June 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s now been a week and a half since Android 4.4.3 was initially released. In the time since, we’ve seen quite a few devices receive Google’s latest tasty treat. Naturally, this first came in the form of updated factory images for Nexus devices, but this was quickly followed up by updates to a number of “Moto” devices. Now, if the latest rumors are to be believed, Android 4.4.3 is nearing release for certain variants of Samsung’s current and previous generation flagships, the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4.
You may recall that one week prior to its official release, leaked Samsung documentation indicated that Android 4.4.3 was in active development for certain variants of the S4 and S5. Now according to rumors originally posted by the folks over at AndroidGeeks, it looks like this update is on the verge of release.
Just as previously thought, the devices poised to receive this rumored update are the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F and SM-G900H) and Galaxy S4 LTE-A (GT-I9506). And according to the same source, the updates will come later this month for both variants of the S5 and some time next month for the S4 LTE-A. The updates are set to come in at firmware versions G900FXXUOBNE6 and G900HXXUOBNE3 for the G900F and G900H, respectively, while the S4 LTE-A is poised to receive firmware build I9506XXUQDNE4.
Of course at this point, these are only rumors. However, given the track record of Samsung rumors in the past and how minor of an update Android 4.4.3 is, we wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung is able to pull it off.
June 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We recently added new forums here on XDA for two recently announced and highly anticipated devices. The new devices are the HTC One E8, which is set to be released later this month, and the Sony Xperia T3, which will come at some point in Q3. While we were at it, we also changed a few things to make it easier for developers to post and maintain cross-device variant builds for several Samsung devices.
First up, we have the HTC One E8. The E8 is a lower priced version of the HTC One M8 flagship device. The E8 retains most of the M8 technology, but the metal casing is replaced with a polycarbonate design. Another stand out difference from the M8 is the E8 loses the dual sensor 4 MP camera, and instead features a traditional 13 MP camera. The E8 has the same 5″ 1080p Super LCD3 display, 2 GB of RAM, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz processor as its older brother. The device is powered by a reasonable 2600 mAh battery.
Next up is the Sony Xperia T3. The T3 is an upcoming high end device, whose claim to fame is being the world’s slimmest 5.3-inch smartphone–at least for now. This device features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.4 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, a 13 MP image sensor, and a 720p 5.3″ display. While not flagship material for 2014, the device’s slim 7.0 mm profile will more than make up for this in the eyes of many users.
Finally, you may have noticed some tweaks that we’ve implemented into certain Samsung forums recently. We now offer unified development forums for the Samsung Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S 5, and Galaxy Note 3. Inside, developers will be able to post development work that is compatible with all variants of the aforementioned devices. For example, if you have a build that works with all variants of the S5, you no longer have to create and maintain multiple threads. Instead, you can simply place your thread into the S5 unified development forum and call it a day. With the large number of device variants, this should make it significantly easier for developers to support and maintain their cross-variant builds.
June 3, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Today will undoubtedly be remembered the day of Android 4.4.3–at least among us die hard Android fans. Immediately following yesterday’s official release, we’ve seen quite a bit of Android 4.4.3-related activity. Early this morning, we saw the Android 4.4.3 OTA make its way over to the WiFi-only variant of the Google Nexus 7 (2013). Just a few hours later, we talked about all of the changes made in 4.4.3. Not too long after, Motorola began updating its “Moto” devices to 4.4.3. And finally, Google began rolling out the 4.4.3 incremental OTA to the flagship Nexus 5.
Now, we’ve just gotten word that Android 4.4.3 has started making its way out to various Google Play edition devices. The first to receive the updates are the Google Play editions of the HTC One M7, HTC One M8 (2014), Galaxy S 4, and Sony Z Ultra. For those keeping track, we’re still waiting for updates on the GPe variants of the LG G Pad 8.3 and Moto G. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised if these updates surface rather quickly–especially the update for the G, in light of Motorola’s announcement earlier.
Naturally, these updates will make their way out to consumer devices via staged OTA rollouts. As such, not every device will be in the initial wave. However, XDA Recognized Contributor / “Resident Archivist-in-Chief” oldblue910 has an utterly fantastic series of stock OTA reference threads for all current GPe and Nexus devices.
Finally, HTC has gone ahead and published the GPL-mandated kernel source code for the two HTC GPe updates above.
Let’s not act too surprised at the expedient release of these updates. After all, due to the lack of OEM customizations and direct updates from Google, this is to be expected. That said, today’s a very good day for GPe device owners.
PS. Don’t forget to show your appreciation to oldblue910 for taking the time to maintain these OTA reference threads by clicking “thanks” on his thread OPs if you haven’t already!
May 26, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that back in November of last year, we shared a leaked Samsung internal memo detailing the OEM’s tentative plans for updating its Galaxy line up to Android 4.4 KitKat. And with the exception of the canceled update for the International S3, this schedule has mostly held true, as we’ve seen KitKat roll out to many of the Korean company’s newer high end devices. Now, more internal documentation has appeared, giving us a clearer picture of what Samsung’s working on in its internal labs.
First up, we have the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F and SM-G900H) and Galaxy S4 LTE-A (GT-I9506). According to internal Samsung documentation from five days ago, Android 4.4.3 KTU70 is now being actively worked on for these three device variants. For the S4 LTE-A, the firmware in progress comes in at version XXUDQNE4, and for the two S5 variants, we’re looking at versions XXU0BNE3 and XXU0BNE6. The builds for all three device variants are currently in the integration stage, which means that Samsung is adding its OEM customizations to the firmwares. Assuming all goes well with the integration and testing, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that we may see 4.4.3 arrive on these three devices in the next couple of months.
Next up, we have more information regarding Android 4.4.2 KOT49H updates for various older Samsung devices. According to the leaked documentation, Android 4.4.2 will make its way out to the Galaxy S3 LTE, Note II LTE, and Note 3 Neo later this month. Then some time next month, the S 4 Mini, S 4 Mini LTE, Grand 2, Mega 5.8, and Mega 6.3 will receive their own official Android 4.4.2 builds. Unfortunately, the update for the standard (1 GB RAM) S3 is still marked as “unstable,” and given Samsung’s public statement on the matter, it’s increasingly unlikely that this will change in the near future.
Do you own any of these Samsung devices and are you looking forward to these OEM-provided updates? Or instead, have you rooted and installed an AOSP-derived custom ROM? Let us know in the comments below.
May 22, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Two popular Samsung devices are receiving OTA updates today, and they are the Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE (GT-I9505) and the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 5. While the former brings a new device mode and the latest evolution in KNOX technology to the S4 LTE, the latter provides the T-Mobile S5 with bugfixes and a few new tricks.
First up, we have the Galaxy S 4 LTE (GT-I9505). Today’s 130 MB OTA brings the device to firmware revision XXUGNE5. In addition to boosting overall performance, the update also brings two features from the S5 to the aging S4: kids mode and Knox 2 technology, which is expected to roll out to all other Knox-enabled devices in due time.
Next, we have the T-Mobile Galaxy S 5. This 131 MB update bumps up the T-Mobile S5 from firmware ANCH to ANE5. According to T-Mobile’s support documents, it brings a fix to an issue that caused intermittent incoming SMS / MMS failure. But as pointed out by XDA Recognized Developer BeansTown106, it also brings with it many of the same goodies as we recently saw in an update to the international variant such as fixes to the fingerprint scanner and camera, as well as a rebase to Android 4.4.2_r2.
These two updates should start making their way out to consumer devices in the coming days. However, not every device will be in the initial wave. Luckily, the folks over at Sammobile have mirrored the ODIN-compatible files for the S4 LTE and T-Mobile S5. And if you’re looking for a pre-rooted build, we’ve got you covered as well. XDA Recognized Contributor iB4STiD shared a pre-rooted and slightly tweaked build for the S4 LTE, and XDA Recognized Developer BeansTown106 will soon create a pre-rooted build for the T-Mobile S5.
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter Titokhan for the tip!]
April 28, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat has begun rolling out to the Verizon Galaxy S 4! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement that KitKat for the Xeria Z has been leaked and that the Galaxy Note II international variant has gotten Android KitKat! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan also talked about understanding cross compiling and Android. So pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos like, XDA Developer TV Producer TK’s Xposed Tuesday video for PerAppFonts and Tasker on the Galaxy Gear, and his Android App Review of Auto Config Free.
April 25, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier today, we saw Android 4.4.2 KitKat start making its way to international Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 in certain regions. But the Note II isn’t the only device getting some official KitKat love, as the Verizon variant of the former flagship Samsung Galaxy S 4 is now receiving its update to Google’s latest and greatest as well.
A week and a half ago, Verizon S4 owners were lucky enough to received a leaked build of Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Most who were brave enough to take the plunge and flash the leaked I545VRUFNC2 build were quick to share their overall pleasant experiences with the update. Now, Verizon has polished a few more things and released official KItKat for the device. Coming in at firmware version I545VRUFNC5, today’s update brings all of the expected KitKat-related goodies seen in other Samsung 4.4.x updates. This includes the new translucent status bar (along with white icons), and so on.
The update is gradually making its way to consumer devices, so it’s time to start mashing that check for updates button. Unfortunately, the OTA has not yet been captured and mirrored. But once it’s available, expect to find it in the I545VRUFNC5 update thread. Head over there to learn more and get in on the discussion. Just one note of caution: Rooted users have thus far been unable to install the update even after unrooting. So if you wish to flash the OTA, make sure you Odin restore to the stock, unrooted MK2 firmware first.
People may not realize it much, but this fascination with larger screen sizes on smartphones isn’t all smiles for every techie out there. One of the best devices of 2013, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, has a downside that small-handed users simply cannot get over that easily: its 5-inch screen. Yes, there is a Galaxy S 4 Mini made especially for them, but many understandably do not want to compromise top-of-the-line specs for a ‘Mini’ version. It’s simply not the same.
Don’t worry though, as XDA Forum Member Tamerlan2009 has you guys covered with a port of the One-Handed mode exclusive to the Note line of devices. Ported from the Galaxy Note 3, all features of the One-Handed mode work as they should, including scale and position adjustment for all screens, the keyboard, the lock screen, and Hand-Adaptive mode. The port works only on Galaxy S 4 devices running deodexed firmwares, and as of right now, can only be installed by manually transferring the ported files to the /system partition.
So if you’ve been waiting for something that enables you to use your Galaxy S 4 easily with one hand, head over to the original thread to get started right now.
March 15, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Two days ago, we talked about how Android 4.4.2 was starting to make its way over to Canadian carrier-branded variants of the Samsung Galaxy S 4. This, of course, started with the Rogers variant of the device. But now, the update has begun rolling out to the Bell variant of the device as well.
The update’s release should come as little surprise to our Canadian readers, as the build that was officially released for the Rogers S4 was compatible with all Canadian variants, including those from Bell and Telus. And thanks to efforts by XDA Senior Member 0mega1, the leaked (and subsequently official) firmware was made available for all devices.
Just as seen before on the Rogers OTA, the update brings you to build VLUFNC1, and bumps up your Android version to 4.4.2. But since the update is only gradually rolling out to consumer devices, you may wish to manually update your device to skip the wait.
You can learn more about the update from Bell’s official support pages. And those with Bell and Rogers S4 devices looking to get in on the update a bit early should head over to 0mega1’s thread to download the Odin-flashable update.
[Many thanks once again to XDA Portal Supporter Titokhan for the tip!]
March 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Android 4.4.2 has been steadily making its way to all of the different regional and carrier-branded variants of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 over the past month and a half. And earlier today, the Rogers variant of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 started receiving its own official update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat in the form of a staged OTA rollout.
This update, which has already made its way to various other carriers around the world was a long time coming for the Canadian device. But despite all the wait, only Rogers devices in Canada appear to be receiving OTA at this time. The update, which comes in at build VLUFNC1, umps up the Android version to 4.4.2, and brings with it all of the niceties we’ve seen in other KitKat updates for Samsung’s current generation flagship.
Luckily for Galaxy S 4 owners on other Canadian carriers, as well as those on Rogers who have not yet received the update, XDA Senior Member 0mega1 has mirrored the previously leaked (and now official) firmware for all to enjoy. The update has been confirmed working on Bell and Telus devices in addition to Rogers, but it is unknown as to whether the update will also work on I337M devices outside of Canada such as the AT&T variant of the device.
If you own a Canadian Galaxy S 4 and want to get in on the update, head over to the original thread, bust out a copy of Odin, and get flashing.
[Many thanks once again to XDA Portal Supporter Titokhan for the tip!]
Just four days ago, the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 received an OTA update to Android 4.4.2. This naturally lead many to wonder when Samsung’s other flagship device on T-Mobile would see a similar update. That time is here, folks, as Android 4.4.2 has now started making its way out to consumer devices.
The update comes in the form of build number M919UVUFNB4, replacing the previous Android 4.3-based M919UVUEMK2 build. The update weighs in at a decently sized 388 MB, and it brings all of the same goodies we’ve seen on other SGS4 KitKat device updates such as an ever so slightly changed UI, wireless printing, KitKat-related performance tweaks, and more.
The update is currently making its way to consumer devices in the form of a staged rollout. Thus, not every device will receive the OTA immediately. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member ShinySide was kind enough to mirror the update for those who haven’t received the OTA.
Make your way over to the original thread to get in on the discussion, and those looking for the mirror should visit this post. Kernel developers will be a bit sad to learn that the GPL-mandated kernel source code for the T-Mobile SGS4 has not yet been updated to KitKat. That said, we can’t imagine that it will be too much longer, as Samsung is usually quick to release the required source bits.
Samsung has its moments of glory. The unveiling of Samsung Galaxy S 5 was a big media event, and Sammy is poised to sell millions of their latest Galaxy phones. Some owners of the company’s previous flagship, the Galaxy S 4, had some issues relating to CPU speeds in certain applications. These issues were caused by dynamic voltage and frequency scaling known, otherwise known as DVFS.
If you don’t know what DVFS is for, you may be in for a surprise. Samsung used it to cheat benchmark applications like AnTuTu, and they claimed that they remove it with in KitKat. Naturally DVFS is still there, despite good PR from Samsung headquarters. Disabling DVFS at the kernel level doesn’t solve the problem, as it’s controlled by the ROM. XDA Senior Member mattiadj found a way to disable it and Recognized Developer wanam made an Xposed Framework Module to disable DVFS entirely.
Why is this important? Samsung had the brilliant idea of lowering the CPU frequency after few minutes of intensive usage. Thus after 5-10 minutes of playing an intensive game, your CPU goes down to 304 MHz, which makes the phone barely usable before a reboot resets it. With module made by wanam, rebooting isn’t required and overall performance is improved. Two things are required to use this module though: root and Xposed Framework by Recognized Developer rovo89 and his partner in crime Recognized Contributor Tungstwenty.
If you own a modern Samsung device and are suffering from poor game performance, visit the module thread and give this a try. Please note that while this will likely work for all Samsung devices with KitKat and DVFS, it has only been tested on the S 4 so far.
February 27, 2014 By: Samantha
The S View cases for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Note 3 are fascinating products, as they not only protect the device and its screen, but they also feature a topside screen that displays your status bar, temperature, caller ID, and date and time. Not only that, but it’s also recognizes S Pen contact on the Note 3, which allows for some simple actions such as taking notes.
What may come as a surprise to some is that the S View cases don’t allow you to change the screen timeout period, and they also offer very few options for backgrounds and no ability to set your own custom background. Luckily, XDA Forum Member vonerk has written a tutorial on how to set a custom wallpaper and timeout period.
The process can get a bit messy, but overall it is quite straightforward. The tutorial requires you to use the previously featured Android APKTool to decompile and eventually recompile the various files that need to be edited, as well as have your custom background image and Notepad++ ready for all the editing in between. It should be noted that the end result does not allow you to quickly and easily change such settings, so if you want to change them again, you’ll have to go through the whole process again.
So if you’re getting a bit bored of the background options, check out the guide at its original thread to get started.