December 8, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not everyone has supremely fast mobile data when on the go. And even those with many bars of LTE reception shouldn’t have to waste their bandwidth downloading overly sized ROM updates. But let’s face it: We all want the absolute bleeding edge ROM and featureset at all times.
So what do we do when we’re on the go and happen to see that our favorite developer issued a new version? We download a huge, often 100 MB or larger complete update.zip via mobile data and flash it on the go. This is a given, as we wouldn’t be very good ORDers otherwise. Unfortunately, stuff happens, and not every download goes as expected. When a download arrives corrupted, that becomes bandwidth and time that is wasted—frustrating all around.
Well, thanks to work by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire, this is no longer an issue—at least not for those running OmniROM. Thanks to Chainfire’s work, OmniROM now uses Chainfire’s OpenDelta OTA technology. As its name suggests, this uses deltas, when possible, to reduce download sizes. Differences are determined using existing VCDIFF technology, and the delta files are then pushed out to the OmniROM public download server.
Then, a local Android client checks in with the update server and retrieves the latest .delta file. And one neat trick is that if you forget to update for a few rounds, OpenDelta can chain multiple .delta files to install many incremental updates at once. Finally, the Android app also allows you to automatically check for and download updates when connected to specified network types.
End users should be pretty excited about OpenDelta, as it means smaller and more streamlined update downloads. Developers should be as well. OpenDelta, as well as the whole OmniROM project is open source. Of note, however, users must be running TWRP recovery to use these incremental update deltas.
What are your thoughts on OmniROM’s new update system? Personally, I think it’s about time that a large-scale custom ROM incorporates an open source delta OTA system.
[Source: Official OmniROM Blog]
November 12, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
Modifying and tweaking the look of Android is one of the platform’s most amazing features. Users can change almost every element on their home screens, hence countless number of themes, wallpapers, and mods available in Android Themes and Apps and Games sub forums. All this great work from thousands of members is aimed to make Android look even more pleasing.
Not many of you folks know that XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire, developer of many famous applications such as SuperSU or CF-Auto-Root, is a big fan of photography. He decided to merge his passions and create an application called 500 Firepaper. The app uses photos available on the 500px.com portal as your wallpaper And with this application, our home screen will never be boring again.
500 Firepaper has quite a few options available to set. You can choose which features and categories should be displayed. You can also customize the update interval. Chainfire also included a Daydream mode, which is similar to a desktop OS screensaver that can be displayed while docked or charging.
This app changes completely the look of the home screen, so it’s absolutely worth it to give 500 Firepaper a try. Take a visit to the application thread to get started.
November 6, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan shows you how to root your Google Nexus 5. The Google Nexus 5 is hot news in the Android ecosystem. It is the first device released with Android 4.4 KitKat, and that is a good thing. But as usual at XDA, we must root all the things, and the Nexus 5 is no exception to that!
Jordan presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access and unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 5 using tools from the XDA Forums. First, Jordan shows you how to unlock the device. Then, he gain root access using XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s CF-Auto-Root. If you wanted to root your brand new Google Nexus 5, take a moment and check this video out.
November 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We all knew that the Google Nexus 5 would be rooted as soon as users and developers started getting their hands on the device. And now, that time has come. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire recently received his unit, and we can all guess what happened next. So if you’re lucky enough to already have your own, or even if yours is simply on the way, good things are in store for you.
In addition to simply rooting the device, Chainfire released CF-Auto-Root. As stated by Chainfire himself, CF-Auto-Root can be thought of as “root for rooting beginners,” as well as those who want to stay as close to stock as possible while enjoying the sweet, root-enabled goods.
CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 5 supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and turns the whole rooting process into an incredibly simple process. All you have to do is download the zip from the thread and extract it, boot your device into fastboot (power off, then VolUp+VolDown+Power), connect via USB, run a command on your host computer, and follow the on-screen prompts on your device and PC.
Make your way over to the original thread to get started!
October 5, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Another day, another action taken by Samsung seemingly intended to earn the ire of its users. Those looking into the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may already be familiar with the device’s region lock situation. While not the very latest scandal surrounding the device, region locking a device means that when you travel to a different region, you will be forced to use your native country’s SIM, rather than a cheaper local SIM card. And despite the company’s claims otherwise, many angry customers testify to this indeed being the case.
However, this is XDA, where the impossible becomes possible. Accordingly, there’s an
app XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire for that. Ok, there’s an app too, but it’s by Chainfire.
The device’s region lock is actually a network blacklist, which includes both carriers and entire countries. Chainfire’s RegionLock Away does exactly what its title suggests: It removes the region lock from the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (at least running MI7 firmware), and it is able to do this by clearing the blacklist.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not the same as obtaining a SIM unlock for your device. Further, it seems that purchasing a SIM unlock code not only unlocks the device’s SIM, but also its region. In other words, if you are already planning on SIM unlocking your device, you don’t need RegionLock Away. But if you have in intention of obtaining a region unlock and you are rooted, Chainfire just made your life much easier.
Make your way over to the original thread to get your fix. We hope that this Region Lock is not retroactively applied to other Samsung devices. But if it is, we’ll know who to turn to.
[Thanks to Moderator Committee Member wacky.banana and Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire for the tip!]
October 4, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Certain variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have been rooted by none other than XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire. 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 an article reporting on how Xposed Framework has been ported to Gingerbread devices and the announcement that XDA will be at this years Big Android BBQ.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video talking about Wakelocks, Jordan released a video helping you get started with Ubuntu Touch development, and TK gave us an Android App Review of Focal. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
We’ve written about XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s CF-Auto-Root for various devices in the past. For those just now hearing about CF-Auto-Root for the first time, it’s essentially the easiest and quickest way to achieve initial root for your Samsung device, while keeping your newly rooted device as close to stock as possible. And due to the ease at which this can be applied, it’s essentially “root for rooting beginners,” as Chainfire himself puts it.
Already supporting over 80 devices and configurations, a version of CF-Auto-Root has now been created for several versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This includes the SM-N900 (International Exynos), SM-N9005 (International Qualcomm), SM-N900T (T-Mobile US), and several others which are currently untested.
To get started, head over to the original thread to download the appropriate package for your specific Note 3. From there, set your phone to download mode, and flash the appropriate file with Odin. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before getting started, and be sure to flash the appropriate file for your particular device.
September 12, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The problem with many geolocation tracker apps is that they either sacrifice battery life for accuracy or they sacrifice accuracy for battery life. Luckily, that’s something that Google has taken care of with its new fused location provider. This location API allows developers to (among other things) specify high-level needs with regards to accuracy and power consumption, rather than having to worry about location providers.
There is now a geolocation tracking app that makes use of Google’s fused location provider. Brought to us by none other than XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire, GeoLog can determine what activity you’re doing and modify tracking parameters accordingly. Thus, it switches between all location data metrics (e.g. sensors, WiFi, GPS, and so on) on the fly to give you the best location data possible. Gathered data can be exported to GPX and KML formats, with various export filters.
GeoLog is currently in its initial alpha release, but it’s already usable. However, it is not yet feature complete and has not undergone rigorous testing on various Android versions or devices. The ultimate goal, however, is an application that can be left on all day, every day, tracking your location for you to access later in an unobtrusive manner.
The recently released Google Edition Galaxy S4 has been generating a lot of excitement since being announced. What a lot of people did not see coming was Jelly Bean 4.3 leak. Despite containing only a few minor changes likely that would affect the average end user, there may well still be a few differences under the hood that we are yet to discover.
A recently leaked Samsung firmware based on Android 4.3 (JWR66N for those keeping track) has been found to work pretty darn well on the original TouchWiz-laden Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4. However it was not rootable until today, and therefore somewhat less viable of an option for those who can’t live without their root applications. Cue XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire and his modified version of SuperSU, which is specially adapted for use with 4.3.
The exploit was made public in a Google+ post by Chainfire, and it explains precisely why a modified SuperSU is required. The main difference between this and a regular version of SuperSU, in Chainfires own words, is that:
For this root, SuperSU is running in daemon mode (new feature), and launched during boot.
The daemon handles all su requests, and while this should mostly work just fine, some apps may expect their su session to be running on the same branch on the process tree as the app that launched the session.
Whether these changes are due to Samsung or just Android 4.3 in general remains to be seen. But needless to say, once we see a few more 4.3-based firmwares, we will have an answer. There are also some other differences that will you will want to be aware of, especially those of you using a CWM-based recovery, so I highly recommend checking out that post in full.
If you’re currently running the 4.3 leak on your S4, this is probably something you’ve been looking forward to for a few days now. The flashable zip file itself can be downloaded from the Google+ post, and the current SuperSU thread should be used for any related issues.
June 11, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Last time, XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin explored DLNA. Today, he is continuing his exploration of often overlooked technologies that work with Android. To do this, Kevin talks about USB On-the-Go. All you need is an OTG cable, some accessories, and some time. The possibilities are endless.
Kevin gives a demonstration of USB On-the-Go. Kevin shows you five examples of how to use OTG on your device. From his Xbox controller, to his keyboard and mouse. He even shows you how to use a USB thumb drive to get additional storage or access to files with Nexus Media Importer and Nexus Photo Viewer. Finally, he shows off XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire’s DSLR Controller app. What are you waiting for? Check out this video.
May 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has worked around Samsung’s attempt to block rooting your phone. Therefore, new devices have been added to CF-Auto-Root. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is a tutorial on testing your app with Robotium. And in related news, there is an article on how flash custom ROMs and Recovery to the Samsung Galaxy S 4.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video on phone interview tips and tricks and he follows it up with a video on tips and tricks for a main interview. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
May 24, 2013 By: jerdog
Samsung, Samsung, Samsung, you never cease to amaze. You love to say that you are friendly to the developer and user communities, and some have even bought that. There’s an old saying that says, “Actions speak louder than words.” There’s another one that says, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Both apply here, as you stooped to another low when you started rolling out updates to the Samsung Galaxy S4 that disabled the ability to elevate user permissions (effectively what “su” does) via a kernel configuration.
With the update of SuperSU to v1.30, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has patched the attempt by Samsung to hamper the developer community they so (hate) love. While good for a time when Samsung first deployed this, hack attempts like supercurio’s StupidSU are no longer needed, as they utilized a temporary solution.
In addition to the SuperSU update, Chainfire has also updated his CF-Auto-Root to include the Sprint Galaxy S4 and Canadian Galaxy S4, and updated the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 and I9505 releases. And to top it all off, ADBD Insecure was updated to allow it to play nicely with SELinux on the S4. Whew! That’s quite an impressive body of work in such a short time.
I think it’s time we learned a lesson from some wise, old contemporary philosophers who asked us to get on our knees and pray that “we don’t get fooled again” by Samsung’s words.
April 16, 2013 By: egzthunder1
We have had some rather long running projects on XDA over the years. Some involve simple, yet elegant things like theming engines (UCCW, VR Theme, etc), while others focus a bit more on the functionality side of things. The case for recovery images is one such area that needs to be constantly evolving due to the evolution of the devices and their inner workings. Pushing an insecure recovery into a device is not always easy. Or rather, it is not as simple as some people make it be. Lots of things and information are required even before beginning the process of loading it onto a new device. For XDA Recognized Developer Dees_Troy and other members of Team Win, this has been the case for a while now, but they always tend to come out on top.
TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) is an open recovery project that has been around for a couple of years now. It is a great alternative to the ever popular CWM if you are looking for something with a bit more flair and functionality. This new version, which stands at 184.108.40.206, is loaded with updates and fixes. These changes make the overall experience smoother and more enjoyable. For instance as of version 220.127.116.11, TWRP was given the ability to turn off the screen to save battery while in recovery. Version 2.5 takes that concept a step further and not only allows the user to select the timeout, but now even the screen brightness can be tweaked as well. On top of that, partition handling and selection has been vastly improved, and it is now easier to use thanks to the implementation of a scrollable list. And as if that weren’t enough, not being in the Android UI should not mean that you cannot enjoy a good looking recovery with our ever-growing-pixel-packed screens. So, a theme for 1080 x 1920 was added for devices like the Xperia Z, HTC One, and others. And speaking of which, the recovery is now available for the new beast from HTC… the One.
Please do keep in mind that the new version is still undergoing somewhat heavy testing and there are some bugs that you may run into. On the other hand, if you manage to get this installed, rooting the One will be as simple as using the built in tool to inject SuperSU. Please take it for a spin and report feedback and bugs that you may run into.
Team Win Recovery Project 2.x, or twrp2 for short, is a custom recovery built with ease of use and customization in mind. It’s a fully touch driven user interface – no more volume rocker or power buttons to mash. The GUI is also fully XML driven and completely theme-able. You can change just about every aspect of the look and feel.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]