One-Click SuperCID and Bootloader Unlock for AT&T / Rogers HTC One X
With the resurgence of HTC development around XDA due in no small part to S-Off being achieved, HTC devices are enjoying more freedom and users are having more fun than they have in a long time. With some devices already getting their rounds of SuperCID, it was only a matter of time before newer HTC devices got the same. And now for users of the AT&T and Rogers HTC One X, you can now share in the SuperCID glory.
For those who are unfamiliar, SuperCID gives you some pretty fun freedoms—not the smallest of which is being able to flash any ROM by any carrier onto your device. This is thus quite useful for ROM porting and, if you’re careful, it can be fun to see what works and what doesn’t work from other similar devices. On behalf of XDA Recognized Developer designgears, XDA Forum Moderator and Recognized Developer kennethpenn has released a method that gives all AT&T and Rogers One X users SuperCID with a very handy and easy-to-use tool.
The tool is compatible with Windows, and a method has been developed for Linux users as well. Additionally, for Windows users at least, the tool automates the HTC Dev bootloader unlocking process for people who don’t want to go through the hassle of doing it themselves. One click methods for the win.
For additional info and download links, hit up the original thread.
SuperOneClick Updated to 2.2–Now Features ZergRush Exploit!
SuperOneClick is a wonderful tool. With its help, millions of users (no embellishment—take a quick look at the download history) have been able to gain root access on hundreds of devices. In fact, only a few short weeks ago, we wrote about how it was used to crack open the newly released Amazon Kindle Fire.
Since SuperOneClick has been around for a while, you may be wondering why this update is worthy of front page news. Rather than a major feature set or UI change, it has undergone a significant revamp under the hood thanks to the incorporation of the ZergRush Exploit used in Revolutionary. Thanks to this change, XDA Recognized Developer CLShortFuse‘s creation should work perfectly on nearly any device (barring those with NAND locks) running Android 2.3.x or below.
Here’s a one-click root with almost all phones and all android versions. (including the i9000, Droid, Nexus One, etc)
YOU CAN ROOT ALMOST ALL ANDROID PHONES!
After reading this, you’re probably itching to get started. A simple download from the application thread and a few clicks is all it takes. However, as with any root modification, be sure to read all the instructions before starting!
Do Everything with SuperOneClick for Android
XDA member CLShortFuse recently released a one stop shot kind of application to free your Android device from its chains. The app can do everything that you will ever need for several Android devices including root (partial or full depending on the device), will allow non-market apps to be installed, and even unroot your device if you ever need to take it in for warranty service or returns.
The dev points out that only partial root can be achieved for devices like the EVO, Desire, Aria, and others as they come NAND locked from manufacturer. In either case, the app will allow you to use either Windows, Linux Distros, and even Mac by installing an app before hand.
Here’s a one-click root that works with Froyo on our Captivates. It’s not just the Captivate. It works with almost all phones and all android versions. (including the i9000, Droid, Nexus One)
The program requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0+ or Mono v1.2.6+
Operations systems with native support:
You can find more information in the application thread.
OnePlus One Hydrogen OS: First Impressions
May 28th 2015 was a special day for OnePlus. Afterall, it was on this day that they had promised to release Hydrogen OS, their own homebrewed China-specific ROM for the OnePlus One. And they did deliver, as Hydrogen OS was unveiled to the public in a beta format. Tag along as we take a look at what this ROM has to offer in our Initial Impressions.
You need to be part of the beta group in order to give this Hydrogen OS a spin. However, forum members have been kind enough to share their own links. You can find a number of download mirrors in the OP of this thread. Make sure you have decent download speeds and a reliable connection to download this 618 MB large ROM. There’s also a handy torrent present in the thread to help those with unreliable connections.
For power users, this step should be no different from installing any other ROM.
You will need:
- OnePlus One with unlocked bootloader
- Custom Recovery Installed (TWRP recommended, but others will work too)
- Place downloaded ROM zip file onto your internal sd card
- Reboot into recovery mode
- (Optional but recommended) Make a nandroid backup of your existing ROM
- Navigate in the recovery menu and wipe all partitions except your internal storage and USB-OTG
- Install the downloaded zip through recovery
The installation should take a few minutes in recovery, after which you should manually reboot into system.
The first boot will take some more minutes as all the 111 pre-installed applications initialize.
First Boot & Setup
On the first boot setup screen, you get greeted with the language selection menu offering options between two types of Chinese and thankfully, English. What follows the language screen are the usual guides for setting up the phone.
There is an additional setup screen for using a OnePlus account. Unfortunately, the creation process involved using my phone number, which the Input field did not accept.
Surprisingly, I encountered the dialog box for Google’s Location Service permissions. This was surprising due to the fact that I did not flash any Google Apps package, meaning the Hydrogen OS ROM comes pre-installed with Google Services.
