To quote fellow News Writer and Member Advocate Admin egzthunder1:
Theming has been as popular on XDA as ROM cooking and development in general. The ability to customize the appearance of our devices is always an appealing concept for many of our members.
Theming can be a lot of fun because it helps personalize a device in ways beyond simply changing a wallpaper. You can theme virtually anything on an Android phone. Now, you can learn how to theme your own keyboard if you own one of the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Senior Member rompnit has released a manual method to theme your own keyboard. Finding a theme for your keyboard can be tricky because there are only a finite number that themers release. Now those who what something truly their own can simply make their own. The process is a little complicated and requires—more or less—the same steps involved in theming any APK.
To get started, you’ll need APKTool as well as your favorite zip program, like 7zip. From there, you tear down the keyboard APK you wish to theme, theme it, recompile it, and get it on your phone. It sounds easier than it is, as the process will take some time and effort. However, rompnit does an excellent job of keeping the explanations as simple as possible so even beginners can get in on the action.
For more info, check out the original thread.
When it comes to fixing bricks, be they hard or soft bricks, we usually have our own way of doing things. Whether it is creating jigs to force phones into download mode or unbrick mods that bring dead phones back to life, we’ve always operated in such a way that we haven’t really needed OEM support. That isn’t to say that we wouldn’t like OEM support, but they rarely hand out their repair guides.
XDA Senior Member Net.silb has managed to get a hold of the official bricked repair guide for the Samsung Galaxy S III. It is definitely an exciting read, and it outlines how Samsung handles bricked Samsung Galaxy S III devices. It is a very involved process and requires both hardware and software expertise to fix. Therefore, it is not recommended for beginners. According to the manual, you’ll be walked through the following process:
- Brief JTAG process for GT-I9300
1) Copying JTAG(bootloader) file to external SD Card, using normal GT-I9300.
2) inserting the SD card to ‘No Power’ phone, and copy the bootloader file to the defective PBA.
3) After downloading bootloader file to the defective phone, enter the download mode with the phone, and download Full S/W.(PIT, PDA, CSC, PHONE files)
In short, you will put the bootloader on a SD card, put it in the phone, use a few hardware tricks to get it to download to the phone, and use Odin to flash the firmware. There is also a picture and reference to the elusive Samsung Anyway Jig. Additionally, it is shown that when you use this method, you’ll be flashing the bootloader over something called SDCard Mode.
If you follow the process, you’ll have a functioning Galaxy S III from a previously soft-bricked device. However, that is only about half of the significance of this document. The big prize here is seeing how the Samsung techs get it done. If you’d like more info, check out the original thread.
Update: However, as Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler points out: “This is not JTAG. It is a replacement for Joint Action Test Group and has nothing to do with JTAG. It boots Odin from SD after you short a resistor. Its closer to UnBrickable Mod than JTAG.”
Who doesn’t like it when development teams launch mass releases? As such it’s not uncommon for us to report a dozen or so devices getting a ROM at once. Another ROM dev team has released their newest release candidate for a staggering 11 devices.
The ROM series is called LiquidSmooth, and the team has quite a few developers. It is a source-built release derived from AOSP, and it borrows from a number of other development teams such as CyanogenMod and Team EOS. The device list includes:
Galaxy Nexus (maguro)
Galaxy Nexus (toroplus)
Galaxy Nexus (toro)
Samsung Galaxy S III I9300
Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III
AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III
US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S III
Google Nexus 7
Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000
It’s quite a hefty list. A few of the features included are:
Lockscreen text color, layouts etc, 5-8 Options
Color & Alignment (Clock)
Custom Navbar Targets (Up to 7)
Custom Navbar Ring Targets (Up to 5)
Customizable Colors throughout the Rom
Liquid Launcher (Custom with extra options)
Liquid Splasher (New Liquid Settings)
Framework optimizations to enhance performance
Ultra Slim Size: Deodexed, Debloated, Zip-Aligned and Opti-png
Startup script control (sysctl, cron, zipalign etc)
Forced Tablet Mode with DPI Changer
Status Bar Mods – Battery, Clock, Provider Name Changer and more…
Toggles (Both AOKP/CM style)
So, in short, there are a lot of devices and a lot of features. There isn’t a running list of issues with these ROMs, so you’ll have to check out your device’s ROM thread to see if anyone is reporting any issues. Given that they are stable releases, there shouldn’t be many. For more details, check out any one of the number of device links above.
Modifications always have the capacity to cause problems. Software mods can cause bugs and hardware mods can cause a new hardware problem. Usually these problems aren’t as annoying as the original problems that got fixed, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t annoying. There are Samsung Galaxy S III users who are going through something similar to this right now. The issue is that if you use a cut down SIM card in the SIM card try, it sometimes gets stuck in there.
