January 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Android 4.4 KitKat is all the rave, with more and more devices receiving aftermarket builds by the handful practically every day. Some devices such as the current Nexus lineup, the Moto X, Moto G, and certain variants of the HTC One also have official KitKat releases. Despite this, many devices, especially older ones, are stuck on pre-4.3 releases. This is the case for the Sony Xperia T and Xperia SP, which only ever made it to 4.1 in official capacity.
You may recall that a little under a month ago, the Android 4.3 update for the Sony Xperia SP, T, TX, and V was DLNA certified. This signalled that the update’s release was drawing near, as certification is a necessary step prior to firmware distribution. Now, we have even more reason to believe that an update is drawing near, as XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD has shared various leaked screenshots of the updates for the Xperia T and SP in their latest incarnations. And in addition to simply sharing screenshots, DooMLoRD is also taking requests for any other screenshots users might be interested in. The builds come in at version 9.2.A.0.278 for the Xperia T and 12.1.A.0.256 for the Xperia SP, and both are Android 4.3 with a Linux 3.4.0-based kernel.
Head over to the sneak peak threads below to get in on the action. Just keep in mind that DooMLoRD has stated that he cannot provide a dump, ETA, source code, or feature checks.
[Many thanks to fellow news writer SammiSaysHello for the tip!]
January 8, 2014 By: Samantha
If you rewind back to a couple of months ago, you may remember that dual boot was achieved on the Samsung Galaxy S Plus. Well, there’s been more happening with this device, the refresh of the perhaps more popular Samsung Galaxy S. Shipped all the way back in 2011 with Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, it only received an incremental, official update to Android 2.3.6 before being discontinued by Samsung.
Fortunately however, Galaxy S Plus owners will see the abandoned device get back on its feet and march on, as XDA Recognized Developers CastagnaIT, Christopher83, educk and ivendor, and Recognized Contributor krislibaeer have teamed up as DevConnection_Team and delivered the latest iteration of Android, 4.4.2 Kitkat to the Galaxy S Plus. The ROM comes as an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 build, and is currently in its beta phase, but despite this, the rom seems to be stable with all of the major functions working as they should. The working list so far includes:
This is quite the achievement, as this was only possible with a hybrid memory allocation solution involving both ION and PMEM memory allocation, with the latter only required for the camera librarys and drivers. Thanks to this solution, this team of developers were also able to bring unofficial builds of CyanogenMod 10.1 and 10.2 to the Galaxy S Plus.
If you would like to find out more on the development progress, visit the respective forum threads for more details:
The HTC Desire HD has quite the history. With a 4.3-inch screen on the outside and a single core 1GHz CPU on the inside, it became available all the way back in 2010, rocking some truly ancient software that’ll challenge even the most studious of historians—namely Android 2.2 Froyo and HTC Sense 2.0. It was upgradeable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Sense 3.0, and was graciously promised by HTC an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich. Unfortunately, HTC didn’t keep their promise and backpedaled, essentially crushing any hope for Desire HD owners to experience the benefits of later, official releases.
But as we’ve witnessed time and time again, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And in this case, the HTC Desire HD finally sees Sense 5.0 (and Android 4.1.2) running on its screen. The Sense 5.0 port comes thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member S.a.M.e.R_d, who managed to port the HTC modified skin and the associated features and improvements such as Blinkfeed, from the HTC Desire 500.
Quite a few functions are working as they should, including the backlight, root access, mobile data and text messaging, but the port is still a work in progress, and this can be seen from the broken camera, audio, WiFi, and SD Card.
If you’re a loyal HTC Desire HD user, or someone who’s simply interested in the development progress of a relatively ancient device, head over to the development thread for more details and discussion.
Update: The port has been discontinued. Nothing to see here folks.
January 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier today, we talked about a highly functional KitKat build for the Sony Xperia S created by XDA Recognized Developer RaymanFX and the OpenSEMC team. The release, which brings daily driver-status unofficial CM11 to the much loved Xperia S is perhaps the top choice for users looking for the latest and greatest software on their unlocked device.
But what about users who haven’t or can’t unlock their bootloaders? Well, that’s no longer an issue thanks to a ROM created by XDA Recognized Contributors djolivier and letama, and Recognized Developer atis112. The ROM is made possible thanks to a workaround developed by djolivier and letama, where a second ramdisk is loaded, from which CM is loaded and init is started again.
Letama explains the workaround best with the following:
Stock kernel is calling /system/bin/pre_hw_config.sh in its initramfs, we hijack the script to replace stock behavior to launch cm. To do that, I do it in two steps, first, pre_hw_config.sh will grab step2.sh and busybox from /system/bin, copy them to /tmp, relink busybox applets then launch step2.sh. Step2.sh will grab /system/bin/cm.tar, extract it to / then umount everything to start init again.
The ROM itself is essentially daily-driver capable, with essentially everything working and great performance and stability. However, a few users are reporting occasional random freezes, which can be attributed to some rendering issues. Luckily, there is an incredibly simple build.prop workaround that was mentioned by Senior Member piyush95 that seems to fix this.
If you have a locked Xperia S and want to enjoy the AOSP-derived CM10 goods, head over to the ROM thread and give this a shot. And while this is exciting in and of itself, the potential for other ROMs to build off of djolivier and letama’s workaround is the most exciting part. It’s therefore entirely possible for other developers to get KitKat working on locked Xperia S units using this workaround!
[Many thanks to LLy_BosHi for the tip!]
December 31, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Despite the massive success enjoyed by the device’s predecessor, the Sprint HTC Evo 4G LTE never quite became a pop culture icon like the HTC Evo 4G. But even though the Sprint’s branded version of the HTC One X is now nearing its planned end-of-life, it still has a decent amount of loyal users a year and a half later.
Thankfully, HTC is still actively supporting the Evo 4G LTE, and they have now publicly stated their update plans for the device via Twitter. When asked on Twitter about HTC’s update plans for the device President of HTC America Jason Mackenzie stated that the update would be released to Sprint for internal testing in January, with an update rolling out to consumers in mid-February.
Unfortunately, there is still no word as to when (or even “if”) the device will ever get to officially enjoy Android 4.4 KitKat. Given the device’s hardware similarities to the HTC One X, we assume their timing will be similar. But unfortunately, there is no solid date for the One X either. Let’s hope HTC gives the former flagship as much love as it deserves. But if this never happens, there’s always XDA.
It’s pretty much a proven, scientific fact that the HTC Pico (a.k.a. Explorer) is one heck of a trooper. Its 3.2 inch screen, 600 MHz processor, and 512 MB of RAM have seen more action than the latest and greatest devices out on the market right now. Having marched past Sense 4.0 without batting an eye, having Firefox OS for breakfast, and conquering dual booting, the Pico can now proudly boast Sense 5.0 on the trophy shelf.
Accomplished by XDA Senior Member xaak, Sense 5.0 has been ported from the HTC Desire 500 and 600 to the Pico. With the port, HTC Pico users will now be able to enjoy the many revamped and new features that few legacy devices get to enjoy, such as a slicker user interface and Blinkfeed. Also, a special mention must go to XDA Recognized Developer cute_prince, whose ION kernel serves as the foundation of the port.
As of now, almost everything that’s required for a usable daily driver seems to be working such as WiFi, GPS and mobile data. But since the port is still in its beta phase, not everything is working as expected, namely the camera and video recording. Other bugs include the default music player force closing and that everything is not resized.
So for those interested in the project, be sure to check out the development thread for more details.
December 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just two days ago, we talked about the release of the Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition, as well as its factory images and source code. While the device’s large dimensions make it somewhat of a niche device, the N1 is a device aimed to please those looking for a very large phone. The N1 is also great for those who value support from an OEM that actively caters to the development and enthusiast communities.
Alongside the release of the N1 CM Edition, Oppo stated that an official CM build for the standard edition device would be released shortly. Now two days later, they have made good on their promise, thanks to a complete update that removes the default ColorOS in favor of the AOSP-derived CyanogenMod 10.2.
It is important to note that to install the official CM build, you should be on stock software and with stock recovery. If you need to revert to stock recovery after having flashed an aftermarket recovery such as TWRP, head over to XDA Recognized Contributor Harfainx‘s stock recovery thread to revert back to stock. Once you have the stock recovery installed, download the CM package from the source link and perform a local update from the System Update utility.
If you’re a standard edition Oppo N1 owner lusting after the CM Edition, today’s your lucky day. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to head over to the Oppo N1 forums to get in on the discussion!
