A while back, we took a poll on which handset we should add to the list of XDA merchandise. After a few months of discussion, and honestly just having a lot going on, we’re ready to announce the winning selections for addition to our XDA case lineup with CruzerLite. READ ON »
April 11, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
OK. It’s no big secret. The HTC One is a great and exciting device. You’ve heard us talk about it—everything from the launch event and preliminary benchmarks to giving the device and its carrier variants a place on our forums. Now, we have kernel source for some One variants, which is great news for those looking to start development work for HTC’s latest flagship. And since the device was only recently launched, with many carrier variants still pending release, HTC has done a great job of keeping to their GPL requirements.
In addition to the One, HTC also saw fit to
release update kernel source for the Droid DNA to match an OTA that was released back in early February. In other words, the company is now GPL compliant with binaries released two months ago. The DNA, if you may recall, was released quite some time ago. Available since November of last year, it took nearly five months for the device to become GPL compliant. Better late than never, but we can’t help but think how much further along the development community would be for the device, had the GPL obligations been fulfilled earlier. In fact, we’ve even seen better from certain relatively obscure manufacturers.
Let’s just hope that in the future, the One that we’re waiting for isn’t an HTC device’s (up-to-date) kernel source code. Those looking to get in on the goods can find them in the links below.
Update: As pointed out by reader and “HTC Champion” Leigh, my previous statements were somewhat mistaken. Article text has been updated accordingly.
– A commonly found YouTube comment
Once every generation or so, a device gets to make this same proclamation: first to get a new processor, first to get more RAM, first to get a better camera. This generation, one of the key features appears to be screen resolution and, at least in North America, the HTC Droid DNA claims the prize of “first” device with a 1080p display.
Of course, the Droid DNA is not just another pretty face. It packs a definite punch with its quad-core processor and heaps of RAM, and though those things have become quite commonplace among the bevy of new devices on the market, the DNA is still a formidable device. But is it a device for a developer? Let’s find out…
The Droid DNA comes with the following specs on Verizon Wireless:
So yes, for all intents and purposes, it is an extremely powerful and well-built device.
In terms of actual usability, the hardware is amazing. Everything I threw at it just worked, no questions asked. Battery life was exceptional, lasting days and days on a single charge with extremely light usage, and more than a single day with heavier usage.
The camera, if it matters to you, is still very much a traditional cell phone camera. With enough light, it can produce some decent images, but as soon as the light dims, you get a lot of grain and motion blur. Some samples are provided in the video above.
The Droid DNA originally came out running Android version 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, with HTC Sense 4.0+. What’s the “+” for? I can only assume more Sense. It’s not the latest, greatest version of Sense available, but it was at the time of release. If Sense is something you enjoy, consider this device your cup of tea. Otherwise, you can always load up another launcher or root the device and replace any and/or all of it. Ahh, the beauty of Android.
Additionally, since it’s running Jelly Bean, you get the increased performance of the UI from Project Butter, but since it’s 4.1.1, you don’t have the added features from 4.2+ such as multiple user accounts, but depending on your point of view that might not be such a bad thing.
Approximately 9 days after the release of the Droid DNA, HTC dropped the kernel source and binaries to HTCDev.com. The device was quickly rooted, S-Off unlocked, and tons of custom ROMs and mods were created by the community.
However, for some reason, none of the larger projects seem to have added the DNA to their official lineups. There are quite a few CyanogenMod-based ROMs for the DNA and even a work-in-progress Ubuntu port for it, but nothing official.
Maybe it’s a lack of device adoption, or perhaps there’s something missing from the available sources from HTC. I’m not an Android developer, so it’s not my place to pass judgement on it.
Overall, from a consumer point of view, this is an extremely powerful, well-designed device with amazing battery life. It is very slim, lightweight, and no matter what you throw at it, odds are that it will perform admirably.
From a development point of view, there’s a ton of activity in the official forum here on XDA for the Droid DNA, but not so much from any “official,” larger projects.
At a $199 price point on-contract or $599 off-contract, it’s definitely an attractive device, but that decision is best left up to you and your preference. If you’re in the market for a Verizon device, head on down to your local store and try to lay your hands on this one and see how it fits you.
February 20, 2013 By: egzthunder1
One of the biggest possible hacks for most current Android devices is the ability to completely remove security flags from the bootloader. Most companies these days will give you some way to unlock your device’s bootloaders, but many are simply partial unlocks, while others are entirely not unlockable. HTC is one such company that offers what is known as a “developer unlock” through the htcdev service. However, as stated already this is but a partial unlock, which allows you to do a few fun things like flashing custom recoveries and using them to flash new ROMs. This is good, but it is quite limited, and you must have access to a PC to use fastboot commands in order to do more. This is normally overcome by disabling the HBOOT security flags, which is not an easy task. Every time HTC releases a new HBOOT, it comes loaded with patches to try and keep people from achieving a complete unlock (S-OFF). If you have either an One S, One XL, and Droid DNA your luck has just changed, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developers beaups and XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase.
