Last Friday, we wrote about how the Android 4.4.2 kernel source code was released for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3. In addition to being useful to developers in its on right, this also alluded to the possibility of an imminent OTA update for the device. It is now here, and thanks to the fine folks here on our forums, it has also been mirrored for your early updating pleasure.
Just like the earlier kernel source code release, this OTA comes in at software version UVUENB4, and as expected, it brings Android 4.4.2 to the device. Currently not much is known about this particular update in addition to the change in Android version, but it’s safe to assume that the update is inline with what we’ve seen for other variants of the device.
This update is being delivered to consumer devices in the form of a staged OTA rollout, so the update may not be immediately available on your device. Luckily, XDA Forum Member mrpnut was kind enough to mirror the update, and this was included in Senior Member allenjthomsen‘s update thread. And just in case those mirrors aren’t as quick as you’d like Senior Members Disconn3ct and dirtybudha also shared a couple of mirrors. And those of you looking to update via the ODIN files should visit Disconn3ct’s quick guide for doing so.
[Once again, many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter Titokhan for the tip!]
February 28, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Official builds of Android 4.4.2 have been making their way to various iterations of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 over the past month. Now, it seems as if the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 is next on the list, as the GPL-mandated kernel source code has been posted to Samsung’s Open Source Release Center.
News of the source code release comes courtesy of XDA Forum Member toastido, who first noticed the addition on Samsung’s Open Source Release Center earlier today. This source release corresponds to the yet-to-be-released N900TUVUCNB4 update for the device. And while we don’t know much about this particular update other than its build number and Android version, it’s safe to assume that the T-Mobile variant will get to enjoy all of the same goodies seen in other iterations of the device.
Now obviously the GPL-mandated source code release means absolutely nothing for end-users. However, given that kernel source is usually released within a few days of OTAs, we think it’s safe to assume that T-Mobile Note 3 users are in for some tasty 4.4.2 goodness in the coming days.
If you’re a developer looking to start working with the KitKat source code for the device, head over to Samsung’s Open Source Release Center for the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 (N900T). And while you’re at it, don’t forget to head over to XDA Forum Member lcm151‘s Android 4.4.2 update discussion thread.
February 27, 2014 By: Samantha
The S View cases for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Note 3 are fascinating products, as they not only protect the device and its screen, but they also feature a topside screen that displays your status bar, temperature, caller ID, and date and time. Not only that, but it’s also recognizes S Pen contact on the Note 3, which allows for some simple actions such as taking notes.
What may come as a surprise to some is that the S View cases don’t allow you to change the screen timeout period, and they also offer very few options for backgrounds and no ability to set your own custom background. Luckily, XDA Forum Member vonerk has written a tutorial on how to set a custom wallpaper and timeout period.
The process can get a bit messy, but overall it is quite straightforward. The tutorial requires you to use the previously featured Android APKTool to decompile and eventually recompile the various files that need to be edited, as well as have your custom background image and Notepad++ ready for all the editing in between. It should be noted that the end result does not allow you to quickly and easily change such settings, so if you want to change them again, you’ll have to go through the whole process again.
So if you’re getting a bit bored of the background options, check out the guide at its original thread to get started.
February 20, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just a couple days ago, we talked about how Samsung finally shared its KitKat update plans for several of its devices. Now, we’re seeing Android 4.4.2 make its way to the Sprint variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, following up on the release of the KitKat-compatible kernel source for the device.
The official OTA comes in at version N900PCPUCNAB, and it is now rolling out to users as an incremental upgrade from the previous MJ4 build. Naturally, in order to receive the incremental OTA, you must first be running the official MJ4 build. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member rpenrod23 has provided a direct link to the MJ4 tar file, which can be used in conjunction with Odin to revert to stock in order to accept the incoming OTA. What about those looking to get in on a pre-rooted and close-to-stock ROM based on the official N900PVPUCNAB firmware? Never fear, as XDA Recognized Developer freeza has you covered with odexed and deodexed builds based on both the official NAB and previously leaked NABD firmwares.
