March 18, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that this was the Android 4.3 update for the device. Apologies for the mistake.
While several recent high end devices have finally been upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat, many are still running Android 4.3. The T-Mobile Galaxy S III is one of these devices. While it has just started receiving a new it finally received its official Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.
The update comes in the form of build ID UVUENC2. And while it retains the same Android 4.3 version, it updates your baseband firmware. According to T-Mobile support documents, this 37 MB update is available both via OTA and through Samsung Kies. But if you intend on updating through either of the above methods, you can’t be rooted, and you must have at least 50% battery.
As the update is rolling out in stages, your device may not see the OTA for some time. Luckily, XDA Recognized Developer Synthetic.Nightmare was kind enough to mirror the update for those who would like to install the components manually. Furthermore, since he also includes the modem separately, you can install the update without the modem or the modem without the update.
Those looking to learn more about the update can do so by visiting the update discussion thread. And if you’re looking to get in on the firmware a bit early, head over to Synthetic.Nightmware’s firmware mirror.
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter titokhan for yet another tip!]
If you’ve been looking for a more interesting battery charging animation to replace the rather dull and conventional battery icon you have now, there are a wealth of options available ranging from battery mod compilations to 3rd party apps, and even a Windows tool. But if these options just don’t seem to cut it for you and you’d rather create your own battery animation from scratch, you may want to check out XDA Recognized Contributor erikalin’s tutorial.
Because of the personalized and limitless nature of the procedure, Erikalin keeps the tutorial clean and simple. It is broken up into two parts: things you have to get, such as 7zip and Paint (or any other image editor of choice), and things you have to do. If you fancy yourself as being more of a visual learner, this has also been catered for by Erikalin, who has made a video tutorial. It can be said that the video tutorial is more thorough than the written counterpart, as it shows exactly what Erikalin did to create his own battery animation.
Before you rush and open up Windows Paint, it should be noted that you will be editing 203 very small images, a task that is both time consuming and may not be healthy for your eyes if you’re at it for extended periods of time. Nevertheless, if you’re up for the challenge and would like to get started creating your own battery charging animation for your Samsung Galaxy S 3, head over to the original thread for more information.
February 19, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
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!
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.
December 18, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we wrote about how the Verizon variant of the HTC One finally received its Android 4.3 update—quite some time after the International variant and other US carrier variants. Well the Verizon-flavored One isn’t the only device on America’s largest carrier that is receiving the official Android 4.3 goods. Now, the Verizon Galaxy S III gets to join in on the fun as well.
Today’s update brings the Verizon device to Android 4.3 (I535VRUCML1). In addition to simply bumping up the Android version, the update also brings support for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, as well as Samsung KNOX.
Unfortunately, the update also brings some forced bloatware, as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from the carrier. And just like the carrier’s HTC One update, it now packs the VZ Cloud app. Strangely, this is the same Verizon that showed so much promise once before.
Rather than launching as a staged rollout, this update appears to be rolling out to everyone running stock firmware and recovery, so it’s time to check for system updates if you haven’t already received the OTA. Make your way over to the update discussion thread and our Verizon Galaxy S III forums to get in on the action.
What are your thoughts on Verizon’s recent trend towards adding bloatware via OTA updates? Luckily, the vast majority of readers here will root and remove the unnecessary bits. But for those who stay at stock, added bloat can’t be fun. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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 5, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
No, it’s not Android 4.4 KitKat, but it’s a step in the right direction—one that was started a little over a month ago. You may remember that not too long ago Samsung pulled the Android 4.3 that was rolling out to the International Galaxy S III. This was the same XXUGMMJ9 firmware that was initially shared as a leaked build, and then became official two days later. Unfortunately, the previous build had quite a few bugs, including wake up lag, random freezing, battery drain, Bluetooth audio issues, stuttering music playback, freezes, poor multitasking, and WiFi issues. In other words, it was a clear demonstration of Murphy’s Law.
