How to Enable Webtop on Your Droid Razr Using Only an HDMI Cable

December 29, 2011
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    When Motorola first launched the Atrix 4G, we got a first glimpse of what the awesome Webtop technology can do. Since its introduction, Motorola has been carrying the Webtop banner running the proprietary technology in many Motorola phones including the Droid Razr.

    Webtop technology allows you to extend your phone’s capabilities and enable it to do just about everything that a normal computer could do. A smartphones like the Motorola Droid Razr with its 1.2 GHz dual-core processor can do many things but is limited to its small 4.3-inch screen. Admit it–there are just some things that are better done on a bigger screen–like watching HD movies, perhaps?

    Motorola’s implementation of its proprietary Webtop technology can unleash your phone’s true potential. Just simply dock your Motorola phone to any Webtop-enabled accessory and you’re good to go. Enjoy the same functionalities of having a full-fledge computer right in front of you. Surf the Internet using Firefox, connect to your friends via Facebook, or watch a movie on a larger screen. The possibilities are endless once you get connected.

    While older Motorola devices such as the Atrix 4G had already promised support for the technology, more recent devices like the flagship Motorola Droid Razr are not yet compatible unless you buy yourself those pricey Motorola branded docks. Thankfully, the guys at XDA Developers have managed to whip out a hack to enable the Webtop feature on your device by simply using an HDMI cable. This can actually save you money because you won’t need to buy those pricey dock accessories.

    So what does this mod do? Basically, it removes the device ID string check from PortalApp enabling the Webtop option in Dockservice to be available. This hack is like fooling your phone into thinking that the HDMI cable is the same as the proprietary hardware from Motorola.

    Continue reading to know how you can enable Webtop on your Motorola Droid Razr using only an HDMI cable.

    Requirements

    • A rooted Motorola Droid Razr
    • Custom Recovery installed on the Droid Razr
    • Webtop mod file for the Droid Razr

    Instructions

    1. Download WebtopMod-RAZR.zip from here and save it to your computer.
    2. Copy the unmodified ZIP file to the root of your SD card.
    3. Reboot your phone into recovery mode. Make a Nandroid backup to ensure that all of your important files will be saved. In case of a failed installation, you can easily revert to the state where your phone was functioning normally.
    4. Select “wipe cache” and “wipe dalvik cache” from the options.
    5. After the cleaning process, select “install zip from sdcard” then “choose zip from sdcard”. Locate the ZIP file that you have copied earlier. Once the file is selected, the installation process will begin. It may take up to 5 – 10 minutes for the installation to finish.
    6. Once the file is flashed, reboot your phone to apply the patch.

    You have just successfully patched your Motorola Droid Razr to run Webtop features without using an expensive Motorola accessory dock. You may now try plugging in your device with an HDMI cable.

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    Comments

    • vanntek

      Link is dead… got a mirror, or need one?

      Thanks man

    • http://twitter.com/JacGoudsmit Jac Goudsmit

      I can confirm that the Atrix lapdock works with the RAZR.

      You can either use extension cables (they are somewhat hard to find but some eBay sellers that sell the lapdock at the time of this writing include the cables) or you can turn the connectors on the lapdock around by 180 degrees. To open the phone dock, take off the tiny round stickers that cover the screws on the sides of the phone dock, and use a Phillips #0 to unscrew the screws. Turning the connectors around should be pretty obvious but you’ll need an X-acto blade or a sharp knife to cut the holes a little so they are rectangular instead of D-shaped.

      The RAZR has the HDMI and USB connectors on top so the phone will sit in the docking bay upside down, facing the lapdock cover. It will stick out of the dock on the right side a little, so you will have to use a blade to cut the edge of the dock down a little bit too. Keep the phone plugged into the connectors while you screw down the retainer, to make sure the connectors end up in the exact right place. The connectors on my phone and lapdock have quite a lot of friction on them so the phone will sit in the dock very sturdily; it’s not going to fall out and no-one is going to walk by and pick up your phone from the dock: it really takes two hands to take them apart. I do have to take my phone out of the case to put it in the lapdock; it won’t stay connected otherwise.

      No software is required and you don’t need root. The RAZR from Verizon (on a Share Everything plan) with stock firmware already has the Webtop software on board, and Verizon doesn’t charge you extra to use the lapdock (I understand AT&T added extra charges for using the lapdock with the Atrix). The lapdock worked both before and after the OTA upgrade to Android 4.0.4 so it doesn’t matter that the link in the article is dead; you don’t need it. The current version of Webtop in the 4.0.4 stock firmware is wt-3.0.0.

      Before you get the lapdock, you may want to check if it has a US keyboard and a US power supply. I think the market is flooded with UK keyboards right now, and mine is also a UK keyboard though it has a US power cord. The fact that it had a UK keyboard was clearly marked on the box so I saw it before I bought it but you may want to inquire about it before you fork over the $60 or so. Having a UK keyboard is not a big deal except maybe for beginning typists, it’s just that a few symbols printed on the keyboard don’t correspond to what the key does. For example, the keyboard shows a double quote above the 2 but when you hit the key with shift, it still enters an @ sign.

      While the RAZR is plugged into the ATRIX lapdock, the phone battery gets charged from the lapdock battery so you can use it to boost your battery life too. However, the lapdock uses a charger that has a round plug, not a USB connector, so when you’re traveling you’ll have to take the lapdock charger as well as the phone charger.

      Making phone calls while it’s connected to the lapdock is uhhh… somewhat impractical of course, but a bluetooth headset may help and you can also put it on speaker phone of course. I haven’t tried this (yet).

      The lapdock has speakers and a built-in volume control via the keyboard but the volume control isn’t very good — it basically lets you choose between mute, loud and slightly louder. There is no headphone connector and the headphone jack of the RAZR is on the top side of the phone just like the HDMI and USB connectors so you can’t use it while it’s plugged into the dock. From an electronic point of view it’s not very hard to hack a headphone jack to the speakers in the lapdock, but there is little or no space to do it (some efforts are underway though; Google is your friend).

      You can use the lapdock in Phone mode where it just uses the center part of the screen with two black pillars on the side, or in webtop mode where it uses the entire screen. Most applications that you can now get for Android tablets are compatible with webtop mode, including the important ones such as Netflix, so you can watch movies in full-screen mode. For other apps, you may have to switch to phone mode which is a matter of clicking an icon on the screen. All running applications are restarted when you switch.

      The biggest problem I have with the lapdock so far is that I have to take the cover off the phone to use it without the cables. Another problem is that some apps (also including Netflix) are primarily designed for a touch screen which the Atrix lapdock doesn’t have. Applications sometimes just expect you to do a lot of swiping which is really impractical with a touchpad interface: you need one hand to hold the mouse button down while you swipe with the other hand. I paired my RAZR with a Bluetooth mouse to alleviate the problem.

      All in all, I think the $60 I paid for my Atrix lapdock were well spent. I recommend it to everyone who is interested in using their phone with a keyboard.

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