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CyanogenMod 11 M5 rolls out, Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 held back

Posted by wicked April - 7 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The CyanogenMod team has announced its monthly milestone release for CyanogenMod 11, now at its fifth, that brings another round of fixes and new features. Unfortunately, CM 11 M5 might disappoint some smartphone owners, particular those who have Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4.

Changes in this release run across the board. The Trebuchet launcher has seen fixes to its custom transition effect and icon handling. The developers have also added look-up features to its open source version of Google’s new Dialer introduced in Android 4.4. The mini changelog for CyanogenMod 11.0 M5, which itself is just a snippet of the changes in this release, can be found below.

  • Trebuchet – Fix last icon from hotseat disappearing
  • Trebuchet – Fix custom home transition effect
  • Volume Panel – Increase opacity of transparency (previous level led to visibility concerns)
  • WhisperPush – Relocate to Privacy menu
  • WhisperPush – fix NPE on viewing identity if unregistered
  • Translations – Initial imports from CrowdIn (followup blog post next week)
  • MultiSim – Additional support patches (25+)
  • Privacy Guard – Additional AppOps permissions
  • Additional Right-to-left (RTL) layout mirroring support
  • Settings – Add ‘screen color’ support
  • Quickboot support (device specific)
  • Stylus – Fix eraser being disabled by palm rejection
  • NavBar – Allow toggle in runtime (needs kernel support)
  • Add ethernet icon support to status bar
  • Dialer – Open Source forward/backward/incoming look-up

CyanogenMod users on Samsung’s flagships might be a bit frustrated to not see their devices including in the download queue. While CyanogenMod rarely makes mention of specific devices, the special case of the Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 warrant it. The reason for missing support for these two is the unified builds introduced last February. CyanogenMod has tried to create one build for all Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 variants, now the d2lte and jflte builds, respectively, but they still haven’t ironed out some variant-specific issues. Rather than release a build that is supposedly meant for all variants but doesn’t really work on all of them, the device maintainers have decided to delay an M release yet again until the issues are completely addressed.

It is understandable that some of CyanogenMod’s user base will be less than pleased, but it is also understandable that the developers would not want to put out a half-baked product. That said, there is always an option for eager owners. They can opt to install the nightly builds that are still being done for both devices and are actually more up-to-date but have no guarantees of stability whatsoever.

SOURCE: CyanogenMod

Maintenance Baseband Update for the T-Mobile Galaxy S III T999

Posted by Will Verduzco March - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that this was the Android 4.3 update for the device. Apologies for the mistake.

While several recent high end devices have finally been upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat, many are still running Android 4.3. The  is one of these devices. While it has just started receiving a new it finally received its official Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.

The update comes in the form of build ID UVUENC2. And while it retains the same Android 4.3 version, it updates your baseband firmware. According to T-Mobile support documents, this 37 MB update is available both via OTA and through Samsung Kies. But if you intend on updating through either of the above methods, you can’t be rooted, and you must have at least 50% battery.

As the update is rolling out in stages, your device may not see the OTA for some time. Luckily, XDA Recognized Developer Synthetic.Nightmare was kind enough to mirror the update for those who would like to install the components manually. Furthermore, since he also includes the modem separately, you can install the update without the modem or the modem without the update.

Those looking to learn more about the update can do so by visiting the update discussion thread. And if you’re looking to get in on the firmware a bit early, head over to Synthetic.Nightmware’s firmware mirror.

[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter titokhan for yet another tip!]

Make Your Own Charging Battery Animation for the Samsung Galaxy S III

Posted by wicked March - 4 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


If you’ve been looking for a more interesting battery charging animation to replace the rather dull and conventional battery icon you have now, there are a wealth of options available ranging from battery mod compilations to 3rd party apps, and even a Windows tool. But if these options just don’t seem to cut it for you and you’d rather create your own battery animation from scratch, you may want to check out XDA Recognized Contributor erikalin’s tutorial.

Because of the personalized and limitless nature of the procedure, Erikalin keeps the tutorial clean and simple. It is broken up into two parts: things you have to get, such as 7zip and Paint (or any other image editor of choice), and things you have to do. If you fancy yourself as being more of a visual learner, this has also been catered for by Erikalin, who has made a video tutorial. It can be said that the video tutorial is more thorough than the written counterpart, as it shows exactly what Erikalin did to create his own battery animation.

Before you rush and open up Windows Paint, it should be noted that you will be editing 203 very small images, a task that is both time consuming and may not be healthy for your eyes if you’re at it for extended periods of time. Nevertheless, if you’re up for the challenge and would like to get started creating your own battery charging animation for your Samsung Galaxy S 3, head over to the original thread for more information.

Dozens of Motorola and Samsung Devices Receive Unified CyanogenMod 11 Builds

Posted by wicked February - 19 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off


Before Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the OEM released two very interesting smartphones. The Moto X and Moto G were the first and probably the last devices made by the formerly American OEM in a cooperation with Google. Not so long ago, we talked about the Moto G receiving an unofficial CyanogenMod port. Now, however, the G and a few other Motorola devices will receive official CyanogenMod nightlies.