[Source: Oppo Forums]
December 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Google’s first generation Nexus 7 prominently featured Nvidia’s Tegra 3 System-on-a-Chip. When Google and Asus decided to ditch the Tegra platform and instead use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro as the foundation of the new Nexus 7 (2013), Nvidia saw this as an opportunity to create their own tablet based on the Tegra 4. They gave it quite a few extra features, such as active stylus support, and with that, the Nvidia Tegra Note 7 was born.
The Tegra Note 7 launched with a nearly stock version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Now, the device has received its first major update. The firmware revision bumps up the android version to 4.3, and it also brings several new features to the device.
The most significant new feature is a new always-on HDR (AOHDR) feature, which leverages the Tegra-specific Chimera instruction set to produce HDR images with minimal processing time. The update also brings software-based video stabilization and other optimizations to camera performance. Additionally, the stylus functionality has been improved, and apps can now be transferred to an external microSD card—a feature which has been removed from stock Android for quite some time.
All in all, this update brings some significant new functionality to the device, and if you’re a current Tegra Note 7 owner, it makes for a great Holiday treat. Do you own a Tegra Note 7? If so, how do you like the update? Let us know in the comments below. And if you happen to own the tablet and want to gain some oh so sweet root access, make your way over to XDA Forum Member Ksehwail‘s Tegra Note 7 root thread.
December 24, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The almost ludicriously sized Oppo N1 isn’t exactly a device aimed at everyone. No, its gargantuan dimensions simply preclude it from much mass market appeal. But for those of you who can handle the device’s macroscopic proportions, Christmas has come a little early—one day early, to be exact.
Earlier today, the CyanogenMod team announced that a version of the N1 with CyanogenMod 10.2 preinstalled has just gone on sale. The device is available directly on the Oppo Style website for $600 US. But for that price, and at with such large dimensions, it’s difficult to imagine the N1 CM Edition displacing the crowd favorite Nexus 5 any time soon. In any case, this is still a momentous occasion, as the N1 CM Edition is now the first device to come bundled with CyanogenMod, as well as the first time that CyanogenMod has come with bundled Gapps since Google’s C&D letter many years ago
In order to keep everything as open as possible, the CM team has already provided factory images for the CM Edition of the device, as well as kernel and device-specific source code. This is, of course, for the preinstalled CM 10.2-flavored build of AOSP-derived Jelly Bean goodness. And for those who would like to try their hand at cooking up a KitKat ROM for the device, the CM team has provided apq8064-common device source code.
Are you thinking of picking up an Oppo N1 CM Edition? If you do, will you shout out an endless stream of cheesy Oppo CyanogenMod Style jokes? Let us know in the comments below. And for those of you who may have missed it, be sure to check out our recent review of the standard version of the device.
December 23, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
In the past few months, Sony has been quick to demonstrate its willingness to work with the aftermarket development and enthusiast communities by publishing experimental unskinned builds for various devices. At the same time, they’ve also pushed out official firmware updates at a relatively quick pace, even for some older devices. To that end, the company has been rolling out official Android 4.3 updates to many of its past Xperia devices over the last few weeks. And now, the company is adding four more devices to the official Android 4.3 mix: the Sony Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Zperia ZR, and Xperia Tablet Z, two of which saw a leaked build just 11 days ago.
The Android 4.3 update for the above devices comes with much of what we’ve already seen on other Sony devices that have received the Android 4.3 love. It brings Sony’s signature “Smart Social Camera” experience, as well as updates to all of the company’s trademark first party apps such as Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Walkman, and more. Additionally, the update brings support for the new Xperia Themes system, as well as new security enhancements courtesy of ”Xperia for Business.” The full update log can be found below.
Are you excited for the official Android 4.3 update, or have you already upgraded to a source-built KitKat alternative crafted by your favorite developers here on XDA? Let us know in the comments below!
Official update release info:
We’ve been working to blend our Sony Xperia software with Google’s Jelly Bean release to create some cool user experiences (if we say so ourselves) – in addition to a few performance tweaks here & there, some of the functionality you can look forward to includes:
- Google’s Android 4.3; Jelly Bean as standard – bringing Project Butter performance & UI optimisation and a smoother graphical experience
- Launched with Xperia Z1, we’re now bringing Sony’s Smart Social Camera to these devices – our signature camera experience, that lets you download, access and enjoy “Xperia camera apps” directly from within the viewfinder
- We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, TrackID, Sony Select and…
- Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, offering seamless access to both local and cloud content
- The launch of our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – more on this soon…
- The latest Android security enhancements, matched with Sony’s mobile enterprise solution: Xperia in Business
- Battery STAMINA Mode – updated version of Sony’s power management app, now with refreshed interface and more smart options for prolonging battery life
- Increased user control for Xperia Tablet Z, with “Restricted Profiles”; option to create isolated, secure spaces with individual local storage, home screens, widgets and settings
December 18, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we wrote about how the Verizon variant of the HTC One finally received its Android 4.3 update—quite some time after the International variant and other US carrier variants. Well the Verizon-flavored One isn’t the only device on America’s largest carrier that is receiving the official Android 4.3 goods. Now, the Verizon Galaxy S III gets to join in on the fun as well.
