November 23, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A few days ago, we covered the release of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for the international Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE N7105. We immediately began to wonder when 4.3 update would make its way to some of the more popular carrier-branded variants.
Now, it appears as if that time is here, as Sprint has begun the Android 4.3 rollout for the Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note II. As this appears to be a staged rollout, not everyone will see the update when checking manually. However, XDA Senior Member npesa92 was gracious enough to pull the update from his /cache folder and upload it for everyone to enjoy.
The update comes in at version LP900VPUBMK4, and it is in the form of an incremental update from the previous LP900VPUBMC2 build. And as you may gather from the build version, this will only work on the Sprint-branded Galaxy Note II (SPH-L900). And naturally, you must be on stock firmware and recovery to flash this.
To get in on the update action a bit early, head over to the original thread.
November 22, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
When Google released Android 4.4 KitKat 23 days ago, we all knew that it would be quite some time before most users would have the chance to play with the OS on their own devices. Sure, the Google Nexus 5 launched with the OS, but what about those with older phones? Thankfully, the update news has been gradually coming through, with most manufacturers giving timetables as to when the the updates will come. Then there’s Motorola, which has gone above and beyond by actually starting the rollouts on certain variants of the Moto X.
Unfortunately, Samsung has yet to officially state when their Galaxy line up will receive the KitKat goods. Moreover, they haven’t even said which devices will receive updates. But now thanks to a leaked internal memo, it looks like the updates are at least in the works. Naturally, the company’s new flagships (the Galaxy S 4 and the Note 3) will receive the updates first. This leaked memo states an anticipated January 2014 date. Next up are the Galaxy S III and Note II, which should receive the goods between March and April.
While the update won’t be here in time for the Holiday season, at least we now know that it’s (probably) coming relatively soon. Are you pleased with Samsung’s update schedule, or are you disappointed that the updates are lagging far behind Good Guy Moto? Let us know in the comments below!
November 19, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Samsung has had a relatively good track record as of late for providing (relatively) timely Android firmware updates. Most relatively recent flagship-level Samsung devices have already received official updates to the final version of Jelly Bean (Android 4.3), and this is no small feat considering the level of customization in their TouchWiz UI.
New to the 4.3 party, the the iconic Galaxy Note II LTE N7105 now has an official Android 4.3 update of its own. And for those keeping track, this comes a few weeks after the leaked 4.3 XXUEMJ5 build for the N7100, which has now since been superseded by the XXUEMK4 update. Originally intended for Nordic countries, this new build for the N7105 comes in at version XXUEMK5. While it is available via OTA and Kies, you can also install the update manually.
However, not all is well in Samsung 4.3 land. Namely, the official updates for the international Galaxy S III I9300 and AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4 I337 are being temporarily suspended. Those who care to rewind a few weeks will remember the official 4.3 build for the S III is the same firmware that was previously leaked almost three weeks ago.
The causes for the update pull on the S III include wake up lag, random freezing, battery drain, Bluetooth audio issues, stuttering music playback, freezes, poor multitasking, and WiFi issues. Basically, what can go wrong, has gone wrong. On the other hand, there is no official word as to why the update was pulled on the AT&T variant of the S 4, but we can only assume that the device is facing similar issues.
If you’re an S III owner who has already installed the update, what have your experiences been like so far? Let us know in the comments below.
October 29, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’ve ever longed for a multipurpose toolkit that does it all on the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a new offering from XDA Recognized Contributor dr.ketan may be exactly what you’re after. OK, so the toolkit won’t do everything, but it should be enough to get most new users started and well on their journey towards device customization.
The toolkit comes in the form of an AROMA installer package. As you would expect, you run the toolkit by “flashing” it from your custom recovery as you would flash any other update. Once in the utility, there is a menu of 17 functions, with over 300 possible choices available.
Currently, the toolkit allows you to root the device, install busybox, backup and restore your EFS partition, change your recovery/kernel/modem, backup and restore system apps and framework, remove bloatware, bypass lock screen security, clean your device, and more. And within each general category, there are various selections to make. For example, when choosing to flash a recovery, a selection of different recovery options are available. The same goes for kernels, and so on.
There are versions for both the N7100 and N7105, so be sure to pick the right one for your model. To get started, head over to the appropriate thread for your device below:
[Many thanks to reader David Yountz for the humorously creative tip!]
