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?
The S-Pen is a pretty unique piece of hardware, especially on the latest generation of Note devices such as the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Note 10.1. However, the software for S-Pen is a little lacking. There are a number of fun drawing applications and other fun apps. However, there aren’t many killer S-Pen apps. Now, there is an image editing app optimized specifically for S-Pen.
XDA Forum Member lschiedel released a beta for an image editing application designed specifically around S-Pen functionality. As lschiedel explains:
Anyway, the app is a Photo Editor with paint tools, filter tools, and multiple floating layers including Image Layers, Text Layers, and Vector Layers.
The SPen support includes hover emulating moving the virtual mouse (a float brush icon that is see through when trimming layers) and uses the button on the pen to emulate left button/right button by click, letting you change from fore-ground color to back-ground color, as well as toggle between trimming layers by brush and untrimming layers by brush.
It supports large heap (meaning huge multi-mega-pixel images).
It has an image surface on the left, a toolbar on the top right, and a scroll pad/mouse pad on the bottom right.
It only needs some more icons and a little more debugging.
So for those who enjoy photography, image editing, and activities like these, this could be an extremely useful application. This is, of course, an open beta, so users will likely see some bugs here and there. Reporting them is generally helpful, so please report all you find.
July 26, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we brought you news that the international Galaxy S II was given an official preview to CyanogenMod 10 by XDA Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx of Team Hacksung. Now, the lucky day has come to everyone favorite phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note.
Today’s release comes from XDA Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD, who is also a member of Team Hacksung. As with the release on its sister device, users must take into consideration that this is a preview build. Thus, quite a bit is currently not working. As described by XpLoDWilD himself:
This is a PREVIEW : CyanogenMod 10 is nowhere near ready to be used as a daily driver (lots of features still have to be merged)
Adventurous Note owners wishing to get an early preview of CyanogenMod 10 should head over to the ROM thread.
June 5, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Those familiar with TriangleAway by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire will take comfort in knowing that the app has been updated to add compatibility with the Samsung Galaxy S III and the International Galaxy Note. For those unfamiliar with the app, it does as its name implies by removing the triangle and resetting the flash counter on your device.
Let’s backtrack for a minute and find out exactly why the app had to be updated, and what made this time a little different than before. At the application’s start, the kernel flash counter was relatively easy to take care of. Simply resetting the value would remove the counter. However, with the release of the Galaxy Note, Samsung made things more difficult by hiding the data. And now on the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung has made it even more difficult thanks to a background service that searches for the telltale signs of rooting.
According to Chainfire’s development blog:
With the Galaxy S II, Samsung introduced a custom kernel flash counter and custom kernel warning triangle. This is where Triangle Away came in – it reset the flash counter and removed the warning triangle.
On the Galaxy Note, Samsung tried hiding the data once more, so Triangle Away would not work.
On the Galaxy S III (among other new devices), Samsung has gone a step further, and has introduced a background service that runs on your device and checks for things such as a modified /system, apps running with root access, etc.
For the moment, this service does not do anything malicious, but who knows what the future will bring ? Tracking of IMEI’s that have ever ran root, disabling of services, etc ?
Scary, isn’t it? The last line should jump out at you, as it’s not too much of a stretch to think that future revisions of the service could be used as such. And by looking at the update log, you can clearly see the battle between Chainfire and Samsung:
Update 16.02.2012: Users have confirmed TriangleAway works on the I9220 SGNote ICS leak !
Update 13.05.2012: TriangleAway does *not* work on the latest official SGNote ICS firmwares. There will be a fixed version soon, but it has to wait for my Note to return from repairs, else I cannot test it
Update 04.06.2012: v1.50 should work with the I9220 and N7000 SGNote’s again
Right about now, you may be wondering why exactly Samsung or any other OEM would feel the need to keep tabs on your ORD. One can assume that it has to do with warranty, but is this really a valid reason on Samsung’s part? After all, if the hardware functioned properly, why should an improper firmware flash even have the capacity to damage the hardware?
Once again, according to Chainfire himself:
Custom ROMs, root, bricks, and warranty
I am not sure what the reason is Samsung wants to track all this. My reason for wanting to “break” their tracking is one thing: warranty.
