Google’s current flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, has seen a lot of love from a wide-spread community of developers since its release in November of last year. By now, many Galaxy Nexus users have already unlocked their bootloaders, gained root access, and flashed more than a few ROMs. That doesn’t mean that development for the device has slowed down. On the contrary, new developments, mods, and tools show up on a near-daily basis, both in our forums and across the web.
One such tool has been brought to our attention by XDA Forums member gator79, and it comes in the form of two all-in-one boot discs. Originally created by 1KDS, these discs allow users to boot into a pre-configured Linux environment with ADB, fastboot, and necessary drivers. One disc contains the files needed to unlock the bootloader and root the device. The other disc has everything required to restore a Galaxy Nexus to the stock 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich firmware and lock the bootloader.
Galaxy Nexus users can boot into these discs to perform pivotal functions quickly and easily without modifying the existing computer system in any way. Utilities like this have been used in the past to root more difficult devices like the HTC MyTouch 3G Slide and the Motorola Droid X. If you’d like to get a copy of the boot discs you can check out the gator79′s thread or head to the original source thread at Galaxy Nexus Forum.
July 12, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
The newest iteration of Android has been all over the news lately, with the release of source and as ports of the OS show up on all kinds of devices. While developers cook up better and more complete custom ROMs, those looking to change things on the standard 4.1 builds will surely see many tweaks and mods show up in the coming weeks.
One such modification has already hit the Galaxy Nexus forums, thanks to XDA Senior Member spunks3. Using a slightly modified process from Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs, Galaxy Nexus users can now change the carrier name on their Jelly Bean devices. Although it is a small cosmetic change, it can go a long way in personalizing your device and lock screen.
If you’re a Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean user, head over the modification thread to get started. Since system files must be altered, you should make a backup before continuing.
July 10, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Those lucky enough to already have their hands on the Google Nexus 7 are in for a little bit of a treat today. A 12.6 MB over-the-air update has been pushed out, updating Google’s own tablet to Android 4.1.1, build JRO03C.
While there is no official changelog for the Nexus 7 update and the release notes are quite sparse, users upgrading to the latest build will immediately notice the appearance of Google Wallet on their devices. One can only wonder about the real life practicality in using a tablet to purchase an item when a phone would be far less cumbersome.
Since Wallet relies on an active Internet connection, and the tablet is not available with a cellular radio, one can only assume that this will get little use on most devices. [As pointed out by Lucian Armasu and Unlawful, Internet connectivity is apparently not required!]
Luckily, that’s not all for the Nexus line. As seen on the Nexus Google+ Page, Jelly Bean is starting to roll out to GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Previously, we wrote about how 4.1 was rolled out to takju devices following the keynote presentation on the first day of Google I/O 2012. Now it looks like yakju devices will be able to get in on the Jelly Bean fun as well. Curiously, my own JRN84D 4.1-laden takju device (courtesy of the aforementioned conference) reports that there are no updates available.
Wondering which Nexus devices will receive Jelly Bean next? According to Google:
If you’ve got a Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ device, you will receive a prompt alerting you to the update over the next several days. Up next for Jelly Bean: all Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Motorola Xoom and of course, Nexus 7, which will ship with Jelly Bean later this month.
July 4, 2012 By: mustangtim49
Previously, we reported on Jellybean being ripped for the GSM Galaxy Nexus. Naturally, the firmware was promptly given root access. Next, XDA Senior Member bigxie released JRN84D in pre-rooted and deodexed form for the world to enjoy.
The system apps and framework are deodexed for easy modding and theming, and the updated superuser app comes from ChainsDD. As one would also expect, the ROM comes packaged with Busybox for increased root-enabled functionality.
Those looking to get their hands on this should head over to the original post and check it out.
With Android Jelly Bean being announced just a couple of days ago, developers wasted no time bringing Jelly Bean goodies to various devices. This includes the GSM Galaxy Nexus. Now, another device has been added to the Jelly Bean frenzy. As with its GSM sibling, the CDMA Galaxy Nexus can now enjoy the newest version of Android.
Both the Sprint and Verizon Galaxy Nexus have Jelly Bean ports. XDA Recognized Developer shabbypenguin has a port in progress for the Sprint edition, while Team Liquid is responsible for the Verizon port.
The Sprint version is still a little choppy. While enough features work for use as a daily driver, there are a few kinks. The current list of things not working is:
Users are also reporting miscellaneous issues like MMS not working properly, and a few lost root access as well. Minor issues aside, the developers have been working around the clock to fix the issues, so it’s only a matter of time before everything gets fixed.
The Verizon port has had a bit more work done with it, and it shows. With a number of things wrong at a very desirable number—zero—users of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus should have no fears in using their Jelly Bean port. With these ports, that gives every Galaxy Nexus user access to Jelly Bean.
