Use RedPill to Unlock Advance Features of N900 and Other Maemo Devices

Written By Sam on 24 December 2009

If you are unable to add new packages and applications to your N900 or handsets based on Maemo platform, due to the restrictions or safety locks in Application Manager of the device, then here’s an easy solution( though a little risky) for people like you. Using Red-Pill, an Application Manager mode of your phone, you can not only disable certain safety features from the Application Manager but also add certain additional settings to it. In Blue Pill mode or the normal operating mode, the Application manager of the device includes many safety locks to minimize the risk factors from harmful packages. Red-Pill modifies the behavior of Application manager and removes restrictions and safety locks of the device, which are designed to avoid users to install harmful packages, upgrade, or replace important system packages in N900 or other Maemo platform based handsets. In Blue Pill mode, N900 or Maemo platform based handsets display packages listed under user/* section, whereas whilst in Red-Pill mode, packages outside of user/*, and magic packages are visible to the user.

Use RedPill to Unlock Advance Features of N900 and Other Maemo Devices

Steps to enable Red-Pill mode on Maemo Devices

  • Open the Application manager in your phone and from Tools section, select Application Catalogs.
  • Tap on “New” and then type “matrix” into the “web Address” field.
  • On the selection screen which features Red-Pill and Blue-Pill, Select Red-Pill which enables Red-Pill mode unlocking all the safety locks of your Application Manager.
  • Now new buttons like ‘Settings’ and ‘Install from File’ are visible on your Application Catalog.
  • If you have Internet- connection, your Application Manager will get updated and displays a whole lot of packages for your utilization.

Setting available for N900 after enabling Red-Pill mode

Listed below are the setting options available for your N900 or Maemo based handsets, once the Red-Pill mode has been enabled for the Application Manager.

Clean apt cache: When Clean apt cache is activated, an equivalent of “apt-get clean” is performed after every install or update in your N900, which is almost similar to the behavior for blue-pill mode.

Assume net connection: Assume net connection will not ask for an active IAP before downloading. This setting is beneficial if you are using a network connection, however, the tablet connectivity API’s are not available in this mode.

Break locks: As the name indicates, the Break Locks can be used to break the required safety locks. This is default behavior of the Blue-Pill mode in N900 or the Maemo based handsets.

Show dependencies and Show all packages: Some dependencies from the package are displayed on the details dialog when the “show dependencies” is selected from the settings. The “Show all packages” setting allows you to view and install packages from any section.

Show magic system package: With not yet disclosed functionalities, Show magic system package is certain to include “magic:sys” package in the list of packages into your device. Updating that package is similar to “apt-get upgrade” of your device.

Include package details in log: If “Include package details in log” setting is active, then the details dialog of any will be saved as a Log, which can be accessed easily and used while reporting complicated dependency issues.

Use MMC to download packages: MMC settings enable you to downloaded packages into a temporary directory of available MMC having sufficient free space. From the temporary directory, the packages are then installed into the flash memory. MMC’s can be considered as either internal or removable MMC.

Always check for updates: Enabling this setting removes the refresh button from the toolbar and performs a “Checking for updates” operation whenever you switch to the “Browse installable applications” or “Check for updates” view.

Though there are many interesting uses of unlocking your N900 or Maemo based handsets using Red-Pill, experts recommend sticking to the Blue-Pill mode if you are not sure of managing the advance features.

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