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Thursday Poll: Rooted or Non-Rooted?

Posted by Kellex November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Throughout the day, thanks to topics like the Nexus 6 having encryption that can’t be turned off without taking matters into your own hands, we have seen the emergence of a healthy discussion around the topic of tinkering. When we say “tinkering,” we are talking about understanding adb commands, flashing recoveries or images or ROMs, and generally deciding that you can make your phone better than it is out of the box. As the conversation has grown, a number of readers have taken it back to what we used to consider to be the initial step in becoming a tinkerer, and that’s through rooting a phone. And that thought has revived this poll question, which we try to run at least once a year, but haven’t seen December of 2013. In other words, it’s time.

So, let’s do this. In the poll below, all you have to do is answer by choosing if you are “rooted” or “non-rooted.” From there, to continue this conversation, feel free to jump into the comments section and talk about the phone you own, if you are rooted or non-rooted, why you fall into either of those categories, etc.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Thursday Poll: Rooted or Non-Rooted? is a post from: Droid Life

Remove Band Restrictions from Qualcomm devices with these steps

Posted by wicked September - 11 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

One of the more annoying things that smartphone hardware manufacturers do from time to time is to restrict devices from using certain wireless bands even though technically the hardware supports those bands. This is particularly common from companies like QUALCOMM where they restrict hardware from working on wireless frequencies abroad.

What that means for the user is that if you travel your phone may not work in certain countries even though the hardware is capable. A process for removing these software imposed restrictions on various Qualcomm devices has been published with the goal of letting your device connect to any wireless frequencies it is capable of.

There are some caveats to the process that anyone considering trying it out needs to know. One major caveat for those who like to keep devices stock is that you do need a rooted device. The other drawback is that the process of removing the limitations is a long one.

The entire process has 36 steps and as with anything that requires a rooted device and modification of system files, there is always the chance you will make a mistake that may render your smartphone useless. Those brave enough to try it out can get the required files here, and be sure to let us know how the process goes.

SOURCE: XDA Developers

Rooted Android devices being denied access to Barclays bank apps

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

Barclays is a major bank in the UK and the bank has made a decision that has angered many fans of Android devices. Barclays is blocking any rooted Android smartphone from running its two banking applications on the device if the device is rooted. A petition has been put up that activists want Barclays customers to sign in protest of the move.

The anger from Barclays customers is that the bank has two apps that are commonly used with one called Pingit, a mobile funds transfer service. Pingit and the Barclays Mobile Banking app can’t be run at the same time for users of rooted devices.

There are a number of reasons that people root their Android devices, many of them are legitimate. It appears that Barclays thinks rooting your device is tied to nefarious activities and makes the device less secure. Many Android fans know that rooting your device can actually make it more secure if you use the right apps.

As of now, Barclays is still blocking access to both apps on a rooted phone. Barclays have made no official comments at this time and it remains unclear what exactly the bank fears in letting rooted users run both apps.

SOURCE: Gomonews

Chromecast Is Root

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Image from [psouza4] on the xda-developers forum

Chromecast is as close as you’re going to get to a perfect device – plug it in the back of your TV, and instantly you have Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and a web browser on the largest display in your house. It’s a much simpler device than a Raspi running XBMC, and we’ve already seen a few Chromecast hacks that stream videos from a phone and rickroll everyone around you.

Now the Chromecast has been rooted, allowing anyone to change the DNS settings (Netflix and Hulu users that want to watch content not available in their country rejoice), and loading custom apps for the Chromecast.

The process of rooting the Chromecast should be fairly simple for the regular readers of Hackaday. It requires a Teensy 2 or 2++ dev board, a USB OTG cable, and a USB flash drive. Plug the Teensy into the Chromecast and wait a minute. Remove the Teensy, plug in the USB flash drive, and wait several more minutes. Success is you, and your Chromecast is now rooted.

Member of Team-Eureka [riptidewave93] has put up a demo video of rooting a new in box Chromecast in just a few minutes. You can check that out below.

