February 19, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Before Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the OEM released two very interesting smartphones. The Moto X and Moto G were the first and probably the last devices made by the formerly American OEM in a cooperation with Google. Not so long ago, we talked about the Moto G receiving an unofficial CyanogenMod port. Now, however, the G and a few other Motorola devices will receive official CyanogenMod nightlies.
The CM team has released three unified builds, which is a bit of a surprising move, considering that the list of supported devices is quite long. The “mysterious” moto_msm8960 build will work with the Photon Q, Atrix HD, Razr M, and Droid Razr HD. The second build, dubbed moto_msm8960dt, should work with dual-core devices like the Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra. You need to figure out which phones are which, as builds for other devices will simply not work properly or even can brick your device. So be sure to double check before flashing, and check your home forum here on XDA to get the necessary info.
A build for the Moto G is separate due to its internal hardware. And I can’t can’t write about official nightlies for device code named falcon without mentioning XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who did a terrific job bringing up the device tree for this phone.
Motorola devices aren’t the only receiving these new unified builds. A couple of Samsung devices will receive unified builds as well. The list of phones is quite long and includes following devices:
Builds include only Qualcomm-based devices, as Exynos devices are still using platform-specified builds.
As you can see, the CyanogenMod team are on fire and make things as easy as possible both for developers and end users. The builds are located over on the official CyanogenMod download page. You can also check out the source code by visiting team’s Github and typing the name of the device in the search box.
[Big thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor herna for the tip!]
February 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android KitKat 4.4.2 is now available for the unlocked and developer edition HTC Ones! 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 the announcement that CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 3 is available for 50 devices and their is now a way to turn your Moto G into a Play Edition! 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 Complete Action Plus, Jordan taught us about ART the Android Runtime compiler, and TK gave us an Android App Review of Quickr. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
One might say that there really aren’t many perks that the Moto G GPe can offer over its regular counterpart. Thanks to Moto G’s timely updates from the previously Google owned Motorola, the near stock Android platform its running, and the uninvasive and minimal additions (or tweaks) Motorola has included with the regular Moto G, this opinion may not be too far from the truth. But the GPe still does has its appeals, with the most obvious being its undisturbed, intact Android experience.
So if you are after the GPe experience but currently own a regular Moto G, you may want to check out MotoTool All In One (AIO) by XDA Senior Member alonsoch. Much like the previously featured MotoTool, AIO performs a number of functions a new owner of the Moto G, both regular and GPe, needs to do to get started, such as:
What makes AIO different, however, is its ability to also convert your regular Moto G to the GPe with only a few clicks. Just download a GPe firmware, place it in the designated folder on your PC, and press “Convert.” If you come across an issue where there is no signal after conversion, alonsoch has provided the a brief guide on overcoming this.
So if you are interested in giving this tool a go, visit the original thread for more information.
The Moto G is a fantastic low-end device with some great mid-to-high-end specs, so we totally understand why you might be considering the device’s potential for aftermarket development when choosing the next phone you’re going to purchase. Now for those who have already purchased and received the device, a great starting point to your new journey is the MotoTool.
Developed by XDA Senior Member alonsoch specifically for the Moto G, the MotoTool has all the functions all you new Moto G owners will definitely need when setting up your devices. With only the prerequisite of an unlocked bootloader, which can be easily be achieved with the instructions alonsoch has linked, the tool allows you to:
Two downloads have been provided, the first with the restore function with a size of 530 MB, and the second without it but only coming in at 60 M. Additionally, alonsoch has provided additional instructions to help you root the Moto G as the tool does not do that automatically.
If you would like to check MotoTool out for yourself, head over to the original thread for more details.
January 29, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
The Moto G was one of the hottest devices of late 2013. Featuring relatively powerful specification and an incredibly low price, the G is a perfect budget phone that can easily compete with the last-generation Nexus 4. And Motorola’s close affiliation with Google makes the device even more enticing.
A device like the Moto G should be prime for some major aftermarket development, but this has been surprisingly slow in recent weeks. This is no longer the case, as a couple of custom ROMs are now available in Moto G forums. Big credit goes to XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who created a highly functional unofficial build of CyanogenMod 11. The build was almost completely fixed within the span of a week, and the developer claims that there are no bugs left. It’s an impressive achievement, considering that most phones need much longer than that for a fully functional ROM free of camera or radio issues. As this was the first source-built project for the G, now the flood gates are open for other popular ROMs to be ported as well.
If you are a happy Moto G owner and want to try something new, visit the development thread and give this ROM a try.
January 17, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4 KitKat official builds for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! 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 the announcement that the Motorola Droids are getting Android 4.4 KitKat builds and you can get a Google Play Edition Moto G! 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 Root Cloak, he then reviewed the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch 2.0, and finally he gave us an Android App Review of Calendar Status. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that the highly regarded Moto G has been a major success ever since its launch a few months back. The device, which doesn’t delude itself with false flagship aspirations still manages to deliver a fantastic user experience. And perhaps more importantly, it does this at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Now, Google has just made the Moto G that much more enticing, by releasing the Moto G Google Play edition for the same $179 price that made the original device so ground-breaking.
Though recent Moto G purchasers may be upset to learn that a new GPe version is available, there will undoubtedly be ports made in no time, and we’ll be sure to cover them here on the Moto G section of the XDA Portal. Furthermore, the GPe variant of the G may not feature the same Dalvik and Bionic optimizations that make the current device so efficient. But if that’s the case, putting them back will be no issue.
At these prices, and now that there’s a GPe version, there’s almost no reason not to love the Moto G.
Let us know your thoughts on the newest member of the GPe family in the comments below, and make your way over to the Google Play Store links to get yours:
And of course, don’t forget to visit our Moto G forum, where you’ll be able to find all of the latest development work on Motorola’s fantastic little device!
January 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Google-owned Motorola keeps courting us by making all of the right moves, as they have been updating all of their current devices to KitKat left and right. We first saw the update make its way to the Verizon Moto X, even before the Google Play edition devices received their updates. And then a little under one month ago, Android 4.4.2 started rolling out to the Moto G.
Now, Googoorola has released the GPL-mandated kernel source code files for the well liked Moto G running KitKat. Back in early December, we saw the release of these same open source files for the device’s initial Jelly Bean firmware release. And now, they have been updated for Android 4.4, enabling your favorite aftermarket kernel devs to do what they do best. If you’re a kernel or ROM developer looking to get in on building a KitKat-capable kernel for the Moto G, make your way over to the SourceForge link below.
And in other Motorola news, the KitKat rollout that began on the Droid Maxx/Ultra/Mini as a preliminary soak test is now seeing a widespread rollout to the greater population of Verizon Droid users. This comes nearly one month after the initial soak test, and comes in at the same software version 19.5.3. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen from Verizon as of late, it also packs a little more bloatware. This comes in the form of a newly integrated NFL Mobile app, as well as the new “SSO client.”
Are you happy with Motorola’s efforts to appeal to the aftermarket development and enthusiast communities? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to visit the Moto G and Droid Maxx/Ultra/Mini forums!
December 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Once again, all of us here at XDA would like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season! Undoubtedly, many of our happy readers are waking up to some extra Holiday cheer in the form of shiny new tech acquisitions. Luckily, XDA is here and has your back in helping you make the most of your new, Android-powered tech toy(s).
You may remember that a little while ago, we shared with you our Best of 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Now, we’re going to take some of these “Best” devices that you all voted for, and help you make the most of them. Obviously, we’re going to start with gaining root access and installing a custom recovery. But on some devices, this will even include installing an aftermarket ROM or even enabling multiboot!
Let’s start the day with your top pick as best tablet of 2013, the Google Nexus 7 (2013). With its high end specs and budget-friendly price, we think it’s safe to assume that quite a few Android fans are waking up to a brand new N7.
Since the Nexus 7 is a Nexus device, unlocking and rooting is incredibly simple. You will want to start by installing ADB and Fastboot by downloading the Android SDK (or installing minimal Fastboot and ADB installer, and the associated drivers). Then after you have ADB and Fastboot installed, the real fun can begin!
If all you want is root access, the easiest way to accomplish this is by running CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 7 (2013). CF-Auto-Root will get you rooted and install the latest version of SuperSU in practically no time and with virtually no effort or hassle.
Not everyone likes it simple, though. For those who’d rather get a bit more hands on, you can unlock your device by turning on USB debugging in developer settings and rebooting your tablet to bootloader by issuing the adb reboot-bootloader command. From there, you can unlock your new device by entering fastboot oem unlock. Then, simply reboot your device with fastboot reboot, reenter your bootloader with adb reboot-bootloader, and flash a custom recovery using fastboot flash recovery <recovery image filename.img>.
After you have your custom recovery installed, your doors are now open to installing some of the more popular custom ROMs, or perhaps you can even give Multiboot a try! All of this and more can be found in our Google Nexus 7 (2013) forum, here at XDA.
Now let’s shift our attention to your top pick as best smartphone of 2013. Surprise, surprise. It was the highly anticipated Google Nexus 5. Just like the Nexus 7, it also offers a wallet-friendly price. But unlike its tablet sibling, it also offers bleeding edge specs like a quad-core 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor.
