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!]
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 9, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android KitKat 4.4.3 has been released for the Nexus 7 (2012)! 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 OmniROM 4.4.3 for the OnePlus One and Android 4.4.3 for the Moto X! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Be sure the check out the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for OK Google on 3rd Party Launchers. Then, Jordan talked about Portal and Half-Life 2 on the Nvidia Shield. Finally, TK gave us a an Android App Review of Gallery Plus. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
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!]
March 12, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that despite being a great device overall, the Google Nexus 7 (2012) offers less than ideal flash memory performance. While the issue has been mitigated to a certain extent through the use of TRIM, file system performance is still often the device’s Achilles heel. Because of this, it stands to reason that any steps taken to improve storage performance on the device will greatly improve the overall user experience.
XDA Senior Member legolas93 decided to take on the task of improving the Nexus 7′s storage performance through the use of F2FS, which is a different file system created to be more optimized to the characteristics of NAND memory in flash devices. But before we go any further, it’s important to note that when changing your file system, you will lose all of your data. So please make sure that you make a full backup, and then transfer that backup to your computer while you perform the required steps.
To get started, you must first download the F2FS-enabled kernel and a modified TWRP capable of reformatting the tablet with F2FS. Then you flash the kernel through your current custom recovery and the modified version of TWRP through fastboot. Next you access the modified TWRP and format to the new file system. And finally, you can restore your backup after copying it back onto your tablet form your PC.
December 15, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
As you all know, AOSP is the purest form of Android. All Nexus devices are shipped with relatively clean Android, baked by Google engineers. Constant and frequent updates make it a quite interesting position for all Android enthusiasts. But AOSP is pretty barebone, as it lacks many of the key features of skinned ROMs that many of us have come to enjoy. This is when the brilliant Xposed Framework enters the picture.
A few months ago, we talked about an Xposed Module aimed at bringing some goodies to Samsung stock ROMs made by XDA Recognized Developer wanam. This time, wanam created a module dedicated to Nexus devices owners running KitKat. This module allows you to customize many little things to make your stock ROM more suitable for your needs. With this kit, it’s possible to change the clock position, the type and color of your battery text, and so much more. Everything can be found in the original posts, where a video demonstrating the module is also available.
Nexus devices should not be limited to AOSP features only, and Wanam Kit gives you a great chance to enhance the user experience. More information and the module itself can be found in the development thread. Keep in mind that your device must be rooted and running the latest version of Xposed Framework.
December 11, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just two days ago, we wrote about how Android 4.4.2 was rolling out to the most recent Nexus devices. This was only four days after the Android 4.4.1 roll out. And earlier today, we took a quick look at what changed from 4.4 to 4.4.2. Now, we’re glad to report that the Android 4.4.2 source code has made its way over to the AOSP, and factory restore images are now available for the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10.
Ever since Android 4.4.1 was released, we were wondering when the factory images would see the light of day. Thankfully, that day is today. And while users have been able sideload the incremental OTAs manually using adb sideload, it’s great to also have the freedom to perform a clean install, directly to the most recent version—either through flash-all.bat or by manually flashing the images directly through fastboot.
Google didn’t only provide us with new factory images for all the currently supported Nexus devices. They also released the full source code to Android 4.4.2. With this, your favorite aftermarket developers can start merging the new commits over from Google’s repos into their own builds.
End users looking to download the factory restore images can do so by heading over to the Nexus Device Factory Images page. Developers looking to start building with the new Adnroid 4.4.2 code can do so by browsing the 4.4.2_r1 source code directly on Google’s Git.
NEXUS 5 hammerhead:
NEXUS 7 2013 razor:
NEXUS 7 2013 razorg
NEXUS 4 occam:
NEXUS 10 mantaray:
NEXUS 7 2012 nakasi:
NEXUS 7 2012 nakasig:
December 9, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
Google likes surprises—we all know that. Four days after releasing the Android 4.4.1, they decided to push out Android 4.4.2, which is a bugfix release of a bugfix release. It’s probably one of the fastest releases in the history of the company.
A full list of improvements is still unknown, and hopefully we will notice what has been changed when the source comes out. Thanks to Sprint’s community moderator 4Social, we know that build KOT49H brings the following improvements:
- Fix for clearing the VM Indicator
- Fix for delivery of the VM Indicator
- Various additional software fixes
- Security enhancements
The OTA should be rolled out within next few days to all supported Nexus devices. Some of the packages are already available to download from Google servers. All you need to do is to execute the command adb sideload [file name] to flash it to your device.
The links for other devices should pop out soon, as well as factory images and proprietary blobs to download.