Homescreen & App Drawer
Once you exit the setup process, you land at the homescreen. For someone using an AOSP ROM for quite some time, this comes as a jarring surprise as Hydrogen OS does not feature a homescreen. Or an app drawer. What you land on is a mix of homescreen and app drawer, much like MIUI. The first page of the “homescreen” contains shortcuts to a few system apps, while swiping to the next page uses the card stack animation to display the rest of the pre-installed apps. You can uninstall user apps directly from here by dragging them to the bin icon.
You can choose the “wallpaper” from the preset choices or from existing images from your Gallery. There are limited ways to customize the homescreen as you can only change the clock display widget from the preset choices. I personally couldn’t find any way to add more widgets so I do not know if such an option exists in the first place.
The Hydrogen OS ROM does indeed come preinstalled with Google Play Store, along with a Chinese Market/Play Store alternative. Other preinstalled apps include OnePlusWeather, Camera, Gallery, Clock, Messaging, Phone, Browser, Mail, Calendar, Calculator and Sound Recorder, along with the familiar Google Settings icon.
The Lockscreen is very minimalistic, featuring only the date and time. Swiping up unlocks the device. You can not access the notification drawer, nor the quick settings panel from here. There are also limitations on setting the Lockscreen wallpaper, as you cannot choose outside of the handful of preset images.
The Android Power Menu available on long pressing the power button is entirely replaced with just a Power Off option that slides down from top. You have to drag it down, and not simply click it, to power off your device. There are no other options available outside of Power Off, and with no way to customize.
Swiping from up to down on the homescreen actually brings up a quick search box for apps. To access the notification drawer, you have to make sure to swipe from the very top edge and actively try to start from the status bar. This does feel rather counter-intuitive on a 5.5″ phone as it deters one handed operation. Swiping down again on the notification drawer also does not open the Quick Settings panel, while the button on the right that does look like a switch for quick swap to Quick Settings instead takes you to the App Notification Manager screen.
When a notification arrives, swiping to the right will take you to the relevant app, while swiping to the left will dismiss it.
In the hunt for Quick Settings, I managed to swipe from the bottom of the screen, and lo and behold! The Quick Settings slides out halfway from the bottom to reveal shortcuts for various apps like Flashlight, Calculator, Camera and well, Settings. There are also icons for toggling various settings, just like how it is in the Quick Settings panel. There is also a dedicated toggle for VPN, which would come handy for their market.
The Recent Panel follows the standard AOSP card style, with the addition of a kill-all button.
The Settings app is rather limited at first glance, offering only a few settings. However, a lot of other options are tucked away inside the visible options. For example, the Apps and Permissions option is home to other nifty features like a Startup Manager called as “Auto Startup”, the Notification Manager mentioned above and a Permission Manager (ala App Ops). The Advance Settings option brings up the Developer Options screen, which is enabled by default, saving you multiple taps on the Build Number (the entry of which does not exist).
The default app in Hydrogen OS features 3 tabs: Call Log (default), Contacts and a “Yellow Pages” tab, along with a Floating Action Button for displaying the dialpad. The Yellow Pages tab is one of those areas in Hydrogen OS which does not have any English elements, but based on my interaction, the tab contains shortcuts for services like Recharge, Cab Services, Movies and Travel.
The Hydrogen OS Gallery app comes with two tabs: Photos and All Pictures. The Photos tab which is the default tab, displays only pictures and videos taken via the phone’s camera and is presented in a grid layout sorted through date.
The All Pictures tab displays a folder list, with individual elements inside the folders following the grid layout and sorted as date modified. There are no other sort options present.
The clock app is one of those areas where stock Android should borrow from, as far as theming goes. The 4 standard tabs are present: Alarm, Clock, Timer, Stopwatch.
There is also a built-in time convertor present in the Clock tab, which can convert any time to a host of timezones (rather than displaying only the current time in various zones).
The camera present is an unthemed, stock AOSP camera app. Stock functionality is intact, so nothing more to mention here.
Calendar & Calculator
The calendar and calculator apps have also received a UI refresh, but both remain similar in functionality to their stock AOSP counterparts.
The Gmail app does not come bundled within the ROM, but is just a download from the Store away. The stock Email app supports Google, Exchange and a host of Chinese email providers. You can also sign up for an email account with www.163.com from within the Email app using your phone number, and I am not sure how I feel about that.
The Browser app sports a very iOS feel to it. There is a complete design refresh different from any other browser that I have ever used. The browser start-up page sports shortcut lists, along with a summary of previously visited URL’s. Unsurprisingly, the default search provider in the browser is from Baidu and not Google.
This is an addition to the stock apps present. It features a unique design and animations. The app by itself is a visual treat as it makes use of the device sensors to alter the animations. For example, the falling rain drop animation is always falling downwards in the direction of gravity, irrespective of device orientation. A caveat of the app is that it may not find your location at all and is another area without English translation, thereby leaving you with a beautiful but useless app.
