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FlashTool now able to download latest Xperia firmware

Posted by wicked September - 2 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

For those who manually download the latest firmware for their Sony Xperia device, FlashTool is already a very familiar program. Paired with XperiFirm which downloads new firmware for Sony Xperia devices, one can easily flash new firmware for their devices using FlashTool. The new version of the desktop app now gives you a new feature – the capability to check and download the latest firmware for Sony Xperia phones and tablets.

The new feature, available in version, effectively takes over XperiFirm’s job, which means you only need one program to get your latest firmware available from the Sony servers worldwide and flash it to your device. A disclaimer, we are in no way saying that XperiFirm doesn’t work anymore – it still does. In fact, XperiFirm has been pretty much the go to app since the demise of the Sony Update Service tool.


In the new version of FalshTool, you can now check for updates for your specific device. You can even choose what firmware you want depending on those available on Sony’s servers. Once you download the firmware files, it’s only a matter of bundling the software together in an update package that your phone or tablet will accept – all done via FlashTool, of course.


If you need the specific instructions, go on and check out the source link. FlashTool is available through the official download page here. There is also a mirror available here, through a file storage and downloading site. If you’re an Xperia user, we recommend that you check it out.

VIA: Xperia Blog

OnePlus One XNPH33R update addresses touchscreen issues

Posted by wicked August - 22 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

It’s only been a couple weeks since the last update for the OnePlus One smartphone landed back on August 12. Despite the short time span since the last update, the new update is one that many OnePlus One users have been clamoring for because this one aims to fix issues some users have been having with the smartphone’s touchscreen.

This update is XNPH33R incremental and is a maintenance release with critical updates inside. Other than packing a fix for touchscreen issues, it has some other stuff inside that users will appreciate. One of the other issues addressed in this update is poor battery life that some are experiencing.

The change list also shows a new radio image and some unspecified audio fixes. The update decreases power consumption in idle state and the update brings other unspecified audio fixes. A CVE-2014-4943 security update is also included for a serious security issue that could allow nefarious users to gain privileges with the phone.

Unfortunately, early users of the update are saying that it doesn’t completely fix the issues with the touchscreen. Reports indicate that the screen is still jumpy making it hard to unlock the phone using trace patterns. A video of the multitouch issues with the phone can be viewed above.

VIA: Android Police

Sony Xperia M2 Kitkat update now rolling out

Posted by wicked August - 18 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The firmware update that will push Sony’s midrange beauty – the Xperia M2 – to Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now rolling out, though it has been noted that the update applies to a limited few so far. The Xperia M2 launched in February with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, although with its robust specs, it was expected that Sony would update to KitKat sooner or later.

The update seems to be confined to the D2303 LTE variant at this point. This international model is available in France, Ireland, Israel, Russia, Singapore and Thailand. No updates have been spotted for the D2305 and D2306 variants, as well as the Xperia M2 Dual models. But we assume owners of those models would probably wait just a small amount of time before the update for their phones roll out.


The KitKat update on the Xperia M2 should bring a handful of new features and improvements to the handset, including several performance improvements, and a new navigation bar and task bar. The update also brings cloud print support, and improved SMS capabilities – like being able to set the Hangouts app as default for text messaging.

If you’ve received the update, tell us what you think about it in the comments section below. The generous and capable hardware of the Xperia M2 should be able to handle it, we think. But do tell us if there are any hiccups we – and the rest of the world – should know about.

VIA: Xperia Blog

ASUS PadFone Infinity, Fonepad Note 6 get their Android 4.4 due

Posted by wicked August - 14 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Better late than never, we always say, so we welcome with open arms the very late arrival of the promised Android 4.4 update for the ASUS PadFone Infinity A80, as well as its descent on ASUS’ stylus-wielding Fonepad Note 6. But while the update of last year’s devices to the latest Android version is definitely a good thing, ASUS‘ update methods might make some wonder if they’re really worth the trouble.

When the PadFone 2 got its promised KitKat update on schedule last June, it revealed a rather irksome quirk to ASUS’ procedure. While most manufacturers have embraced Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) methods, this particular device requires the assistance of a PC software to update. But worse than that, it was noted that the update will wipe the device clean, forcing users to start from scratch, at least without a properly made backup.

Unfortunately, that is also the case here with the older PadFone Infinity, model number A80. Users will have to manually download the new firmware and follow ASUS’ update procedures to a T. And yes, it will reset the device, so users are advised to create a backup beforehand. But even more than that, this upgrade will also remove previously pre-installed apps from the device, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how users have grown habits around those apps. Some apps like Watch Calendar, ASUS Sync, Birthday Reminder, Device Tracker, and more are listed to be removed while some like ASUS Studio and ASUS To-Do are simply renamed.