Today’s update brings the Verizon device to Android 4.3 (I535VRUCML1). In addition to simply bumping up the Android version, the update also brings support for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, as well as Samsung KNOX.
Unfortunately, the update also brings some forced bloatware, as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from the carrier. And just like the carrier’s HTC One update, it now packs the VZ Cloud app. Strangely, this is the same Verizon that showed so much promise once before.
Rather than launching as a staged rollout, this update appears to be rolling out to everyone running stock firmware and recovery, so it’s time to check for system updates if you haven’t already received the OTA. Make your way over to the update discussion thread and our Verizon Galaxy S III forums to get in on the action.
What are your thoughts on Verizon’s recent trend towards adding bloatware via OTA updates? Luckily, the vast majority of readers here will root and remove the unnecessary bits. But for those who stay at stock, added bloat can’t be fun. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
December 17, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, the international HTC One received its official update to Android 4.3. Alongside the Android version update, the OTA also brought Sense 5.5, which allowed users to finally disable BlinkFeed on the device. Then three days ago, we talked about how the Verizon HTC One was slated to receive an OTA update to Android 4.3 very soon. Now, the Android 4.3 (2.10.605.1) update is here, and as expected it does not come with Sense 5.5.
Despite not coming with Sense 5.5, the 2.10.605.1 firmware brings fixes a few key issues. It also unfortunately packs a new dose of bloatware, courtesy of the VZ Cloud App. As stated in Verizon’s support page:
KEY ISSUES HAVE BEEN RESOLVED
• Increased charging speed when using Mophie Juicepack power station
• Corrected faint ringing noise from earpiece
• Play purchased ringtones
• Connection error fixed in the HTC Watch application
• View the correct date using the all day calendar reminder
• Conjunction words are better recognized on device keyboard
• Backup Assistant performance
KEY OS ENHANCEMENTS
• VZ Cloud App is now preloaded
- Back up contacts, photos, text messages and call logs
- Transfer that content to your new phone or if other is lost/stolen
GALLERY>VIDEO HIGHLIGHT IMPROVEMENTS
• Add your own music tracks to Video Highlights video
- Simply tap Menu>Select Music to choose a song from your collection
You can learn more about the update over on HTC’s support page and by visiting XDA Senior Member ak074‘s update changelog thread. And for those of you tired of waiting, XDA Senior Member carm01 has gone ahead and mirrored the 469 MB update over in this thread, so hurry up and get to sideloading!
Are you a fan of the update even though it is lacking Sense 5.5? Are you peeved about the added bloat? Let us know in the comments below!
December 17, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We first saw official Android 4.3 appear on the international Galaxy Note II LTE N7105 back in the middle of November. Ever since then, it’s gradually been making its way over to other variants of the device such as the Sprint, T-Mobile, and finally the Verizon units. Now, the update has begun rolling out to the AT&T variant of the Galaxy Note II, and it’s about time.
The update in the form of a 696 MB OTA update to I317UCUBMK6 from the previous I317UCAMH3 build. It brings various new additions such as improvements to Multi-Window, a better camera app, “easy mode,” Galaxy Gear compatibility, and Samsung KNOX.
Key additions in the latest update, as reported by Samsung:
Software update includes:
- Android 4.3 OS upgrade
- Samsung Galaxy Gear compatibility
- Premium Suite Features
- Group Play 2.5
- Multi-Window (Note 3 Version)
- Camera – Shot & Sound
- Group Messaging
- Samsung Link (Preload)
- New Easy Mode
- Samsung Apps
The update is rolling out to devices gradually, and it appears to not yet be available through Kies. However, we’ll update this post as soon as the OTA is mirrored.
Have you updated your AT&T Galaxy Note II to 4.3? If so, what are your experiences? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to visit XDA Senior Member wilsonhuang‘s thread detailing his experiences with the update.