March 21, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
XDA Elite Recognised Developer AdamOutler is at it again. Following up on his Verizon Note II root method, he continues to roll out safe and easy-to-deploy root exploits via CASUAL, the Cross-platform ADB Scripting, Universal Android Loader.This time, the device in question is the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III.
One of the major benefits of CASUAL is that it is cross platform. Adam has been spending a great deal of time in bringing support for many different platforms to a consistent level. If you have him circled on Google+, you may have already noticed him tackling the OS X upgrade process in an effort to test these exploits for Mac users. That’s where you come in. Adam is especially keen to hear from users of both OS X and various different Linux distros about how CASUAL functions for them. It even works on the Raspberry Pi, so if you want to test it out on one of those and report back, I’m sure it would be much appreciated.
This latest mod will root an AT&T Galaxy SIII incredibly easily, as CASUAL handles the download and installation of drivers and runtimes. The end result is a fully rooted device courtesy of Elite Recognised Developer Chainfire’s CF-Auto Root. This will work even for those who are already rooted, so if you’d simply like to help test for compatibility you can do so without unrooting beforehand.
So if you have an AT&T SIII, rooted or not, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the development thread and lend a hand in making this the ultimate cross platform utility.
If you haven’t heard, and we’re not sure how you haven’t, there has been active development towards an open source bootloader for Samsung devices. In a nutshell, it involves loading the open source bootloader to an SD card, and using some hardware hacking skills to boot from it. All of this had to start somewhere, and among the first things required is finding the UART. It is now possible to identify it on the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
If you hadn’t guessed, this bit of hardware hacking awesomeness was done by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler. This is very similar to work Adam has been doing for the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which you can find here. Why would this be helpful? AdamOutler explains it best:
UART provides eyes before any other method of debugging (aside from JTAG) begins to work. UART is the first thing to do in order to make a device into a development board.
The process of getting it is a little complicated, and if you’re a beginner, will probably take some time. Users will have to pull the kernel from the device, add some command line parameters to enable UART, and flash the kernel back to the device. Since you’ll need Ubuntu (or at least a Debian based distro) to follow along, you’ll be using Heimdall to do the flashing. Then, it’s a simple matter of tearing down the device without breaking it and probing the correct spot. Adam has uploaded a video that demonstrates the entire process the exact spot for UART. As can be expected, there is some danger because you are tearing open your device. Be sure to use the utmost caution and follow the directions.
As Adam states in the thread, he sometimes does these hacks live via a Google+ Hangouts live stream. They are a lot of fun to watch, give you a chance to learn some new things, and let you watch the magic as it happens. To catch the next one, circle Adam on Google+ and keep an eye out.
For the full video, all the details, and more, check out the original thread. Or, if you want to watch it happen, here’s Adam’s video:
December 18, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Carriers in the United States (other than Sprint) generally aren’t fans of Google Wallet. According to Verizon, it’s because of Google Wallet’s “secure element”, but just about everyone knows it’s really because T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon are getting ready to launch their own NFC payment app, called Isis. US Samsung Galaxy S III variants now have an app that installs and enables Google Wallet quickly and painlessly.
XDA Senior Member Prl91 released an application that takes the Google Wallet installation process and turns it into a one-click solution. Of course, you’ll need root access. The app is free and available in the Google Play Store. Here is the full list of supported devices and requirements to run:
Currently Supports: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S3′s.
Requires ROOT, an UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER, and BUSYBOX.
Wallet Installer will install Google Wallet on most US based Samsung Galaxy S3′s.
The process to install Google Wallet isn’t difficult, but it’s a little tedious. Users have to edit the build.prop, install the proper NFC libs, set up Google Wallet, then edit the build.prop back to its original values. Depending on whether you are running ICS, JB, and AOSP, the process can differ a little bit. The app does all of this for all of the supported devices by itself. If you’re a fan of Google Wallet, then this is the app you’re looking for.
For additional details, check out the original thread.