The process involves flashing a file through fastboot, which essentially removes eMMC write protection. After that, a second file is pushed into /data/local/temp, which removes all the S-OFF flags on the device. The only real requirement to perform this procedure (aside from having a PC with adb and fastboot) is that you are SuperCID. The latter (which stands for Super Country ID in case you are not familiar) is a protection to prevent you from flashing a RUU meant for a different region. This is a protection that has been around since the days of the HTC Wizard, and it is still present to this day. The flashing of the original zip requires you to have SuperCID off (rooting and custom recovery are not required for this to work). Luckily, this has already been achieved for all three devices, but it seems to have been blocked yet again after a recent OTA update. So, if you have not SuperCID’ed your device yet, do not attempt to do this! Having said that, stay tuned; a fix is on its way.
Please read the procedure carefully and thoroughly. Achieving S-OFF does involve some risk, and as such, there is a chance of bricking. That being said, rewards await you once the device is fully S-OFF, so make haste! Oh and just as your momma told you… don’t accept candies from strangers or OTAs from manufacturers. Have fun and happy unlocking!
Welcome to Facepalm S-Off for modern HTC phones
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January 19, 2013 By: jerdog
At the end of last year, we started selling XDA cases with our friends at CruzerLite, and we’ve seen some phenomenal interest. Our current lineup is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Google Nexus 4—but we want to add more. So we have decided to hold a poll and let the users choose which device(s) to add to our current lineup.
Below you will find some of the top devices at XDA. Please choose one from the list that you would like to see offered, and we will pick from the top 3 devices. The voting ends on February 15, so make sure you place your vote for the devices you love!
EDIT: The results are in, and displayed below. We’ll keep you updated as to the final options when they become available.
January 12, 2013 By: Joseph Hindy
For those who are unfamiliar, Flash Image GUI has been around for quite some time. The tool allows users to flash kernels and recoveries with a nice GUI, and all of this is done without requiring them to first reboot into recovery. While recoveries have gotten remarkably friendly over the last couple of years, some would still prefer to stay in the comfort of their favorite mobile OS for the duration of the flash. Now, this tool has added support for the HTC Droid DNA.
XDA Recognized Developer joeykrim, a longtime developer for the project, released the app for the DNA. Judging from user response, it seems to work as well as ever. Here’s the official app description:
flash_image (bmlwrite) is an extremely useful utility for flashing custom kernels, boot logos (so far ONLY Samsung devices) and recoveries. This binary has made it possible to easily flash all these items and is used almost everywhere behind the scenes (i.e. in custom recoveries, packaged into kernel /sbin, etc).
Supports both CWM and TWRP recovery image flashing!
Users simply need to install the APK file like any other app. From there, you open the app, select which kernel or recovery you want to flash, and the app takes care of the rest. It should be noted that there are potentially major inherent risks. Users shouldn’t flash AOSP kernels over Sense-based ROMs, or vice versa. Moreover, those who accidentally flash a bad zip with this tool and don’t have a custom recovery could be in a sticky situation. That’s why you should go ahead and make sure you have (a very good) one before proceeding.
At minimum, devices will have to be HTCDev unlocked in order for this app to function properly. While the app itself is easy to use, it should also be noted that it’s flashing some pretty important software so there is a chance bad things can happen. Be sure to have a Nandroid backup handy at all times and follow instructions to help minimize the potential risk.
For download links and more info, check out the Flash Image GUI thread.
December 3, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
In case you haven’t heard, the HTC Droid DNA was unlocked despite Verizon’s best efforts. The method involved re-writing the CID to fool HTCDev into thinking it was a different phone. While effective, the developers involved thought they could do better. And so they did. Now there is a new way to get the HTC Droid DNA unlocked.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase, who released the first exploit, also created the second. This one is different in a variety of ways, although the execution is very similar. Instead of writing a new CID for the device, jcase’s newest method rewrites the whole partition.
It’s just as involved as the last one, and involves many of the same processes. For instance, users who want to use this exploit will have to work out of two command prompt windows, instead of just one. It is also worth noting that this process still doesn’t actually unlock the HTC Droid DNA. It simply prepares it so that it can be unlocked through conventional channels like HTCDev. However, when it comes to unlocking a device, the more ways, the better.
For more details, check out the original thread.
Who doesn’t love all-in-one toolkits here? They make the whole process of unlocking, rooting, and flashing a custom recovery on our Android devices so easy, even a novice can do it. No more manual commands, no more searching for drivers, no more reading through multiple guides—just load up the toolkit, follow its steps, and you’ve got a phone ready to take to the next level.
If you’re an HTC Droid DNA owner looking into unlocking the bootloader of your device, rooting it, and flashing ClockworkMod or TWRP recovery, there’s now an all-in-one toolkit available to let you do all of that with ease.
