Downgrading LineageOS to Android 10

LineageOS has now gone to Android 11, and like most users, I went ahead and upgraded to it. But then I started hitting lots of problems. Predominantly on location.

Android 11 changed the way location is requested and this breaks functionality in multiple apps. Ones I have noticed this issue with:

  • Just Eat
  • CityMapper
  • Google Maps (yes, surprisingly Google’s own app had trouble with locking on)

Other location apps may have also had the same issue, but I didn’t check those.

Waze did not have any issues locking on to location or tracking movement

Some non-location apps also broke. Fenix 2 (a Twitter client) and WeChat both stopped working and would not install off the Play Store, presumeably because of API differences.

I installed Plume instead (which I had previously purchased) and that installed and functioned happily.

WeChat I sideloaded by getting the apk from a mirror. That functioned okay, but could not log into Web WeChat

I decided to clean wipe and downgrade back to Android 10 (Lineage OS 17) to at least get things working again.

I formatted my SD card for Portable Storage, then took it to my laptop and saved the LOS flash zip, Open Gapps zip, and the latest Magisk.

I booted into TWRP Recovery and wiped, data, cache, system, ART and internal storage.

Switching to external storage, I then flashed LOS, OpenGapps, then Magisk.

I rebooted and let the OS do its thing until I got the welcome screen — that’s a good sign. I went through the setup but opted not to setup my Google Account yet.

Once through to the home page, I went and unlocked Developer options and enabled ADB, Local Terminal, Force Allow External Storage, and Force Close on Hold Back.

Then I plugged my phone into my pixelbook, allowed the debug connection and started up scrcpy which allows me to copy-paste text to and from the device.

I installed TitaniumBackup and the pro key so I can batch move apps to/from the storage.

The SD Card is still setup as Portable. So I formatted it as Internal. This took a few attempts as it kept erroring.

I went into Play Store and installed a few apps. A couple installed file, but the other errorred with a message:

"App requires external storage"

This was weird, I never saw that before, but checking around, I found this: https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/app-requires-external-storage.4098673/ which describes fixing the storage permissions. I ran this:

adb shell
su
restorecon -FR /data/media/0

I reinstalled the apps again, and there were no errors. Fenix 2 installed happily this time, enhancing my suspicion of some API change breaking it on Android 11.

Also found out that Strava required Google Maps so I also had to install Google Maps.

WeChat finally did install, but was then told by the app that my account cannot use Web WeChat, and I should use WeChat for Windows or Mac….. and I’m running Linux, so both of those options are not feasible.

However, I did find this: https://github.com/qo6xup6/ubuntu-deepin-wechat which is a Wine wrapper around the Windows WeChat app. This seems to work well, although I did have to update the client using the instructions on the README.md

FitBit refused to pair with my Ionic (again — it always seems to have this trouble whenever I have to reinstall the app). I eventually resorted to factory resetting my Ionic, and re-setting it up again. It worked this time, although the pairing took a few attempts.

Surprisingly, I was then able to add my Curve card to FitBit Pay, and the SMS verification worked.

All in all, it took me from around 7am to 12:30 pm to reflash, reinstall, and setup all the apps again, and reboot to make sure the apps still worked. So around 5 hours.

Phone Flashing – Part 2

Further to my previous post, here’s a run down of what happened.

I’m currently running Cyanogenmod or a variant of it, which has lots of nightly builds – normally I choose not to flash but on Sunday, I decided to try. Probably a mistake.

Cyanogen updated from Android 5 Lollipop to Android 6 Marshmallow, which meant after I flashed, I was getting huge numbers of “sorry but xxxx crashed”. I suspected the Gapps was out of date or incompatible with the android version I had, and I was right – a different version was needed. So I flashed that also but that didn’t work, so I rolled back to my last good backup, which was from November 2015, that restored fine, and I’m back to where I was, minus a lot of app changes and updates needed (I uninstalled/reinstalled a lot of apps since that backup), fixed that, reupdated my apps, and redid both my app and my Nandroid backups so I’m good to try again sometime.

I lost a good hour to two hours over this, so let this be a reminder to make sure you have good backups before flashing. I was lucky I only lost 2.5 months of changes, and that was easily fixed, but losing ALL your data because you don’t have a backup is never fun (I’ve been there)

EE

As you’re probably aware, I love to tinker with phones, especially Android ones, having been able to root several:

  • HTC Wildfire
  • HTC Sensation
  • Asus Transformer TF101
  • Samsung Galaxy S5

However, when trying to tinker with my dad’s S5, some really weird behaviour occurred. I first unlocked it using a SIM unlock code, and it started to randomly reboot. Regardless of whether or not you use an EE SIM or not (we tried EE, Virgin and Three SIMs — all were subject to the rebooting behaviour). So, I decided to take a change and rooted it and flashed Bobcat ROM (a ROM which I was running successfully on my own S5, which is the same model as my dad’s with the only difference being the network provider — I’m on Three, he’s on EE.)

The phone still randomly rebooted, so I turned on Logcat and tried to see if it recorded anything. No such luck.

So I tried a few different ROMs — Stock Samsung (Lollipop), Bobcat ROM, and Phoenix ROM. All still rebooted. So I took it to Samsung for their opinion. They said they couldn’t flash it because Knox was void (Knox is a warranty flag on Samsung devices which indicates whether you have custom flashed the device or not — I obviously have.) But they were nice enough to tell me that the behaviour described usually indicates the Firmware is wrong (which is something I didn’t flash).

So, since this behaviour started before I even did a deep-level tinker with the device (before I flashed anything), I can only assume EE either flashed an incorrect firmware, or did not flash the correct firmware – or maybe did not flash the firmware properly. I now need to find an S5 firmware to flash onto the device. Since my own S5 is working, I can check that firmware and try to find the same one.

ROM Reflash – Cyanogenmod 11 (Flemmard) – Part 3

I am not impressed. After flashing and restoring my applications, the phone seems extra sluggish and seems to have locked me out of recovery mode. When I tried to set my alarm for weekdays, I was fighting the phone to click the days of the week. I was pressing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then the phone took several seconds before showing up the change, then unticking them, and ticking them back on again.

I reflashed my recovery from 4EXT, since I could still get into the main OS, and now I’m reflashing from my image back to my albinoman build. This Flemmard build is going on my “do not use” list.

ROM Reflash – Cyanogenmod 11 (Flemmard)

Reflashing my phone again. Using Cyanogenmod again, this time, a different build. This build is V4.4.4 instead of V4.4.2 which is the one on the albinoman build. The build is also later than albinoman’s one, so might contain some fixes to problems encountered in V4.4.2.

Restoring my backups as I type this post.

Screenshot_2014-07-26-15-45-00

ROM Reflash – Cyanogenmod 11 (albinoman)

First flash is an unofficial version of Cyanogenmod 11. This is the version I currently have, but I’m doing a full reflash due to the problems I currently have, which I wonder if it is down to the fact I didn’t do a superwipe when switching between ROM variants.

Generally, you should wipe or superwipe your phone if you are moving from one ROM variant to another, and not wipe if you’re flashing an update to the currently installed ROM.

Screenshot_2014-07-19-19-30-11

Reflashing 2

My experience of Carbon ROM has been short and a mixture of good and bad. Good in that there were some very nice features, but bad, in that the whole ROM seemed to not be too responsive. Less of a problem with Carbon ROM compared to the last one I tried, but, still, definitely noticeable.

I’ve taken a quick look at XDA and found a couple of other ROMs available, so I’m going to download them and give each one a go. 4Ext really helps with the backups.

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