Being able to run the software I want on devices I own without losing hardware warranty should be a right by law. As for as I can see, there’s only two ways you can really break your device with root access:
(1) overclocking to the point where hardware is damaged
(2) flashing nonsense to your bootloader partitions
I’m not sure how to handle (1). I personally never overclock – and I don’t think it’s strange to deny overclockers warranty. Surely this must be preventable in the hardware. Case number (2) however is wholly Samsung’s fault. Adam Outler has shown time and again that these devices are perfectly able to be made unbrickable - so any bootloader brick is IMHO Samsung’s fault. If Adam Outler can prevent the situation with a soldering iron, the original design is broken.
Regardless, hardware should be under warranty – if I have my device rooted or not. Leaked service center documents show that devices should be checked for root, and if present, deny warranty. (This is not just Samsung, all the major OEMs do this.)
That is simply unacceptable. Any OEM following that policy is a bad OEM – in some countries this may even be an unlawful practise (though good luck winning in court). HTC has once refused to replace a defective digitizer on my HTC Diamond (a common hardware issue with this device) due to HSPL being present. They claimed HSPL had irreversibly damaged the mainboard, and the entire innards of the device would have to be replaced. Riiiiight.
Root by itself is not a crime, nor a pointer that a device is broken in any way that should not fall under warranty. But in the eyes of the OEMs it seems we are criminals.
If the purpose of the tracking is related to corporate security and such, I can see why Samsung would want to lock down further. I can certainly understand that, though I don’t necessarily agree.
If this reminds you of the mid-nineties, you are forgiven. As Chainfire writes, there is nothing inherently malicious or criminal in being able to use our own devices as we see fit. Yet, various OEMs employ tactics aimed at preventing us from truly customizing our devices to our hearts’ content for fear of a voided warranty.
If (using Chainfire’s personal example) broken digitizer hardware has absolutely nothing to do with flashed firmware, why is that justification for denying warranty service. For those who tinker with their cars, this is akin to voiding a Powertrain Warranty because you added an aftermarket radio. There is simply no justification—morally anyhow. Luckily for those in the US, the Magnusun-Moss Warranty Act offers a sliver of protection—but good luck trying to take that to court. And in other countries, you may be entirely out of luck.
This then leads to the question of what would be best, both practically and ethically. Chainfire has assessed the situation stating:
And thus we come full circle – if Samsung goes another step further in protecting their custom flash data, will I even attempt to bypass it ? Should I ? A big part of me thinks not.
Those simply looking to absolve their triangle and flash counter for what is possibly the last time can purchase a donation version of the app on Google Play or head to the original release thread for the free version. Those simply looking to learn more on the issue should head over to Chainfire’s development blog post.
May 23, 2012 By: FallenWriter
The Samsung Galaxy Note we reviewed previously is an amazing device. A hybrid of tablet and phone, it fits into a niche that defies normal conventions. Recently though, we mentioned that the current leaked builds of ICS for the Note have been plagued with a superbrick bug.
Much to our surprise, Samsung has just released the ICS kernel source code for the Note! It is in no small part thanks to the work of community members like SamsungJohn and XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512 that Samsung has responded to our pleas and has given us what we need to work around the problems.
Of course, we here at XDA would like to thank the folks over at Samsung for the quick turnaround time. Here’s hoping that we can work together to fix the problem. If you’re eager to take a crack at the code, head on over to the official release page.
In today’s Quick Take of This Week in Development, Jordan covers all the noteworthy articles from the XDA Portal. As Jordan discusses, the most important articles were about the Samsung Galaxy S III. This weekend the Galaxy S III was rooted, official stock firmware was leaked, Samsung S Voice was ripped, and the first custom ROM was released. In related news, the older Samsung Galaxy S II and Note have a serious bug that could brick your device.
May 15, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
The road to Ice Cream Sandwich has been paved with many victories for the international Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000. The device received its official dose of ICS goods not too long ago, and root methods were promptly developed that wouldn’t affect the device’s flash count. We also covered the official alpha release of CyanogenMod 9 for the phone-tablet, which came courtesy of XDA Recognzied Developer XpLoDWilD, Team Hacksung, and of course the CyanogenMod team.