Filed under: Android Hacks, home entertainment hacks

Blackphone Gets Root Access in MORE Than Five Minutes

Posted by egzthunder1 August - 13 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

root blackphone jcase

Security is a rather paramount issue in this day and age where sensitive technology is handed to people who probably should not have it until they are old enough to drive. People are as widely, overtly inappropriate on the Internet as they humanly can be, yet they have the audacity to reach out for web outlets whenever their “stuff” leaks out into the Internet. Then, these same people are the ones who complain that hackers and the government are after them because of all the important (eye of the beholder) text messages that are stored in their devices are gone. After all, nothing screams “national security threat” like a message from your mom asking if you want meatloaf for dinner. That is one side of the coin, while the other side involves people who truly need to have some sanctuary from the horrors of the likes of hackers, root, or even the government. They can, and probably are, holding onto important information on their e-mail accounts and whatnot that could jeopardize something worth going after. So, how do the latter deal with such a sword of Damocles dangling on top of their heads? The answer is to get a phone that is secure enough to hold all their stuff. Enter the Blackphone.

The Blackphone is a device made by a joint venture between Silent Circle and Geeksphone, which is now known as SGP Technologies. The device is an Android phone unlike many others out there. The main difference between this and your [enter your device name here] lies mainly in the software make up of the phone. Yes, it still runs on Android, but with a modified version of the OS (read: custom ROM) known as PrivatOS. This ROM has been loaded with several “secure” applications that should make you feel more secure while going about your daily routine. Also, the phone’s security has been boasted by the company to be parallel to none as the PrivatOS is more mature than most OEM options currently out there and therefore, most (if not all) vulnerabilities are nothing but a thing of the past. So much was their confidence that the company decided to take their product into one of the largest hacker expos, Def Con. Now, as you are aware, there are various types of hackers, all with very different motivations to do what they do, but one thing that they do have in common: They sure do love a challenge when presented with one, and XDA Senior Recognized Developer and Forum Moderator jcase is no exception.

According to jcase, the device was rooted but it was not an easy task as reported by many, many, many other blogs (several of these pro Blackberry blogs taking this opportunity to take a few stabs at their new competitor, which is a fight that equates Android users and iOS users to a certain extent). Most of them reported that the entire ordeal lasted a whopping 5 minutes, which is factually incorrect (and in fact, many have either withdrawn the articles or amended them with the proper information). Jcase goes on to state that there were 3 different vulnerabilities found in the device at the time, and that root was achieved without the need to unlock the device’s bootloader.

The first vulnerability found was a way to re-enable ADB on the device, which is disabled by default. The company went a few steps further than simply disabling ADB and decided to do away with Developer Menu altogether. The company came back stating that this was not done as a security measure but rather as a temporary fix due to USB ADB connectivity creating stability and performance issues on the device (when ADB was on and encryption was turned on, the device was said to go into a bootloop). Due to a pressing and rather tight schedule, instead of trying to quickly work out a patch to see where the issue was, they simply swept it under the rug until they could find what was causing the problem with hopes to push an OTA update to re-enable the missing dev options and ADB with it. In any case, this vulnerability (regardless of whether the company admits it or not) was required to get the root method to work.

The second part of the root process involved a lot of tinkering with the actual device. First and foremost, you needed to get USB ADB going on it (hence, the previously mentioned vulnerability). Next, you pretty much need to flat out ignore any and all recommendations by the manufacturer during set up. Next up, device encryption needed to remain off and you needed to grant permission to “unknown sources” for installing apks. And last but not least, you needed to either disable or at the very least know the PIN to the device in question. There was a third part in the whole exploit process but jcase has decided not to disclose this part to the general public and instead reported it to the company.

