Custom Android firmware
Android operating system was declared by Google company as an open-source system.
This is partially true, the base for OS Android is Linux and you can download source
codes of Android from http://source.android.com.
After downloading source code from this website and compiling it, anybody can perform
the custom Android rom development. However, besides the compilation of the
OS shell, one should also provide device drivers which are usually provided by
device manufacturers without source codes.
Why build custom firmware?
Before we propose the custom Android firmware development services,
it is necessary to explain why you can need it and why custom firmware is
useful for commercial Android applications.
At early stages, Android was far from perfect, which stimulated some enthusiasts
to build their own versions of operating system. The aim of custom builds was the
installation of newer unofficial versions of Android on the phone, the optimization
or bugfix of existing problems in the operating system. With the course of time,
Android was much improved, and the most successful custom builds were developed further
and become large community projects, such as CyanogenMod.
The commercial applications require custom Android firmware to turn Android-based
phone in a specialized device, which works only in a predefined way and does not
divert the operator. Thus, unnecessary functions should be disabled, for
example, return to OS by pressing Home button.
The custom firmware may help to carry out the following tasks:
- custom animation on device boot;
- admin and user rights when using the phone;
- setup a password on access to phone;
- limitation of calls (allow only local calls or even calls to some predefined numbers);
- limitation of Internet access;
- limitation of messaging (including SMS messaging to shortcodes);
- blocking of access to storage.
What the firmware consists of?
Android operating system consists of kernel, device drivers and shell.
As a rule, kernel and device drivers are developed by the device manufacturers and setup
in the custom firmware in unchanged form. Only the shell is compiled from source code. The shell
consists of low-level part (adapters for device drivers, OS boot loader) and high-level part
(system applications, such as phone, built-in browser, API, etc.).
What we propose you?
The development of custom Android firmware consists of the following stages:
- Analysis of the client requirements (also, analysis of the possibility to
carry out the task without custom firmware);
- Build and testing of the custom firmware for a mobile device specified by the client;
- Update of the firmware according to the client requirements;
- Delivery of the ready firmware and manual for upgrading the mobile device.
Custom firmware examples
Mobile audioguide "CitySurf"
The mobile phones
LG Optimus One and LG Optimus Sol were turned into specialized
devices, which tell users about nearest sights according to the current
GPS location. In the custom firmware, the boot logo has been changed,
mobile network functions were disabled, the USB interface of interaction
between phone and PC was updated, boot and switch off were accelerated.
Plant inspections of Lafarge company
The mobile phone Samsung Galaxy XCover was turned into
a device for plant inspections of
Lafarge company. The device scanned QR-codes of inspected equipments
and provided inspectors with the inspection forms. In the custom firmware,
the boot logo has been changed and Home button was blocked.
Image smartphone for the conference
The mobile phone may be turned into an image device for the conference.
Such device shows the logo of the conference on boot and starts a specialized
application after boot. The call functions are limited to local (to save
money on a SIM card) and access to SD storage is disabled.
How to order the firmware development?
To get a free consulting on your task, please fill the contact form.
Send us a short description of your project, the device and Android version. We will analyze the task
and reply you with the terms and costs of the custom firmware project.