Those looking to download a close-to-stock pre-rooted build of the latest firmware should head over to freeza’s ROM thread (currently being uploaded), and those who’d rather stay stock and simply discuss the new NAB update, head over to Forum Member onemanruler‘s official 4.4 update discussions thread. And of course, if you’re a developer looking to get into some sweet kernel cooking action, head over to Samsung’s Open Source Release Center.
February 19, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Before Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the OEM released two very interesting smartphones. The Moto X and Moto G were the first and probably the last devices made by the formerly American OEM in a cooperation with Google. Not so long ago, we talked about the Moto G receiving an unofficial CyanogenMod port. Now, however, the G and a few other Motorola devices will receive official CyanogenMod nightlies.
The CM team has released three unified builds, which is a bit of a surprising move, considering that the list of supported devices is quite long. The “mysterious” moto_msm8960 build will work with the Photon Q, Atrix HD, Razr M, and Droid Razr HD. The second build, dubbed moto_msm8960dt, should work with dual-core devices like the Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra. You need to figure out which phones are which, as builds for other devices will simply not work properly or even can brick your device. So be sure to double check before flashing, and check your home forum here on XDA to get the necessary info.
A build for the Moto G is separate due to its internal hardware. And I can’t can’t write about official nightlies for device code named falcon without mentioning XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who did a terrific job bringing up the device tree for this phone.
Motorola devices aren’t the only receiving these new unified builds. A couple of Samsung devices will receive unified builds as well. The list of phones is quite long and includes following devices:
Builds include only Qualcomm-based devices, as Exynos devices are still using platform-specified builds.
As you can see, the CyanogenMod team are on fire and make things as easy as possible both for developers and end users. The builds are located over on the official CyanogenMod download page. You can also check out the source code by visiting team’s Github and typing the name of the device in the search box.
[Big thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor herna for the tip!]
February 18, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Before today, Samsung has been very cautious in tempering expectations regarding official Android 4.4 KitKat updates for its recent devices. While certain phones have already received the 4.4.2 goods, much of the rest of the company’s lineup is still in Jelly Bean limbo. We’ve seen leaks fly around left and right for the Galaxy S 4, but official word regarding KitKat for the device has been lacking. And since this is just for their latest and greatest, the future didn’t look so hot for Samsung’s older devices.
Some time ago, we saw a leaked internal memo pointing to a potential KitKat release schedule for various devices. Now, however, Samsung has broken the silence by stating which devices will receive official updates to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Unfortunately, they aren’t stating when, though.
Samsung Galaxy U.S. devices currently scheduled to receive the KitKat update include select carrier variants of the Galaxy Note® 3, Galaxy Note® II, Galaxy S® 4, Galaxy S® 4 mini™, Galaxy S® 4 Active™, Galaxy S® 4 zoom™, Galaxy S® III, Galaxy S® III mini™, Galaxy Mega®, Galaxy Light, Galaxy Note® 8.0, Galaxy Tab® 3, Galaxy Note® 10.1, Galaxy Note® 10.1 2014 Edition.
In addition to the Android version bump, the update will also pack the following additional features:
- Location Menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities.
- Enhanced Messaging: Enables users to choose between Messages or Hangouts as their preferred default messaging application, and select from a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons.
- Upgraded Google Mobile Service™ (GMS) apps: Users can automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files.
While the update news is a few months later than we would have liked, it’s nice to see that older devices like the Note II, S III, and Note 10.1 will get to enjoy the KitKat goods in official capacity. However, the presence of the word “select” when talking about which carrier-branded devices leaves us more than a bit skeptical about certain US-based carriers with less than stellar track records. Furthermore, we’d still like to know when exactly Samsung plans on delivering the goods!
January 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, an internal Samsung memo leaked out that detailed Samsung’s planned update schedule for its most recent flagships. In the memo, it appeared as if Samsung was planning on releasing the KitKat update to its Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3 smartphones some time this January. And true to form, the international Galaxy Note 3 received its official KitKat update approximately two weeks ago. While the international S 4 still has yet to receive its official update, we’ve seen a highly functional leak, which was then given Triangle Away support by Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire.
While leaks and releases have been numerous for the international variants of these devices, the same cannot be said about all carrier-branded variants. But now, thanks to XDA Recognized Developer designgears, we have leaked builds of Android 4.4.2 for the AT&T-branded variants of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S 4.
