In my previous post, I did a very high level overview of what software changes I made to my phone for better usability and performance. This time, we’re going to talk ROMs. The Tilt/Kaiser/Vario III/TyTN II/etc is a versatile piece of equipment. However, I have yet to find an owner that didn’t have a few pet peeves for things that were on there or things that were left out. Now many of these gripes can be addressed with just installing the programs we want. Removing provider bloatware is another matter. It is usually cooked into the ROM itself and does not show in the Remove Programs app. Enter XDA-Developers and the Kaiser ROM kitchen.
This little bundle of joy allows one to take a dumped ROM and customize it. You can then flash the rebuilt (cooked) ROM to the phone and enjoy all the new toys. Don’t have the knowledge/time/patience/desire to build your own? No problem. The guys at XDA are fanatical about tweaking and performance and have already built lots of ROMs to suit most everyone’s needs and desires. Personally, I like the ROMs cooked by Dutty. He produces them quickly and they almost always push a new boundary making the experience just that much better. I’ve gone through about four different Dutty ROMs and all have left me impressed.
I am currently using his DualTouch v2 Fixed Full ROM. This one incorporates elements included in HTC’s DualTouch phone such as TouchFlow and the Cube. Performance on this ROM is worlds beyond what I had with the stock AT&T build. Just make sure that if you flash the ROM, that you also flash the Radio ROM. These are separate steps and both must be done on an AT&T Tilt if you use a non-AT&T ROM. Why? The Radio ROM handles the peripheral hardware like the cellular radio, camera, and speaker. If you use a non-AT&T Rom with the AT&T Radio, you will lose the speaker and a have weird issues out of the phone. Don’t worry, the flashing of the radio is just as easy as flashing the ROM and faster. It won’t wipe out any settings, either.
So, how do you do it?
- Download and install HardSPL. This will allow you to flash non-factory ROMs to your device. Note: some AT&T users report a solid white screen when installing, there is a thread about it here. BE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS IN THE FIRST POST OF THESE THREADS.
- Pick the ROM of your choice and download it to your PC. Unzip it and run the .EXE file. Follow the directions on the screen. (There is no master list of ROMs, you just have to peruse the threads.)
- Most of the ROM chefs advise doing a hard reset on your device after the flash. This prevents odd issues. So do this after the ROM is flashed and the device reboots and finishes basic setup.
- If you have the AT&T Tilt and used a non-AT&T ROM, you need to install the Tilt Keyboard Fix. Just copy this to the phone and run it. Otherwise, some symbols on the keyboard will be incorrect.
- Also, If you run a Tilt, now is the time to flash the Radio. Just download the version of your choice (most suggest either .17 or .32 for best overall performance) and run the .EXE. Failure to do so will result in loss of audio and possible dropped calls and system instability.
- Load any CAB files and change any necessary system settings (like configuring email and marrying BlueTooth devices) and enjoy.
Beware, however, that flashing becomes addictive. You quite probably will end up changing the ROM often to see what new gadgets there are and what kind of performance the latest combination of tweaks provides. Don’t believe me? In the time it took me to write this article, I changed to Dutty’s DualTouch v3 test version to see what the hype was about. And yes, it looks like the performance increase is huge.