February 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Official Android 4.4.2 has been making its way to various variants of the popular Samsung Galaxy S 4 over the past month. Now, the update has arrived for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S 4, coming in the form of build I337UCUFNB1.
Aside from bumping up the Android OS version to 4.4.2, build NB1 also brings Galaxy Gear compatibility, drag-and-drop to uninstall / disable apps, and calling improvements. Furthermore, the update also brings improvements to various of the included apps such as the phone dialer, the stock camera, and the gallery app.
The OTA is making its way to consumer devices via a staged OTA rollout. As such, your device may not initially receive the OTA. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member Maribou was kind enough to mirror the OTA, while Forum Member lordnihilusmd provided instructions on how to side-load the update.
To learn more about the MK2 (4.3) and NB1 (4.4.2) updates for the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4, head over to guut13’s information thread.
Please note that root is not yet available for the new update. Furthermore, SuperSU survival mode is not able to regain root during the upgrade. As such, you may wish to block the update until a suitable root option is achieved. Thankfully guut13’s thread linked above also shows you how to block the OTA if you desire.
February 19, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Before Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the OEM released two very interesting smartphones. The Moto X and Moto G were the first and probably the last devices made by the formerly American OEM in a cooperation with Google. Not so long ago, we talked about the Moto G receiving an unofficial CyanogenMod port. Now, however, the G and a few other Motorola devices will receive official CyanogenMod nightlies.
The CM team has released three unified builds, which is a bit of a surprising move, considering that the list of supported devices is quite long. The “mysterious” moto_msm8960 build will work with the Photon Q, Atrix HD, Razr M, and Droid Razr HD. The second build, dubbed moto_msm8960dt, should work with dual-core devices like the Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra. You need to figure out which phones are which, as builds for other devices will simply not work properly or even can brick your device. So be sure to double check before flashing, and check your home forum here on XDA to get the necessary info.
A build for the Moto G is separate due to its internal hardware. And I can’t can’t write about official nightlies for device code named falcon without mentioning XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who did a terrific job bringing up the device tree for this phone.
Motorola devices aren’t the only receiving these new unified builds. A couple of Samsung devices will receive unified builds as well. The list of phones is quite long and includes following devices:
Builds include only Qualcomm-based devices, as Exynos devices are still using platform-specified builds.
As you can see, the CyanogenMod team are on fire and make things as easy as possible both for developers and end users. The builds are located over on the official CyanogenMod download page. You can also check out the source code by visiting team’s Github and typing the name of the device in the search box.
[Big thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor herna for the tip!]
February 18, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Before today, Samsung has been very cautious in tempering expectations regarding official Android 4.4 KitKat updates for its recent devices. While certain phones have already received the 4.4.2 goods, much of the rest of the company’s lineup is still in Jelly Bean limbo. We’ve seen leaks fly around left and right for the Galaxy S 4, but official word regarding KitKat for the device has been lacking. And since this is just for their latest and greatest, the future didn’t look so hot for Samsung’s older devices.
Some time ago, we saw a leaked internal memo pointing to a potential KitKat release schedule for various devices. Now, however, Samsung has broken the silence by stating which devices will receive official updates to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Unfortunately, they aren’t stating when, though.
Samsung Galaxy U.S. devices currently scheduled to receive the KitKat update include select carrier variants of the Galaxy Note® 3, Galaxy Note® II, Galaxy S® 4, Galaxy S® 4 mini™, Galaxy S® 4 Active™, Galaxy S® 4 zoom™, Galaxy S® III, Galaxy S® III mini™, Galaxy Mega®, Galaxy Light, Galaxy Note® 8.0, Galaxy Tab® 3, Galaxy Note® 10.1, Galaxy Note® 10.1 2014 Edition.
In addition to the Android version bump, the update will also pack the following additional features:
- Location Menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities.
- Enhanced Messaging: Enables users to choose between Messages or Hangouts as their preferred default messaging application, and select from a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons.
- Upgraded Google Mobile Service™ (GMS) apps: Users can automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files.
While the update news is a few months later than we would have liked, it’s nice to see that older devices like the Note II, S III, and Note 10.1 will get to enjoy the KitKat goods in official capacity. However, the presence of the word “select” when talking about which carrier-branded devices leaves us more than a bit skeptical about certain US-based carriers with less than stellar track records. Furthermore, we’d still like to know when exactly Samsung plans on delivering the goods!
February 17, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We first saw a Samsung-created Android 4.4.2 build for the international Samsung Galaxy S 4 GT-I9505 about a month ago with the leaked XXUFNA1Firmware. While the company hasn’t said much about an official KitKat rollout schedule, a leaked memo pointed to the end of January as a possible release date for the S 4 and Note 3. January has now come and gone. And while the Note 3 already received its official 4.4.2 update, the S 4 is still without.
Luckily, another leaked Android 4.4.2 firmware has emerged for the trusty I9505. The new XXUFNAD firmware was originally shared by the kind folks over at Sammobile and posted to the forums by XDA Senior Member kelvyn1995. Just like the previously leaked build, this new leak also lacks the new artistic direction that we saw in some leaked screenshots a while back. However, it does incorporate some of the minor UI tweaks present in the previous build, as well as a few other minor changes.
You can get in on the leak by heading over to the leaked firmware thread. And once you’ve updated your device, don’t forget to leave your feedback in the thread. Are you a fan of these continual leaks or are you a happy AOSP-based ROM user who couldn’t care less about first-party updates? Let us know in the comments below.
[Many thanks to XDA Forum Member Titokhan for the tip!]
February 10, 2014 By: Samantha
Having lived somewhere that’s sunny all year round, I still empathize with fellow Android users who live in places where snow exists. I imagine having a device with the ability to detect touches through gloves would be of great benefit, especially considering how capacitive touch screens work. But the unfortunate reality is that only a handful of devices cater to this, such as the Sony Xperia Sola with its unique “floating touch”, the Nokia Lumia 920, and the Samsung Galaxy S 4. The bad thing for Galaxy S 4 owners, especially those who do are running an AOSP-based ROM such as CyanogenMod, is that the native option to change the screen sensitivity is only available on TouchWiz and GPe ROMs.
XDA Recognized Contributor and Developer broodplank1337 decided to address this issue by developing the aptly named Galaxy S 4 Glove Mode. The app that does exactly what its name suggests, as it allows users to activate and disable glove mode on the Galaxy S 4 running AOSP-derived ROMs. This should work on devices that have a kernel supporting the function, so ask your kernel developer about its compatibility before trying. Credit must also be given to Xio-Long Chen, whose open source commit serves as the foundation of the app.
If you would like to find out more, check out the application thread for more information.
January 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, an internal Samsung memo leaked out that detailed Samsung’s planned update schedule for its most recent flagships. In the memo, it appeared as if Samsung was planning on releasing the KitKat update to its Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3 smartphones some time this January. And true to form, the international Galaxy Note 3 received its official KitKat update approximately two weeks ago. While the international S 4 still has yet to receive its official update, we’ve seen a highly functional leak, which was then given Triangle Away support by Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire.
While leaks and releases have been numerous for the international variants of these devices, the same cannot be said about all carrier-branded variants. But now, thanks to XDA Recognized Developer designgears, we have leaked builds of Android 4.4.2 for the AT&T-branded variants of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S 4.
The leak for the Galaxy Note 3 comes in at version N900AUCECMLG, and the leak for the Galaxy S 4 is I337UCUFMLD. At present, there are no known bugs on the Note 3’s leak, but the Galaxy S 4 leak has sporadic reboots related to video codec issues.
If you’re an AT&T Galaxy S 4 or Galaxy Note 3 owner, head over to the threads below to get in on the leak action. Just be sure to be careful when flashing, as you don’t want to turn your expensive device into a paperweight.
If you own a Samsung device, you have undoubtedly heard of the EFS partition. If you haven’t, let me explain. EFS is a partition where quite a bit of important radio data is stored. Without this data, you won’t be able to use your phone correctly. It’s extremely important to keep a local copy of your EFS partition, and we’ve already presented a Windows utility and application to backup the EFS partition on Samsung devices.
The two aforementioned utilities are not the only tools available to backup your EFS partition. Rather, XDA Senior Member ricky310711 created another application that gives users the option to backup or restore the EFS partition, as well as reboot your phone in four different modes.
With the appropriately titled Samsung Tool, you can hot-reboot your device, go to recovery, or enter mode. The application stores a copy of the EFS backup in the /data/media/SamsungTool folder. But in future releases, we might see external SD card support. Samsung Tool works with many Samsung devices, but only Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 10.1 are officially supported.
Hopefully, you won’t ever have to restore your EFS partition. However, it’s never a bad idea to make a backup copy. To learn more, make your way to the application thread and give this a shot.
January 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite some time, you’re undoubtedly aware that many modern Samsung devices keep an internal flash counter that keeps track of how many times you flash custom firmware onto your device. Luckily, a fix for this has been available for quite some time thanks to Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s fantastic TriangleAway app. But ever since its release, it’s been a bit of a cat and mouse game where a TriangleAway version would be released, followed by a new firmware update that blocks the app’s functionality.
Now, the next chapter in never-ending war between the community and the OEMs is here, as Chainfire has updated his TriangleAway app to version 3.25. The new version brings support for the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy Note 3 (must be running the now official Android 4.4.2 firmware), as well as for the leaked Android 4.4.2 firmware for the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy S 4.
It is important to keep in mind that TriangleAway’s purpose is only to reset the flash counter. It is not able to reset your KNOX Warranty void status at this time. Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 3 is only supported on Android 4.4. While the OTA has only occurred for certain unlocked variants of the device, it is highly likely that this will also work on carrier-branded versions once they receive their updates.
January 13, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 gets a leaked Android 4.4.2 KitKat build! 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 Sony Xperia M got an unofficial Android 4.4.2 KitKat Release and the Sony Xperia TX has a leaked version of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about all the videos released on XDA Developer TV this weekend from CES 2014 including the a hands-on video with the Samsung Note PRO 12.2, Tab PROs and Galaxy Camera 2, Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G, and the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch video by XDA Developer TV Producer TK. Check out our whole CES 2014 Playlist. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
READ ON »
December 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Once again, all of us here at XDA would like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season! Undoubtedly, many of our happy readers are waking up to some extra Holiday cheer in the form of shiny new tech acquisitions. Luckily, XDA is here and has your back in helping you make the most of your new, Android-powered tech toy(s).
You may remember that a little while ago, we shared with you our Best of 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Now, we’re going to take some of these “Best” devices that you all voted for, and help you make the most of them. Obviously, we’re going to start with gaining root access and installing a custom recovery. But on some devices, this will even include installing an aftermarket ROM or even enabling multiboot!
Let’s start the day with your top pick as best tablet of 2013, the Google Nexus 7 (2013). With its high end specs and budget-friendly price, we think it’s safe to assume that quite a few Android fans are waking up to a brand new N7.
Since the Nexus 7 is a Nexus device, unlocking and rooting is incredibly simple. You will want to start by installing ADB and Fastboot by downloading the Android SDK (or installing minimal Fastboot and ADB installer, and the associated drivers). Then after you have ADB and Fastboot installed, the real fun can begin!
If all you want is root access, the easiest way to accomplish this is by running CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 7 (2013). CF-Auto-Root will get you rooted and install the latest version of SuperSU in practically no time and with virtually no effort or hassle.
Not everyone likes it simple, though. For those who’d rather get a bit more hands on, you can unlock your device by turning on USB debugging in developer settings and rebooting your tablet to bootloader by issuing the adb reboot-bootloader command. From there, you can unlock your new device by entering fastboot oem unlock. Then, simply reboot your device with fastboot reboot, reenter your bootloader with adb reboot-bootloader, and flash a custom recovery using fastboot flash recovery <recovery image filename.img>.
After you have your custom recovery installed, your doors are now open to installing some of the more popular custom ROMs, or perhaps you can even give Multiboot a try! All of this and more can be found in our Google Nexus 7 (2013) forum, here at XDA.
Now let’s shift our attention to your top pick as best smartphone of 2013. Surprise, surprise. It was the highly anticipated Google Nexus 5. Just like the Nexus 7, it also offers a wallet-friendly price. But unlike its tablet sibling, it also offers bleeding edge specs like a quad-core 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor.
Just like the Nexus 7, unlocking and rooting the Nexus 5 is a cakewalk. Just like what we covered above, you will want to start by installing ADB and Fastboot by downloading the Android SDK (or installing minimal Fastboot and ADB installer, and the associated drivers).
Once again, if all you want is root access, the easiest way to accomplish this is by running CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 5. CF-Auto-Root will get you rooted and install the latest version of SuperSU in practically no time and with virtually no effort or hassle.
For those who’d rather get a bit more hands on, you can unlock your device by turning on USB debugging in developer settings and rebooting your tablet to bootloader by issuing the adb reboot-bootloader command. From there, you can unlock your new device by entering fastboot oem unlock. Then, simply reboot your device with fastboot reboot, reenter your bootloader with adb reboot-bootloader, and flash a custom recovery using fastboot flash recovery <recovery image filename.img>.
Once you’ve got your recovery installed, you can now begin flashing any number of custom ROMs and kernels. And for those willing to try something a bit more ambitious, you can even play around with multiboot. Obviously, all this and more can be found in our Google Nexus 5 forum.
Next up, we have the HTC One. Although the device is no longer on the bleeding edge in the specs department, it offers build quality and a design aesthetic simply unparalleled in the Android OEM world.
While the process is a bit more involved than it is on the Nexus devices listed above, it is fully possible to unlock, root, install a custom recovery, and do much more on the HTC One. Thanks to the hard work by ieftm and his team, the device can be unlocked. There are also several custom recovery options available, as well as Official OmniROM and CyanogenMod installations, though you will want to make sure you are installing the appropriate version for your particular variant.
In addition to the custom ROM fun, those who are feeling a bit more ambitious can give Multiboot a try, as well as a Google Play editions conversion. Just like the previous two devices, all this and more can be found in the HTC One forum.
Please note, however, that the above links are intended for the INTERNATIONAL version of the device. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new carrier-branded variant, make sure you find your appropriate XDA forum before getting to work.
Let’s turn our attention over to the popular and powerful Sony Xperia Z1. Unlocking the device is a breeze. From there, you will want to gain root access, as well as flash a custom recovery. Once you’ve gotten that done, Official OmniROM and CyanogenMod builds await. And like the devices above, all of this and more can be found in the Sony Xperia Z1 forum here at XDA.
Now, we will talk about the wallet-friendly Moto G. Although it’s not the fastest device available, it offers a fantastic value that is simply unmatched in other budget devices.
Luckily, it is quite easy to unlock the Moto G directly through Motorola. From there, you can easily achieve root access and install a custom recovery. There’s not much in the aftermarket development world beyond the above, but you can rest assured that this is only a matter of time, thanks to the device’s popularity. And of course, keep your eyes peeled on the Moto G forums to keep apprised of any and all development activity for the device.
This innovative Moto X proves that raw hardware specs aren’t everything and that an innovative feature set can make for a great user experience, even on non-bleeding edge hardware.
Let’s start with rooting and unlocking, which is now possible thanks to jcase’s RockMyMoto exploit. From there, you will want to install a custom recovery. Then, you can try out any one of the source-built custom ROMs and kernels available in the Moto X forum.
Now we have the largest phone on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Packing bleeding edge specs, a mammoth sized screen, and the fantastic Wacom-based S Pen, the Note 3 is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Luckily, rooting the device and installing a custom recovery are quite easy on the Note 3. Development support is also quite widespread on the Note 3, so be sure to check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 forum here at XDA. Please note, however, that the above links are intended for the INTERNATIONAL version of the device. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new carrier-branded variant, make sure you find your appropriate XDA forum before getting to work.
Rounding out this article, we have the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Much like the highly acclaimed HTC One, the SGS4 is no longer the king of all of the hardware specs battles. That said, it’s still a great phone, jam packed with plenty of great features.
Thanks to the device’s age and vast popularity, root access and custom recoveries are both possible, with much more available in the Samsung Galaxy S 4 forum. But just like the HTC One and Note 3, be sure to visit the appropriate forum for you carrier-branded variant if you’re not running the international version of the device.
We wish you much Android-powered joy for this Holiday Season! See you in the XDA forums!
December 14, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we wrote about how the HTC One Google Play edition had started to receive its Android 4.4.2 OTA and how the update links were captured for your sideloading pleasure. At that point, we knew it was only a matter of time before the same would be said for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 GPe. Now, that time is here, and the update has begun rolling out to SGS4 GPe devices everywhere.
The update for the GT-I9505G comes in the form of a 57.4 MB incremental OTA update, and it brings you to version KOT49H.S0001.131204. This update comes a day after Samsung posted the kernel source and modules to its open source release center for version ML4.
Although this is a staged rollout, you can get in on the action a bit early by downloading the update directly from Google’s servers (link courtesy of XDA Senior Member EthanFirst). Alternatively, Recognized Contributor Danvdh has also mirrored the update over at AndroidFileHost.
Have you updated your SGS4 GPe to Android 4.4.2 already? If so, how do you like it? Feel free to let us know your experiences in the comments below!
[Many thanks to everyone who sent this in!]
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]