April 29, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Samsung Galaxy S4 Rooted across multiple carriers. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is a tutorial to backup your TA Partition on the Sony Xperia Z and NASA launching several Nexus One phones into space.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talks about Xposed framework and Mono for Android. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
April 27, 2013 By: egzthunder1
If you have ever heard the expression there is no free lunch, you likely know what that means. Like with most things in life, sometimes you need to give a little to get a little. This is normally the case when it comes to bootloader unlocking of most devices, regardless of manufacturer (keyword here is “most”…. I had to say this before Samsung fans jump out of their chairs with pitchforks :p). The likes of Asus and HTC normally offer official methods for unlocking their bootloaders. In order to do this, you must turn over your soul… err, I mean your warranty, just for that bit of extra functionality (and in the case of HTC, that is just a bit of extra functionality as there are still several things that are blocked even after a bootloader unlock). There are of course other manufacturers that offer these unlocking services as well, which give you a far richer experience and more freedom for the same price. One such case is Sony and their Xperia line up. Many moons ago, Sony came up with an official tool to unlock your bootloader, much like the aforementioned manufacturers have done, and yes, they also take your warranty along with the unlock right. However, you gain full control of the device by doing it, or at least nearly full control as you lose a little something in the process… Unlocking the bootloader on any Xperia device that supports it will also wipe out the included DRM (Digital Rights Management) keys embedded in the device, which are essential for a few software bits to work on the Xperia .
The newest addition to the Sony lineup, the Xperia Z, suffers from the same predicament. Unlocking the bootloader will effectively wipe your DRM keys, leaving you with a non-functional Bravia Engine 2, TrackID, or OTA update capabilities, as well as a few other things. If you have not yet unlocked your BL, but are considering doing it, you must read the guide made by XDA Forum Member rickwyatt. The member provides an easy to follow guide with tools to help you back up your TA partition, which contains (as you may have guessed/known) the DRM keys. Being able to back up the TA partition effectively gives you a “time machine” allowing you to go to the point before you unlocked your device. Restoring the partition will do two things: it will restore your DRM keys as stated earlier, and it will relock your bootloader. Mind you, this can only be done BEFORE unlocking the BL because your TA partition WILL change, and restoring someone else’s will instantly kill your device, hard brick style.
While this is not exactly the solution a few of you were waiting for to get BE2 working again on your unlocked Z, it is a step in the right direction. Just keep in mind that it is always advisable that if you are going to restore your TA partition from your backup, you should be on a completely stock rom/kernel. There are reports from some people in the thread who have had soft bricks by restoring over custom ROMs and/or kernels while others have had very few if no issues at all.
Take it for a spin only if you have not unlocked your device yet. The thread is a good discussion and is filled with lots of useful information that might prevent you from making a mistake in the process. Please make sure that you read and understand what is going on before diving in. And one last thing, keep in mind that by unlocking your bootloader, your warranty IS gone and this process WILL NOT bring it back.
This wont work if you Unlocked your bootloader already because
you have already changed you TA partition. also don’t flash
someone elses TA it will hard brick your phone
You can find more information in the original thread.
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The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is Google giving the entire community (manufacturers, enthusiasts, developers, etc.) the necessary building blocks to bring what many refer to as “stock Android” (more accurately “vanilla Android”) to a device. The inherent problem with this is that the manufacturers are often the roadblock to such endeavors. Too often manufacturers (like HTC, Samsung, etc.) and suppliers (like Qualcomm) all claim that they can’t release certain drivers, and label them as “proprietary” so that no one can use them. Of course, since there’s nothing really “new” under the sun, this just serves to hinder innovation and development. And often times manufacturers will claim it’s the suppliers who are really hindering things, but who is it that chooses the suppliers? I’ll let the obvious rhetorical question be obvious.
In this mix, it’s refreshing to see a mainstream company attempt to shuck all of these trends and actually release the AOSP source for a device, with the Xperia S being the first non-Nexus device to be included in the AOSP device tree. This experiment ended on a positive note, with Sony moving the source for the Xperia S into their own managed GitHub repository. But Sony hasn’t stopped there.
While companies like Samsung, which used to be rather developer-friendly, now moving away from being open to the community, Sony instead is welcoming them with open arms. Their latest flagship device, the Xperia Z, has joined the Xperia S with having its AOSP source files available on their GitHub. They even posted a lot of information over on their Developer World blog, listing SD Card, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, LED light, and sensors working (partially), and they state plans to include NFC in the future. They also have a link to the proprietary Qualcomm binaries needed in order for this to work. You can see the video below, and visit their blog post for more information.
March 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
A new bill was released in congress addressing the SIM unlocking ban. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is OPPO Find 5 source code release. Jordan talks about the rooting options for the Sony Xperia Z.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve gives a Windows Phone App Review of Freda, XDA Developer TV Producer and newcomer Steve released a video on the Basics of Tasker, and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Android app review showdown with Sidebar taking on Glovebox. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Sony’s latest device, the Xperia Z, is one of those “difficult” devices to deal with, or at least its bootloader-locked variant. This last bit makes fun things like rooting into quite a challenge and an annoyance for many. Luckily, the thrills of getting new devices rooted and more functional are always enough to keep a few of our great devs up pulling all nighters in order to get the projects over and done. If you are one of the lucky owners of this handset and have been missing the ability to root, you are in luck because XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD brings us some interesting developments from the rooting front lines.
