November 15, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As the flood of Android 4.4 KitKat ROMs continues to flow through, more and more devices are seeing the fruits of Google’s latest and greatest version of Android. Most of these devices that are now getting aftermarket 4.4 builds will not see an official KitKat release for quite some time—that is, if they even receive the update at all. That said, most of the devices receiving highly functional ports are high-end (former) flagship-level devices.
One of the relatively high-end devices that has now received a highly functional KitKat build is the International Galaxy S III GT-I9300. Samsung’s former flagship just recently received Android 4.3 in official capacity. And now thanks to XDA Elite Recognized Developers XpLoDWilD, Entropy512, and Rebellos, the SGS3 also has a highly functional build of Android 4.4 KitKat-based OmniROM.
Although publicly available, Xplodwild is labeling these builds as test builds. That said, quite a lot seems to be working. Essentially, the only known issues at this time involve video playback and camera functionality. Those functions work, but they’re not quite optimal as of yet. It is also important to note that you must be using the correct recovery for this to work. If you are not using CWM Touch 220.127.116.11 (or newer) or the latest TWRP, you will likely have a metadata error when flashing.
If you want to try out KitKat on your SGS3 I9300 and are willing to put up with a few video playback and camera issues, make your way over to the ROM thread and give this a shot!
November 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since Android 4.4 KitKat was released to AOSP, we knew that a deluge of source-built ROMs was incoming. We’ve since seen various devices get the goods—most of which will not receive official updates to KitKat for quite some time, if at all. Now, a build has appeared for the I747 (AT&T) and T999 (T-Mobile) variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
The build comes from XDA Senior Member jermaine151. The initial build released two days ago was fairly rough. It lacked sound and thus couldn’t function as a phone. However, dramatic progress has been made in the past two days. Then once the sound was fixed, GPS, camera, LED flash, and almost everything else seemed to work. In fact, the only major problem at the time seems to be external SD card mounting. Now in the latest build that arrived this morning, this has been fixed as well.
If you want a taste of the KitKat goods on your I747 or T999, head over to the ROM thread to get started.
[Thanks to L33HDX for the tip!]
November 4, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Two days ago, we posted about the leaked Android 4.3 (XXUGMJ9) firmware for the International version of the Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9300).
At the time, we noted that the leak brought many of the new features previously seen on the latest Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3 official firmwares, as well as what we saw on the leaked build for the Galaxy Note II. This includes cool features such as Galaxy Gear support, a refreshed interface, and more. One thing curiously absent at the time, however, was Samsung’s increasingly ubiquitous KNOX technology.
Now, the previously leaked firmware has gone official, as noted by XDA Recognized Developer Faryaab. Faryaab (courtesy of the folks over at Sammobile) also happened to post the update to our forums, as well as instructions on how to get this installed on your own device. So if you’re one of the few who held off on the leak in anticipation of Samsung’s official build, you have no reason not to jump.
Since this is the same build as the previously leaked (and KNOX-free) XXUGMJ9 firmware, there is no KNOX to be found—to our knowledge, that’s a first for an official Android 4.3 build from Samsung. However, it is unknown at this point whether this will hold true in future versions. And given the previous track record, it’s safe to assume that it will come to the SGS3 at some point. That said, we can hope that the SGS3 will remain KNOX-free in the future.
Make your way over to the official firmware collection thread to get started.
November 2, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
With the KitKat Kraze (sorry, I had to) in full effect, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that other versions of Android do indeed exist—namely Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, a version that some OEMs are seemingly going to skip, in favor of direct updates to Android 4.4. However, this doesn’t stop firmware leaks from appearing, and who are we to complain!
XDA Recognized Developer Faryaab has posted the leak to our forums, courtesy of Sammobile, along with simple instructions on how to get it up and running on your device. The build is intended for the international Galaxy S III (GT-I9300), and it brings many new features that were previously seen in official capacity on the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3, as well as the leaked build for the Galaxy Note II. Surprisingly, Knox is not yet implemented in this build. However, it’s highly likely to be included by the time the final build ships.
Make your way over to the leaked firmware thread to get started.
[Many thanks to Faryaab for the heads up!]
October 28, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Firmware updates and leaks seem to be popping up left and right these days. We recently saw a leaked update to Android 4.3 (XXUEMJ5) for the Samsung Galaxy Note II, corresponding to the XXUEMJ5 update that was officially released to the Galaxy S 4 a week earlier. Now, there is a similar update for the I747 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III, albeit with a different build display ID.
