Rootin' Tootin'

Discussion in 'Vizio Tablets' started by pschatzy, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. pschatzy

    pschatzy Member

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    So Android tablet people.... What do we need to do to get this tablet rooted?? Seems to me it should be simple, just a matter of getting some genius interested. Is there anyone working on this?
     
  2. marvin02

    marvin02 Senior Member

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  3. wolong

    wolong Member

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    I have a VTAB1008 and an Android smartphone (Sprint Epic). I've not rooted either, what are the pros and cons of rooting an Android device? Is there a chance that you can screw-up and "brick" your device?
     
  4. pschatzy

    pschatzy Member

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    IMHO, there is little reason to root a phone. I've had 2 HTC Android phones and they have been fine as is. An advantage of getting the VT rooted would be the ability to runsome apps that are not yet compatible with it, such as HBO Go and Netflix. Also, once it is rooted, if a developer might come up with a ROM that would make the tablet faster....
     
  5. marvin02

    marvin02 Senior Member

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    Rooting allows you more control over your device. there are some things you can not change without root permissions. For example, if you could edit the build.prop file you could probably 'fix' the issue that many compatible apps do not show up in the market by changing the fingerprint of the VTAB. You can remove apps that the manufacturer installs that you do not need that use system resources.

    Yes - you can 'brick' your device. You should research what you are doing and understand the risks.

    My wife's HTC Inspire is stock with no root. It is the best phone we have owned from the aspect that it is not bogged down by the carrier bloat and works well. My Dell Streak is rooted, but is pretty much stock. I rooted to delete stuff I did not need and to be able to use a custom recovery to make backups of my phone.

    Rooting can allow you to overcome limitations that a device has.

    If you use a computer OS that requires elevated permission to do certain tasks that is similar to what root permissions allow you to do.

    On the VTAB one thing I see that could be fixed with root is how the user installed sd card is used by the system. I wish there was an option to use all of the built in memory as internal storage and then mount the user installed sd card at /sdcard. This would make the VTAB work more like most Android phones do and then when an app is "moved" to the sd card it would actually be on the user installed card. Apps that use a lot of storage on the sd card, such as a nav app with maps, would be on the user card and not in the limited 2.4 GB allowed in the internal "sd card".

    You would probably see netflix and video calling working shortly after the VTAB is rooted. Many times rooting allows the users of a device to make improvements in a device at a faster pace than the original manufacturer.

    Another side of rooting is that some apps are blocked from working on rooted devices. Playing Google movies is one example.
     
  6. pschatzy

    pschatzy Member

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    You made some excellent points. I should have mentioned that my phones, TMob mytouch 3g and a G2 have served me well with no root. My Nook Color, of course, really needed to be rooted, but it eventually was bricked. Since it would boot no how no way, I was able to get it replaced under warranty since there was no evidence of the rooting. It just died. BN gave me a refurb as replacement, but it had firmware that, at the time (June) could not be easily rooted. I suppose that by now there is an autonooter for it. I bought the VTAB as a compromise between price and capability. Overall, it is nice. The 3 biggest negatives are, for me, the remote control is not full featured like a Harmony. No macros yet. 2nd i think the interface is kind of lame, though I am now using another launcher. Finally, is the aforementioned lamebrained use of memory, internal and external.

    The Vizio rep on Facebook tells me that they did not use beta testers out in the real world. Which seems to me that whomever they hired to do the programming must have tested in house. Not a very smaert decision on their part in my opinion.
     
  7. marvin02

    marvin02 Senior Member

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    pschatzy,

    The VTAB UI only makes sense from the point of view that the device is intended as an accessory to other Vizio devices (TV's, etc).

    The memory/sd card setup makes no sense considering the limited internal storage.

    There are certain things that any buyer of the VTAB would expect. Netflix (and every other streaming video service) would seem to be a requirement on a device with such great sound and video. Facebook, whether you love it or hate it, is a staple for tablets and smart phones. Now that I have it installed on the VTAB mu wife uses it while watching TV to check for new photos, etc. on FB.

    I always wonder who checks the final market fingerprint/ID on these devices. Setting this up wrong can limit what users see in the market. The market is a great part of the Android experience so why don;t manufacturers make sure that users have access to content that adds value to their device at no cost to them?

    These are things that Vizio will hopefully address in future updates. Rooting is away to get them addressed faster.
     
  8. Tcsviz77

    Tcsviz77 Member

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    Was so hoping that the guys over at xda would be working on a resolution for rooting the vtab. But as far as I can tell no one is workin on this as of yet. The hp touch pad seems to have everyone's attention at this time. Maybe when they get it done they'll start on the vtab. It should be alot easier than the hp touch pad because the vtab is already running android where the hp touch pad isn't & has to be totally ported with android.

