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:
It doesn’t always make the front pages, but device security is still one of the most important topics for Android users. Whether it’s for protection from exploits that can brick a phone or apps that have permissions they really don’t need, users and developers are always on the lookout for potentially dangerous applications. One app some use is XDA Forum Member svyat‘s PDroid, which is now ported to the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III.
XDA Recognized Developer TrevE has released the port for the Verizon Galaxy S III. It functions just like PDroid is supposed to. For those who don’t know what it does exactly, here’s an explanation from TrevE:
PDroid is a (awesome) security framework similar to superuser but allows selective blocking of app permissions. It creates a “proxy” between the actual permissions and the PDroid framework which allow passing of different return data.
Because of the proxy created this method is better than apps which just remove permissions from manifests because it should not cause any fcs- Apps will never know the difference. It also allows patching permissions such as location/android id/camera to return spoofed data.
PDroid is a very complex mod across many parts of framework.
In more simple terms, PDroid allows users to control what permissions applications can have. This is an excellent app because it can stop a malicious app dead in its tracks, before it has a chance to do any damage by accessing features or information that you don’t want to grant. And since it uses a proxy method to prevent unwanted access, this prevents the force closes present with other methods of permission blocking. Any Android user who wants to micromanage app permissions should definitely give this a look.
To learn more, go to the original thread.
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.
November 19, 2012 By: egzthunder1
The eternal conundrum of data usage—you buy it on a monthly basis from your carrier and try to use it for any and all needs. If you travel as much as I do, you will know that the luxury of mid to pseudo high speed data on the go on your computer via tethering is a blessing in and of itself. Regardless of how advanced Android is, it still cannot match the utility you can get out of a real computer, whose only on-the-go limitation is the inability to connect to the Web when away from a hotspot. Because of this, WiFi Tether was created way back when.
Limitations in the firmware on most newer devices either disable or create a “wall” to prevent people from tethering (courtesy of the carriers who want to sell such services for a substantial monthly fee). Thankfully, we have very skilled people on XDA, who can get around things like this. One such individual is XDA Recognized Developer TrevE, who you may remember from a little saga he had against HTC and, most notably, CIQ around this time last year. Using the available source for WiFi Tether (which is GPL licensed) as well as some binaries coming from the CM team, TrevE has been able to “force” WiFi Tether to work on the most recent Jelly Bean TouchWiz (stock) ROMs. And as an added bonus, this also works on the HTC EVO 3D when loaded with a Sense 4.x ROM.
Please take it for a spin, and make sure you look at TrevE’s notes in the OP, as the app has the ability to cause some strange behavior if you do not use it correctly. Some of the issues include killing your WiFi altogether, whcih can be fixed with a simple reboot. As always, please leave some feedback for the developer.
Carriers hate tethering, you all know that. Use at your own risk/with common sense & dont blame me for anything that goes wrong
GS3 Specific- Make a system backup, it modifies sys files so theres a chance it will break something
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
[Thanks Virus for the tip!]
November 7, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
By now, some of you might be aware of the recently leaked I535VRBLI5 Jelly Bean ROM for the Verizon Galaxy S III. While the Sprint and T-Mobile variants of SGSIII received JB leaks earlier, and the latter was even ported to the Verizon SGSIII, this latest one isn’t a port. Do note that it is just a leak at the moment, and Verizon hasn’t yet started rolling it out to the users.
As with pretty much any stock update, you lose root if you install the leaked ROM directly. If you haven’t installed it for that reason and would rather keep your root access, you needn’t wait any longer as long. XDA Forum Member alexcolodner has taken the leaked JB ROM, rooted and deodexed it, and uploaded it for everyone to enjoy. It is the fully stock TouchWiz ROM, bringing all the goodies from Jelly Bean to your device including Google Now, Project Butter, and notification tweaks—but now, with root.
More information and the download link can be found at the forum thread, so head over there and get your Verizon SGSIII a taste of Jelly Bean.
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.
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 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.
- Post Obsfucated BASH code within code tags. Example:
# or #! /bin/bash is acceptable too.
your code goes here
- Post the video above (not ready yet) or your entry to your favorite social media service.
- edit and link to your public social media share in your entry
Anyone may enter. You don’t need to be in the USA to enter. You don’t need to have Verizon service. Also, there is an incomplete project to get this device carrier unlocked. This device is worth $600, and we’re giving it away for the most illegible and cool BASH script.
So fire up your terminal emulator, and get to BASHing out some code. You have until Sunday!
August 29, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode of Unboxing the XDA Way, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler unboxes The Verizon Galaxy S3 The XDA Way. After demonstrating the activation bypass, he goes on to give a close-up of the motherboard, talks about the hardware, and follows up with a JTAG demonstration.
Now the Verizon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III is famous for having a locked bootloader. However, Adam shows that not even a locked up bootloader can stop him and the knowledgeable members at XDA. He shows a piece of software he wrote called CASUAL, which handles rooting, bootloader unlocking, and installing ClockworkMod Recovery—all of which are your basic required tools to install custom ROMs like CyanogenMod 10 and AOKP. Be sure to check this video out!