XDA Recognized Developer designgears shared the leak in our forums in Heimdall-flashable form. As has been seen on recent Samsung firmwares for other devices, this brings SELinux and KNOX to the device.
Then for those who would prefer to only flash the update or the bootloader/modem, XDA Recognized Developer loserskater repacked the update, separating the pieces. He shared a pre-rooted ROM with KNOX disabled as well. These updates, as well as the bootloader/modem repack can be flashed through recovery.
If you have an Galaxy S III I747 (AT&T, Rogers, Bell, Telus variants), head over to the threads below to get in on the action:
[Many thanks to MercilessLTD for the tip!]
One strange behavior in Android that you’ve likely never noticed on Android relates to incoming text messaging sounds. In order to adjust your incoming text message notification volume, you normally need to adjust your notification volume rather than your incoming call volume. However, a text message is more related to your device’s “phone” functionality than, let’s say, an incoming Hangouts notification. Therefore, it makes sense to have your ringer volume adjust your incoming text message sound instead.
The reason for this behavior is that incoming text message sounds are processed through the notification audio stream, rather than going through the ringer audio stream. Thus, changing ringer volume does not affect incoming text messages. Thanks to XDA Senior Member OXINARF, however, this is no longer an issue.
OXINARF’s modification comes in the form of an Xposed module, so naturally, you’ll need to have XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework (thread) installed. After that, simply install and activate the module, reboot, and enjoy your slightly more logical volume management. While originally intended for the Samsung Galaxy S III, the developer says that it should work on pretty much any device.
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.
September 4, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The lock screen widgets functionality that was introduced with Android 4.2 is incredibly useful. Lock screen widgets deliver at-a-glance information quickly and easily—without the need to fumble across home screens, apps, and menus. Their utility is then compounded when used in conjunction with lock screen security, since you can access this information without having to first unlock your device.
For some reason, however, Samsung decided that this functionality wasn’t important enough, as they have removed the possibility to add widgets when the device is secured. Thankfully, XDA Forum Member MohammadAG has created a quick modification that brings this functionality back. And just like the native Android functionality, it also enables a secure camera mode, where you can take new pictures and view them but not pictures taken previously.
The modification comes the form of a module for XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s fantastic Xposed framework (thread). It has thus far been tested on the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S III running the leaked 4.2.2 TouchWiz ROM, but it should work on any device running TouchWiz firmwares based on Android 4.2.
July 6, 2013 By: Samantha
One subtle, yet simple modification to your device is a different battery indicator. Probably one of the most looked at icons on your device, a different battery indicator can bring out pleasant changes to the overall look of your device. And although finding the right indicator and manually changing it is quite a simple process, it’ll still be great if they were all in one place.
Well, good news for users of Samsung devices, as you can now pick and choose all you like from a huge collection of hundreds of different battery indicator mods for your device. Compiled by XDA Senior Member NadMaj, the collection spans (almost) every different color, theme, and animation in the world of battery indicators—or at least enough to last you a lifetime. Previews accompany each one, and animations range from the classic battery and circular indicators to Pacman and Aliens, to Captain America’s Shield and the Pokemon Pokeballs. And even better, each battery indicator is packaged into a convenient flashable zip file, so say goodbye to manual drag and drops.
NadMaj has gathered 600 different battery indicators for Galaxy S3 and S4 users, while owners of the Note 2 and Note 10.1 have over 100 to choose from. So if this has gotten you interested, definitely head over to the original thread for the GS3, GS4, Note 2 or Note 10.1 for more.
Having a password, PIN, or combination lock on your device can be quite an inconvenience every time you want to unlock your phone, especially when you have one for the sake of guarding against snooping eyes. If this is the actual case for any of you Samsung Galaxy S3 users out there, you may be pleased to know that you can bypass this problem while maintaining the security with the help of NFC tags.
XDA Forum Member Monteillard has come up with a sneaky way of making this possible on your GS3 for rooted users with Tasker, WidgetLocker, and NFC Re-tag, all of which can be found on the Play store. Users must flash a specific mod that’s available for download, setup WidgetLocker with the ‘unlock’ function, create four profiles with specific settings laid by Monteillard, and then add your NFC tag with NFC Re-tag with a couple of required settings to get things started.
The advantage of this mod is that you’ll now be able to unlock your phone with NFC tags and bypass the security screen, while maintaining the security that you have with your password, PIN, or combination lock when others get their hands on your GS3. There’s no restrictions on which NFC tag will work, as generally anything with NFC, be it textiles, NFC stickers, cards, or tags, will be compatible. Owners of other devices may be able to get this working, as one such user with a Sony Xperia S has done so successfully. However, the fact that you must flash a GS3-specific mod through recovery may mean otherwise for most.
If this has gotten your attention and you would like to know more, check out the original post for more detailed instructions and information.
[Image source: Flickr]
Not many feature omissions have drawn as much ire in recent memory as the lack of USB Mass Storage. While Media Transfer Protocol has numerous advantages such as safer removal and simultaneous access from both your computer and mobile device, it’s just not quite the same as directly mounting your device as standard USB storage. This is on top of the hoops that non-Windows users have to go through to access the storage in the first place.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of tweaks and mods to get the beloved USB Mass Storage functionality back. The newest solution comes from XDA Senior Member MohammadAG, and it is for quite a few Samsung devices including the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, and the Galaxy Note 2. And even if you have a Samsung device that isn’t one of the above, it’s quite possible that it may still work for you.
As described by the developer:
- Allows you to use your microSD card as a USB Mass Storage device.
- Shortcuts on your homescreen to easily enable/disable USB Mass Storage mode.
- Warns the user if they try to disable Mass Storage mode without unmounting/ejecting on the PC side.
Tested working on:
Samsung Galaxy Note II (GT-N7100)
Samsung Galaxy SIII (GT-I9300)
Samsung Grand Duos (GT-I9082) – Thanks to wan Mohd in Play Store reviews.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500) – Thanks to taiseer999 in the replies below.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) – Thanks to Solomon Chow in Play Store reviews.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (SGH-I337) – Thanks to Delyan Georgiev in Play Store reviews.
Eager to get USB Mass Storage on your device? If so, head over to the original thread to get started.
[Thanks to The Waswas for the tip!]
March 21, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
XDA Elite Recognised Developer AdamOutler is at it again. Following up on his Verizon Note II root method, he continues to roll out safe and easy-to-deploy root exploits via CASUAL, the Cross-platform ADB Scripting, Universal Android Loader.This time, the device in question is the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III.
One of the major benefits of CASUAL is that it is cross platform. Adam has been spending a great deal of time in bringing support for many different platforms to a consistent level. If you have him circled on Google+, you may have already noticed him tackling the OS X upgrade process in an effort to test these exploits for Mac users. That’s where you come in. Adam is especially keen to hear from users of both OS X and various different Linux distros about how CASUAL functions for them. It even works on the Raspberry Pi, so if you want to test it out on one of those and report back, I’m sure it would be much appreciated.
This latest mod will root an AT&T Galaxy SIII incredibly easily, as CASUAL handles the download and installation of drivers and runtimes. The end result is a fully rooted device courtesy of Elite Recognised Developer Chainfire’s CF-Auto Root. This will work even for those who are already rooted, so if you’d simply like to help test for compatibility you can do so without unrooting beforehand.
So if you have an AT&T SIII, rooted or not, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the development thread and lend a hand in making this the ultimate cross platform utility.
January 28, 2013 By: Haroon Q. Raja
While most Android enthusiasts (including many members of our smartphone community here at XDA) frown upon the idea of custom UI overlays by device manufacturers, they include certain visual or feature enhancements at times that add to the overall user experience for many. Over the course of the past few versions, HTC Sense has been making a transition towards minimalism. This has been done by getting closer to the stock Android experience, while still offering its signature fresh and bright look and feel.
One such feature that many enjoy is the task manager interface. However, since this is an HTC Sense exclusive, owners of other devices have thus far been out of luck. Luckily for Samsung Galaxy S III owners running the stock XELLA firmware (or custom ROMs derived from it), you can now get the same style of task management and switching UI thanks to XDA Member Tamerlan2009.
This HTC Sense-style Task Manager mod supports both portrait and landscape views for the task switching interface, offering you large previews of your currently running and recent apps, complete with app names and icons under the previews. It also features a nice shiny reflection to add some visual oomph. From the task switching interface, you get quick access to Task Manager and Google Search, and can also kill all the currently running apps in one go (the usefulness of which is debatable, but that’s a different story).
As mentioned earlier, the mod is intended for Galaxy S III I9300 running the stock XELLA firmware, as well as custom ROMs based on it. You can give it a try by visiting the forum thread.