Now, progress has come once again, as XpLoDWilD brings us our next chapter in the ICS saga on the N7000 in the form of official CM9 nightlies for the device. Installation is simple enough, but differs depending on which ROM is currently loaded on your device. In the words of the developer:
First time installing CyanogenMod 9 to your Galaxy Note, or coming from another ROM:
- READ FAQs: http://teamhacksung.org/wiki/index.p…sked_Questions
- Make sure you’re running a proper working ClockworkMod-Recovery
- DON’T flash FROM i9220 LEAKED REPACK!
- Copy GApps and CM9 ZIPs to your internal SDCard
- Boot into Recovery
- Flash CM9 zip
- Flash GApps zip
- DO A DATA WIPE / FACTORY RESET (otherwise your calendar sync will not work)
- Don’t restore Apps using Titanium Backup!
Upgrading from earlier version of CyanogenMod 9:
- Copy CM9 ZIP to your internal SDCard
- Boot into Recovery
- Flash CM9 zip
- Wipe cache partition and dalvik-cache
While there are still a few bugs and quirks to wring out, the ROM is very highly functional and is definitely worth a shot for practically all international Note users. Those looking to get in on the action should proceed to the development thread.
[Thanks to Androidindian for the tip.]
May 10, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
While many mobile enthusiasts seem to be more concerned with the Samsung Galaxy S III that we recently gave a hands-on treatment, it is reassuring to know that Samsung still has a place in its heart for slightly older devices such as the International Galaxy Note GT-N7000. How does a large multi-national corporation show their love for a still young-at-heart device? The best way possible, of course—with an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The update to ICS comes in the form of the N7000XXLPY update to Android 4.0.3. Naturally, it also brings the love-it-or-hate-it TouchWiz user interface. Currently, the update seems to only be rolling out to those Notes in Germany. However, XDA Forum Member xaoc747 kindly posted the update in a recovery-flashable update.zip package for all to enjoy here on XDA. Forum Member xaoc747 was then kind enough to repackage the update to ODIN format and give instructions on how to root! In his own words:
Originally Posted by lee yun khong
Big thanks to Dr.ketan and Chainfire.
First ICS for Note
N7000XXLPY 4.0.3 2012 May N7000OXALPY Open Germany posted to OP
This is Non Wipe version
Installation note : How to update from GB ROM to ICS
Install using Mobile Odin safely
- Download N extract ROM
- Copy Extracted file to a folder e.g ICS ROM On Ext/Int SD card
- Download CF Root for LPY
- Extract CF root till get zImage file
- Copy zImage file to same above said folder in SD car
- Open Mobile Odin
- Select ‘Open file’ N point to ROM file
- select Kernel tab N point to zImage file
- select Ever Root option
- You will get ICS ROM + Root + CWM
April 24, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
As we’ve mentioned before, some Samsung devices are having some problems with Ice Cream Sandwich. Nothing serious, mind you, but enough that installations and backups that used to take all of five minutes are now taking much longer. Thus, doing something that used to be as simple as installing a ROM is now requiring more than just a routine trip to a custom recovery.
XDA Senior Member chasmodo brings us a new, albeit temporary, method for installing AOSP ROMs on their Samsung Galaxy Note. The process is much longer than flashaholics are used to, and requires several specific software components be installed first. This includes a specific kernel that has been proven to flash and restore ICS safely.
The guide runs users through obtaining and installing the kernel, then the full installation process for AOSP ROMs. It is then capped off with the user checking to make sure they even still have root access. Installing a custom ROM and losing root access, what is this world coming to? However, once completed and root is accounted for, the ICS AOSP ROMs should continue to run just as they were intended. While much longer than typical flashing instructions, it actually isn’t much harder than flashing a regular ROM, it just takes a bit longer.
If you’re looking to install an ICS AOSP ROM on your Note, check out the tutorial thread for more information, download links to the proper kernel, the list of other users who contributed, and much more.
April 23, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
It would appear that for many newer Samsung devices that aren’t the Galaxy Nexus, getting Android Ice Cream Sandwich to work correctly is a real pain in the rear. With devices like the Samsung Epic 4G Touch having complicated installation methods for otherwise simple mods and ROMs, users looking to put ICS on their newer Samsung devices have more than a few steps waiting for them. It has gotten to the point where some users are stepping up and writing full blown tutorials on how to do things on ICS that most flashers could otherwise do in their sleep.