In the app drawer/homescreen, this app is simply mentioned as “Market”, but if the folders it created on my SD card are clues, this app is called OnePlus Market. This is another app which does not feature a word of English, so on the basis of UI, it looks like a standard market application for downloading apps and games.
Out of the box, the ROM does not come with root access, which is standard for a ROM meant for the open market. This can be quickly remedied by flashing SuperSU‘s root package.
The ROM is also missing some notable features which have become synonymous with the OnePlus. For one, there is no option to disable the capacitive buttons on the device and enable a navigation bar, something I personally prefer. There are also no screen off gestures present in the settings. The ROM also comes with Double-Tap-To-Wake disabled with no setting to enable it, but this can be remedied by using an app to enable it.
There is a lot of Chinese interspersed throughout apps, even though the system language has been set to English. Some design decisions like separate directional swipes for notification panel and quicksettings feel counter-intuitive and definitely need getting used to. The swipe up from below for the quick settings is a rather illogical decision on UX as there is no indication that something will even happen with a swipe up gesture (I “discovered” it on accident).
The status bar is left largely unused as it only houses the icons for Wifi, Signal Strength and Battery, while the left side of the status bar is always left unused for some reason, as it did not display any notification icons for me even when I had many. It might feel like a small caveat, but for me, I did not realise I had restored my 50+ apps via Play Store as there was no ongoing notification for the same.
The ROM also did not come along with a Music Player app and neither with a File Manager, so there is no way of accessing anything other than pictures and videos outside of the Photo app. Of course, Hydrogen OS is still Android, so you can always download alternatives from the Play Store.
Performance wise, the ROM performs better than Oxygen OS but does not match newer CM12.1 nightlies or CM12.1 based ROMs. There are no apparent lags, but apps take a tad-half-second longer to open even when I had a lot of free RAM. I could not thoroughly test battery life, but there were no indications that the ROM will give stellar battery performance, so by my estimates, it will be slightly improved or be at par with Oxygen OS but not within range of closer-to-AOSP options.
One important point to mention here is that the ROM is in limited beta release and is not a consumer release, so there is scope for things to get better.
All in all, Hydrogen OS is like a breath of fresh air for someone who has always stuck to AOSP and its color schemes. The ROM isn’t one of the most customizable ones present for the OnePlus, neither is it the most battery friendly, neither is it performance oriented. Instead, it’s a compromised mix of all of this in order to please an entirely different market segment which does not contain many English-speaking power users who would prefer the UI of Android over iOS.
For a normal consumer, Hydrogen OS in its beta state is definitely better than Oxygen OS in its release state. The UI is more polished, there are less graphical glitches, and it performs at par, if not better, with regards to performance and battery life. This does say something as Oxygen OS follows a more minimalistic approach from AOSP while Hydrogen OS goes in the opposite direction. As a ROM, Hydrogen OS is what Oxygen OS never was: a ROM to show off.
If you are content with using a closed source ROM made specifically for the Chinese market, then Hydrogen OS can become your daily driver. Even if you do not belong in that group, I recommend giving this ROM a spin only to experience something different in terms of UI. Be sure to have a nandroid backup as chances are, it may not become your daily driver in its current state.
What do you think of Hydrogen OS? Does the UI impress you on the first look? Do you feel OnePlus did a fair job with Oxygen OS? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
The Need for Better Internet on Our Phones
Mobile internet is an essential part of smartphones nowadays… well, for 75% of us. Despite living in a place where my fastest network reaches 5 megabit download speeds, on very intermittent 3G, it certainly is an essential part for my usage, to the point where even with my third-world network, I simply cannot fathom how there’s still a fourth of users who aren’t on data plans. It’d be interesting to see if that subset of smartphone users shares a large chunk with the subset of budget or low-range smartphones, which admittedly see little gain from having data plans – particularly in third world countries with slow 2G and 3G networks. But with apps such as Whatsapp dominating the Latin American markets (my experience here closely reflects this statement), a lot of budget users still have data plans, even the 20 MB data capped package plans (yes, that’s a thing here) are widely adopted by the poorest of smartphone users.
So with mobile internet on the rise, and endlessly tending towards a necessity to have your phone justifiably be called “smart”, there are a few factors that matter for a good mobile internet experience. The three most important factors are most certainly speed, amount, and the sometimes-overlooked availability. The availability and amount bits are mostly dictated by your carrier, and how much infrastructure and generosity they have. The other important factor is speed, both for uploading and downloading, and is highly dependent not just on the type of network you are on, and how your carrier manages it, but whether your hardware supports said networks or not.
