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.
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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]
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.