Turning the Nokia N8 into a Delight?

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Although I haven't tried this personally, for a Symbian^3 generation device, I did note the other day that there's a pretty attractive new custom firmware released for the Nokia N8 - "Delight 6.0 - Delight Resurrection". A very movie-esque title, with looks to match. Below, I muse on what's different, what's involved and whether you should now take the plunge into this mysterious world.

My ethos in terms of covering custom firmware here on All About Symbian has always been "don't touch it while the manufacturer is still issuing updates" - after all, it would be very galling to apply a custom firmware, risking bricking your phone, accepting that the device will be wiped and having to rebuild all your apps and data - and then find out that the manufacturer issues another official update, which you can't then apply.

With the Samsung i8910 HD, it became apparent fairly early on that Samsung's heart wasn't in the device and their last official firmware left the device with almost no system disk space, clearly untenable, so I went all-in on custom firmware, you may remember? With the Nokia X6 (and 5800), it became apparent that Nokia had stopped all further development for S60 5th Edition phones, so again I headed in and got an improved device as a result.

We're now on the cusp of cessation of updates for the Nokia N8 and the other 'Symbian^3' generation devices - I still think that Nokia and Accenture have a few minor application updates to push out, but (two and a half years since initial availability) it surely can't be long before a line is drawn under this hardware. At which point the gloves will be off and I'll start delving into custom firmware.

Which brings us to "Delight 6.0 - Delight Resurrection", announced here at Symbian Developers. [actual latest version is v6.099, according to the N8 Delight blog]

There aren't, in fact, many clues from this 'Delight' promo graphic to show that the firmware offers anything new - this could almost be yet another theme:

Delight CFW

Happily, the CFW (Custom FirmWare) developer has posted the full list of what's different over and above the standard Symbian Belle OS and interface. There's a lot below, so look out for the lines I've highlighted in bold, with comments inline in italics:

- Integrated ROMPatcher 3.1 (incl. Domainsrv autostart)
- Integrated hacked installserver
- Modded autostart (removed system apps), added ROMPatcher
- Full close system apps
- Added useful ROMPatches
- ID3 and EQ editor mods
- added ported Anna and S^3 screensavers (Animation, Slideshow and Music Player)

These sound interesting - anyone remember which screensavers we had back in early 2011? Me neither!

- Anna soundparameters and more volume
- No keylock vibration (removable, check delight FAQ in Additional Files folder)
- Tactile feedback while calls (removable, check delight FAQ in Additional Files folder)
- Delight animation and sound in C:\data\Animations\, you can replace/remove it
Use startup.mif/.mp3 and shutdown.gif/.mp3 and enable warning sound in active profile.
- Unlocked menu (create subfolders and rename apps)

Ah, being able to create sub-folders will be very welcome to some (e.g. Games>Arcade, or Utilities>Online)

- Akncapserver mod
- No USB popups

Actually, I find these helpful, confirming which mode the phone thinks it's in. But each to his own....

- Fast theme switcher
- Reduced Qt popupfader
- No Ovi signup/SMS
- FP1/2 taskmanager

FP1/FP2 introduced a carousel with full height screenshot thumbnails, so this is definitely a good thing

- Symbols in powerbuttons
- Filemanager extender mod

I'm assuming this means allowing File manager to access parts of the file system that are hidden from the standard application

- Smilies across all applications
- Predic on E
- exclusive delight theme effects in e:\effects, big thanks to our team member Allstar12345
- Swipolicity mod (more rights)
- Heapsize and Closing delay mod
- Strategist camera mod (small size, high quality)
- No active diverts
- Music folder search in E:\music\ and F:\music\
- Skip e:\effects in Gallery
- Music Player Heapsize 30MB
- Infinite Browser cache on D:\

Wouldn't this slow Web down, having a larger and larger cache? The developer says not, which is good....

- Voice Recorder mod (5 hours max, 256kbit/s)

Aha - now THIS sounds as if it would be genuinely useful, for recording plays and seminars and church services, and so on....

- Sysap.exe 3.0 by CODeRUS (restart via power menu, disabled all popups)
- No lock/unlock vibration
- Unlimited SMS sending retries
- Send protected files

Useful, this would get round the having to rename certain file types just to Bluetooth them between devices...

- Java permissons mod
- ported FP1 keyboardskin
- extended maxiumum SMS length to maximum
- Nokia Pure font (we will integrate delight font in next update)

Aha - having the Pure font built-in has been something requested by many for a long, long time...

- added Slippery Scrolling mod (you can remove it via deleting C:\private\10202be9\persits\20021192.cre
- modified CPU and GPU config (for best batterie time)
- By default one empty homescreen with Delight wallpaper, max. 10

- Disabled product improvment

- Disabled screensaver
- Delight menu, A-Z order
- Disabled charging notes
- Light time-out 600 seconds max
- Screen/keylock time-out 10 minutes max
- Disabled FOTA cache

Well, if you're going CFW then you're not going to be able to use over the air updates anyway, so you might as well reclaim the disk space reserved for OTA update use...

- Dialer & FM landscape

Deleted apps:
- Nokia Social - just as well
- F-Secure - never needed, good riddance
- Youtube - ditto, this was only ever a shortcut or an old low quality client, anyway
- Nokia Music - does anyone use this on Symbian these days?
- Joikuspot - I suspect that anyone who has a use for this will have bought the full commercial version anyway?
- Microsoft Communicator 
- NFC tutorial
- Adobe Reader - 
- Quickoffice - a shame to lose this, since on the N8 it was the full editing version, but it's probably quite out of date now, in terms of file formats?

Of course, any of the above that are needed can be installed from the usual sources, i.e. added back in.

New apps:
- Updated Nokia Store to latest
- Modified backup & restore and resolver from original delight are included
- X-Plore (with custom settings and icon by BelleXDesigns)
- Connectivity Analyzer
- WebSearch Ultimate Lite
- Internet Radio
- SIP VOIP extended settings
- MIFEditor (hidden from menu)

Widgets added:
- Anna Notifications (incl. Belle Icons)
- Anna Notifications 2*2

These notification widgets were much missed by many in the move to Belle, so good to see these here again

- Calendar small
- Clocks: analogue – small, profile, small digital, text small
- Contacts: mini, comms
- Small: DLNA server, WIFI, FM-Transmitter
- Internet Radio
- Mail One Line and Two Line
- Music player, compact
- Search and Search Mini in ROFS
- Vertu Apps Launcher
Skins from:
- Xinox
- Kang Shao
- SelvaSathyam

Of note is that the Delight CFW is available with up to 57 different translations, including Hebrew, which wasn't even done by Nokia originally for the N8....(!)


My plan is, around June/July, if there have been no more official app updates, to apply this (or a similar) CFW to my Nokia N8 and to report on the whole process - techniques, gotchas, the works. Watch this space.

Comments welcome on this CFW or if you've applied any other N8 CFW - was it worth it in the end? Any showstoppers? Any tales of woe?

Source / Credit: Symbian Developers