June 28, 2012 By: FallenWriter
Google I/O is an exciting time for members of the Android development community. For those who don’t know, we’re here in San Francisco, bringing you the most relevant and interesting highlights from the event! New Android firmware releases, product unveilings, and cool gadgets are just some of the many things that are let loose at the infamous conference. Now we have another cool thing to add to the list of items from Google I/O: the first Jelly Bean release for the GSM “Takju” Galaxy Nexus!
That’s right, earlier today at the conference attendees who were given a GSM Galaxy Nexus were treated to an OTA (Over The Air) update to Google’s latest Android firmware, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Thanks to XDA Forum Member PTzero, conference attendees are not the only ones who can access this release. PTzero went ahead and posted it online for everyone to enjoy. With this initial release, it’s only a matter of time before the source code for Jelly Bean is published and custom ROM’s begin appearing.
Of note is the fact that this is for “Takju” equipped GSM devices, and has not yet been confirmed to be functioning on “Yakju” devices. However, we do not believe there to be hardware differences between the devices. So if you’re feeling ready, head on over to the original thread and give this a go. Let us know how it tastes in the comments section below.
We previously brought you news about Slide2Wake awhile ago when it was released for the EVO 3D. For anyone who doesn’t know, Slide2Wake is a simple application that allows users to slide their finger across the screen in order to wake it up. This is perfect for flashaholics who’ve somewhat damaged their power button, and can’t figure out a way to unlock their phone. It’s also just convenient, as it requires no button presses. Simply remove from the pocket, swipe and go.
XDA Senior Member bponury recently got a hold of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and has been kind enough to port the application. While the OP states that it is for the GSM Nexus, it has been reported as successfully working on the LTE Nexus as well.
This version’s only drawback compared to the EVO 3D version is that it doesn’t yet support all Galaxy Nexus kernels. It does, however, support many of them, and it’s very likely that support for the remaining kernels will be added eventually. Otherwise, the app works just like it should—allowing users to swipe their screens on at will. It’s pretty simple, but also pretty awesome.
For additional information, head over to the original thread.
June 16, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
Audio latency has always been an issue for Android, not a massive deal breaker of an issue for the average user, but an issue none the less—especially for those of us who use applications such as VoIP clients or emulated instruments. For those unaware of the problem, audio latency is the delay between an audio event being triggered and the sound emerging from the speaker. For example, if you press a key on a piano application and notice a delay between touching the screen and hearing the sound, that’s latency.
The issue was actually brought up at I/O just over a year ago and the response was this;
“Latency is a big problem. We’re working at, hopefully we hope to be able to do something about it with ICS. As we investigated it it’s actually a pretty complex problem. There are a number of different places where latency gets introduced. Most of the latency is introduced below Android. Basically it’s happening in the drivers or in the chipsets or somewhere in there, and some of these are really obscene amounts like hundreds of milliseconds of latency in the audio path. So, that’s something we’re going to push on. We started/ I think we introduced something in CDD Gingerbread which was a “should” hit certain latencies. But it’s a problem we want to deal with and hopefully the next release will get it. Obviously it’s not going to solve the problems for legacy devices but it’s going to get better.”
Well, unfortunately the next release didn’t get it. Android 4.0 still suffers from this annoying flaw, and for some the problem seems to have worsened. We can only assume that the problem lies beyond the reach of the Android developers, or they simply had more important issues to address. Perhaps somebody will ask the question again this year at I/O. Nudge nudge, wink wink…
However, Nexus S and GSM Galaxy Nexus owners have a modification that improves the audio latency of your device thanks to XDA Forum Members Windows X and vonVideo. The fix is basically a modified version of their respective audio libraries. Although the original mod for the Nexus S is in a much more advanced state than the mod for the Galaxy Nexus, both seem to have had positive effects for users. It’s worth mentioning that these fixes are not applicable to all ROMs and kernels, so make sure to read the original threads and create a backup before making any changes.
June 15, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Most modifications that we see deal with a device’s ROM. Using popular build.prop tweaks and other methods, developers can coerce better performance out of a phone by changing a few parameters here and there. Now, Samsung Galaxy Nexus have a collection of kernel modifications.
Created by XDA Senior Member bigeyes0x0, the Trickster Mod utilizes a number of scripts and binaries to add a lot of under the hood tweaks that set it apart from traditional modifications. The full list of features include:
This CWM zip include the binaries and scripts I used for optimization in Trickster ROM. What it can do/set:
- Zipalign and sqlite DB optimization at boot
- Some android properties tweaks with mobile network speed tweak
- Screen state optimization for kernel task scheduler and virtual management (ch33kybutt)
- Set I/O scheduler, read ahead buffer, CPU scaling governor, min and max CPU speed
Following features are dependent on kernel features:
- Color (applied by default), contrast and gamma tweaks
- Generic hotplug
- CPU Temp limit
- Minimal SmartReflex voltage of Core, IVA, and MPU domains
- Nominal SmartReflex voltage for Core, IVA, and MPU domains
- Regulator voltages
- GLaDOS live OC of Core, GPU and MPU
- WIFI mode for screen off (power saving or full speed)
- Vibrator strength
- Headset volume boost
- High performance sound
- Force fast charge
- Battery live extender
- Touch wake and touch wake duration
- fsync control
The mod is flashable in from a custom recovery, making the installation process easy. Users who want to tweak the settings of the mod can navigate to the trickster.conf file with their favorite file explorer, and edit the values themselves.
To learn more, continue to the original thread.
June 14, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
While it hasn’t hit the mainstream yet, Near Field Communication is on the rise. With a number of flagship Android devices shipping with a NFC chip installed, users have been finding more and more uses for NFC. Is the experience perfect? Far from it, but improvements are being made all the time to make NFC a bigger part of the Android experience. There are many tools out there to help NFC users make full use of NFC, and now there’s at least one more way to make the experience even better.
One fault with the current implementation is that it usually requires the screen to be on and an application to be running for NFC to work properly. While some may not mind this, there are users out there who would rather be able to use their NFC more quickly and would prefer to be able to use it with the screen off. This is a problem that XDA Recognized Developer Geniusdog254 is looking to solve on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The mod, which is flashed in recovery, allows users to use NFC with the screen off and on the device’s lock screen. As Geniusdog254 explains:
This is a modified Nfc.apk, which is the system NFC service that runs at boot. It allows you to scan NFC tags either with the screen totally off, or with the screen on but still at the lockscreen. You get to choose which one you want to flash. Just download one of the zips below, and flash it via recovery (tested with ClockworkMod). To restore to stock, just pick the stock version.
This makes the NFC experience easier and more efficient for frequent NFC users and it’s pretty easy to implement. That’s a win-win situation.
For full instructions on use and download links, head over to the original thread.
June 12, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Proximity sensors have been around for so long that they have become more of an expected trait than an actual feature. However, it was only a matter of time before developers found some alternative ways to use the proximity sensor. This was started awhile ago, as an application called Smart Screen Off gave users the ability to turn their screens off using the proximity sensor instead of the power button.
Building on the functionality of the first app, XDA Forum Member DDeleted brings us Smart Screen On, which performs the opposite function. It was initially created for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but it has been shown to work on other devices as well. The application does far more than its predecessor. Options include being able to wave your hand over the sensor to turn the screen on, tapping and swiping to turn it on, starting at boot, and even turning the screen off similar to functionality offered by Smart Screen Off.
Users looking to give this a try can head on over to the original thread for additional info and download links.
June 5, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Most kitchens help aspiring ROM developers get started with creating ROMs. They typically do things such as automatically deodexing ROMs, zipaligning them, adding root and BusyBox, and a plethora of other basic tools that users really only need until they figure out how to do it on their own. Kitchens usually serve as a stepping stone for every day users to get into firmware modification, and many great developers first wet their feet using popular kitchens such as XDA Recognized Developer dsixda‘s kitchen or the UOT kitchen.
Created by XDA Senior Member swordrune10, the kitchen serves as a stepping stone to those looking to get into actually ROM development. And while pumping out a ROM from this kitchen may not be considered development, this is about as close to the real thing as you can get with a kitchen, and without actually doing it yourself.
The kitchen has a bunch of features, but by far the coolest is its ability to build AOSP ROMs from source. The full feature list includes:
Setup, update, build, and fix
Update kitchen app through script
Build enviroment installation (only 64 bit) currently supports Ubuntu 10.04 – 12.04, with general support for Fedora, Debian, Linux Mint, Arch Linux, and with almost no support for Mac OS X (other then telling u where to go to do it)
Able to build Cyanogenmod 9, Rooted & Busyboxed AOSP (i made this), Android Open Kang Project, Evervolv, STS Dev Team, Team Gummy, and Android Open Source Project
Designed to build for nexus devices, but supports other devices
But, again, the big feature there is the ability to build popular ROMs like CM9, AOKP and other AOSP-derived firmware. It’s not real development, but it’s as close as you’re going to get before you set up a dev box and start downloading and compiling source manually. As a starting place and a stepping stone to real development, you really can’t beat this kitchen. Of course, if you are looking to take that step into building yourself, you can’t beat the advice of the creator of CyanogenMod himself.
For more information, check out the original thread and take your first step toward real ROM development.