June 23, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The main benefit to rooting one’s Android device is the ability to run applications that are developed for root users. These applications allow you to take control of your device and do a wide variety of actions not normally permitted or possible without root access. Some of these applications allow you to take entire system-wide backups, change your devices screen density, or even alter the look and feel of your device. There is no doubt that rooting a device has many advantages.
At XDA:DevCon 2013, we are talking all about app development. Scheduled to present is XDA Elite Recognized Developer Stericson. Also known as Stephen Erickson, Stericson has been involved in the Android community since the prerelease of the T-Mobile G1, or since rc19 if we want to go in terms of Android releases. He started out learning how to create themes for Android and then he moved on to hex edits that enabled one device’s apps to work on another device. He finally moved on to developing Android applications and the RootTools library to assist others with creating applications for root users.
As a developer, creating root-enabled applications becomes trivial with the RootTools open source library. Sterison’s presentation will focus on how to use the RootTools library in order to create root applications that your users will love and appreciate.
June 21, 2013 By: Samantha
Ever since moving to a phone with virtual navigation buttons, I’ve been bugged by the screen space they use—a gripe held by many out there as well. However you minimize this issue, be it a mod that reduces the height of the navigation bar, using Pie control on Paranoid Android or CM10, or a third-party app such as Button Savior, there’s now an alternative called the Ultimate Dynamic Navbar, developed by XDA Forum Member MrBIMC.
Ultimate Dynamic Navbar is possibly the one solution that many have been waiting for. Instead of drastically changing the way we navigate our devices with a different UI and position, it retains the navigation bar in its form and shape, with one subtle twist: It can hide itself. What’s even better is the extensive customization that MrBIMC has allowed for, packing in four different themes, the option to adjust transparency, and a choice of three activation methods, among plenty of other settings. Additional buttons can be set, and different actions can be triggered on long-press. The app also includes the option to hide the real navigation bar, thus a rooted device is required.
Ultimate Dynamic Navbar is actively supported by MrBIMC, with an agenda of ridding bugs and including even more customization options such as theming support. This support can already be seen with the seven versions already under his belt. The app is ad-free and is free exclusively on the XDA Forums. So if you would like to check it out, visit the original thread for more information and download.
“Wait, what is the Motorola MotoACTV? Doesn’t sound very familiar.”
Unbeknownst to many, the MotoACTV is an interesting device released by Motorola all the way back in 2011 that acts as a part-time watch, and a part-time fitness tracker. With Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS support, it also interestingly came with Android Gingerbread, thus making it a standout device among its smartwatch peers, and even more so with the active development going on behind it.
XDA Recognized Developer ClearD came up with a root method for the MotoACTV, crowning it the title of the first rooted smartwatch. With ClearD’s Root Tool recently updated to version 2.0.1, users of this device can not only root the MotoACTV, but also perform a plethora of other actions. These include:
In addition to the RootTool, ClearD also developed the MotoACTV Image Flasher, a tool that allow MotoACTV users to flash images and roms (and yes, there are custom ROMs for this watch), and wipe the device’s data and cache.
With a rooted device comes an overclock method, discovered by XDA Senior Member dproldan. Using the overclock module by Tiago Sousa and the provided zip file, users must have ADB installed to issue the given commands required to create 4 frequency steps:
So if you are a user of the Motorola MotoACTV, most definitely go ahead and check out the development thread for more information and discussion.
May 24, 2013 By: jerdog
Samsung, Samsung, Samsung, you never cease to amaze. You love to say that you are friendly to the developer and user communities, and some have even bought that. There’s an old saying that says, “Actions speak louder than words.” There’s another one that says, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Both apply here, as you stooped to another low when you started rolling out updates to the Samsung Galaxy S4 that disabled the ability to elevate user permissions (effectively what “su” does) via a kernel configuration.
With the update of SuperSU to v1.30, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has patched the attempt by Samsung to hamper the developer community they so (hate) love. While good for a time when Samsung first deployed this, hack attempts like supercurio’s StupidSU are no longer needed, as they utilized a temporary solution.
In addition to the SuperSU update, Chainfire has also updated his CF-Auto-Root to include the Sprint Galaxy S4 and Canadian Galaxy S4, and updated the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 and I9505 releases. And to top it all off, ADBD Insecure was updated to allow it to play nicely with SELinux on the S4. Whew! That’s quite an impressive body of work in such a short time.
I think it’s time we learned a lesson from some wise, old contemporary philosophers who asked us to get on our knees and pray that “we don’t get fooled again” by Samsung’s words.
May 13, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
There has been a bit of a back and forth between the development community and Verizon lately, specifically relating to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It is perhaps best summed up by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler:
“Well, this has been quite the saga thus far…
Us: Suck It Verizon (exploit)
them: Suck it XDA-Developers (OTA patch)
Us: Back Atcha Verizon (exploit)
them: Stop it XDA (OTA Patch)
Us: No You! (exploit)”
The combination of Adam’s CASUAL deployment system and Recognized Developer Ralekdev‘s exploits themselves has been continually providing Verizon Note 2 owners with the ability to free their device through each OTA. The pair have once again managed to undo the restrictions put in place by the latest update, and they have released that exploit to the public. Be aware that this is only for those who are running a completely stock ROM. If you are not stock and have already installed a custom recovery, this will cause you issues.
This exploit lifts the restrictions put in place by Verizon that prevent the device from running unauthorized software. Be warned that it will leave you unable to accept their OTA updates. However, you will now have a much friendlier bootloader, and who doesn’t want that?
For those of you who are running a stock ROM and looking to unlock their device, the usual rules apply. Windows(7/8)/Mac/Linux users can all make use of this cross platform tool, which will take you through the process quickly and easily. Make sure you have Java installed beforehand and you’re all set. As always, be prepared to take a log if you run into any issues, and make sure to have a thorough read through the development thread before starting the process.
Users of the Xperia Tablet S, rejoice! XDA Forum Member xxliftsupxx has discovered a sneaky method to root Android 4.1.1 on the sgpt12… finally.
Soon after noticing that the the sgpt12 uses the exact same kernel as the Asus Transformer, which has a working root method, xxliftsupxx stumbled across Dan Rosenberg’s Motochopper, the same tool used to root a variety of Motorola devices, as well as the Galaxy S4. The method is quite simple, requiring you to download Motochopper and run the ‘run.bat‘ file while the tab is connected in USB debugging mode, very much the same as the Asus Transformer.
If you do find yourself with an unsuccessful root, Forum Member jappaj has posted simple fixes through replacing the ‘adb.exe‘ file in the root package or manually debug and root through windows command prompt. Windows 8 users may have to follow instructions posted by Forum Member jimibxl and Senior Member stifilz, which require some extra steps and downloads to get things working.
This root exploit is a welcomed discovery for users of the Xperia Tablet S, who for a long time, have not been able to have any sorts of developmental works for the device because of the unlockable bootloader courtesy of Sony’s VAIO department. Please note, however, that this is not Sony’s Mobile Communication’s department, which is doing wonders for their latest Android devices.
April 27, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
If you’re thinking about signing up for a carrier-subsidized Samsung Galaxy S4 here’s a bit of good news: XDA Recognized Developer Djrbliss posted a rooting guide that is dead simple and works with all variations that use a Qualcomm processor (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.). The technique was originally developed for Motorola devices, and thus is called Motochopper. It will work for Windows, Linux, or OSX. Windows users will need to have the latest Samsung USB drivers. With that prerequisite satisfied, you need only run the .bat (Windows) or .sh (the other OSes) file get your root on.
This was just released yesterday, and there are a few things to consider before giving it a spin. Rooting the S4 can be considered a bit risky because there isn’t a clear path for fixing the device if rooting fails. But I image it won’t be too long before someone is able to dump a stock image and get a custom recovery working on the device. And I’m sure you’ve heard the news that at least some carriers will be delivering phones with locked bootloaders (booo!) but that’s never stopped us before. Maybe the same exploit that worked with the Atrix HD will work with these since the processors are cousins?
If you still want to throw caution to the wind, head over to the original thread for a download link and instructions.
The Acer E350, otherwise known as the Liquid Gallant, is one of those devices that sits squarely in the middle of the road. While more than capable of running Android 4.0.3, its specs aren’t really anything to write home about. This coupled with the fact that Acer’s devices aren’t particularly renowned for their developer support means that the E350 wasn’t given it’s own dedicated forum. That however has not stopped those with the device from providing it with that all important trio of root, recovery, and ROM that no device should be left without.
