December 12, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
New firmware updates have begun rolling out for two popular carrier-branded Samsung devices in the last few days. These updates are for the T-Mobile Galaxy S III LTE (T999L) and the Verizon Galaxy S 4.
The update for the T999L comes in at version T999LUVUBMK4 and brings the device up to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. In addition to upgrading the device to Android 4.3, the update also brings Samsung KNOX technology and Galaxy Gear support. This update comes in the form of a staged rollout, so you can expect to receive an OTA update notification in the coming days if you haven’t already. You can also manually update to MK4 via Samsung Kies. For your convenience, XDA Forum Member red rocket has mirrored the OTA update on his Google Drive account. And those who’d rather install a KNOX-Free and pre-rooted version can do so, thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor DocHoliday77 who took the official MK4 OTA, rooted it, and removed KNOX and CiQ.
The Verizon Galaxy S 4 update, on the other hand, is a much smaller update. It is only a 28.1 MB incremental OTA that fixes various bugs relating to data performance and charging with non-Samsung chargers. If you wish to get your hands on the update a bit early, you can thanks to XDA Senior Member Sir_Eagle who mirrored the OTA on Dropbox.
Have you received the OTAs on your T-Mobile Galaxy S III LTE or Verizon Galaxy S 4? If so, let us know your experiences with the latest firmwares.
December 7, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A few weeks ago, we talked about how the new player in the custom ROM world, OmniROM, had started releasing nightly builds for various devices. Then not too long after, a few more devices were added to the mix. Now, the next major device has its own taste of the OmniROM-flavored Android 4.4.1: the Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE
As mentioned above, these new nightly builds will feature all of the Android 4.4.1 goods that we’ve come to know and love. The builds also feature the new OmniROM features that were introduced a few weeks ago alongside the first batch of nightlies.
The ROM is now available for the Galaxy S 4 LTE, as well as its carrier variants on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Verizon, and Canadian carriers. This official OmniROM support for the Galaxy S 4 LTE comes from the following maintainers: XDA Recognized Contributor jakew02 and XDA Forum Members jumoog and Evisceration.
To get in on the official OmniROM nightly action, visit the threads linked below. And once you’ve tried the ROMs, don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section below!
[Source: OmniROM Blog]
November 29, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Google Play Edition of the HTC One was updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. Then, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play Edition got official KitKat too! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that kernel source for the previously mentioned KitKat devices are available, and how KitKat was also ported to the Google Nexus One. That’s not all that covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for BootManager, XDA Senior Recognized Developer AdamOutler showed us how to launch an app with Google Now, and TK gave us an Android App Review of Dial2Draw. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
November 28, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Remember how AT&T pulled the Android 4.3 update for the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4 (I337) a couple of weeks ago? While there was no official word as to why, many users speculated that the same issues facing the international SGS3′s 4.3 update were plaguing the AT&T S 4. These included issues such as wake up lag, random freezing, battery drain, Bluetooth audio issues, stuttering music playback, freezes, poor multitasking, and WiFi issues.
Thankfully, it appears as if the issues have been resolved and the OTA is rolling out once again. This time, with a new version number. Rather than the previously available Android 4.3 I337UCUEMJ9 build, today’s update comes in at I337UCUEMK2.
In case you haven’t received your update already, you’re in luck, as these builds have since been mirrored for your sideloading pleasure. Naturally, there are two incremental OTAs available: one for users on the previous 4.3 build (MK2) and one for users on the latest 4.2.
XDA Forum Member mqlin went ahead and mirrored the update for those already running the previous Android 4.3 OTA for the device (MJ9). This is a small, 28 MB update to take you all the way to MK2. And if you’re running the older build, XDA Forum Member pvtolson has you covered with the full 727 MB update.
If you’ve already gotten the update, please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to join in the discussion over in the AT&T Galaxy S 4 forum!
November 27, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we announced that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition was finally starting to receive its official Android 4.4 KitKat OTA. This news originally came directly from the Android Google+ page. And while the update arrived sooner than the OEM-skinned variants of these same devices, the timing wasn’t exactly stellar. After all, the Moto X managed to score KitKat before either of the Google Play edition devices.
Despite the less than ideal update timing, the two Google Play edition devices still managed to receive the update far before most consumer devices get their own official KitKat builds. However, not everyone with an SGS4 GPe has already gotten their OTA.
Thankfully, XDA Recognized Contributor oldblue910 was kind enough to both share the OTA link and mirror it on his own hosting. This is, of course, an incremental update to KRT16S from the previous official JWR66Y Jelly Bean build. Naturally, you must be stock, unrooted, and running the stock recovery to (directly) use this update. That said, it may also be of use for those looking to port the update over to the standard Galaxy S 4.
If you haven’t already received your OTA, you should make your way over to oldblue910′s Firmware Archive thread to get in on the action.
November 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
No, it’s not Android 4.4 KitKat, but at least it’s a small step in the right direction. We’ve gotten word that the Android 4.3 update is now rolling out to the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S 4. This comes nearly an entire month after we saw the same update roll out to the Verizon model.
The rollout was first discovered by XDA Senior Member macaumen, who shared shared screenshots and installation details for the new update. Not too long after, the update was then pulled and mirrored by the fine folks over at Sammobile. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member omnifarious located and shared the link for others to jump into the update party a bit early. Alternatively, the update can be downloaded manually through Kies. Instructions on how to do that can be found in the T-Mobile link below.
As seen in previous Android 4.3 builds for most modern Samsung devices, this M919UVUEMK2 build features KNOX, as well as various other updates and tweaks. More information on the update can be found on T-Mobile’s Update Support Page.
What are your thoughts on the timing of this update? Are you upset that Verizon’s update 4.3 update came nearly a month earlier? Let us know in the comments below, and get in on the discussion over at the T-Mobile Galaxy S 4 forums.
November 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Yesterday, we saw Google release the Android 4.4 KitKat OTAs for its two Google Play edition devices: the HTC One GPe and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 GPe. While these releases are great for GPe device users looking to experience Google’s latest and greatest on their rather expensive phones, and even for those with standard devices looking to enjoy GPe-based ROMs, they’re not helpful to those interested in creating source-build KitKat-compatible ROMs and Kernels for their devices. Thankfully, HTC and Samsung have both released the GPL-compliant kernel source code for their devices running KitKat.
The Samsung goods can be found on Samsung’s Open Source Release Center, and the link of interest is the one labeled GT-I9505G_NA_KK. For HTC, the goods can be found on HTCDev. From there, simply select the HTC One Google Play edition as your device, and Android 4.4 as your OS. In addition to the kernel source, HTC also includes the framework support files for the device, weighing in at a healthy 371.7 MB.
Were you waiting for Samsung and HTC to release the kernel source? Are you planning on building your own KitKat ROM or kernel? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to visit the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 forums to get in on the action.
November 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier today, we talked about how the HTC One Google Play edition finally received the Android 4.4 KitKat goods in official capacity thanks to an OTA update courtesy of our benevolent search overlords in Mountain View. This was just ten days after HTC’s Twitter account stated that the update was ready, pending Google’s approval. These events naturally made us wonder when the KitKat update would make its way over to the other GPe device, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 GPe. Thankfully, that day is today.
Just under two hours ago, Google announced on its official Android Google+ page that the update to Android 4.4 KitKat is now rolling out to both Google Play edition devices. Just like we saw on the HTC One GPe’s KitKat update, this release is essentially the same as what we’ve seen on the Nexus 5, with the exception of the missing Google Experience Launcher. But just as before, getting the launcher on your S4 GPe is incredibly simple. Just download the missing APK from the N5 factory images, side load the app, and profit.
Head over to the Samsung Galaxy S 4 forum and leave us a comment down below to get in on the discussion. And if you happen to spot the captured update link in the forums, don’t forget to send us a tip!
[Source: Official Android Google+]
November 22, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
When Google released Android 4.4 KitKat 23 days ago, we all knew that it would be quite some time before most users would have the chance to play with the OS on their own devices. Sure, the Google Nexus 5 launched with the OS, but what about those with older phones? Thankfully, the update news has been gradually coming through, with most manufacturers giving timetables as to when the the updates will come. Then there’s Motorola, which has gone above and beyond by actually starting the rollouts on certain variants of the Moto X.
Unfortunately, Samsung has yet to officially state when their Galaxy line up will receive the KitKat goods. Moreover, they haven’t even said which devices will receive updates. But now thanks to a leaked internal memo, it looks like the updates are at least in the works. Naturally, the company’s new flagships (the Galaxy S 4 and the Note 3) will receive the updates first. This leaked memo states an anticipated January 2014 date. Next up are the Galaxy S III and Note II, which should receive the goods between March and April.
While the update won’t be here in time for the Holiday season, at least we now know that it’s (probably) coming relatively soon. Are you pleased with Samsung’s update schedule, or are you disappointed that the updates are lagging far behind Good Guy Moto? Let us know in the comments below!
November 19, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Samsung has had a relatively good track record as of late for providing (relatively) timely Android firmware updates. Most relatively recent flagship-level Samsung devices have already received official updates to the final version of Jelly Bean (Android 4.3), and this is no small feat considering the level of customization in their TouchWiz UI.
New to the 4.3 party, the the iconic Galaxy Note II LTE N7105 now has an official Android 4.3 update of its own. And for those keeping track, this comes a few weeks after the leaked 4.3 XXUEMJ5 build for the N7100, which has now since been superseded by the XXUEMK4 update. Originally intended for Nordic countries, this new build for the N7105 comes in at version XXUEMK5. While it is available via OTA and Kies, you can also install the update manually.
However, not all is well in Samsung 4.3 land. Namely, the official updates for the international Galaxy S III I9300 and AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4 I337 are being temporarily suspended. Those who care to rewind a few weeks will remember the official 4.3 build for the S III is the same firmware that was previously leaked almost three weeks ago.
The causes for the update pull on the S III include wake up lag, random freezing, battery drain, Bluetooth audio issues, stuttering music playback, freezes, poor multitasking, and WiFi issues. Basically, what can go wrong, has gone wrong. On the other hand, there is no official word as to why the update was pulled on the AT&T variant of the S 4, but we can only assume that the device is facing similar issues.
If you’re an S III owner who has already installed the update, what have your experiences been like so far? Let us know in the comments below.
November 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
What an exciting day we had yesterday. As was widely speculated, the Google Nexus 5 was finally released, which means that you can finally put that F5 key to rest. However, the new device wasn’t the only important announcement yesterday. We were also given a nice dose of the next version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat. Now the question in everybody‘s mind undoubtedly turns to when their device will get the update. Luckily, we now know the roadmap for certain key devices. READ ON »
October 28, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Verizon is the first major US Carrier to update their variant of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S 4 to Android 4.3 in official capacity. Who would have thought, right? Yes, this is Verizon—the same company that responsible for adding bloatware (albeit limited amounts) to an allegedly Nexus device. The same Big Red responsible for Android 4.3 still not being available for the aforementioned “Nexus” phone, despite Android 4.4 being just around the corner. It’s just a bit ironic that a device lacking the Nexus brand gets the update before a device built on the underlying promise of expedient system updates.
In any case, the update is being rolled out starting today, only a little over a week after it first appeared for the International version of the device. The build ID is VRUEMJ7, and Samsung is calling it Software Update 3. The release brings the device up to Android 4.3, and as expected, it brings Samsung KNOX as well as SELinux. It’s not all bad, though. The new update enables LTE Band 4, and it adds support for the Galaxy Gear.
If you’re running the stock, unrooted ROM, you should be receiving an OTA soon (assuming you haven’t already). Users. And shortly after the update is captured, you can bet that developers will push out pre-rooted builds here.
With the arrival of the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung has also introduced their newest camera software addition, Surround Shot. A mode that draws parallels to Photosphere introduced with Android 4.2, it allows users to stitch together multiple individual photos of the surrounding environment into one, spherical image. The downside? It’s exclusive to the Note 3.
Despite this, XDA Senior Member LastStandingDroid has made sure that users of the Galaxy S 4 will also be able to enjoy such novelty by backporting the Note 3′s camera app to the S 4. Tested to work with Android 4.3 with Samsung’s Touchwiz, it has been reported that all features of Note 3′s camera app are working as they should, including the aforementioned Surround Shot. Installation is simple, requiring users to flash the provided zip file through a custom recovery, and it is always a good thing to make a Nandroid backup before hand. Sadly but somewhat expectedly, users of any AOSP-derived ROM will not be able to get their hands on the port, as LastStandingDroid has made such incompatibilities clear in the forum post.
So if you’re a user of the Galaxy S4 running Touchwiz and Android 4.3, and would like to give give the Note 3 camera a spin without having to change devices, visit the original thread for more information and download.