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Missing Cyanogen? The OnePlus 2 is getting CyanogenMod

Posted by wicked November - 29 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off

oneplus 2 unboxing initial setup aa (22 of 32)

The OnePlus One was a very special phone. Not only was it super affordable and had very powerful specs, but it also came with very unique software. Cyanogen was at the very heart of the OnePlus experience, something that attracted many fans of the developers who created the most popular third-party ROM – CyanogenMod.

Things didn’t go very well after the Chinese startup decided to make its own ROM and these companies chose to leave other for good. Regardless, some tinkerers found a way to port the CyanogenMod to the OnePlus 2, but until today we had not actually seen official support from the Cyanogen team. CyanogenMod support for the OnePlus 2 is now in the works, as people have found the device listed in the Git repository.

oneplus 2 launch aa (41 of 93)

This means that OnePlus 2 users will now be able to enjoy the popular ROM with much more help from the community and developers. The software will also benefit from any upcoming updates and changes. And at the very least the experience will be very similar to what we saw in the OnePlus One’s Cyanogen-made software. To many of you, this will surely beat sticking with OnePlus’ OxygenOS.

By the way, you won’t have to stick with older software. Two versions of CyanogenMod are listed in the repository: 12.2 and 13. This means you can choose between Android 5.1.1 Lollipop or Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Pretty sweet, right? Are any of you installing CyanogenMod on your OnePlus 2 devices? Hit the comments and let us know! By the way, this procedure requires you to root your phone and tinker with it in some less-than-official ways. Doing this may hurt your device and/or void your warranty, so do your research and proceed at your own risk!

cyanogenmod-nexus-5-boot-screen-aa-2-645x433Next: What is CyanogenMod?17

Windows Phone Internals Opens the Custom ROM World for Lumia Phones

Posted by wicked November - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off


Somewhere around a decade ago, when XDA was a little forum based in Netherlands, users gathered together to make some modifications to Windows phones. It was one of the few, if not only operating systems that allowed modding to such degree.

Many amazing developers started their careers hacking their Windows Phone devices, but when Android appeared, everything changed. Microsoft decided to tightly close all its systems making them similar to iOS. Windows Phone has almost died.

XDA was always about crossing boundaries and limitations. There is always an exploit waiting to be discovered and used to gain control over technology. One of the Windows Phone legends  – XDA Recognized Developer Heathcliff74 – did something utterly amazing and created a tool that makes Windows Phone enthusiasts cry tears of joy. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Windows Phone Internals. WPI allows users to unlock the bootloader on selected Lumia phones. After this process, devices can obtain similar rights to Superuser rights on Android. This means that we might finally see some custom ROMs landing on nearly forgotten Lumias.

Heathcliff74 announced that Windows Phone Internals support most versions of Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile. These two operating systems are shipped with most currently available Lumia phones. There is a great chance that your device might be supported and you can unlock your phone.

There are two detailed videos on which Heatcliff74 shows how to use his tool. While it looks simple, you should use this tool with caution. Messing around with bootloaders is always risky, so there is always a chance to hard brick your device.

On the first one you can learn some basics.

Second video teaches you how to create a custom ROM with root access.

You can find more details about this tool by visiting the forum thread and Heathcliff74‘s website on which the Windows Phone Internals are shared, or read the XDA thread. Thanks to XDA Senior Moderator timmymarsh for the tip!

Are you excited to see some new custom ROMs on Lumia phones? Are you ready to get a Windows Phone device? Share your thoughts in comments below!

Bounties: A Look at the Wild West of Android Development

Posted by wicked November - 25 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off


Bounties are a popular way for users to put their money where their mouth is when asking developers to tackle some problem. Usually, bounties are aimed towards acquiring root access, but some bounties have been set up to get T-Mobile WiFi calling to work on the Nexus 4 while others have been set up to port Android Wear to Samsung Gear smartwatches.

As long as there is enough community interest in achieving some device-specific goal, you can expect to see people banding together to pledge their money in hopes of attracting developers to reach the bounty’s goal. If you’ve ever participated in a bounty on XDA, then you’re probably aware that the entire effort is completely handled by volunteers. Users are free to create bounty threads for whatever goal they want to achieve, but there are many potential issues that arise from how the bounty is organized to how the payment is distributed that leaves a gray area too murky to handle. Considering how many logistical hurdles and scam possibilities there are when setting up a bounty, it’s incredible that so many have been successful.