Just like the Nexus 7, unlocking and rooting the Nexus 5 is a cakewalk. Just like what we covered above, you will want to start by installing ADB and Fastboot by downloading the Android SDK (or installing minimal Fastboot and ADB installer, and the associated drivers).
Once again, if all you want is root access, the easiest way to accomplish this is by running CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 5. CF-Auto-Root will get you rooted and install the latest version of SuperSU in practically no time and with virtually no effort or hassle.
For those who’d rather get a bit more hands on, you can unlock your device by turning on USB debugging in developer settings and rebooting your tablet to bootloader by issuing the adb reboot-bootloader command. From there, you can unlock your new device by entering fastboot oem unlock. Then, simply reboot your device with fastboot reboot, reenter your bootloader with adb reboot-bootloader, and flash a custom recovery using fastboot flash recovery <recovery image filename.img>.
Once you’ve got your recovery installed, you can now begin flashing any number of custom ROMs and kernels. And for those willing to try something a bit more ambitious, you can even play around with multiboot. Obviously, all this and more can be found in our Google Nexus 5 forum.
Next up, we have the HTC One. Although the device is no longer on the bleeding edge in the specs department, it offers build quality and a design aesthetic simply unparalleled in the Android OEM world.
While the process is a bit more involved than it is on the Nexus devices listed above, it is fully possible to unlock, root, install a custom recovery, and do much more on the HTC One. Thanks to the hard work by ieftm and his team, the device can be unlocked. There are also several custom recovery options available, as well as Official OmniROM and CyanogenMod installations, though you will want to make sure you are installing the appropriate version for your particular variant.
In addition to the custom ROM fun, those who are feeling a bit more ambitious can give Multiboot a try, as well as a Google Play editions conversion. Just like the previous two devices, all this and more can be found in the HTC One forum.
Please note, however, that the above links are intended for the INTERNATIONAL version of the device. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new carrier-branded variant, make sure you find your appropriate XDA forum before getting to work.
Let’s turn our attention over to the popular and powerful Sony Xperia Z1. Unlocking the device is a breeze. From there, you will want to gain root access, as well as flash a custom recovery. Once you’ve gotten that done, Official OmniROM and CyanogenMod builds await. And like the devices above, all of this and more can be found in the Sony Xperia Z1 forum here at XDA.
Now, we will talk about the wallet-friendly Moto G. Although it’s not the fastest device available, it offers a fantastic value that is simply unmatched in other budget devices.
Luckily, it is quite easy to unlock the Moto G directly through Motorola. From there, you can easily achieve root access and install a custom recovery. There’s not much in the aftermarket development world beyond the above, but you can rest assured that this is only a matter of time, thanks to the device’s popularity. And of course, keep your eyes peeled on the Moto G forums to keep apprised of any and all development activity for the device.
This innovative Moto X proves that raw hardware specs aren’t everything and that an innovative feature set can make for a great user experience, even on non-bleeding edge hardware.
Let’s start with rooting and unlocking, which is now possible thanks to jcase’s RockMyMoto exploit. From there, you will want to install a custom recovery. Then, you can try out any one of the source-built custom ROMs and kernels available in the Moto X forum.
Now we have the largest phone on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Packing bleeding edge specs, a mammoth sized screen, and the fantastic Wacom-based S Pen, the Note 3 is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Luckily, rooting the device and installing a custom recovery are quite easy on the Note 3. Development support is also quite widespread on the Note 3, so be sure to check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 forum here at XDA. Please note, however, that the above links are intended for the INTERNATIONAL version of the device. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new carrier-branded variant, make sure you find your appropriate XDA forum before getting to work.
Rounding out this article, we have the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Much like the highly acclaimed HTC One, the SGS4 is no longer the king of all of the hardware specs battles. That said, it’s still a great phone, jam packed with plenty of great features.
Thanks to the device’s age and vast popularity, root access and custom recoveries are both possible, with much more available in the Samsung Galaxy S 4 forum. But just like the HTC One and Note 3, be sure to visit the appropriate forum for you carrier-branded variant if you’re not running the international version of the device.
We wish you much Android-powered joy for this Holiday Season! See you in the XDA forums!
Greg Motorola is at it again! Earlier today, we talked about how Motorola (and Verizon) were issuing official Android 4.4 updates to the Droid Maxx/Ultra/Mini devices. Now, Motorola is sharing some update love with the highly regarded Moto G.
The Moto G, which is prominently displayed in our Best of 2013 Holiday Guide as the one of the best budget smartphones of 2013, is not a “high end” device in the traditional sense. Despite that, it still features a fantastic user experience. And now, this device is further proof that Motorola is capable of delivering updates at a pace that simply embarrases “flagships” from other manufacturers.
