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Friday 25 January 2008

Samsung i607 Blackjack Windows Mobile 6 Update

I love my Blackjack but I have to say that Samsung really need to reconsider their approach to end user applied firmware updates - this sort of upgrade process is nuts. Their previous effort was even more complex but this WM6 update is still way out of line in my opinion. If they want help building better versions in future - I'm available and I build far more user friendly Windows Mobile configuration applications than this.

Anyway - all joking aside this sort of stuff should never have been let go further than the engineers who hack the platform stuff together. First the user has to load in a bunch of oddball USB drivers before attempting to start the update. The user then has to enter some top sekret codes into the update launcher before it will launch. Then to get the phone into a flashable state it has to be started up using some demented finger yoga to get the USB client bootstrap loader to launch rather than the OS (although this is not hugely unusual for Windows Mobile Devices to be fair). Once the update starts it proceeds through three different firmware update stages using a different USB communications mode and driver at each stage before finally rebooting and returning as a Windows Mobile device (using yet another USB driver).

On top of all this the stupid procedure does not work under Microsoft Vista which meant I had to jump through a whole bunch more hoops to get the above process to work in a Virtual Machine running XP, as I mentioned earlier.

The good news though is that the update worked and I now have Windows Mobile 6 Standard on my trusty old Blackjack. I haven't had time to dig into the changes in detail, I assume that they follow the typical WM6 Standard  vs WM5 SmartPhone features, however one stand out improvement for me is that Google Maps for Mobile's cellular signal location awareness capability (My Location) now works as it should, this had been terminally DOA under WM5 on the Blackjack and had caused a lot of negative sentiment on the GMM discussion forums. Sweet.

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