Wanted: Root Exploit

It’s up to the users to decide whether or not they want to invest in a bounty prize pool. The financial incentive users create can help drive developers to invest their time and effort into reaching the goal, and gives users a direct way to contribute to developer efforts rather than merely begging. Looking at the outcomes of many high-profile bounties makes it easy to assume that supporting the use of bounties is a no brainer.

Bounty Chart

Table of Successful Bounties with Pledges Over $1,000

But when you take a look at the full data (at least, for all the bounties I could find on XDA) things get a bit more complicated. For starters, you’ll notice that many bounties have been left unclaimed and that most fulfilled bounties are for popular flagship devices. Neither of these observations should be surprising, though, given that most development efforts are already disproportionately seen on the most popular devices anyways. The most striking thing about the data is the fact that there is so much missing data! Proper logistics is the single biggest hurdle that any community-led bounty effort must overcome, without which many potential issues can arise.

Lawless Territory

Just about every player in the bounty process can introduce a headache for any bounty efforts. I’ll start by describing the most common issues stemming from the regular users.

First of all, a pledge does not in any way guarantee that they will actually pay the developer once the bounty has been claimed. Some users can back out of paying the developer for whatever reason. Now, there are, understandably, some legitimate reasons one might need to pull out of the bounty fund, but if many users do so, the effects on the prize pool can be dramatic. For example, less than half of the bounty pledged for root access on the LG G4 was actually paid out to the developer. Some might say that developers were never guaranteed payment for their work, and they’re right — however, developers are less likely to take the effort seriously if the users themselves aren’t going to. If you’re not putting your money where your mouth is, why should the developers listen to your request?

Another issue with pledges is that we have no way of determining whether or not a pledge was ever sincere. In many of the high-profile bounty threads, you’ll see pledges that are hundreds of dollars! It makes you wonder why someone would pledge to shell out so much money when their device is barely worth more than the actual pledge. High pledges do not necessarily mean the user isn’t sincere, however, which can cause a whole heap of issues when users start a flame-war in the XDA thread accusing others of inflating the bounty. Speaking of inflating the bounty, many users in bounty threads bring up a potential issue with developers.

A developer has discovered an exploit that meets the terms set forth by the bounty, but should he claim it immediately? Why not keep it secret to build up the prize pool? Although there is no evidence that this has yet occurred, the possibility should not be tossed aside. As unethical as it might seem, this move does carry with it some risk since another developer can beat them to the punch and claim the bounty before them. Even if a developer holds back on claiming the bounty, as mentioned earlier there’s no guarantee they’ll receive all that’s promised, or that the promised amount is even accurate! Which brings me to my next point, who maintains the bounty?

Bounty threads are an absolute nightmare to keep up with (so kudos to certain community members who have kindly provided templates that we can use). You’ll be searching through posts, PMs, e-mails, or whatever other method you chose to update the bounty list, but sometimes the effort is just too much work to handle for a single person. How do you properly maintain a bounty list while also ensuring every user is a legitimate member of the community that is actually willing to pledge their money?

Let’s say you’re able to keep up with it all, how do you then ensure the developer gets paid? Do you delegate the funds to a single person to distribute? Who can you trust to handle those funds? Even if you do manage to find a trustworthy person willing to manage the bounty funds, you’ll still have to deal with every other problem mentioned earlier. Plus, you may even run into some scammers attempting to claim the bounty for someone else’s work.

Nearly every flagship is sold in international markets, to people of many different countries around the world. Not every developer who uses your favorite flagship phone browses XDA, so some developers working out of China or India might not even be aware of a bounty’s existence. A scammer might try to claim the bounty in these cases by pretending to be the person who found the exploit, and the average user will be none the wiser. It’s up to the community to do their due diligence and ensure that the right person claims credit for their work.

Wild West of Development

To conclude, there’s good evidence to suggest the efficacy of bounties in achieving the goals of an XDA device community based on past experiences. However, the many logistical hurdles that can arise from getting users to cough up the pledges they promised to ensure that the bounty falls into the right hands make bounties difficult to maintain. The community must come together to ensure that the bounty runs smoothly for all involved parties. Thus, we recognize their importance in the community and the developments of various phones.

Have you contributed to a bounty before? Were you satisfied with the results? Let us know in the comments below!

Snapchat Is at It Again and Blocks Root Users — but for How Long?

Posted by wicked November - 21 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off


Despite many security concerns from the past, Snapchat is still one of the most popular social media service available for smartphones. According to reports, it has 100 million of active users, and 65% of them upload photos.

Snapchat users would easily become the 13th biggest country in the world if we take population as a measure.

Snapchat’s fast way of sharing photos to multiple friends at the time is highly regarded by users. However, many of you, Snapchat users will soon face, if not already, a serious inconvenience, as Snapchat will stop working on your devices. Yes, Snapchat will not work on rooted devices.

The newest update brings a new security check. The application is now looking for superuser existence in the system upon logging in. A nice explanation of the problem was made by XDA Senior Member MaaarZ, who is also a creator of Snapprefs, an Xposed Framework module which enhances the limited Snapchat’s utility. According to MaaarZ, Snapchat is now performing a few tests and if at least one of them is positive, an application kills itself when Superuser is found in the system. Needless to say that most of currently available custom ROMs on XDA contain root, so this change may affect thousands if not millions of people.

Looking from user’s perspective, the security should always be kept at the highest level. Blocking application on rooted devices is nevertheless an extremely poor move. Thousands of users will look for an alternative instead of keeping their devices in vanilla state. The social media market is very tight and it’s extremely easy to find a nice replacement without such ridiculous obstacles. I bet that many developers or companies are looking forward to delivering a similar, better-written software alternative with all users in mind, which will fill the gap in no time.

I’m not a security expert, so I’ve asked our very own Senior Recognized Developer pulser_g2 to share his opinion regarding this move. Here’s what he had to say:

Any application which tries to enforce client-side security, as part of its core use-case, is fundamentally flawed. If you are delivering the data to the user, they have it, and you must assume they have it forever. If this was a hobbyist’s “fun” project, it would be acceptable – OK sure, someone can screenshot images, or store them, but that’s fair enough. This isn’t a hobby app though, and it’s trying to do something unachievable. They want to implement DRM on a still image, when even the content producers haven’t managed to make effective DRM. Music labels gave up on it – the idea doesn’t work.

Snapchat would be better putting their time into improving the application – they won’t stop people from screenshotting snapchats (without alerting the other person), if someone actually wants to – next thing, someone will just hook into the kernel and dump the framebuffer output. Good luck detecting or stopping that.

This inconvenience will result in many users dropping Snapchat and looking for some alternative, which will be more user-friendly, customizable and hopefully safe without applying these weird “patches”. If you, however, plan to stick with either Snapchat and root, you might have to give the Snapprefs a spin. MaarZ promised to deliver an update which will remove the root checks from the app. XDA will always find a way!

Is Snapchat’s decision correct? Are you going to stop using this application? Let us know in the comments below!

What is CyanogenMod?

Posted by wicked November - 19 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

CyanogenMod is one of the best known custom ROMs out there, enabling millions of users around the world to customize their devices to the fullest. With the popularity of CyanogenMod, the developer community enjoyed great success over the years. So much so, that the people behind CyanogenMod started Cyanogen Inc, and developed partnerships with phone manufacturers to have CyanogenMod as the default operating system.

What is a custom ROM?

CyanogenMod started out as a simple alternative to stock Android on the HTC Dream and HTC Magic.

Google releases the source code for Android via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which allows anyone to download the source code for stock Android and modify it to their liking. Many people add features or try to further optimize the operating system to improve performance. When people talk about flashing ROMs, they are referring to overwriting the old version of Android that is installed and replacing it with a third party alternative, like CyanogenMod. This sounds sketchy in a way, but just because the ROM is supported by the community, rather than a commercial entity, it does not mean that they are any less stable. In my experience, custom ROMs have been just as stable if not more so than OEM supplied ROM, depending on the ROM of course.

However, the term “ROM” is not necessarily used correctly when talking about the third party custom firmware. A “ROM” in computer science is “Read-Only Memory” which can only be read and not written to more than once in the most basic sense. Smartphones and tablets use flash memory to store the Android OS, so the correct term should be “custom firmware”. This naming convention may lead to some confusion when talking about custom ROMs, just remember, the firmware is being changed, not any ROMs that might be in the device.

The roots of CyanogenMod

CyanogenMod started out as a simple alternative to stock Android on the HTC Dream and HTC Magic with the initial release of CyanogenMod 3.1 in 2009. With Android’s open source nature and the ability to obtain root access, anything is possible, and with the popularity of the custom ROMs, the CyanogenMod community blossomed. CyanogenMod really started to be recognized with CyanogenMod 7, based on 2.3 Gingerbread. This release added new and improved features over stock Android like BusyBox in the shell, as well as improving the stock apps.

CyanogenMod release cycle and style

CyanogenMod version numbers work just like Android version numbers, i.e. CyanogenMod A.B means that “A” is the major release number and “B” is a minor release number. From version 9 to 10.2, there were a few different types of releases. These included:

  • Nightly – A build generated every 24 hours, newest features but HIGHLY unstable in most cases, not good enough for a daily driver.
  • Experimental – More stable than the nightlies and may be used in other custom ROMs as a base.
  • M Snapshot – More stable than the last two, but still may have some minor issues.
  • Release Candidate – Basically stable, some very minor issues may be present, good enough for daily use.
  • Stable – Pretty much all of the bugs have been squashed. These builds will take a very long time to actually be released.

After 10.2, CyanogenMod has changed the release cycle and the names of everything to simplify the process. This time there are only two options:

  • Development Channel – Same as the nightlies from before, every 24 hours and are highly unstable.
  • Release Channel – M snapshots are made each month which are suitable for daily use, although they lag behind the nightly builds by two weeks as far as features and improvements.

Impact on the dev community

Being the biggest custom ROM, there is obviously an impact on the rest of the dev community, XDA is full of custom ROMs that are based on CyanogenMod. Even the custom ROM that I helped on was based on CyanogenMod for certain devices. Getting everything set up and working from a CyanogenMod base is easier than using stock Android, since a lot of stuff like the theme chooser is already built in, so there is no need to add it.

Advantages over stock Android

The whole reason behind installing a custom ROM is to add features, improve performance, or change the look of stock Android. This is exactly what you get to do with CyanogenMod. There are features in CyanogenMod that are simply not available in stock Android, like the ability to change the status bar to your liking, or apply different themes.

CyanogenMod brings a lot to the table in terms of options, but one of the biggest advantages is root access. Root gives you administrative rights (in Windows terms) to your file system. This means that you can access all of the system files, which in turn allows allows app to do more. For example, there is no official way to backup app data easily, however you can use Titanium Backup and its “root needed” features. This is one of the best apps I have ever used and it should be standard for all devices, you can backup apps no problem and transfer them to any device without fail. There are many other apps like this that just make your life a lot easier. However, a word of warning, root access is not as secure as non-rooted.

How to flash

The first thing you need to do is download the ROM from the development channel or release channel. The general download page can be found here, it is helpful to know your device’s codename, which can easily be looked up with a quick Google. From this page you can download the latest nightly, the option to download a M snapshot or experimental build on the left panel. The next steps can get complicated, but it gets easier once you get used to it. Quick note, this WILL NOT work on all devices, only supported ones.

  • Kiss your warranty goodbye (Android Authority is not responsible for your device, proceed at your own risk.)
  • Unlock your device’s bootloader – This can be very difficult in some cases and is pretty much different for all devices. This will wipe the device clean, so make sure to backup any important data.
  • Install a custom recovery like TWRP or CWM Recovery. This can be done a few different ways, but the best way is through the terminal. Simply download the .img file from the respective site then save it to your computer in a convenient location. once downloaded, make sure ADB and the Android SDK are installed on your computer and working properly. In the terminal or command prompt type “fastboot flash recovery (location of recovery on computer)“. An example would be: “fastboot flash recovery c:\recovery.img”. Once this is finished, reboot your device. The device should boot normally.
  • Flash the ROM zip file, it is basically the same for each recovery, just click “install” then navigate to the folder with the file or if you are using CWM Recovery click “Install” then “Choose zip from SDCard” then navigate to the folder with the file. Then accept the prompt to install it, do not reboot yet, stay in recovery.
  • Flash GApps zip – GApps stands for Google Apps, since these are owned by Google, CyanogenMod can not come pre-installed with them, so just simply flash the zip like you would for the ROM right after installing CyanogenMod. Android 5.1.x GApps and Android 6.0 GApps can be found here, just select the options you want.
  • Reboot! If everything went according to plan, the device should boot into CyanogenMod.


