Android and openness is something we talk about all the time, but the recent developments in the industry point towards inherent flaws with this very premise. Be it from bloggers, political institutions or corporations, Android is seemingly not open enough. The “War on Openness” is ironically becoming an open war, where many players are increasing their stakes and scope to try and land a bigger hold - or at the very least, restrict Google’s - on what is the world’s...
Heimdall, the Bringer of Illumiation, Enters a New Age
Heimdall 1.4.0 RC1 was released in source form today by XDA Recognized Developer Benjamin Dobell. In Norse mythology, Heimdall battled Loke, brought Illimination, and introduced the idea of social classes. In the realm of XDA, the parallels to Norse Mythology are astounding.
For the uninitiated, Heimdall is an open source project that brings the same capabilities of Samsung’s Odin tool to Linux, Mac, and Windows, allowing kernel developers and end-users to use their preferred operating system. This is important because kernel developers utilize the power of Linux for development and end-users tend to use Windows or Mac. While Odin only works on Windows, Heimdall works on all major OSes. This makes Heimdall the perfect companion for kernel developers.
Heimdall’s tar.gz format compresses your Samsung ROM distributions past the limits of the antiquated zip format and also provides an easy way to distribute packages safely, with metadata displaying the use of the package. Heimdall’s PIT libraries provide a way to generate PIT files from a running device, allowing re-partitioning without a release from Samsung. One of the most useful functions is Heimdall’s command-line operation, which allows for scripting, enabling the possiblity of make-build-install-test with a single command for kernel developers.
In the words of the developer:
This is a fairly large update for numerous reasons. However, probably most important is that Qualcomm chipset based Samsung devices should now be supported! If you don’t know whether your device has a Qualcomm chipset, if you’ve got one of those crazy U.S. telco specific variants, then chances are your phone is using a Qualcomm chipset. The code-base itself has been extensively refactored. There are also a bunch of new features; such as the ability to print the contents of a PIT file stored on your computer. In addition, there are also some nice ease-of-use improvements. For instance Heimdall Frontend now suggests the likely name of files that correspond to a particular partition. e.g. When you add the “KERNEL” partition to a flash, just above where you click to browse for the corresponding file, you will see the text “(zImage)”.This build also fixes the pretty horrible regression that was present in 1.3.2 that causes the “ERROR: Failed to confirm end of file transfer sequence!” to pop-up on devices that worked with version 1.3.1. In fact, the changes made for Heimdall 1.4 should vastly improve both the number of supported devices, and the quality of support for previously supported devices.
With Heimdall’s new support for interpretation of PIT files, all Samsung devices to-date should be supported but verification is required before official 1.4 release. Some of the targeted devices for this build are: Galaxy S3 ( AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon), Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 10.1, and the Galaxy Nexus. Upon verification, Benjamin Dobell will release the full 1.4 Heimdall Suite in end-user format. Also, this writer will be updating the open source Heimdall One-Click project allowing for packaging and distribution of Heimdall tar.gz’s in a lightweight, special-purpose format.github, Release Announcement]
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
Smartphone cameras have advanced so tremendously over the past few years that they have almost completely replaced point and shoot digital cameras for the most of us. Furthermore, since our smartphones are always with us, the majority of us end up taking tons of photos throughout the lifespan of our devices. But what happens to all the old photos you take? Do you store them on an external hard-drive or keep them backed up to an online cloud service like Flickr? Let us know what your favorite way of storing old photos is and why.
Before the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Holo Design guidelines served as the official reference for Android design, right from IceCream Sandwich to KitKat. However, updates to the guidelines were few and far between, leading to a lack of synchronization between Android design and current UI/UX trends. Google seems to have learned from their mistake the last time around, and earlier this week, a significant update was released for the Material Design guidelines, marking the second revision in less...