January 28, 2013 By: Joseph Hindy
Given that we focus our energies on development rather than theme creation, we don’t talk about themes very often. However, once in a while, something to aid the process or those looking for something extra appears, which is worth mentioning.
With so many themes shared on the site, it’s often hard to find a specific theme that meets every single aesthetic requirement you may have. T-Mobile and Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III users can now customize their own themes thanks to Morphology by XDA Recognized Themer rompnit, with contributions from many, many others.
The way that it works is that the theme pack is installed via the customization-friendly AROMA installer. This allows users to choose their theme elements individually. You first pick your install type. This allows you to choose between creating a custom theme, installing a prebuilt version, or restoring a backup. Next, you select from 15 different status bars and choose a clock style. After that, you customize the notification pulldown, choose from various icon sets, theme your framework, modify toggles, theme the dialer, and more.
This is one of the most comprehensive “build your own theme” packs ever created. Users practically choose how their entire ROM looks. Each step has a lot of options, so don’t be surprised if it takes a great deal of time deciding which options you want. For more details and the full feature list, check out the T-Mobile thread or the Sprint thread.
If you haven’t heard, and we’re not sure how you haven’t, there has been active development towards an open source bootloader for Samsung devices. In a nutshell, it involves loading the open source bootloader to an SD card, and using some hardware hacking skills to boot from it. All of this had to start somewhere, and among the first things required is finding the UART. It is now possible to identify it on the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
If you hadn’t guessed, this bit of hardware hacking awesomeness was done by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler. This is very similar to work Adam has been doing for the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which you can find here. Why would this be helpful? AdamOutler explains it best:
UART provides eyes before any other method of debugging (aside from JTAG) begins to work. UART is the first thing to do in order to make a device into a development board.
The process of getting it is a little complicated, and if you’re a beginner, will probably take some time. Users will have to pull the kernel from the device, add some command line parameters to enable UART, and flash the kernel back to the device. Since you’ll need Ubuntu (or at least a Debian based distro) to follow along, you’ll be using Heimdall to do the flashing. Then, it’s a simple matter of tearing down the device without breaking it and probing the correct spot. Adam has uploaded a video that demonstrates the entire process the exact spot for UART. As can be expected, there is some danger because you are tearing open your device. Be sure to use the utmost caution and follow the directions.
As Adam states in the thread, he sometimes does these hacks live via a Google+ Hangouts live stream. They are a lot of fun to watch, give you a chance to learn some new things, and let you watch the magic as it happens. To catch the next one, circle Adam on Google+ and keep an eye out.
For the full video, all the details, and more, check out the original thread. Or, if you want to watch it happen, here’s Adam’s video:
December 18, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Carriers in the United States (other than Sprint) generally aren’t fans of Google Wallet. According to Verizon, it’s because of Google Wallet’s “secure element”, but just about everyone knows it’s really because T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon are getting ready to launch their own NFC payment app, called Isis. US Samsung Galaxy S III variants now have an app that installs and enables Google Wallet quickly and painlessly.
XDA Senior Member Prl91 released an application that takes the Google Wallet installation process and turns it into a one-click solution. Of course, you’ll need root access. The app is free and available in the Google Play Store. Here is the full list of supported devices and requirements to run:
Currently Supports: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S3′s.
Requires ROOT, an UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER, and BUSYBOX.
Wallet Installer will install Google Wallet on most US based Samsung Galaxy S3′s.
The process to install Google Wallet isn’t difficult, but it’s a little tedious. Users have to edit the build.prop, install the proper NFC libs, set up Google Wallet, then edit the build.prop back to its original values. Depending on whether you are running ICS, JB, and AOSP, the process can differ a little bit. The app does all of this for all of the supported devices by itself. If you’re a fan of Google Wallet, then this is the app you’re looking for.
For additional details, check out the original thread.
December 13, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Now that 4.2 AOSP and CM10.1 ROMs have had more than a few releases, momentum seems to be picking up. Much like the frenzy of AOSP-based ROMs over the summer, it started with just a few and has become more widespread very quickly. Now, two more devices have gotten unofficial CM10.1 ROMs: the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III and the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Recognized Themer itsmikeramsay released the ROMs for both devices. This is likely because the US variants of the Galaxy S III are very similar. As such, the list of things not working on these early builds are identical and include:
~ MTP Support (May Show SD-Card as Internal Storage and Vice-a-Versa when mounted)
~ Bluetooth is sporadic (Works from boot, don’t turn if off if you need it)
~ Headphone jack doesn’t work ONLY during calls
~ Lockscreen shortcuts FC when setting “System Icons” outside of Stock Theme
Another important thing to note is that the internal storage does not get deleted, but rather it is simply moved to /storage/emulated/0. It’s been a trend that the internal SD card is changed somewhat when flashing Android 4.2 due to the multiple users feature—even on phones, which don’t normally have access to this feature. The 0 stands for the primary user. Since the issues all have workarounds for the most part, these are actually very good ROMs if you don’t mind not having a camera.
December 3, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
As our readers are no doubt aware, the PACman ROM kang has appeared on a variety of devices. It’s a truly unique concept. It represents much of the best that AOSP has to offer currently all in a single package. It’s been spreading across XDA, and it seems like it’s going to keep going. PACman is now available on the HTC One S and the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Recognized Developer klin1344 released the ROMs for both devices. Both ROMs are surprisingly stable. Outside of some initial problems here and there, users have reported that both ROMs are fairly stable and users can flash them as daily drivers. Of course, users are reporting some issues, but most of them so far have been from inexperience with various settings menus. As klin1344 explains:
Attention! Because this is a mashup of CM10, AOKP, and PA, there are some settings that might conflict with others because they are duplicate. Please keep that in mind before you begin to wonder if there is a bug in this ROM. Thanks.