According to DooMLoRD, a dev by the name of XDA Forum Member goroh_kun, who was a key dev in the bootloader cracking of the Xperia X10, has an exploit to grant root level access to the Xperia Z. Several devs have looked at the exploit and tested it, thus successfully achieving root via this method. The steps are fairly straight forward, but there may be a couple of hiccups after the process is completed. For instance, there have been reports of NFC no longer working after applying the exploit. If this happens, the easy fix, according to goroh_kun, is to delete the /data/usf directory. Moreover, if you have an unlockable bootloader, its status may change after the exploit. Flashing back to stock via SEUS seems to solve this issue, but you will likely lose root by doing this.
If you don’t feel like applying the exploit by hand, XDA Recognized Developer Bin4ry also has gotten to work with the exploit. He added it to his already popular Root MANY ANDROID!, which is a script that can be used to root a wide variety of Android devices. The script includes many different exploits, all lumped into an easy to use package that will save you a few headaches. In this case, Bin4ry added goroh_kun’s exploit and also made a small tweak that eliminates the NFC error described above.
So, if you have a locked Z and want to root it, now is your chance. Please read all the instructions carefully if you are thinking of applying the raw exploit and make sure that you report any and all bugs that you may run into. Have fun and happy rooting!
Xperia Z with stock Sony JB firmware (as of now tested on: 10.1.D.0.317, 10.1.D.0.322, 10.1.A.1.350)
works on both locked/unlockable bootloaders! (waiting for reports from unlocked bootloader devices)
You can find more information in the original thread.
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[Thanks krabappel2548 for the tip!]
February 22, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Ubuntu Touch developer preview is available for most current Nexus devices. That story and more are covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Be sure to check out Jordan’s Video of Ubuntu Touch on the Nexus 7. Jordan talks about the Sony Xperia Z being rooted and the preliminary benchmarks of the new HTC One.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch talks about the 5 myths of Android software, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released an XDA Unboxing of the JynxBox HD Network Streamer, and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an app review of Contact Notification. Additionally, Jordan talks about the creation of new forums on XDA-Developers. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Just because a device hasn’t been released, is in limited release, or isn’t in the hand of a developer doesn’t mean that developers cannot root the device. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has rooted a pre-release device a few times, such as when he remotely rooted the Samsung Galaxy S III. Today, we are talking about Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root in a roundabout way.
XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD took the Nexus 4 version of CF-Auto-Root, modified it a bit, did a dance to the rooting gods, and crossed his fingers. Using TeamViewer, which we’ve reviewed in the past, to remotely attempt rooting, he was successful. Thanks to Chainfire’s app and DooMLoRD’s dancing, the Sony Xperia Z now has root.
It is important to note that you need to have firmware version 10.1.A.1.350, an unlocked bootloader, and fastboot files for this to work. Check out the original thread to find out more.
February 12, 2013 By: jerdog
One of the most highly-anticipated devices debuted at CES 2013 is the Sony Xperia Z. With a 5″ 1080p screen with a ~441 ppi, sitting atop a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro with 2 gigs RAM and a 13.1 MP camera, there’s no doubt that anticipation is warranted. With the device recently released in Japan, and a worldwide release date is speculated to be in the next few weeks, what is this? Kernel source already?
This year, Sony Mobile has already demonstrated with their commitment to supporting the open source developer community. The most recent previous example is their kernel source code release for their alpha Jelly Bean build for the Xperia T (massive GPL-compliance anyone?). Now, they’ve released the kernel source code for the Xperia Z, which hasn’t even gone on sale around the world yet. Sure Sony isn’t the first OEM to do this, but they have a track record of releasing complete, compilable, and working kernel source (cough, cough Samsung). They also have shown consistency at releasing source immediately (sneeze, HTC). And to top it off, they just plain release the source (ahem, Rockchip, Huawei, and countless others) like the GPLv2 requires you to.
So if you are in the mood for compiling a kernel for a new, top-of-the-line device even though you don’t have it in front of you, head on over to Sony Developer’s Open Source Downloads site. Obviously, you won’t be able to test out the source, but it can provide a good indication of what they have planned for a device that is slated to be the big one for Sony Mobile in 2013.
Recently, we created two new forums for your browsing pleasure. The first is for a phone that we recently examined during our time at CES, the Sony Xperia Z. The second isn’t for a physical device, but rather for Mozilla’s Firefox OS.
The Xperia Z is Sony’s flagship device for early 2013. The device is dominated by a 5″ 1080p display, featuring an incredibly high pixel density of 441 ppi. In order to power such a screen, the device features a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, backed by the speedy Adreno 320 GPU. The Xperia Z also features 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot capable of taking up to 32 GB cards. The svelte 7.9 mm device not only packs high end specs, but is also water- and dust-resistant. Boasting IP55 and IP57 water resistance ratings, Sony claims that it’s able to withstand shallow submersion for up to 30 minutes.
Next up is Firefox OS. Mozilla’s offering to the mobile OS landscape has been seen running on several devices under its previous alias, including the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Defy. Last year, however, we saw Firefox OS emerge as the continuation of Boot to Gecko. Needless to say, having another Open Source offering to choose between and develop for won’t be a bad thing. And now that the first Firefox OS developer phones have been revealed, perhaps this may come into fruition sooner rather than later. However, one has to wonder if this will actually gain traction, given the current state of two-party dominance and the difficulties faced by later entrants. Plus, let’s not forget about Ubuntu for Phones!
Those looking to join the discussion can do so by visiting the links below: