The USB jig for Samsung devices can be immensely useful. When used properly, they force a Samsung device into download mode so you can flash firmware over Odin and restore it to working order. It is especially useful when you’ve broken pretty much everything and need a fresh start. Additionally, it completely resets your flash counter. There is an application that can do this called TriangeAway by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire, but it’s always good to have additional options.
If you find yourself wanting to enter download mode easily, you can build your own USB jigs. While making your own is nothing new, there is now a thread posted with a step-by-step photo guide to creating your own jig. It isn’t overly difficult, but does require some soldering. So if you do attempt it, be sure to read all the instructions first to make sure you know what you need to do. You can find the thread here.
Of course, whether you buy one or make one, you should also know how to use one. XDA Senior Member mattcfk has released a very generalized FAQ to help you use the USB jig to do anything from removing the yellow triangle to restoring a bricked device. You can find the full FAQ and support thread here.
Of course, if all else fails, there may be a forum member in your area that’ll let you borrow their jig for a one-time use. XDA Senior Member saywhatt has compiled a list of users around the world who have a USB jig that would be willing to meet up and let you use it. Of course, as with any meeting with a stranger, be cautious. If you’re looking for someone in your area, you can find that thread here.
Whether you build it, buy it, or borrow it, these USB jigs can mean the difference between a paperweight that you have to return and a fully functioning phone. If you own a Samsung device and don’t have one, you should look into it. They’re definitely useful little tools.
Those who have followed the Samsung development community recently have no doubt noticed the current difficulties caused by a lack of proper documentation for the Exynos SoC. While Samsung has traditionally acted favorably towards the community, the lack of documentation is hampering aftermarket development efforts.
Because lack of proper documentation makes it much more difficult (or impossible) for the developers to work with the devices, several high profile devs have expressed their distaste with the situation. In fact, XDA Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx of Team Hacksung and the CyanogenMod team has shared his difficulties, and stated his plans to drop support for Exynos devices such as the Galaxy S III and develop for Sony devices.
All is not well, however. While Samsung stated in a later Tweet that they are “working to resolve the situation,” they have not yet provided any additional documentation, nor have they detailed what exactly they plan on sharing.
At this point, you may be wondering what you can do to help the cause. Since the petition thread by XDA Senior Member AntonLiv92 has at least alerted Samsung that there is in fact a problem, we suggest continuing to let them know that this issue is important to you. However, the waiting game now begins, as we prepare for Samsung’s response.
[Thanks to XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire for the tip!]
October 3, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
On today’s XDA Developer TV, Mad Scientist Erica presents us another short documentary video. Today’s topic is screen display technologies, or more specifically mobile device display technologies. With a bevy of devices sporting differing screen display technologies, Erica delves into this topic showing the strengths and weaknesses of each product.
In this video Erica talks about what LCD and AMOLED screens are, how they are made, and the science behind them. Then, she talks about some common misconceptions of display technologies. Finally, Erica engages in some real world, side-by-side comparison tests. So check out this video, and learn some important information about screen technologies.
September 26, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
According to most reports, Samsung has almost 45 to 50 percent of the Android phone market. Being the largest Android phone device creator has it benefits. Samsung has often cooperated with developers, and we have created a great relationship with them. This relationship has created many great results. However, there seems to be a growing apart in our relationship lately.
XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch calls Samsung out. Azrienoch talks about Samsung’s past and gives them recommendations. What do developers and enthusiasts like to do with their phones? What is the point of open source software? To find out azrienoch’s answers to these questions, check out this video.
Once upon a time, a white knight in shinning armor by the name of XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler brought us tons upon tons of knowledge on hardware specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Captivate and a few other related devices. He and a few other devs like XDA Forum Member TheBeano and Recognized Developer UberPinguin also brought us the key to opening up an door for hardware mischief, and in turn revealed an entire world of possibilities for aspiring devs and end users alike. Not every device is the same, and certainly setting up UART can have its set of complications, including but not limited to, messing your device up to the point of no return (also known as completely bricking it).
XDA Recognized Developer bhundven has decided to try and help pave the way for aspiring hardware developers who are not afraid of cracking their devices open and seeing what they had for lunch. Setting up USB UART this way should allow you to mess with most Galaxy S (not SII or SIII) devices with ease. The guide will teach you how to set things up, what programs to use, what hardware you will need, and certain commands for you to have some fun with once you mastered what you are doing (such as wiping the SBL partition completely clean).
Please, please, make sure that you read everything 2, 3, or as many times as you need to before you try doing any of this. You will be messing with the device’s internals, so it is incredibly easy to mess things up. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, have at it and good luck!
Hello, and welcome to my usb uart guide – aka, how to totally f’ your phone up, if you don’t think first!
You can find more information in the guide thread.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
August 28, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
Want to access and control your Samsung Android device from your PC? You can now do so easily and securely using TeamViewer QuickSupport, which was just released in the Google Play Store.
While TeamViewer has been available on Android for some time, previous versions only allowed you to remotely control your PC from your Android device. That is quite a useful feature, but at times when you’re working on your PC, it’s handy to be able to control your phone or tablet from the same screen without having to manage multiple devices and input methods. TeamViewer QuickSupport lets you do just that.
Unfortunately, the app only works on Samsung’ devices running stock TouchWiz ROMs based on Gingerbread or later. This means that it isn’t compatible with devices from other manufacturers, Nexus devices manufactured by Samsung, and Samsung’s own devices running custom ROMs. Hopefully, this limitation will be removed in a future version.
Legend has it that Admiral Yamamoto made the following statement shortly after Japan’s 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” While the validity of the statement has never been verified, the principle remains that you should be careful that the enemy you try to tease and poke is not a lion ready to devour you. I have seen a lion first-hand in the wild, and their tails will swat at the flies with nary a concern in the world, but piss them off enough and they will go for blood.
In the last year and a half, Apple has filed over 20 lawsuits against smartphone manufacturers Samsung and HTC for the ways in which they have implemented their hardware designs and Android OS implementations. During that time Google has been largely silent, with the only thing closely resembling a corporate stance being a backhanded statement Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt made at a conference in Tokyo last year. When asked about whether Google would provide financial support to HTC should they lose a patent case with Apple, Schmidt said: “We will make sure they don’t lose, then.” That however has been the last statement made by Google about the whole mess. Until now.
When Google announced their deal to buy Motorola Mobility in August of 2011, speculation arose as to their motivation to do so, with the blogosphere exploding with word that Google’s true motivation was to gain control of over 17,000 patents that Motorola controlled. Google CEO Larry Page stated in a shareholder conference call about the acquisition:
“The combination of the two companies is going to create tremendous shareholder value, drive great user experiences and accelerate innovation. Motorola also has a strong patent portfolio, which will help protect Android from anticompetitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
With the finalized acquisition of Motorola by Google in May, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Google would stop letting its hardware partners be attacked by Apple and would take a stand. On Friday Google did just that, filing a patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple for the following seven patents: 5,883,580, 5,922,047, 6,425,002, 6,983,370, 6,493,673,7,007,064 and 7,383,983. The products they are seeking an import ban on are the Apple’s iPod Touch, the iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, the iPad 2 and the “new” iPad, as well as the Mac Pro, iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air and all other Apple devices “which utilize wireless communication technologies to manage various messages and content.” Motorola also argues Apple was fully aware of the patents in question.
The obvious worst-case scenario for Apple would be that all of their products would be banned in the U.S. until they resolve the issue. I don’t believe anyone sees the worst-case scenario happening, but it would not be surprising to see some sort of preliminary injunction until the International Trade Commission (ITC) makes a ruling which is scheduled for August 24.
What is obviously interesting in this case, is that Apple would seem to be caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Concerning the filing, Motorola states:
“We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations.”
It is common practice for a manufacturer to negotiate a license with a patent holder so that they can use the invention or innovation in their products, but Apple seems unwilling to do that with anyone. Samsung also stated almost the same thing in a filing in their current court battle with Apple, that they offered in 2011 a “fair and reasonable” royalty rate for using their standards-essential mobile technology that “is consistent with the royalty rates other companies charge.” The filing stated that Apple never made a counter-offer, but “Instead, it simply rejected Samsung’s opening offer, refused to negotiate further and to this day has not paid Samsung a dime for Apple’s use of Samsung’s standards-essential technology.” Apple replied that “Samsung’s royalty demands are multiple times more than Apple has paid any other patentees for licenses to their declared-essential patent portfolios.” That all sounds well and good, but the percentage Samsung was asking for was 2.4% of the entire selling price of Apple’s mobile products that utilized Samsung’s technology, amounting to roughly $16 per iPhone (and roughly $350 million dollars according to court records). Apple on the other hand tried to license to Samsung back in 2010 patents that it felt were being infringed upon, with a royalty fee of $30 per smartphone and $40 per tablet.
Now on the surface it sounds like both are seeking to be reasonable and offer licenses, but let’s look at this from a different perspective. Apple calls Samsung unfair for requesting royalties on industry standard-essential patents and cites their demands as being more than Apple has paid anyone else, but they were the ones who first tried to license to Samsung non-essential design patents which would be subject to perception for a fee which would be more than double what Samsung offered. Who’s really being unfair and unreasonable here?
So now we come back to the Motorola/Google vs. Apple case. With a precedent being shown that Apple is more than willing to try and license their patents and accept royalties, but unwilling to return the favor, I wonder how this case will play out. Google already has a very adept legal team, able to defend itself against baseless attacks (ala Oracle vs. Google), and Apple has been moderately successful around the world but has lost some very recent cases (ala Apple vs. HTC in the UK). Personally I do not feel that Apple will allow themselves to face seeing their main money-makers be banned in the U.S., but I also don’t see them stopping their baseless attacks on innovation around the world. I hope I am wrong, but I do see them turning around and unleashing on Google directly instead of attacking the partners like they have done, which will stifle innovation more than it already has. Seeing as that has been Apple’s modus operandi the last year and a half, it may not be far off from reality.
