August 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s now been a little less than two months since Google I/O 2014. While the Mountain View giant talked about quite a few new technologies and releases during the conference, most of us here at XDA-Developers were undoubtedly most excited about Android L and the associated Developer Preview images for the Nexus 5 (hammerhead) and the WiFi-only edition of the Nexus 7-2013 (razor).
During the time we’ve had with the dev preview, we’ve all gotten a better taste of what Android L brings to the table, as well as certain bugs and other miscellaneous issues that have cropped up along the way. But rather than keep us all waiting for the official Fall release, Google has seen fit to update the developer preview images for these two devices. These new updated images for both devices come in at build number LPV81C, and they are available for download and manual install directly on the Android L Developer Preview Site. Today’s build also adds support for the Google Fit preview SDK, which was also released today.
Unfortunately for those already running the previous dev preview release, there is no OTA rolling out at this time. Instead, the only officially supported means of installing these updated images is to manually flash them–wiping your data in the process. However, if you already have the original preview released and you wish to manually flash the images, you can do so using fastboot flash system system.img. But if you upgrade this way, don’t be too surprised if you encounter a few additional bugs here and there due to app data incompatibilities.
[Source: Android L Developer Preview]
July 18, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Live from New York, its the XDA News Update hosted by Jordan Keyes! Ok, so maybe it’s not live, but Jordan does review all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of the Nexus 5 receiving Android 4.4.4_R2 in selected countries and be sure the check out the announcement of the XDA Root Directory! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Heads Up Notifications. Then, Jordan reviewed the LG G3. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of ShortPaste. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
July 15, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier today, Google issued updates to two current generation reference devices, the Google Nexus 5 and Google Glass. The former received an incredibly minor update to Android 4.4.4_r2 (KTU84Q), while the latter was shown to a rather significant update XE19.1 (up from last month’s rather significant XE 18.3 update).
First up, we have the Nexus 5 update. Today’s update takes users from Android 4.4.4 (KTU84P) to Android 4.4.4_r2 (KTU84Q). However, this build isn’t making its way out to all devices. Rather, this build is only heading out to consumer devices in three markets: New Zealanders on 2Degrees, Aussies on Telsta, and those living in India. Because of this and the OTA’s paltry 2 MB size, it can be assumed that this is purely a radio update to better work in these areas. As such, if you’re not in New Zealand, Australia, or India, it’s not worth your time or the flashing risk.
Next up, we have an update announcement for Google Glass. The XE 19.1 firmware builds on last month’s XE 18.3 firmware, which brought features such as a camera viewfinder, better pairing instructions, and a recovery mode. Today’s update is similarly significant, bringing a visual revamp for the entire Glass interface, sporting a cleaner and sleeker look. It also improves connectivity and network issue handling.
The update for the Nexus 5 has begun reaching consumer devices in certain regions, but it has not yet been captured. Once it is available, however, you will be able to download the update in the Nexus 5 Stock OTA thread. Alternatively, you can head to the Nexus Factory Images page below to update by manually flashing the 4.4.4_r2 image. Similarly, the XE19.1 firmware is not yet available and doesn’t seem to actually be rolling out just yet. But given today’s announcement, it shouldn’t be too far off. Once it’s been captured, you will be able to find the Glass update and images in the Google Glass Stock OTA thread.
July 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Update: As pointed out by XDA Forum Member a3361035 in the comments below, this isn’t a complete release just yet. Rather, these are just a few GPL projects for the L-Preview release, and not a full platform update.
As we mentioned earlier today, the Android L Developer Preview is exactly that–a developer preview. However, many users understandably want to taste the future of Android today. As such, quite a few Nexus 5 and 7 owners have ventured to install the Android L Developer Preview firmware images on their daily driver devices.
Unfortunately, not every one happens to own a hammerhead or flo. But now, as a surprise to many, Google has pushed the Android L Developer Preview source code to the AOSP under the “android-l” branch. Device-specific support is available for the Nexus 4 (lge/mako), Nexus 5 (lge/hammerhead), Nexus 7 2012 WiFi (asus/grouper), Nexus 7 2012 Mobile Data (asus/tilapia), Nexus 7 2013 WiFi (asus/deb), Nexus 7 2013 Mobile Data (asus/flo), and Nexus 10 (samsung/manta).
While these files were most likely released in order to help OEMs and third party developers begin preparing for L’s release, they will also enable custom ROM developers to build Android L releases for their devices of choice. But naturally, building for unsupported devices will be more difficult due to the lack of L-enabled proprietary binaries and device trees. As these source files are only for a few GPL projects and not the entire L-Preview AOSP source, this isn’t of benefit to ROM developers just yet. However, those wishing to learn more about the L preview may find use in the code.
