Polaroid 4.3" Tablet (PMID4311)

Warning! Warning! Warning!

This is old info and I do not have these tablets anymore. I believe most of the information in this post may still be helpful in most cases, but please make sure you check the posts in the FreakTab forums for updating information before attempting the following steps as some things may have changed.

Thank you for your attention.

Well, I was recently thinking about the Polaroid 4.3" Tablets and what other things that I could do to them. They come with Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.4) already preinstalled and are semi-rooted. However, I considered the fact that since these devices were going to be given to my nieces (little girls), there is always the chance for little fingers to get busy and mess up the device. Therefore, having a Recovery option would be ideal as well as a few additional tools like BusyBoxAndroid Terminal, and Adaway. So, I then did some research and set out to find information on what hacking is available to this little device.

In this post, you'll see how to use LiveSuit/LiveSuite, root the device, install a functioning version of Clockwork Mod, and install Google Market.

LiveSuit / LiveSuite

The "Official" flashing tool used by this device (as well as other AllWinner A1x devices) is a free product called LiveSuit or LiveSuite (inconsistently used so I will just abbreviate it as "LS"). Because it doesn't have really any real English documentation, we must consult either the "Official Instructions" or find basic instructions elsewhere. For this and other reasons, some people just really don't like this Chinese flashing tool but we will be using it anyway for our purposes due to its convenience. Make sure you do not connect the device to the computer until you have installed the drivers!

Just an aside, the included documentation (opened by pressing the 'help' button) will just open the "LiveSuitEN.chm" file - which looks like this:

Installing LS

(Edit: I found a newer 1.11 version with text!)
  • Extract to your chosen "installation" directory
  • Run "LiveSuitPack_version_1.07_2011026.exe"
  • Install Driver Anyway
LS is now installed!

Flashing a ROM using LS (Stock or Custom)

  • Download and extract the Official Firmware if you don't already have it
  • Run "LiveSuit.exe"

  • Press "No"
  • In the UI, press the cube button to select your firmware.


  • Hold back while connecting cable to PC
  • Driver will install on first use


  • Release back button


  • Press "Yes"


  • Press "Yes"
  • Wait for process to complete


  • Press "OK"
  • Disconnect
  • Restart Tab

To exit program,  use this icon

because just pressing (X) button merely minimizes program

Installing Google Market (Optional)

  • Download Zip File
  • Extract to some location
  • Copy to SD card
  • On tablet, open directory in File Manager
  • Install OneTimeInitializer-signed.apk
  • Install SetupWizard.apk
  • Install vending-3.1.3-signed.apk
  • Press the "Home" button
    • Check the "open always with"
    • Select Launcher
  • Reboot

Rooting


Installing Clockwork Mod

Clockwork Mod 5.5.0.4 beta 15 is installed

How to enter Clockwork Mod
  • Shutdown tablet
  • press and hold Vol+
  • hold Power a few seconds
  • release power
  • release Vol+ when "Polaroid" appears on screen
Vol+ down, Vol- up, Power selects

Note: There is another way to install CWM via KK RomKit 9. This way, though simpler, installs a "Touch" version of CWM 5.5.0.4 that has issues: the touch doesn't work, the backup generated errors, and could not properly access the external sd card. The CWM beta 15 version installed above looks terrible but is completely functional.

CyanogenMod 10

Obsolete!

This section is left only for historic reasons and in no way reflects the current works of dolorespark & co in that she/he have seemed to make quite some progress last time I checked. As always, make sure you first consult the proper forum for updated information.

There is a version of CyanogenMod 10 in progress by dolorespark,  though I believe it is not yet ready for daily use. If you want to try it out, you can download and install the LS image then just reinstall the official firmware mentioned earlier to go back to stock. This will install Clockwork Mod 6.0.1.2, CyanogenMod 10, and Google Play. However, I have encountered several problems with its current version (4311-cm10-dopa-20121204.zip)

The screen constantly needs resizing for everything. This is first seen during the initial setup.

Normal


Resized


Again, it appears most prominently on the apps screen.

Normal


Resized


I also had some problems getting into particular parts of the system, and the CyanogenMod 6.0.1.2 works for the most part, but the 5.5.0.4 b15 is still superior in functionality. Bottom line, it is a good start, but not yet ready for prime time.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks! I have googleplay and SuperSu working on my Polaroid pmid4311. I don't see the need for clockworkmod and cyanogenmod. As I understand it, clockworkmod replaces any su program....

    I don't get the idiot reluctance of manufacturers desiring to prevent users from rooting, and especially, from enjoying googleplay.

    Sometimes the latter is essential. I learned if one wishes to get financial institution apps, goggleplay then proves essential. A person can't photograph, and then instantly deposit any checks without a smartphone or tablet featuring a reasonably new OS and their bank's app. A PC or laptop simply can't do this.

    These hardware manufacturers prove remarkably stupid and rigid. No wonder people are dissatisfied with many of their Droids--they're dissatisfied until idiot, unnecessary manufacturer chains are broken!

    I'm freed from Polaroid and their idiot tunnel-vision along with limited-function stores with legacy apps--it's my tablet--not theirs! It's OS is based upon linux--that's gratis, too: Who are they to tell us what to do, anyway?!

    I understand the hazards of rooting--I ruined a palm with a rogue program which did enable sdhc. The problem is that password-protecting such a palm with that enabled may brick it. No warning was given about the hazard. Many people ended up with bricks! The developer couldn't get Palm and HP to fix their code. Now, good apps aren't available for Palm....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, gb.

      "clockworkmod replaces any su program" - Actually ClockworkMod is a recovery program (one among many) that is used to backup / restore / update / replace your system. Typically, the default recoveries are little better than trash and not able to do much more than update the system via SD card. With ClockworkMod (and others), you can not just update, but also backup so that in the case there is a problem with the loaded or to-be-loaded system, you have a way to revert back. Not only that, but you can also install things like the google apps or SU or other such things from outside the system and its limitations.

      Speaking of Google Apps, that's one reason that manufacturers do stuff to limit the system. Google doesn't like manufacturers to include Google Apps without licensing and not every manufacturer likes to enter into a license agreement just to include free apps. This is what put CyanogenMod in Google's crosshairs for a time, because they included the apps. Now, its just a seperate download that can be loaded via CWM.

      One other thing that is a huge drawback for cheaper tablets is the lack of support from the manufacturers. Many of those manufacturers are actually supposed to release code and they decide they simply won't. But we all know that the cheaper tablets are from China and who in China is going to enforce a GPL agreement? Thus, we have to rely on hacking communities to give us the functionality we deserve as well as other things that we want. To them, remember to always give a hearty "Thank you" when able.

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