October 27, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We recently brought you news that the Android 4.3 (XXUEMJ5) update was rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy S 4. We knew that it wouldn’t be long before the update love was spread to Samsung’s older devices. While it’s not yet here in official capacity, it is available in leaked form for the Galaxy Note II.
XDA Recognized Developer Faryaab has posted the leak to our forums, courtesy of Sammobile, along with simple instructions on how to get it up and running on your device. The build is intended for the international Galaxy Note II (GT-N7100), and it brings many new features that were previously seen on the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3, such as Samsung Wallet. As expected, this release brings Knox to the previously Knox-free device.
Keep in mind that there may be various bugs and instabilities due to the fact that this is pre-release software. However, installing this will not increase your binary counter, so those worried about future warranty support shouldn’t worry too hard.
Head over to the firmware thread to get in on the leaked action.
October 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that Samsung has seen incredible success with its Galaxy line of Android phones. In fact, the company’s profitability makes up such a large slice of the Android pie, that the Android ecosystem is quickly turning into the Samsung ecosystem. While much of Samsung’s success is due to their heavy marketing presence, the rest is down to the various innovations found in their products and how they cater well towards their users. That said, not everything is perfect for every user with Samsung’s offerings. And to the many who prefer vanilla Android, TouchWiz is a drawback rather than an asset.
Sure, you can wipe your default firmware and install a custom, AOSP-based ROM on your device. In fact, that’s what a good number of us do when installing source-built ROMs such as Paranoid Android, Omni, and PACRom. However, we don’t always want to leave behind the value-added OEM software. Instead, we can get back the look and feel of stock Android, while keeping the default ROM and OEM apps alive.
XDA Senior Member MohammadAG has created a simple modification that allows you to get back the AOSP lock screen on your TouchWiz device. While this mod was originally developed for the Samsung Galaxy Note II, it should also work on the Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III.
Since this is an Xposed module, you will need to have XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework (thread) installed. After that, you simply activate the module, reboot, and enjoy your AOSP lock screen.
Make your way over to the module thread to get started.
October 18, 2013 By: TK
The Samsung Galaxy Note line of devices has given us many reasons to want a stylus on our phones. While you can customize the functions of the S Pen on the Note 3, the sound that the device makes when you take the pen out is not customizable from the system settings. The same goes for the Camera app.
XDA Recognized Contributor kevinrocksman brings us an easy way to modify the Note II and Note 3’s S Pen and Camera sounds to our hearts’ content. Before starting, you must be rooted and have a custom recovery installed.
The modification comes in the form of an AROMA-based recovery-flashable zip, in which the sounds are included. Due to the use of AROMA installer, installation is easy, and the installer walks you through the selection of sounds selection. And if you decide the modification isn’t for you, it even allows you to go back to the stock sounds.
Even with its successor already in the wild, the aging Samsung Galaxy Note II is still a fantastic phone. The powerhouse features a large, high-resolution display, plenty of RAM and internal memory, and a processor that is still quite speedy. That said, the newly released Galaxy Note 3 improves upon the original Note and Note II in practically every way. However, not everyone will notice or appreciate the increase in CPU speed, RAM, and resolution. Rather, many would prefer to simply have some of the Note 3 software features on the Note II.
This is now possible, thanks to XDA Senior Members titooo7, ravijiani, slink_59, and Arsaw (as well as a team of others listed in the thread’s OP). Using the leaked 4.3 ROM (MI6) as a base, titooo7 managed to get many of the new Note 3 features on the older Note II.
So what works? Quite a bit. Some of the major features are Air Command, the Gallery app, the launcher app, S Note, Sketchbook, S Planner, and more. Titooo7 believes that more work must be done to remove unnecessary files. Despite these concerns, this mod (now in its third revision) seems quite functional.
Make your way over to the modification thread to get started.
[Thanks to pakure for the tip!]
August 21, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you have a Samsung device, you’ve undoubtedly heard of CSC files before. For the uninitiated, CSC editors on various Samsung devices allow users to modify various hidden settings and enable certain hidden features. By modifying these files, you can do things such as disable the camera shutter, enable infinite scroll on the launcher, change the number of contacts that can be merged, make the enter key send a text message, and much, much more.
Expanding on previous CSC editors we’ve seen, XDA Senior Member nagasgura presents Note 2 Hidden Settings, a new CSC editor that adds many niceties such as automatic backups, a cleaner Holo-themed interface, and more. Note 2 Hidden Settings even is able to list modifications made manually or by other applications. And if you’d like to restore the values to their default settings, you can do so at the touch of a button.