Developers, head over to the AOSP to peer into the code. From there, all the relevant code will be available in the relevant subfolders with the “android-l” branch. ROM developers looking for device-specific files can find the goods in the appropriate links below:
[Many thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor ryukiri and everyone else who sent this in!]
We all have preferences when it comes to the hardware aspects of screens on our smartphones and tablets, with some folks preferring screens that are TFT, AMOLED, or IPS. However, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the Nexus 5 has a pretty fantastic 5-inch IPS display. But as part of the Nexus family, we’ve come to expect much more flexibility and customization from the device, and in this case, with regards to the software behind the screen. To help Nexus 5 owners navigate this often confusing and, in some cases, rather technical area, XDA Senior Member yorici wrote a tutorial on how to calibrate the screen and more of your Nexus 5.
The tutorial is broken down into multiple parts, according to the sorts of customization you’re after. If you are looking for a quick and simple way of changing the software settings of your screen, you may want to check out the ‘profiles’ part of the tutorial. This part teaches you how to set and apply custom profiles for your screen. For those who’s looking to get a bit more technical, yorici provides a simple, yet thorough set of steps to properly calibrate your Nexus 5′s screen. If you come across any terms you haven’t heard before or are not familiar with, such as color temperature, gamma, and RGB, the tutorial gives a brief rundown of all the jargon, with helpful links you can check out if you want to find out more.
If you would like to find out more, be sure to visit the original thread for more information and discussion.
June 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Are you running the Android L Developer Preview? If so, your day’s about to get a little bit sweeter! This test firmware was released for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) yesterday. And in the time since, we’ve put it through its paces to see just how far Google has come in releasing this new test firmware. But do you know what else has been accomplished since then? Yep, you guessed it. Root has been achieved.
If you’re running the L Developer Preview and you’ve been dying for root access, you can now get your fix in thanks to XDA Recognized Developer savoca, who rooted the test firmwares and shared how to do so within just a couple hours of the L Developer Preview release.
The root procedure is fairly easy, but there are a few prerequisites. First, you’ll need to have a custom recovery installed. So after installing the L developer preview, go ahead and flash the latest version of your custom recovery of choice. Then, flash Chainfire’s SuperSU. Finally, head to your device’s bootloader and fastboot flash the appropriate boot.img for your device.
Users will be quick to note that root access doesn’t quite work as it did in the past with regards to system write access. This seems to be due to the previous root app breakage originally described by Chainfire with regards to the need for new security contexts. This is why certain apps can write to /system and others cannot.
What are you waiting for? If you’re running Android L Dev Preview on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7, head over to this post to get your root on!
June 26, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s now been several hours since the release of the Android L Developer Preview Images. Undoubtedly, many of you reading this have already loaded the preview firmware onto your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 (2013). However, not everyone is lucky enough to own one of these devices–and even if you have an N5 or N7 by your side, you may not be willing to wipe your data in order to flash test images.
In the time since release, we’ve been poking and prodding at the Android L Developer Preview firmware on a Nexus 5 to see how far Google has come with L and where there’s still room for improvement. Head past the break to see our initial impressions. READ ON »
Earlier today, Google shocked us all by making the Android 4.4.4 KTU84P factory images available for (most of) the current generation Google Nexus fleet. Not too long after, the fine folks over at FunkyAndroid did what they do best, and they showed us everything that’s changed in this latest update. Now, the OTA updates have begun trickling out to current generation Nexus devices.
Even though Nexus device owners can simply flash the relevant factory images to update to Android 4.4.4 KTU84P manually, this isn’t an ideal option for everyone–namely those who haven’t rooted and unlocked their bootloaders, and would rather apply an incremental OTA. Luckily, the update has now arrived for the Nexus line’s latest flagship smartphone, the Google Nexus 5.
Naturally, today’s OTA comes in at the same KTU84P build number as we saw in the previously released factory images. And as one would reasonably expect, this update brings you to Android 4.4.4 KTU84P from the previously released Android 4.4.3 KTU84M.
This update, as is the case with all Nexus device captured OTAs, can be sideloaded by entering ADB Sideload mode from your stock recovery and executing the command adb sideload [update file name] .
If you haven’t unlocked your bootloader and are looking for an ADB Sideloadable OTA update, head over to El Daddy’s stock OTA help desk thread to get started.
June 19, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Well, that was unexpected! After dozens of leaks leading up to the eventual release of Android 4.4.3, Android 4.4.4 has suddenly arrived without so much as a moment’s notice. The update itself has not yet begun rolling out to actual end user devices, but just like what we saw with 4.4.3 KTU84M, the factory images have been posted for the majority of the current generation Nexus fleet.
Today’s Android 4.4.4 builds come in at KTU84P for the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10. Unfortunately, just as was the case with 4.4.3 KTU84M, nothing is available for the Nexus 7 (2013) LTE-enabled variant at this time. According to Sprint’s update support documentation released earlier today, this update only brings an unspecified “security fix.”
No details are known at present if this build fixes the Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153 vulnerability that was exploited by geohot in towelroot, but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if that were to be the case. Obviously, the earlier merge to kill Dalvik and implement ART as default runtime compiler has not yet made it to shipping builds.
You can get your fix by updating your device directly via the Nexus Factory Images page. And if building custom ROMs is your thing, grab the KitKat MR2.1 Source Code and then head over to the Nexus Driver Binaries page to get started.
Update: As pointed out by XDA Senior Member phaseL, this indeed does not implement a fix to the Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153 vulnerability exploited in geohot’s towelroot, as the kernel build date (Mar 13) was dated well before a patch was made available (June 3).
June 3, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, Google made the Android 4.4.3 factory images available for the current generation Google Nexus fleet. Then earlier today, the WiFi-only variant of the N7-2013 started receiving its incremental OTA. Now the update has arrived for the Nexus line’s latest flagship smartphone, the Google Nexus 5.
Naturally, today’s OTA comes in at the same KTU84M build number as we saw in yesterday’s factory image release. But naturally, the factory image could not be applied by users who hadn’t yet unlocked their bootloaders without wiping their /data partitions. But now thanks to this incremental OTA,users with locked bootloaders can update to Android 4.4.3 without having to wipe data by performing fastboot oem unlock. This can be done by entering the ADB Sideload functionality from your stock recovery and executing the command adb sideload [update file name].
June 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s here, folks! After a false alarm a few months ago, several rumors along the way, and update documentation courtesy of T-Mobile earlier today, we now have Android 4.4.3 for the current generation of Nexus devices.
Today’s builds come in at KTU84M for the Nexus 5, and KTU84L for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10. According to T-Mobile’s support documentation released earlier today, these updates bring “security enhancements,” as well as “various bug fixes.” At this point, it is unclear whether these security enhancements include some of the root app-related issues that we talked about previously or what other bug fixes may be present. That said, we DO know that the /system write protection outside of recovery context is not present in 4.4.3. Moreover, Dalvik is still the default runtime compiler—for now. If you spot anything else, we’d love to hear in the comments below!
You can get your fix by updating your device directly via the Nexus Factory Images page. And if building custom ROMs is your thing, grab the KitKat MR2 Source Code and then head over to the Nexus Driver Binaries page to get started.
[Many thanks to XDA Senior Moderator efrant for the tip!]
June 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Update: They’re here for the Nexus 4, 5, 7 (both), and 10! Head over to this post to get in on the action!
You may recall back in the middle of April, Sprint erroneously stated that Android 4.4.3 would begin rolling out to the Nexus 5. We now know that this didn’t quite come to pass, as all of our Nexus devices are still currently officially running Android 4.4.2. Now, however, we have reason to believe that Android 4.4.3 may finally begin rolling out to current generation Nexus devices today.
This news comes from T-Mobile software update support documents stating that both the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 7 (2013) will be receiving their respective doses of the 4.4.3 goods starting today. The build for the Nexus 5 is said to come in at build number KTU84M, while the Nexus 7 flavor is KTU84L. According to the support documents linked at the bottom of this article, both updates come in at 54 MB and bring “security enhancements,” as well as “various bug fixes.” Given the former, it’s quite possible that all the potential root app breakage that we’ve covered in the past will come to light. In addition, we’ll probably see fixes to various device-specific tweaks such as camera and data connectivity issues.
These updates have not yet begun making their way to consumer devices, Google has not yet updates its factory images page, and we don’t yet have captured update URLs. In fact, it’s quite possible that we may not even see 4.4.3 today, just like what happened with Sprint a month-and-a-half ago. But given how much progress has been made towards 4.4.3, we wouldn’t be surprised if 4.4.3 starts making its way to consumer devices today. Time to start mashing that check for updates button, I suppose!
May 28, 2014 By: Samantha
Google’s Android dominates the mobile technology landscape, with practically every new device announced and released in the past couple of years sporting the OS. Because of this, it’s understandable to forget the existence of other options such as Mozilla’s Firefox OS. It pops up to remind you that it’s still kicking every once in a while, with the occasional port to devices such as the HTC HD2 and HTC Explorer. But other than the occasional ports, Firefox OS doesn’t make much noise–much like the quiet kid who sits in the back of the classroom in school.
With that said, Firefox OS has found its way onto the Nexus 5, a feat made possible by XDA Senior Member abtekk. Despite being a foreign OS to the device, the port can almost be used as a daily driver according to abtekk, with very few issues that still need to be ironed out. So far, the current issues only include a broken camera preview and lack of WPA2-Enterprise support. To install this port, you have to flash the provided images through fastboot. Also, make sure to make a backup of your SD card because abtekk warns that it’ll be wiped during the installation process.
If you own a Nexus 5 and want to give Firefox OS a whirl, make sure to head over to the original thread for more details.