The leak for the Galaxy Note 3 comes in at version N900AUCECMLG, and the leak for the Galaxy S 4 is I337UCUFMLD. At present, there are no known bugs on the Note 3′s leak, but the Galaxy S 4 leak has sporadic reboots related to video codec issues.
If you’re an AT&T Galaxy S 4 or Galaxy Note 3 owner, head over to the threads below to get in on the leak action. Just be sure to be careful when flashing, as you don’t want to turn your expensive device into a paperweight.
January 19, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we saw a leaked KitKat build appear for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Promptly after, that same leaked build started rolling out as an official OTA in certain regions, beginning with Poland. This timing fell fell right in line with a previously leaked memo, indicating that Samsung would update the device to KitKat during this month. While the S4, and even all other variants of the Note 3, have yet to receive their official updates, at least relatively good progress is being made.
Now while official OTA updates are great for casual users, it’s perfectly understandable for power users to be hesitant to switch to the new OTA if they’re running a fully decked out version of the previous build—namely one that they have modified with a powerful, aftermarket kernel. Obviously, though, developing a kernel for a new version of an OS is aided dramatically when the manufacturer releases the accompanying GPL-mandated source code for the new updates. Thankfully, Samsung has now made good on the GPL requirements by releasing the kernel source code for the newly official NA6 update via their Open Source Release Center.
While this obviously isn’t really meant for end users, developers interesting in getting started using Samsung’s open source files to make a KitKat-based kernel for the Note 3 should make their way over to Samsung’s Open Source Release Center listings for the N9005. Then once you’re done and you’ve created your kernel goods, or to keep track of the development work made by your fellow community members, make your way over to the Galaxy Note 3 forums and share them with the community.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member Brute.force for the tip!]
If you own a Samsung device, you have undoubtedly heard of the EFS partition. If you haven’t, let me explain. EFS is a partition where quite a bit of important radio data is stored. Without this data, you won’t be able to use your phone correctly. It’s extremely important to keep a local copy of your EFS partition, and we’ve already presented a Windows utility and application to backup the EFS partition on Samsung devices.
The two aforementioned utilities are not the only tools available to backup your EFS partition. Rather, XDA Senior Member ricky310711 created another application that gives users the option to backup or restore the EFS partition, as well as reboot your phone in four different modes.
With the appropriately titled Samsung Tool, you can hot-reboot your device, go to recovery, or enter mode. The application stores a copy of the EFS backup in the /data/media/SamsungTool folder. But in future releases, we might see external SD card support. Samsung Tool works with many Samsung devices, but only Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 10.1 are officially supported.
Hopefully, you won’t ever have to restore your EFS partition. However, it’s never a bad idea to make a backup copy. To learn more, make your way to the application thread and give this a shot.
January 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite some time, you’re undoubtedly aware that many modern Samsung devices keep an internal flash counter that keeps track of how many times you flash custom firmware onto your device. Luckily, a fix for this has been available for quite some time thanks to Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s fantastic TriangleAway app. But ever since its release, it’s been a bit of a cat and mouse game where a TriangleAway version would be released, followed by a new firmware update that blocks the app’s functionality.
Now, the next chapter in never-ending war between the community and the OEMs is here, as Chainfire has updated his TriangleAway app to version 3.25. The new version brings support for the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy Note 3 (must be running the now official Android 4.4.2 firmware), as well as for the leaked Android 4.4.2 firmware for the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy S 4.
It is important to keep in mind that TriangleAway’s purpose is only to reset the flash counter. It is not able to reset your KNOX Warranty void status at this time. Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 3 is only supported on Android 4.4. While the OTA has only occurred for certain unlocked variants of the device, it is highly likely that this will also work on carrier-branded versions once they receive their updates.
January 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Update: It appears as if this firmware is now rolling out in Poland. As such, it has been added to XDA Senior Member AdamLange‘s stock firmware collection. And luckily for SM-N9005 device owners in other regions, you can get your download on post haste, without the wait.
Just a few days ago, we talked about how the Samsung Galaxy S 4 received a leaked test build of Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Given that the S4 and Note 3 are closely related, we all knew it was only a matter of time before the Galaxy Note 3 would also join in the test build fun.