Today’s update brings the Moto G to software version 172.44.4. The update is currently rolling out in the form of a staged rollout, and it is currently only being delivered to US devices bought directly from Motorola or unlocked from Amazon. Update timing for carrier-branded devices, as well as devices purchased outside of the US is still up in the air.
We’re quite happy to see Google-owned Motorola pushing out updates at this speed. Are you a fan of Motorola’s expedient update timing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to get in on the discussion in the 4.4.2 discussion thread.
This Moto G software update is for all Global GSM and US GSM models purchased online in the United States. After installing the software update you will notice numerous enhancements and changes, including:
Android™ 4.4, KitKat® Android 4.4.2, KitKat, is the latest release of the Android platform. KitKat includes enhancements such as restyled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security, smarter power use, and more tools and capabilities for better app development. Phone dialer Improved the phone app with the ability to look up contacts directly from the dial pad, see and tap frequent contacts, and search your corporate directory easily. Camera – Focus and exposure Enhanced the “touch to focus” option with a new circular, on screen control that can be dragged by your finger around the viewfinder to adjust a photo’s focus and exposure. Gallery – Photo editing Added new photo editing options to the Gallery app including new filter effects, draw on your photos, advanced cropping, and adjustments to color, exposure, contrast and more. Printing documents and pictures Added support for printing photos, Google Docs, GMail messages, and other content via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and hosted services like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrinters. Hangouts – SMS/MMS support Incorporated a new version of Google Hangouts that supports integrated SMS/MMS messaging. Hangouts can be set as the default SMS app under Settings > Wireless > Default SMS app. Accessory support Added support for Square credit card reader.
December 14, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
About a month and a half ago, Motorola decided to remove some of its reliance on firmware updates by putting its camera app on the Google Play Store. And although we’ve seen generally great response times from most major carriers in updating the flagship Moto X, this was a fantastic move on their part because devices could now have an improved camera experience, without having to wait for a carrier-approved OTA update.
Now, Motorola has issued an update to their camera app , bringing some new and exciting features for Moto X and Moto G devices running Android 4.4. First and foremost, the app brings focus and exposure control by allowing you to drag the exposure and focus bracket to anywhere on the screen. These are set together, so you can’t focus in on a certain object while metering for another, but that’s not a huge limitation. And speaking about exposures, they are not locked during Panorama capture, making for an overall smoother picture.
December 8, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Despite its insanely cheap $179 asking price, the Moto G is a legitimately good smartphone. Sure, it doesn’t pack the latest specs or highest resolution and largest screen, but it is more than powerful enough to deliver a fluid user interface to its more than adequate 720p panel. And to top it off, the device is slated to get official KitKat love in the relatively near future.
We recently created a forum for the new device, and it has since seen the beginnings of aftermarket development love. Now, things are about to get a whole lot more exciting, as Motorola has released the GPL-mandated kernel source for the device—a prerequisite for the real development to begin.
Naturally this means nothing in the immediate term for end users. However, the timely source release and the device’s excellent value will almost certainly equate to plenty of development fun to come. Head over to SourceForge to download the open source files, and don’t forget to share your development work in our newly created Moto G forum!
We added a couple of new forums today for a pair of very intriguing devices. First up is the Moto G. This recently released device doesn’t exactly have flagship aspirations. Its $179 off-contract asking price isn’t really targeting the midrange either. Rather, this is meant to be a phone for the masses. But unlike most other devices in its price range, the Moto G actually packs some relatively healthy specs. The device features a 4.5-inch 720p LCD panel. Powering the screen, we have a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, which is backed by a 2070 mAh battery. The device features 1 gig of RAM and either 8 or 16 gigs of internal storage. It lacks LTE and even DC-HSPA+, but it can reach a theoretical maximum of 21 Mbit with its single-channel HSPA radio. The device ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but will see an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. The Moto G is already available in Europe, and is expected to arrive stateside by the end of January.
Next up is the Oppo N1. This device is intriguing on many fronts. First of all, it’s huge. With a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS panel, the phone certainly stands out. It also has a rather unique camera module that rotates to allow for full quality selfies. The N1 packs relatively powerful internals thanks to its quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor. It also features 2 gigs of RAM and either 16 or 32 gigs of internal storage. The device ships with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. But much like the company’s previous efforts with the Find 5 and the R819, the N1 features tremendous development potential thanks to the company’s developer friendly attitude and early work by developers such as XDA Senior Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD.
Do either of these new devices tickle your fancy? Personally, I can’t think of a better budget option than the G, and anything from Oppo is automatically exciting. Head over to the newly created forums below to get started: