August 15, 2012 By: jerdog
There are a few things in the world which spin up the rumor mill to epic proportions. These include questions such as, “Which political candidate will say the most stupid things in fifteen seconds?” or “Which celebrity couple will be the first to divorce this week?” or “When will <insert favorite device> get <insert the latest Android OS version>?” Of course, seeing as this is XDA-Developers, we will be discussing “When will the Samsung Galaxy S III GT-i9300 get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean?” and leave the others to Off-Topic.
Seeing as it can take up to a year for a new device to go through the concept stage to development to production, it is difficult (but not impossible) for a manufacturer to deploy the latest and greatest OS version upon device release. The exception to that rule would be devices specifically developed in concert with Google like the Nexus S, the Motorola Xoom, and the Galaxy Nexus. If your device does not fall into that category, the clock begins counting down to some mythical date that you will see the new update, if you ever will at all.
The Samsung Galaxy S III GT-i9300 is currently the flagship device for Samsung, and arguably one of the best devices on the market today. Soon after its release, Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the countdown began for the inevitable software update. Samsung recently stated that they would announce updates to their Galaxy portfolio in due course, after updating the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, with inside sources claiming that the Galaxy S III would receive the update at the end of Q3. Now SamMobile is reporting via its own sources that Samsung is set to release the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III on August 29, a mere two weeks from now, and is only waiting on certification from Google.
What is interesting about this upgrade is that leaks have not even been “released” as of yet. The normal pattern has been for leaks to be “found” as early as a month before official release, but it would seem that this update has been kept under much stricter conditions than previous versions. Here’s hoping that the rumored release date is correct and Samsung brings the Jelly Bean goodness to the Galaxy S III sooner rather than later.
For those who haven’t noticed, every now and then the home screens and the widgets are visibly redrawn. Most notably when you’re using an application and go back to the home screen, you’ll notice a small delay while the home screens and widgets redraw themselves. It is a very minor annoyance, but one that most Android devices suffer from. For the Samsung Galaxy S III, there are not one, but two ways to fix the problem or at least reduce it to a less noticeable level.
The original method was released by XDA Recognized Developer zeppelinrox, who uses the modification in the popular Supercharger V6 script. To put it bluntly, it’s a very long tutorial, but the end result is accomplished by increasing the priority of the launcher. It runs users through decompiling the services.jar and making a number of code changes, recompiling, and putting it back. Due to the complexity of the tutorial, XDA Senior Member UpInTheAir created a second tutorial to help simplify the process. Complete with a more organized layout and screen shots, it makes it a little easier to make the changes.
Both tutorials end up with the same result, which is to reduce or completely fix visible home screen redraws. This can be useful for the end user, but the tutorials are more laid out for ROM developers wishing to put this in their work. As for widget redraws, UpInTheAir makes this comment:
Some widgets (weather) may occasionally redraw as their OOM priority may allow them to be killed off, but you should see reduced TW Launcher redraw.
August 12, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
One of Android’s hallmark features is true multitasking—the ability to run many applications simultaneously like you can do on computers. However, one of the biggest issues with Android is the hardware to support it. Yes, the CPU and GPU have gotten mammoth upgrades to help run these apps together more quickly, but sometimes a little problem like not having enough RAM can get in the way. From average, day to day use, RAM isn’t a big problem. However, for power users and for those who use a significant number of applications, RAM can start becoming an issue. Samsung Galaxy S III users can now create a Swap Partition to help ease the strain put on the RAM.
The guide walks users through the creation and removal of a Swap Partition. XDA Senior Member Yank555 wrote up the guide with ease of use in mind. Users need to partition their SD card properly, then flash a zip to get the swap partition installed and working. Users can test it using the Terminal Emulator.
Setting up a swap partition simulates additional RAM for users to play with. However, users should be aware that swap partitions are only a fraction of the speed of actual RAM. Furthermore, some issues can arise if used improperly: When though the storage part of the SD card can be un-mounted, the SD card absolutely should not be removed while the phone is on and running. It will cause problems. As Yank555 explains:
You can unmount / remount the SD card, since that will only unmount / remount the FAT/exFAT partition (e.g. the one you see in Windows and “/mnt/extSdCard”).
But you should by no means remove the SD card (even if unmounted) while your system is running !
If would be as if removing part of RAM without prior notice while the system is running.
Always power off the device before removing the SD card !
Yank555 also explains why this Swap option is better than ZRAM. For the full explanation, tutorial, and more, check out the original thread.
Devices are rarely released with their full potential realized. If this were the case, root access wouldn’t be required to fix many inherent device issues. Granted, most users likely would still seek superuser status because having root is fun. Thankfully over time, OEMs have at least thought to quell the biggest and worst bugs before releasing a device. Still, there always seems to be a little problem here and there that needs to be fixed. The Samsung Galaxy S III is no exception, as users have found that the brightness settings are a little quirky.
