January 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler got a hold of a Samsung Galaxy Camera. First thing he did was unbox it, then he tore it apart, and finally he rooted it. For your normal user that is plenty, but AdamOutler wanted more than an Android Camera.
In this video, AdamOutler talks about some of the hacks that are working on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. He talks about installing a VNC Server on the Galaxy Camera and using a tablet as a remote viewfinder and controller for the camera. He then talks about hooking up an external microphone. Finally, he talks about the open Galaxy Bootloader and eMMC. So sit back, relax and check out this video.
December 30, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Android devices support a lot of external devices. From Bluetooth speakers to external hard drives, there really isn’t much you can’t hook up to an Android device anymore. However, one thing that users may have trouble with is an external microphone.
XDA Elite Recognized Developers AdamOutler and Rebellos are at it again. This time with a hardware mod that will allow better external mic support on most Samsung Galaxy devices. This includes the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Camera. AdamOutler explains the mod in more detail:
Elite Recognized Developer Rebellos searched the code, and we figured out that the device wouldn’t recognize my mic because its Ohms are too low. The WolfsonMicro chip uses any value below 1000 Ohms to signify button presses. Above 1000 Ohms, it signifies a microphone. My microphone is a 900 Ohm microphone, so in all actuality, it’s pretty high considering most are around 100-500 Ohms. However, Rebellos and I managed to hack through it. I wanted to share this method.
The result is a hardware mod that allows the use of larger external microphones. There are a few things to note. As Adam stated, in order to be detected, the mic must offer 1000 Ohms of resistance. If it doesn’t, then the device won’t register it as a microphone, but rather, as a button press. Since most of us don’t want to buy an entirely new microphone, a tempting solution is to create an adapter to enable the one you already have to work on the device.
According to Adam, you’ll be building a, “Samsung 4-pole to 1/4″ Mic adapter with a 200 Ohm resistor inline.” The process itself isn’t overly difficult, and for frequent hardware modders, it should be a walk in the park. Since you’re not soldering anything onto your device, you most likely aren’t putting it in direct jeopardy. Just be careful not to burn yourself with that soldering iron.
If this looks like something worth trying, head over to the original thread.
December 27, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
It is not very often that we throw around the words “game changer.” There have been a great deal of impressive developments here at XDA over the years. However, game changers are indeed a rarity. There have been a couple of recent breakthroughs on the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Camera, and other Samsung Exynos-based devices.
XDA Elite Recognized Developers adamoutler and Rebellos have figured out how to boot from the SD card. We’re not talking chroot style dual booting, either. We’re talking full boot with an open source bootloader. In addition, they also have Fastboot working on the Galaxy Camera. As adamoutler explains:
What’s this mean? We can now work INSIDE the Samsung TrustZone on production devices! This means some serious debugging of bootloaders is possible. What does this REALLY mean? It means that not only do we have a way to get away from Samsung closed source bootloaders, but we can now boot TOTALLY from SDCard on the Galaxy Camera and the Galaxy S3…. What’s that mean? We can fix brick-bugged Galaxy S3 devices!
There is still a lot of work to be done though, as is outlined here:
1. EMMC Disable hardware mod (can be undone later)
2. UART hookups for debugging and working in fastboot mode.
3. attempting to rework GS3 Ramdisk for SDCard boot.
4. recreating the proper partition structure on a 16 gig.
This is huge news. Users of devices with Exynos processors now have a second option besides booting from the usual EMMC. The mod is far from complete, but with this mod in place, it is literally impossible to permanently brick at least the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Camera. There is no doubt that more devices will follow in time. Instead of recovering the EMMC chip and booting from that again, one must perform a simple hardware mod and boot straight from a SD card. If you happen to brick again, just replace the SD card.
In addition, being able to use an open source bootloader means that users no longer have to worry about flashing a locked bootloader to save their device. To make things even better, Adam says other things are possible as well. These include booting alternate operating systems, but really, the possibilities are endless. Adam also touches briefly on this mod in his latest video, Best Hacks of 2012. There is likely going to be a lot more about this development as it develops, so keep your eyes peeled.
To keep tabs on this development in progress, check out the original thread.
December 24, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
The Samsung Galaxy Camera has been a developer daydream since its release. In just a short time, we’ve brought you news of root, UnBrickable SD mod, and an open source bootloader for the device. There are plenty of others too. Now, there is a way to access hidden menus in the Galaxy Camera.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer Adam Outler has released a method that allows Galaxy Camera owners to access hidden menus. While some would assume that the menus aren’t that important, there is some utility to be found inside. As Adam explains, these hidden menus can help get to things like Factory Mode where bricked users can un-brick their devices. There are some menus that don’t really matter, but there are some that are very useful:
So somehow I put my device into MODEM mode so it would try to connect to the computer as a data device instead of a camera/phone. I was seriously thinking my device was borked because I’ve been working inside it… I fixed my device with the *#7284# — Phone Utility (USB Settings) code. Both should be set to PDA.
For more details, please check out the original thread.
When you buy a product, you count on being the one in control so you can do whatever you want to: dress it up, throw it on the ground, or hang it from the ceiling. Mobile carriers, and some manufacturers for that matter, have a very different idea. Since you bought the device at a discount (read: subsidy) they feel they own the device, at least until the contract term is up—and they do have a point. Often, the manufacturer and mobile carrier have come to an agreement that a device must have its bootloader locked during the life of a contract, or until a specified date in time. Only then, can the consumer be allowed to unlock their bootloader via means given to them by the manufacturer. All would seem lost, if it weren’t for some of the amazing developers here at XDA.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler has a history of hacking devices and getting around the restrictions placed on devices, most recently with the bootloader on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III. Unlocking the bootloader can present all sorts of options, from installing Ubuntu to dumping full partitions to installing custom ROMs, and yet it is no small feat to do so. AdamOutler eats locked bootloaders for breakfast, so when he got ahold of a Samsung Galaxy Camera he had to be salivating. With the bootloader successfully unlocked and UnBrickable Mod created, and with Samsung’s Exynos 4 sources being less than complete (much less working and usable), he knew he needed a good development board to work on to remove dependency on Samsung’s closed-source bootloaders. So the Galaxy Camera was put to good use, and has become just that.
After the initial R&D work with porting SD Recovery to Exynos4412 devices, AdamOutler set out with XDA Recognized Developers Rebellos and ralekdev to get U-Boot running. For those unfamiliar with U-Boot, it is a open source bootloader that allows you to tailor it to your needs. In the case of the Galaxy Camera, it provides the user with total control over the device as well as fastboot capability. After some painstaking work, ralekdev was able to reverse engineer the bootloader, and Rebellos was able to get U-Boot running via SD Card. For more information on the process, you can visit AdamOutler’s Google+ post.
December 2, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
A couple of weeks ago, we brought you a lot of Galaxy Camera news. If you’re a watcher and not a reader, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Adam Outler talked about pretty much all of it in his popular unboxing videos. In a very short time, the Samsung Galaxy Camera got root, official Heimdall support, and all kinds of other great mods and hacks. One thing that Adam was working on was making UnBrickable Mod compatible with the Galaxy Camera. That is now a reality.
After some tinkering and hard bricking, Adam now has UnBrickable SD successfully working on the Galaxy Camera. This is huge news if you own a Galaxy Camera because, well, your device is no longer brickable. And we’re talking about hard bricks too. The UnBrickable SD mod allows users to restore their device from a hard brick with little more than a SD card and a wire.
Here is how it works. When the phone is turned on, the processor attempts to load SBOOT. This provides all the details like the partitions so the device can boot properly. In the event that the SBOOT is damaged, it’s designed to default to the SD card—therein lies the exploit. When you’ve hard bricked your device, you can use a SD card to bring it back to life.
To start, users download a few things. First is a SD card image and create the UnBrickable SD. Even if you’re not bricked, it’s probably a good idea to make one of these with a spare micro SD card you may have laying around. Then, users get the PIT file, an Odin/Heimdall factory image, and Samsung Kies for drivers if you have Windows.
After everything is downloaded and the UnBrickable SD is made, users then disassemble the Galaxy Camera. If you need help, Adam has an excellent video showing you how to do it. At this point, you insert the SD card.
The next part is pretty much the essential part. Users will use something like a wire or tweezers to short the EMMC resistor. This allows the Galaxy Camera to boot from the UnBrickable SD and Odin Mode will pop up. Once the device is disassembled and the wires are in place, getting it to boot into Odin Mode should take less than a minute. From there, flash the factory image in the PDA slot and the PIT file in the PIT slot in Odin. Once it’s been flashed, your device will boot as normal.
With this, the Galaxy Camera is UnBrickable, and that’s a big deal. Developers can now test everything without worry, users can now flash anything without worry, and Samsung won’t get nearly so many RMA’s. Everyone’s happy. For a better explanation, picture tutorials, and Adam’s personal assurance that this really isn’t sorcery, check out the original thread.
November 23, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
In this third part of our four-part series, XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer AdamOutler shows you how to root your Samsung Galaxy Camera with Odin, Elite Recognized Developer ChainFire’s CF-AutoRoot, and a PC. Before this episode, AdamOutler submitted a recovery to Chainfire to be CF-AutoRooted. AdamOutler shows how easy CF-AutoRoot is to use.
In this episode, AdamOutler gives you a list of reasons why you would want to root your Galaxy Camera. He then gives you the step-by-step process for rooting the Galaxy Camera. If you missed it, check out part one of this series, where AdamOutler unboxes the Galaxy Camera and shows of the basics. Also, be sure to check out part two for a detailed tear down of the internals of the device.
November 22, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
In this second part of our four-part series, XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer AdamOutler tears down his recently delivered Samsung Galaxy Camera to its internal circuit boards. He goes on to point out and explain the various parts of the circuit board. Finally, AdamOutler talks about the device’s build quality.
If you missed it, check out part one of this series where AdamOutler unboxes the Galaxy Camera and shows of the basics. Stay tuned for part three where he shows you how to root the Android powered Galaxy Camera.