    Sent from my VTAB1008 using Android Tablet Forum
     
  9. Copp

    Copp Member

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    Until the Vtab gets into the hands of a developer that wants root, it is probably going to have to wait until someone stumbles across a semi-universal root method, such as the one found for the Droid 3, found 12 days ago, that also seems to root all other Motorola devices with the newest Gingerbread release from Verizon. Vizio doesn't have any phones in addition to tablets, unlike Samsung, Motorola, etc. who bring programmers with the same logic to the table when developing for their brand.

    In the world of Motorola, using something called sbf, it is almost impossible to truly "brick" a Motorola phone. Their programmers came up with the logic to allow the entire phone's OS to be hijacked via a bootloader embedded in the firmware. I don't know how Vizio's bootloader works, but it has to be somewhat similar. Its just a matter of getting write access, somehow, to the system. Of course, if we had that, we'd also have root!

    The one big problem with root is that its usually operating system VERSION specific. Just because you can root the current Visio, if they do an upgrade (like the one this weekend) your machine's rooted "state" may preclude you from getting it. Thus, you must be able to also "unroot". Then, after Vizio's update is applied, you'd have an upgraded operating system that someone must discover a way to re-root. And so, it starts all over.....

    I talked to a helpful tech at Visio. They don't care if we root our tablet. They will gladly void our warranty and tech support privileges. Some hardware providers give you root from the get-go voluntarily. Vizio, like most others, doesn't.
     
  10. K.B.

    K.B. Member

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    I'm seriously thinking about purchasing one of these tablets. The VTAB seems to have a lot of potential and it would be a bonus if there was some development for it. How are you guys liking the tablet so far? Are you happy with the recent updates sent out by Vizio? They seem to be committed to making this tablet incrementally better for their users.
     
  11. sora72

    sora72 Member

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    So far so good, for me. I really like my vtab. And Copp is right on the money with his explanation of rooting. I've entered the rooting game with my Droid X, and so far, its been a good learning experience and fun. Gaining root gave me the ability to load a pre-release of Gingerbread, streaming Netflix (before the phone was certified), etc. But rooting can also be trouble if you don't know what you are doing. Luckily, there are lots of dev teams out there who give troubleshooting help. But, they are typically specialized for the platform that they develop on. I temporarily bricked my Droid X, until I found the right combination of sbf (system binary file) procedures to flash an older android release that would get me to the right version in order to let me flash to the newest rom (OS release). It was fun, but a lot of trouble. Now that Netflix streams perfectly on the Droid X, rooting doesn't really buy me much. I'm content to sit and wait for Vizio's application partners to certify the vtab for their apps. I believe apps like Netflix will work soon on the vtab since Hulu Plus works now. If time passes and Vizio drops the ball on R&D for this tablet, and IF dev teams focus on custom roms for this device, then I'll think about rooting.

    Back to K.B. - the vizio tablet runs gingerbread rather than honeycomb. No big deal to me. The price difference between this tablet and other dual-core honeycomb tablets was significant enough for me to buy one. It performs well enough for what I do and the latest update has improved performance.
     
  12. K.B.

    K.B. Member

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    sora72 - Thanks for your feedback. I too have a rooted Motorola "OG" Droid that I thoroughly enjoyed thanks to the experience of having a rooted device. The price alone has me very interested in the tablet. I have looked at all of the Tegra 2 tablets and while I am impressed, the VTAB just seems like a well-made device with a nice feature set.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  13. marvin02

    marvin02 Senior Member

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    I just got a micro hdmi cable today (bought a cheap one from eBay) and tested it with the VTAB and my 55 inch TV. Plays movies fine and view documents (I used Adobe Reader). Whatever is on the VTAB's screen is on the TV. Nice for a reasonably priced device.

    It just seems to work well.
     
  14. pschatzy

    pschatzy Member

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    I became more and more frustrated with the Vtab with each passing day. Too little. Too late. Thank goodness for the generous return policy at Costco.

    I am annoyed that Vizio decided to make all of us who bought this baby the beta testers. It was deceptive to say that it was a wonderful universal remote -- it aint. Does nothing more than any 10 dollar universal available at Walgreens. And video chat? No dice.

    And rooting and hacking? If by now no experts have shown interest, it tells me that this device is not selling well.

    I bought an Asus running Honeycomb for 90 dollars more and am happy as a clam.

    Thanks to all of you on this site for the input.
     
  15. SEMIJim

    SEMIJim Senior Member

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    *shrug* To each his own. Don't need a universal remote that big. Don't need video chat. And Fluffy knows I don't need my tablet rooted or hacked.

    It's a relatively inexpensive tablet that, IME, mostly works well and has a few growing pains. I'm quite pleased with mine, and my wife shows no signs of being anxious to return hers, either. That could change, but, so far, we're happy.

    Jim
     

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