Now, the next chapter in the Android 4.3 update saga for the Galaxy S III is here, thanks to the new XXUGMK6 update for the device. The update brings several key improvements such as reduced lag, camera enhancements, improved battery life, and support for Galaxy Gear. And for those wondering, just like the previous official XXUGMJ9 build, this appears to not feature Samsung’s KNOX technology.
The update should arrive OTA to stock devices, but it can also be manually installed via Kies. To learn more, visit the Android 4.3 Discussion Thread for the Galaxy S III. The fun starts around page 181, with users sharing their (largely positive) experiences with the new firmware.
[Photo courtesy of Neil Carless on Facebook]
November 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Two days ago, we wrote about how the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III was finally receiving its update to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. While the Moto X and the current fleet of Nexus devices have already received updates to Android 4.4 KitKat, any step forward is a step in the right direction, even if it is still one step behind.
Unfortunately for Sprint SGS3 owners, the officially released 4.3 build also brought with it Samsung’s KNOX technology. Thankfully, XDA Recognized Contributor CNexus was quick to modify the stock 4.3 MK3 ROM to remove KNOX and deliver it pre-rooted for those looking to save themselves from the hassle of doing it manually.
The ROM is available in Odexed and Deodexed form. The Deodexed ROM is rooted, and there are both rooted and unrooted options for the Odexed ROM (unrooted will be ready for download soon). After flashing through a custom recovery, flash the WiFi fix and KNOX remover. One thing of note is that installing the WiFi fix currently breaks screen rotation, but this is currently being worked on.
If you were holding off on the 4.3 update for your Sprint SGS3 because of KNOX, make your way over to the original thread to get started with this KNOX-free near-stock build.
[Many thanks to Senior Moderator kennyglass123 for the tip!]
November 23, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
While the Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T variants of the Moto X are already receiving the Android 4.4 love, most current generation non-Nexus devices still have many months to go before they are graced with KitKat in official capacity. In fact, the majority of consumer devices, especially those from last generation, haven’t even been updated to Android 4.3.
Thankfully, Samsung is now updating the Sprint and US Cellular variants of the former flagship Galaxy S III to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. This news comes only a few days after the AT&T and T-Mobile variants of the SGS3 received their Android 4.3 updates. And for those keeping track, this is also a few days after Samsung pulled the 4.3 update for the international version of the SGS3.
The update for the Sprint variant comes in at version L710VPMK3, whereas the US Cellular variant weighs in at R530UVXUBMJA. While the updates will be gradually rolling out via OTA, not everyone has the patience to wait for their turn. To manually install the updates, head over to the Samsung Simple Upgrade Tool pages for the Sprint and US Cellular variants.
While this isn’t KitKat just quite yet, it’s a step in the right direction. Plus, at least we know that the KitKat update is in the works for at least some variants of the SGS3. Don’t forget to leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
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 20, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
With so much Android 4.4 KitKat news stirring about, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that other versions of the OS do indeed exist. That said, most devices other than the current Nexus lineup and certain Moto X variants haven’t yet received the 4.4 goods in official capacity. Moreover, most end-user devices haven’t even been updated to Android 4.3.
Thankfully, the AT&T and T-Mobile carrier-branded versions of the Galaxy S III are soon to receive the Android 4.3 goods. While it’s not KitKat, at least it’s a step in the right direction. The update for the AT&T Galaxy S III (I737) comes in at version I747UCUEMJB, while the update for the T-Mobile Galaxy S III (T999) comes in at version T999UVUEMJC. So far, a few users in the forums have reported already receiving the OTA on the AT&T device.
Thankfully for AT&T SGS3 owners who haven’t yet received the update, XDA Recognized Developer loserskater has taken the incremental update from his device and mirrored it. Naturally since it’s an incremental update, you need to be on stock 4.1.2 for this to work.
You can learn more about the update for the AT&T device in this post and this thread. To update the AT&T device before you receive the OTA, head over to this post. And if you’ve got the T-Mobile device, more information about updating manually via Kies can be found on T-Mobile’s support site.
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.