December 13, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Now that 4.2 AOSP and CM10.1 ROMs have had more than a few releases, momentum seems to be picking up. Much like the frenzy of AOSP-based ROMs over the summer, it started with just a few and has become more widespread very quickly. Now, two more devices have gotten unofficial CM10.1 ROMs: the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III and the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Recognized Themer itsmikeramsay released the ROMs for both devices. This is likely because the US variants of the Galaxy S III are very similar. As such, the list of things not working on these early builds are identical and include:
~ MTP Support (May Show SD-Card as Internal Storage and Vice-a-Versa when mounted)
~ Bluetooth is sporadic (Works from boot, don’t turn if off if you need it)
~ Headphone jack doesn’t work ONLY during calls
~ Lockscreen shortcuts FC when setting “System Icons” outside of Stock Theme
Another important thing to note is that the internal storage does not get deleted, but rather it is simply moved to /storage/emulated/0. It’s been a trend that the internal SD card is changed somewhat when flashing Android 4.2 due to the multiple users feature—even on phones, which don’t normally have access to this feature. The 0 stands for the primary user. Since the issues all have workarounds for the most part, these are actually very good ROMs if you don’t mind not having a camera.
To quote fellow News Writer and Member Advocate Admin egzthunder1:
Theming has been as popular on XDA as ROM cooking and development in general. The ability to customize the appearance of our devices is always an appealing concept for many of our members.
Theming can be a lot of fun because it helps personalize a device in ways beyond simply changing a wallpaper. You can theme virtually anything on an Android phone. Now, you can learn how to theme your own keyboard if you own one of the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Senior Member rompnit has released a manual method to theme your own keyboard. Finding a theme for your keyboard can be tricky because there are only a finite number that themers release. Now those who what something truly their own can simply make their own. The process is a little complicated and requires—more or less—the same steps involved in theming any APK.
To get started, you’ll need APKTool as well as your favorite zip program, like 7zip. From there, you tear down the keyboard APK you wish to theme, theme it, recompile it, and get it on your phone. It sounds easier than it is, as the process will take some time and effort. However, rompnit does an excellent job of keeping the explanations as simple as possible so even beginners can get in on the action.
For more info, check out the original thread.
Who doesn’t like it when development teams launch mass releases? As such it’s not uncommon for us to report a dozen or so devices getting a ROM at once. Another ROM dev team has released their newest release candidate for a staggering 11 devices.
The ROM series is called LiquidSmooth, and the team has quite a few developers. It is a source-built release derived from AOSP, and it borrows from a number of other development teams such as CyanogenMod and Team EOS. The device list includes:
Galaxy Nexus (maguro)
Galaxy Nexus (toroplus)
Galaxy Nexus (toro)
Samsung Galaxy S III I9300
Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III
AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III
US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S III
Google Nexus 7
Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000
It’s quite a hefty list. A few of the features included are:
Lockscreen text color, layouts etc, 5-8 Options
Color & Alignment (Clock)
Custom Navbar Targets (Up to 7)
Custom Navbar Ring Targets (Up to 5)
Customizable Colors throughout the Rom
Liquid Launcher (Custom with extra options)
Liquid Splasher (New Liquid Settings)
Framework optimizations to enhance performance
Ultra Slim Size: Deodexed, Debloated, Zip-Aligned and Opti-png
Startup script control (sysctl, cron, zipalign etc)
Forced Tablet Mode with DPI Changer
Status Bar Mods – Battery, Clock, Provider Name Changer and more…
Toggles (Both AOKP/CM style)
So, in short, there are a lot of devices and a lot of features. There isn’t a running list of issues with these ROMs, so you’ll have to check out your device’s ROM thread to see if anyone is reporting any issues. Given that they are stable releases, there shouldn’t be many. For more details, check out any one of the number of device links above.
