Devices having issues with getting a good GPS fix is a topic that we’ve covered in the past. In some cases, this can be fixed through software. In others, hardware mods are also required. No matter the method, getting a quicker and more stable GPS fix is always something developers are exploring. Now there’s a GPS fix for the Samsung Galaxy S II I9100G that helps make GPS lock on faster.
The mod is based on the well known AGPS Patch by XDA Senior Member crypted. It was then given some device-specific tweaks and released by XDA Senior Member Ryuinferno. In terms of features, the GPS fix shares some common features with AGPS. As Ryuinferno explains:
This patch can be used regardless of your location (no need to modify ntp servers). The first fix after a reboot may take up to a minute, but subsequent fixes require only seconds! The device will also lock onto 7-9 satellites (3-4 before patch), which provides accuracy up to 5m.
The mod is easy enough to install and is compatible with both CyanogenMod 9 and stock ICS. Simply download the zip and flash in recovery. So far user reports are mixed. Some are reporting a massive improvement while others are reporting that there was no big improvement seen. One must remember that if the GPS already locks at high accuracy in a matter of seconds, so it’s not going to get much better than that.
To learn more, go to the original thread.
August 11, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
If you have one of the Samsung Galaxy S II variants that shipped with NFC and are currently running a custom Jelly Bean ROM, you might have noticed the lack of functional NFC capabilities on your phone. Fortunately, you needn’t wait any longer. Thanks to XDA Senior Member jthatch12, you can now enable NFC on any custom Jelly Bean ROM on your Galaxy S II.
The hack is quite straight-forward, and all it requires is an SGS II variant that comes with NFC hardware. So if yours is one of those shipped without it, don’t expect it to magically work just by using this hack. Also, it is meant for devices running Jelly Bean only. This mod has been confirmed to be working on AT&T’s Galaxy S II (SGH-I777) and South Korean KT’s Galaxy S II (SHW-M250K), but should work fine on any NFC-equipped variant. As explained by jthatch12:
Devices Confirmed Working On:
….IDK you tell me!
Devices this should work on:
i9100 = NO
i9100P = YES (it’s an i9100 exactly, but with NFC. ROMs for i9100 will work, but need to be modified to show NFC settings, otherwise no NFC options will show)
i9100G = NO, it’s completely different from the i9100 hardware (TI-OMAP instead of Exynos). ROMs from i9100/P don’t work.
T989 (T-Mobile GS2) = YES, but it’s completely different from the i9100 hardware (Snapdragon S3 instead of Exynos). ROMs from i9100/P don’t work.
i777 (AT&T GS2) = YES* , stock ROMs disable it. ROMs from i9100 work because they’re the same phone (it’s really an i9100P because it has NFC) but you need to modify button layout or the buttons won’t work in the ROM.
D710 (Sprint GS2) = NO
Wanna give it a shot? Simply download the file from the forum thread and flash it to your phone from recovery. For more information, join the discussion at the forum thread.
We’ve been bringing ongoing coverage of the Samsung hard brick bug that’s affecting a large number of users. For those unfamiliar, the hard brick bug causes complete and irreparable damage to the eMMC storage device. It came about when the first leaks to ICS on a variety of Samsung devices were released, and they’ve been a problem ever since.
One way users have been keeping track of if they’ve got the brick bug is Chainfire’s Got Brickbug application, which determines if you have good or bad hardware. There has been another way to determine if you have the brick bug if you have the Samsung Galaxy S II. XDA Senior Member Tungstwenty has released a script that helps further determine whether or not users have the brick bug. According to XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512, who continues to be on the forefront of the battle versus brick bug, it functions differently than Chainfire’s app. Entropy512 states:
It detects a different component of the brickbug – Chainfire’s detects bad chips, this will detect some kernels that allow dangerous commands through to chops.
However, all is not well. Due to the way it detects, there’s a very decent likelihood that that it can deliver false positives and false negatives. Again, Entropy512 explains:
It will likely deliver some false positives and false negatives as it’s checking compiled binaries and not source. If anything near the place where MMC_CAP_ERASE is set changes, it may lead to false negatives for example.
So while it is a very helpful tool, it is unwise to declare your device safe or dangerous strictly on what this application says. Given that it has the capacity to deliver false positives and false negatives, it could come up clean even if you have the brick bug. It is used best along with Chainfire’s application (linked above) to double check. If you are still unsure after both tests—and with a bug this dangerous you likely should be—then it’s much better to simply act as though you do have the brick bug. Better safe than sorry.
The second part of Tungstwenty’s thread explains how to patch the issue if you do appear to have it. While this has the capacity to work, once again Entropy512 drops words of wisdom:
If the patch fails, it could lead to users thinking they are safe when they are not. Instead of patching the code segment to render a kernel safe, it may instead just patch some other part of the kernel introducing a bug without rendering the kernel safe. Also, since the modification will trigger the flash counter/modification detection mechanisms, there is not much point in doing this as opposed to just building a kernel from source.
So, once again, if you do decide to try this out, do so with the utmost caution. Both the test and the patch could fail, and if that happens, you could end up bricked. This should not be mistaken as bad development. It is absolutely not bad development, and the script could very well be used to help determine if the brick bug is present. However, using the utmost caution is never a bad idea. Currently, Entrop512 and others are in direct contact with Samsung to get the problem permanently fixed.
For more info, check out the original thread.
[Photo was jacked from egzthunder1's fantastic article on the brick bug. Also, big thanks to Entropy512 for the consultation.]
July 30, 2012 By: mustangtim49
Among other things, XDA is famous for its ability to help users obtain root with unprecedented efficiency. Usually, when a person makes the decision to root, the forums are both their first and last stop. Now, thanks to XDA Senior Member vincom, obtaining and removing root on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket just got a whole lot easier.
The guide is aimed at users with almost no experience with Android modification. The thread is very well laid out, with thorough and clear instructions. It also includes pictures and all necessary links to root your Skyrocket with confidence. With this guide, the steps are explained with detailed descriptions and images. There’s also a glossary section to acclimate even the greenest “noob,” and a separate guide for flashing CWM recovery.
Head over to the tutorial thread for all your Skyrocket rooting needs.
July 29, 2012 By: Former Writer
Not long ago, CyanogenMod 10 was announced. Not too long later, there were preview and unofficial builds released for so many devices that XDA TV’s Jordan has spent the last two weeks talking about it. Well, following in those footsteps, unofficial AOKP Jelly Bean has been announced and released to a few Nexus devices, and has begun expanding into the non-Nexus area. Among the first non-Nexus devices to pick up AOKP Jelly bean are the HTC EVO 4G, AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, and the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note.
As should be expected by now, all three ROMs have their issues. Very few Jelly Bean ports are fully functional, but the AOKP builds have about as much working as the CM10 builds at this point. So while they may not be daily driver for most, they are definitely something to try out and have fun with. XDA Recognized Contributor Mazda, along with the rest of Team DIRT, are responsible for bringing the unofficial AOKP to the EVO 4G. They are also the ones who brought unofficial CM10 to the EVO 4G. The AT&T Skyrocket build comes from XDA Senior Member armyveterangunner29 with some help, and the AT&T Galaxy Note build comes from XDA Senior Member JamieD81.
In the list of things not working, all three ROMs cite that they have similar issues to CM10 builds on the same devices. This includes some hiccups in Google Now functionality, camera issues, some video codec issues, and other bugs. These bugs are expected to go away in later releases, so if you’re looking for something more solid, all you need to do is wait.
For additional information, check out the thread links below.
July 25, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
It’s here! Are you an international Galaxy S II owner watching in slight jealousy as your peers are given official preview builds into the next version of CyanogenMod? If so, that’s understandable, as Jelly Bean certainly lives up to all of its buttery hype.
For those with short attention spans, the international Galaxy S II has already seen some Jelly Bean action, but that experimental release lacked much functionality, and many users simply prefer running builds based on CyanogenMod.
Luckily, XDA Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx of Team Hacksung fame has come to the rescue with an official preview build of CyanogenMod 10 for the device. Naturally, this is a preview build, and quite a bit is currently not working. As described by codeworkx himself:
ATTENTION: THIS IS JUST A PREVIEW. MAY CONTAIN A LOT OF BUGS!
In other words, don’t expect daily driver functionality out of this just quite yet. However, if you’re eager to see what’s next for CyanogenMod and Team Hacksung on the venerable Galaxy S II, by all means go and check this out.
Users looking to install the goods on their own device should head over to the ROM download and discussion thread. Developers looking to build the ROM from source and/or use it as a base for further modification can find the information they need in the development thread.
[Thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor ephraim033 for the tip!]
Jelly Bean is seemingly spreading like the plague—no matter what you do, someone finds a way to give it to your device. However, unlike the plague, we actually look forward to Jelly Bean spreading.
We told you a few days ago how the Galaxy SII i9100G (OMAP) had received Jelly Bean. Now thanks to XDA Forum Member kalgecin, the original, Exynos-bearing variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II is now welcome at the Jelly Bean party.
So far the ROM is in the early Alpha stages of development and features:
[-] Bluetooth (reconnects sometimes)
[-] H/W accelerator
[-] ADB debugging doesn’t start automatically if switched on with cable pluged in
As always when using an Alpha stage, source build remember that there are unexpected bugs that will creep up and cause problems. Also, as this is not a daily driver ROM, the developer request that you submit logcats and know how to use ODIN (or Heimdall) in case the ROM fails to boot.
If you’re a developer looking to contribute and get this bad boy fully functional or a user looking to be a tester, head on over to the original thread and give it a go.
July 17, 2012 By: FallenWriter
For many of you, the Jelly Bean-flavored tsunami sweeping over the forums has already consumed your device. However, there are still many devices out there that have yet to be shown the tasty goodness that is Android 4.1. The users of the Samsung Galaxy SII, GT-i9100G have been saved thanks to the fantastic work of XDA Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx.
For those of you who are not aware, codeworkx is a member of Team Hacksung, an active development team producing a number of high grade ports and ROMs made available both here on XDA and on their website.
As such, codeworkx has managed to bring not just Jelly Bean, but a preliminary build of CyanogenMod 10. There are still a number of bugs that need to be worked out (as this version is unfinished), but the ROM looks to be functional enough for testing purposes. As with any experimental ROM though, there can be unforeseen issues that pop up, so keep this in mind before flashing.
If you’re a user looking to test this or a developer looking to contribute to ROM development, head on over to the original thread and give this a go.
July 11, 2012 By: Former Writer
As of late, the Samsung Galaxy S II I9100 has been running into some problems. Not only is there a hard brick bug from a leaked kernel that no one should ever flash, but the bug affects many users differently. Some may be hard bricked, while others may only be soft bricked. There are many users who’ve already flashed the kernel and don’t know how to get rid of it. All in all, the LQ5 leak is quite dangerous.
The problem is a little complicated. When users flash the LQ5 leak from Samsung, they are flashing a kernel that has a hard brick bug. The bug is activated upon attempting to flash anything from recovery and from performing a factory reset. Basically, don’t wipe, format, or flash anything. For more info, XDA Developer Admin and Elite Recognized Developer pulser_g2 has written up an important announcement accessible from the link above. If you have not already gotten bricked in some way from it, there is also instructions on how to safely flash away from it.
For those who were fortunate enough to get only a soft brick out of it, XDA Forum Member d.fx may have a solution for you. Keep in mind that this will not work for hard bricked devices. For those that have only been soft bricked, d.fx’s solution is likely your best option. Luckily, the process is not complicated. Users are directed to flash a modified PIT file via Odin to the device. The hope is to create a new data partition. As d.fx explains:
What you need to do if you’re in the same situtation i was into (make sure of it) is to flash a modified pit file which is gonna create a new data partition on your internal sdcard, leaving the faulty one aside, and thus getting a brand new data partition which is gonna make your phone work again, but at the cost of having a smaller internal SD. Other than that, your phone should work exactly as it did.
After flashing the PIT file, users are instructed to flash a purely stock image via Odin to restore functionality to the phone. Afterward, users are to perform a factory reset. When it’s all said and done, the Galaxy S II should be back to proper working order except the internal storage will have less space, as the corrupted data partition will never be recovered. It won’t solve the majority of the problems, as the majority get hard bricked. Even for soft bricked users, the workaround may only be temporary. As XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512 explains:
The way to think of it is: When eMMC damage occurs, usually the partition that is wiped and regions of the chip immediately adjacent to it get damaged.
If you repartition such that the damaged region is not used, you may be able to restore operation. However, if you do another wipe, you may crater an additional chunk of the chip. Also, it is unknown how the wear leveller will behave as the undamaged space is used – it may interact negatively with the damaged regions over time. Many users who have implemented repartitioning workarounds indicated that their phone acted strangely for a while, and I believe some experienced more severe failures over time.
For additional details and download links, go to the original thread.
July 10, 2012 By: Former Writer
One of the biggest perks of having an Android phone is the customization. Any given Android user can make any given Android phone look and behave how they want. Even without root, there are replacements for virtually any application that comes on whatever Android device you can think of. With root, the customization gets even more ridiculous. There are custom ROMs, kernels, mods, tweaks, scripts, themes, and even fixes to issues that were on the phone since launch. Where is a user to start? For AT&T Galaxy S II Skyrocket users, you can always start with AromaKoaK.
AromaKoak, or AROMA Kang of all Kangs is a set of modifications that users can choose to install on AOSP ROMs of their choice. Created by XDA Senior Member boobah204, it utilizes the popular AROMA Installer to let users pick and choose from a large number of modifications and customizations to install to their AOSP ROM. The modification pack is currently compatible with CM9, AOKP, and Chimaira flavors of AOSP. It packs a pretty impressive feature list, including:
You can change the system font, the boot animation, the transitions between screens, add sounds (hella sounds…) and a few more features. You can also flash this immediately after a new ROM and conveniently flash gapps, the agps patch by crypted, add root browser, tibu, and rom manager.. or fix permissions right away with a script from realpariah and minotauri. You flash this as many times as you want. Anytime you want to change something, just go to recovery and flash again.
Just flash this mod, pick which ones you want, and they install. To get started, head to the original thread.
The march of Jelly Bean across XDA has reached a fevered pitch since it was first announced at Google I/O 2012. With a number of devices receiving a port of the new version of Android on the rise and more expected in the future now that Jelly Bean source was released, Jelly Bean has certainly hit with a splash. For Samsung Galaxy S II I9100 and HTC EVO 3D users, there isn’t an AOSP version of Jelly Bean yet. However, there is a SDK port users can check out to preview JB.
The Galaxy S II port is a little rough as expected for an alpha release but it does have a number of things working. The list includes:
SD card (internal-only)
MTP (can’t copy files)
SM (courtesy of bpear96)
Network Data (courtesy of stormtroopercs)
logcat (courtesy of edint3000 & bpear96, again)
While the list of things that still need fixed include:
Google Now/Google Search
XDA Senior Member LastStandingDroid is spearheading the effort, but there are a lot of XDA members and developers working on the project. With the hardest part—getting it to boot—out of the way, it’s all a matter of fixing the individual problems until the ROM is stable. It is not ready for daily driver use yet, but a few fixes here and there and it will be.
For the EVO 3D, XDA Senior Member ognimnella is heading up the project which already has a number of contributors, developers, and testers helping out. There are a lot of problems with the ROM. For instance, it doesn’t boot yet. On the initial release, developers could get to a frozen boot animation but not far enough to get a logcat. The logcat problem has been fixed so far, and has allowed the developers to truly begin the process of making everything work. It should be noted that this ROM is for developers only at this point. Users should not flash unless they are looking to help in some way with the development. Nevertheless, Jelly Bean being ported is always good news.
Good news for EVO 3D users. The development team responsible for the EVO 3D Jelly Bean port have released a couple of updates bringing into the world of the living. The new list of things working are:
Bluetooth (turns on)
There’s still quite a few things that don’t work, but it is now stable enough to be considered an alpha release and not a developer-only release!
Although there’s talk of CM10 around the web, developers aren’t quite done yet getting CyanogenMod 9 on as many phones as possible. With the first release candidate for CM9 released, developers have a great code base to bring an AOSP-derived experience to other devices. One such build is for the Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE.
XDA Recognized Developer and Retired Senior Moderator dsixda is responsible for bringing CM9 to the highly underrated device. Despite not being the most popular version of the Galaxy S II, the port is very well done, with only a few minor issues. The list of current things working include:
- Adobe Flash
- Play Store
- Hardware acceleration in browser
- Orientation sensor (model AK8975)
- Gyroscope (model K3G)
- Accelerometer (model K3DH)
- Audio from speaker
- Video playback
- YouTube (including HD videos)
- USB mass storage
- Rear camera (model M5MO) takes photos, and uses flash
- Bluetooth (and A2DP)
- 3G/HSPA/LTE Data
- SMS send/receive
- Headphone audio
- Torch app
- USB tethering
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- Lights on capacitive buttons
- Proximity sensor (model TAOS) for phone
- Ambient light sensor (model TAOS)
- Internal and external (micro) SD card access (Note: Internal SD is under /mnt/emmc, micro SD is ‘sdcard’)
- CPU frequency is being reported correctly as 1512MHz
- Backlight Notification (BLN)
- MHL (compiled into kernel but not tried yet)
And the very short list of things not working:
- Front camera (model SiliconFile SR200PC20M) – Disabled for now; requires Samsung ICS update or ICS binaries from a phone that has the same sensor (I have yet to find one)
Although the feature list is impressive, this is still labeled as an alpha build. In other words, there may be unreported bugs in addition to the front facing camera. That said, the ROM can definitely be used as a daily driver for anyone who’s craving ICS on the Galaxy S II HD LTE. It should be noted that this will not work on any other device except for the Galaxy S II HD LTE, including any other version of the Galaxy S II. Of course, any developers who want to assist in squashing the remaining issues is more than welcome to do so.
For additional details, check out the original thread.