This hardware support has to be invented, designed, built, and put into your phone for you to enjoy the next tier of network speeds, and the theoretical maximums of these speed not only increase with new “generations” (in the technical term) but also with the improvements within the technological generation. Perhaps the most talked about improvement of recent years came with the Snapdragon 805 and its support for Cat 6 LTE (Cat stands for category, not cats… sadly), which was originally introduced with the Galaxy S5 LTE-A that was released in Korea last year. The device features a download speed which has an upper bound of 300 Mbps. Now it is very important to clarify that Mb (megabit) and MB (megabyte) are not the same thing. Many carrier employees confuse this and I’ve had disputes with unknowing managers over this:
First of all, they sell “megabits” per second because the number will be bigger, and I think they do know users will confuse this number with the one they see more often in their device’s storage. The theoretical maximum of Cat 6 LTE translates to 37.5 megabytes (8 bits in 1 byte) per second download speeds, which is still crazy. But there’s many people that think their 50 Mbps internet will let them download that 50 Mbps file in 1 second, when in reality it’ll take at least 8 times that much – not accounting for the hundreds of factors that could impact this speed.
So everyone here knows, either because you are an enthusiast or because of marketing, that phones now come with 4G LTE, and years prior 3G, and we still hear about 2G every once in a while. Let’s start by getting an idea of what they are.
G For Gen
The “G” stands for “generation” in the wireless technology world. Each generation is incompatible with the one prior, which is why modems must accommodate for newer and older technologies to get complete coverage – so if you want the new generation, you’ve got to upgrade your phone. The immediate noticeable improvement in each generational jump is speed, as 4G is significantly faster than 3G which is significantly faster than 2G.
The first generation was the old analogue cellular systems, and it was with the second gen that we saw the jump to digital systems – which were pretty slow at the time. Many phones, even new phones, retain 2G because in many markets it serves as one of the primary networks, and on some more advanced ones it serves as a backup solution. Internet speeds on 2G phones range from 9.6 Kbits per second, to around 200. Very reminiscent of the dial-up days it cohabited with.
The third generation (3G) starts at this 200 Kbps rate and can range up to a theoretical maximum of 82 Mbps using HSPA and HSPA+ technology.. but don’t go around looking for that. The 3G covers a lot of standards, though, with known ones including UMTS, CDMA2000, EDGE (blackberry throwback…), and HSPA.
Then came 4G with systems such as LTE and WiMAX, claiming to have the real-life speeds of 5 Mbits per second and more, but standardized in availability and consistency to reach that home cable connection feel. Now we’ve got versions of 4G promising speeds of hundreds of megabits per second. Another benefit of 4G is their “All-IP”ness that allows them to replace the old circuit-based voice phone calling with voice-over-IP systems… something that’s starting to be seen with internet calling being widely adopted.
What does Cat 6 LTE mean for me?
So when the Cat 6 LTE S5 came out, it doubled the theoretical maximum download speed of that of the traditional S5 launched months before. The Cat 6 devices have the advantage because they look at the swath of available carrier spectrum and pull together two of the disparate bands into a single, much wider and faster connection of up to 40 MHz. This carrier aggregation is not new and the Galaxy S4 was the first to feature it, combining up to 20 MHz of spectrum (using Cat 4).
Despite the insane speed limit of these new technologies, in the real world you won’t see them often… if ever. The load at any given time, as well as area coverage and availability, can influence (and destroy) your speed. EE carrier from London, for example, only saw a peak of 60 Mbps in their Cat 4 LTE service tests. This depends on the “spectrum lanes” your carrier provides, and whether they congested with heavy usage at a given location. But with Cat 6 LTE accessing two separate bands, they’ll be able to create more space in some bands, which means that even those who do not have Cat 6 phones will benefit as there’ll be less traffic in each lane.
Is the speed worth it?
This one is a tricky question. For many uses, such as social media photo sharing and web browsing, the speed upgrades as of now will not mean too much. Especially given that the size of the pictures that is uploaded is heavily compressed… but the big recurring benefit will be found in video downloads and uploads. With manufacturers pushing for higher resolution screens that are on their way to hitting 4K this year, suitable 4K media will soon follow. Be it through streaming or batch downloading, our files will get heavier – and thus, if we want that crisp 4K movie, we’ll need to have faster and faster speeds. So, like most things in tech, there seems to be a synergy between the displays in our homes, the media for such displays, the need to have that same media in that same quality in our pockets, and the download speed requirements to access to said media. Technology is a web of intricate interconnectivity and it rarely leaves its nodes behind.