The CM team has released three unified builds, which is a bit of a surprising move, considering that the list of supported devices is quite long. The “mysterious” moto_msm8960 build will work with the Photon Q, Atrix HD, Razr M, and Droid Razr HD. The second build, dubbed moto_msm8960dt, should work with dual-core devices like the Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra. You need to figure out which phones are which, as builds for other devices will simply not work properly or even can brick your device. So be sure to double check before flashing, and check your home forum here on XDA to get the necessary info.

A build for the Moto G is separate due to its internal hardware. And I can’t can’t write about official nightlies for device code named falcon without mentioning XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who did a terrific job bringing up the device tree for this phone.

Motorola devices aren’t the only receiving these new unified builds. A couple of Samsung devices will receive unified builds as well. The list of phones is quite long and includes following devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy S3 (qcom): d2att, d2cri, d2mtr, d2spr, d2tmo, d2usc, d2vzw
    Now: d2lte
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (qcom): hltespr, hltetmo, hltevzw, htlexx
    Now: hlte
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4 (qcom): jflteatt, jfltecan, jfltecri, jfltecsp, jfltespr, jfltetmo, jflteusc, jfltevzw, jfltexx
    Now: jflte

Builds include only Qualcomm-based devices, as Exynos devices are still using platform-specified builds.

As you can see, the CyanogenMod team are on fire and make things as easy as possible both for developers and end users. The builds are located over on the official CyanogenMod download page. You can also check out the source code by visiting team’s Github and typing the name of the device in the search box.

[Big thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor herna for the tip!]

CyanogenMod starts forging one build to rule all carrier variants

Posted by wicked February - 19 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

In order to make the most efficient use of time, resources, and manpower, the CyanogenMod team has decided to unify some carrier-specific builds into a single device build. Although it doesn’t yet cover all devices, the unified builds have already been setup for some of the more popular and current ones, particularly from HTC and Samsung.

The unification process actually started rather silently last month, when CyanogenMod announced on its Google+ page that, moving forward, it will only be providing one build for the GSM version of the HTC One. These means that the three previous m7ul (unlocked), m7att (AT&T), and m7tmo (T-Mobile) builds will now just be available under a single m7 build. Now CyanogenMod will be giving the same treatment to some of the other devices on their list.

The next to get unified are the myriad builds for the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, and Galaxy Note 3. In the case of these Samsung devices, the master build will be compatible with both GSM and CDMA variants. These means that all 7 Galaxy S III builds will now be replaced by a single d2lte master, while the Galaxy S 4 will just have one jflte build, and the Galaxy Note 3 will be covered by the hlte build. CyanogenMod notes that there will still be separate builds for Exynos-based variants of these devices, like the I9500.

The good news for end users is that they need not worry about the changes. All functionality are promised to work across all device variations. They won’t even have to do anything to get the unified build if they are using the built-in CM updater as the update server will be the one to take care of transitioning from carrier-specific to master build. The unified build will roll out to users via the updater starting with the next M4 release of CyanogenMod 11.

SOURCE: CyanogenMod (1), (2)

Samsung Details Which Devices will Receive Official KitKat Lovin’

Posted by Will Verduzco February - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


Before today, Samsung has been very cautious in tempering expectations regarding official Android 4.4 KitKat updates for its recent devices. While certain phones have already received the 4.4.2 goods, much of the rest of the company’s lineup is still in Jelly Bean limbo. We’ve seen leaks fly around left and right for the Galaxy S 4, but official word regarding KitKat for the device has been lacking. And since this is just for their latest and greatest, the future didn’t look so hot for Samsung’s older devices.

Some time ago, we saw a leaked internal memo pointing to a potential KitKat release schedule for various devices. Now, however, Samsung has broken the silence by stating which devices will receive official updates to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Unfortunately, they aren’t stating when, though.

Samsung Galaxy U.S. devices currently scheduled to receive the KitKat update include select carrier variants of the Galaxy Note® 3, Galaxy Note® II, Galaxy S® 4, Galaxy S® 4 mini™, Galaxy S® 4 Active™, Galaxy S® 4 zoom™, Galaxy S® III, Galaxy S® III mini™, Galaxy Mega®, Galaxy Light, Galaxy Note® 8.0, Galaxy Tab® 3, Galaxy Note® 10.1, Galaxy Note® 10.1 2014 Edition.

In addition to the Android version bump, the update will also pack the following additional features:

  • Location Menu: An integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities.
  • Enhanced Messaging: Enables users to choose between Messages or Hangouts as their preferred default messaging application, and select from a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons.
  • Upgraded Google Mobile Service™ (GMS) apps: Users can automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files.

While the update news is a few months later than we would have liked, it’s nice to see that older devices like the Note II, S III, and Note 10.1 will get to enjoy the KitKat goods in official capacity. However, the presence of the word “select” when talking about which carrier-branded devices leaves us more than a bit skeptical about certain US-based carriers with less than stellar track records. Furthermore, we’d still like to know when exactly Samsung plans on delivering the goods!