November 22, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
There have been a plethora of new devices added to our forum as of late. While many had large scale launches, such as the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy Note II, there are others that didn’t get as much of the limelight. One such device is the Samsung Galaxy Camera. It’s a unique device. It has all the specs of a high end smartphone, except it’s a 16 MP point-and-shoot camera, and developers here at XDA have been hacking the daylights out of it.
Heading up the development is XDA Elite Recognize Developer Adam Outler. We’ve written about his work for the device before, including achieving root on the device using CF AutoRoot by fellow Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire. Since then, Adam has been working pretty hard to give the Galaxy Camera a solid base for development, and he’s doing quite well.
Among the first things Adam did was create a PIT file using the partition table that was also released, and update Heimdall to work with the device. This is a pretty big deal for various reasons. Given that Heimdall is how Linux users flash Odin files, Galaxy Camera owners can now flash tar files on Linux without the need for Windows. This can help fix all sorts of problems such as soft bricks. For those who don’t know, the PIT file will also help with bricks, as it carries all the partition information for the device. You can find Adam’s explanations of the partitions along with instructions on getting the updated Heimdall in the Heimdall and Partition thread.
To add to the development awesomeness, Adam is also working on making UnBrickable Mod compatible with the Galaxy Camera. This is huge news as it means anyone can recover from hard bricks. For those who don’t know, the UnBrickable Mod project extends back to last year, and it’s something we’ve been keeping track of. It’s run by Adam and so far, over a dozen Samsung devices now have UnBrickable Mod, with many more in progress. The full process is explained by Adam:
Pure and simple, this is a hardware exploit which allows direct upload of code to run on the S5PC110/Hummingbird/Cortex A8 platform. Samsung’s chain of trust(CoT) model uses hardware to authenticate the Integrated Read-Only Memory (IROM), which authenticates the initial bootloader (IBL), which authenticates the Primitive Bootloader(PBL)… The IROM,IBL, and PBL are all loaded in IRAM, the PBL’s job is to initialize Dynamic RAM(DRAM) and authenticate/load the Secondary bootloader(SBL AKA BL3), which loads a kernel, which loads the operating system you see on-screen.
This is a two part hack. We’ve developed a hardware modification which allows USB download of code. We’ve also developed the Hummingbird Interceptor bootloader(HIBL) which intercepts the CoT and allows a second, unsigned download. The HIBL uses official code to handle authentication, which jumps to another memory location. It’s this memory location where we place our exploit. Our exploit reuses the same code that downloads the HIBL to IRAM, but it initializes DRAM which means you can directly upload a SBL(the final bootloader) to DRAM.
So once again.. really quick… We use a hardware mod to download Rebellos’ HIBL, which violates the Chain of Trust, exploits a memory jump and allows unsigned code to run on the processor. All this means you can revive a dead phone easily or try out other operating systems and debug easily, regardless of signature checking on the device.
If you’d like more info, you can check out the original UnBrickable Mod thread for more details. It’s pretty complicated, but definitely among the coolest mods being worked on here at XDA. The Galaxy Camera will soon be a part of this project as well, as Adam is working on a boot-from-sd-card fix for hard bricked Galaxy Cameras. It’s based on a similar mod being worked on for the Galaxy S III.
Coincidentally, this mod is also scheduled to be ported to the Galaxy Note II and all of its variants, the other Samsung Galaxy S III variants, and Meizu MX2. To learn more, visit the the UnBrickable Mod thread. It isn’t actually available for the Galaxy Camera yet, as there is still a lot of work to be done with the Exynos 4412. However, you can find some nice bits of wisdom as to how to prevent hard bricking your device for the time being.
All in all, there is some exciting development work underway for the Samsung Galaxy Camera. It now has root, official Heimdall support, and a PIT file. We can only hope that this pace of development continues well into the future. Check out the threads linked above to learn more.
November 21, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Android powering phones and tablets is old hat. The dream of many is to have Android on as many devices in their house as possible. Android-powered refrigerators? Sure. Android microwaves? You bet. Android-powered thermostats? Cool! While some of these things exist only in the mind, Samsung has released a Jelly Bean-powered digital camera, called (unsurprisingly) the Galaxy Camera.
In this first part of a four part series, XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer AdamOutler unboxes his recently delivered device. He then shows of some of the basic features. Stay tuned for part two, where AdamOutler does his typical hardware tear down, and part three where he shows you how to obtain root!
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is without a doubt one of the most niche devices to be given a home here on XDA. Half point-and-shoot camera and half tablet, most potential consumers will either love it or hate it. Thankfully for those who love it, you’re in the company of XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler.
You see, the esteemed XDA unboxer, box maker, and developer extraordinaire has decided to release a root guide for the device, using CF AutoRoot by fellow Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire. To use it simply download and:
- unzip the CF-Auto-Root-gd1-ekgc100.tar.md5 from the zip package to a place you can find it.
- Launch the Odin3 application
- place CF-Auto-Root-gd1-ekgc100.tar.md5 in the “PDA” section
- Put your device into Download Mode:
Remove and replace the battery.
Press “Volume down+Camera+Power”.
- Connect your device to your machine
- click start
Once ODIN has done its thing, you should be rooted. If you own the device and are looking to obtain root, head on over to the original thread and give this a spin.
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: