September 5, 2012 By: Former Writer
Around here, many users enjoy various AOSP-derived ROMs. There are quite a few options, including such well known ROMs as CyanogenMod, AOKP, and ParanoidAndroid. There are many more options as well, which is great because the more the merrier.
Now, the Android Developer Alliance development team has released the AffinitySERIES ROM to various devices. Their missions statement is pretty simple, as explained by ADA member, and XDA Recognized Developer, blueHarford:
One of our biggest things is No Drama, no secrets, BIG on communication which i think alot of other teams lack. We are not the best we will not boast ourselves or ever use the word kang. We feel like one of the first teams to start AOSP project to where it truley is part of the open source community. Were not out for recognition were out to make good products.
Fast, Responsive, Intuitive & Professional UI
GLaDOS v2.1 Power Kernel Built In
First of its kind Customized Toggle Icons
Custom Awesome Popup SMS Features
Facebook Contacts Support
Custom Power Widget
4 Way Reboot Menu
Exclusive ADA Wallpapers
5 Way Lock Screen Targets
Beautiful Weather Lock Screen
Voice & Data (SVDO)
Customized Navbar Settings
Modified Navigation Bar Options
Clock Modifications – Left, Center, and Right Clock AM/PM Weekday Abbreviation
Battery Options 6 Styles to Choose
Many, many more…!
Users are reporting that the ROM works well and has very few issues. Most are reporting no issues at all, which is great for a Jelly Bean ROM. Now that the initial release is out of the way, the team is looking forward to the host of other devices they plan on supporting in their second round of releeases. The official list includes:
Asus Transformer TF101
Asus Transformer Infinity TF700
Samsung Galaxy Tab2
Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX
Samsung Galaxy Nexus (toroplus)
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy SII and SIII
August 8, 2012 By: David Watt
A few weeks ago, we brought you news that the CyanogenMod 10 Official Preview was released on the Samsung Galaxy Note N7000. We can now also report that AOKP Jelly Bean has unofficially made it’s way to the Galaxy Note, thanks to XDA Senior Member toxicthunder.
The ROM, known as Half-Illusion, is built from the aforementioned CM10 preview build and AOKP nightlie merges. Of course, as with most early Jelly Bean ports, there are still remaining bugs and other issues, but great progress is being made. As toxicthunder says:
The Jelly Bean previews may contain loads of bugs to be squashed, errors to be rectified and issues to be dealt with.
Hence, please do not flash the ROM if you’re uncomfortable with it, or have lesser experience with regards to all warnings pertaining to the subject.
If you fancy having an early taste of AOKP Jelly Bean on your Note, head on over to the ROM thread.
August 7, 2012 By: Former Writer
We’ve brought you regular updates on the hard brick situation on the Samsung Galaxy Note, including what Samsung is doing to fix it. In short, the issue has been a bug in certain ICS kernels that causes hardware failure. XDA Member Advocate Admin egzthunder1 said it best in his great article about it:
It turns out that there is a major bug in the leaked ICS kernel that affects the /data partition in the eMMC chip, which apparently gets corrupted during certain operations such as wiping and flashing.
Well, that’s not all for the Note. As it turns out, there’s an issue with some temporary CWM.zip files floating around that can also cause these hard bricks. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512, who has been on the forefront of preventing further damage to users’ devices, has managed to find the specific problem. There is a string in the binary that’s been shown to be dangerous, and moderators are working currently to get it off of XDA thanks to Entropy512. This only appears to affect the Touch version of the temporary CWM, and no issues have been reported with the standard version.
To help alleviate the confusion, XDA Recognized Contributor dr.ketan has written up a tutorial on how to root the Galaxy Note without the troublesome CWM.zip. There are two methods, one that uses Odin and Triangle Away so that the flash counter gets back to zero and stays there. The second one, which is a little longer, prevents the flash counter from being tripped in the first place. For all intents and purposes, this is the root method that should be followed from now on. Dr.ketan has also been kind enough to include Entropy512’s explanation in the first post so users know exactly what’s going on.
For more details, Entropy512’s explanation, and the new root methods, check out the original thread.
July 31, 2012 By: Former Writer
Whenever a new kernel is released, it is subject to the GPL. This means that full kernel source code for all publicly released kernels and firmware based on the Linux kernel must be made publicly available. This is usually no big deal, as most OEMs and kernel developers provide the legally required GPL-compliant kernel source shortly after releasing a new update or device. However, the difficulty is often in finding all source code links that you would need conveniently. While going into the kernel thread and grabbing link is fine, having a centralized space for this would help many looking for a base upon which to add commits.
This is now available on the Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor chasmodo, who has put the links to all of the kernel sources in one place. The thread is split up into two pieces, one for the Samsung Touchwiz kernels and one for AOSP kernels. Inside the thread, users will find two links for each kernel. The first takes users to the original thread so they can grab up the source links, and the other is a download link for those kernels.
So, if you’re looking for a kernel or kernel source on the N7000, this is likely a thread you’ll want to keep bookmarked, as it stands as a central hub of sorts to help users get the kernels or source code they want. For additional information, check out the kernel repository thread.
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.
Just about three months ago, we brought you news that the Team Win Recovery Project had received a massive update to version 2.1. April’s release largely heralded the start of a new age in recoveries—where one would no longer have to deal with cumbersome menus, instead interacting with a very user-friendly GUI.
It wasn’t simply about the GUI either. In addition to bringing an unrivaled level of UI polish, TWRP 2.1 offered users many advanced features such as update.zip queuing, a basic file manager, and dual storage support for Nandroid backups. Additionally, TWRP added support for the open source scripting engine OpenRecoveryScript, which works in conjunction with the previously covered GooManager.
How do you follow up something as revolutionary as TWRP 2.1? With TWRP 2.2, of course. That’s how! The new release builds on the previous offering by delivering many recovery “firsts.” For starters, this is the first recovery to feature on on-screen keyboard. Why would you want such a thing? How about naming and renaming Nandroid backups! TWRP 2.2 is also the only recovery to split extremely large backups, allowing users to backup and restore /data partitions larger than the 2 GB FAT32 file size limit.
In the words of XDA Recognized Developer Dees_Troy:
- On-screen keyboard in recovery! — supports long press, backspace repeat, and swipe left deletes everything left of the cursor
– Name new backups and rename existing backups
– Rename files and folders in the file manager
– Pseudo-terminal emulator
– Support decrypting an encrypted data partition on Galaxy Nexus (enter password using keyboard)
– Backup archive splitting — allows backup and restore of data partitions larger than 2GB
– Simplified XML layout support between resolutions
– Added dual storage selection radio buttons to zip install, backup, and restore pages
– Improved zip install compatibility
– Updated update-binary source code
– Numerous small bug fixes and improvements
Eager to get started? I know I am. Head to the links below to obtain the appropriate version for your device:
Dual booting has always been a mixed bag. On some devices it’s deceptively easy to get a second ROM booting. In some cases, it’s even possible to boot more than two. On others, it’s a process that can take hours and can be wrought with problems if the process is not handled properly. In any case, dual booting is a fun experience and can even be practical. Now, users can dual boot on the International Samsung Galaxy Note.
The method was developed by XDA Forum Member chuandinh and includes a few different pieces. Users will have to flash a number of scripts in recovery first and install a modified kernel. While not overly difficult, there are a lot of steps. It is not without it’s issues—CM9 and other AOSP-based ROMs are not compatible, so users will not be able to save them on their SD card. Users should also not wipe data while the kernel is installed. As chuandinh explains:
But I don’t recommend do a wipe with any ICS kernel. If you want to wipe the data, flash safe kernel like Abyss GB kernel.
Aside from that, the process is pretty straightforward as long as users keep to the instructions. Users flash the ROM they eventually want installed on their SD card. Then they flash the scripts in recovery to save that ROM to their SD card. Finally, users flash the modded kernel to enable dual booting and they can flash another primary ROM, while retaining access to the one saved on the SD card. Easy as pie.
For instructions, download links, and more, check out the original thread.
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Samsung HardBrick bug that has reared its ugly head on various Samsung Exynos 4210-based devices including but not limited to the Galaxy Note GT-N7000, Epic 4G Touch, AT&T Galaxy S II, and the Korean SHW-M250S/K/L. In fact, we recently featured an app made by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire aimed at determining your particular device’s risk for hard brick.
Samsung is aware of the issue, which was first noted by Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512, and is in the final stages of delivering a solution. Until then, however, it is still advised to not flash any leaked kernels, or kernels in which MMC_CAP_ERASE is present.
We’ve contacted Samsung about the problem where performing a mmc erase could hardbrick your phone (i9100, i9100g, n7000, m250 – MAG4FA, VYL00M, and KYL00M with firmware revision 0x19 // T989 and I727 with fw rev 0x12) if it’s having a faulty emmc chip.
Read this thread for more informations about it: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1644364
They’re working as hard as possible on a clean solution which will be ready soon.
Please be patient and try to not flash any leaked kernels or kernels based on sources where MMC_CAP_ERASE is present.
In fact, earlier today Samsung contacted me to inform the community that progress has been made. In addition simply releasing a fix in the form of updated stock firmware, Samsung is also working with community developers to provide them the information they need to fix the issue in their own releases. This is important because binaries or patches released to end users require extensive (and time-consuming) testing. This way, however, developers can begin to incorporate the fixes as soon as possible.
We’re thinking two steps to provide.
One is to share the information that open source developers can use to fix the problem.
The second one is the patches applicable for both Official Samsung ROM users and Custom ROM users.
Due to our duties to provide more complete binaries to our customers, our patches require the full testing, which takes longer time.
That’s why we want to share the information first.
Good job, Samsung! It is commendable to see not only your team’s efforts to fix the issue, but also work with the community to ensure that the fix is disseminated as quickly as possible!
[Image taken from egzthunder1's fantastic article on the matter.]