Now, a leaked firmware has appeared for the international and LTE-enabled version of the Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N9005), and it has been mirrored thanks to XDA Senior Member ktetreault14 and rooted courtesy of Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire.
This new build comes in the form of version N9005XXUENA6. Similar to the leaked build for the S4, this leaked test firmware does not contain the dramatic new UI redesign that Samsung appears to be planning for TouchWiz. Despite this, it offers some of the same visual tweaks we saw in the S4 build such as a translucent notification bar with white icons, as well as a revised lock screen. Users are also reporting significantly improved benchmark scores with this release.
To get in on the action, make your way over to the leaked firmware thread. And if you wish to root your newly updated device, you can root via recovery using the latest version of Chainfire’s SuperSU.
Have you loaded the leaked 4.4.2 firmware on your Note 3, or are you waiting for an official release instead? Let us know your thoughts on this release, as well as Samsung’s update process in the comments below!
December 30, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of Samsung’s newest devices. It’s an extremely powerful piece of hardware, placed smack dab at the top of the food chain in Android devices. The device was originally released with Android 4.3. But naturally, it hasn’t taken too long to get unofficial, but highly functional KitKat builds working on the device.
XDA Senior Member deadman96385 released the first Android 4.4 builds for International and T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy Note 3. Liquidsmooth, which is a modification of Android provided by the developer, is still at a very early stage of development, so many things need to be polished. The current list of things not working isn’t that long, but includes some important things like the inability to hang up calls and random data drops for both variants, as well as a lack of audio and problems with SD mounting in the international variant. Hopefully, though, these issues will be fixed soon. This is surely good news for all Note 3 users, as this big fella can get more and more development in the future.
If you are are a happy Note 3 user and want to try some AOSP magic, visit the T-Mobile or International thread and get the newest build. And if you have an idea on how to fix remaining bugs, don’t hesitate to push your code contribution or provide some logs to the developers.
December 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Once again, all of us here at XDA would like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season! Undoubtedly, many of our happy readers are waking up to some extra Holiday cheer in the form of shiny new tech acquisitions. Luckily, XDA is here and has your back in helping you make the most of your new, Android-powered tech toy(s).
You may remember that a little while ago, we shared with you our Best of 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Now, we’re going to take some of these “Best” devices that you all voted for, and help you make the most of them. Obviously, we’re going to start with gaining root access and installing a custom recovery. But on some devices, this will even include installing an aftermarket ROM or even enabling multiboot!
Let’s start the day with your top pick as best tablet of 2013, the Google Nexus 7 (2013). With its high end specs and budget-friendly price, we think it’s safe to assume that quite a few Android fans are waking up to a brand new N7.
Since the Nexus 7 is a Nexus device, unlocking and rooting is incredibly simple. You will want to start by installing ADB and Fastboot by downloading the Android SDK (or installing minimal Fastboot and ADB installer, and the associated drivers). Then after you have ADB and Fastboot installed, the real fun can begin!
If all you want is root access, the easiest way to accomplish this is by running CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 7 (2013). CF-Auto-Root will get you rooted and install the latest version of SuperSU in practically no time and with virtually no effort or hassle.
Not everyone likes it simple, though. For those who’d rather get a bit more hands on, you can unlock your device by turning on USB debugging in developer settings and rebooting your tablet to bootloader by issuing the adb reboot-bootloader command. From there, you can unlock your new device by entering fastboot oem unlock. Then, simply reboot your device with fastboot reboot, reenter your bootloader with adb reboot-bootloader, and flash a custom recovery using fastboot flash recovery <recovery image filename.img>.
After you have your custom recovery installed, your doors are now open to installing some of the more popular custom ROMs, or perhaps you can even give Multiboot a try! All of this and more can be found in our Google Nexus 7 (2013) forum, here at XDA.
Now let’s shift our attention to your top pick as best smartphone of 2013. Surprise, surprise. It was the highly anticipated Google Nexus 5. Just like the Nexus 7, it also offers a wallet-friendly price. But unlike its tablet sibling, it also offers bleeding edge specs like a quad-core 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor.