If you get the update, let us know in the comments below what you think about this release and if the changes mentioned above live up your expectations.
December 6, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, we knew that it was only a matter of time before custom ROM developer teams started incorporating the goodies into their own builds. Accordingly, the CyanogenMod team stated their plans to release their Android 4.4-based CyanogenMod 11 once work on CM 10.2 had finished. Approximately one month later, the CyanogenMod Team has now reached the M1 Milestone in their Android 4.4-based CyanogenMod 11 ROM for certain Nexus Devices.
Not every device is receiving official CM11 M1 love. In fact, it is only available for “actively AOSP-supported Nexus devices.” In other words, this means the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 7 (2013). Because of this restriction, though, you can expect a relatively bug-free experience. Devices other than the supported current Nexus fleet will be receiving official CM 11 nightlies instead.
What are your thoughts on this new approach to pushing out Nexus device releases a bit earlier? Let us know in the comments below!
[Source: CyanogenMod Blog]
Android is six years old now. One week ago, we presented the first part of the Android story. Now, it’s time to continue the journey.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—located in Mountain View, the first version of the operating system dedicated for tablets was born. Google called it 3. 0 Honeycomb and presented it alongside the Motorola Xoom.
November 19, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Capping off a busy day chock-full of KitKat news, Google has just released a new build of Android 4.4 to the AOSP servers and various recent Nexus devices. The new build comes in at version KRT16S, and it replaces the older KRT16O build.
The KRT16S update is currently available for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2012 – all variants), Nexus 7 (2013 – all variants), and Nexus 10. Curiously left out, however, is the Google Nexus 5, which features a different build altogether (KRT16M). Also of note, this new KRT16O build is unrelated to the mystery KOT31B build seen a week and a half ago on the Chromium Issue Tracker.
According to AOSP Moderator Conley Owens, the new build is largely a bug fix build. As such, you shouldn’t expect too many user-facing features. That said, users looking to get in on the action can easily do so by going to the Nexus Factory Images page and downloading the latest firmware images. If building from source is more up your alley, head over to the Android Git and Nexus Driver Binaries page.
[Source: Android Building Google Group]
November 14, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since Android 4.4 KitKat was released, the question quickly turned to when devices other than the Google Nexus 5 would get to see the goods. We’ve seen various unofficial builds pop up for unsupported devices. In fact, we’ve highlighted quite a few highly functioning releases for a few of the more popular devices currently available. But up until yesterday, if you wanted to enjoy Android 4.4 KitKat in official capacity, you needed to own a Nexus 5.
Then, Google pushed out the official KitKat OTA updates for the Nexus 7 (WiFi only), Nexus 7 (2013, WiFi only) and Nexus 10, and the OTA links were soon captured. However, the timeframe for the Nexus 4 (as well as the Nexus 7 variants with mobile data) was still up in the air, with the only official statement being that it would come soon. Apparently, “soon” actually meant the following day. To that end, the official Android 4.4 KitKat restore images are now available for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (all variants and both years), and Nexus 10. Along for the ride are the proprietary driver binaries, which enable ROM developers to make fully functioning builds for these devices. Curiously, the OTA update for the Nexus 4 has not started making its way out to handsets. That said, we can’t imagine it’d be too long now that the KitKat images for the device have been released.
If you’re an end user, installation is as simple as downloading the images and executing the flash-all.bat file. Alternatively, you can extract the available archive and flash them piecemeal through fastboot by executing the command fastboot <partition name> <image name and path>. This will enable you to flash without losing data.
Update: It looks like some of the update links on Google’s site are currently down. We assume this is because they are likely being uploaded to the website. Keep trying every now and then, as we’re confident that they will be live soon.
[Many thanks to reader Sampo S. for sending in the tip!]
November 14, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Yesterday, we were happy to share the news that the official Android 4.4 KitKat updates were being rolled out to the Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10 via over-the-air updates. Naturally, however, not everyone has yet received the official OTA update. And making matters a bit more complicated for those wishing to update before the OTA hits their device, Google has not yet posted these updates for download directly from the Nexus Factory Images page.
Thankfully, the community has pulled through and captured the incremental OTA update links housed on Google’s own servers. You will of course want to be on stock recovery and stock firmware to apply these update. Further, since these are incremental OTAs, you need to be on the correct stock firmware in order for the flash to work. For the Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 10, this means that you have to be on build JWR66Y. And for the Nexus 7 (2013), you must be on JSS15R. Thankfully, these builds are all available as complete packages in the Nexus Factory Images page.
If you can’t wait to update your device to official KitKat and are looking for the captured OTAs, head to the appropriate link below!