October 9, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A few days ago, we mentioned that the JLS36I update to Android 4.3.1 had begun rolling out to LTE-enabled Nexus 7 (2013) tablets. However, at the time, we found it a bit curious that there was no associated restore image available on Google’s Nexus Factory Images website. Even though the incremental OTA links had been captured and the files themselves mirrored, it’s always nice to have a full restore image of the latest firmware just in case.
Now, Google has finally made the factory restore images available for download. We’re still unsure what (if any) user-visible changes have occurred since then. Some seem to think there may be something related to a kiosk mode, but we’re unable to verify that. Regardless, any update is progress, and being able to flash it directly is always good.
If you haven’t received the OTA or would just like to have a copy, make your way over to the Nexus Factory Images page and download away. And if you have any idea as to what has changed in 4.3.1, which is exclusive to the LTE-enabled variant, let us know in the comments section below.
October 7, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9005 region lock has been removed by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire. That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he covers all of the important stories from this weekend. Included in this recap is an article reporting that Android 4.3.1 is coming to the Nexus 7 (2013) LTE and the announcement that you can use Google Now in any language.
In other important news, Jordan talks about call recording on the Sony Xperia V and maybe other devices. Finally, Jordan talks about Editor-in-Chief Will Verduzco‘s piece on just how safe you really are on Android. Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
October 5, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
What’s the main advantage of owning a Nexus device? There’s the easily unlockable bootloader, the stock Android experience sans OEM “value added” software, and various other perks. OK, fine. There are quite a few advantages to owning a Nexus device. That said, for most end users, it’s the promise of timely updates for as long as the hardware is relevant.
On the topic of updates, a new OTA is rolling out to LTE-enabled Nexus 7 (2013) devices, bringing the device to Android 4.3.1 (build JLS36I). It is not clear at this time what is updated in this new build. However, given that the update is rather small (under 10 MB), we don’t expect major changes to be present.
The image for the updated firmware is not yet available on the Nexus Factory Images website. Luckily, the nice folks over at AndroidPolice have captured the OTA links so that you can update your own device without having to wait. Hit up the source link below to get in on the action.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member nikwen for the tip!]
September 18, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Google released the new Nexus 7 (2013) and everyone has been waiting with baited breath for XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler to do one of his famous XDA Unboxings. In an XDA Unboxing, Adam tears apart an innocent device all the way to its bare components. He then identifies some of the components and tells us what they do.
In this episode, AdamOutler shows off the New Nexus 7 (2013), and he strips it down to its bare bones. He then shows you how to do a screen replacement. He finishes off the video by showing you how to install TWRP recovery. After further tweaking, Adam fixed the mushy button issue. Anyway, check out this video.
September 12, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The Google Nexus 7 (2013 Edition) is a fantastic little tablet. Packing speedy enough internals, a fantastic screen, and the latest version of Android into a sleek and finger friendly enclosure; the new Nexus 7 is great for what it is. That said, it’s not perfect.
A common complaint on the new Nexus 7 been the quality of its hardware buttons. Many units (mine included) lack rewarding and clicky button feedback when depressed. This issue seems to present itself most on the power button, which may be caused by glue used during assembly seeping under the button contacts.
Normally, this sort of problem wouldn’t be something you could easily change, and if your device is genuinely defective, we still recommend seeking out a replacement. But as we all know, this never stopped XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler, a man who’s created a whole new kind of unboxing, turned devices into other devices, and given new freedom to restricted devices.
Head over to the original thread to see how he did it. However, as with any hardware modification, proceed with extreme caution. If you’ve not had experience opening your device before, you could very well end up with a $230 paperweight.
August 26, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
With a new set of Nexus factory images, the Nexus 7 (2013) multi-touch and GPS issues have been eased. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is an article about dual booting on the HTC Pico and the guide to compile TWRP for your device.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about how to choose a killer app idea, and later he released a video talking about the smart way to price your app. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
With the launch of the original Google Nexus 7 well over a year ago, we saw the first appearance of the interface affectionately known as “Phablet UI.” Not quite the standard 10″ tablet layout that we had first seen in Honeycomb and certainly not the phone layout; this new layout was essentially a combination of the two depending on orientation, application, and so on. Many have grown to tolerate and even favor the layout on the 7″ form factor, and there is certainly good rationale behind the shift. However, this isn’t the whole story, as its effects on SystemUI.apk also caused the Android soft keys and notification area to become separated and thus require more display space on an already cramped screen.
Ever since Paranoid Android appeared some time ago, we’ve been easily able to swap both layouts and dpi on a per-app basis. This meant that if we wanted to, we could easily keep all applications at default, and only modify SystemUI.apk to show up in tablet layout. This allows us to combine the notification and softkey areas, while leaving everything else untouched. However, there are those who would prefer to stay as close to stock as possible, and they would have previously been out of luck.
Now, thanks to XDA Forum Member Caldair and previous work done by a host of other developers cited in his thread, you can get Tablet UI for SystemUI.apk on the 2013 Nexus 7 running stock, rooted JSS15Q. The modification is not without its faults, though. For starters, applying the mod seems to not play nicely with the stock launcher, so users must install an aftermarket launcher. Secondly, the quick toggles will no longer work when the modification is applied. Despite the flaws, however, many will be eager to make the most of the limited screen real estate and switch to Tablet UI. Best of all, the developer has provided restore files for those who may have forgotten to create a backup of the original files before flashing.
