Advanced System patches bring mind-numbing customization options to webOS 2.1 | webOS Nation

Advanced System patches bring mind-numbing customization options to webOS 2.1 45

by Derek Kessler Fri, 25 Mar 2011 8:50 pm EDT

So you got a Palm Pre 2 or hacked webOS 2.1 onto your older Palm phone, and the first thing you do is fire up WebOS Quick Install or Preware to install some homebrew goodness. And the second thing you do is realize that there are significantly fewer patches available for your shiny new/updated phone than you had before. Oh snaps?

Never fear, for patch developer extraordinaire Sconix is on the case, and he’s released into the WebOS Internals feeds a set of updated patches that address a multitude of customization issues across the phone.

The “Advanced System” configuration patches can be broken into two categories: preferences and menus. Both categories come with a mandatory “framework” patch that lays the groundwork framework for the support of several other patches. Under the preferences category you’ll find patches to enable new functionality in Email, Phone, Messaging, Calendar, and a single “System Prefs” patch that opens up new options in Screen & Lock, Sound & Ringtones, Location Services, Network Settings, and Phone. If these options sound familiar, it’d be because they’re based on the massive Advanced Configuration for System Preferences patch from the days of webOS 1.4.5.

The menu category, however, is a new beast. The patches bring several classic patches up to webOS 2.0 and groups them under the Advanced System umbrella. Here you’ll find the Mode Switcher menu, Today calendar preview, a customizable device menu, options for the power-button-hold reset menu, and even one that provides options for the standard in-app menu. So what has Sconix managed to whip up since starting this project back in November? The patch-by-patch breakdown is after the break.

Advanced System Prefs - Framework: Lays the foundation for the Advanced System Prefs patches, as well as adding options for unknown contact notifications for phone calls and emails and handling blocked numbers.

Advanced System Prefs - Calendar Prefs: Allows you to set a default calendar view (day, week, or month), set default length, reminder and snooze options for both timed and all-day events. This patch also allows you to turn customize on-screen, audio, vibratory, and blink notifications, as well as set notification repeats. On top of all this, icons are added to the left and right of the day/week/month view bar to create a new timed event or new all-day event.

Advanced System Prefs - Email Prefs: With this patch you can tweak your notification settings for on-screen, blink, audio, and vibration, as well as set notification repeats.

Advanced System Prefs - Messaging Prefs: In addition to the standard notification tweaks (see Email Prefs), this patch allows you to determine your draft settings (whether or not a draft is automatically saved and/or copied to the clipboard). Additionally, you can turn off the “fwd” at the start of forwarded text messages and set a standard greeting and signature for your texts. On the messaging front you can set individual statuses for different accounts, including custom statuses.

Advanced System Prefs - Phone Prefs: Apart from the standard notifications options (you have those memorized by now, right?), you can set the default view for the Phone app on launch (dialpad, call log, or favorites) and during a call (contact or keypad), whether or not the app should close automatically after a call, what to do when you open the slider (nothing, answer the call, or switch to speakerphone), allows you to end a call with the slider (excepting when on speakerphone or bluetooth), and whether or not the power button can end calls (again excepting speakerphone and bluetooth). That’s just to start - this patch also allows you to customize automatic dialing from the call log and contacts, whether or not the phone answers automatically upon removal from a Touchstone charger and whether or not to use the proximity sensor to switch to speakerphone/bluetooth. Lastly, this patch also allows you to hold on the ignore button on an incoming call to send a predefined (or custom) text message in response.

Advanced System Prefs - System Prefs: Screen & Lock has gained a minimum/maximum option, shorter and longer time-out options (from 15 seconds to 5 minutes to never), and the option to turn on haptic feedback. Sound & Ringtones is renamed to Sound Settings and has been updated with options for customer low battery alert sounds, charging alerts, and sliders to set the Ringtone, System, and Media volume levels. Location Services gains an on/off toggle to turn off the GPS radio and Google Services. The Phone Preferences app is made available and renamed as Network Services and gains a cellular radio toggle switch.  Lastly, the Phone app’s menu has been modified to reflect the renamed Phone Preferences and adds links to the phone Preferences and Sound Settings.

Advanced System Menus - Framework: Sets the framework, if you will, for the following System Menus patches, as well as adds a GPS icon and ringer switch icon to the top bar. A major part of this framework is the customizability of these menus. Each has options to remove and reorder choices in that menu, as well as set the “quick” choice for menu items with multiple options. 

Advanced System Menus - Mode Menu: The left side of the screen while in card view gets a new menu to change your mode in Mode Switcher. Of course, this is only useful if you have Mode Switcher installed, which is not fully compatible with webOS 2.X at this time (an update is in the works).