June 6, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
By now, we’re all familiar with the hard brick bug that’s plagued various Samsung when updating to leaked builds of ICS. The bug has shown up on various Samsung Exynos 4210-based devices including the Galaxy Note GT-N7000, Epic 4G Touch, AT&T Galaxy S II, and the Korean SHW-M250S/K/L.
However, as we quickly found out, not all eMMC revisions were equally afflicted. Instead, the 0x19 revision was highlighted as known bad, whereas the 0x25 is thought to be safe. Revisions between 0x19 and 0x25 are thought to be possibly bad, whereas those newer than 0x25 are probably safe. Adding insult to injury, those keen on hex will be quick to notice that 0x19 converted to decimal is 25!
Naturally, someone was bound to create a simpler way of determining the status of your device, and that someone is XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire. With his new app Got Brickbug, users can easily check their device to see their risk status for the hard brick bug. As explained by Chainfire himself:
Attached is a simple APK that reads out your chip’s type and CID, and lets you know if we know that chip is dangerous or safe.
Just uninstall again after using.
Obviously, this comes “as-is”, we’re not responsible what you do with your device, etc. No rights can be derived from the output of the program!
Internal data used:
MAG4FA, VYL00M, or KYL00M fwrev 0x19 –> known bad
MAG4FA, VYL00M, or KYL00M fwrev >= 0x25 –> probably safe
MAG4FA, VYL00M, or KYL00M fwrev != 0x19 && < 0x25 –> probably bad
Everything else: unknown chip
As this is relevant information for any flashaholic, we recommend you head over to the application thread to test your device.
[Image stolen from egzthunder1's fantastic article on the matter.]
June 6, 2012 By: Former Writer
While going from one iteration of Android to the next, there’s a lot of exciting things that can happen. You get new features, a new UI, new apps, and just the overall good feeling of having something new. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some frustrations that come with new versions of Android. Sometimes, features you enjoyed may have changed, and not be how you remember them. Even worse, sometimes features you enjoyed can disappear entirely. This is now happening on the International Galaxy Note, as users upgrading to ICS have lost their ability to use WiFi calling. Annoying? Yeah. Can it be fixed? Oh yeah!
XDA Forum Member mrcasmir has released a new method for ICS users only that will restores WiFi calling—all you need to have is root access. The method involves modifying the framework-res.apk to allow SIP, which in turn allows WiFi calling. That’s not all the mod does though. Some other new features users will get include:
Enables internet call (Wifi & 3G)
Enables all orientations (your phone rotates all round)
Rotating Lockscreen (Landscape + Portrait)
Screen stays off on USB/Charger disconnect
Tablet like dialogue boxes
Users can apply this mod by pushing the included .XML file to the defined location and then push the modified framework-res.apk to its proper place and reboot. Simple as that. Users can either ADB push these files—which requires ADB knowledge—or they can use their favorite root explorer application to copy/paste and set the appropriate permissions. It’s highly recommended to make a backup, just in case something goes wrong.
For additional information and download links, check out the original 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 28, 2012 By: Former Writer
For many Android fans who have been around the site for awhile, especially for flashaholics, you may have heard of wipe scripts. If you have not, many devices have a script somewhere that, when flashed in a recovery, will wipe your data, cache, dalvik-cache and system partitions for you so you don’t have to traverse the various menus to do it yourself. They are extremely convenient, and many flashers keep one in their flash folder to prepare for the next flash. In the recent past, users have been coming up with more effective and complete ways of removing old ROM clutter. So what about old kernel clutter?
Just like flashing ROMs, kernels can leave clutter as well. With that in mind, XDA Senior Member jblanc has developed a script for the International Galaxy Note that will clean all that clutter for you. Like many of the ROM cleaner and wipe scripts, the kernel cleaner script comes in a recovery-flashable update.zip. So, what does a kernel cleaner script find and remove? Says jblanc:
– some init.d scripts
– modules that might be left from older kernel
So much like the ROM wiper scripts, the kernel cleaner script removes just junk left over from previous flashes. In terms of init.d scripts, it only searches for and removes a few. XDA Forum Member jayGGjay was kind enough to list them here.
For more info, head on over to the script thread.
Sometimes, applying tweaks to an Android device can be a pain. With a plethora of installation methods from flashing via recovery and manual build.prop editing to activating scripts via ADB or the Terminal Emulator, finding a tweak and using it can be cumbersome for some. Additionally, once you start going on the admittedly addictive frenzy of putting scripts, tweaks and mods on your device, it’s hard to remember which ones you even installed sometimes. For those carrying the International Galaxy Note, there’s an app looking to solve all of these problems and more.
Carbon Tweaks by XDA Forum Member carbonassassin looks to fix this by giving users the ability to pick and choose which tweaks, script, and mods to apply to their phones, and giving users the option to remove them as well. It also carries a few other fun options such as backing up your init.d so users can save configurations they like, and it includes some popular mods such as Ultimate RAM Manager and the Dolby Sound Library. There are only a couple of issues, but they don’t have anything to do with performance. The browser will open to download the various tweaks for users and the shout outs list isn’t updated. The shout outs list will be updated with the next version, though, so those seeking credit need only be patient.
For more info, head over to original thread to get your tweak on.