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"Essentially" make your Droid screen higher resolution tutorial!!!

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by mrpotatohead99, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    Alright, so a lot of people have been asking me how I've made "everything on my screen smaller." (Notice in my screenshots how I can fit more information on my screen. i.e. 2 more apps are visible in Market, 2 more emails can be read, and there is more space between icons, in the notification bar, the subject lines of emails, etc) I have not modified the actually Droid LCD screen in any way. All you need to do is modify a file on the Droid which specifies the DPI (or dots per inch) that the Droid is to use. In order to do this modification you must know how to use Android SDK and ADB in command prompt (or alternative terminal). Note: If you do not know how to use ADB or would prefer to do this from your phone skip to the "Nano Method" section.

    Note: You MUST be rooted in order to do this hack.
    Note: Do NOT use quotes where I do below. I simply use quotes to set aside information from the rest of the text.
    Note: This can be done with any rooted Android phone! :)


    First open up command prompt and "cd" to the Android SDK tools folder as you normally would. In my case I would enter the command "cd desktop\androidsdk\tools" For you this may differ.

    Next, plug in your Droid to USB (while it is fully booted, not in recovery mode), make sure "USB Debugging" is turned on (i.e. make sure to check the check box "USB debugging" under "Settings," "Applications," "Development") and enter the following commands:
    Note: If you would rather enter these commands while the phone is in recovery you do not need to turn on "USB Debugging." However, you must mount the /system partition before entering the commands. This option is found under "mount options" in SPRecovery and under "partitions menu" in ClockworkMod Recovery.

    adb remount
    adb pull /system/build.prop c:\mydata\build.prop

    Note: if you don't have a folder in your C drive called "mydata" create one
    Note: Also, do not close command prompt or unplug your phone at this point. Don't worry if your phone accidentally gets unplugged. Just plug it back in.

    Now, navigate to the "mydata" folder and rename the "build.prop" file to "build.txt"

    Then, double-click the file and it should open in Notepad. If not open Notepad and then open the file.

    Look for the line of text that say "ro.sf.lcd_density=240" If you have trouble finding this hit Ctrl + F and type in "lcd" and then press find. This will highlight it for you.

    Change the default "240" density to "192" and then close and save changes to the text file.

    Now if the text file shows up as "build.txt" simply rename to "build.prop" Otherwise, right-click on the text file, select properties, and rename the file "build.prop" using the top box that should say "build.txt" If it still does not say "build.txt" in this box do NOT rename and instead hit "cancel." In this case you must rename using this method: Click in a blank space in the "mydata" folder. Then press "Alt," then press "T", then select "Folder options." Go to the "view" tab and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types" then hit "Ok."

    Now go back to command prompt with your phone still plugged in and enter the following commands:
    Note: if you accidentally unplugged your phone you need to reenter "adb remount"

    adb push c:\mydata\build.prop /system/build.prop
    adb reboot

    Once your phone screen turns off unplug your phone and it will automatically restart to what appears to be a higher resolution screen! Awesome! Enjoy your "new" screen without buying a whole new phone!!! :biggrin:

    Note: Some apps will not support this higher resolution and will show up as smaller windows on your screen. If this bugs you you can open up "Spare Parts," uncheck the "Compatibility Mode" option, and then restart your phone. This will make those apps display full screen now! (Credit to vinnard for finding this little hack.) Also remember you can always revert back to the default 240 if you don't like the higher DPI at all. :)

    Nano Method (Credit to Se7enLC for this method.)
    Note: This method is done on your phone instead of the computer.
    Note: Your ROM of choice must contain the nano binary executable in order to use this method.

    1. Open up "Terminal Emulator"
    2. Press "Menu"
    3. Select "Preferences"
    4. Select "Control Key" and choose what key you want to be your "control key." (I use the right alt key.)
    5. Exit "Preferences" and return to "Terminal Emulator"
    6. Type "su" & hit enter
    7. Type "sysrw" & hit enter (If this does not work your ROM does not have this script so you must enter "mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system"
    8. Type "nano /system/build.prop" & hit enter
    9. Press "Your assigned control key + W" then type in "lcd" & hit enter
    10. This should find the line "ro.sf.lcd_density=" something...
    11. Change the default "240" value after "ro.sf.lcd_density=" to "192" (Make sure not backspace the empty line between this line and the next line of text.)
    12. Press "Control + X"
    13. Press "Y" to save changes
    14. Type "sysro" & hit enter (If your ROM doesn't have this script type "mount -o ro,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system")
    15. Type "reboot" & hit enter
  2. Krooked247
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    Krooked247 New Member

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    Next, plug in your Droid to USB and enter the following commands:

    adb remount
    adb pull /system/build.prop c:\mydata\build.prop

    When I enter these commands it says adb: not found.
  3. crdnilfan
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    crdnilfan New Member

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    just edited using RootExplorer.

    Results are pretty much as expected. Not sure if I'll keep it for day to day usage, but definitely an interesting change.

    EDIT:

    Some apps don't work correctly with the "resolution change" and just run with a border around them. I'm assuming you got 192 from 240/5*4. Which makes sense because of the Droid's 854x480 resolution.

    So logically, wouldn't something like 144 give even more extreme results? or maybe just the opposite and put 288? I'm going to test those out.

    EDIT2:

    288 Works, but looks even more ridiculous. I'm not even going to try 144. But for those who hate math, these are logical choices:
    -----------
    48
    96
    144
    192 [Only other legit option without it being insane]
    240 [Default]
    288
    336
    ------------
  4. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    Before entering adb commands you must "cd" to the Android SDK "tools" folder. For example, if the Android SDK folder was located on your desktop and was renamed to "androidsdk" as mine is, you would open up command prompt and enter the following without quotes:

    "cd desktop\androidsdk\tools"

    Then try the adb commands. Should work fine.
  5. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    Bigger numbers would result in larger screen font/images/etc, where smaller number would result in smaller screen font/images/etc. I went as high as 480, which was obvious HUGE haha, and as low as 144 which you can actually see pretty well. Depends on how good your eyesight is. But I think 144 is impractical for average usage and makes apps that don't support high DPI look too strange. 192 seemed like the right balance to me and I enjoy the extra screen real estate! :) I would love to do this to an X! Can you imagine the screen real estate?!

    Edit: Almost forgot. It's really simple to get other DPIs. :) I just multiplied the default 240 by percent multiples of 20. i.e. 240 * 0.8 yields 192, 240 * 0.6 = 144, and so on. Works beautifully! Haha.
  6. Krooked247
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    Krooked247 New Member

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    I don't know what I'm doing wrong... but I have tried this while connected and with phone running with USB Debugging enabled and in SPRecovery but no matter what I do it comes up saying
    " /system/bin/sh: adb: not found"

    I open it by going to command prompt "cd C:\android\tools"
    as directed by easy access to another post I read in here.(without the quotes)
    Then I type adb shell
    And try to put these commands in.
    And thats the message I get.
    Tried it with typing "adb" as part of the command and without "adb" in front of it.

    It gives the # symbol when I open it so I assume my phone is rooted and everything right.

    Other commands like if I type "reboot" for example... without the quotes will work.

    I don't know why I can't get this to work but I'm typing something wrong or there is something wrong with my phone so I'm gonna let this one go for a while... was interested in what it would have looked like, but I'm gonna try it farther down the road( got it set to the side in favorites ).

    Good tutorial though something no one else as far as I know has put out about under this subject or to do this.

    No disrespect if anyone has... this is just first thing I have read about changing this.
  7. stinky180
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    stinky180 New Member

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    make sure your phone has usb debugging on
  8. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    Oh we'll get it working for ya. First, don't use adb shell commands because the commands used for the procedure are not built into your phone. Adb shell uses the phones built in commands, where as, adb by itself uses commands in Android SDK on your computer. Second, the tutorial was based on simply plugging in your phone while it's fully booted. If you are doing it from a recovery there's a little trick you need to do before entering commands. For SPRecovery go in to "mount options" and mount the /system partition. Likewise, for ClockworkMod Recovery go in to "partition options" and mount the /system partition. Then try the commands. :) Hope that helps!
  9. Se7enLC
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    Se7enLC New Member

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  10. Krooked247
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    Krooked247 New Member

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    Just got this to work... didn't realize that you do this right from the tools folder. Kept trying to adb shell then type in the commands. Thanks for the help everyone.

    It worked on my phone and everything is working fine, but under the my data folder on my computer the "build.prop" file is still there.
    Is this just like a copy of the file left on my computer or something?
  11. pandroid
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    pandroid Theme Developer Theme Developer

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    this is awesome! it seems like there is sooo much more room

    thanks!
  12. stinky180
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    stinky180 New Member

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    I like this but so many programs aren't compatible with it. Music, Google Maps, etc for example.
  13. HarvesterX™
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    HarvesterX™ Member

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    What about Google Maps isn't working? Just tried and it looks fine to me...
  14. stinky180
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    stinky180 New Member

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    Sorry, I meant a different map app. Anyways, many programs will have lots of black space if it doesn't support the 'higher' resolution. Reverting back...
  15. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    Correct. It's just the left over file on your computer because the command "adb push c:\mydata\build.prop /system/build.prop" simply copies the file back. It is ok to delete the build.prop file on your computer. :) Glad I could help and enjoy the extra space! Haha.
  16. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    I know right?! Haha. You're welcome!
  17. mrpotatohead99
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    mrpotatohead99 New Member

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    That's funny... both Google Maps & Music worked fine for me. In fact, I believe every single Google app support the higher DPI for sure. Also, I have over 280 installed and from what I noticed only a few apps were smaller on the screen. For example, WeatherBug, Uninstaller, & the Wired/Wireless Tethering apps. It would depend on which apps you used though. Another biggy are game console emulators. They don't usually use the full screen either.
  18. andylulzyou
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    andylulzyou New Member

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    This seems really awesome, two kids that sit next to me in one of my classes have the iPhone 4 and the retina display on that is sick.


    I'd love to to this but I literally just got my Droid X and I have no idea how to root use any of these hacking programs :'(


    Would it be better for me just to buy that one click easy root app?
  19. Krooked247
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    Krooked247 New Member

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    This is definitly something good to know how to do. It has its benifits for sure. There might be some apps that don't work well with it, but you have to take the good with the bad, you know?

    On a different note... this whole thread helped me in other ways and now I have a better understanding of how ADB and ADB Shell work because of this whole experience.

    This was a good thread to start and all I have to say is hats off for sharing what you know because knowledge is power and this was something that helped me in a couple ways.

    It's got me looking at the build.prop and other files in the system just thinking about other things that may be able to be modified for the better.

    Thanks again...
  20. Corinacakes
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    Corinacakes Super Moderator Theme Developer

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    MrTaterhead!! You are tha man! I haven't actually done this but I always hated that we could only fit 4 icons across the screen. I then discovered sweeterhome which allows ANY size icons (big or small) and got hooked. If i had never found that....I'd be in love with you! Great job!!!

    Here's a screenshot of my app drawer and why I could probably never switch to a traditional home replacement:

    [​IMG]
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