Advanced System Menus - Today Menu: While in card view, you can swipe down on the middle of the top bar (where the time resides) to view your calendar events for today and tomorrow. If you have a weather calendar in your Google Calendars, you can also tap and hold to switch between the low and high temperatures. Customization options allow you to remove specific calendars and set the number of days that will be displayed.

Advanced System Menus - Device Menu: The right side device menu has gained several customization options: sliders for ringtone, system, and media volume, security, network, phone, data, GPS, and flashlight choices.

Advanced System Menus - Power Menu: Hold down the power button to bring up a customized pop-up containing your choice of the following: Airplane Mode, Device sleep, Shut Down, Restart Device, and Restart Luna.

Advanced System Menus - App Menu: Tap and hold on an app menu to expand it across the width of the screen. 

Yeah, it’s a lot to take in. Feel free to fire up Preware or WebOS Quick Install to check out these patches and the hundreds of others that are available. A quick note about the Advanced System patches: they are not webOS update friendly, and should be removed before installing any update to webOS (lest you have to run Emergency Patch Repair Utility afterwards).

Also, as always, this work is done open source and free of charge by patch master Sconix, and is hosted by WebOS Internals. Both depend on your donations to finance their continued work, you can send some appreciation Sconix’s way here, and to WebOS Internals here.

Source: WebOS Internals (1, 2)


Just amazing, It just keeps getting better.

I can't wait to buy a Pre 3.

Sconix is Awesome.

i never would've imagined i'd be waiting this long and still can't upgrade from my pre-minus :( *sigh*

You might want to look at ...

-- Rod

Mr Whitby sir:

May I ask what is required to make Sprint Navigation work on the Pre- with 2.1? I imagine Sprint would need to update the app and it's out of your hands. That's the only thing holding me back from attempting an upgrade. I depend upon that app quite frequently!



Amazing Sconix, thanks a million, I just dont understand why dont you work for the Palm unit, they are looking for so many remote developers, you would be an amazing addition.

Actually, as far as I know Palm does not have any job openings for remote developers. You need to work in California, and Sconix is in Finland.

-- Rod

Sorry Rod you are wrong on that part:
We are accepting remote candidates from anywhere, including outside the United States, for the below position. Project work may also be performed onsite in Palo Alto. Please contact Anna Schrader directly at 703-230-2611 if interested.

> Job description:
> Development of applications and services for the above
> platform.
> Must have hands on experience in mobile application
> development..
> 4+ years of experience in designing and developing native
> mobile
> applications and Web applications using technology such as
> AJAX, JavaScript,
> XML, HTM 5.0.

I have WebOS 2.1 installed on my Sprint Pre and I cannot view any of the 2.1 patches. Do you have any advice on what to do?

Rod, would you consider working for HP in a job like this? I am more wondering out loud than really asking, this is a pretty personal decision. I wish you the best of luck in what ever you do and appreciate all you do for all of us!

Excellent work! Honestly, why is Palm not capable of this kind of thing.

Palm could do all of this quite easily. They choose not to.

-- Rod

They've been making a lot of bad choices. How could giving your users the ability to customize their phones to their liking not be a good thing?

palm does not try to stop webOS internals or sconix. so really, they do give you that ability. just install this patch. haha.

There's a big difference between giving me that ability and not preventing it.

In a world of locked boot-loaders and signed roms not preventing it IS giving the ability!

Rod, would you have a guess as to why they choose not to do such things.

This is an honest question. I'm not knowledgeable about programing. but as an outsider it is strange to homebrew do things but Palm not do them. I was curious if is it personal preference of those in charge(like how Jobs doesn't want a keyboard so no iphone with keyboards) or maybe Palm being much much more cautious about breaking existing functions. Honestly, it's always seemed curious that it seems like homebrew always adds way more features then Palm does. Anyways curious about your opinions of why that is.

My guess: They don't want to become overloaded like Android and therefore are more restrictive with such things.

Also if you add a feature as a homebrew-developer you:

- do it
- test it on your phone
- maybe test it with some friends on their phones
- done

If you are palm you:

- do some team meetings to talk about the features to add
- define everything in a paper
- get it aproved by higher ranks
- THEN you start do design it
- then you start testing some possibilities to implement it and how well it works with the existing environment
- then you start beta-testing it to see if it has any problems with any existing App
- THEN in the end you finally might end up getting it approved / or not
- and in the end you can put it into the ROM and try to get that approved by the carriers

* not always all of these steps might be necessary

Just my experience with bureaucracy and guess ;)

Thanks for the response!

yes i feel you on the bureaucracy aspect. I'm sure that and issue. Have to wonder if Ruby isn't like Jobs and just picks of a prototype and says, "Hey where's the slider in my mp3 player? Huh. There is none? Well go back an add one cause people need it!" And that be all those the first three steps in one. lol. obviously that didn't happen since webos was released without a scrobbler in the music player. lol

but as for testing i've thought it very interesting that they may take all that time to test stuff yet, i've never had an issue with my 4x4 icons, or the add gps to the launcher menu, or disabling the charge vibrate. Like it perplexes me that they never add that function but homebrew does and it seems to work most of the time without a hitch.

funny, i never thought of android as overloaded. i think of it as having lots of features. Granted, not always well organized. but take the camera. Andriod camera has lots of features. Palm you're not gonna sell people by offering them a lot less, "for their own good."

I prefer the current set up. If Palm had put this in, then I am stuck with this setup. But with the homebrew, I can try the patches and choose to keep or remove it. I think it was brilliant of Palm to set it up this way and it is the reason I continue to use my Sprint Pre today. The flexibility is phenomenal!

why isn't all this built into webos 2.1 already?

Sconix is one person right? doesn't hp have 48,000+ engineers to try and replicate his efforts?

hello, hp are you there? hello? uhh..richard kerris? hello? anyone?

Do you seriously think they can't? It's a strategic decision. Do you appreciate the way the OS works, how smooth it is, how easy it is to learn? That was their goal, not that you would be able to customize everything. For 99% of the population, that's plenty of options right there.
It's really tiresome to see all this whining all the time. People, if you have no CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, please spare us your whining!

You must have a pre 2 because my pre plus is anything but smooth.

My Pre 2 is much less smooth than my Pre Plus was. I love the faster hardware, but I have lost key features on webOS 2.x due to bugs.

Whining? This isn't iOS where we're supposed to just shut up and drink the Kool Aid. I think this is VERY constructive criticism.

i agree. i think u need to spare us your input because it was even less helpful then what u were replying to... have u also thought that 99% of the population isn't going to root their phone? this is a step in the right direction but all this customization MUST b native

48,000 engineers? Wow, they all must have really tiny cubicles!

if only i had webos 2.0 =(

many people, like myself, don't want to have to do that. palm should just "make it right"

AnAnyone know that patches prevent install Advanced System Menus - Power Menu?

There are a number of them, however your best bet would be to run EPR and start first with these Advanced patches, then install your other patches. When you get to one that won't install, that means that feature was already added by these advanced patches.

Please see the thread page for each set of advanced patches (prefs and menus) here -

In the OP of each thread for these patches contains a link to the wiki pages. Each wiki page gives instructions for installing, using, troubleshooting, etc...

You could also stop by the corresponding thread and post any problems you may be having and someone will help you out.

How do I get rid of the crosshair icon in my top bar?

Turn off your GPS. :)

The GPS and Ringer Switch icons are included in the Advanced System Menus Framework patch.

They are not configurable at this time.

Ah, thank you... I would like to be able to not have those show up at all though... maybe it will be configurable in another version

Plans exists for making visible icons configurable, but not by this patch or not fully at least. So should happen sometime in the future as soon as I have time to start work on this new project of mine which would make this possible :)

Imagine an OS where you didn't need any of this kind of stuff. Oh yeah... it's called Android.

Yeah... That's why most of your "Power Users" on Android are installing custom ROMs on their devices. What's the difference between installing a custom ROM and installing a patch to add functionality? I personally would rather only have to install a patch to fix something on my phone than have to go through the hassle of flashing a new ROM.

You only need to install a custom ROM if you are really into tinkering. Personally... Android has everything I want built in. It may help that I was coming from webOS, though... which was painfully lacking in almost everything. If Android and webOS were countries... Android would be America, and webOS would be Haiti.

you can vote him down but in the end... he is right. HOWEVER, the more special stuff you have going on on an Android device the shorter the battery lasts. if u are an Android power user (which i have come to realize only like 15% of them are) you nnnnnneeeeed a massive extened battery... i have played with many of my friends' Android phones and only a fewww of them actually use the many desktops to their advantage. many have just blank screens. mayb a few icons. hmmm what does that tell you?

with all the advances the Internaz and others have made why would I want an Android?

wayy more program and google maps runs great.... thats kinda why i want one. i will decide when i can actually hold and use a pre3.

I'm curious to know what percentage of webos users even have webos 2.0!?

How do I edit the device menu?

I can't figure it out :P