am really unfamiliar with the Android OS system. I assume unlike say Windows or Linux it is not possible to do a Format, then load in an image of the desired OS Rom? There does not seem to be any straightforward route to upgrading Android. But its very much an ongoing search - not at all finished. The number of these generic tablets so must be very high and thus there must be a lot of owners wish to upgrade the maximum probably being 2.2. On the other hand not wanting to "brick" it by experimenting ....

Feb 1, 2011 3:07:50 PM via Website

You are correct that there are undoubtedly lots of people buying the generic tablets, but whether those same people are the ones who hack into the devices and create custom ROMs for them, well, that may not be so likely.

From my time on the forum, I've heard lots of complaints of people who've had severe buyer's remorse after receiving their generic and/or cheap tablet and having software/hardware problems show up quickly, or just suffering from false advertising regarding the specs.

I can't say for sure, but I believe that a large amount of the development community for Android tends to focus more on the devices from the more expensive brands (HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson) because of better quality control.

Have you seen this yet: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic156153.html

Or have you looked at some of these results: http://www.google.de/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Generic+Gome+Flytouch+Tablets

— modified on Dec 2, 2011 11:09:49 AM by moderator

Feb 1, 2011 4:24:28 PM via Website

Thanks for that. As you say upgrades for Android arise mainly for phones and indeed specific ones, In fact Google did not like early Android being used for tablets at all. Hence there was no Google support for such devices. Will though run through your links and see what they offer.

Have had no real problems with mine only the restrictions the earlier 1.6 impose i.e. no Skype, no Flash (2.2 has both) but it is used only for specific purposes. I do think its probably worth waiting for 3.0 built for both phones and tablets.

Thanks for your links.

Apr 18, 2011 10:01:42 AM via Website

Thanks to those who helped me on here. In the end I could find no solution to this so I bought a Frayo 2.2 Tablet which runs Flash etc. great. In fact its a far better tablet than the other one, quicker processor, runs Angry Birds well, just about runs TV Catchup, better build. And cheaper too at £58 post included from HK. A friend is happy with his iPad 2 but at 10 times the price of my Android tablet, he should be? Thanks to all anyway!

Dec 1, 2011 12:05:09 AM via Website

I got the same crap tablet.I'm on disability and can't afford a good one. So if anyone can suggest apps so I can do my essays for school,Id appreciate it.I have had no luck with olive office.I also need a keyboard app, and a media/video player.Peace

Dec 1, 2011 6:53:18 PM via Website

its running 1.6-its garbage- i hadda scrounge to afford it and its fairly useless..i can get the link to my exact model if you want.

thanxx soo much

Dec 6, 2011 4:05:05 PM via Website

YES!! I have the upgrade if your tablet is a WM8650

I have done many of these tablets and. I have enlosed my instructions below
and the link to the files from my website.

Follow these directions exactly:

Make sure your tablet is off.
Remove the SD Card.
Download the V9 Final ROM file to your PC from my site. Make sure you know
where to find it after it downloads:

I have uploaded the rom to my own website and it should
download very quick for you. Here is the link to my site
http://creativeconceptcomputers.com//downloads/public/WM8650.7z
save it to
your desktop and get winrar to unpack the zip file at
http://rarlab.com/rar/wrar41b4.exe
Insert the SD Card into the media reader on your desktop PC.
The SD Card will now show up as a drive letter on your PC's File Manager,
just like C:\, except with a different letter assigned.

Every computer will be different. Let's just say that on your PC it is G:\.
Right click the drive letter of the SD Card (G:\). A pop-up menu appears.
Select "format" and format the card to Fat32.
Now, using a program like winzip or winrar, extract the ROM file that you
downloaded to your PC earlier to a new folder on your desktop
.
After it has extracted, it will have these folders:
firmwareinstall
Changer_files
and these 3 files on it:
changer.bat
wmt_scriptcmd
Universal_Uberoid_WM8650_v9.1.2.txt

Using your PC mouse, double click the "changer.bat" file.
A pop up screen appears.
Type in RT3070 and hit "enter" (this enables WiFi support)

Select the option number that corresponds to your tablet and press enter.
( I found option 27 to work on most wundermedia wm8650 ) if that dont work
run it again and choose option 2 (if that dont work,keep trying differnt
options until you get the right one) if that one hangs on the option
you selected, you will just have to keep running the changer and selecting a
different option number until you get it right. Make sure that after it does
boot, to select wmtlauncher as the default and that the touchsreen does in
fact work.

(Please, if you are trying multiple options, just remember to try options
only for the size tablet you have.)
For instance, if you have a 7 inch tablet, try only options
1,2,7,8,9,11,12,13,16,20,21,23,25,26,27,28,29,30,31, and 32.

After you select your option number and hit enter, the changer.bat will ask
you if you want to install the ROM on your SD Card hit y (yes) and if you
want your SD Card formatted. Answer "NO" since you already formatted it
earlier, let the program finish running completly and it will tell you when
its done.
Now safely remove the SD Card from the PC media reader.

Insert the SD Card back into your tablet and turn it on.

it will show a progress bar on the botton, when it's done it will tell you
to remove the sd card , (don't remove card until it says to) when you do
the tablet will reboot
.
Select the wmtlauncher when it comes to options screen and set as the
default and thats all there is to it.

This should only take a few minutes to boot the first time. Make sure that
after the tablet is up and running , that you reformat the sd card in a
computer again before you put it back in your tablet for storage.

Main features:
* Live Wallpaper Support! ("butterfly" live wallpaper included!)
* HoneyComb styled launcher, framework and icons
* Extreme WM8650 compatibility (60 models +!)
* Customizable ROM, make it even more LITE for example (see CHANGER 'x' for
more info)
* 100% Rooted
* Audio Boosted
* Memory cleaning boosted
* Memory read/write boosted
* Lite version, stripped away many apps
* Tries to support as many languages as possible
* Real Google Market (v3.1.3)
* Real working YouTube