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[FAQ] Convenient Tips for the Hydro Icon

Robert ZimmermanRobert Zimmerman Posts: 95FreedomPop Newbie
edited October 2016 in Kyocera Hydro Icon #1
There are a lot of quirks to using the Hydro Icon with FreedomPop, and users often end up asking the same questions about how to do X or Y with their phones. To alleviate that somewhat, I thought it might be convenient to type up a quick Q&A style list to help people out.

Everything below is listed in no particular order - just what happened to come to mind at the time.

Q: Where can I find the User's Manual for the Hydro Icon?
A: Kyocera's product page for the Hydro Icon allows you to download the User's Manual. (Direct Links: English, Spanish)

Q: Google Play Services and common Google Apps are constantly crashing or quit when I try to open them. How do I fix this?
A: To be brief, there is an issue with Kyocera's 2.033BT firmware for the Hydro Icon. It took a while for Kyocera to acknowledge that something was wrong but they have released an official fix with the new 2.050BT firmware. There is also a workaround of the homebrew variety available for the curious. For less experienced users, I recommend downloading the official firmware as an OTA update, especially because it patches libstagefright as well. (More advanced users may want to opt for the more involved fix, but it does require rooting your handset.)

To download the official OTA update (firmware 2.050BT), follow the steps below:
  1. Navigate to the Settings->System update and enter the menu
  2. Press Update Kyocera software
    • This will pop up a notification to allow you to monitor the download progress
  3. When the firmware is downloaded, it will automatically prompt you to install it
    • If you accidentally delay the OTA update installation, pull down the notification bar and press the notification text
  4. Let the phone restart to complete the update and enjoy the fix!
If you are interested in downloading the OTA update files to figure out exactly what Kyocera did, there is a mirror of the update here: kyocera_hydro_icon_2.050BT_OTA.zip. (It belongs in the /cache/delta directory, so you won't be able to stick it on your phone as an alternative to downloading the update yourself unless your handset is rooted.) They appear to have updated the bootloader along with (presumably) something having to do with libpredtm and libstagefright.

Details on the advanced fix can be found here: Android Forums - Google Play Services/Google Apps Crash Fix

Q: The volume on my handset is terribly low during calls and I cannot hear the person I'm talking with, but the other party can hear me clearly. How do I increase the speaker volume?

A: This is an interesting issue that I recently came across. Initially, it appeared that using the Hearing Aid setting at the bottom of the Settings -> Sound menu was the proper solution (and it still can be used for an extra boost), but further investigation has shown that the actual problem stems from using Premium Voice and subsequently allowing the service to lapse or cancelling it.

While using Premium Voice, the native dialer can be used to set in-call volume using the up/down volume arrows on the handset. When you are strictly using FreedomPop's VOIP calling, however, that call volume cannot be adjusted. To restore full volume to your earpiece in calls, delete or freeze the FreedomPop Messaging app (you might need to make sure the FreedomPop system syncs with your number first), then attempt to make a call with the native phone dialer. The call will not connect, but you will be able to adjust your in-call volume using the up/down volume rocker on the side of the phone. After making your adjustments, reinstall the FreedomPop app and you should notice that the other party is audible again.

Q: The proximity sensor is too sensitive or it is not sensitive enough. How do I make it function to my liking?
A: The Hydro Icon's proximity sensor is a bit of a pain to deal with, especially with FreedomPop Messaging during calls, as it can often fail to trigger before you put the phone up to your ear, which results in the phone wildly flipping through menus while you are talking on the phone. The sensor can also be too sensitive and randomly trigger when the phone is in a case or even because of a screen protector.

While there is no perfect solution (or even a consistent solution), the controls for the proximity sensor are located under Settings -> Display -> Screen Proximity Safety. Setting the slider all the way to the left will deactivate the sensor, and setting the slider all the way to the right will activate the sensor at its highest sensitivity (meaning it will activate with an object roughly 1" away).

Q: There is no option to enable WiFi tethering in the System menu - what can I do to tether?
A: There are two options here: you can either buy a WiFi tethering app that the FreedomPop community has said works incredibly well, or you can enable USB tethering without paying a dime.
  1. WiFi Tethering: The community-suggested tethering app is Fabio Grasso's WiFi Tether Router ($2.80).
  2. USB Tethering: To enable USB Tethering, you can enable the "Phone as Modem" option on your phone with following the steps:
    1. Download Kyocera MSL Reader from Google Play
    2. Open the app and tap "Get MSL", which will show you your MSL code in a Toast notification
    3. Open your Dialer and enter ##3424#, then enter your MSL code
    4. Tap "Phone as Modem" and select "Enable", then restart your phone
    5. (For Windows Users) Download the download the USB drivers from the Kyocera Driver Software page under HYDRO ICON (C6730). (Direct links: 32-bit drivers, 64-bit drivers)
    6. Connect your phone to your computer via USB, then navigate to Settings -> More... (under Wireless & Networks) ->Phone as Modem and check the box to start tethering
Post edited by Robert Zimmerman on


  • weanutweanut Posts: 309FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
    @Robert Zimmerman great info, thanks for posting. my hydro is out of state(grrrr), i should get it back 1st week of feb. so i can play with it again :)
  • rocketxrocketx Posts: 3FreedomPop Newbie
    Robert Z,

    I want to thank you for your easy to understand tips to get the "Hydro ICON" working properly. Very helpful.

    I did not want to join Twitter or reactivate an old Facebook account to get the "Firmware Fix" and decided to contact Kyocera via email on their support page.

    They were helpful and knew what I was requesting. They asked for my "Dec:" number. After a few days I contacted them via their online support chat service. They confirmed they had my "Dec:" number and will push an update to my phone but it may take up to 2 weeks for this to happen. That was about 5 days ago and so far no update. We shall see.
  • rocketxrocketx Posts: 3FreedomPop Newbie
    UPDATE: They finally push me an update to software version 2.050BT. It took just a little over 2 weeks from first contact via Kyocera support email. Slower than the Twitter route, but then I did not have to join Twitter.

    My ICON works great now and I am very happy with it.
  • LakeNokomisLakeNokomis Posts: 54FreedomPop Newbie
    I have been using the Hydro Icon for a week. I only need it for voice, text, camera and voice recorder, so I am interested in dumping any play apps and entertainment apps that take space and require maintenance. When I try to uninstall these, it appears that they are locked into the android package. I thought that by buying a memory card I could move them out of the way, but they seem to resist. What do you recommend to get these apps out the way without causing the phone to misbehave in critical ways?
  • Robert ZimmermanRobert Zimmerman Posts: 95FreedomPop Newbie
    The first post has been updated with new information about Kyocera's official OTA update - it's now publicly available.

    To download the update, navigate to Settings ->System update -> Update Kyocera software and follow the prompts to download and install it.
  • weanutweanut Posts: 309FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭
  • Three_OneThree_One Posts: 1FreedomPop Newbie
    Thank you Robert Zimmerman! Your tethering article was brilliant and easy! Also, let me add to this by stating that if you are running Linux or a Chromebook you won't need any Kyocera drivers as the Linux operating system or the Chromebook identifies the phone as a "Wired Network Connection" as soon as you plug in the USB cable and place the phone into modem mode. Happy tethering!
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