Normally, getting the card out requires some interesting tactics. Some suggestions include toothpicks with super glue and completely disassembling the phone. XDA Forum Member Nicholas68 has found an easier way. It isn’t the most technologically advanced way, but at least it doesn’t require using super glue.
It does take time, though, and a lot of it. What Nicholas68 suggests is using a thumb tack—or anything with a small, sharp point—and use the hole in the SIM card tray to move it a millimeter at a time. Tedious? You bet, but it will also help get the card out of the tray with minimal damage to both. It seems silly, but when the alternative methods is super glue and phone disassembly, it’s probably a good idea to take the long route.
For more details and pictures, check out the original thread.
September 30, 2012 By: Former Writer
The last time the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III saw some Jelly Bean leak love, it came from T-Mobile’s leak in the form of a port. Recently a real Jelly Bean leak for the Sprint Galaxy S III was found, and owners can now use a leak meant for their device.
XDA Recognized Developer freeza shared the goods. The leak contains Jelly Bean 4.1.1 and it can be flashed like any other ROM. Freeza also took some liberties with the leaks to make them more flasher friendly. There is an odexed and a deodexed version available. Additionally, there have been a few other changes, including:
-Added Jelly Bean boot animation
-Modified kernel to adb shell @ root, bootanimation support, and a few other tweaks.
This should be safe to flash if you’re looking to keep root. So far, users have reported various minor issues with things such as MMS. However, aside from minor complaints, the leak is stable and no one has had any major issues with it. So if you want to try out Jelly Bean, here’s your chance. Here’s hoping the official release isn’t far behind.
For more details, check out the original thread.
[Thanks goes out to XDA Recognized Themer zanderman112 for the tip!]
NFC technology is poised to become the core of the mobile payment world. Nearly every cutting edge smartphone released in the next year will feature some form of NFC and mobile payments. Every major player from Verizon to Google, from MasterCard to American Express is in some way attempting to enter the market and gain a foothold in the thriving industry. Yet this is not without cost: Near-Field Communication technology is new and relatively untested. By linking it with our smartphones, a device we use for nearly every aspect of our lives, we’ve created the most potent bait an identify thief or malicious life hacker could desire.
Yet until recently, few cared to think about the malicious possibilities that NFC posed to the user. Just over a week ago at Mobile Pwn2Own, this changed when MWR Labs demonstrated that NFC users (and vendors) have a whole lot more to think about. While the exact details of the exploit are still withheld, using the Samsung Galaxy S3′s NFC chip, a file is downloaded and automatically opened. Next, the file was able to elevate its privileges and thereby gain control over every aspect of the device. As explained on the team’s blog:
The first vulnerability was a memory corruption that allowed us to gain limited control over the phone. We triggered this vulnerability 185 times in our exploit code in order to overcome some of the limitations placed on us by the vulnerability.
We used the second vulnerability to escalate our privileges on the device and undermine the application sandbox model. We used this to install a customised version of Mercury, our Android assessment framework. We could then use Mercury’s capabilities to exfiltrate user data from the device to a remote listener, including dumping SMS and contact databases, or initiating a call to a premium rate number.
While this type of attack may seem complicated and far fetched, the reality is that criminals will go to great lengths to formulate a method by which to steal your information and money. The more reliant on mobile technology we become, the more vigilant we must be in safeguarding our information. Having NFC enabled 24/7 is like having your credit card, phone number, address, name, and Social Security Number dangling from your belt loop. So while the exploit will undoubtedly be patched quickly, just remember: You never know who may be watching.
September 24, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
Owners of Samsung’s flagship device have been metaphorically pacing back and forth along the hallways of XDA in anticipation of an official Jellybean release for some time now. Well it seems that as of this morning, the wait is over, and an official update to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean for the Samsung Galaxy S3 began rolling out to users in Poland. It’s now online and available from a stock firmware thread maintained by XDA Recognised Developer faryaab.
As this release is intended for Poland, be warned that flashing it will alter the CSC of your device if this is not your default region. Installation is performed via Odin as you’d expect, and it’s being reported that existing root methods such as CF Root will work on the update. However, a pre rooted version has also been made available if you are so inclined.
While this is undoubtedly great news for I9300 owners, some of the responses to this release seem to suggest that it isn’t particularly polished for an official release and contains many of the bugs present in the last leaked version. Lacking an international S3, I cannot comment on that, but I’m sure a few bugs won’t stop many of you flashing this.
Head on over to the original thread for more details.
September 22, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
When Verizon Wireless decided to lock down their version of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S III, XDA responded as usual—”Challenge Accepted.” Part of that challenge involved XDA Forum Members donating money to get XDA Elite Recognized Developer, XDA Developer TV Producer, and hardware hacker extraordinaire AdamOutler a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III.
