Flashing cook rom ( Magnolia v1.0 beta ) for Galaxy Tab 7.7

Posted on February 24, 2012

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A cook rom for the Tab 7.7 is now finally available. The rom is developed by user  sk806 from New York. I was one of the beta tester and the rom has yet to be released to the public. You can follow the discussion of this rom at forum XDA HERE

Do not expect any great significant improvements in this rom but it is a starting point. In the words of the developer : ” This is basically a stock ROM that I put together based on P6800ZSLA2 TGY (Hong Kong), along with Task 650’s help/advice/tweaks…. plan to use this ROM as the base for future ROMS, and after beta testing, anyone can use it as a base for their own ROMs, provided they give me credit and ask Task to use his tweaks and give him credit for them (or remove the tweaks altogether). My future ROMs will have lots of customizations that I am already itching for, from smali-based tweaks, like getting rid of the screenshot button (why the hell is it right there? ) multi-tweak apps like they have for HTC devices, and hiding the taskbar (the hidebar app doesn’t work on this tablet) to theming, which, if you google my HTC ROMs (esp. Incredible 1 & 2 Magnolia ROMs) on XDA, I am heavily into…It  is generally a STOCK rom with a few tweaks, although for me it is quite a bit faster/smoother (and when I use ADW EX, wow…). There aren’t too many “speed” tweaks in there yet. I have A LOT planned in terms of speed: e.g., zepplirox’s supercharger, optimizing the actual png images in the framework and stock APKs (this has proved very effective on HTC devices), symlink apps to data (I haven’t tried this on phones, but supposed to be great on tablets and phones with large system partitions like this one), and I truly believe that there is a lot to be gained from removing some of the bloat-ier apps, although this will be optional. I also want to try and apply a smooth scroll mod from Sense onto the TW launcher, as noted above. Not sure if the last will work, but worth a shot.”

These are the rom features , with added explanatory comments by me :

1. The rom is deodexed. Meaning it can be  can be themed and modified fairly easily, whereas theming/modifying an odexed ROM is basically impossible
APK files have respective odexes that devs use to supposedly save space. Deodexing means you convert it back to a .dex file and put it back inside the apk. This allows you to easily replace files (not having to worry about odexes), but the main point was to deodex services.jar so that you can , for example change all text to different colors (such as the clock color to white) . Deodexed rom is well explained HERE

2. Zip Aligned : Zipalign is an archive alignment tool. It optimizes the way an app is packaged. Doing so enables the operating system to interact with the application more efficiently, and has the potential to make the application and overall the whole system much faster. Execution time is minimized for zipaligned applications, resulting in a lower amount of RAM consumption when running the app. A detailed explanation of zip align can be found HERE

3. Uses back stock kernel

4. Init.d support (ALL CREDIT to TASK 650 for his scripts ) :
If you use Linux you most likely have heard of the init.d directory. But what exactly does this directory do? It ultimately does one thing but it does that one thing for your entire system, so init.d is very important. The init.ddirectory contains a number of start/stop scripts for various services on your system. More information about init.d HERE

5. Sqlite optimization scripts : first thing you should know is that most of the time spent by SQLite (and most other DB systems) is on disk access, which is slow compared to memory operations. So the key to optimizing SQLite is to minimize the amount of disk access required. This requires some understanding of when SQLite is accessing information on disk, and why. Because operating systems generally cache open disk files in memory, a carefully tuned use of SQLite can approach the speed of a pure in-memory database.

6. Busybox run parts (thanks to Task 650 for providing these). Busybox for the Android platform is a set of Unix tools / commands that has been compiled for use on your phone. These are not usually full-featured versions of the Unix commands found on the larger platforms counterparts, but they are pretty close and useful nonetheless. You need this for example  to run Titanium Backup

7. Build.prop tweaks for improved wifi, screen responsiveness, keeping home app in memory, higher camera/video quality, etc. (credit to Task 650 for these)

Rom status : BEFORE and AFTER 

PERFORMANCE : The cook rom seems slightly faster and the UI is more slick and smoother. With ADW Ex launcher installed, there is virtually no lag moving among homescreens. Benchmarking figures do not seem to support this. These benchmark figures are taken from the best of 3 readings.  Infact, the original rom on Quadrant score even loses out to the Galaxy Tab , which I find is unbelievable as the Galaxy tab is definitely a very much poorer performer , having used it nearly a year. The Tab 7.7 is at least 2-3 times faster and very much smoother than the older Tab. So it is true sometimes benchmark figures are not exactly accurate. However some users at XDA forum has posted Quadrant scores of 3500+ on the original rom which is way beyond my comprehension.

Another anomaly : the cook rom AnTuTu benchmark is 500+ points lower compared to the stock rom . This is in conflict with the Quadrant scores. However practically, I’d say the cook rom offers slightly better performance.

I have been on the cook rom for  only a day plus and yet has seen any bugs. It performs just as well as the original stock rom. Having this rom will however enable one to have extra theming if one so wishes and a starting point to further improvements in the rom. So is it worth upgrading to this cook rom ? The improvements is slight and not dramatically significant to be noticeable. The answer is NO unless you want to look forward to newer developments of this rom.

Quadrant scores : BEFORE – 2157 : AFTER – 2698

AnTuTu Benchmarks : BEFORE – 6808 : AFTER – 6277

These are shots of the cook rom standard apps :

INSTALLING the cook rom :

1. Download the rom zip file  Magnolia_tab_beta_1.0.zip ( a 496.2 MB file ) . Sorry I cannot post the link now as is  being restricted to 10 users only. The developer will post his download link when he feels it is right time after receiving all feedbacks from the testers
2. Copy the rom zip file into either internal SDcard or external SD card
3. Switch off Tab. Boot to Recovery mode by holding down Vol UP + Power button simultaneously. Once you see the Galaxy Tab logo, let go the POWER button while still holding down the Vol UP button

4. At Recovery mode : Select wipe cache partition, at Advanced wipe dalvik cache and finally select wipe data/factory reset
5. Select Install zip from sdcard — choose zip from sdcard or choose zip from internal sdcard ( depend on where you have copy the rom zip file )
6. The process of flashing will start, and it will takje about 4 mins to complete and another 2 mins to reboot successfully

Forum XDA link on this : http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1507915