February 24, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Getting SIM unlock can be a pain and usually requires some wacky progress using hex editors, or paying a carrier or third party to give you the code. Since paying money for something you can get free is never preferable, and a lot of people don’t even know how to properly wield a hex editor, there will always be a use for tools that do it for you.
XDA Senior Member Grooby has put together a nifty Windows application that will run the otherwise difficult method originally created by XDA Recognized Developer Odia for people who are having trouble with it. You can find the original method in its development thread. The application works only for older models of the Samsung Galaxy S II I9100, as some users report the method not working with hardware versions 1.4 or beyond. The older version of the tool will work for users carrying a Samsung Galaxy S I9000.
Development for the tool is moving forward as the tool creators are attempting to make it compatible with later hardware versions of the Samsung Galaxy S II, so if it doesn’t work for you, keep an eye out in case a fix is finally found. If you happen to have the supported hardware, you can find the download links for both the old hardware Samsung Galaxy S II and the tool for the Samsung Galaxy S along with instructions in the original thread.
February 18, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Samsung has a history with Sprint phones and updates to new versions of Android. Just ask the owners of the original Samsung Epic 4g how long it takes to get a new version of Android.
With the sequel, the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4g Touch, Samsung seems to have learned their lesson and appear to be working quite fervently on getting Ice Cream Sandwich to its entire Galaxy S II line up. While nothing official has come through the channels yet, XDA Recognized Developer shabbypenguin, also of the Android Creative Syndicate, has gotten a hold of a leak dubbed FB09. FB09 has a special quality about it as it is the first evidence of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Sprint phone.
Early attempts were rough, as the ROM was not bootable. However, shabbypenguin was able to fix those bugs and now users can check out a rough draft of what’s to come for the Epic Touch. Thus far, it’s been observed that the MMS app seems a little off and the Samsung Keyboard will force close. There are likely to be other bugs, as this is an early build, but at least users can check it out.
For download links, information and a nifty how-to install video from Android Creative Syndicate guru qbking77, you can find all that and more in their thread over at the Android Creative Syndicate forums. As always, perform a backup before attempting to install, just in case something goes wrong.
February 17, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Too often you’ll see a review that says that a screen looks a little washed or that the whites look a little blue or even that the blacks look a little green. Following that thought, there aren’t many ways of fixing such a problem when it does occur.
XDA Member wql seeks to end that problem with an app called Soft Screen Tuner. The application requires root and has been tested and is confirmed working on the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note. It may work on other devices as well, so it can’t hurt to try if you don’t happen to own those particular devices.
The app allows users to change the RGB tones on the device, as well as sharpness, contrast, color temperature and saturation across the movie, dynamic and standard color settings. What makes this application unique is that it is not a running service. Once you make these changes, they take effect immediately and, even if you uninstall the application, the settings will remain.
If this is something you think you’d like to check out, you can head on over to the app’s thread where you can find the download link, screenshots and discussion. Of course, make a backup before attempting, just in case something goes askew.
February 16, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Custom ROMs are hard work. Developers spend days, weeks and even months ironing out bugs, getting the theme just right and otherwise perfecting their work. However, not everyone likes the same things or like the work but wish they could change just one thing about it.
For most users, these little changes can be easily overlooked and they can enjoy their experience with any ROM. For some, though, they like their tweaks and themes exactly how they want. It is with this in mind that XDA Senior Member dully79 has come up with a tutorial that will give users who are carrying the Samsung Galaxy S II the ability to give those ROMs those little tweaks they’ve been wanting.
The tutorial is pretty extensive and teaches users how to do things such as change the battery icon and color by using the standard theming tools, such as Gimp. dully79 is also kind enough to link users to more in depth theming tutorials that covers things his tutorial doesn’t cover and adds a warning:
DO NOT ADJUST .9.PNG’S UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING
For those who have been wanting to change just a little bit of their ROM, but otherwise like it, you can find all the information, the full tutorial and links in the original thread. Be sure to create a backup before installing anything, just in case something goes wrong.
February 14, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
When Samsung first announced which phones would be getting Android Ice Cream Sandwich, they didn’t mention the U.S. versions of the device whatsoever. While most were confident that their brand new, super power phones would not be left behind, there were some non-believers that thought they were about to be left in the dust.
For owners of the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4g Touch, you are among those that do not have to worry about it anymore. Thanks to a tip from XDA Senior Member kc_exactly, who produced the links, users can go read about a couple of leaked builds dubbed FB09 and FB10 which, among other things, claims to have Android 4.0.3 and Android 4.0.4 respectively.
There’s some fun information in the RDF file for those who choose to attempt to read it, but there should be some stuff that pops out. Such as a new Radio, named ED29 and CIQ. No one said everything was good news. Yes, there is a mention of CIQ on the RDF and whether it will be included in official releases is, at this point, anyone’s guess. As it is, it is only a matter of time before some leaked builds of ICS land in the forums and users of the Epic 4g Touch get their taste of ICS.
February 13, 2012 By: ElCondor
The USB host function on recent Android phones and tablets, is perhaps the most unspoken yet incredibly useful innovation in recent mobile device development. I remember, a few years ago some developers struggling with connecting a 3.5″ HDD to an HTC Touch Diamond, and see where we landed now: manufacturers are slowly building the USB host function into their phones and tablets. The Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Nexus were said to be able to host any USB device as long as it doesn’t require any special drivers- so any flash drive and hard disk should be able to connect with those phones. But the USB Host functionality didn’t work at all.
It took Google another update to fix this issue, but many users already reported several problems from crashing applications to not being able to connect a USB flash drive to it. As XDA Senior Moderator Chainfire ironically says:
There are even cases where OEMs advertise USB host support, but the device does not support it at all. It appears as if USB host support isn’t tested by Google or the OEMs when they push out new firmwares and devices at all.
His solution: a tool which diagnoses the USB host functionality on your phone. It basically gives answers to the question: ‘Does my phone have that awesome USB Host function or not?’ What you do need is a USB OTG Cable, a simple flash drive and Android 2.3.1 or newer. Results of the app can be uploaded to an online database – so soon we will have a clarifying list of devices and ROMs and their USB Host capabilities.
Take a look at the thread to download the tool and join the discussion. The apk should not be redistributed.
February 10, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Developers are always so busy making ROMs the best they possibly can be. However, sometimes things happen that they can’t get to right away. An example of this are OTA updates. Even having the most recent version of a ROM flashed can mean getting notifications for an OTA that’s ready to be installed. Of course, you should never accept an OTA while on a custom ROM because it could break thing. So, what are people to do about it?
If you must have the update for some reason and don’t want to just flash a ROM that’s already 2.3.6, then it’s best to go back to stock. UPDATE will not work unless you have STOCK RECOVERY on your phone.
So for anyone who just wants to flash it, that’s what you’ll need to get it done. For everyone else who doesn’t want it just yet, there are a couple of methods a user can use to make the update stop appearing until they can flash a ROM that’s been updated.
For the complete list of methods, download links and information, you can visit the original thread for everything you need to make those OTA updates disappear until you’re ready for them.
Flashing ROMs is one thing, but how many of you feel like you’re ready to go deeper into the world of customization? XDA Recognized Developers LeoMar75 and GadgetCheck present KitchenPro which will give you the ability to modify/customize your device on the go. It will show you how to use the application to its maximum potential with some features like:
-Added Download & Install Packages tab for faster Install of Packs
-Added the Ability in Browse/Install the ability to flash .tar,CWM.zip and zImages
-Download Speed info
-SD Card Space Warning
-New Rating and Comment Layouts
-New Server Info and Star Rating’s
-Full & Perfect Landscape view compact-able
-More than one preview for the themes available
-Slider-able & Select-able ICS Style custom View-pager
The app also includes a preview and Tutorial explaining everything you need to know.
For now this app works only with Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy S2, let´s hope in the future can be available for more devices.
Moreover, Developers are also placing a full operational custom ROM to use it along with the app.
kitchen Pro App comes with the ROM, however if you only need the apk you may download it as a separate file in the original thread. Now you can build your Rom as you wish!
Originally posted by LeoMar75
The ROM will come as a Base
It will have the Stock Samsung Look to it and will have all major tweaks to it, The Kitchen app from now on will come built into the ROM itself and it will be Locked to only our ROM.The Kitchen will now Auto Update itself when ever i publish a Update, So you will always be using the updated app.
All the Mod’s,Themes and other Stuff that you can customize will be aired by the KitchenPro.
Make sure you have the latest Revolution Rom kitchen running in your phone
It may happen that after a package has been installed from the Revolution Kitchen Pro app, on the first boot you phone hangs at the Boot logo, just long press power button and restart your phone!
I’d like to point out that i am not responsible for any issue with your phone! Also it’s highly recommended to backup efs folder before to start playing with your phone!
For those people who is coming from LeoMar75 Revolution ROM 2.7.1 and has installed Kitchen Pro app v1.1
-Backup user data with the kicthen v1.1
-full wipe and download the new rom
Hopefully with the kitchen app v1.2 that comes with the new ROM you will be able to restore you user data backup but you need to copy files from /sdcard/download/Revolution/userdata_backup/ to /sdcard/download/CheckROM_REVO/userdata_backup/
Please leave your feed back and/or comments.
Thanks for reading.
Google Wallet is all over the headlines lately, first with its release on the Verizon network with the Galaxy Nexus and then with its release on the AT&T network with the Samsung Galaxy S II. Sprint and T-Mobile users have even been able to sideload the Google Wallet app on their respective variants of the Nexus S.
The app itself relies on the devices NFC chip to communicate with non-contact payment stations, like Mastercard’s PayPass. Google Wallet stores your credit card information allowing you to make in-store purchases with a swipe of your phone. Since the information on the chip can be accessed without direct contact several security measures were put in place to protect users. A four digit PIN is required to make purchases with the app, adding an additional layer of security. XDA Member and zvelo employee miasma discovered a flaw in the PIN system, allowing retrieval of credit card information. viaForensics, a company specializing in proactive forensic security (software hacking with the goal of reporting flaws and protecting users), also helped to demonstrate the exploit, proving that the process could be repeated on other devices.
Multiple problem areas were identified but the biggest was in the encryption of the PIN. Using SHA256 hex encoding, the PIN is secured in the app data. Knowing the PIN is 4 digits, viaForensics’ calculations show a brute-force would take, at-most, calculating 10,000 SHA256 hashes. This takes little effort and both miasma and Google have been able to compromise the PIN security in private tests.
Rooted users take note; the security flaw can only be exploited on phones with root privileges. Google has acknowledged the flaw and they are working on a fix. In order to preform this attack a hacker would have to have physical access to your phone, so until a fix is published users can assure their safety by keeping their device within reach. As always, for the security of your phone, stay up to date with the latest software. Don’t forget to keep your phone secure with a lockscreen pattern, PIN or password (or face unlock if your device supports it).
To see the exploit in action, check out the video here. The original thread announcing the vulnerabilities can be found here. Google is working with the banks and card companies involved to make Google Wallet more secure and to patch this security flaw, so hopefully we’ll see some updates soon. Until then, keep those NFC enabled phones within reach at all times!
February 8, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
For those who frequent XDA, the term flashaholic is likely well known. A flashaholic is an individual who exhibits a noticeable addition to flashing ROMs. They will flash every ROM, stable or not, just to see what it is, how it works and whether or not it’s better than their favorite ROM.
So, what happens when they find a ROM they like? They add tweaks and mods to it to make it even better. Sadly, as soon as they flash a new ROM, all those tweaks and mods are gone. This is the problem that XDA Senior Member ktoonsez is fixing with a tool for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II. It is called Flash-aholicsTool.
Flash-aholicsTool is a Windows based tool that allows users to apply their favorite tweaks and mods, namely init.d scripts and build.prop tweaks to any Gingerbread ROM they want to flash. This essentially allows them to flash any Gingerbread ROM without having to re-apply all their favorite mods.
The process is also pretty simple. Once the mod is given to the program, a user simply needs to check a box and hit the Build ROM button and the program will automatically add each tweak in, re-zip the ROM and make it ready to be flashed.
For those carrying the AT&T Galaxy S II and want the Flash-aholicsTool, you can check it out in the original thread where you’ll find download links, instructions of use and even some troubleshooting tools in case something goes wrong. As usual, make a backup before flashing anything. It’ll save you some trouble if something messes up.
February 8, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
For those carrying the Samsung Galaxy S II, boy are you in for a treat. For the time being, in the official Samsung App, you can download the popular first person shooter free of charge. It is unspecified as to how long Modern Combat 3 will be available for free, so for anyone who wants the game and is carrying a Galaxy S II should take advantage asap.
There have been attempts at getting it to install on other devices and it seems to be causing a lot of people problems. So if you don’t have a Galaxy S II and you’re trying to take advantage of this deal, best of luck as others aren’t having the easiest time with it.
The game is pretty heavy, at just over 1GB of space required for use, so make sure you check out your internal storage to make sure you can handle it before downloading or you’ll get an insufficient space error and it’ll crash.
February 7, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Some kitchens function like a developer’s toolkit and bring things like deodexing files and zipaligning apks. Some kitchens are like a themer toolkit and bring things like battery mods, icons, notification drop down enhancements, etc.
Some kitchens, like XDA Recognized Developer ::indie::‘s kitchen, called Omega Files Kitchen, come off as a user toolkit to modify their ROM and make it truly their own. The kitchen, installed as an application on a rooted device, is only available for the Samsung Galaxy S II, but that shouldn’t stop users of the SGS II from checking it out.
Omega Files has a variety of features, including:
… and many many more
When installed, the user can select from a wealth of mods, hacks and themes for users to select and install however they would like to in order to create a unique, personalized ROM. The app is frequently updated, with both bug fixes and new additions so the options and total number of combinations only grow with reliability.
For any Galaxy S II user who wants to check it out, you can check out ::indie::’s original thread where you can find screen shots, instructions, complete change logs for additions and fixes and discussion. As per the norm, be sure you make a complete back up before tinkering with your ROM, just in case something goes wrong.
February 3, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
If you have a phone with an NFC chip and aren’t using Google Wallet, now’s your chance. Check out this thread for reports of working NFC payment locations.