June 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We recently added new forums here on XDA for two recently announced and highly anticipated devices. The new devices are the HTC One E8, which is set to be released later this month, and the Sony Xperia T3, which will come at some point in Q3. While we were at it, we also changed a few things to make it easier for developers to post and maintain cross-device variant builds for several Samsung devices.
First up, we have the HTC One E8. The E8 is a lower priced version of the HTC One M8 flagship device. The E8 retains most of the M8 technology, but the metal casing is replaced with a polycarbonate design. Another stand out difference from the M8 is the E8 loses the dual sensor 4 MP camera, and instead features a traditional 13 MP camera. The E8 has the same 5″ 1080p Super LCD3 display, 2 GB of RAM, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz processor as its older brother. The device is powered by a reasonable 2600 mAh battery.
Next up is the Sony Xperia T3. The T3 is an upcoming high end device, whose claim to fame is being the world’s slimmest 5.3-inch smartphone–at least for now. This device features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.4 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, a 13 MP image sensor, and a 720p 5.3″ display. While not flagship material for 2014, the device’s slim 7.0 mm profile will more than make up for this in the eyes of many users.
Finally, you may have noticed some tweaks that we’ve implemented into certain Samsung forums recently. We now offer unified development forums for the Samsung Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S 5, and Galaxy Note 3. Inside, developers will be able to post development work that is compatible with all variants of the aforementioned devices. For example, if you have a build that works with all variants of the S5, you no longer have to create and maintain multiple threads. Instead, you can simply place your thread into the S5 unified development forum and call it a day. With the large number of device variants, this should make it significantly easier for developers to support and maintain their cross-variant builds.
You may recall that back in November of last year, a leaked internal memo indicated that KitKat for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was expected some time in January. Then in the middle of the first month of this year, we actually did see KitKat make its way to the Note 3 in official capacity.
When KitKat made its way to the international variant, we all knew that the US carrier variants would lag behind somewhat. Then about one month later, we saw the update roll out to the Sprint variant, followed shortly by the T-Mobile and AT&T variants. Curiously absent, however, was the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Thankfully, that changes today, as a KitKat-packed update is now available for download.
Today’s update comes in at firmware number N900VVRUCNC4. In addition to updating the device to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, it also brings all of the same goodies that we’ve seen in KitKat updates for other variants of the device.
The update itself isn’t technically rolling out, but it’s installable via Samsung Kies or Verizon Software Assistant. The raw update itself was also posted to the forums by XDA Forum Member petermin. But as stated by Recognized Developer BeansTown106, it’s highly recommended that users avoid the update for now and wait for his upcoming pre-rooted build once a method has been discovered to retain root and revert to the old kernel with insecure modules.
Have you updated your device or are you waiting for root? Let us know in the comments below, and get in on the discussion in the update thread.
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter Titokhan for the heads up!]
March 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
After initially shipping with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was promptly upgraded to official Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Naturally this update, which released in the middle of January, was intended at the International and un-branded version of the device. But some time went on, and we then saw the update appear on the Sprint variant, and then the T-Mobile device.
Now, the update has begun rolling out to the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The update comes in the form of software version N900AUCUCNC2, and as expected it brings the Android version to 4.4.2.
The 542 MB incremental OTA is currently being delivered in the form of a staged rollout, so your device may not yet receive the update immediately. And at this time, the update has not yet been captured and mirrored. However, we will update you as soon as the update has been uploaded for everyone’s sideloading pleasure.
Mash that check for updates button and then head over to the Android 4.4.2 update discussion thread to get in on the action. Also, be sure to stay tuned for when the update is inevitably mirrored.
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: Tomek Kondrat
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.