Another short – but worth mentioning – side effect to higher download speeds would be that social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and the like should be raising their compression standards to allow for richer images that would now, in theory, be uploaded in due time. Wouldn’t it be nice to have images of resolution higher than 600×600 to see on your phone’s future 4K display? But social platforms, video streaming, and any sort of download can get faster and faster and still have to answer to one little crippling detail…
Despite the crazy amount of time we spend downloading data on our phones, cellular network data has not kept pace… Carriers are dealing with this increase in use – and its consequential congestion – not through infrastructural investments, but through data caps of various forms. While mobile internet is a “limited” resource (after all, you can only accommodate so much traffic into carrier bands), data caps have a huge downside to all users, and not just those who willingly abuse the system through overuse. Cisco forecasts 15.9 Exabytes of mobile data traffic per month by 2018… that’s about 15,900,000,000,000 megabytes. So congestion would only get worse without new ways of dealing with it.
The American Way
Sprint had doubled data for American consumers in August of 2014… This sparked a lot of controversy all over the internet, because like Jon Broadkin from Ars Technica bluntly put it, “The carriers’ networks didn’t double in size overnight. The capacity was always there”. And it is true – they simply decided to boost data, and soon the rest followed.
These networks also “throttle” the users who “hog” it by downloading large amounts of data using unlimited plans, but according to the major carriers only the top 5% of users face this. The throttling and data caps are the scythe and hammer of the american carrier regime, and the regime is corrupt. The network doesn’t really analyze the past usage patterns of the users, how much data they’ve used that month, or where and at what time – it just throttles based on how much stress the band has at the moment. This means that everyone suffers from the data hoarders with unlimited plans that try to use their mobile connections as their home Wi-Fi. Peak time management and other thresholds don’t really work either.
The big problem with data caps is that they made the incredible newer generations and standards a waste of money. They make the virtues of these technologies and services borderline useless past a certain point. Think about it: a 300 Mbit per second connection would drain your 500mb data cap in 13.333 seconds. Imagine how horrible it would be if your friend was using your phone and accidentally (or willingly, but then he shouldn’t be your friend) clicked a download link that was big enough to drain a huge chunk of your data in one quick go? You could be rendered dataless (or speedless for some) over silly mistakes, such as an app defaulting to a high quality stream.
Moreover, once you go over your data cap, you are at the risk of being throttled over nothing (hence “speedless” in the previous paragraph). So once you go into a congested area, you can kiss your Cat 6 download speed bye-bye. So they are forcing you to be extremely careful with the service they promote so much. You have every reason not to use their service, and use Wi-Fi as much as possible, even if slower and even if you are unlimited, to get to the end of the month without facing a severe disadvantage.
So while unlimited data for everyone isn’t ideal (because of the previously mentioned constraints of cellular infrastructure), these data caps are severely hurting the service that is provided to americans – that pay top price for it, by the way…
While some networks such as T-Mobile and Sprint still offer unlimited data, it is sad that the widest-reaching and best-performing networks in America are resorting to these cheap anti-funding campaign by circling through the problem with barriers that result in a sub-par mobile experience.
Progress versus Greed
So as we see, arguably the most important market for the big OEMs pushing these technologies forward features the most expensive mobile connections, and, for said price, less-than-stellar service. And such a service degrades the impact of these technologies, that in the end shape the services we love – and the progress of many industries. Just like Netflix wouldn’t exist with the internet speeds we have today, and the invention of broadband internet, we can barely predict what kind of services we are missing out on due to the greed of the carriers that limit the reach of our smartphone’s intelligence. And with the American market being one where the mobile manufacturers thrive the most in sales, with it being such an important region to the mobile world, these limits indirectly affect all of us, for it is known that countries like America end up dictating the technological standards of many nations that soon follow, and many OEMs adapt and adjust to american demand first and foremost.
Luckily there are honest services in important markets, and countries like South Korea keep pushing mobile internet forward. They are now investing into a 5G wireless service that would be hundreds of times faster than the current 4G networks, with download speeds surpassing 800 megabytes (yes, megabytes this time) per second. Hopefully american consumers stop sitting around in conformism and demand en masse that their services pick up their slack and provide them with the promises they tout. Hopefully bureaucratic enterprises aid the consumers in their struggle against capitalist greed. Hopefully Firefly comes back on air. All these things are unlikely, but we can still hope… It’s 2015, America, and you are too wealthy for this… behave like a first-world superpower should.
Personal experience annex: I live in a country where it’s really cheap to get an unlimited data plan (heavy throttling past threshold included, though), which grants you access to a very poor quality 3G network that’s either never there or gets you throttled as soon as you want to do something worthwhile (like a skype call or streaming)… but you can keep trying as much as you want and eventually get everything you need. The service is very poor, and very expensive (comparatively, once you adjust it to our salaries), with terrible customer support. I’ve lived in America for months at a time, and have experienced American mobile speeds as well… I faced severe disappointment when I learned that their powerful 4G networks suffered from many of the problems my third-world’s country gave us, plus all these restrictions that severely cripple the experience for just about everyone on certain carriers. I came back to my poor country’s poor internet thinking “at least I’ve got unlimited data…”.