After tearing the Galaxy S III apart, inspecting its hardware, and spending countless hours trying different approaches, AdamOutler finally got the bootloader unlocked. Now that the goal has been met, AdamOutler set up a contest to give the phone away. In this video AdamOutler shows the results of the top four bash script contest submission and announces the winner. Hit play to find out who won.
September 19, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
Not too long ago, we featured Directory Bind, a handy Android app that lets you bind directories your phone to directories on other partitions. It is especially useful for using your external SD card to store app data that normally resides in the internal SD card.
While it was originally built for the Samsung Galaxy S II, Directory Bind was reported to work on several other devices, including the Galaxy S III. However, several users came across problems with using it on the S III. That’s why XDA Recognized Contributor bala_gamer wrote a comprehensive guide on how to properly use it on Samsung Galaxy S III.
This step-by-step newbie-friendly guide details the configuration options you have to edit and the entries you have to add, along with screenshots of the entire process. It also offers a few handy tips to help you use Directory Bind most efficiently.
You can find the complete guide at the forum thread.
September 15, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
It’s great when our smartphones automatically suggest us things to make our life easier. However, this convenience can turn into an annoyance when they fail to provide us with a way to disable the feature. Many variants of the Galaxy S III have a feature that shows a pop-up message whenever in range of a known WiFi network, prompting you to connect to it. While this can be disabled from the settings of the other variants, Verizon decided against it for some inexplicable reason. Fortunately though, there is another, less obvious way of easily disabling it on your Verizon Galaxy S III.
If you are running a third-party launcher such as Apex that allows custom shortcuts, XDA Senior Member mikec86 has shared with us the method to create a shortcut to easily enable or disable this feature at will, right from your home screen. It can be found in the 4th post of the thread.
Lastly, if you want to disable the persistent ‘Tap to turn WiFi on’ notification when you have WiFi switched off, XDA Senior Member cshort0982 has written a guide for that as well, and its link can be found in the 8th post.
September 15, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
Do you have the BELL variant of Galaxy S III SGH-I747M, and find yourself jealous of owners of all the other variants who have been getting leaked Jelly Bean builds for their SGSIII devices? Your wait is over, as a leaked Jelly Bean build has appeared for the device.
The I747MVLALI2c build is based on Android 4.1.1, and is an internal Samsung leak for the BMC Region. It was posted to the forums by Senior Member AdamLange. Being a Samsung-created build, it’s running TouchWiz. Note that it’s in the form of an incremental update, and thus you need to have Samsung’s official latest I747MVLALH1 build already running on your device to be able to flash it.
More details can be found at the forum thread. XDA Senior Member mixxy has also provided us with a step-by-step tutorial for getting it up and running—including instructions on getting back to the latest stock ICS build if you are currently on a custom ROM.
September 14, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
This has been another great week for the XDA Portal. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan covers all the news you need to know to keep up to date on mobile phone developments. Jordan talks about the news of replacing S-Voice with Google Now on the Samsung Galaxy S III. Jordan mentions Boot to Gecko being available for Verizon and GSM Galaxy Nexuses—or is it Nexii? Jordan mentions XDA Developer TV videos for this week including: XDA Developer TV Producer Azrienoch’s discussion of the Amazon Kindle Fire Line Business strategy; XDA Elite Recognized Developer and XDA Developer TV Producer AdamOutler’s Part 5 of How to Build an Android App; and XDA Developer TV Producer TK’s review of TeamViewer QuickSupport.
In Jelly Bean news, Jordan mentions the leaks for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1. Also, mentioned is the OTA Jelly Bean for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S III GT-I9300 will be getting Jelly Bean in October. And in Ice Cream Sandwich news, Jordan mentions AOSP release of ICS for the Thunderbolt and the AT&T Samsung Captivate Glide getting ICS from KIES. Lastly, Jordan mentions the XDA contest to win a Verizon Galaxy S III and XDA’s presence at Big Android BBQ. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
September 13, 2012 By: Former Writer
When you buy any of Samsung’s newer devices, you have a choice to make. If you stick with stock firmware, you can use either S-Voice or you can go with Google Now. However, when using Google Now, you may still find that S-Voice is still around doing things even when you don’t want it to. Now, there’s a way to get Google Now running and turn S-Voice off for good.
The method was posted by XDA Senior Member Ghstudent. Despite being released for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III, it should be compatible with all Galaxy S III devices and possibly even non-Galaxy S III devices with S-Voice in their ROMs.
It is a pretty easy method to use. Users will need to be rooted, of course. From there, it is a three step process where users install Google Now, activate it, and then replace all instances where S-Voice is used with Google Now. Users will need at least a root manager application and home2 shortcut, which helps remap the home button so that a double click will launch Google Now. Once completed, users should have a number of ways to get to Google Now and should be able to avoid S-Voice.
For more details, go to the original thread.