January 16, 2013 By: Former Writer
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.
January 14, 2013 By: Former Writer
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:
*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
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.
January 7, 2013 By: Former Writer
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:
LTE Mode Menu
##Phone Util# 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.
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.
January 5, 2013 By: Former Writer
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).
January 2, 2013 By: Pulser_G2
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?
December 30, 2012 By: Former Writer
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.
December 22, 2012 By: Former Writer
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:
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.
December 22, 2012 By: Former Writer
A while back, we brought you news that users and developers were taking a more serious look at the CSC file on the Galaxy Note 2. In case you’ve forgotten, the CSC file is a lot like a build.prop. It contains a number of values and lines that can be altered with varying results. Before, it was experimenting to see what could be done with it. Now, some practical tweaks have been found.
XDA Senior Member kkoolpatz released a list of settings you can change in the CSC file to uncover hidden features for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This is meant for the International version, but many of these could work on the US variants as well, given the nearly identical hardware. Here is a brief list of some features that have been uncovered:
Enter Key = New Line in stock sms // Only if not supported already
Enable sub Symbols on Stock Samsung keyboard
Dialer search matches numbers in contacts and call logs along with contacts
No Limits on joining contacts together.
Add exit menu to stock web browser
Add shutter sound on/off menu to stock camera app
Stock browser requests Desktop site by default
None of these are game changers, but a few of them could be pretty useful. The desktop site always requested is especially nice for the Galaxy Note 2, as the screen is big enough to surf most full sites comfortably. There is still a lot of work going on with the CSC file, and kkoolpatz has invited anyone to contribute what they find as well.
For all the details, check out the original thread.
December 18, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
One of the flagship features of Samsung’s Galaxy Note line is Multi-Window, which offers true on-screen multitasking by allowing you to simultaneously open two apps on the screen. Due to its popularity, it has even made its way officially to the Galaxy S III in the latest firmware updates, and unofficially ported to the good ole’ Galaxy S II right here at XDA.
While the feature is quite useful as it comes, our developer community isn’t exactly known for being content with stock features. As proof, we have seen several mods that extent the feature to support almost any app. XDA Recognized Developer LegendK95 has taken it one step further and released MultiWindow Complete Control for the Verizon Galaxy Note 2.
As the name implies, this mod grants you full control over the MultiWindow bar, allowing you to easily add or remove applications, sort them in alphabetical order, and even control Samsung’s predefined applications in the MultiWindow view. Do note that the mod is available for devices running a deodexed ROM based on the VRALJB firmware.
You can find more information, the download link, and installation instructions in the forum thread.
December 17, 2012 By: Former Writer
Root exploits are often quite a good thing. There are many that only work on certain individual devices. However, there are some that work on a whole bunch of devices. An example of the latter is a root exploit by XDA Recognized Developer Bin4ry that works on a variety of devices. And now we have news of a dangerous, new exploit that works on Exynos 4210- and 4412-based devices.
XDA Forum Member alephzain released the exploit that affects pretty much any device with an Exynos 4412 or 4210 processor. This includes the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S III, Meizu MX, and the Galaxy S II, among many others. Here’s how alephzain explains the root method:
Recently discover a way to obtain root on S3 without ODIN flashing.
The security hole is in kernel, exactly with the device /dev/exynos-mem.
This device is R/W by all users and give access to all physical memory … what’s wrong with Samsung ?
Its like /dev/mem but for all.
Three libraries seems to use /dev/exynos-mem:
Essentially, this exploit can be used to root any device with the aforementioned processors. What’s more, this method wouldn’t require an Odin flash like most current root methods. However, this exploit could be dangerous. Not only could be used to acquire root access, but for malicious applications as well. So developers will have a fun time helping to fix the issues while using the exploit for root.
For more details, check out the original thread. Do keep in mind, though, that this is posted in the new Samsung Galaxy Note II developer-only forum, so don’t post saying thanks or anything as the thread will be used for developers to develop things only.
December 15, 2012 By: Former Writer
One of the coolest features of the new Galaxy Note II is the Multi Window feature. Most Galaxy Note II devices didn’t ship with the mod initially, and received updates from their various carriers. Then came a mod that allowed users to add any app they wanted to the Multi Window list, which makes it much more awesome. Now, the mod has been ported to the last variant to hit stores, the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note II.
XDA Senior Member hairdewx posted a mod that lets users add any app to the Multi Window list. Unlike the most recent mods, which include an app that adds the apps for you, Verizon users are stuck using the old fashioned way for right now. This means de-compiling the apps, making the appropriate changes, re-compiling the app, and re-installing. Once done, the app will show up in the Multi Window bar.
The process isn’t difficult, but it does take some time for those unfamiliar with de-compiling and re-compiling applications. To do it, hairdewx suggests using APK Tool, which is a good idea since it’s well known and tutorials are easy to find. Eventually, a one-click method will show itself like with the other variants.
For more info, check out the original thread.
December 15, 2012 By: Former Writer
Not long ago, great news came to Verizon Galaxy Note II owners that the Verizon Note II has had its bootloader unlocked. Now that developers can transfer some of the really cool stuff brought over to the Note II, they are doing just that. However, even before unlock, the Verizon Note II was a world phone capable of running on GSM and CDMA networks. The only issue? When on a GSM network, only phone calls and texts work. Now, there is a mod to make data work too.
XDA Forum Member joderme has released a method that gets data working when on a GSM network. XDA Recognized Developers adrynalyne and imnuts also gave a helping hand in the mod. In addition to making data work on GSM networks, the process will also get rid of the annoying error message about the SIM card not being from Verizon.
There are two ways to apply the mod. The manual way is to pull the apns-conf.xml, add the carrier data, put it back, and change permissions. Then you should be able to set it to that carrier and allow you to access data. The simpler way is a flashable zip that adrynalyne released, which allows users to edit these settings without pulling any files. There is also talk by imnuts of making a all-in-one APN file that works for all major networks. That is still a work in progress, but if it works, then users would just need to add that file and be done.
For the full details, check out the original thread.