Device customization is a great thing, and one of the best places to begin is your home screen wallpaper. To that end, Android has allowed users to define custom wallpapers since its inception—something that took the competition quite a few tries to get right. However, sometimes it becomes tiresome manually changing your wallpaper to suit your mood.
We first talked about 500 Firepaper by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire back in November of last year. The legendary developer’s application keeps your home screens looking new and fresh with automatically updating wallpapers sourced from the photography site 500px.
Ever since 500 Firepaper’s release, it’s been continually updated with new features such as the ability to disable the parallax effect, an NSFW switch, a history browser, and more. And now in version 1.6, Chainfire has added another major feature: the ability to act as an image provider for Roman Nurik’s Muzei live wallpaper app thanks to Muzei’s open source content provider API. Thus by using 500 Firepaper 1.6 in conjunction with Muzei, you can now enjoy the benefits of both on the same device, and at the same time.
There are a few quirks to keep in mind when using 500 Firepaper as an image provider for Muzei, especially in portrait mode on certain devices. For example, using a Nexus 5 with the Google Experience Launcher in Portrait mode causes the default screen to view the left portion of a background image. Furthermore, images are only changed when you are viewing them. That said, these issues are hardly deal breakers for most users.
You can learn more about the changes and potential issues in version 1.60 by visiting Chainfire’s release notes on Google+. And if you’d like to jump in on the 500 Firepaper action and give the app a shot, head over to the application thread if you haven’t already.
January 20, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
There’s often much speculation surrounding what may be seen in upcoming and updated devices and new versions of Android. Most of this talk unfortunately centers around leaked images of some sort, rather than any hard evidence. Once in a while, however, genuine clues are discovered that help paint a picture of what’s to come.
A little over a week ago, a pair of commits were made to the AOSP master tree that essentially prevent SU from executing files stored on the /data partition. This is an issue because many (but not all) current root apps include files that are extracted to and executed from app-specific directories on this partition. As such, if these commits are not reverted, a large number of current root-enabled apps will need be updated in order to work with this new version of Android.
So if you’re an app developer responsible for creating root-enabled apps, how can you get around these changes? Well, XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire has you covered with a few potential workarounds that were added to his How-To SU page. These workarounds include extracting the code and running it from RAM or rootfs, piping commands directly to SU, and so on.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that these two commits may be reverted before the release of the next version of Android. Furthermore, if they are retained, it’s anybody’s guess as to the actual version number of this upcoming revision. That said, it’s obviously best to be safe rather than sorry so that you can save yourself and your users the hassle later.
Head over to Chainfire’s Google+ Post to learn more about the changes and what they could mean for the next version of Android. And if you’re developing a root-enabled app and you want to be sure that you are ready for these changes, be sure to check out Chainfire’s How-To SU Page.
[Many thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]
January 20, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The kernel files have been released for the Android 4.4 KitKat update on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the full Smart Social Camera Experience has been ported to Android 4.3 Xperia Devices and Mobile ODIN has been updated with more features and support for more devices!
Be sure to check out the the other videos released this last week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Root Cloak, he then reviewed the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch 2.0, and finally he gave us an Android App Review of Calendar Status. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 17, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We first featured XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s Mobile ODIN app a little over two years ago. Ever since the beginning, Mobile ODIN has allowed users to flash ODIN-flashable firmwares directly from the device itself, without the need to connect to a full computer.
Over the course of the app’s various updates, Mobile ODIN has evolved considerably—both adding support for new devices, as well as gaining new abilities. Now with an update to version 4, the app has gained even more abilities, as well as compatibility with a few more devices.
The most notable feature new to version 4 relates to its ability to modem images. As these partitions are protected, flashing may be temperamental on certain devices. To protect against this, new code was added to detect the protection, and if enabled, skip flashing the affected partition. That said, it’s still possible to flash complete firmwares and modems via Mobile ODIN. Just now, it takes a safer approach by checking for protections that could cause issues.
Another new feature unique to version 4 is its ability to automatically reboot your phone into download mode following a Mobile ODIN flash. This is useful in case you wish to flash bootloaders, trustzone, and other partitions that are not flashed via Mobile ODIN. Using this, you can flash an Android update while preserving root thanks to EverRoot, automatically boot to download, and flash the specific partitions that were skipped.
The built-in version of SuperSU was updated to 1.89, which was created to support the latest Samsung Android 4.4 firmwares. And finally, this update brings support for various variants of the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3.
January 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite some time, you’re undoubtedly aware that many modern Samsung devices keep an internal flash counter that keeps track of how many times you flash custom firmware onto your device. Luckily, a fix for this has been available for quite some time thanks to Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s fantastic TriangleAway app. But ever since its release, it’s been a bit of a cat and mouse game where a TriangleAway version would be released, followed by a new firmware update that blocks the app’s functionality.
Now, the next chapter in never-ending war between the community and the OEMs is here, as Chainfire has updated his TriangleAway app to version 3.25. The new version brings support for the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy Note 3 (must be running the now official Android 4.4.2 firmware), as well as for the leaked Android 4.4.2 firmware for the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy S 4.
It is important to keep in mind that TriangleAway’s purpose is only to reset the flash counter. It is not able to reset your KNOX Warranty void status at this time. Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 3 is only supported on Android 4.4. While the OTA has only occurred for certain unlocked variants of the device, it is highly likely that this will also work on carrier-branded versions once they receive their updates.
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.