CyanogenMod started as an alternative to stock Android and grew into a company that influences a lot of the dev community, it even has phone manufacturers backing them. While flashing CyanogenMod may be sketchy to install at first, once master it is worth it. With the customizability of CyanogenMod and the things you can do with root, the sky’s the limit.

Popular Xposed module GravityBox now supports Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Posted by wicked November - 19 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

android 6.0 marshmallow

Be sure that whenever the Xposed framework is updated to support a new Android version, the popular module GravityBox is to follow. It has been under a week since we learnt Xposed is compatible with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and now GravityBox has been given the same treatment.

For those who may not know, the Xposed framework allows users to tweak certain parts of the UI without having to manipulate the whole experience. On the other hand, GravityBox is a multi-tool of sorts, which allows for multiple of these manipulations. And boy can this module do a lot.

The post from developer C3C075 has a long list of feature highlights, including an expanded desktop, status bar icon coloring, status bar brightness control, battery indicator style, low battery warning control, minimal brightness setting, lockscreen tweaks, Dialer tweaks, screen recording, notification control and more.


But there are a few things to keep in mind. The module is designed to work with vanilla Android 6.0 (or close to it). It is also still unknown whether this works with other manufacturer UI’s, but you can test at your own risk. The developer also states this should not really be used as a way to get missing features on third-party ROMs. In fact, he goes on to mention it’s not designed to run with non-stock ROMs, and using it can cause unexpected behavior. Therefore, no support will be provided if you choose to use GravityBox with these types of ROMs.

Interested? Just head over to the developer’s post on XDA Developers (link below) to learn all the requisites and steps for installing this software. Remember, any type of tinkering may void your warranty and/or harm your device, so I would advice that you do your research before proceeding. It will be only your responsibility if something happens to your phone.

Still pushing ahead? Happy tweaking!


5 ways to give life and muscle to your older Android device

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off


Every year, we Android fans are tempted by the upgrade bug as every year, manufacturers come out with new designs, new flagships and midrange models that tickle our collective fancies. On closer inspection, some of the hardware underneath these new models may have better and faster features, but some of them are also still equal to what your older Android devices have under the hood as well. So if you have a smartphone that is one or two generations old, you might want to slam the brakes on the upgrade for now, especially if you’re still working towards that budget. Here are some tips you can do to extend the life of your device, and give it some renewed oomph.

1. A Clean Slate works wonders


Like every good techie knows, a good old reformat will do wonders for your Android device. We’re pretty sure you understand the benefits of this, like on your old desktop PC. Sometimes the operating system is just too cluttered from all the apps and (sometimes) contradicting tweaks you might have installed. Giving your Android device a fresh start is like cleaning up the OS process paths and giving you renewed speed. Somewhere in the settings of every device is a “Factory Reset” button, and you can just tap that. Make sure you’ve backed up your data, and be ready for the long and tedious task of updating and installing your apps. But it will be worth it, we assure you.

2. Install a Cleanup App that works


This might be a double edger, as you have to know which cleanup apps actually do their work well and which ones are bogus. A Google search and even a quick search of our site will probably give you some options. That said, an app that cleans up your app cache and frees up your memory (RAM) can go a long way in keeping you satisfied with your older Android device. If you can gain root access (more on this later) and uninstall bloatware, then so much the better.

3. Keep apps that you really use, uninstall all others


This one requires a bit of discipline, but as your device ages, you also need to watch out for the stuff you install on it. Take a good long look at your daily driver processes, noting the apps that help you do your work faster and more efficiently – keep those apps, uninstall all other work apps that you rarely use. Also take a look at the games you play – there will be some on there that you really haven’t played in a while and have no plans of playing in the near future – uninstall those. You’d be surprised at how much internal space these games take up and what kind of notifications they throw at you just so you’d notice them.

