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Posts Tagged: Samsung Galaxy Note II

note2_2323527b

We don’t usually cover individual custom kernels here on the Portal for the simple reason that thanks to the development community, there are so many great options available that we wouldn’t have time to cover anything else. However, every once in a while, a kernel developer brings so much awesome to the table that it would be downright rude of us not to sit down and stuff our faces until we are fat and happy. Devil Kernel by XDA Recognized Developer DerTeufel1980 definitely falls into that category.

This is no ordinary Note 2 kernel. It’s a Linux 3.0.80 kernel based on the sources of the popular Perseus kernel that many Note 2 owners will no doubt be familiar with. The crucial (but by no means only) difference though is that Devil (in conjunction with DerTeufel1980′s custom recovery) will allow you to dual boot your device by splitting the system partition and enabling you to have two different ROMs installed at the same time—even a combination of AOSP- and TouchWiz-based ROMs.

This does take a little bit of setting up and there are some things that you will certainly want to be aware of before diving into this, so as always make sure to read through the details thoroughly before just throwing things at your device to see what sticks. Once set up, this is an incredibly beneficial option for those of you (and indeed myself) who are torn between a stock or AOSP firmware for this device. And yes, for those of you with an N7105 or AT&T/T-Mobile variant, you’re not being left out . There is a version of the kernel and recovery for these devices too.

Check out the original development thread for more information.

 

verizon-galaxy-note-2-grey1

There has been a bit of a back and forth between the development community and Verizon lately, specifically relating to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It is perhaps best summed up by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler:

“Well, this has been quite the saga thus far… 
Us: Suck It Verizon (exploit)
them: Suck it XDA-Developers (OTA patch)
Us: Back Atcha Verizon (exploit)
them: Stop it XDA (OTA Patch)
Us: No You! (exploit)”

The combination of Adam’s CASUAL deployment system and Recognized Developer Ralekdev‘s exploits themselves has been continually providing Verizon Note 2 owners with the ability to free their device through each OTA. The pair have once again managed to undo the restrictions put in place by the latest update, and they have released that exploit to the public.  Be aware that this is only for those who are running a completely stock ROM. If you are not stock and have already installed a custom recovery, this will cause you issues.

This exploit lifts the restrictions put in place by Verizon that prevent the device from running unauthorized software. Be warned that it will leave you unable to accept their OTA updates. However, you will now have a much friendlier bootloader, and who doesn’t want that?

For those of you who are running a stock ROM and looking to unlock their device, the usual rules apply. Windows(7/8)/Mac/Linux users can all make use of this cross platform tool, which will take you through the process quickly and easily. Make sure you have Java installed beforehand and you’re all set.  As always, be prepared to take a log if you run into any issues, and make sure to have a thorough read through the development thread before starting the process.

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kajnk3

There is nothing better than a good story line. When it comes to good story lines on XDA, few are better than the Verizon locked bootloader debacle. It’s always big news when one is unlocked, and it’s always tragic when one is re-locked. This happened recently with the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note II. First, it was unlocked by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler. A few months later, Verizon pulled a slick one and locked it back up. Now, there is a new way to unlock the Verizon bootloader.

XDA Recognized Developer Ralekdev discovered the exploit while Adam helped deploy it. Much the same as the first time around. It’s an entirely new exploit designed to take care of Verizon’s latest ninja OTA. If you’re unfamiliar with the specifics, Verizon released an OTA that updated the bootloader. Of course, the sole purpose of the updated bootloader was to patch the exploit being used to get around the first one.

This new exploit is delivered using Adam’s tool CASUAL, so it’s very easy to use. Users download the tool and use it to unlock the bootloader. As Adam explains, CASUAL will boot your Note 2 into bootloader mode. In Linux, the tool uses Heimdall to auto-flash an exploit, whereas Windows users have to manually use Odin. It then reboots and performs a few more exploits. After that, the devices enters download mode. From here, a custom bootloader and recovery are flashed. Once again, this is automatic on Linux via Heimdall, whereas Windows users have to do it manually. When everything is said and done, the device then boots into recovery to allow users to immediately flash and make backups. After this extremely easy to follow process is complete, the Note 2 is unlocked once again. There isn’t any Mac support just yet, so you’ll need Linux or Windows.

