December 28, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
It’s been quite some time since Google launched Android 4.4 KitKat, alongside its Nexus 5. Google has even released two point revisions to the OS. And despite lacking official support, the Sony Xperia Tipo and Google Nexus Onehave already gotten unofficial ports of this OS. The number of older devices running KitKat gets bigger and bigger every day.
Now, developers from the AndroidArmV6 group, most notably XDA Recognized Developers psyke83 and erikcas, XDA Recognized Contributor yajnab, and few others did some remarkable development and brought initial builds to some extremely popular Samsung devices: Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Gio, Galaxy Mini and Galaxy Fit.
Builds for these devices are still quite early, so some bugs like the camera are still present. These devices have very little internal storage, so a lack of space is currently an issue. However, we hope that the developers will find a solution to solve all the issues. Android 4.4 on these devices is a big thing, as they were initially released with Android 2.2 and upgradeable to Android 2.3.
The newest KitKat builds for these devices can be found in the threads below:
December 31, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
As the official and unofficial builds of CM10.1 continue to roll out, yet another two lower specced devices, which some may have dismissed as not being capable of receiving such an update, are now running unofficial builds. Never let it be said that such devices aren’t well supported here at XDA. The Samsung Galaxy Mini and Samsung Galaxy Ace can both now be updated to the latest version of CyanogenMod thanks to XDA Senior Members AntiBillOS and Wayland_ACE, respectively. Both ROMS are still in their early stages, so there will be bugs. However, there don’t seem to be too many deal-breakers.
The version for the Galaxy Mini currently suffers from a some graphical and tethering issues involving both USB and WiFi tethering. Everything else is listed as functional, but be sure to read through the thread first to avoid any possible surprises. The version for the Galaxy Ace is struggling with video playback, and multi-user support is also disabled. Again, be sure to check the relevant thread thoroughly before flashing.
[Thanks to King_ACE for the tip.]
September 2, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
The Samsung Galaxy Mini has recently received Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean in form of an unofficial port of CyanogenMod 10 by XDA Senior Member TheWhisp. While the ROM seems to be working fine for those who have given it a shot, there is a problem. Due to the device having limited internal memory, there isn’t enough storage space left on the /system partition after installing CM10 to be able to install Google Apps. This can be a major issue for many, as most of us rely on Google Apps. Luckily, there is a fix for this now, thanks to XDA Senior Member killar_aka_arabu, who has written a script that removes unnecessary apps from the system partition to free up enough space for Google Apps installation.
To get started, grab the latest unofficial CyanogenMod 10 nightly and the latest Google Apps, and transfer them to your phone. Next, visit the guide thread and follow the instructions provided to flash the ROM and free up internal memory space by running the provided scripts, before flashing the Google Apps package.
Getting started with Android development can be a difficult task. Guides to help users compile kernels or build ROMs aren’t available for all devices, and users are often left to extrapolate a lot for themselves. It’s a learning process to be sure, but anything to ease the frustration is more than welcome.
For some, it may be coding and app development, and there are tutorials for that. However, others would rather start with things like ROM development. For such aspiring ROM developers, there’s a number of tutorials out there, so where does one start? XDA Recognized Contributor mv_style has written a guide for the Samsung Galaxy Mini that helps point you in the right direction.
The tutorial first offers up a list of things any ROM developer will need to start with. This includes zipping and unzipping software, a base ROM, a text editor, signing software, and of course patience. The tutorial will run you through some basic tasks like editing the build.prop and adding scripts to your ROM. From there, sign the ROM and you’re ready to go. Granted, this is not an inclusive all-in-one development guide, but for users who have never picked up Android tools and used them before, this is an excellent way to get your foot in the door.
Head on over to the original thread to get started.
April 19, 2012 By: Former Writer
Rooting is the lifeblood of XDA. As such, obtaining root on a device is usually a prime candidate for recognition. This is with good reason, as root access allows users to flash ROMs, kernels, mods, and so on. What then do you say about a root method that has over two dozen supported devices? One word: Awesome. XDA Forum Member StoneBoyTony originally created a root method for the Samsung Galaxy Mini running Gingerbread, but the root method is also compatible with a very large number of other Samsung devices.
Rooting using this method is simple. Download the update.zip file, place it on the root of your SD card, boot into stock Android recovery, and install the update.zip. Really easy. There’s no ADB or script usage required from your computer. What is especially nice about this root method is that StoneBoyTony has put up how to do it for most of the phones on the list. Additionally, StoneBoyTony also provides an unroot update.zip that’s installed the exact same way as the update.zip.