August 27, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
While they don’t offer any additional functionality over capacitive buttons, the software buttons that first appeared in Honeycomb and continued to Jelly Bean have become rather popular. They’re not only a modifiable novelty, but with screens as large as they are, giving up a little screen real estate for the software buttons isn’t exactly a big deal. Now, the Samsung Galaxy S III and its US variants running CM10 can have their software buttons enabled with a single mod.
The original thread was started by XDA Recognized Developer graffixnyc to bring the software buttons to the international Galaxy S III. However, XDA Forum Member NemesisRE took it a step further and developed a mod that brings the soft keys to all Galaxy S III devices.
There are five mods that users can use, all of which are flashable through custom recovery software. They are as follows:
NAV_Only: none of the hardware keys are enabled (except Volume and Power)
NAV_HomeWake: Home button wakes device but has no other function
NAV_HomeCamera: Long press Home button opens Camera and takes Pictures but has no other function
NAV_StockKeys: Functions as normal but with on Screen Navbar
NAV_Remove: Removes the mod
Not only does it work on any Samsung Galaxy S III devices, but it also may work with any device that uses the same key binding as the Galaxy S III. As NemesisRE explains:
This should work on any device with the same keybindings:
key 172 HOME
key 158 BACK
key 139 MENU
In the this files:
For more info, check out the thread above or the single post for more details.
We recently told you about the CyanogenMod team beginning work on CM10. Now, a significant milestone has been reached: CM10 Nightlies have appeared for select devices. For those who aren’t familiar, a nightly build is an automatic build incorporating the latest changes in CM source for a device. Yesterday, CyanogenMod released the list of those devices that would be getting the first round of nightlies:
# The US SGS3 variants (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint)
# The Galaxy Nexus variants
# The Nexus S varaints
# The Nexus 7
# The Transformer and Transformer Prime
# The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
# The SGS2 i9100g
# P3 and P5 tablets
That list will grow as other devices become ready and receive the blessing from their maintainers to begin nightlies. Be sure to keep your eyes open for when your device joins the list.
Update: We’ve received various reports from XDA Forum Member Scotto70 and others that the Nexus 7 build is currently nonfunctional. So if you’ve got a N7, we recommend that you hold off for the time being!
August 1, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Having a corrupt IMEI can be a real pain. It seems to happen randomly to flashaholics, and having the radio go down on a cell phone really defeats the purpose of owning a cell phone. Thankfully it is not problem that is overly common. Unfortunately, it does still happen. For AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III users, and in some cases users of the other US Galaxy S III variants, there are not one, but two ways to prevent this problem. There is now a tool that will back up your IMEI without much difficulty and a manual guide for those who prefer to dive into the nitty gritty.
The tool was developed by XDA Forum Member <:GeeK:>, while the manual method was written by XDA Senior Member Peoplearmy with some credited help from others. Both methods eventually perform the same task, which is backing up and restoring your IMEI, and each has its set of pros and cons. Without a doubt, the manual way is more involved. However, it actually supports all 4 US variants, although it hasn’t had to be tested on the Sprint version yet. The tool involves a much shorter and more simple—root free—process. Both methods also have tutorials on how to get your IMEI back if it is already corrupt. Between the two, they address every conceivable IMEI concern for the US Galaxy S III variants.
July 21, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
One of the files you often have to deal with when learning to theme is SystemUI.apk. Inside, you find a number of things that themers often play with such as the notification drop down, status bar, and icons. Modifying files can give users a good insight into how Android works, and thus help them become familiar with the files that make our devices run.
Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer freeza, there is now a set of tutorials to help get users get more familiar with editing SystemUI.apk on US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III. The tutorial is actually comprised of a number of smaller tutorials including:
Custom notification pulldown background:
Remove battery full notification:
How to decompile troublesome ICS apks on the GS3:
How to remove Quick settings toggle text or hide Quick Settinsg toggle:
How to change carrier label:
With more likely on the way, this is an excellent start for beginners to become more acquainted with the inner workings of the OS, as well as some of the tools used to modify these files. Plus, who doesn’t like custom notification drop down backgrounds?
To learn more, head over to the original thread.
July 17, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Jelly Bean has been flying around the forums at speeds approachable only by certain science fiction spaceships. With numerous ports ranging from SDK ports to unofficial CM10 ports and source-built AOSP ROMs, XDA has not been short on Jelly Bean since its debut. There’s even been talk of official CyanogenMod 10 being readied for release. For the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III, official preview builds are now available.
How official are these builds, one might ask? Well, the big man himself, XDA Recognized Developer cyanogen posted CyanogenMod 10 for the AT&T and T-Mobile versions himself. Heading up the Sprint version is XDA Recognized Developer noobnl.
Although the versions are 100% official, they are still considered preview builds, which means that there are some issues. The AT&T and T-Mobile versions seem to have the same issues, as posted by cyanogen:
* Overlay for UI (extra butter)- We’re waiting on CodeAurora to publish, UI is a little janky.
* Camera preview turns green during animations and may crash.
* Audio sometimes dies completely
* All the things.
The Sprint version has many of the same issues, posted by noobnl:
* Overlay for UI (extra butter)- We’re waiting on CodeAurora to publish, UI is a little janky.
* Camera preview turns green during animations and may crash.
* MMS downloading doesn’t work but sending & retrieving does work, use a 3rd party SMS/MMS app that can download them.
* All the things.
As CM10 gets more complete—and as more features are merged from CM9—users can expect these ROMs to get really good within a respectable amount of time. Cyanogen has stated that he actually does use the T-Mobile version as his daily driver. So despite the errors, the ROMs appear to be stable enough for daily use. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
For more details, download links, and more, click the links below.
Toolkits are known around XDA as a way for users to get a whole bunch of functionality in a single place. Typically, toolkits give users the ability to root, flash custom recoveries, install drivers, and a myriad of other features depending on the phone. One of the main advantages is that they often make easy what would otherwise be a cumbersome modification, all while giving the user an interface they can understand. For three out of the four US Galaxy S III variants, there is now a toolkit that does these things and more.
Developed by XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer mskip, who’s also responsible for similar toolkits on the Galaxy Nexus and international Galaxy S III, the toolkits follow in the footsteps of their predecessors on other devices. As with the versions for other devices, they do not skimp on the features, which include:
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
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)
Rename Stock Recovery restore files (to stop Stock Recovery flashing on reboot)
Flash CWM Recovery v4 from Team Epic
Flash Stock Recovery
Download, Extract and Flash Stock Rom via Odin (full steps)
Install a single apk or multiple apk’s to your phone
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
Reboot Phone options in adb mode
ToolKit options section (Change background + text colour in ToolKit, change Model/Build, set Model Selection Screen On/Off)
This toolkit is not to be used on any non-Snapdragon Galaxy S III as the images are incompatible and will cause issues. Additionally, the Verizon variant is not yet supported, perhaps as a result of the locked bootloader or because it was released later than the other three.
To get started, head over to the appropriate toolkit support thread:
July 1, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
It has been generally agreed upon that Samsung making all of their U.S. Galaxy S III phones nearly identical is a great thing. It is a very rare occurrence when developers from GSM phones and CDMA phones get to work together on development for a single device, and should bring about a lot of development. Despite most of the hardware and software being identical, there are some differences between the variants. The most obvious being the radio, as the four carriers all use different networks to some extent. There could very well be a lot more.
To help future development, XDA Recognized Developer incubus26jc has started a comprehensive list of differences between the devices. The point of the list is to help developers create ROMs and other development that is compatible for all versions of the Galaxy S III.
Thus far, the list is short as developers haven’t had much of a chance to dig into the devices on all four carriers yet. The major differences identified include the radios, model numbers and variations in storage size have been identified. Some solutions have even been discussed, such as using the popular AROMA Installer to let users choose which carrier they’re using, so the ROM knows what to install. As devices get released and developers dig deeper, the list is bound to grow, so any developer interested in developing on the U.S. Galaxy S III should definitely have a look.
For more information, head over to the original thread to get started.