CASUAL, the tool itself, also received some updates. For those who may not know, CASUAL is a multi-device, multi-platform tool in which Adam likes to place his work. Given that it’s open source, it’s also customizable and modifiable by anyone. Some of the other things CASUAL is capable of doing are rooting the Droid RAZR, enabling hidden menus on the Galaxy Note II, and the Note 2 bootloader exploit. The newest feature is a built-in kill switch. This has a lot of uses, but how it works is pretty simple. If you’re running CASUAL revision 200 with a script revision 1, and revision 2 gets released, CASUAL will automatically obtain revision 2 before the script is run again. Essentially, it checks to make sure you’re on the most updated revision of any given script before execution. If you aren’t, auto updates to the latest script. If CASUAL itself updates, users are sent to a support page. This new update system ensures that everyone using CASUAL has the most updated scripts available.

It’s a whole lot of awesome packed into one mod. To learn more about the Galaxy Note 2 unlock method, check out the new bootloader unlock thread. You can find more info on CASUAL in its repository here. If you’d like to see how it happens in a video, check out the YouTube video below:

Vote_for_Design

At the end of last year, we started selling XDA cases with our friends at CruzerLite, and we’ve seen some phenomenal interest. Our current lineup is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Google Nexus 4—but we want to add more. So we have decided to hold a poll and let the users choose which device(s) to add to our current lineup.

Below you will find some of the top devices at XDA. Please choose one from the list that you would like to see offered, and we will pick from the top 3 devices. The voting ends on February 15, so make sure you place your vote for the devices you love!

EDIT: The results are in, and displayed below. We’ll keep you updated as to the final options when they become available.

Next_XDA_Case_Results

verizon-galaxy-note-2-grey1

Update: Unfortunately, this exploit no longer appears to be working. People are having trouble flashing the appropriate firmware and cannot get back to an unlock state, so this method does not currently work and we don’t recommend using it. A new method is in the works.

 

 

When XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released the bootloader unlock for the Verizon Galaxy Note II, most assumed this heralded the end of unlock struggles with the device. However, users have been heading back to the forums in a small panic because the bootloader managed to re-lock itself. Always ready to jump on such a matter, AdamOutler has already released a fix.

A symptom of the re-lock is users getting an understandably frightening message saying to return their devices to Verizon. Thankfully, no such thing is needed, and a fix is already available. Here is Adam’s take on the subject:

Previously unlocked devices will display a clear message instructing users to return the device to Verizon. Don’t do it. The OTA just relocked your device. Flash back to the provided bootloader baseline with this PIT file, then unlock as usual.

Apparently, what’s going on is that Verizon has been sneaking new bootloaders onto devices via over-the-air updates. This replaces the hacked bootloader and re-locks it. According to Adam, this is because it refreshes the Samsung keys that were broken during the initial unlock. While it may sound alarming, re-hacking the bootloader is pretty simple.

As AdamOutler stated, the easiest way to fix this problem is to flash a bootloader baseline and PIT file that are provided by Adam in the link below using Odin 3. Then, it’s a matter of using CASUAL to unlock the device again. It’s exactly the same method as the first time around. If you can’t remember, we’ve posted Adam’s unlock video at the bottom and Adam links to the original unlock in the thread (also linked below).

For the full details and the download link for the tools needed, check the original thread.

 

internalexternalswitch

Swapping the internal and external SD cards has always been a popular option. This type of modification is usually on older devices with limited internal storage, but some newer devices have received similar mods as well. With games getting as large as they are, some users can still use those larger storage devices to capacity just as quickly.

There is now an internal to external SD swap method for the international Samsung Galaxy Note II and the US variants as well. XDA Senior Member mattiadj released the mod for the Galaxy Note II. It is the same mod for all the variants, but you can find threads in the forums confirming that it works for the US variants.

It’s a fairly easy install method. Users have to reformat the target SD card into exFat or Fat32. Once that’s done, users download the required zip, based on how they formatted the SD card. Then it’s a simple flash in recovery and reboot, yielding swapped mounts. Many users are reporting that the mod works, but some are having issues. The problems seen are generally nothing serious, but it has been reported that music, video, and picture files show up twice in various applications. They aren’t actually there twice, though.

For more information, check out the original thread.

unnamed

Overclocking and underclocking your device’s processor can be very useful in certain circumstances. Overclocking can help aging hardware keep up with newer software, and underclocking (as well as undervolting) can help squeeze more time out of a battery charge.

One of the more popular CPU management applications, Tegrak, received an update recently to make it compatible with Galaxy Note 10.1 and all variants of the Galaxy Note 2. Here are the official change log for the app:

[v1.9.10]
*supports all variants of Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Note 10.1
*fixed bug of the overclock-able max freq on Galaxy S III JB
… more in

http://tegrak2x.blogspot.com/2011/04/tegrak-overclock.html

There are a few fixes for other devices as well, but the main feature addition is support for the Note 2 and 10.1 devices. What’s more, it can overclock and underclock certain stock kernels to an extent. For instance, users have found that they can overclock their Galaxy Note 10.1 to 1.6 GHz to match the clock speed of the Galaxy Note 2. Reports state that anything higher than that will freeze the device. As with any instance in which you run your hardware outside of recommended specifications, there are risks involved, so be sure to be fully appraised of what you’re doing before doing it.

XDA Senior Member hoss_n2 has opened up a discussion thread for users to post results and potential issues.

hidden menu

Previously, we posted about hidden menus on Samsung Galaxy devices. These menus can provide a number of useful functions and can actually help solve problems or make processes easier. In previous instances, the hidden menus have been used to restore bricks. There is now a tool for the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note II that helps get to those hidden menus a little easier.

XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler repackaged the tool with CASUAL. It originally came from the Galaxy Note 2 IRC channel, and it’s quite simple to use. Enable USB Debugging on the phone, plug the device into your computer, click the “Do it” button in CASUAL, and enable the hidden menus on the phone. From there, you’ll have access to the following menus:

USBSetting Menu
LTE Mode Menu
TestMode Menu
##DATA# Menu
##MSL# Menu
##DEBUG# Menu
##Phone Util# Menu
##RTN# Menu

While the hidden menus probably won’t be helpful to an average user, they often come in handy for various troubleshooting purposes or for finding more info about your device. The tool itself is a handy and quick way to get there, and is definitely work checking out.

For more details, check out the original thread.

DPIchanges

The most defining characteristic of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its expansive screen. More space means you should be able to do or access more things. However, it sports the same four by four launcher as smaller devices, and many find the fonts too large overall. With the default DPI setting, the amount of information displayed on the larger screen isn’t what everyone would want. Furthermore, what works in one app isn’t always ideal in another. There is now an application that allows users to change that on a per-app basis.

XDA Forum Member Nop Ph473 posted an application that allows for on-the-fly DPI switching on a per-app basis. This is useful for users who want more information displayed in the same amount of space. Since the popular ParanoidAndroid ROM, which allows per-app DPI (as well as layout) adjustment isn’t available for everyone yet, this is the next best thing.

The application itself can be a little tricky to use. A few people have had problems getting it to work, but most haven’t had too many problems with it. Of course, you’ll need root and BusyBox at least before you get started. It requires the use of Xposed Framework by XDA Recognized Developer rovo89. It should be noted that DPI changes don’t work well for every app. In some cases, users might get off-center UIs or apps that force close after modifying the DPI. If that should occur, restoring the standard DPI should alleviate the issues.

For more info, check out the original thread.

Odin

As devices get newer and more powerful, the software that comes with them gets bigger and more complex. In the old days, ROMs were often smaller than 100MB. Now, on the newest devices, the stock ROM can be over 1 GB in size. There are some potential problems with this. Uploading a ROM can take longer, downloading a ROM can take longer, and storing ROMs on your device can take up a lot of space. Now, there is a tutorial available to help cut back on those file sizes.

XDA Elite Recognized Developer and TV Producer AdamOutler wrote a tutorial to help decrease the size of stock tar ROMs that users can flash via Odin3 v3 and higher. As Adam explains:

I’ve been working with this for a bit and tonight I found that Odin will accept tar.md5.gz files. This is important for GNote2 users as the stock ROM is 1.2Gigs! You can get an extra 10-40% compression and 100% gaurantee that the files arrive to your users computer in the condition that you packaged them using this method. I have not found a guide on using the gz format so I thought I would write one up.

This can be quite useful because if you like to keep a stock tar around in case of emergencies, following his guide can make the file smaller and more manageable for those with limited storage. For developers who upload tars frequently, it can shorten upload times, as well as lower download times for the end user.

There are a few things to keep in mind. Once the tar.md5.gz is run through Odin, it loses the .gz and is extracted into a standard tar file again. This results in a full sized Odin ROM. It’s not really an issue, but it is something to keep in mind. Adam also gives an important warning for Verizon Galaxy Note 2 owners to be cautious about flashing after an IROM unlock:

Note to Verizon GNote2 users: Stay away from using Odin after IROM unlock as flashing a package intended for another device will perma-lock your device into another carrier’s bootloaders. Especially stay away from GS3 as the displays are not compatible.

In addition to the compression tutorial, AdamOutler has also updated his Hidden Menu application. It now includes an IMEI restore tutorial adapted from XDA Senior Member <:GeeK:> to work on the Verizon Galaxy Note 2. The tutorial will help with two things: backing up and restoring the NV items (IMEI, IMSI, and more).