XDA Senior Member mattiadj has released a couple of fixes for the settings to make them a little more logical. The first is a custom fix by mattiadj, and the others are copycat settings from the Samsung Galaxy Note. Differences between the two aren’t much, as the custom settings are geared toward battery saving and the values keep the screen pretty dim at low levels. The Galaxy Note settings are brighter at low levels to, as mattiadj put it, make the SAMOLED look more brilliant.
The tweaks are easily flashed through any custom recovery. Two versions of each mod have been made: one for non-stock based ROMs and for stock based ROMs.
For more information, check out the original thread.
We’ve been back and forth on how to best split Galaxy S III forums for USA variants. Our goal is to best organize posts and make it easier for mods to do their magic. Effective now, all the four major carrier variants for the Galaxy S III will get their own section. The previous combined (mega) section will be closed as we migrate posts from the existing sub forums to the new forums. More simply, below are the new Galaxy S III forums. Please update your bookmarks. Sorry for any confusion this might have caused!
And of course, the existing International Samsung Galaxy S III I9300
July 27, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Android devices are well known for their hidden features. One such area is using custom dialer codes to access various hidden apps. XDA Recognized Developer E:V:A is heading up an effort find all of these and more on the Samsung Galaxy S III I9300. One such example is typing *#*#197328640#*#* to access the Service Menu.
Not only has E:V:A provided a few codes for users to check out, but he actually shows users how they can find new codes themselves. Users first must download the appropriate applications:
Get jd-gui (Often crashes) Get jad (doesn’t crash, but is cmdline based) Get sgs2toext4 (and here) Get Disk Internals Linux Reader Get a disk image with deodexed Apps (see below)
And from there, E:V:A instructs users on how to use each one to get new codes and find new little hacks. While it isn’t development in the traditional sense, it’s definitely something interesting to do. If users are interesting in learning more, there are over a dozen reference links to check out.
For additional info, check out the original thread.
July 24, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Previously we brought you news of Paranoid Android being ported to any and every device that will have it. For the uninitiated, it is the first truly hybrid phone / tablet ROM that allows users to choose whether or not they want to run their devices like a phone or a tablet. As many fans and ROM developers are eager to point out, this is not simply a tablet-mode ROM. It uses Per-App-Layout and Per-App-Density, which allows users to define the DPI and layout per application. Essentially, you can set an app to tablet layout, and the app will act as though it’s running on a tablet. Or you can set it to phone layout, and the app will run as though it’s on a phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is among the latest devices to receive the goods. Released by XDA Senior Member gokussjx, the ROM is fully stable and ready for every day use. The only known issue is when applications see layout or density settings they do not support, which leads to errors and force closes.
Aside from that, the ROM is just as delightfully eccentric as it is on the other supported devices. The best part is still to come, however. As the ROM released currently is based on CyanogenMod9, gokussjx is working on a Jelly Bean version of ParanoidAndroid based on CyanogenMod10. That’s right, we slip the Jelly Bean news right into our ICS news.
For additional information, check out the original thread.
July 23, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Even with new devices featuring 16+ GB of internal storage, users still manage to run into problems with there not being enough space for applications and other things. Although this is usually only a problem that older devices face due to their small internal storage, it’s also possible on newer devices as well. Thankfully, a solution has already been crafted for the Samsung Galaxy S III.
The method, called ExtSd2InternalSd, helps users overcome this problem by effectively swapping the internal and external SD cards so that users can user the internal SD for applications only. As XDA Senior Member mattiadj explains:
My aim so became to use the external sd as internal sd and internal sd ONLY for apps installation so became used as internal memory!
And… yes after a while i have to make this working!!! So now my 64gb external sd is used for all tasks which the internal sd was used and the internal sd is only used for apps storage!! All extra files (resources, caches, etc etc) are stored in my external SD!!
Also if i want to see the internal memory management i can see that now my phone has 64gb internal memory and 16gb external!!
As described, the method essentially switches the internal and external SD cards so that the external is mounted as the internal and vice versa. It is not an overly complicated process. Users are directed to format their external SD card to FAT32 with their computer and then flash an update.zip to automatically switch mounts for you. After that, simply reboot, and enjoy up to 64 GB of internal storage and 16 GB of external storage.
To learn more, head over to the original thread.
With the introduction of Honeycomb, Google removed the need for physical and capacitive navigation buttons, replacing them with nice onscreen buttons that accomplish the same purpose. Galaxy Nexus aside, it would seem as if OEMs failed to receive the memo, as they continue to ship handsets such as the International Galaxy S III that feature physical and/or capacitive buttons.
