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LG G Watch gets toolkit for rooting, unlocking, flashing and restoring capabilities

Posted by wicked July - 27 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

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The Nexus Root Toolkit from Wugfresh has become insanely popular since the interest in unlocking bootloaders and rooting devices has expanded to “normal” consumers.

Now, those with an LG G Watch will be able to root and unlock the device just as easily as Wugfresh’s Nexus solution provides.

Created by XDA developer Tomsgt, the LG G Watch Tool prepares your watch for aftermarket development and modification. You’ll be able to do the following with the toolkit:

  • Unlock/relock the bootloader
  • Flashing stock recovery
  • Flashing stock boot image
  • Restoring the device if bricked
  • Rooting the G Watch
  • Installing and testing necessary drivers

The XDA Developers forum says you can run the toolkit on Windows, Linux and iOS (although we’re pretty sure they meant OS X).

You can check out the tutorial video below provided by Tomsgt if you’re trying this out for the first time. Since he also included a restore feature in the toolkit, it would pretty tough to brick your device beyond repair — especially since most of these processes are nearly 100% automated by a script.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: XDA Developers

 

Come comment on this article: LG G Watch gets toolkit for rooting, unlocking, flashing and restoring capabilities

How to Root the Sony Xperia Z2 – XDA Developer TV

Posted by wicked July - 26 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Sony Xperia Z2 Root

In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer TK shows you how to root your Sony Xperia Z2. TK recently reviewed the Sony Xperia Z2  And while not readily available in the US yet, it’s still a popular phone in the international markets. So as is usual at XDA, we must root all the things, and the Sony Xperia Z2 is no exception!

TK presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your Sony Xperia Z2 using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. The process is painless and straightforward. This process shows a firmware downgrade to a rootable image. So if you wanted to root your Sony Xperia Z2, take a moment and check this video out.

Resource Links:

Be sure to check out other great XDA Developer TV Videos.

 

The post How to Root the Sony Xperia Z2 – XDA Developer TV appeared first on xda-developers.

Root Method Released for LG G3 on Verizon and AT&T

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

The phone isn’t all that old here in the US, but already the LG G3 has been rooted on AT&T and Verizon. For anyone who is still keen on tweaking their phones and throwing on custom ROMs in the future (once a custom recovery is released), this is great news for you. 

A few developers over on XDA have released a root method for the G3, which looks rather simple for those who are willing to give it a try. It appears you will need a Windows machine, a handful of drivers installed, and then a little bit of adb know-how.

Of course, once root access is gained, you can install root-only applications, perform additional system tweaks, and a whole lot more. This is how we all got into Android, remember?

Our buddy Shane aka DroidModderX has posted up a detailed walkthrough video for anyone hoping to perform this root process. If you are feeling gutsy, have at it.

Via: XDA

Root Method Released for LG G3 on Verizon and AT&T is a post from: Droid Life

By the power of root! File managers square off

Posted by wicked July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

We’ve said it before. For better or worse, one of the things that separates Android from iOS is the fact that we can browse our devices like we do our computers, at least to a certain extent. File managers give users power, but not all yield those powers equally, especially when it comes to superuser powers, otherwise known as “root”. Let’s take a peek at the current choices of file managers and see how they fare when pitted against one another.

Root Explorer ($3.99)

Let’s immediately start with the heavyweight of the batch. Root Explorer‘s name immediately tells you it means serious business. And at that price tag, it better be. Like what its name says, it lets users experience what it is to cruise their Android device as the all-powerful root user. Billed as *the* file manager for root users, Root Explorer comes with loads of features that even the non-root faithful will most likely appreciate, like creating or extracting ZIP files and other compressed archives, a viewer for SQLite databases (since Android uses the database format almost everywhere), and even access storage on popular cloud service like Dropbox and Google Drive.

But perhaps we should ask the obvious question: why root and why for a file manager? Root access itself will allow programs, like Xposed framework modules, for example. to modify the system in ways Android would not normally allow. In a file manager, it gives users almost unfettered access to every file and folder, which may sometimes be a bad idea. But for an example of how useful root file access can be, one can try to modify init scripts, programs that get run every time the phone is booted up, so that they can’t be run at all. In geek talk, that means setting the init script’s file permission to 600, readable, but can’t be run. Use it on certain OEM or carrier services and say goodbye to bloatware. At least until an update overwrites your changes.

