December 30, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4 KitKat is now available for the Samsung Galaxy Ace, Fit, Mini and Gio! That and much more KitKat news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the three-Rom KitKat Combo is available for the LG Optimus 4X HD and the article talking about how Sense 5.0 has been ported to the HTC Pico (Explorer)!
In other important news, Jordan talks about speeding up your Nexus device with the Qualcomm optimized KitKat Dalvik and Bionic libraries. Also, there is now a Hangouts widget! Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV, like the review of the latest version of Google Glass. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
So it’s been a week since XDA:DevCon 13 passed, and I am still blown away by the excitement, energy, and community that flowed out of the event. With top-notch speakers and sponsors giving their all, and a hotel staff that was committed to making sure everything went smoothly, there was hardly a chance for Uncle Murphy (the bad luck icon, not our amazing opening speaker Mark Murphy) to make an appearance.
Going into this event I didn’t know what to expect—much like when you and your significant other find yourselves expecting a child, you spend months planning something, but you still don’t know what is really in store. Is it going to come out looking like this or more like this?
So many exciting things happened, some of which XDA TV Producer Jordan Keyes spoke about in his recap last week, while others will probably never see the light of day (but have something to do with a dancing video bomb, crazy developer drink shots, and a dancing penguin, to name a few). One thing’s for certain though: without the support of the XDA community, and willingness to take a risk and show up to a new conference, this would have never been a success. Also, a big thanks goes out to XDA Staff, Sponsors, and Speakers who made it possible for this baby to be born.
It’s with that in mind that I want to give a shout out to those sponsors below. Without each and every one of them, XDA:DevCon would not have had the amazing giveaways and allow us the ability to serve amazing food during the conference. We thank you for your commitment and willingness to join us at our first ever developer conference.
April 11, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
Dan Rosenberg (a.k.a. XDA Recognized Developer djrbliss) gets the credit for finding exploits on a lot of devices, and now you can add to it the line of Motorola units that use the Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset. There are currently three models included in this category, the Atrix HD, Razr HD, and Razr M. They’re based on the processor marketed as the Qualcomm Snapdragon, and they’re hiding some interesting tricks that may eventually keep users from loading their own ROMs. Dan’s investigation did lead to an exploit, but I find some of the pseudocode he authored based on the disassembly an interesting look at what the future might bring from Motorola.
A what catalog? If that was your reaction when you read this article’s title, mission accomplished! All joking aside, if you have been around Samsung devices for long enough, you will have undoubtedly heard about the EFS folder. This is a “magical” place that stores virtually anything that is required by your phone to work properly, including but not limited to your IMEI (or MEID/pESN if you have a CDMA device), carrier label, parameters of all sorts, and much more. All these important things are stored in different locations in that folder, particularly located in a folder in the EFS directory called NV_Items. Each item/location holds hex values for all the aforementioned parameters. As stated, this is very important information because without it, your phone simply would not work.
The NV folder is well protected to prevent people from messing with it. However, there are several ways to actually open it up, grab these items, and change them around. The question becomes though, if you are looking for something specific, where do you find it? There are literally hundreds of items to go through and several of these can be misleading due to having very similar descriptions (normally, these descriptions are picked up and displayed by programs such as DFS, QXDM, and QPST, among others). XDA Forum Member autoprime has posted a very complete and up to date list of all the NV items and their respective description for Qualcomm-based Samsung devices. So, if you were thinking about diving in this interesting folder, at least now you have a life vest to put on before going in.
Remember that this is only a reference. If you do not know what you are doing with your device, we strongly suggest that you stay away from messing with any of these parameters, as you can render your device useless. And if you are going to dive in, always remember: Back things up before proceeding.
Here is a list of all current NV items according to Qualcomm. List is current as of summer 2012. You won’t find a more complete list unless you work for Qualcomm. And if you do you should be helping us
You can find more information in the original thread.
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March 30, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we shared fantastic news that Qualcomm had released the Adreno 2xx GPU Binaries for Ice Cream Sandwich. However one thing that we failed to consider was that these precompiled GPU binaries were compatible only with ARMv7 devices.
Sadly, this left many users with older and less powerful ARMv6 devices out in the cold. Due to having less powerful CPUs, these are devices that could stand to benefit greatly from full GPU hardware acceleration in ICS. Not content with sitting idly by, XDA Forum Member sweetnsour quickly saw fit to create a global petition asking Qualcomm to compile and release the necessary Adreno 2xx GPU binaries to get ARMv6 devices up to speed with ICS back on March 17th.