Make a Pre-Rooted Stock Sony ROMs in Just Few Clicks
Many users don’t see any particular reason to change out the stock firmware for AOSP-derived offerings. OEMs for the most part are now taking things much more seriously, and their firmwares are pretty much usable unlike a few years ago. Some of you might remember how “fluid” Eclair was on some devices, which illustrates the past problem with skinned ROM performance.
A pre-rooted stock ROM is still a good choice for many users, as it offers all the device-specific features along with the power-user friendly goodies of root. While copying the requisite files to make a ROM pre-rooted is easy as pie, extracting the stock image isn’t. If you want to extract a firmware for Sony device, you need to use a Flashtool and lots of time waiting for the output. Those of you who want to have a pre-rooted stock ROM made in just few simple moves should try the tool written by XDA Senior Member zxz0O0. PRFCreator is a Windows-only tool that creates a pre-rooted stock image in just few clicks. The output file can be flashed right away onto your device.
To get the flashable.zip you need to have three elements: a working FTF file with a firmware to your phone (you can create it yourself with Flashtool), a SuperSU package, and a dual boot package. You can get them from the resources provided in the thread.
You don’t have to wait for someone to root a stock firmware for you. Do it yourself, since it’s very easy. Get the app from the PRGCreator thread and give your Sony device a pre-rooted stock ROM.
HTC Roadmap for Android L and 4.4.4 Updates Leaked! SuperSU Updated to Support Android L Preview – XDA Developer TV
Android 4.4.4 roadmap from HTC for their device updates has been leaked! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of SuperSU being updated to root Android L developer preview. Also be sure the check out the story talking about what the Android L developer preview really is and what it all means! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Deep Sleep Battery Saver. Then, TK reviewed the Sony Xperia X2. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of QuickClick. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
MotoTool All In One Converts Your Moto G Into GPe
One might say that there really aren’t many perks that the Moto G GPe can offer over its regular counterpart. Thanks to Moto G’s timely updates from the previously Google owned Motorola, the near stock Android platform its running, and the uninvasive and minimal additions (or tweaks) Motorola has included with the regular Moto G, this opinion may not be too far from the truth. But the GPe still does has its appeals, with the most obvious being its undisturbed, intact Android experience.
So if you are after the GPe experience but currently own a regular Moto G, you may want to check out MotoTool All In One (AIO) by XDA Senior Member alonsoch. Much like the previously featured MotoTool, AIO performs a number of functions a new owner of the Moto G, both regular and GPe, needs to do to get started, such as:
- Flash stock, CWM, and TWRP recoveries
- Install drivers
- Push SuperS2 to SD
What makes AIO different, however, is its ability to also convert your regular Moto G to the GPe with only a few clicks. Just download a GPe firmware, place it in the designated folder on your PC, and press “Convert.” If you come across an issue where there is no signal after conversion, alonsoch has provided the a brief guide on overcoming this.
So if you are interested in giving this tool a go, visit the original thread for more information.
Samsung Shares Infographic on Evolution of Smartphone Displays
Just in case you weren’t content with a single fancy infographic this morning, Samsung has shared one of its own. But rather than detailing the Android update process, Samsung’s dose of edutainment shows the evolution of cell phone display technology.
The infographic begins with the company’s first analog cell phone, the SH100 back in 1988. It then chronicles the journey over the years to the first color phone in 2002, the first touch screen in 2009, the original Galaxy S in 2010, all the way to today’s newest flagships and their fancy 1080p HD Super AMOLED displays.
While you are probably familiar with most of the devices and specs Samsung has highlighted, it is interesting to see it all put into perspective in fun infographic form. Head over to the source link or click the thumbnail below to check out the full graphic.
Live from HTC’s NYC Press Event (Unveiling of the HTC One)
We’re here live at HTC’s press event in the lovely (and frigid) Manhattan, where we anticipate many important flagship products will be launched. Much speculation has been made regarding the possible official appearance of a certain highly anticipated device. At this point, it seems all but certain.
Update: That’s a wrap. The new HTC One has seen the light of day. Those interested should visit our preliminary benchmarks article. Also, those looking to watch the entire presentation themselves can do so courtesy of a rebroadcast care of commenter/reader siemz.
Update 2: Pictures taken with a real camera added after the break.
Holiday Guide 2012: Best Android Phone of the Year
Every year, it seems that we are inundated with a greater number of smartphone options. In fact, this choice is part of what makes Android great when compared to other alternatives. But at the same time, it can also be a bit overwhelming. So we’ll be breaking down the available options for this year’s Holiday season by carrier, as well as some carrier-independent options.
Big Red has one of the largest selections of Android devices in the industry. They also have not only been the most restrictive regarding bootloaders, but they also really want to see what you do with your device. That said, here are our top options for the Holiday Season.