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ES File Explorer (Free)

We’ve already shared some tips and tricks on using ES File Explorer, so you might be already familiar with what this talented file manager can do. To sum it up, ES File Explorer gives all levels of users something to chew on. Beginners can take advantage of all the features, including cloud access and app backup, from the get go and power users can flick a simple switch to enable root access. Provided, of course, that your device is already rooted in the first place.

Perhaps the only wart on ES File Explorer’s face is that its extra features are truly extra, functionality that you’ll find in other external apps that you need to install first. The good news is that, like ES File Explorer itself, all of them are available free of charge. OK, there might be another wart, though small: ES File Explorer isn’t the prettiest file manager around.

ASTRO File Manager (Free/$3.99)

OK, it might be cheating a bit, but we’re not trying to pick on good old ASTRO. Of this selection, ASTRO doesn’t actually offer root access to files and folders. However, this app still bears mentioning because of its almost venerable history. ASTRO File Manager has been one of earliest file managers on Android and it is definitely a welcome sight to see it still alive and kicking. Except for the lack of root powers, ASTRO gets the job done and does it well, with swipe gestures, cloud access, and more. One quite special power that ASTRO does have is in the depth and breadth of its search, allowing users to search across all locations, whether on the device, network, or on the cloud, and even make very specific filters based on name, size, location, type, etc.

If the free/paid notation above is any indication, ASTRO File Manager’s free version comes with a non-monetary price. The free app isn’t crippled in functionality, but it does come riddled with ads, which you have to pay to get rid of. There is also something to be said about ASTRO’s “unique” visual style. Although it isn’t as plain as ES Explorer or as serious as Root Explorer, it appears to be a mishmash of different artistic styles that give it a rather disjointed appearance.

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Tomi File Manager (Free)

Tomi is a relative new comer to the file manager scene, but it is quite interesting for one, single reason: presentation. Although it does have a switch to enable root access, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more powerful file managers. In exchange, it lets users peruse their files in a more visually oriented way. The home screen of Tomi presents users with a pie chart of storage space usage and a categorization of the different file types like Music, Pictures, Documents, etc. A filing system near and dear to Google’s own heart. But more than that, drilling into the Pictures and Videos sections shows all those media files in preview mode. This lets you really explore your photos and videos without having to open a separate gallery or multimedia app.

Of course, Tomi still lets users walk through the file system the traditional way, via folders and files. In that regard, Tomi offers the most basic of functionality that should let users wade through without drowning in a sea of options.

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Wrap-up

We’ve seen very powerful file managers on Android that opens up the world to users with power, but one question remains unasked: Do we need file managers at all? Let’s set aside for a moment the security and stability considerations of giving unknowing and unsuspecting users almost unbridled access to Android’s innermost workings via root. iPhone and iPad users have certainly lived for years without it. And if Android on Nexus devices is any sign, Google believes users won’t need to either. At least not in the way file managers usually do. Google is more interested in presenting files grouped according to media type rather than the plain files and folders tree structure of conventional systems.

Do you find file managers essential for an Android experience, even for regular users? Do you think root access, whether in apps or in file managers, is worth the risk of messing up things you’re not supposed to? Do you have any favorite file manager, especially one that grants root powers, that you’d like to bring to the community’s attention? Let us know in the comments below!

This Xposed module adds blur effects to your expanded notifications

Posted by wicked July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Xposed Blur 2

The Xposed Framework has been a must-have set of tweaks for those who want to make the most out of their Android devices. For some, running Xposed tweaks on otherwise stock (but rooted) ROMs has become a good alternative to installing custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod, AOKP, Paranoid Android, Carbon and others, simply because many of the customizations that come with these can be done through Xposed.

Many of the tweaks involve the user interface, which enhance usability and accessibility, while some are more of style and preference tweaks. One of these is the Blurred System Module UI, a new tweak that gives users the ability to customize how the background is blurred after pulling down the expanded notifications from the status bar.

