November 4, 2012 By: Former Writer
As the development for a device evolves, more and more guides, tutorials, and so on are released. As time continues, these threads can get buried in the forums, forcing members to search through various pages to find the threads they’re looking for. It can be a hassle, especially when there are many threads with the same general keywords, which makes searching difficult. For T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III users, there is now only one thread to remember.
XDA Senior Member techfanatic9 has posted a thread that serves as a table of content of sorts for pretty much all the useful tutorials a user might need. This is helpful in a lot of ways, but none more so than having one space where users can easily reference and find content. One bookmark is better than 12 bookmarks. Some of the stuff linked include:
Rooting on Windows
Rooting on Mac
Resetting the binary counter
How to make Nandroid backups and install custom ROMs
How to unroot without using a computer
How to install ClockworkMod Recovery without using a computer
There are ten links overall, and plenty of stuff to help new users get better acquainted with their devices. If you’re looking for how to do practically anything on your SGS3, this is a thread for you. To learn more, check out the original thread.
A while back, we brought you a small XML fix to let your Android device see Emoji characters. Emoji is pretty popular, and many people use them—especially on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Now there is a way to get Emoji support on the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Senior Member amiblindyet has released an APK file that gives Sprint Galaxy S III owners Emoji support on the MMS app on AOSP-derived ROMs. This is not the first time such support has been given. However, now most common issues are fixed. This includes errors with portrait photos, force closes, and other miscellaneous errors. Some of the other features include:
[FIXED] MMS works
Increased MMS picture size
Dark theme with ICS blue to match AOKP, etc.
To install, simply download and flash the zip that amiblindyet has provided in custom recovery. It has been tested on AOKP Jelly Bean and CM10, and should work on any AOSP ROMs based on those. Given that the US variants of the Galaxy S III can share practically everything, expect this to work—or at least get ported—to the other three variants soon enough. In fact, this may even work on other devices running AOSP-derived Jelly Bean ROMs as well.
For additional details, check out the original thread.
For what could be the first time ever, Samsung is delivering a major OS update for a device on a US carrier that is less than 3 months old. As of yesterday, Samsung and Sprint have begun to deploy the Jelly Bean OTA for the Samsung Galaxy S III SPH-L710, becoming the first US carrier to do so. The roll out is scheduled to take a few weeks.
According to Sprint, it is only available via scheduled OTA, so there is no way for a user to kick the process off through the normal process (Menu > Settings > Software Update). However, XDA Senior Member jcwxguy has posted a link for you to download the OTA from Google’s servers. Seeing as it is a stock OTA, you will need to be on stock firmware in order for the update to work. You can however use the Jelly Bean stock ODIN tar file that XDA Recognized Contributor sextape posted here to skip the whole OTA waiting game.
Jelly Bean offers users a smoother, faster and more fluid experience with expanded feature functionality, including:
- Google Now™ gets you just the right information at just the right time, like how much traffic to expect before you leave for work or when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform. Google Now can be launched by pressing and holding the menu key from the home screen.
- Expandable, actionable notifications allowing you to take action directly from the notifications shade.
- Android Beam™ now lets you send photos and more.
- Widgets work like magic as you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room; when they’re too big, widgets resize on their own.
Samsung also added new capabilities to Galaxy S III, including:
- Camera Enhancements:
- New live camera and camcorder filters offer a range of new ways to spark your creativity. Warm vintage, cold vintage, black and white, sepia, color highlights (blue, green, red/yellow), and many more are selectable from the main camera screen.
- Pause and resume while recording video allows users to string together multiple captured video clips from a party, birthday, or sporting event into a single file with no post editing required.
- Low light photo mode takes advantage of Galaxy S III’s best-in-class High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities and offers an optimized mode for low light and indoor photos.
- Pop Up Play Update easily resizes or pauses the Pop Up Play picture-in-picture video window, taking full advantage of Galaxy S III’s powerful processor and large 4.8-inch display.
- Easy Mode is a simplified user experience option for first-time smartphone owners, providing large home screen widgets that focus on the device essentials.
- Blocking Mode can disable incoming calls, notifications, alarms and LED indicators for a designated period of time.
- Improved Usability with access to multiple keyboard options and the addition of the Swype® keyboard.
With the Jelly Bean update, Galaxy S III will also add support for some exciting new accessories.
- AllShare® Cast Wireless Hub allows users to wirelessly mirror their phone screen to any HDTV or HDMI® display. It even supports licensed content playback of premium TV and movies.
- NFC One Touch Pairing Support pairs Galaxy S III with supporting NFC Bluetooth® accessories in a single touch.
October 23, 2012 By: Former Writer
With the official update to Jelly Bean imminent, most rooted users with the Samsung Galaxy S III are pretty much already running it. Whether it be one of the leaks directly or one of the ROMs based on the leaks is inconsequential, Jelly Bean is Jelly Bean. However, there are a few features that didn’t quite make it to the Jelly Bean ROMs—one of which is Samsung’s Smart Rotation. Now there is a method to get it back.
Thankfully the method isn’t overly difficult. It will require that you know how to decompile APK files, which is easy to learn. Users will need to decompile the SecSettings.apk to get started. Then, users must navigate to smali/com/android/settings/DisplaySettings and make a few code adjustments. After that, it’s a matter of putting everything back together and pushing it back to your Galaxy S III.
The method was written up by XDA Forum Member Препод, and shouldn’t take users very long. Once done, you’ll have the Smart Rotation option in your Display settings. If you’re not up to the challenge of making the necessary changes yourself, there is also a couple of ClockwokMod flashable zips to use. They won’t work on all ROMs, but they should at least work on the stock ones.
For more details, check out the original thread.
When the Samsung Galaxy S III was first announced for US carriers, the fact that they all had the same specs was a big deal. This meant that, for the most part, ROMs would work on any of the devices with only minor changes that needed to be made. Now, there is a script that will make those changes for you so it’s not tedious getting ROMs on all the devices.
XDA Forum Member cpu999 released the script in the AT&T Galaxy S III forums. The script files include all the proprietary files so that once you run it, you simply select which Galaxy S III you want and the script will inject the proper files.
How it works is pretty simple. You download the ROM you want to port and a base ROM of the same Android version. Extract both ROMs and place the files in the same folder. Then simply run the script. It’s useful for developers who maintain ROMs on all the US Galaxy S III devices, but it is also easy enough to be used by members who just want a ROM from one of the others. Additionally, cpu999 has mentioned that future updates will simply turn any ROM zip into a universal zip for any US Galaxy S III device. It will require AROMA installer, but having one ROM zip to flash for all the US versions would make everyone’s lives easier.
For more details, check out the original thread.
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.