Less than two weeks later, and thanks largely to sweetnsour’s petition efforts, Qualcomm Senior Staff Engineer Dave Astle—otherwise known as XDA Forum Member myopicrhino—lets us know that Qualcomm has shared the goods with the development community. In other words, we now have the proper Adreno 2xx GPU binaries for ICS on ARMv6 devices.
In order to provide enthusiasts with recent improvements made to Snapdragon’s Adreno graphics driver for the 7×27 based on the ARMv6 ISA, Qualcomm has posted the updated Adreno 200 graphics driver binaries here. It has been tested with the Ice Cream Sandwich CAF release M8960AAAAANLYA1030, but Qualcomm is providing these driver binaries “as is” to those of you who have requested them.
Official Release Information:
This release contains the user-mode driver binaries for Qualcomm’s Adreno 2xx GPU on Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich for ARMv6 based chipsets. It has been tested with the CAF release M8960AAAAANLYA1030. Supports any Adreno 2xx GPU on Android ICS using the ARMv6 chipset (7×27). Google’s libRS (LLVM) does not currently support ARMv6.
Well there you have it, folks. Score this as another big win for the development community. And just as before, we would like to extend our gratitude for Qualcomm for playing nicely with the enthusiast / development community. ARMv6 developers looking to get cracking with the new GPU binaries can find what they’re looking for in Qualcomm’s Mobile Gaming and Graphics page or from myopicrhino’s post.
Qualcomm, thank you for once again showing that you care about your users and the Android development community.
[Huge thanks to myopicrhino for the tip!]
As many people already know, Sony has been releasing a lot of ICS Xperia Source Code recently. Coupled with Qualcomm’s release of Adreno 2xx GPU drivers for ICS, developers of the Xperia line up have been up to their elbows in new code to play with.
Not all code is perfect, however, and for some devices, namely the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray, the GPU libraries proved problematic, causing a few bugs with the video driver with camera preview and video playback. XDA Forum Member arcatarc has taken the video driver and, well, fixed it.
The modified driver has had positive reviews from the testers so far and seems to fix all the problems with the video driver from Qualcomm. Says arcatarc:
hi all,as you know Qualcomm released a new updated driver for ICS
But the problem is that the original package causes a problem with camera preview.
I managed to resolve(?)this by using the original eglsubAndroid.so.
So..here you are,the NewAdrenoICS.zip is the originalupdate(camera bug),NewAdrenoICSSony.zip is the modded one,use OriginalAdrenoICSSony.zip to revert back to original.
The method of installing the modded driver is as easy as it gets. Simply make a backup, because you know should always make a backup before flashing anything, and flash the .zip in recovery then reboot. For those who want to check it out, you can find the download links and user feedback in arcatarc’s thread. Don’t forget to leave some feedback if you try it so others know how it will work.
March 16, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
For quite some time, we’ve known that devices based on Qualcomm’s aging QSD8250 / 8650, otherwise known as the original Snapdragon, would not be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich in official capacity. This meant that former flagship devices that were released less than two years ago would be ineligible for official upgrades to ICS.
This is something that many of us refused to accept, myself included. What’s worse is that it meant that the device which most lived up to the Nexus name—the Nexus One—would not receive Google’s tastiest treat.
Now despite the lack of proper first party graphics libraries, the community has made outstanding progress porting ICS to devices that by all objective means should not be able to run the OS. Naturally, the HTC HD2 was one of the first devices to receive ICS in unofficial capacity. However, one thing that was holding back progress was lack of GPU hardware acceleration for the OS. Luckily not too much later, a hack was developed by XDA Forum Member Ankuch that enabled hardware acceleration on the device’s Adreno 200.
As good as hacks are, we now have the real thing, courtesy of the Qualcomm Development Boards Forum Master. In his words:
In order to provide enthusiasts with recent improvements made to Snapdragon’s Adreno graphics drivers, Qualcomm has made the updated Adreno 2xx graphics driver binaries available here. Note that you will most likely need to be a developer to take advantage of these new drivers since they’ll require integration with the CAF release of ICS, but Qualcomm is providing these driver binaries “as is” to those of you who have requested them.
Official release information:
This release contains the user-mode driver binaries for Qualcomm’s Adreno 2xx GPU on Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich. It has been tested with the CAF release M8960AAAAANLYA1030. Supports any Adreno 2xx GPU on Android ICS.
Boom, headshot. On behalf of the entire development community, we would like to thank Qualcomm for their efforts. This will undoubtedly give developers what they need to properly port Ice Cream Sandwich to Adreno 200-based devices. And in fact, all Andreno 2xx GPUs, which appear in the Snapdragon S2 and S3, stand to benefit as well.
[Huge thanks to XDA Forum Member frogfire for the tip!]