February 2, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
In the last few months, we’ve talked about various Android 4.4 ports for various well known devices. Some of them were quite surprising like the port for the HTC HD2, which was never intended to run Android in the first place. Other were expected, as they were fairly new devices with a strong development backing. Now, another legendary device, the Samsung Galaxy S II, has received official CM11 nightlies.
SGS2 owners out there may have used a homebrew version prepared by XDA Recognized Developer milaq. Now, however, the CM team decided that i9100 can have its own official nightly releases. We must mention that this great achievement wouldn’t be possible without help of such developers as XDA Senior Recognized Developer codeworkx and Recognized Developer Wayland_ACE. As CyanogenMod is a community project, these three weren’t the only ones involved. And as such, I didn’t mention many developers involved in the process. The nightlies seem to be pretty stable and ready for daily use. Just keep in mind that it’s still a “nightly” so you may notice some problems here and there.
December 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Say what you will about the inherent inconveniences in /data/media devices, but they also have their advantages. While USB Mass Storage mode is generally considered to be more power user friendly with direct disk operations and more reliable for large data transfers, MTP devices allow for a single /data partition to handle both media and application storage. Having media and application storage both housed within one partition means that you can never run out of application storage space while having many gigs free on your internal SD card.
Older devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II generally use separate mount points for application and media storage. This can potentially lead to storage space problems for those with a disproportionately large number of installed apps or lots of media. Upon encountering the problem on his SGS2, XDA Senior Member metalgearhathaway decided to fix the problem by repartitioning his internal storage to free up additional application storage space at the expense of media storage. And rather than simply fixing the problem for himself, he also shared the solution on the forums.
The fix comes in the form of various PIT files containing new partition information that can be applied via Odin. There are several different PIT files available, allowing you to tailor your storage breakdown to your own needs. For example, if you have lots of apps but don’t need much in the way of media storage, you can allocate up to 12 gigs for apps. On the other hand, if you don’t have many apps and would rather have as much space for media, you can devote as little as 1 gig to apps.
Naturally, any repartition will carry significant inherent risk. Furthermore, you will obviously lose all data stored on your device. However, if you follow the steps properly, the rewards may well be worth the risk and hassle. Head over to the original thread to get started.
November 15, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The Samsung Galaxy S II GT-I9100G is the somewhat lesser known sibling device to the more common international variant of the Galaxy S II, the GT-I9100. The I9100G differs from the I9100 in a few areas, not the least of which is Samsung’s choice of SoC. Rather than using the in-house Exynos processor, the G model uses TI’s OMAP4 processor.
The I9100G was released in late 2011, back in a simpler time, when Gingerbread was the bees knees. Since then, the device has seen several major official Samsung updates all the way to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Despite the now finished official support, however, developer support has continued in spades. And now, there is a relatively highly functional OmniROM 4.4 release for the device thanks to XDA Senior Member Jiangyi and Elite Recognized Developers Entropy512, XpLoDWilD, codeworkx, pulser_g2.
Since the device uses the OMAP4, this ROM runs into many of the same graphical glitches that are plaguing the current crop of Galaxy Nexus builds. Beyond that, certain Gapps packages appear to be problematic with this build, and some users are experiencing problems logging into Google after installing an incorrect Gapps package. Additionally, some users report heavy battery drain and certain application incompatibilities. That said, the majority of device functions appear to be working, and as long as you flash with
If you’re willing to put up with the bugs, you can have a relatively functional taste of the bleeding edge in Android. Make your way over to the development thread to get started.
October 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that Samsung has seen incredible success with its Galaxy line of Android phones. In fact, the company’s profitability makes up such a large slice of the Android pie, that the Android ecosystem is quickly turning into the Samsung ecosystem. While much of Samsung’s success is due to their heavy marketing presence, the rest is down to the various innovations found in their products and how they cater well towards their users. That said, not everything is perfect for every user with Samsung’s offerings. And to the many who prefer vanilla Android, TouchWiz is a drawback rather than an asset.
Sure, you can wipe your default firmware and install a custom, AOSP-based ROM on your device. In fact, that’s what a good number of us do when installing source-built ROMs such as Paranoid Android, Omni, and PACRom. However, we don’t always want to leave behind the value-added OEM software. Instead, we can get back the look and feel of stock Android, while keeping the default ROM and OEM apps alive.
XDA Senior Member MohammadAG has created a simple modification that allows you to get back the AOSP lock screen on your TouchWiz device. While this mod was originally developed for the Samsung Galaxy Note II, it should also work on the Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III.
Since this is an Xposed module, you will need to have XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework (thread) installed. After that, you simply activate the module, reboot, and enjoy your AOSP lock screen.
Make your way over to the module thread to get started.
One of the biggest gripes we have with our NFC-enabled devices is the somewhat unnecessary requirement of having to unlock them in order to activate NFC. This requirement effectively reduces the practicality of our many enabled stickers, tags, and gadgets, as it leads to another inconvenient step that limits the use of NFC in the first place.
There is good news, though, as a couple of good folks here have created mods that allows for NFC activation when the device’s screen is off or at the lock screen. This has been made possible by XDA Senior Member StephanSch for the following devices:
This mod is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 thanks to XDA Senior Member OptimalKiller. The mods come in some variation of a modified NFC APK that is then moved to the /system/apps directory, thus requiring root access. It’s important to note that the mods are compatible with only certain specific builds, frameworks, and devices. Because of this, you have to make sure to download and install the correct version. Also, make some sort of backup to ensure that you can revert the effects if things go awry.
For more information and detailed instructions, visit the threads for the following devices: HTC One, One X, EVO 4G LTE, Sony Xperia Z, Xperia P, Xperia Sola, Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, and Galaxy S4.
One of our goals for the year has been to better organize all of the development works (ROMs, apps, tools, kernels, etc.) on XDA. We wanted this to be useful but also to have minimal impact on how developers post to XDA and on users who are happy with the current structure of the forums.
We’re currently testing a system, we call the Development Database (or DevDB for short) on a handful of forums (Galaxy S II, Xperia Z, Galaxy Note II, Droid DNA, Nexus 4, Nexus 7). You’ll note that when you go to the gateway to those forums, such as that for the Xperia Z, you can now see a tab for ROMs. Each ROM is linked to a forum thread– just as it’s always been. But when you click through to these threads, you’ll notice that they’ve become “enhanced” with a shiny new menu bar as shown in the below screenshot. Developers have the option of which features they want to include for each project:
- Feature Requester
- Bug Reporter
- Downloads (via our own torrent tracker)
- Q&A Thread Linking
January 25, 2013 By: Former Writer
It’s no secret that Samsung has dropped the ball in some areas such as the Exynos brick bug and the lack of proper documentation. However, they managed to keep true to their word that the Samsung Galaxy S II would officially see Jelly Bean. This will put the device on software that is as up to date as the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
The update is official, which means you can get it via Kies or an OTA. Alternatively, XDA Recognized Developer Faryaab has a running thread where you can download firmware updates. The update itself should bring a load of Jelly Bean goodies. This includes Jelly Bean’s beloved Project Butter for a smoother, more consistent UI. Other features that come with the update include:
When it comes to installing the update, there are several options. Users can wait until their carrier pushes an OTA update and install that way. You can also update via Kies, which requires no waiting. If you want the firmware on hand to flash when you need it, as rooted users often do, you can download the firmware directly and flash over Odin. So there is no real preferred method, just pick your poison.
Now for some bad news. Some minor features don’t seem to be working. Members in Faryaab’s thread have mentioned that the 50 GB of Dropbox storage isn’t working properly. In addition, Social Hub is no longer included in the update, including the IM app. Those who don’t wipe /data can expect errors saying that it isn’t working anymore. There are some other minor issues reported, but nothing seems to be a major deal breaker.
To learn more about the update, visit Faryaab’s firmware thread.
January 9, 2013 By: Haroon Q. Raja
Lately, several devices have been getting Jelly Bean in form of CM 10 and CM 10.1 ports. Recently, we brought you unofficial CM10.1 ports for the Nook HD+ and Samsung Galaxy Fit. Now, the Galaxy Player 5 and Strait Talk Galaxy S2 have joined the club, thanks to unofficial ports by XDA Forum Members Mevordel and mr-cook, respectively.
The Straight Talk SGS2 port is based on Android 4.2.1, and should work fine as a daily driver. The developer also provides several other useful goodies in the thread, including ClockworkMod recovery, stock and AOSP modems, and the stock factory image and flashing instructions to get a clean start.
Moving on to the Galaxy Player 5 port, it’s an early release with a lot of work yet to be done to make it suitable enough for daily use. Currently Bluetooth, Camera, and the earpiece aren’t functional. You do, however, get sound through the speaker on the back. The capacitive buttons are also not working on international version, and only earphones with a built-in microphone work. The port is still work in progress, and hopefully these issues will be sorted out soon in a future release.
December 17, 2012 By: Former Writer
Root exploits are often quite a good thing. There are many that only work on certain individual devices. However, there are some that work on a whole bunch of devices. An example of the latter is a root exploit by XDA Recognized Developer Bin4ry that works on a variety of devices. And now we have news of a dangerous, new exploit that works on Exynos 4210- and 4412-based devices.
XDA Forum Member alephzain released the exploit that affects pretty much any device with an Exynos 4412 or 4210 processor. This includes the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S III, Meizu MX, and the Galaxy S II, among many others. Here’s how alephzain explains the root method:
Recently discover a way to obtain root on S3 without ODIN flashing.
The security hole is in kernel, exactly with the device /dev/exynos-mem.
This device is R/W by all users and give access to all physical memory … what’s wrong with Samsung ?
Its like /dev/mem but for all.
Three libraries seems to use /dev/exynos-mem:
Essentially, this exploit can be used to root any device with the aforementioned processors. What’s more, this method wouldn’t require an Odin flash like most current root methods. However, this exploit could be dangerous. Not only could be used to acquire root access, but for malicious applications as well. So developers will have a fun time helping to fix the issues while using the exploit for root.
For more details, check out the original thread. Do keep in mind, though, that this is posted in the new Samsung Galaxy Note II developer-only forum, so don’t post saying thanks or anything as the thread will be used for developers to develop things only.
December 7, 2012 By: Former Writer
Since it was released, the Galaxy Note II multi-window mod has been ported to pretty much every Galaxy Note II. However, a feature that awesome shouldn’t be restricted to just the Note II. The multi-window mod is now available for the Samsung Galaxy S II.
XDA Senior Member mythtrandyr has ported the multi-window functionality to the Galaxy S II. Users can get a hold of the mod in two ways. As per the norm, there is the clean way and the dirty way. The dirty way involves decompiling the SecSettings.apk, the service.jar and android.policy.jar files and applying the appropriate mods. There are quite a few mods to make so be sure to follow all the insructions.
The easy is a simple flash. Users will have to be running a deodexed ROM based on XXLSJ, which is Android 4.1.2. There are also some additional features, including:
- 4 icons shortcut on lockscreen
- ripple lockscreen
- Skip songs with volume rocker (thanks to Mirko ddd )
- No homebutton lag (thanks to Mirko ddd)
- 4-Way Reboot (thanks to khavitahra)
Simply flash in recovery with the customary cache and Dalvik wipes to get it running. Once completed, you’ll have the full multi-window functionality, and you can add as many apps as you’d like.
[Thanks to ::indie:: for the tip!]
November 25, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
Android 4.2 may have only been released a short time ago, but already this latest version is finding it’s way onto numerous devices thanks to the development community and its plain unwillingness to wait for official OEM updates. The latest device to be graced with a build of 4.2 is the Samsung Galaxy SII i9100G, and it comes in the form of an official version of Cyanogenmod 10.1.
XDA Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx wasted no time in getting an experimental build of CM10.1 up and running on the device. The key word there is experimental. In the developers own words “Use it like it is or leave it.” This is probably not daily driver material yet, so unless you absolutely must be on the absolute bleeding edge, you may want to hold off flashing for a while. Who am I kidding? Of course you’re going to flash it. Just make sure to read the thread beforehand, so you know what issues you’re likely to encounter.
As mentioned above, this is for the i9100G and the i9100G only. That’s the Galaxy S II variant sporting a Texas Instruments OMAP CPU and PowerVR GPU. This ROM is not suitable for flashing on other Galaxy S II variants, so those of us with such a device will continue waiting patiently for now. For those of you who do own this device, all the information you need can be found in the original forum thread.
November 24, 2012 By: Former Writer
As many may have noticed, we here at XDA have spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of weeks talking about Android 4.2. It’s everywhere now, including the SDK and its release to the AOSP. So now comes the time when ROMs should start appearing. For AT&T Galaxy S II Skyrocket users, you could have one sooner than most.
XDA Senior Member sk8erwitskil released a tutorial that helps users compile the newly released revision of Jelly Bean. However, instead of making people start entirely from scratch, this tutorial is more of an add-on from the popular method to compile Android 4.1 for the Skyrocket. As sk8erwitskil explains:
Im in the process of compiling android 4.2 for the skyrocket right now. i wanted to share the changes i needed to make to get it to keep compiling.
With that said, the overall process isn’t complete yet. That means you can’t follow this and have a perfectly running ROM. However, it is fairly close to being completed, and members of the Skyrocket community have been helping figure out the problems and fixes. It shouldn’t be long before fully functional source-built Android 4.2 ROMs start churning out for the Galaxy S II Skyrocket.
For more details, or if you would like to help out, check out the original thread.
The PACMan ROM is catching on here on XDA and we couldn’t be happier about it. For those who still don’t know, PACMan ROM is an AOSP-based ROM that includes bits and pieces from CyanogenMod 10, AOKP, and ParanoidAndroid. So you get all the perks of all three ROMs, including ParanoidAndroid’s unique tablet mode. Now, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II can get in on the action.
XDA Senior Member gs2usr has released the mash up ROM for the T-Mobile Galaxy S II. It features everything we’ve come to expect from PACMan, including CM settings, AOKP settings, and ParanoidAndroid settings. It also comes with init.d support. Here’s what isn’t working:
CM10/ AOKP bugs
Some Feature Missing (to be added in future)
Find a new bug? report in the thread
So whatever bugs you may find in AOKP and CM10, you’ll also find in this ROM. In their respective threads, CM10 and AOKP don’t seem to have any major bugs. Users are reporting that the ROM works really well, except the aforementioned missing settings. That will be fixed in future releases. So this is definitely daily driver material. It is definitely a great ROM to check out if you want to see all that current AOSP has to offer.
For more details, check out the original thread.