May 24, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
After reading about Dan Rosenberg’s bootloader exploit for the Samsung Galaxy S 4, I figured it would not be long before someone would craft a package for loading custom ROMs. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised that Dan is the one who figured it out.
You may know him better as XDA Recognized Developer Djrbliss. In his original thread, you’ll learn about the Loki package he put together to load custom recovery and ROM images into AT&T and Verizon variants of the GS4. The device must already be rooted, but he links to guides that can walk you through that as well.
There are a couple of caveats to the exploit. The first is that it will be very easy for the carriers to patch against it, so avoid OTA updates unless you know they don’t contain a patch. The second is that the Loki package is intended for developers, which means it’s not just a one-click operation. Having looked through the code repositories, it does look like a very straightforward set of command line operations, so don’t be scared off either.
The exploit side steps the signature check when the phone launches a ROM. Dan found it when looking at the phones aboot partition. Searching for some of the strings found in his disassembly, he discovered it’s nearly identical to the Little Kernel open source bootloader. This made it significantly easier to figure out how the boot process works. It turns out that the signature check function is written to memory during the boot process. His exploit overwrites this code to return a confirmation that the ROM is signed even though it is not.
May 7, 2013 By: egzthunder1
As time goes by and technology leaps forward, we get to enjoy the benefits of advancements right in the palm of our hands. Most mobile devices in this day and age are equipped with a wide array of onboard electronics and sensors, capable of making our experience with them more enjoyable and closer to what can only be described as intuitive. Rotating the device making the screen turn to landscape mode, keeping the device awake by virtue of its camera and face recognition software, and even something as simple as a magnetic compass to help us determine direction, are only some of the features included. It seems that technology evolved once again with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Mobile devices are normally equipped with temperature probes/sensors internally to check for battery/component overheating (for safety purposes), but it seems that Samsung engineers decided to sit down and collectively devise a way to enable to phone to measure ambient conditions as well. To make a long story short, the device sports temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors (hygrometer), which allow the device to tell you exactly what the current conditions are EXACTLY where you are located (and not by virtue of downloading data from the web).
This being an absolute first for the mobile world, our devs saw it as an opportunity to try and expand on the range of software capabilities added to the phones. XDA Forum Member jsstp24n5 released an application that makes use of these new on board sensors. Weather Station is a simple app that will provide you with data measured by your device such as temperature, ambient pressure, dewpoint and relative humidity. The full integration of sensors can also make use of things like the GPS in order to do things such as calculating pressure with respect to elevation. The app also offers a wide variety of options for displaying and reporting its data, such as graphs, tables, and even has widgets. This is essentially like having your own personal weather forecast system in your pocket.
Please take the app for a spin and provide feedback to the dev. Also, keep in mind that other devices may have sensors on board as well, so feel free to try it out and be more savvy about your surroundings. As always, bugs and feedback are appreciated.
The Galaxy S4 is the only Android device right now with ambient temperature and humidity sensors. This Weather Station app I developed (free and with no ads) utilizes these sensors to the full delight of amateur and pro meteorologists:
You can find more information in the original thread.
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[Thanks to Portal Admin willverduzco for the tip!]
April 30, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we covered the release of the HTC One and gave you a quick glimpse of its performance. Shortly after, we gave the One a home on our forums for both the international and some US carrier variants. Now, however, we have also created a forum for the T-Mobile HTC One variant.
Similarly, we covered the release of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and gave the international version a forum here last month. However, now we are happy to also give the AT&T and Sprint variants their place as well.
Those looking to get in on the discussion can do so by visiting the links below to the newly created forums:
April 29, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Samsung Galaxy S4 Rooted across multiple carriers. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is a tutorial to backup your TA Partition on the Sony Xperia Z and NASA launching several Nexus One phones into space.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talks about Xposed framework and Mono for Android. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
April 27, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
If you’re thinking about signing up for a carrier-subsidized Samsung Galaxy S4 here’s a bit of good news: XDA Recognized Developer Djrbliss posted a rooting guide that is dead simple and works with all variations that use a Qualcomm processor (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.). The technique was originally developed for Motorola devices, and thus is called Motochopper. It will work for Windows, Linux, or OSX. Windows users will need to have the latest Samsung USB drivers. With that prerequisite satisfied, you need only run the .bat (Windows) or .sh (the other OSes) file get your root on.
This was just released yesterday, and there are a few things to consider before giving it a spin. Rooting the S4 can be considered a bit risky because there isn’t a clear path for fixing the device if rooting fails. But I image it won’t be too long before someone is able to dump a stock image and get a custom recovery working on the device. And I’m sure you’ve heard the news that at least some carriers will be delivering phones with locked bootloaders (booo!) but that’s never stopped us before. Maybe the same exploit that worked with the Atrix HD will work with these since the processors are cousins?
If you still want to throw caution to the wind, head over to the original thread for a download link and instructions.
April 25, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
With the release of a new flagship device, comes the inevitable clamor of people trying to get their hands on the latest firmware. Whether it’s to simply pick out the latest wallpapers and ringtones or begin examining it in greater detail and attempt to port the ROM itself or its newest features to another device, there’s always a buzz about the first ROM for a new device. Samsung fans can rejoice as the first firmware for the Galaxy S 4 GT-i9500 has just made an appearance today. Given the amount of hype and excitement surrounding this particular device, I’m sure there will be no shortage of people eager to get their hands on this.
This ROM itself is labelled as I9500ZCUAMDG and appears to be a complete and flashable (via ODIN) ROM intended for the Chinese market containing the usual CSC, PDA and modem files. With a build date of only yesterday, it’s certainly pretty fresh. And being based on Android 4.2.2, it will of course feature all the latest and greatest (according to Samsung at least) features for any mobile device, as well as many of the features you would expect from a vanilla build. The firmware itself was posted to the forums by XDA Senior Member AdamLange to kick off the devices dedicated official firmware thread, so be sure to bookmark that if you intend to keep your S4 close to stock.
I guess there isn’t really much else to add so what are you waiting for? Go and start digging.
April 4, 2013 By: jerdog
Often times in the world of media, the first to the story gets to claim they were first. They get the worm, and they get the page views. And we won’t say that page views aren’t great; they are. They end up helping to pay the bills that mount when you grow. The obvious downside to that, is often times that same media outlet can fall victim to their own success, and in turn report on things that aren’t actually real. We’ve done it before, and we’ve had to step up and admit it.
At XDA, we take pride in the fact that most of the mobile development news originates here. We are the source that all others report on. We also take pride in the fact that while we may not be the first to the news, we endeavor to report the real story after it’s been tried, tested, and verified. After all, we are the source.
Recently, news went around the internet that the new darling of the mobile world, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, had been rooted prior to its release. Generally that is great news, but in this case the person who did the “rooting” didn’t have the device to test the process. In many cases, like previous versions of the Galaxy series, that is OK because the way to root Samsung devices has been the same via repacking Samsung’s firmware package with su and then flashing via ODIN. While that old way worked, it doesn’t work on the new S4 as XDA Recognized Developer Odia proved in a thread similar to the original “root” thread.
What is different about the S 4 is that Samsung utilizes a new security feature to enable BYOD to make the S 4 more palatable for the Enterprise customers, and that feature is Samsung Knox. Without going into a lot of detail, Knox effectively isolates your personal side of the device from your companies private side.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire began toying with the Qualcomm version of the Galaxy S 4 (GT-I9505) back in early March, and immediately began to have issues with the “tried and true” process for rooting previous Galaxy devices. He noticed that while you could “inject” the su binary into the firmware, the device would immediately reboot when that same binary was executed.
After much testing, Chainfire figured out a way to root the device using his tried-and-true CF-Auto-Root process and posted the method in this thread. Be warned that this currently only works on the GT-I9505 (Qualcomm LTE) version of the S4, with Odia finding that there are issues with the Exynos 5 Octa version. As is always the case, be warned that there is a risk in performing any procedure such as this on your device. Let’s hope that Samsung hasn’t decided to really turn their noses up at the development community.
March 18, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA-Developers has added a forum for the Samsung Galaxy S 4. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an all-in-one-toolkit for the HTC One. Jordan also talks about the Android powered RC car..
Jordan then talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch gives his thoughts on the whole SIM unlocking debacle and XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released an video talking about how to approach designing Android apps. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Yesterday, much of the mobile tech world watched as Samsung launched the new Galaxy S 4 at its Unpacked event at Times Square in New York City. While opinions have largely been split on the device, with many complaining about build materials and its seemingly iterative changes, one thing is clear: The Galaxy S 4 represents the pinnacle of what Samsung brings to the table in mobile technology.
The Galaxy S 4 is Samsung’s flagship device for 2013. The S 4 ups the ante of its predecessor thanks to a 5″ 1080p Super AMOLED display (PenTile 441 ppi), an octa-core Samsung Exynos 5410 or quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (depending on region), 2 gigs of RAM, up to 64 gigs of storage, LTE connectivity, and a 2600 mAh battery. Furthermore, the device features additional features such as floating touch and a 13 MP shooter featuring a revamped camera interface. All this brute force is encased in 7.9 mm of Samsung’s well known Hyperglaze plastic finish.
Can’t wait to get in on the SGS4 discussion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and be sure to check out our newly created forums.