Xposed Blur

The tweak works in both portrait and landscape modes, and offers fully-configurable Gaussian Blur settings, including scale, radius and color filters, as well as real-time blur. The Xposed tweak works on both custom ROMs and rooted stock ROMs, although your mileage may vary, depending on device (some users have reported errors). The only limitation at this point is that the tweak does not work on tablets. Also, note that Xposed still does not work with ART, Android’s pre-compiled runtime, which is likely to be the default runtime in upcoming Android versions.

To install the tweak, you must have the Xposed framework installed and running. You can either search for the “Serajr Blurred System UI” module within the Xposed installer or download the APK (XDA Developer link is included below). You’ll need to activate the module and reboot your device before using Blurred System UI. When making changes, the module will let you restart SystemUI to commit the changes and for the tweak to take effect.

How to Root the LG G3 – XDA Developer TV

Posted by wicked July - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

lgg3root

In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan shows you how to root your LG G3. Jordan recently reviewed the LG G3, and it has been released on the major carriers in the use. So as usual here at XDA, we must root all the things, and the LG G3 is no exception!

Jordan presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your LG G3 using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. The process is painless and straight forward. In fact, you could even use TowelRoot as of the time of this writing, so now you have options. So if you wanted to root your LG G3, take a moment and check this video out.

Resource Links:

Be sure to check out other great XDA Developer TV Videos.

Check out Jordan’s YouTube Channel and Jordan’s Gaming YouTube Channel

[Thanks to GSMNation for providing us with the LG G3 featured in this article. To get this device from GSMNation or check out their other selections of phones, please go to GSMNation.com.]

The post How to Root the LG G3 – XDA Developer TV appeared first on xda-developers.

Paranoid Android launches 4.5 Alpha 1 with L-style recent apps interface

Posted by wicked July - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

The team behind the popular custom ROM Paranoid Android revealed the first build that incorporates a recent apps interface similar to Android L.

The new interface is currently available in PA 4.5 Alpha 1, a preview build meant to showcase design changes that are currently in the works. Announced last week, the new recent apps interface is obviously inspired by the card-based recent apps that Google is previewing in L release. As you can see from the video, the two implementations are quite similar, down to the swipe to dismiss behavior and the animations.

As a preview build, there may be issues and inconsistencies, both in terms of functionality and in appearance. As such, the 4.5 Alpha 1 build is not recommended for users that are looking for a stable, consistent experience on their phones.

For users who prefer the stable branch, the team has also released PA 4.43, which contains bug fixes and other small tweaks.

Here’s the official changelog (common to both 4.43 and 4.5 Alpha 1):

  • ParanoidOTA fixes and cleanup
  • Fix daydream duplicates
  • Theme Engine upstream patches
  • Quicksettings fixes
  • Pie will be activated in apps that use immersive mode if Pie is enabled via on the spot

PA 4.5 Alpha 1 builds and PA 4.43 builds are currently available for modern Nexus devices, while ROMs for other devices may become available on the legacy project page.

Sony’s X-Reality engine comes to lower-end Xperia devices

Posted by wicked July - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

sony x-reality

Sony’s advantage is in the technology and optimizations behind their raw components. Their experience in other fields makes their devices very unique, as they tend to adopt other technologies in their mobile department. An example is their screen optimizations, which include Bravia’s Triluminous and X-Reality improvements.

These optimizations tend to be exclusive to Sony’s high-end smartphones, though. As of now, only devices like the Sony Xperia Z1, Z1s, Z1 Ultra and Z2 have the privilege of touting these optimizations. At the end of the day these features are mostly software optimizations. This means our handy developers can make porting them possible!

XDA forums member taichiswag has creaded a MOD to enable the X-Reality engine in other Sony devices. It will work on most Xperia smartphones with Android 4.3 or higher. It also works with both locked and unlocked bootloaders, but you do have to have a rooted device.

Video thumbnail for youtube video Sony Xperia Z Ultra gets important update, included X Reality - Android Authority

This is no easy task for most, as some of the steps may be a bit confusing. If you choose to go ahead and flash this mod, you should follow steps carefully and do your research. Remember tinkering your smartphone may harm your device or void your warranty. That is never good news.

Taichiswag’s forum post seems to have been removed, but it turns out the topic was already alive before and the mod files are updated in the older thread. You can go ahead and download the files straight from XDA Developers.