It’s always fun to see AOSP-derived, source-built ROMs released for a variety of devices at once. Whether it’s for five devices or for 14 devices, large scale releases mean that if you upgrade, you may be able to run the same ROM you’re already familiar with.
Team Liquid has recently released RC7 of their AOSP ROM to seven devices. The last time we talked about them, it was their RC3 release. The devices that got the release include both versions of the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 7, and all versions of the Galaxy S III except for Verizon’s.
The ROM has undergone a variety of changes. Here are a few of the highlights along with the Team Liquid members responsible for each:
◘ Added Navbar widgets/Resizable Navar Widgets – Zaphod-Beeblebrox
◘ Custom navbar targets for tablets/Tabui – Stevespear426
◘ Addded group mms threading – viekvanasani
◘ UI overhaul including Lockscreen Shortcut Bugfixed and power widget fixes – Danesh
◘ Added special Paranoid Android Sauce – Credit Paranoid Android
◘ Added USB Mass torage support for tablet mode – DAGr8
◘ SystemUI-Fix menu button in landscape – Zaphod-Beeblebrox
◘ Fix H+ and add new navbar widget icon – kwes1020
◘ “Death by subtlety” aka updated holo pngs – ToxicThunder
◘ SystemUI: Recents Ram Bar – Stevespear426
◘ Security hole fix (prevent logging of lock pattern) – CM
◘ Added home button unlock option – invisibleK
◘ Bugfix for samsung usb dock events – StevenHarperUK
◘ Make toggles hidable – Stevespear426
◘ Add setting to allow haptic feedback on toggle press -gdanko
◘ COMPLETE SETTINGS LAYOUT/ICON OVERHAUL – ToxicThunder
◘ Added support for wired headset detection – Sudhir Sharma
◘ Fix for UI LockUP with headset insert/removal – Ravi Kumar Alamanda
◘ Show more info during boot dialog (i.e. “package _ of _ is being optimized”) – JbirdVegas
◘ Fix NFC Toggle not working if it was not on @ boot – sethyx
◘ Huge Liquid Splasher overhaul including strings/summaries, layouts – Liquid0624
◘ KT747 10/28 kernel and Ktweaker for D2xxx U.S. builds – Ktoonsez
◘ Leankernel 4.5.0 for toro, maguro – Imoseyon
◘ Leankernel 0.3 for grouper – Imoseyon
Check out the release threads by XDA Recognized Developer toxicthunder below:
November 4, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
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.
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.
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.
If you were to search the forums for users who had some sort of modem trouble, you’d find quite a few questions. Typically, they come from users who have either flashed their modem incorrectly or simply flashed the wrong one. This can occur quite easily as not all modems are built equally, and there’s always someone who tries to flash a Verizon modem on an AT&T device.
Now, for T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III users, there’s a small AROMA script that takes the guesswork out of modem flashing. Developed by XDA Senior Member clark44, the application is called Team Sonic Modem Flasher. What it is designed to do is allow T-Mobile Galaxy S III owners—and only T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III owners—to change their radios without the guesswork. It uses the now popular AROMA installer and it’s pretty easy to use.
Flash Any Modem For The T-Mobile Galaxy S3
Modems Supported are UVALEM, UVDLH3, UVLG1, and UVLH2.
Uses Unique Aroma Installer
Touch Based Installer
So if you need to flash a new modem, this is definitely an application worth looking into. For more details, got to the original thread.
August 27, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
While they don’t offer any additional functionality over capacitive buttons, the software buttons that first appeared in Honeycomb and continued to Jelly Bean have become rather popular. They’re not only a modifiable novelty, but with screens as large as they are, giving up a little screen real estate for the software buttons isn’t exactly a big deal. Now, the Samsung Galaxy S III and its US variants running CM10 can have their software buttons enabled with a single mod.
The original thread was started by XDA Recognized Developer graffixnyc to bring the software buttons to the international Galaxy S III. However, XDA Forum Member NemesisRE took it a step further and developed a mod that brings the soft keys to all Galaxy S III devices.
There are five mods that users can use, all of which are flashable through custom recovery software. They are as follows:
NAV_Only: none of the hardware keys are enabled (except Volume and Power)
NAV_HomeWake: Home button wakes device but has no other function
NAV_HomeCamera: Long press Home button opens Camera and takes Pictures but has no other function
NAV_StockKeys: Functions as normal but with on Screen Navbar
NAV_Remove: Removes the mod
Not only does it work on any Samsung Galaxy S III devices, but it also may work with any device that uses the same key binding as the Galaxy S III. As NemesisRE explains:
This should work on any device with the same keybindings:
key 172 HOME
key 158 BACK
key 139 MENU
In the this files:
For more info, check out the thread above or the single post for more details.
August 24, 2012 By: jerdog
Samsung looks to have quite a few leaks in their product upgrade ship, with the Samsung Galaxy S III GT-i9300 having multiple Jelly Bean OTA leaks in the last week. Now, the T-Mobile SGS 3 (SGH-T999) now gets to profit from them as well. The leak is an incremental OTA update, which means that you will need to be on stock T999UVALH2 before applying the file. The instructions from XDA Senior Member LuffarJoh are:
1. Download and install stock (if you are not already on stock rom) This is needed as a base. The update will otherwise fail
2. Download OTA
3. Apply zip in recovery menu
4. Enjoy Jelly Bean 4.1.1
Note that you will lose root. If you are concerned about that, you should wait until the talented developers at XDA put something together for you. Visit the original thread for information on where to download the OTA and to join in on the discussion.