Need more? Okay! The root method is compatible with these phones from Gingerbread version 2.3.3 to 2.3.7, so if you get an OTA for a newer version of Gingerbread, simply flash the unroot update.zip, install the OTA, and then simply re-install the rooted update.zip. No more worrying if the new OTA will break root. Unless it’s ICS, that is; but for many of these phones, that is a pipe dream.
Update: The developer has requested to have his work taken off of the forums. We apologize for any inconvenience.
April 9, 2012 By: Former Writer
For aging devices, having more internal storage is eventually not only a desirable commodity, but often times a required one. For many phones, this is a problem that cannot be fixed, but can be managed a little with techniques such as Apps2SD.
For the Samsung Galaxy 3, and other devices with similar kernels, there is a way to actually increase the available internal storage by moving the /data partition to an EXT4 partition on the SD card thanks to XDA Recognized Developer arunmcops. Don’t believe it? Check the featured image. This is based on previous work done on the Samsung Galaxy Mini by XDA Forum Member Doc_cheilvenerdi.org. It is obligatory at this point to point out that this is really for kernel developers only. Arunmcops gives kernels devs the proper modifications needed to the specific kernel modules in order to make this work. From here, it’s up to the devs to make the kernel itself.
Additionally, it should be pointed out that the new storage is taken right from whatever SD card is in the device. This essentially makes it the hard drive so any kernels made like this would require users to leave their dual partitioned SD cards installed until the stock settings are restored. For some, this could be a deal breaker, but for those who have the same SD card in at all times, it isn’t likely to be a deal breaker.
For additional information and full instructions, check out the modification thread. As usual, don’t forget to make a backup before attempting to create, test, or flash anything.
February 12, 2012 By: Former Writer
Some older devices, and even some current low to mid range devices can have a problem with internal storage. Between all the great Android apps out there, music, videos, pictures and other miscellany, sometimes storage can be problem when you didn’t have much to begin with.
The aim of the modification is to increase the internal memory of the Galaxy Mini so users can put more things on it. The process is pretty simple and involves flashing a few files over Odin. There are a few prerequisites as well. They include:
Stock Firmware installed on the Phone (custom ROMS not supported …They don’t need to!)
A microSD with two primary formatted partitions inside (the former ‘to FAT32′ and the latter ‘to EXT4′ filesystems)
Ready to Flash to your Galaxy Next via Odin
From there, it’s just downloading a few files and following the method and you’re on your way to more data on your Galaxy Mini.
For further instructions, the download links and screen shots; you can find all that and more in the original thread. Remember, as always, to make a backup before flashing anything. It’s just a smart move.
January 13, 2012 By: Former Writer
Users of the Samsung Galaxy Mini have had a lot of excitement. Not long ago, CyanogenMod9 was successfully ported to it and it’s also had CM7 for quite some time.
XDA Senior Member squadzone has kept the train rolling on the development for the Galaxy Mini with his simultaneous release of RZ Recovery and ClockworkMod Recovery. This gives users a more familiar recovery experience and makes the process of making back ups and flashing ROMs a little easier.
Both recoveries work perfectly fine, with the exception of the RZ Recovery being unable to read ClockworkMod backups. The feature list for the RZ Recovery is:
-=Arbitrary update.zip selection (with folders) (don’t have to rename files to update.zip).=-
-=rom.tgz support (of course)=-
-=Unsigned update.zip support=-
-=ability to wipe system, data, boot, dalvik-cache, battery stats, cache-
-=No automatic backup when installing a rom.tgz=-
-=update.zip from folder support=-
-=Ability to install APK’s, IMG’s, ZIP’s, TAR’s, TGZ’s from the same menu=-
-=Wipe battery statistics=-
-=clockwork nandroid restore=-
-=Ability to root any ROM=-
-=12 predefined colors + random color selection=-
-=Rave mode: random color every time screen is redrawn=-
-=preinstall update.zip menu=-
-=battery status (charging status, temperature and charge level) display=-
-=android_secure nandroid / wipe support=-
-=Hold volume keys to scroll=-
-=Touch screen scrolling on some devices=-
-=Can add plugins for new menu=-
Squadzone didn’t post a feature list for CWM, but since it’s one of the most popular recoveries of all time, you can easily find a feature list if need be.
If you own a Galaxy Mini and want to check out the recoveries, you can find the original thread for the RZ Recovery here and the original thread for the ClockworkMod Recovery here. In both threads you’ll find download links and instructions for installation. As with any installation of recovery, there is a small risk of damage to your device, so be sure to back up your device before attempting to flash.