August 22, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we brought you news of the Nexus 7 (2013) Factory Image situation and the drama that ensued. Luckily, it wasn’t too long before the world was made right once again, and the factory images and driver binaries for the device were released. For those keeping track, this was build JSS15J for the 2013 Nexus 7 and JWR66V for the rest of the current Nexus stable. Now, a new build has emerged, and it is build JSS15Q for the 2013 Nexus 7 and JWR66Y for the others.
So what does this update bring? This is essentially a minor revision for the Nexus 4, 2012 Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the GSM Galaxy Nexus. Aside from a security fix and some camera, NFC, and auto-brightness tweaks, not much has been changed. However, if you’re currently using the 2013 Nexus 7, you’re in for a treat. In addition to the above changes, the latest update supposedly fixes the GPS and multi-touch issues experienced by certain users. Also of note is that driver binaries are now available for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus running 4.3 JWR66Y, which bodes well for a firmware update in the near future.
To learn more about the changes made on the 2013 Nexus 7 build, head over to XDA Recognized Contributor sfhub‘s original thread. To get the goods on your own Nexus device without the wait, head over to the Nexus Factory Images page. Finally, if you wish to build your own ROMs from source for your Nexus device(s) and want the latest driver binaries, head over to the Nexus Driver Binaries page.
Did this update fix your 2013 Nexus 7’s GPS woes and erratic multi-touch? Let us know what you think of the updates in the comment box below!
August 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just a few days back, we covered the unfortunate news that official restore images for the new 2013 Nexus 7 were not yet available. Much speculation pointed towards Qualcomm as the underlying cause for the delay, given that such a trend was observed on previous Qualcomm-based Nexus devices. Thankfully, either due to a change of heart by Qualcomm or Google, the factory images are now available. Furthermore, the component drivers are now also available, so those looking to compile from source can do so with ease.
The 359 MB factory restore image comes in the form of build JSS15J. For those keeping track, this is the same build that is found after the second OTA for the device. The drivers come from Asus (Audio and Sensors), Broadcom (NFC), and Qualcomm (Graphics, Camera, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, Sensors Media, DRM, DSP, and USB). They should provide custom ROM developers with all they need to get the ball rolling with the aftermarket development we all know and crave.
August 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Nvidia SHIELD‘s open source materials were released, while the this wasn’t the case for the Nexus 7 (2013). That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is an article about optimizing your Chormecast and news about the XDA Development Database.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video, giving you a basic education about the Android kernel, Jordan reviewed the Nvidia Shield, and TK gave an app review of C Locker and C Widget. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 7, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Now that’s a doozy, isn’t it? Before proceeding, let’s take a moment for that to better sink in. In addition to support from the AOSP, one of the hallmarks of the Nexus program has traditionally been the availability of factory restore images. This is more than a simple convenience for Nexus device owners. Rather, it allows for users to safely and reliably restore their devices to their factory state.
As a result of the availability of factory restore images, Nexus device owners always had a safety net available for when (not “if” here at XDA) they decide to leave the confines of stock software and venture into the realm of aftermarket development. And the loading of unsupported firmware was always a relatively supported task, as evidenced by the availability of the simple command fastboot oem unlock.
There have been minor inconveniences along the way, however, as exemplified by the Nexus One and Nexus 4 factory images. Ultimately, these issues were all resolved in some way or another. For the Nexus One, HTC was able to release factory images. And for the Nexus 4, Google released the images after some time had passed. However one thing links these devices, along with the new Nexus 7 (2013): Qualcomm.
As a quick refresher, the Nexus One used the original Snapdragon system-on-a-chip with a single core Scorpion CPU mated to an Adreno 200 GPU. The Nexus 4 uses the Snapdragon S4 Pro, which features four Krait CPUs and an Adreno 320 GPU. Finally, the Nexus 7 uses a potentially lower-binned Snapdragon 600, which has been relabeled as an S4 Pro. And coincidentally, all of these devices have faced significant setbacks in their factory image availability.
Well, I see that people have figured out why I’m quitting AOSP.
There’s no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can’t boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I’m getting the blame for something that I don’t have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead.
While this was the most clearly the issue has thus far been stated, his followers knew something was amiss ever since JBQ tweeted on the matter back on July 30th:
That feeling when lawyers sabotage the launch you spent 6 months working on? I haz it. Sad sad sad sad sad sad.
The bottom line of the factory image drama is simple: We currently have no officially supported way to factory restore our Nexus devices. We don’t know if this will be solved by Google and Qualcomm like it was for the Nexus 4, or if this will remain a longer-standing issue requiring the intervention of an OEM partner, as was the case with the Nexus One. And finally, this forced the man ultimately in charge of the technical side of the Android Open Source Project to resign.
Luckily, there are options available for users looking to restore their factory firmware, thanks to XDA Senior Member ATGAdmin who released a factory restore package for users in need. In fact, a certain editor-in-chief of a certain mobile development forum’s news site already had to make use of such accommodations after some late-night flashing without adequate precautions left him with an unusable slab. However, these images are unsupported, and it would ultimately be better if they were to come from Google themselves.
Because of this issue, and past issues like it, the future direction of the Android Open Source Project is unfortunately all too nebulous. It’s times like these that we’re grateful that other open source options are beginning to emerge.
[Via Android Police]
August 2, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If just having the latest Android 4.3 wasn’t a good enough reason to upgrade, Android 4.3 has TRIM support! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an announcement that CyanogenMod Team has realeased Focal from Project Nemesis and some forums were added for the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Huawei Ascend P6.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video showing how to root the New Nexus 7 (2013), and later he compared the Old Nexus 7 to the New Nexus 7. TK then showed us everything we needed to know about the new Google Chromecast. Also check out Jordan’s Nvidia Shield unboxing video and gameplay video. Pull up a chair and check out this video.