4. Organize your files and folders


Now comes the “fun” part. We all know how tedious file management and organization can be (although we know of some people who take some very strange satisfactions in organizing their files), but you have to buckle up and do this anyways. Put all your music in a Music folder, keep your videos in a Videos folder, same with documents, movies, and such. Trust us, this makes life just easier. How about your tens of thousands of pictures and selfies? That’s what cloud storage is for. Back them up, as there are a lot of cloud storage services out there that can give you all the space you need.

If your Android device has a microSD slot, get one and set the default saving of your pictures to it. Make sure your internal storage is for apps and such, so they can run smoothly. We’ve said it before – delete all the other files you don’t use.

5. Install a faster launcher


One benefit of you going Android instead of a fruity phone is that you can change launchers – that is, the default system that gives you your home pages and widget features. Not all launchers are born equal, and certainly there are other launchers out there better and faster than your brand’s default. You can try the Google Now Launcher, the Nova Launcher, or the Action Launcher.

BONUS: Gain root access and open up your device’s dream world


Gaining root access is not for the faint of heart – it has its own dangers, but it also has wonderful benefits for those who persevere. Root access is the gateway to being able to do a lot of things on your Android device. We mentioned being able to uninstall bloatware and probably install more powerful “root only” memory management apps (like Greenify).

But there’s so much more after root. Install a custom recovery and you can now even flash custom ROMs that are leaner and faster (debloated), and even a version of Android not official for your device. You may have a KitKat-only device, but custom ROMs will surely be able to give you some Lollipop or even Marshmallow flavors – if you look in the right places. Granted, this is an acquired taste and it will take up a lot of your time – but gaining root is both a boon and a bane. People who do it focus on the great benefits it gives them.

So there, we certainly hope that we gave your older Android device a fighting chance at survival for at least another year or so, until you get your hands on that OnePlus 2 or that shinier Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. When you do, don’t forget that a generation older doesn’t necessarily mean it’s useless.

How to Root the Nexus 6P and Install TWRP Recovery – XDA TV

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off


A rooting method for the Nexus 6P is fairly straight forward, but in case you’re new or need a reminder, XDA TV Host TK shows you how to root and install TWRP recovery on the Nexus 6P. Even though it’s a Google stock Android experience device, you can still get so much more out of it. So as is usual at XDA, we must root all the things, and the Nexus 6P is no exception!

TK presents instructions on how to gain root access on your Nexus 6P using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. The process is painless and pretty easy. This video shows you how to install TWRP recovery as well. So if you wanted to root your Nexus 6P, take a moment and check this video out.

Resource Link:

Please subscribe to XDA TV and Subscribe to TK’s channel.

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.

Xposed framework now supports Android 6.0 Marshmallow – customize away!

Posted by wicked November - 15 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off


Fans of the Xposed framework have something to celebrate today. After weeks of telling you support for Android 6.0 Marshmallow was getting closer and closer, developer rovo89 has finally released version 77, with full Marshmallow compatibility.

For those who have no idea what Xposed framework is: it’s a tool for root users, which allows them to customize individual parts of the system and UI. I find that it’s best for those who do not want a full-blown change of experience, but would prefer to tweak a few things here and there.

All the user would need to install Xposed is a custom recovery and a rooted phone (of course). As always, there are certain things to consider, though. Keep in mind that rooting and tinkering with your phone may harm your device and/or void its warranty, so be very careful and spend a good deal of time doing your research.

xposed-framework Image source: Addictive Tips

With that in mind, the developer does have some comments you should keep in mind. Here they are:

  • I have only tested this with SuperSU installed, due to which dm-verity and some SELinux rules are disabled. Especially dm-verity would definitely conflict with the modifications of the system partition.
  • Access to preferences files might be blocked by SELinux, and Xposed is currently not able to work around that. (*) Some modules might be affected by this, nevertheless I strongly recommend to keep SELinux enabled and enforcing to keep your device as safe as possible.
  • I could not test all Xposed APIs. The system is booting without any error messages from Xposed, but some functions that the framework makes available might still need to be adjusted for Marshmallow.
  • Obviously, modules themselves might need to be updated as well due to changes in AOSP. Please be patient and give module developers the time to make the required changes. If you absolutely “cannot live” without module X, don’t update to Marshmallow yet.
  • Some issues might arise from JIT (disabled by default, even in AOSP) and the “optimizing” compiler (which rewrites apps’ code to be more efficient, due to which some calls might simply be skipped). Both of these are new in Marshmallow and might have various consequences in combination with Xposed, from hooks that silently don’t work to crashes. However, as it’s running stable for me, I decided not to disable them and will instead look into them in more detail if concrete issues are reported.