The update for the Fonepad Note 6 is presumably less involved, though the lack of instructions or notes don’t really inspire confidence. Users still have the option of downloading the new firmware, but ASUS doesn’t mention whether a FOTA method is available or whether it will result in a total wipe. The update, aside from bumping the Android version from Jelly Bean to KitKat, will also introduce ASUS’ new ZenUI to the device. It will also remove some apps that either no longer work on Android 4.4 or are supplanted by native Android functionality. If you own any, or both, of these devices, hit the source links below for the update announcements and links.

SOURCE: ASUS (1), (2)

NVIDIA SHIELD Portable gets Wireless Controller support

Posted by wicked August - 6 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

NVIDIA is pushing out a firmware update to the SHIELD Portable, the new name of the Android gaming handheld formerly only known as the SHIELD. While this update brings a number of improvements to the overall gaming ecosystem, its key point is that the SHIELD Portable can now be controlled using the new NVIDIA SHIELD Wireless Controller.

A wireless controller for the SHIELD Portable might sound redundant. After all, the SHIELD Portable is practically a controller with a clamshell-type display. This integration, however, does serve one purpose. If you want to play your Android games on a larger screen, you can connect the Portable to the TV and leave it there. You can then play and enjoy from your couch or chair using the wireless controller. The SHIELD Wireless Controller also has it’s own 3.5 mm audio jack and built-in microphone so that you won’t have to use the Portable’s equivalent ports when it is a few feet away.

The update also brings in other changes, like the new SHIELD Hub app that rebrands and replaces the former TegraZone app. GameStream, which lets you play some of your PC games on your SHIELD Portable or Tablet, has also been improved, now with new onscreen controls. Netflix HD now also supports 1080p quality video when streaming in Console Mode. Plus, unique to devices that have wired connections, the SHIELD Portable’s notification bar now sports an Ethernet icon of its own. That is, when connected via Ethernet and not WiFi or mobile.

With the integration of the SHIELD Wireless Controller into the SHIELD Portable, NVIDIA has practically come full circle, completing its new SHIELD Triumvirate. It will be interesting to see how the Android gaming market, and the entire gaming market in general, respond to this new thrust. While the SHIELD Portable was regarded to be well-favored and popular, it wasn’t considered exactly a retail success. The SHIELD Tablet, with its hybrid gaming and note-taking purposes, is still too new and might be too niche to make a dent. The SHIELD Wireless Controller, on the other hand, is too exclusive to the SHIELD to make it of any use beyond NVIDIA’s currently limited ecosystem.


Download official Xperia firmware with XperiFirm

Posted by wicked August - 4 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

With the demise of the Sony Update Service software, it seemed that all Sony Xperia handset users were doomed to use PC Companion, which is now Sony’s only recommended software for getting firmware updates. So it is relatively a good thing that software like XDA Senior Member IaguCool’s XperiFirm is available for when you want to get the current firmware for your Xperia device officially from Sony servers without hassle.

Official interface software tend to be bloated with features that consumers won’t normally use, and for one, that equates to a pretty heavy download and installation that you wouldn’t normally acquiesce to (but then you have to). That is unfortunately the case with Sony’s PC Companion, and that was why the SUS software was so famous with Xperia users, until recently when Sony announced that it was killing off support for that specific software.

XperiFirm was developed not really in SUS’s mold, but certainly in the spirit of giving Sony and Sony-Ericsson device users a hassle free search for current firmware. XperiFirm searches Sony’s online servers for the latest firmware available, and only the ones that exist on Sony’s servers. From there, users can pick which one they want and download it through the app, and then decrypt it to output an easily usable FTF file (Xperia users should be familiar with this).


There is more information about the app from its original XDA thread here. Initially, the app requires that your PC be running Java Runtime Environment and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or better. Look for the download link via the source link below, and also check the original XDA theread if you have any questions.

VIA: Xperia Blog

Verizon G Pad 8.3 finally gets Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Posted by wicked August - 1 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

LG has launched a new batch of G Pad tablets so, for a time, it seemed that its first G Pad was left behind. Fortunately, Verizon is giving the LG G Pad 8.3 some much needed love and attention, finally bringing the tablet’s core Android OS from the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean that it launched with to a relatively more recent Android 4.4.2.

When LG began its new premium “G” direction, the G Pad 8.3 was the first tablet that it launched to bear that name. Although a WiFi model of the tablet has been available in the US for some time now, the 4G LTE variant only landed on Verizon’s shelves last March. Those who bought the latter might have been living in envy when the Google Play Edition of the tablet, which, by the way, is no longer available from Google Play Store, received its Android 4.4.2 update way back in December. Fortunately, now it’s their turn.

Verizon’s changelog for this update isn’t exactly that long, but the changes are definitely huge, considering it skipped Android 4.3 and jumped right into KitKat. Most of the improvements have happened behind the scenes, but users will be greeted by a new monochromatic status bar and a fullscreen immersive mode. KitKat also brings multi-user support to Android, but LG does have its own implementation of this guest mode. Also making its G Pad 8.3 debut is LG’s Knock Code, which upgrades the simple “knock knock” to unlock previously found on the tablet to a more personalized and customizable multi-tap gesture.