[Image courtesy of Rule7Media]
August 8, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
On today’s XDA Developer TV Erica is back to talk about the interesting topic of fast dormancy again. In last week’s video Erica gave an overview of Fast Dormancy, what it is and how it works. After weeks of research and hard work, Erica submits a great doctoral dissertation on Fast Dormancy.
In this video Erica talks demonstrates the 3G state changes and discusses their impacts on the phone and battery life. She talks about how her network changes 3G states. Finally, Erica talks about what happens if you disable or enable Fast Dormancy and how your cellular network provider’s policies can impact the state changes. Lastly a demonstration of XDA Elite Recognized Developer supercurio’s application Voodoo RRC Tool is given. Be sure to join in on the discussion in this thread.
July 23, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Jordan is back today to talk more about Jelly Bean news from the XDA Portal. Jordan covers CyanogenMod 10 for the Kindle Fire and Original Galaxy Tab. The HTC HD2 also gets an unofficial CM10 alpha release. Jordan talks about universal root for Ice Cream Sandwich phones.
In Jelly Bean news, Jordan mentions the Jelly Bean OTA for the Nexus S. Also mentioned are Jelly Bean ports for the Galaxy S II i9100, HTC Evo 4G, Nexus One, MyTouch 4G Slide, Desire HD and the Motorola Defy. Jordan wraps up the video with a mention of the Linux on Android Project. This is a video you cannot miss!
Samsung jigs have existed for quite some time, and have a number of uses. The most popular of which is the Download Mode jig, which is configured in such a way that, when plugged into a Samsung phone, it forces the phone into Download Mode. This is a popular way to fix certain types of bricked devices, when other methods fail to power them on.
However, this is not all a jig is capable of doing. In fact, if a jig is made the proper way, it is capable of a very large number of things. There are no jigs that are commercially available that users can reproduce at home—not yet, anyway. XDA Recognized Developer E:V:A has begun a project to create a modified version of the Samsung Anyway Jig. What might that entail? Says E:V:A:
One particular such device, provided by Samsung, has been used for years to program, customize, repair, debug and unbrick essentially all available Samsung phones. This blue box is called the “Samsung Anyway Jig”, and somehow Samsung has managed to hide it from public scrutiny and analysis, which have elevated this device to an almost mythical status. At least for the common person wishing to repair or modify his phone.
In most cases, talking about a piece of hardware like this is much like the perfect phone, wherein such a magnificent device doesn’t actuallyexist. In contrast, the Samsung Anyway Jig does actually exist. It’s hard to find any documentation about it, but E:V:A dug up and shared pretty much all there is to know with one thing in mind: reproduction. If such a device can be modernized and reproduced, it could spell the end for a large number of bricks, along with pretty much any other hardware issue that anyone might have with any Samsung device. There has been development like this before, such as the hackdock demonstrated in this video by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler.
To learn more, head to the original thread. It is also encouraged that anyone with knowledge of the Samsung Anyway Jig share what they know to help the development.
Not many things in the world that can make me giddy with excitement, but a few come to mind right now: the births of my kid, seeing my wife, the next Batman movie, and Apple being told to publicly apologize. It is no secret that Apple has been on a crusade to publicly paint Samsung as a slavish copier of its iPad design with their Galaxy Tab line of tablets, with court cases in the UK, the US, and elsewhere in the world. Now a UK judge has ruled that Apple must make a public apology, both on its UK company website and in numerous newspapers and magazines, for the next 6 months. The apology must state that Samsung didn’t copy Apple’s iPad designs.
Apple is of course not too pleased, and in fact one of their lawyers said that the order means that Apple will have to publish “an advertisement” for Samsung and is prejudicial to the company. He told the court, “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website.”
Well, then Apple maybe you shouldn’t keep trying to recover from your losses in the market share by means of litigation. This of course brings to mind the famous scene from A Fish Called Wanda, when Kevin Kline (Otto) is holding John Cleese (Archie) out the window and making him apologize for insulting Otto:
[Otto dangling Archie out of a window]
Archie: All right, all right, I apologize.
Otto: You’re really sorry?
Archie: I’m really really sorry. I apologize unreservedly.
Otto: You take it back?
Archie: I do. I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.
And if you need that in a visual, see the video below. And for the full details on the UK judge’s ruling see the Bloomberg article.
For today’s episode of This Week in Development, Jordan talks about a varied assortment of news from the XDA-Developers Portal. Jordan begins by talking about the range of items you can use with the Samsung Galaxy S III. Jordan then talks about a very cool Nook Touch to Desktop conversion and the Interview with CyanogenMod Developer Ricardo Cerqueira.
Jordan finishes up by talking about the developments on the HTC One X and XDA’s relationship with the GPL. Lastly, Jordan reminds you to check out part four of our ongoing How to Build an Android App series.