Also, some reports say a few Samsung and Sony phones on stock software are having issues with bootlooping. With that in mind, try to be careful and make a backup before doing anything. Happy flashing!

Root and custom ROMs: are you still doing it?

Posted by wicked November - 12 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

The Android community is sometimes hard to understand. Specifically the group that has been all over rooting and ROMing since the beginning of Android. I used to be one of you, but I must say I haven’t felt the need to tinker with my phone in a very long time. How did I go from one extreme of the spectrum to the other? It’s a bit complex, so let me share my experience before jumping into the poll and comments.

In the beginning…

I believe this trend has followed many of us avid Android users. Here’s how it seems to work… or at least it’s how it was for me. Back when I bought my first Android device, the UI (LG) was horrendous and the phone was unbearably slow. I found that rooting and flashing a good ROM helped with the aesthetics and user friendliness, so I took on the quest of learning how all this hacking worked. This also allowed me to clear storage space by getting rid of bloatware, as back then internal storage was also a bit limited and fewer smartphones allowed you to uninstall these cumbersome pre-installed apps.

T-Mobile G1 first impressions aa (6 of 13)

And so I lived with a better UI and cool root apps that really unlocked the phone’s potential, but that wasn’t enough after a while. Mobile hardware was still in its infancy and phones were slow (even the “fast” ones). I needed more power, so I decided to flash a custom kernel and overclock that processor to no end. Only then were we really talking serious business.

Things got serious and I got into flashing all kinds of ROMs. I literally kept a single ROM for about a week at a time. It was madness, and something I got over very quickly.

Related videos

And then there were better phones

Android handsets evolved quickly in this fast-paced market; much faster than our content could. Even mid-end phones started getting good at handling relatively intense games, and they handled casual tasks very easily. A new era was upon us, and soon we realized we no longer needed to overclock, as this activity takes a toll on battery life. Some of us stopped rooting, but others opted to actually underclock and undervolt.


Now we find ourselves nearing the end of 2015 and mobile technology is leaps and bounds ahead. Manufacturers have realized that simpler is better, so current smartphones have really skinned off all that extra flair they used to love so much. Motorola specially stands out for this, as their software is as near-stock as you can get, while still adding some cool features.

Battery life is also being strongly addressed. We have battery monsters like the Droid Maxx 2 and Moto X Play. Google has also introduced Doze, which saves battery by putting your phone in a deeper sleep while inactive. LG has also tried lowering the frame rates of your screen when an image is static (like when you are looking at a picture). All of these methods have helped, and most people can go through a whole day of battery life without many hurdles (some even 2 days!).


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The end of rooting and flashing ROMs?

Things have definitely changed. Phones are fast, UIs are cleaner than ever, phones have plenty of features, many manufacturers are allowing you to uninstall (or disable) bloatware and battery life is starting to become much less of an issue. Is there still a reason for you to root your phone and install third-party software? It seems stock is the way to go for more and more people lately.

android 6.0 marshmallow

Of course, this is a very subjective matter, and this is why we are calling upon you to see how Android Authority fans feel about this. There aren’t many studies on this, so we thought we should make our own little poll and get some numbers. Last time we heard, a Tencent research showed over 27% of Android users root their phones (most of them to uninstall bloatware, apparently). That is actually an impressive number, and I wonder if it is going up or down.

Regardless, we want to find out what our fellow Android lovers think about this! Do you still root? If you do, what is your main reason? Maybe you feel like me and you just let your phone be, or find you can do some pretty cool customizations even without root. Let’s find out how the community stands by answering the poll below. We also know this question is not so cut-and-dried, so join the conversation in the comments to expand on your answer!