Do you want Nokia to control what you can and cannot do with your mobile phone? Or Samsung? Or would you rather decide yourself?
The bad news: By default, Symbian comes with a lot of excessive restrictions, and the official Symbian policy is that you can't (and shouldn't) have the freedom to do with your phone what you want.
Most (if not all) Symbian phones won't let you install unsigned software, even if the unsigned programs are perfectly legitimate. There's a workaround called Open Signed Online, but this is still in beta testing and in its present state it's inadequate. Symbian also won't let you change the user interface beyond what Nokia (or Samsung, or SonyEricsson) thinks is good for you. Just try to change the name under a program icon or remove "share online" from your active standby and you'll see what I mean. And you can't silence the artificial camera shutter sound if you happen to have the wrong regional firmware edition, even if such shutter sound is not required in your country. The list of restrictions imposed by Symbian (and Nokia, and Samsung, and SonyEricsson) is long, and most of these restrictions are downright ridiculous.
The good news: If you hack your phone you can get rid of most of these restrictions. And rightly so. After all, it's your phone.
Setting your phone free is a cat and mouse game. Some smart people make the tools that let you set your phone free, Nokia strikes back with firmware updates that put the shackles back on, the hackers find a new way to put control back in your hands, and so on.
The latest episode in this comedy is called HelloOX2.
HelloOX by bugb is a way to hack Symbian on phones with firmware that resists the old HelloCarbide method. And now it got even better: HelloOX2 v2.01 plays well on the Nokia E52 and E90, in addition to the long list of phones that are supported by earlier editions of HelloOX and older hacking methods.
Keep in mind that liberating the E52 and E90 is still tricky, because ROMPatcher doesn't work on these phones yet. Check the list of hackable and unhackable phones for the latest info.
HelloOX needs to be signed with a "17 capabilities" certificate before you can install it. The authors of HelloOX2 sell a signed version for US$5, but of course you can also get the free (unsigned) version and sign it yourself.
UPDATE: The first release of HelloOX2 v2.01 had a bug: it would install ROMPatcher without asking you first. The links below point to "HelloOX2 v2.01 fixed," which asks you if you want to install ROMPatcher or not.
• HelloOX2 site (free version in .rar file from a file farm with forced countdown counter)
• HelloOX2 v2.01 fixed, unsigned (zip file, no forced wait)
• HelloOX2 v2.01 fixed, unsigned on Mobile Castle
• HelloOX2 discussion at Symbian Freak (login/signup required), the place for technical support questions
• how to get a free developer certificate
• list of Symbian phones and firmware versions that can (and cannot) be hacked
• all Symbian hacking methods (and a list of things you can do with a hacked phone)
Wednesday, 19 August 2009