Those who don’t know what X-Reality does can check out our in depth explanation on the subject. In short: it analyzes images and tries to improve their detail, contrast, color and more. I have seen it in person and works like a charm!

Android L theme available for Xposed devices

Posted by wicked July - 8 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

If you’ve wanted to experience the new Material design in Android L that almost everyone is talking about, this new Android L theme package might be for you. The only catch to this almost easy to install theme is that you need to have the Xposed Framework installed, which means you need to have a rooted device.

This still beats flashing an unsupported and barely tested Android L ROM, especially if you already have a rooted smartphone. Xposed lets you install modules that gives you custom ROM features without actually flashing a custom ROM. Such is the case with the Android L theme module that lest you enjoy the upcoming Android’s look and still keep your favorite ROM or even stock OEM Android intact.

The Android L module contains options for Themed statusbars, Calculator, and Settings app. You can even get the Boot Animation for Android L, fonts and ringtones. XDA member Adhi1419, who made available this Xposed module, notes that those running on stock Motorola ROMs should use the No Font variant instead of the regular version, both of which can be downloaded from the source link below.

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This Android L module is purely for aesthetic purposes and doesn’t contain any Android L functionality. Of course, getting those aren’t difficult either, as there are already a good number of ported apps roaming around the Internet. If you have a Nexus 4 and feel a bit more daring, you can opt to flash the whole shebang using the unofficial Android L port for the smartphone. Or you could also wait and see if the speculation about official images for slightly older Nexus devices will come to pass.

SOURCE: XDA

Rovo89: Xposed will support Android L, be patient

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

xposed-framework Image source: Addictive Tips

Just a week ahead of Android L’s official announcement, we learned that Google would soon be ditching support for Dalvik in favor of ART. We previously wrote a post explaining how this move would affect apps, and more importantly what it might mean for the Xposed framework.

At the time, XPOSED creator Rovo89 had indicated that, while Xposed doesn’t support ART on KitKat, he would eventually bring support for the new runtime. At the same time, he made it known that we shouldn’t expect a new version of Xposed for ART the second the next major version of Android arrived and that we might never see support for ART on KitKat devices.

The overall message is that developing a version of Xposed for ART isn’t an easy feat and that we should simply be patient

The overall message was that developing a version of Xposed for ART isn’t an easy feat and that we should simply be patient. Of course, that’s sometimes easier said than done. If you are curious about the state of Xposed with the introduction of Android L, you’ll be happy to know that, in a brief interview of sorts with XDA, the developer has brought a few more details to light about his plans for supporting ART on Android going forward.

First, he states that it’s not about getting Xposed running on Android L Developer Preview or even the final release of Android L, it’s about making it work well. In his own words:

Getting it running is one thing, whether it’s good to publish it is another question. I’ve had a prototype of Xposed for the ART preview in December already. Barely tested, needed manual installation, probably failing here and there, but generally it did what it should. But already back then, I’ve seen that Google is still working actively on improving ART. They have made huge internal changes since then.

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Second, he says that making Xposed work with Android L isn’t the same as making it work with all versions of ART:

The ART preview in KitKat and the ART almost-final in the Android L preview are different pieces of software. Maintaining support for both of them means basically twice the work, especially for testing. That, and the fact that ART in KitKat was just an optional preview (with potential bugs that may be incorrectly blamed on Xposed), makes it less likely that I will publish Xposed for the KitKat variant of ART. That’s not a final decision, it depends on how ART development continues and how well I can support Android L.

The takeaway here is essentially the same as Rovo89 stated two weeks prior, Xposed will live on even in a world without Dalvik but he also isn’t going to dive in and throw together support for ART. It’s not about the short-term, but the endgame. You can rest assured Rovo89 is working on support, and when Xposed with ART support does arrive you can bet it will work as well, if not better, than it did with Dalvik. Additionally it will work with Android L and, hopefully, all similar Dalvik-free versions of Android going forward.

For those that will be on KitKat for a while, you shouldn’t necessarily throw in towel when it comes to holding out for Xposed support but just keep in mind that it isn’t a priority at this point. What do you think, is lack of support for XPOSED enough to keep you from upgrading to Android L when it arrives in final form later this year?