Developed by XDA Recognized Developer hasoon2000, this GUI-based toolkit is a must-have for every Droid DNA owner looking to tweak and customize further. Apart from the features mentioned above, it also lets you flash kernels, boot your device into bootloader or recovery, relock the bootloader once unlocked, fix the Mainver error, directly sideload APKs from your PC, and backup your data to a PC.
To get started, head over to the forum thread where you can find the detailed instructions and more information.
In case you haven’t heard, Verizon is at it again. So far this year, developers have had to tackle the locked bootloader on the Galaxy S III and Verizon stopping HTCDev from unlocking the HTC Incredible 4G LTE. The largest carrier in the US still hasn’t learned yet, as they shut down HTCDev from working on the HTC Droid DNA. Or at least they think they did.
XDA Elite Recgonized Developer jcase has posted a method to get the bootloader unlocked, despite HTCDev not supporting it. Also involved in the process is XDA Recognized Developer dsb9938. The method itself doesn’t unlock your bootloader, but it will make your bootloader unlockable.
The method is actually an exploit that allows users to use HTCDev as normal. You’ll need ADB to get it done. Essentially what users will be doing is restoring a modified backup and implanting a generated CIDBLOCK.IMG. This allows your phone to be unlocked via HTCDev the regular way. It is a little complicated, so be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. The method does have the potential to brick your phone if done improperly.
For the full instructions, go to the original thread. For the time being, until jcase can get the instructions put in the thread, you’ll be following the directions jcase wrote on Android Police.
XDA Recognized Developer dsb9938 has released an insecure boot kernel for the HTC Droid DNA. For those who have never used one, such a kernel allows you to have root access when accessing your phone via ADB. As explained by dsb9938 himself:
This is simply modified to allow root in adb connections.
You must unlock on the HTCDev site first.
Then unzip and flash the file using fastboot (fastboot flash boot unsecure.DNA.stock.boot.img)
Then reboot, and when you adb in you are root.
While the most common use of an insecure boot is to obtain root access to the device, and that was indeed the impetus behind this release, they can still come in handy for device modification performed directly from your computer via ADB.
For more details, check out the original thread.
Update: Since HTC withdrew the unlock for the DNA, this method no longer works.
November 21, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Recently, we added forums for various new devices. First up is the HTC Droid DNA. HTC’s late 2012 flagship packs powerful specs, a remarkably high resolution screen, and sleek curves to make any gadget lover drool. Starting with the screen, the Droid DNA (and its Japanese cousin, the J Butterfly) packs the first 1080p mobile phone display. Given the 5-inch display size, this comes out to a remarkable 440 ppi. Not just pretty to look at, the Droid DNA also packs a punch thanks to its 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, LTE connectivity, and 2020 mAh battery.
Next, we have the Samsung Galaxy Camera. While not a phone, the Samsung Galaxy Camera is an interesting combination of a high-resolution 16 MP pocket camera and a fully functional Android-powered mobile device. On the Android side, it’s powered by a quad-core Samsung Exynos 4412 running at 1.4 GHz. It has a 4.8″ SC-LCD screen, packing a resolution of 1280×720. It comes with a full gig of RAM, and weighs in at a hefty 305 grams. On the camera side, the Galaxy Camera features a 16 MP BSI CMOS sensor. It also features a 28-48 mm (35mm equivalent) optical zoom lens.
Next up are the Desire C and Desire V. Both devices feature single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processors, half a gig of RAM, and 4 gigs of internal storage. The Desire V’s processor clocks in at 1 GHz, and it features a 4″ WVGA screen. The Desire C’s processor comes in at 600 MHz, and it features a 3.5″ HVGA screen. Both devices are targeted at new smartphone owners looking for a budget-friendly device.
Finally, we have two US Carrier variants of the Optimus G, LG’s late 2012 flagship phone. Powered by the top-of-the-line quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, the device is certainly no slouch. The speedy processor is backed by 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of ROM, a 4.7″ “True HD-IPS+” panel, LTE connectivity, and a 2100 mAh battery.
Looking to get in on the discussion? If so, be sure to head over to the new forums:
As we all know, the first step when a new device is released is to get it rooted. For some devices, it can get pretty messy. For others though, it’s a tried and true method that works on many devices. For HTC devices, most of them have a single way of being rooted, starting with HTCDev. Now, the HTC Droid DNA is among the rooted.
XDA News Writer HQRaja has posted a root guide for the Droid DNA. It’s pretty typical for a HTC device, so those who are coming from another HTC device should feel at home. In short, use HTCDev’s website to unlock the device’s bootloader. From there, you Fastboot flash a custom recovery (both CWM and TWRP are available), and then flash the SuperSU and busybox package in your custom recovery.
As stated, previous HTC owners shouldn’t have many issues with this method, and users have reported that it works well. So if you want to get your device rooted, this is the guide for you. For full instructions and more, check out the root thread.