The update notification should arrive on users’ devices shortly, though, as always, it won’t happen at the same time. It will be delivered over the air as normal, so a stable WiFi connection is required. Considering massive changes to the OS are involved, it might be a good idea to back up important files and data in the meantime and ensure there is ample battery charge before performing the update.

SOURCE: Verizon (PDF)
VIA: Android Central

Verizon Galaxy S5 update could break root access

Posted by wicked August - 1 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Verizon is rolling out a rather small update for the Samsung Galaxy S5. This maintenance update, which doesn’t upgrade the Android 4.4.2 version to anything more recent, brings a mixed bag of useful fixes and improvements. However, for some power users, it might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Software update KOT49H.G900VVRU1ANE9 pulls in a variety of new functionality and optimizations, but no new major features really. Apps like Caller Name ID and Message+ have been updated. Some apps have been fixed, like Memo no longer showing a Search icon when there’s nothing to search for in the first place, or Visual Voicemail working even when the S-View cover is closed. Some minor new features like a Downloaded Apps section in My Files and Web Search functionality for S Finder have also been introduced.

It may all sound fine and dandy except for the fact that some users are reporting problems with root after installing the update. It seems that some now have broken root access, with no way of getting it back, even via the famed Towelroot. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to it though, as some rooted users are reporting that everything is fine on their end.

So if you’re an owner of a rooted Galaxy S5 on Verizon, it might be a good idea to hold off on tapping that update button. Verizon is unlikely to comment on such an issue, considering rooting isn’t an authorized process, so most of the work in figuring this out will have to be done by the Android community. On the other hand, if you have a rather vanilla Galaxy S5 instead, feel free to wait for the update notification or mash that System update option and enjoy.

VIA: Android Authority
SOURCE: Verizon (PDF)

HTC One M8 gets 4.4.3 update with some 4.4.4 fixes

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

It might sound a bit weird, but the HTC One M8 is only now getting updated to Android 4.4.3. The rollout actually started in the US last week, at least for the unlocked versions, and is finally making its way to Europe. This massive update bumps the Android version to 4.4.3 but does include some changes coming from 4.4.4, which means that HTC won’t need to release that latest version immediately.

Android 4.4.3 is pretty much a straightforward maintenance update but it does bring some new features, in particular the redesigned dialer app. But as with many OEM’s, HTC took advantage of the update to include some of its own changes to its flagship. While there is no version bump involved for Sense 6.0 on the device, there are quite a few changes and fixes for HTC”s built-in apps. Apps like Camera, Gallery, and Settings have been updated to their latest versions, while features like Motion Launch, BoomSound and Extreme Power Saving Mode have also seen some optimizations.

Android 4.4.4 is an even lesser maintenance update whose primary purpose seems to be to address some OpenSSL security vulnerabilities disclosed early last June. The changes have been so minimal that some OEMs and even custom ROMs have integrated those fixes even before updating to version 4.4.4. HTC confirms that this is also the case with this One M8 update, which means that the manufacturer won’t feel the need to rush out an update that would only be effectively changing version numbers.

The HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 update comes at a sizable package of around 600 MB, less for the unlocked US version and more for the European model. In Europe, it is hitting Nordic versions of the device first and, as always will take time before it goes out to everyone, depending on the region and the carrier.

VIA: Android Central (1), (2)

Nokia X update gives endangered phone one last hurrah

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Microsoft might have formally closed the doors on its brief Android venture, but it isn’t completely pulling the plug on its already existing Android smartphones. Nokia has just announced an incoming software update for the Nokia X, X+, and XL devices, bringing in a wealth of new features and apps, which might also be the last substantial update the smartphones will get.

The biggest UI improvement in this update is the new App Switcher feature, basically like Android’s own Recent Apps display. Users need only swipe down from the top edge of the phone to bring down the quick control panel and then select the app switcher icon. This will take them to a cards like layout of currently running and recently used apps, where they can switch to those apps or close the app. It’s a few steps more compared to the regular Android way, but considering Nokia/Microsoft’s custom UI doesn’t have a navigation panel, it’s a necessary evil.

The update will also bring a load of pre-installed Microsoft apps to the phone. In particular Outlook, OneDrive, and OneNote will now be baked into the phone’s firmware. Outlook brings Microsoft’s email and calendaring service to the phone, while OneNote Mobile will let users access notes stored on OneDrive. They can also create notes right from the phone, though curiously limited to a maximum of 500 notes.

Like any other regular Android device, this software update will be arriving via OTA but can also be manually queried from the phone’s Settings app. Unfortunately, this isn’t the same Nokia X software platform 2.0 that was unveiled with the new Nokia X2, but considering that platform 2.0 will never make it to the older phones because of hardware limitations, this might be the closest that Nokia X owners can get to that experience. And since there is no certainty that Microsoft will continue supporting the platform after it has laid off most of the old Nokia‘s workforce, Nokia X owners might want to savor this update as much as they can.

SOURCE: Microsoft

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