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 126.96.36.199, is loaded with updates and fixes. These changes make the overall experience smoother and more enjoyable. For instance as of version 188.8.131.52, 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.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]
April 5, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has rooted the Samsung Galaxy S 4 successfully and variably. That story and more are covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is a discussion of XDA’s April fools pranks, like us teaming up with Google to track iPhones and the Job Board shutting down.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin gives us a tutorial to remotely support or access computers from your device, Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler started development on his Google ADK 2012, and TK released an Android App Review of Wakelock Detector. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Just because a device hasn’t been released, is in limited release, or isn’t in the hand of a developer doesn’t mean that developers cannot root the device. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has rooted a pre-release device a few times, such as when he remotely rooted the Samsung Galaxy S III. Today, we are talking about Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root in a roundabout way.
XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD took the Nexus 4 version of CF-Auto-Root, modified it a bit, did a dance to the rooting gods, and crossed his fingers. Using TeamViewer, which we’ve reviewed in the past, to remotely attempt rooting, he was successful. Thanks to Chainfire’s app and DooMLoRD’s dancing, the Sony Xperia Z now has root.
It is important to note that you need to have firmware version 10.1.A.1.350, an unlocked bootloader, and fastboot files for this to work. Check out the original thread to find out more.
January 29, 2013 By: jerdog
We talk a lot about the importance of developers here at XDA because the reality is XDA was born for developers and exists for developers. So when one of our own consistently puts out significant and useful applications, we make sure to talk about it. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire is one of those. His work with CF-Root, Triangle Away, ExynosAbuse, PerfMon, FAAPT, adbd Insecure, and more is second to none. With SuperSU, he introduced an icon competition to pick the next icon for the upcoming version 1.00 of SuperSU. Now, both have reached completion.
With the icon competition, Chainfire decided to deploy some new SuperSU features into the mix, including the ability to choose from one of the four finalists for your app icon. Using SuperSU’s new UI enhancements, you choose the app icon in the Settings menu. The four choices are now:
It goes without saying that the new icons are spiffy, and the new features for SuperSU are as well. To add to the icon selection, SuperSU now has theme selection, convert to system app, 7″ tablet support, reworked shell detection, and much more. To find out more about the new features, visit the original thread and help support Chainfire’s continued contributions to the community.
It’s not often that a developer of many prolific applications gives the rest of the world the power to pick the icon for one of his apps. In this visual world, the icon is what the user sees when they decide what they want to open. And very often, the icon is what sets the first impression for the usefulness or value of the app. Essentially, it becomes the app’s identity.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire decided that since many users were unhappy with SuperSU’s new icon Super Andy, he should let them pick its replacement. After a few months of taking user submissions, he is finally ready to let the voting begin. On his site, he has 150 user-submitted icon, ranging from the very basic to the intricate and complex. You can choose to vote for the few that you like, as well as choose the ones you don’t like. Chainfire does ask, however, that you limit the number of votes to a handful of positive and negative selections.
The competition is slated to take as long as there is significant voting activity, and his goal is to use the winning icon in SuperSU v1.00. He does reserve the right to veto the winning selection if it does not adhere to the Android Design Guidelines or if it does not match the color-scheme for the app. Other than that, the options are wide-open, so make sure you visit his website to begin the voting process. May the best icon win!
December 17, 2012 By: jerdog
We recently told you about the Exynos4 security hole found by XDA Member alephzain. This is a security hole in the kernel that allows malicious code full access to all physical memory. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire would have none of it, and not only pointed out the security hole by creating an app that roots your device without ODIN, but also provided a way to plug it.
His application, aptly named ExynosAbuse APK, gains root privileges via the ExynosAbuse exploit and installs SuperSU. In addition, in version v1.10, it allows you to disable the exploit at boot. The downside of disabling the exploit is that your camera may break. However, this is not so bad considering how your device can no longer be compromised by this exploit. Lesser of two evils, right? If you absolutely must have your camera, the application allows you to re-enable the exploit.
Unlike the other app-based patches out there, Chainfire’s solution to patch on boot runs before any normal Android apps perform their launch after boot code, thus preventing that attack vector as well. One thing Chainfire points out is that the protections included in his APK are just workarounds, rather than actual fixes. For that, we’ll have to rely on our talented developers in the XDA Developer community or Samsung. (Do I hear crickets chirping?)
For more details on the exploit, you can head over to alephzain’s exploit thread or Chainfire’s application thread. When visiting the latter, be sure to help Chainfire test various Samsung devices by stating your device, its firmware, and whether the application and fix worked.
December 11, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
A little over a month ago, the Big Android BBQ event happened and XDA was in attendance. XDA Developer TV Producer Erica was there with her camera, recording all things exciting and interesting. After sifting through hundreds of hours of video, Erica presents a video detailing all the fun at the Big Android BBQ.
Erica interviews many people including, XDA Elite Recognized Developer supercurio, Recognized Developer and AOKP creator Roman Birg, Creator of Awesomeness Tha Phlash, Recognized Developer and creator of ClockWorkMod Recovery Koush, Senior Moderator M_T_M, Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler, Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire, Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512, and a special appearance from TV Producer azrienoch. Also, you get to see parts of all the fun events at the Big Android BBQ that you missed if you didn’t attend. What are you waiting for? Watch this video!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you know that Google has released a few new devices (Nexus 4 and Nexus 10), as well as a refresh to the Nexus 7. What makes this different from previous Nexus releases is that there are two new manufacturers added to the mix with Asus (Nexus 7) and LG (Nexus 4) joining Samsung (Nexus 10 as well as Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus) and HTC (Nexus One).
We recently told you about XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire’s new project to automatically root devices and keep them as stock as possible, and we now have an important update to share with you, as Chainfire has added CF-Auto-Root support for the new Nexus devices. What makes this update different from previous versions is that fastboot support has been enabled, as well as an updated version of SuperSU (v0.99).
Follow the links below to learn more and to obtain the downloads.
November 23, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
In this third part of our four-part series, XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer AdamOutler shows you how to root your Samsung Galaxy Camera with Odin, Elite Recognized Developer ChainFire’s CF-AutoRoot, and a PC. Before this episode, AdamOutler submitted a recovery to Chainfire to be CF-AutoRooted. AdamOutler shows how easy CF-AutoRoot is to use.
In this episode, AdamOutler gives you a list of reasons why you would want to root your Galaxy Camera. He then gives you the step-by-step process for rooting the Galaxy Camera. If you missed it, check out part one of this series, where AdamOutler unboxes the Galaxy Camera and shows of the basics. Also, be sure to check out part two for a detailed tear down of the internals of the device.
November 12, 2012 By: jerdog
If you’re anything like I am, as soon as I get a new device I have already spent hours researching what ROMs are available, the status of the bootloader (read: no HTC for me), and the availability of a proven root method. Seeing as the last 4 devices I have owned have been Samsung, there’s really only one option when it comes to rooting a Samsung device, and that is CF-Root from XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire.
After logging over 9 million downloads of CF-Root, beginning with the Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000, Chainfire has come up with something more streamlined and he’s calling it CF-Auto-Root. The premise is that you find your particular device, download the CF-Auto-Root file and flash with ODIN. Upon a successful flash you’ll have a rooted device with SuperSU installed and the stock recovery still in place. Chainfire describes the difference between CF-Root and CF-Auto-Root:
CF-Root (non-Auto) are manually built rooted kernels and/or flashables that usually provide more than “just root”. CF-Auto-Root is built on an automated system that I am constantly improving that takes a stock recovery image and returns an automated rooting packages. These packages are designed to install and enable SuperSU on your device, so apps can gain root access, and nothing more.
On his CF-Auto-Root webpage, Chainfire has the following information:
Use at your own risk, I’m not responsible for bricking your device.
If you have locked bootloaders, flashing one of these will brick your device.
GET THE RIGHT FILE
Make sure you get the correct file. Using the incorrect file may brick your device.
If your target device has a custom firmware flash counter, CF-Auto-Root will trigger it. If you’re lucky, Triangle Away has support for your device and can be used to reset the counter.
When you say “superuser” some might make the mental jump to an image of Superman flying around with a computer strapped to his back and a keyboard in hand to ward off the hacking attempts of mere mortals; others might jump to an image of Wonder Dog helping Wendy and Marvin fight the super villains; and still others will wonder if you’re referring to the latest culinary creation down at the corner of 8th & Sixth in NYC. Regardless, it evokes imagery that requires context to decipher what it is you’re discussing.
In the context of Android, Superuser has become synonymous with the Superuser app created by XDA Recognized Developer ChainsDD that grants you (and applications) root privileges by allowing you to accept the request or not. His app and process for obtaining root were the only options on the block for a long time, until XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire sought a different solution to requesting and granting root privilege requests. The result of that endeavor was SuperSU, which has increasingly become a mainstay and is being included in more and more new custom ROM development these days.
Back in July Chainfire started a discussion on Google+ about his investigations on how developers were using root privileges, and had this to say about what he had begun to find:
Since I started writing SuperSU, I have investigated and reverse engineered a large number of apps that had problems with SuperSU, Superuser, or both. Aside from a few bugs in SuperSU (yes, they do happen), by far most problems were one of these two:
(1) Improper code calling “su”. I’ve seen a lot of weird Java code to execute commands as root – some you would not believe!
(2) Calling “su” from the main UI thread. “su” can be a blocking call. There is no excuse to run it from your main thread. EVER.
Even though #1 is not insignificant, #2 here is by far the most likely reason of crashes of a rooted app !
He then promised that he would have more to share after his holiday, and the Big Android BBQ is where he first teased us with his findings. He presented information about the correct (and incorrect) ways for an application to request root privileges and then promised that he would release his full article along with sample code. Now, he has. You can visit the original thread for more information or read the article on his website.
October 23, 2012 By: jerdog
On Saturday, October 20, I moderated “The Future of Android Development” with a panel of XDA Recognized Developers consisting of:
The session was attended by over 100 people, with standing room only. At one point there were over 130 people listening to some of our developers discuss their projects, what excites them about Android development, and what they see as the future of development on Android. Here are some highlights:
Thanks goes out to the developers involved who helped make this presentation a success. If you weren’t there, you really missed a great session. Below you can find some pictures from the presentation. Those who would like relive the experience or feel like they were there can view the slide deck on SlideShare.
Having amassed almost 8 million downloads for its different device iterations in just over a year, CF-Root is a phenomenon in the Android development arena; and it’s not even a cheesy game! With versions available for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy S III, it’s a venerable cornucopia of options. And with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire adds another device to the fold.
The current iteration of CF-Root for the Galaxy Note 2 has been named CF-Auto-Root and comes with some key caveats along with the typical installation notes:
- The previous root methods via recovery broke the CACHE partition, causing issues with Triangle Away and Mobile ODIN. This release of CF-Root is preliminary to resolve these issues.
- This is a one-flash-root thing which automatically installs root, then returns your device to the stock recovery. This is required for OTAs and some DRM-style appsInstallation and usage
Flash the CF-Auto-Root package as PDA in ODIN (details on how to do that are in next post), and your device should reboot into a modified recovery (signified by a large red Android logo) and it will install SuperSU for you and restore the stock recovery, and reboot back into Android.If you don’t get to the red Android logo, boot into recovery manually (“adb reboot recovery”, or boot while holding Power+VolUp+Home).Using this root increases your flash counter. You should run Triangle Away (see below) after rooting to reset the counter. Note that if you want to run custom kernels or custom recoveries, your flash counter will be set to 1 at every boot. Either configure Triangle Away to reset the counter at every boot (Play version only) or only reset the counter when you need to go into warranty.