If you’re unwilling to take the plunge in an alternate ROM and would like to add some features to your Note II’s stock firmware, head over to the original thread to get started. Obviously, you must be rooted to get started, but who isn’t nowadays?
July 16, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
The Xposed Framework is an incredibly easy and versatile way of customizing and increasing the functionality of your device. We’ve previously brought you news of several useful and innovative modules that can be used with the framework, and I recently stumbled across another that might of interest to Samsung Galaxy Note II owners.
XBackground is an Xposed module by XDA Senior Member xperiacle that allows you to customize certain elements of your device’s UI quickly and easily. The main purpose of the module is to allow you to replace the Holo Dark and Holo Light backgrounds of many stock apps or applications available from the Play Store that make use of the Holo theme. It also allows you to modify the background image or transparency of the notification drawer. The standard images can be replaced with either a solid color of your choice or an image from your gallery, allowing you to give your device a very personal look and feel.
This module was originally posted in the Note II forums and is specifically designed to work with the stock firmware for that device. You will of course need to have already installed the Xposed Framework, and it’s highly recommended to make sure that you are running the latest version. Check out the modification thread for more details.
July 8, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
With phablets becoming increasingly common, we’re slowly getting accustomed to trading in some portability for increases in mobile firepower. And what’s one very simple way to add functionality to your device? Give it a bigger battery and some additional storage, of course!
To that end, XDA Forum Member 白い熊 used some incredibly basic tools to make his Galaxy Note II just that much more useful. Armed with a high-capacity aftermarket battery, a generic donor case, an SD to micro SD adapter, and a rather large 256 GB SD card, he set off to pimp his phablet.
While not technically a true device modification per se, this is a really cool and simple modification that we can encourage you to try. However, in the process of making things work, not everything went as planned. It was quickly discovered that an alternative solution was needed in order to close off the back of the device. This is where the generic case comes in.
A couple of snips (to allow for the battery bulge) later, and the back was covered once again. Unfortunately this also means that the device is much less insulated from the elements. Furthermore, when looking from certain angles, you can see the underlying hardware, so it’s hardly the most aesthetically pleasing option. However, this is still pretty cool for those who will be careful enough to not splash their devices and don’t mind the looks.
To get some inspiration for your device, head over to the original thread. We’d love to see what you come up with, especially if it involves creating your own sealed enclosure using vacuum forming or other means. If you have your own Franken-device, let us know in the comments below!
July 6, 2013 By: Samantha
One subtle, yet simple modification to your device is a different battery indicator. Probably one of the most looked at icons on your device, a different battery indicator can bring out pleasant changes to the overall look of your device. And although finding the right indicator and manually changing it is quite a simple process, it’ll still be great if they were all in one place.
Well, good news for users of Samsung devices, as you can now pick and choose all you like from a huge collection of hundreds of different battery indicator mods for your device. Compiled by XDA Senior Member NadMaj, the collection spans (almost) every different color, theme, and animation in the world of battery indicators—or at least enough to last you a lifetime. Previews accompany each one, and animations range from the classic battery and circular indicators to Pacman and Aliens, to Captain America’s Shield and the Pokemon Pokeballs. And even better, each battery indicator is packaged into a convenient flashable zip file, so say goodbye to manual drag and drops.
NadMaj has gathered 600 different battery indicators for Galaxy S3 and S4 users, while owners of the Note 2 and Note 10.1 have over 100 to choose from. So if this has gotten you interested, definitely head over to the original thread for the GS3, GS4, Note 2 or Note 10.1 for more.
One of our goals for the year has been to better organize all of the development works (ROMs, apps, tools, kernels, etc.) on XDA. We wanted this to be useful but also to have minimal impact on how developers post to XDA and on users who are happy with the current structure of the forums.
We’re currently testing a system, we call the Development Database (or DevDB for short) on a handful of forums (Galaxy S II, Xperia Z, Galaxy Note II, Droid DNA, Nexus 4, Nexus 7). You’ll note that when you go to the gateway to those forums, such as that for the Xperia Z, you can now see a tab for ROMs. Each ROM is linked to a forum thread– just as it’s always been. But when you click through to these threads, you’ll notice that they’ve become “enhanced” with a shiny new menu bar as shown in the below screenshot. Developers have the option of which features they want to include for each project:
– Feature Requester
– Bug Reporter
– Downloads (via our own torrent tracker)
– Q&A Thread Linking