[Source: Samsung Press Release | Via AndroidPolice]

Samsung Galaxy S III Neo+ puts two SIM slots in a 2012 flagship

Posted by wicked January - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Samsung loves its flagship devices, it really does. So much that it tries to make use of their names years after the devices themselves have gone out of fashion. This looks like the case with this new Galaxy S III Neo+, a refurbished smartphone from 2012, just with an added extra SIM card slot.


Not that the Galaxy S III is exactly dated. By all means, it still sounds like a decent mid-range smartphone, with a quad-core 1.4 GHz Exynos CPU and 1 GB of RAM. The display is 4.8 inches only but has a good 1280×720 HD resolution. The 8 megapixel camera might fall slightly behind today’s flagships but should be quite decent for basic mobile needs.

The Galaxy S III Neo+ is practically the same in most aspects, except with the addition of a second SIM slot as mentioned. Given that it has a quad-core processor, we can presume that this also uses the same Exynos chip of the 3G model, so no LTE for this one. Fortunately, Samsung at least decided to make use of a more up-to-date Android 4.3 instead of the Ice Cream Sandwich that ran on the original Galaxy S III.

This smartphone has just appeared in Samsung’s Chinese catalog but the price tag is still unknown. Though the Galaxy S III Neo+ might not make it to US shores, it could probably still pop up in other markets around the world.

VIA: Sammy Hub

Backup Your EFS Partition with Easy to Use App

Posted by wicked January - 14 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


If you own a Samsung device, you have undoubtedly heard of the EFS partition. If you haven’t, let me explain. EFS is a partition where quite a bit of important radio data is stored. Without this data, you won’t be able to use your phone correctly. It’s extremely important to keep a local copy of your EFS partition, and we’ve already presented a Windows utility and application to backup the EFS partition on Samsung devices.

The two aforementioned utilities are not the only tools available to backup your EFS partition. Rather, XDA Senior Member ricky310711 created another application that gives users the option to backup or restore the EFS partition, as well as reboot your phone in four different modes.

With the appropriately titled Samsung Tool, you can hot-reboot your device, go to recovery, or enter mode. The application stores a copy of the EFS backup in the /data/media/SamsungTool folder. But in future releases, we might see external SD card support. Samsung Tool works with many Samsung devices, but only Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 10.1 are officially supported.

Hopefully, you won’t ever have to restore your EFS partition. However, it’s never a bad idea to make a backup copy. To learn more, make your way to the application thread and give this a shot.

OmniROM 4.4 Test Builds Appear for the Galaxy S III I9300

Posted by Will Verduzco November - 15 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off


As the flood of Android 4.4 KitKat ROMs continues to flow through, more and more devices are seeing the fruits of Google’s latest and greatest version of Android. Most of these devices that are now getting aftermarket 4.4 builds will not see an official KitKat release for quite some time—that is, if they even receive the update at all. That said, most of the devices receiving highly functional ports are high-end (former) flagship-level devices.

One of the relatively high-end devices that has now received a highly functional KitKat build is the International Galaxy S III GT-I9300. Samsung’s former flagship just recently received Android 4.3 in official capacity. And now thanks to XDA Elite Recognized Developers XpLoDWilD, Entropy512, and Rebellos, the SGS3 also has a highly functional build of Android 4.4 KitKat-based OmniROM.

Although publicly available, Xplodwild is labeling these builds as test builds. That said, quite a lot seems to be working. Essentially, the only known issues at this time involve video playback and camera functionality. Those functions work, but they’re not quite optimal as of yet. It is also important to note that you must be using the correct recovery for this to work. If you are not using CWM Touch (or newer) or the latest TWRP, you will likely have a metadata error when flashing.

If you want to try out KitKat on your SGS3 I9300 and are willing to put up with a few video playback and camera issues, make your way over to the ROM thread and give this a shot!

Unofficial CM11 Appears for the Galaxy S III I747 and T999

Posted by Will Verduzco November - 10 - 2013 - Sunday Comments Off


Ever since Android 4.4 KitKat was released to AOSP, we knew that a deluge of source-built ROMs was incoming. We’ve since seen various devices get the goods—most of which will not receive official updates to KitKat for quite some time, if at all. Now, a build has appeared for the I747 (AT&T) and T999 (T-Mobile) variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.

The build comes from XDA Senior Member jermaine151. The initial build released two days ago was fairly rough. It lacked sound and thus couldn’t function as a phone. However, dramatic progress has been made in the past two days. Then once the sound was fixed, GPS, camera, LED flash, and almost everything else seemed to work. In fact, the only major problem at the time seems to be external SD card mounting. Now in the latest build that arrived this morning, this has been fixed as well.

If you want a taste of the KitKat goods on your I747 or T999, head over to the ROM thread to get started.

[Thanks to L33HDX for the tip!]

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