Just like the Nexus 7, unlocking and rooting the Nexus 5 is a cakewalk. Just like what we covered above, you will want to start by installing ADB and Fastboot by downloading the Android SDK (or installing minimal Fastboot and ADB installer, and the associated drivers).
Once again, if all you want is root access, the easiest way to accomplish this is by running CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 5. CF-Auto-Root will get you rooted and install the latest version of SuperSU in practically no time and with virtually no effort or hassle.
For those who’d rather get a bit more hands on, you can unlock your device by turning on USB debugging in developer settings and rebooting your tablet to bootloader by issuing the adb reboot-bootloader command. From there, you can unlock your new device by entering fastboot oem unlock. Then, simply reboot your device with fastboot reboot, reenter your bootloader with adb reboot-bootloader, and flash a custom recovery using fastboot flash recovery <recovery image filename.img>.
Once you’ve got your recovery installed, you can now begin flashing any number of custom ROMs and kernels. And for those willing to try something a bit more ambitious, you can even play around with multiboot. Obviously, all this and more can be found in our Google Nexus 5 forum.
Next up, we have the HTC One. Although the device is no longer on the bleeding edge in the specs department, it offers build quality and a design aesthetic simply unparalleled in the Android OEM world.
While the process is a bit more involved than it is on the Nexus devices listed above, it is fully possible to unlock, root, install a custom recovery, and do much more on the HTC One. Thanks to the hard work by ieftm and his team, the device can be unlocked. There are also several custom recovery options available, as well as Official OmniROM and CyanogenMod installations, though you will want to make sure you are installing the appropriate version for your particular variant.
In addition to the custom ROM fun, those who are feeling a bit more ambitious can give Multiboot a try, as well as a Google Play editions conversion. Just like the previous two devices, all this and more can be found in the HTC One forum.
Please note, however, that the above links are intended for the INTERNATIONAL version of the device. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new carrier-branded variant, make sure you find your appropriate XDA forum before getting to work.
Let’s turn our attention over to the popular and powerful Sony Xperia Z1. Unlocking the device is a breeze. From there, you will want to gain root access, as well as flash a custom recovery. Once you’ve gotten that done, Official OmniROM and CyanogenMod builds await. And like the devices above, all of this and more can be found in the Sony Xperia Z1 forum here at XDA.
Now, we will talk about the wallet-friendly Moto G. Although it’s not the fastest device available, it offers a fantastic value that is simply unmatched in other budget devices.
Luckily, it is quite easy to unlock the Moto G directly through Motorola. From there, you can easily achieve root access and install a custom recovery. There’s not much in the aftermarket development world beyond the above, but you can rest assured that this is only a matter of time, thanks to the device’s popularity. And of course, keep your eyes peeled on the Moto G forums to keep apprised of any and all development activity for the device.
This innovative Moto X proves that raw hardware specs aren’t everything and that an innovative feature set can make for a great user experience, even on non-bleeding edge hardware.
Let’s start with rooting and unlocking, which is now possible thanks to jcase’s RockMyMoto exploit. From there, you will want to install a custom recovery. Then, you can try out any one of the source-built custom ROMs and kernels available in the Moto X forum.
Now we have the largest phone on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Packing bleeding edge specs, a mammoth sized screen, and the fantastic Wacom-based S Pen, the Note 3 is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Luckily, rooting the device and installing a custom recovery are quite easy on the Note 3. Development support is also quite widespread on the Note 3, so be sure to check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 forum here at XDA. Please note, however, that the above links are intended for the INTERNATIONAL version of the device. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new carrier-branded variant, make sure you find your appropriate XDA forum before getting to work.
Rounding out this article, we have the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Much like the highly acclaimed HTC One, the SGS4 is no longer the king of all of the hardware specs battles. That said, it’s still a great phone, jam packed with plenty of great features.
Thanks to the device’s age and vast popularity, root access and custom recoveries are both possible, with much more available in the Samsung Galaxy S 4 forum. But just like the HTC One and Note 3, be sure to visit the appropriate forum for you carrier-branded variant if you’re not running the international version of the device.
We wish you much Android-powered joy for this Holiday Season! See you in the XDA forums!