XDA Forum Member jaapstreepjan posted a thread detailing exactly how to go about gaining root access and installing a custom CWM-based recovery to the E350, as well as a simple tweaked stock ROM to be flashed from your shiny new recovery. The ROM includes some enhancements such as Google Now, init.d support, and a less bloated /system partition among others. The root method is courtesy of XDA Forum Member Bin4ry, and the recovery via XDA Forum Member erlucky.
If you own one of these devices and are looking to extend its capabilities, check out the original thread for more info.
November 20, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, Jamie Condliffe of Gizmodo posted an article asking why anyone would want to root their stock Android device. Our recent news that we published regarding the Nexus 4 being rooted prompted the question.
Condliffe asks, “What are the amazingly useful features you can only access by rooting a Nexus 4? And are they worth the effort, when you already have a great, clean install of Android on your handset in the first place? Tell us”
Who better to answer this question than our own wireless device freedom advocate and XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch. In this video azrienoch “tells them” why rooting is worth the effort. Check out what azrienoch has to say.
November 19, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Jelly Bean Leak, Nexus device rooted, Windows 8 and wireless device manufacturers’ agreements—all this and more covered on today’s episode of XDA Developer TV. Android News specialist Jordan talks about the Jelly Bean leak for the international variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II. Also mentioned is the article talking about more and more Windows 8 apps being released.
In rooting news, Jordan mentions the rooting guide for the Droid DNA device. Also, to the surprise of no one, the Nexus 4 has been rooted. Finally, Jordan mentions the agreement between HTC and Apple and Samsung’s demands to see the particulars of this agreement. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
If you are one of those lucky enough to snag a Nexus 4 before the Play Store went into meltdown and all stock was depleted, congratulations. I dare say you’ll be anxiously tracking that package and cursing the mailman for taking his sweet time. One thing you won’t have to wait for however, when your device finally arrives, is root access.
Thanks to XDA Senior Member and News Writer HQRaja, there’s now a thread with all the relevant information and files you’ll need to root your Nexus 4 straight out of the box. I’d imagine the vast majority of you are well aware of what root access is and why you might (or indeed might not) want it. However if you aren’t, I’d suggest it’s time for a spot of light reading.
The process for rooting the Nexus 4 is pretty straight forward (as it is on any Nexus device) and should pose no challenge for anyone who’s previously rooted a device. It basically boils down to unlocking the bootloader, flashing an insecure boot image then using ADB to push BusyBox and Chainfires SuperSU to the device. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.
Check out the original forum thread for the step by step instructions and links to the required files. Happy rooting.
The Nexus 7 is quickly becoming the most popular Android tablet. Unsurprisingly, it has amassed a large community of developers who have produced some great tools and utilities for the device. A common utility for popular devices is the ‘one-click’ root tool. XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer mskip has created such a tool for Nexus 7 users that contains one-click root functionality and much more. Some of the notable functions include:
As impressive as the current function list is, mskip has also added capability to apply upcoming mods to the tablet (though there are none available as of yet). Both new and existing Nexus 7 users will surely find this toolkit to be extremely helpful. To download the utility, head to the release thread, and be sure to thank mskip for putting it together!
Recently Portal Administrator Will Verduzco showed us how to root and install Ice Cream Sandwich on the dual-core Meizu MX. Meizu recently sent us their new quad-core version—the similarly named Meizu MX M032—and it sports the same Exynos 4412 chip found in the Samsung Galaxy S III. This time, we gave the device to our resident mobile deconstructionist.
In this episode of Unboxing the XDA Way, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler unboxes the Meizu MX all the way down to the circuit board and makes it beg for mercy. Adam runs into a End User License Agreement talking about rooting the device, which he promptly ignores. Adam finds that the exploits that we used last time to gain root have been patched. In the vein of his video on rooting, Adam continues and finds a UART exploit to root the Meizu MX.
Here on XDA, we try and squeeze out every ounce of goodness from our device. Sometimes that requires that we have full access to the device. While we can respect device makers who protect the system kernel from inexperienced users, we here at XDA are not inexperienced users. We give our selves root access because we don’t see why we should be shut off from a section of our phone—a phone that we own. That would be like the municipal government putting up a fence in the part of your yard that has underground sewer lines. It’s my yard; I should be able to access every part of it.
Device manufactures that prevent root access would be similar to Microsoft not allowing you to have an Administrator account on your Windows PC. It’s like Ubuntu blocking you from having a root account on your PC. It’s like Apple only allowing you to install approved apps from their app store on your iPhone—What? Oh right, they do that.