HTC Droid DNA
The HTC Droid DNA is undoubtedly a special device. HTC’s late 2012 flagship packs powerful specs, a remarkably high resolution screen, and sleek curves to make any gadget lover drool. Along with its Japanese cousin the J Butterfly, the Droid DNA packs the first 1080p mobile phone display. Given the 5-inch display size, this equates to a remarkable 440 ppi.
Not just pretty to look at, the Droid DNA also packs a punch thanks to its 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, LTE connectivity, and 2020 mAh battery. While the development potential has yet to be seen, the DNA’s hardware is certainly top notch.
Also Consider: Motorola Droid RAZR HD
The Motorola Droid RAZR HD features a 720p, 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD screen, an 8 MP rear-facing camera capable of shooting 1080p video, a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, NFC, 4G LTE, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, and up to 24 hrs of battery life.
This is all packed into a thin Kevlar fiber case with waterproof coating. The RAZR HD is also global-ready, making it a perfect option if you’re on Verizon’s CDMA network in the States but need to travel internationally on occasion.
Big Blue has consistently brought high end devices in the market into their inventory, and this year is no exception. Adding to the carrier’s allure is their use of the same GSM frequencies as the majority of other carriers across the globe. Because of this, international devices will work on their network.
Sony Xperia TL
The Sony Xperia TL is the newest top-of-the-line device from Sony. With LTE connectivity, a 4.6-inch display packing a 720p resolution, NFC, a 13 MP rear-facing camera with 16x zoom, a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, and a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, the Xperia TL is certainly a powerful device.
And if that’s not enough, it’s also the device that James Bond uses. How could you go wrong?
T-Mobile continues to hang around, defying the odds for quite some time now. Some thought the failed acquisition by AT&T signaled doom for the carrier, but it seems to have re-energized their direction, and they’ve begun to expand again. Because they use slightly different frequencies than AT&T, not all international devices will work. But thanks to the failed acquisition, they were able to acquire additional AWS spectrum and more and more AT&T devices can work on the T-Mobile network.
Samsung Galaxy S III
The Galaxy S III is the successor to Samsung’s best-selling Galaxy S II. It has a bigger, 4.8″ 720p Super AMOLED HD display. Aside from the upgraded screen, the device also offers 2 GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 for all US variants.
It ships with Samsung’s Nature UX interface, which is the latest version of the OEM skin TouchWiz. It’s available in 16, 32, and 64GB configurations. It’s also available in pebble blue or marble white.
Sprint remains as the #3 carrier in the US, and this isn’t changing in the foreseeable future. Sprint has a habit of only carrying a few top-of-the-line options, but that looks like it might be changing thanks to recent additions to its lineup.
LG Optimus G
A close relative to the Google Nexus 4, the Optimus G is a quality device. The Optimus G delivers the same quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB RAM as it’s brother, but differs from the Nexus 4 with a 13MP camera and official support for LTE.
Needless to say, it offers top notch specs that ensure the phone won’t be outdated any time soon. It is also a global-ready device, giving you loads of flexibility when visiting other countries. If you’re looking for a very capable device on Sprint, we recommend taking a closer look.
Sometimes flagship devices are deployed across multiple carriers. It wouldn’t be fair to just list that one device and not pay attention to the other quality devices available for each carrier. Because of this, we have a separate category for this year’s flagship device that set the bar high for each carrier.
Samsung Galaxy S III
The hype for the Samsung Galaxy S III began the moment the Samsung Galaxy S II launched in early 2011. When the SGS3 debuted in early 2012, it was met with mixed reviews.
One thing that all US variants had in their favor was that the device would remain the same across carriers, allowing accessories to be interchangeable. Similarly, the internals were also the same across the board, with the exception of the radio. All variants feature a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2 GB RAM, a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD running at 720p, an 8MP rear-facing camera with 1080p video recording, and LTE on the Sprint/Verizon/AT&T versions.
After selling over 20 million units in 2012 alone, the SGS3 definitely deserves mention as a device to consider, even with the brick-bug debacle and the lack of Exynos source driving away custom development on the international variant, the GT-I9300.
Anytime you can buy something without the chains of a contract and reliance on a specific carrier, you, the consumer, wins.
Google Nexus 4
The Google Nexus 4 was just recently released, and it sold out across the globe within hours of being made available for purchase. Due to the Nexus 4’s ability to be used on all GSM networks in the US and abroad, it’s a great option (if you can get one) for those looking for a new device to use on any GSM carrier. With this being the first Nexus phone offering such top-of-the-line specs, it is certainly a device to look into.
The LG-built Google Nexus 4 is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, featuring four Krait cores and the class-leading Adreno 320 GPU. In addition to the fast processor, the Nexus 4 also packs 2 GB of RAM and either 8 or 16 GB of internal storage. The device also features a 4.7″ 720p display, delivering 320 ppi. Most importantly, the Nexus 4 is one of the two lead devices for Android 4.2, the revamped version of Jelly Bean.
Something a Bit Different…
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is another device from Samsung that rolled out across carriers in the world, and it is selling at an amazing rate. The Galaxy Note 2 doesn’t seem as monstrous in the hand as the original Note did, but still is a large device in comparison with a standard smartphone.
With a 5.55-inch PenTile-free Super AMOLED HD, 2 GB RAM, S Pen functionality, an 8 MP rear-facing camera, and a 1.9 MP front-facing camera, the Galaxy Note 2 is the preeminent business traveler or phablet-lover’s dream. And because the device packs the powerful 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor, it is certainly no slouch. Feel free to check out our full review!
Now, we’d like to hear what is your favorite Android-powered smartphone for 2012!
Access our entire Holiday Guide 2012 by clicking the links below!
- Android Apps / Utilities of the Year
- OEM of the Year
- Best “Other” Device
- Best Windows Phone
- Most Hackable Phone
- Most Hackable Tablet
- Best Android Phone
- Best Android Tablet
Holiday Guide 2012: Windows Phone of the Year
Contrary to popular belief, there is a third player in the Global Smartphone Market. No, it is not BlackBerry. Sure BlackBerry is technically #3 in terms of market share, but their decline and eventual dismissal shows up on every fortune teller’s Tarot cards. Microsoft used to rule the marketplace prior to 2007, at which point they evidently chose to take a nap. Fast-forward to 2012 with version 8 of their mobile OS rolling out, and you’ll find Microsoft is waking up and deciding to join in the game once again. So with that, we present to you the Windows Phone of the Year.
HTC Windows Phone 8X
HTC made Windows Phone popular, and now they bring a very colorful smartphone packed with Windows Phone 8. The 8X matches up well with the specs of its counterparts on Android, squeezing a 4.3-inch 1280×720 Super LCD2 display with 342 ppi covered in Gorilla Glass, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, an 8 MP rear-facing camera, a 2 MP front-facing camera, 1 GB RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage into a very compact and colorful 10 mm case.
If you’re looking to re-experience Windows as a mobile OS, this would be where to begin.
Access our entire Holiday Guide 2012 by clicking the links below!
- Android Apps / Utilities of the Year
- OEM of the Year
- Best “Other” Device
- Best Windows Phone
- Most Hackable Phone
- Most Hackable Tablet
- Best Android Phone
- Best Android Tablet
Sprint Galaxy Note 2 Gets All-in-One Toolkit
If you have a newer Samsung device, you’ve almost certainly heard of XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer mskip and his toolkits. They’ve been released for a plethora of devices, including the international Samsung Galaxy Note II. Now, the popular toolkit has started making appearances on the US variants, starting with the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II.
The toolkit provides a gigantic number of services for users. Aside from root, custom recovery, and unroot tools, the toolkit also features:
Install drivers automatically
Backup/Restore a single package or all apps, user data and Internal Storage
Backup your /data/media (virtual SD Card) to your PC for a Full Safe backup of data
Perform a FULL NANDROID Backup of your system via adb and save in Custom Recovery format on your PC
Pull /data and /system folders, compress to a .tar file and save to your PC
Auto Update ToolKit to latest push version on startup (donator feature)
Backup/Restore your /efs partition
Dump selected Phone Partitions, compress to a .zip file with md5 and save to your PC
Install BusyBox binary on phone
Root any public build (different options available)
[B]Root with Superuser (ChainsDD) or SuperSU (Chainfire) via CWM (works on ANY build)
Flash Stock Recovery
Flash CWM Recovery (thanks to Chenglu) or TWRP Recovery (thanks to Team Win)
Rename Recovery Restore files if present
Flash Insecure Boot Image for adb mode
Flash Stock Boot Image back to your phone
Create tar file to flash via Odin (from upto 10 image files) with 1-click process
Download, Extract and Flash Stock Rom (full DETAILED steps) ESSENTIAL FOR WARRANTY RETURNS
Rip cache.img to zip file in CWM format for editing and flashing (thanks to Adam Lange)
Install a single apk or multiple apk’s to your phone (being worked on)
Push Files from your PC to your phone
Pull Files from your phone to your PC
Set Files Permissions on your phone
Dump selected LogCat buffers to your PC
Dump BugReport to your PC (if installed)
Help, Information Screen for various tasks
Mods Section to Modify your phone (being worked on)
Reboot Phone options in adb mode
Change background, text colour in ToolKit
Activate Donator features from within the ToolKit
There really isn’t much this toolkit doesn’t do. It is definitely an essential tool for most, be it more advanced users or users just getting their devices.
For more details, go to the original thread. For the other US variants, you’ll likely see your releases shortly.