This is the case with a tutorial written by XDA Senior Member matius44 for the Samsung Galaxy Note, which helps users effectively and safely restore ICS backups. The process is relatively complicated for restoring a simple backup. Users are used to simply booting into the respective custom recovery and hitting the restore nandroid button. However, the process for restoring ICS backups is more complicated than that, as users have to have a specific kernel installed in order to get ICS backups to work correctly. Says matius44:
First and foremost, Abyss Kernel version 4.2 is an essential asset in this process, as it has the Touch version of Redpill recovery
From there, it’s booting into recovery, installing the kernel, rebooting recovery—not the phone, just the recovery—then performing the Nandroid restore we should all be so very used to by now. This will ensure restore success and avoid any number of issues.
Update: Due to various reports of hard bricks, the thread has been removed. Please refer to our piece on the Exynos Hardbrick bug.
This Week in Development, new comer Jordan covers all the exciting stories you need to know from the XDA-Developers forum. In addition to Android’s possibly inadvertent fail, he covers ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Note and HTC One X, and HTC One V ROMs being ported to the Desire S and Desire HD. Jordan mentions the addition of a forum for the HTC One V. Additionally, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler‘s CASUAL and Shelr articles are discussed. The strangely addictive Crazy Birds game and an Android VNC are covered, along with the accelerometer fix for the T-Mobile Galaxy SII
Check out the video below.
April 13, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
With all the new ROMs and modifications coming out for the Samsung Galaxy Note, owners of the phone / tablet may wish to keep the number of times the system has been flashed to themselves. Reasons for this are varying but it most certainly will help users who wish to return to stock, in order to either to sell, exchange, or repair their devices.
There have been apps to help accomplish this goal in the past, but now XDA Senior Member braway has put together an update.zip for ClockworkMod recovery that will wipe the counter specifically for the Galaxy Note. This package can be flashed on its own through recovery or can be baked into a custom ROM. From the original thread:
This resets the flash counter (kernel/recovery/… flashed through Odin) back to stock.
How to use
Download the zip file. Its an update-zip for cwm.
Put it on your sdcard, boot into recovery and flash it.
- Samsung knows how many kernels/recoveries you’ve flashed through odin.
- The single counters are up to 255, so theoretically you can “reset” by flashing 256 of each (Samsung will still know you flashed something)
- Samsung knows what was the last thing you’ve flashed
- Flashing System is not counted.
If you’d like to wipe your own flash counter or include braway’s update.zip in your own ROM, head over to the original thread. As of now, it works with the AT&T, Rogers, Telus and Bell Samsung Galaxy Note. Give it a try and report your findings. As always when flashing something new to your device, don’t forget to do a full backup, and be sure to thank braway for his great contribution to the Galaxy Note community!
Many Samsung Galaxy Note users are drawn to the device for its versatility. It can easily replace both a standard 4 to 5 inch phone AND a 7 inch tablet. It can be tweaked to enable NFC. It received it’s Ice Cream Sandwich update quicker than many of its peers. The development community for the device is currently on fire. One of the more exciting new developments for the phone/tablet hybrid comes in the form of an AOSP ROM by XDA Recognized Developer imilka.
This unique ROM takes advantage of the tablet-specific user interface in Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3. While other devices have seen ROMs that use the tablet layout of ICS, none have been so well suited to it as the Galaxy Note. The massive 5.3 inch screen lends itself rather well to the tablet layout, and when combined with the S Pen, the Note becomes a perfectly functional mini-tablet with phone capabilities. The fully AOSP ROM has no trace of TouchWiz and is completely functional. The first SMS sent after a flash reports as not sent, even though it does send, and without an app to mount both storage points the ROM, it is only able to mount the internal SD. However, neither of these bugs hinder performance of the ROM, and it is stable enough to use as a daily driver.
If you’d like to give it a shot on your Galaxy Note, keep in mind that you will need to use Odin to flash to Chainfire ICS Repack if you are coming from any other ROM, so make sure you make a backup of your entire device before installing. Instructions, videos, and links to all necessary files can be found in the ROM release thread. Report your findings back to imilka and don’t forget to thank him for bringing the ICS tablet UI to your dynamic Samsung Galaxy Note!