XDA Recognized Developer graffixnyc is not a big fan of TouchWiz UI or physical buttons, so when CM10 Preview was released for the i9300, he jumped on it. After using it for awhile, he craved the onscreen buttons instead of the physical, capacitive ones. In order to assuage his need for the onscreen buttons, he decided to create his own mod to do just that. Says graffixnyc:
I really liked the on screen nav buttons on the GNEX. At the time I had the Galaxy S II and enabled them with AOKP but as much as I liked them I hated losing the screen real estate on the 4.3 inch screen. When I got the GS3 I felt the screen was big enough to give up a little screen [real estate] for the nav buttons. I also did it because when I play games or hold my phone in landscape I would accidently hit the capacitive buttons so this mod also eliminated that for me.
In putting together the mod, he used XDA Senior Member evilisto‘s guide for accomplishing this on ICS. He then began pouring through the Jelly Bean framework-res.apk to adapt the process to Android 4.1.1. He was successful and has now shared his work. The mod has the following variants:
July 18, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
As the percentage of newer Android devices with NFC chips gets higher and higher, so too does the number of people actually using it. It is no surprise to learn that NFC-based development is on the rise, and will likely continue until the dedicated developers have perfected usage of the technology. That said, it’s not quite perfect for some who would rather have NFC functionality when the screen is off or locked. This no longer has to be the case for owners of the International Samsung Galaxy S III and a couple of the US variants.
XDA Forum Member mayhemer has developed a modification enables NFC functionality when the screen is off and the device is locked. The mod is available for the International Galaxy S III, as well as the AT&T and Sprint variants.
To install the mod, users only need to flash the mod in custom recovery and reboot. Afterward, NFC should be usable even with the phone screen off or locked down. Unfortunately for CM fans, there are currently some compatibility problems with CyanogenMod 9. The mod for US variants is currently untested, so it’s unclear what works and what doesn’t. It has also been announced that any further compatibility—i.e. the other US variants—and bug fixes will have to wait until August. Additionally, it should be noted that it’s unclear how this will affect applications like Google Wallet. Since NFC is active with the phone screen off, that could make Google Wallet accessible even while in your pocket. While users still have to enter in a pin to use the actual Wallet app, this potentially removes one barrier to Wallet entry. Basically, be sure to take proper precautions.
For additional information, follow the links to below to their respective threads.
July 18, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Not too long ago, an article was posted to the XDA Portal lamenting the loss of USB Mass Storage on Ice Cream Sandwich. While Media Transfer Protocol has its pros and cons, many still prefer to use UMS.
Newcomer to XDA Developer TV, Erica (the Technology Nerd Who Likes to Film Stuff) talks about this in great detail. Explaining why you would want to use one or the other. She then talks about Easy UMS by XDA Forum Member Kopfgeldjaeger, which allows you to easily switch between the two on your International Samsung Galaxy S III. Take a moment and check out this video!
July 17, 2012 By: jerdog
Jelly Bean source was only recently released to AOSP, and now we’re beginning to see Android 4.1.1 ports popping up on some popular handsets, with even the venerable HD2 receiving a port. The CyanogenMod team recently made a statement on Google+ regarding their efforts to import Jelly Bean into their code repositories, and stated that CM10 would be coming in the future to most, if not all, devices that could run ICS. And now, as luck would have it, CM10 is now available for a few devices in preview form, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300.
This is a PREVIEW : CyanogenMod 10 is nowhere near ready to be used as a daily driver (lots of features still have to be merged), and same is the device support. CHECK THE KNOWN ISSUES LIST BEFORE THINKING ABOUT POSTING.
Those known issues are as follows:
- FMradio, heh!
- Camera is unstable, though taking pics should work
- Wi-Fi tethering is semi-broken
The steps to flash this preview, if you are of a mind to do so, are pretty standard for any CM build with a few minor exceptions:
- Make sure to run CM9 so you know you have everything
- Download the zip
- Download Gapps
- Install the update zip from recovery
- Install gapps
- WIPE DATA/FACTORY RESET
Visit the original thread to read more about the effort and jump in!
July 16, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Today on XDA Developer TV our good buddy Jordan, talks about Jelly Bean and the Samsung Galaxy S III. Jordan covers news on the Samsung Galaxy S III launcher being ported to any Ice Cream Sandwich ROM. Jordan talks about getting that Android Open Source Project feel while keeping the TouchWiz features on the US variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
In more Jelly Bean news, Jordan mentions source-built Jelly Bean for the Acer Iconia A100. Also getting Jelly Bean, is the Asus Transformer. Jordan wraps up the video with some some news about the Nexus 7 toolkit.