For additional details, check out the Odin GROM thread or the Hidden Menus thread.

SPenBoard Switcher

One of the major features of many recent Samsung phones (or should we say “phablets?”) or tablets with the S-Pen is a suite of TouchWiz additions, such as a keyboard featuring handwriting recognition and gesture typing. While other keyboards might offer handwriting functionality, and some may call this is a gimmick; XDA forum members were clear in their requests that, while they might choose to use other keyboards, they want to retain these features offered by the stock Samsung keyboard—without the hassle of manually changing keyboard.

Enter XDA Recognized Developer LegendK95, with his app SPenBoard Switcher. If your device is capable of detecting when the pen is removed, it should be possible to use this app to change your default keyboard between two of your choice. While it is likely that most users will want to use this application to change from a third party keyboard to the Samsung keyboard when the pen is removed (and back when it is re-inserted), it is possible to select any keyboard for either state.

This app is a good example of the benefits of Samsung’s S-Pen SDK, which is available from the Samsung Developer website. Through the APIs provided by Samsung, it is possible for apps to take advantage of features of the operating system pertaining to the S-Pen, such as identifying if the pen has been removed from the device, the pressure being applied to the pen, or the state of the side button on the pen.

While the app has been mainly tested on variants of the Galaxy Note II, it should work on any recent S-Pen enabled device that is capable of notifying you when the S-Pen has been removed from the holder. If you want to give the app a try, check it out over in the apps sub-forum, bearing in mind that it requires root access to install to the system partition. This is required in order to change the current keyboard input method without prompting you each time.

Apps like this offer users more choice in how they use their devices, beyond what Samsung chose to offer on their stock ROM. There are definitely many more opportunities for anyone willing to dive into the S-Pen SDK. What would you like to see as the next S-Pen utility app?

20121229_121732

Android devices support a lot of external devices. From Bluetooth speakers to external hard drives, there really isn’t much you can’t hook up to an Android device anymore. However, one thing that users may have trouble with is an external microphone.

XDA Elite Recognized Developers AdamOutler and Rebellos are at it again. This time with a hardware mod that will allow better external mic support on most Samsung Galaxy devices. This includes the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Camera. AdamOutler explains the mod in more detail:

Elite Recognized Developer Rebellos searched the code, and we figured out that the device wouldn’t recognize my mic because its Ohms are too low. The WolfsonMicro chip uses any value below 1000 Ohms to signify button presses. Above 1000 Ohms, it signifies a microphone. My microphone is a 900 Ohm microphone, so in all actuality, it’s pretty high considering most are around 100-500 Ohms. However, Rebellos and I managed to hack through it. I wanted to share this method.

The result is a hardware mod that allows the use of larger external microphones. There are a few things to note. As Adam stated, in order to be detected, the mic must offer 1000 Ohms of resistance. If it doesn’t, then the device won’t register it as a microphone, but rather, as a button press. Since most of us don’t want to buy an entirely new microphone, a tempting solution is to create an adapter to enable the one you already have to work on the device.

According to Adam, you’ll be building a, “Samsung 4-pole to 1/4″ Mic adapter with a 200 Ohm resistor inline.” The process itself isn’t overly difficult, and for frequent hardware modders, it should be a walk in the park. Since you’re not soldering anything onto your device, you most likely aren’t putting it in direct jeopardy. Just be careful not to burn yourself with that soldering iron.

If this looks like something worth trying, head over to the original thread.

att-galaxy-note-white

It’s official: Android 4.2 AOSP releases are flying off the shelves like space toys in the 1960s. While it took a little longer than the frenzy of 4.1 AOSP-based ROMs, momentum has finally picked up on the latest version of Android. It likely won’t be long before a whole bunch of devices get releases. For now, AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note II and LG Optimus Me P350 owners can have some CM10.1 fun.

The stark contrast of new and old truly shows the versatility of developers here on XDA. The AT&T Galaxy Note II CM10.1 release was posted by XDA Senior Member madmack, and the Optimus P350 CM10.1 build was ported by XDA Senior Member PecanCM. In terms of stability, they aren’t half bad, and are more stable than some releases we’ve talked about. The not working list for the P350 includes:

Audio
Bluetooth
and other all things that not added in working list

and the AT&T Note II not working list:

-In call audio.

While neither may be fully daily driver material just yet, the ROMs are not far off. Additionally, as most of the Galaxy Note II variants are pretty similar, users not on AT&T may see CM10.1 for their devices sooner than later.

For more details on the ROMs, check out either the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note II thread or the P350 thread.

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