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!
April 8, 2012 By: Former Writer
It’s one thing when an Android application adds support for new versions of Android or Android devices. It’s another thing altogether when an application developer makes an application compatible with specific features on a particular Android device. And it’s even more exciting when that feature actually rocks.
For users of the Samsung Galaxy Note, there’s an application updated just for you. XDA Senior Member Volker1 has updated the Quill application with S-Pen functionality. The app also supports active pen input on the ThinkPad Tablet, HTC Jetstream, and HTC Flyer. It doesn’t end there. There are a plethora of features in addition to S-Pen support including:
Active pen (digitizer) support on ThinkPad Tablet, HTC Jetstream, HTC Flyer, and Galaxy Note.
Very fast response to pen strokes.
“Fountain pen” mode supports pen pressure data, more pressure = thicker line.
Double-finger tap to zoom.
Two-finger move gesture.
Pen strokes are vector art, zoom does not pixelate your writing.
“Pen only” mode (optional) disables touch input while writing.
Android 3.x hardware accelerated graphics.
Open source (GPL), so your notes are not stuck in an opaque file format.
A couple features of note are the pen pressure data, and that the artwork is stored in vector format rather than being rasterized. For the pen pressure data, it actually accounts for how hard you press on the screen to determine the thickness of the line which is on its own a cool feature. For the vector images, well it’s pretty self explanatory. Just keep zooming, no pixels! Of course, to take full advantage of the application, your device must be running either Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich.
For more information, download links, change logs and more, check out the original thread.
This week on XDA TV, XDA Forum Moderator and Recognized Developer shenye gives us a basic rundown through some of this week’s biggest development stories. In addition to talking about some April Fools news, Shen highlights the release of the HTC One line and how it should not be compared with the OMAP-based Galaxy Nexus. He then talks about CM9 on the Galaxy W, and how CyanogenMod itself has now found itself a new mascot.
Next, Shen talks about development work and ICS updates for the Transformer, Transformer Prime, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S 4G, Xperia Play, and the AT&T Galaxy Note. Finally, Shen discusses the release of Instagram and Swiftkey 3 Beta for Android.
Early this morning, XDA Senior Member zer0nine melted the faces and blew the minds of Samsung Galaxy Note users in the forums by announcing that the icing on the Galaxy Note cake has arrived, in the form of an update for the Note that brings the device to Android 4.0.3. If you’ve got a Note and your sweet tooth is craving some ICS, head over to the announcement thread for links to the image. The update must be flashed with Odin, so be sure you make a complete backup of your device and know how to restore it should something go wrong.
Although the build is fully functional, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the Touchwiz launcher will crash on first boot and after adding a Google Play account. Second, flashing this build will increase your flash counter and will therefore void your warranty. Finally, while this update has no effect on your devices external SD card, the internal SD card will be wiped during the flash.
So what are you waiting for? Head to the original thread to get started. After your sweet tooth has been satisfied, don’t forget to post your findings and discuss any improvements, major changes, or bugs you may encounter!
April 4, 2012 By: Former Writer
For a while now, Australian users of the Samsung Galaxy Note have been clamoring for a firmware release so they can enjoy the magic that the rest of the Galaxy Note community has been experiencing. The stock firmware can be used in a lot of ways, from use as a development base to restoring to stock for users who decide the rooted path is not for them. Additionally, developers can also often use them to extract radios and other important files belonging to the device.
Thankfully for Aussie Note owners, the wait is now over. XDA Senior Member prana_Sky has posted some links to the stock Australian firmware courtesy of Samfirmware . However, there are a few catches with the new firmware. Those looking for a rooted stock ROM would do best to listen to XDA Recognized Contributor dr.ketan, who points out:
This root won’t work directly.
Otherwise write complete procedure how to do it.
here I am describing in short
-First get rootable ROM
-Get root with attached file
-Use CWM to update attached N7000XSAKL1 ROM.
For additional information, discussion and more, check out the firmware thread to get started. This firmware and all other stock ROM releases for the Note, along with their associated rooting instructions, are available in dr.ketan’s original thread.
AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note users might want to have a look at this. With all the interesting stuff going on with NFC (Near Field Communication), from using Google Wallet to make real-life purchases with your phone to contact sharing and even initializing multiplayer games, it’d be a shame to have a NFC chip in your device and not be able to use it. Some of the more notable devices that have the NFC chip include the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Droid RAZR, and the HTC Amaze 4G.
The Korean version of the Galaxy Note has an activated NFC chip. Now, thanks to XDA Forum Member fox689, AT&T Note users can enable the NFC chip on their own devices. From the original thread:
This flash contains an xml permissions file and the Tag.apk from the Canadian ROMs.
Once you’ve flashed this you will have the option to turn on NFC in Wireless Settings as well as be able to install NFC apps from the Play Market.
If you’d like to give it a shot on your Note, check the original thread for download links and install directions. You will have to flash this mod through recovery, so be sure to make a full backup of your device and read all instructions before you jump in.
March 28, 2012 By: Former Writer
There have been a number of scripts out there that has taken the guesswork out of removing bloatware for a number of Android devices. These scripts, and others like them are being created for more devices all the time, as users and developers gain better understandings of what goes into a ROM and, more importantly, what can be taken out without breaking it. For users carrying the International Samsung Galaxy Note, the freedom of bloat movement has landed on your phones. XDA Senior Member goddamnit has posted a script that will remove that bloatware.
The script is currently only for Windows users, so those with Linux or Mac will have to virtualize in order to use it. Otherwise, the script is pretty interesting. What it does is open an interface where users choose which bloatware items they want to remove. Once finished, the script actually spits out a second script. With this script, users place it somewhere memorable on their SD card, run the new script in terminal, and then reboot. The script will uninstall the selected bloatware, and after the reboot, everything is all peachy. It’s a little complicated, but it is much less time consuming than doing it manually.
Full instructions, download links, and more can be found in the original thread.
March 20, 2012 By: Former Writer
Even the most simple modifications can make a big difference to some users. While some modifications completely change the look and feel of an Android phone, there are many out there who enjoy the look and feel of stock software. As such, there are mods out there that do more to enhance the stock feel rather than change it.
I’m intending these mods for those of us that like that stock feel to their phones, but want a little something extra.
These mods were all done and tested using an AT&T Galaxy Note SGH-i717 with the stock rom intact, still odexed except for when mentioned below.
The mod is easily flashed over recovery after a quick cache and dalvik wipe, so installation isn’t hard. Following user request, the developer has also released an ICS Blue version of the toggle, and with some help from other users, a blue battery mod and a CRT animation for those who want a little more Gingerbread or ICS in their stock ROMs.
For those interested in the 14 Toggle Quick Pane, you can find all the information and download links you need in the modification thread, along with all the shout-outs and credits to those who helped. Don’t forget to make a backup before flashing, just in case!
It hasn’t been long since XDA Forum Member itsjusttim opened a bounty thread to get the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note I717 hacked and working on Tmobile’s AWS 1700. It seems that it is finally a reality! XDA Forum Member tomin.fhl posted well documented info on how he replicated T-mobile 4G with three different modems: T-mobile SGH-T989 KID, T-mobile SGH-T989 VKL1, and Telus KJ3—all of them with full phone functionality.
You can choose between two options in order to hack your Note and get 3G/4G on Tmobile. The first one is the “easy” one, by downloading the modem you want and flash it through CWM. Or the more “technical” one, which involves adb and the dd command. You can find any of the three modem options for download on this thread thanks to XDA member tspx23.
The Galaxy Note must be rooted in order to proceed with this. The original poster has it running with the latest Saurom Projekt Team ROM and with the kernel that comes with it. He states that the phone works perfectly well. Remember, this is a process that will void your warranty and could turn your Note into a brick, so proceed carefully. In the words of tomin.fhl:
The AT&T Note was networked unlocked
I have been on T-Mobile for the past 3 years
I am on the T-mobile post paid 5GB Data Android Plan (with unlimited talk and text)
T-mobile sim was in the device while testing the solution
The Galaxy Note was rooted, and running the latest Saurom Projekt Team Rom with the kernel that comes with that rom (DA_G’s kernel I think).
The phone functions perfectly. My family called while I was testing and there were no issues.
Signal strength on my note was less than it was on my GS II. Indoors, I struggled to get two bars of reception.
I have yet to break 5Mbps download speeds and upload speeds are low, usually 1 Mbps or less.
Continue to the original post to find more information on this.
[Thanks to AllGamer for the tip.]
February 28, 2012 By: egzthunder1
We at XDA like the idea of development and sharing our God given gifts with the world, so that anyone can rip the benefits of having such wonderful and capable devices. From time to time, manufacturers and software makers will see this need from the customer base and will think of some way to foment development while catering to this very need. This is the reason why they see the dev communities as a vast sea of potential for their continued existence and innovation, which is why we tend to hear from industry leaders such as Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and HTC (to name a few) regarding events like this.
How would you like to win US$205,000.00 and worldwide recognition for making a good app? Interested yet? If so, read on. Samsung has just launched a contest open for any and all developers who reside in the United States, which consists of making an app (or enhancing an existing one) to bring in the functionality of their latest toy, the S Pen. The rules of the contest are rather straight forward, participants must use the S Pen SDK to integrate functionality into the app being submitted. Once submitted, the app will be judged on originality, overall feel, and usability on their new Galaxy Note. The best part is that the app will remain property of the developer who will be able to do as he/she pleases with it (ie. give it away for free, charge for it in the Market, etc.) Some mention of the S Pen capability must be included in the app’s description in the Market, but other than that, the requirements are rather simple.
Samsung invites software developers to create S Pen-integrated apps for Galaxy Note using the S Pen SDK. Winners will receive $205,000 in cash and prizes as well as promotional exposure and recognition in Samsung digital social media. Prizes will be awarded for the best overall apps and for category honorable mention awards in games, media, sports, social, lifestyle, travel, education, productivity, entertainment, and other.
So, what are you waiting for? You can go to this site for more information, instructions on how to enter the contest, and more! And needless to say, if you have more specific questions, you can always ask our resident XDA Official Samsung Rep SamsungJohn via his Twitter account.
Have fun and happy devving!
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
February 26, 2012 By: Former Writer
Those with newer Samsung devices, notably the Galaxy S lineup, are most likely familiar with the flash counter. For the uninitiated, the flash counter keeps track of how many times you have flashed a kernel over Odin. It’s Samsung’s way of keeping track of who’s flashing things on their devices, and who isn’t. Previously, we covered a method for rooting the Galaxy Note developed by XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer Da_G. However, using this method unfortunately raises your flash counter.
Understandably, many users would prefer to flash without raising their flash count. To that end, XDA Senior Member mashi has posted an Odin-flashable root method for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note that does not increase the flash counter. Da_G explains it best:
This is a pre-rooted /system image, in the form of system.img.ext4 inside of a pda.tar to be flashed via odin.
Both ways result in a permanently rooted system partition, just this way flashes it directly, leaving the stock kernel intact, whereas my method flashes a modified kernel which then roots the /system partition via a script.
While the link in the original post is broken, XDA Forum Member capite mirrored it, and Da_G once again demonstrated his talents byposting a workaround for people who could only get a hold of the stock, unrooted tar.
Once you’ve gotten ahold of the .tar file, simply flash it via Odin, as usual. For those who want to root their Galaxy Notes without increasing their flash counters, you can find the download link in the original thread. Alternatively, Da_G’s method and capite’s download links are both on page 4. Happy Flashing!
The Galaxy Note isn’t short on power. It’s also not short, well, in general. With the device featuring a 5.3″ HD Super AMOLED 1280×800 display, that puts it a step higher than the Galaxy Nexus. But with all the hype from Samsung and their avid fans, does it live up to expectations? For this review I’m using the European variant, which has a different button arrangement on the bottom of the device.
When I first held the Note, it reminded me of the Galaxy S II. The design is almost exactly the same. It doesn’t surprise me Samsung would use it as inspiration, it’s a popular device. The Note measures 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65mm. When you compare that to the Galaxy S II, measuring 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm, that’s a big difference. In most situations it feels too big, especially while taking photos. The camera is impressive on paper, packing 1080p 30fps video, 8 megapixel on the back, and 2 megapixel on the front. It also has support for a 32Gb MicroSD card, and I have no doubt modifications will allow it to support up to 64Gb.
HSPA+ is also supported, boasting speeds of up to 21Mb/s (I’ve never achieved more than 5Mb/s, even in Central London,) along with LTE, EDGE and GPRS.
The 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor felt a little sluggish at times, like when trying to unlock the device with its unusual unlock function, requiring you to press anywhere on the screen and drag out until the outer-circle is “full”. If you don’t drag enough, the unlock fails and you have to try again. With all the usual bells and whistles, like Bluetooth, GPRS, and WiFi, it’s no stranger to us, or love… whatever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have NFC, nor does the AT&T version. But at least that has the hardware, it just doesn’t seem to make use of it.
Taking photos with the Note isn’t an easy job. If you want to use the device in portrait, you can’t zoom with the volume rocker because it’s so far away, and because it’s such a large phone, it’s not comfortable in general. I found myself almost dropping it on several occasions. The photos themselves look okay, but are nothing special in comparison to those from older phones. They’re grainy and difficult to keep steady, unless you always use the flash.
With flash Without flash
With flash Without flash
With flash Without flash
Macro Infinite focus
(Click for larger images)
The video capabilities are stunning. Not from 1080p, but 720p. When using the 1080p feature, the camera zoomed so much I couldn’t fit anything in, and refused to zoom out, stating “Zooming is not supported when recording Full HD video.” When switching to 720p, the quality looks clearer, less grainy, and you can fit a lot more in the frame. I’m yet to work out why it does this.
S Pen and Software
HTC calls it a Pen, Samsung calls it an S Pen, and I call it a stylus. Using the same technology Wacom use with their zero-point pens, whatever you refer to it as, it’s different to most. With some cool software in place to make its functionality unique, Samsung has hit the nail on the head allowing users to take notes quickly and easily. On the side of the S Pen is a button, if you press it and double tap the screen, S Memo Lite pops up, allowing you to take a quick note and send it anywhere. If you press the button and hold the pen to the screen for 2 seconds, a screen-grab is taken, on which you can also draw and make notes. The area to write in S Memo Lite is too small for lots of writing, but for jotting down information quickly, it’s perfect.
When I tried to write a sentence with the S Pen, I failed. It’s almost impossible to write naturally without the software capitalising in the wrong place, or placing words that don’t make sense. It takes longer to try and write than it does to type, which is true in most cases, but it’s especially true in this one.
The battery on the Note is a massive improvement over others. With the usual size being 1500mAh, the Note slaughters the competition with a huge 2500mAh, falling slightly short of the Motorola RAZR MAXX and its 3300mAh. I spent a day in London travelling to many different locations for almost 10 hours. With everything on, including GPS, mobile data, music, videos, and much more, I found it hard to murder the battery beyond 15% at the end of the day. Considering I carry a MyCharge battery pack and PowerBag, there was no way I’d find myself with a dead battery. Even if you don’t carry emergency charging units, I purposely ripped through battery, and failed to kill it.
Size Comparison and Opinion
For this I’ve sat the device next to the Samsung Nexus S, and the HTC Flyer. The Nexus S with a 4 inch display, and the Flyer with a 7 inch display both sit at two ends of the scale in comparison to the Note. The Flyer isn’t very comfortable when you try and hold it like a phone. The Nexus S is very comfortable. The Note is a middle ground that’s very difficult to decide on. In 90% of situations, I love it. But in the other 10%, I’ve dropped it several times due to wiggling and shifting it around in my hand so I can actually use it. “Bigger is better,” and they’re right, but where does it end?
Being so similar to the Galaxy S II, a hugely popular device with consumers and developers, there isn’t a shortage of development for the Note, with ICS ROM’s, S Pen applications, and guides. If you’re looking for anything specific, or interested in browsing, you can find some fantastic gems.
The S Pen has an SDK to support it, which may be useful to many on the forums who wish to expand its functionality. Similar to HTC with their Pen SDK and API, Samsung at least has a device appropriate to use it on, instead of the 10.1 inch HTC Jetstream, and 7 inch Flyer, which are impractical at best.
Forum member dr.ketan posted an extremely informative thread on how to root, unroot, and flash ClockworkMod Recovery. This method works on both locked and unlocked bootloaders, making it the most flexible option.
CyanogenMod 9 has been peaking in the media as of late, and an experimental build for the Note has surfaced. In Alpha stage, don’t expect to use it as a daily-driver, but it’s interesting to see how stock ICS could look, instead of TouchWiz.
To view more work by the community, head over to the Galaxy Note forums.
The Galaxy Note is a great phone, but the size may be off-putting for many. It’s like Marmite. I love it, but all my friends think it stinks like dead horse. For such a high-resolution screen and writing experience to be built into a 5.3 inch device, I’m finding it hard to not recommend it. It’s built very well, runs fast considering the processor and RAM specifications (But may run better on Ice Cream Sandwich,) has a great screen for viewing your favourite TV shows and movies on the go, and has a battery that allows you to do so with ease.
Reaching almost £500 in the UK, and $700 in the US for a SIM free device, this may only be obtainable when committing to a two year contract, which you might get sick of after a month or two, desperate to go back to a phone you haven’t smashed on the ground because you can’t hold it properly.
February 19, 2012 By: Former Writer
There are pros and cons to every file system and there are quite a few file systems. Some have more pros than cons and some have more cons than pros. However, with every new file system there is always the urge to try it on and see how it fits.
The process is a little complicated and involves not only using a Windows PC to format the SD card to NTFS, but anyone who wants to do this will also have to add a few commands into the Terminal Emulator. The overall process does take a little time so patience is definitely a must and, of course, be sure to back up your SD card before attempting so you don’t lose any files.
PROTOCHIP has also been kind enough to post some of his observations since making the switch. They include:
** After mounting sdcard as read/write ntfs, camera app also can be able to record photos and videos to ntfs…
** Watching movies over 4 gb size is not a problem anymore. 1080p Mkvs with no lag at all…
** Most of the 3rd Party apps recognize ntfs formatted sdcard like it is fat32…
** Stock Video Player dont see NTFS so i use BSPLAYER LITE ( best for mkv on note ) OR MX VIDEO PLAYER !!! ( U can use ES file explorer to play videos with stock video player )
** Stock app like gallery dont see the files in ntfs sdcard… Quickpic app also doesnt work with ntfs formatted sd card…
PERFECT VIEWER CAN DISPLAY IMAGES AVAILABLE FROM NTFS SDCARD…. ( THANKS BROTBUEXE)
** You can use free apps like MyMusicOn or MixZing Basic to play music files which are in ntfs formatted sdcard…
** We have to repeat steps 4 and 5 after every reboot. Gscript lite app helps here so much with its shortcuts…
** We have to repeat steps 4 and 5 after using usb mass storage mode…
** Ntfs formatted sdcard also is recognized by windows when Gnote is using usb mass storage mode…
** I am getting very low transfer speed for small files in windows when Gnote is using usb mass storage mode… for big files it is as fast as Fat32…
So for anyone who wants to give NTFS a try on their Galaxy Note, head on over to the original thread for full instructions and a step by step guide, discussion and download links.