The entire affair was not exactly short lived, despite what other blogs may state and jcase walked out of this one with nothing but bragging rights and a custom made t-shirt, effectively letting the company know what he thought about the “reward” for his efforts. This, however, was really nothing but a joke as jcase holds no ill will against the company and in fact, has gone on to say that he appreciates the professionalism displayed by their CSO and CEO regarding the entire ordeal. Yes, the device was rooted but it is far from being the insecure junk that Blackberry users make it seem. This device is an alternative to those who own BB devices and cannot justify giving up the security perks of the device for a brand new and shinny Android phone. Yes, the device may have obtained root access but that does not make it any less secure. So, to all the people out there who brag about BB’s security, lets just say that you may be picking attention from the very people your “security” is meant to drive away. Just remember, in the words of JFK

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. – John F. Kennedy

Just replace “go to the moon” with “hacking BB10″. You can find more information in the original (and actually accurate) article from Ars Technica.

The post Blackphone Gets Root Access in MORE Than Five Minutes appeared first on xda-developers.

Android L developer preview now rooted on Nexus 5 and 7

Posted by wicked June - 28 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Well that was fast. The Android “L” test firmware – a developer preview for the Android version that was revealed at the Google I/O keynote and the one that we will all probably get the full version by later this year – was released for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices yesterday. And today, root access is delivered by the good folks at XDA (hooray!).

Brought to you by XDA Recognized Developer “savoca” just a few hours after its release, root access will now be available for your Android L Developer Preview. The Google keynote gave us a good view of what the “L” version would look like, and it’s mostly good. Our review will give you an idea of what it looks like, but it will not be that big of a departure from Android 4.4. The keynote hints at subtle changes and new features, not far removed from what Android 4.4 Kitkat users are used to today.

The procedure to gain root is fairly straightforward, but there are a few prerequisites. Your Nexus 5 or 7 needs to have a custom recovery installed. Then you flash, flash Chainfire’s SuperSU. The pick your device’s bootloader and fastboot from the list and flash the appropriate boot.img for your device. Easy, right?

Chainfire does warn that root access in the “L” version doesn’t work quite like as it did in the past. There will be apps that can write to /system and there will be others that cannot. Chainfire attributes this to previous root app breakage and the need for new security contexts. But other than this, root access will be available to you for Android L preview, which should be pretty useful moving forward. Grab the links from this XDA post.

SOURCE: XDA

Nokia X rooted, now has flashed ROM and proper Google apps

Posted by wicked March - 1 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

What’s the saying? Oh yeah: You can lead a Developer to a smartphone, but you can’t make them use the weird OS you put on it. That goes for any device, and the newest “Android” handset, the Nokia X, has already been rooted and flashed with a custom ROM.

Who’s got these things already, you ask? Developers, of course. The Developer-only (for now) Nokia X devices have already been shipped, and giving Developers a device means they’re going to tinker. Using Framaroot, one Developer has easily made the Nokia X their own. Sounds ho-hum, save for one thing: Google Services.

The Nokia X does not ship with Google services, meaning buyers lose out on all sorts of things that make Android great like Maps or Search. The current method of providing apps to the Nokia X is for Developers to submit their Android apps to the Nokia store, which Nokia says can usually be done without any rewriting of code. Third party apps are great, but some just can’t stack up to Google’s offerings.

While the Nokia X doesn’t pack much in the way of specs, we find a different reason to raise an eyebrow here. First, we love a good root story. More importantly, if KitKat is really meant to be optimized for lower-end devices, what better example than the Nokia X? We’re hoping a root/KitKat duo will show us just how low KitKat can really go. At 512MB memory and 4GB Memory with a 1GHz Snapdragon, the bar is set really low.

Source: XDA Developers
Via: Ubergizmo

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch gets rooted

Posted by wicked October - 15 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung has taken some criticism on the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The reviews have been so-so and it seems many are still waiting and hoping to see the watch get a bit more in terms of functionality. We recently saw a hack that allowed the Galaxy Gear to run regular Android apps, and more recently, it looks like the watch has been rooted.

galaxy-gear-root-540

The details of the root are coming by way of the xda-developers forums. User photonicgeek has shared the process, as well as the steps that would be needed to reverse the process. As we often say with these types of situations — this is something you should do at your own risk. Photonicgeek has the process broken down into just a few steps, which seems to be rather basic.

You need to install some official drivers from Samsung and also grab the Cydia Impactor from Saurik’s website. Otherwise, the process involves enabling ADB mode on your Gear and installing those drivers. From here, you can have root access. Of course, what we just listed is a much simpler version of the actual steps. Photonicgeek also mentions that once rooted, the device will still look as it did before.

With that, while root has been achieved, there is still a bit more to the process. After you have root access you will need to install a utility, such as SuperSU or Superuser. That all being said, while the process itself does involve some risk — your watch and what used to be your $299, there is another side to consider. The other side here is that it seems many are unsure of what to actually do now that the watch has been rooted.

The xda thread is basically in what we would consider discovery mode at the moment. Users seem to be working through the process and taking it to further places. Needless to say, unless you are experienced in rooting and playing with Android, we would likely suggest holding off at the moment. Still, this would be a good thread for Galaxy Gear users to keep an eye on.

GALAXY S 4 rooted with ease, available now for quad-core version

Posted by wicked April - 26 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

Samsung’s flagship smartphone the GALAXY S 4 is just starting to pick up speed and hit U.S. carrier shelves. While many wait for Verizon’s model to come late next month, AT&T’s arrives in 4 days, and others too. Just in time for the flood of owners getting their shiny new phone we now have a simple root method for the US quad-core Snapdragon version of the GS4.

Screen-Shot-2013-04-23-at-3.00.32-PM

For those not paying full attention to root methods. Root was achieved for the 8-core Samsung Exynos version last month, but not for the quad-core flavor since it hadn’t quite hit the streets and wasn’t readily available. Now the same developer that cracked and unlocked all of Motorola’s bootloader is back doing the same for Samsung. High Five!

Apparently the same one-click “Motochopper” root method will quickly and safely root that shiny new 5-inch FHD GALAXY S 4, and have you ready for whatever you’d like to do. This is according to this XDA thread mind you, so proceed with caution. It’s pretty simple but here’s how to do it yourself.

Instructions:

Download the MotoChopper zip (click here)
• Extract the entire contents of the zip file.
• If you are using Windows, ensure you have installed the latest Samsung USB drivers available for your phone.
• Ensure USB Debugging mode is enabled on your device.
• Connect your device to your PC via USB.
• If you are using Windows, navigate to the extracted directory and execute “run.bat”. If you are using Linux or OS X, navigate to the extracted directory in a terminal and execute “./run.sh”.
• Approve the ADB connection from your PC on your device.

And that’s all she wrote. It should be a simple task for those familiar with these types of things. If you’re new to rooting when you get your GS4, you might want to wait for an even easier solution to arrive. Which one will shortly. This is just about as easy as it comes though. Extract the file and click the file, then you’re ready to rock. Head to the XDA link above if you need a few more tips.

As usual, proceed with caution and do this type of thing at your own risk. Are you getting the GALAXY S 4, and if so, will you be rooting? – Thanks to all who sent this in!

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info

    Device Name : Galaxy S 4 (Qualcomm)
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : AT&T T-Mobile
    Announced Date : March 14, 2013
    Release Date : April 24, 2013
    Also Known As :

Display

  • Screen Size : 5 Inch
  • Resolution : 1080×1920
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight

  • Height : 5.37 Inch
  • Width : 2.748 Inch
  • Depth : 0.31 Inch
  • Weight : 130 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2600 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.2.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • IM

Hardware

    CPU : Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T
    CPU Clock Speed : 1900 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 2000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 13 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
  • 802.11ac
    Bluetooth:
  • A2DP
  • Bluetooth 4.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Jelly Bean on DROID Bionic Root Method Released, Instructions For Those Running Ubuntu

Posted by Tim-o-tato April - 23 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

From the same man that unlocked some of Motorola’s heavily guarded bootloaders, a new root method for DROID Bionic owners running the new Jelly Bean firmware has been released. Unfortunately for most of you, it is for folks running Ubuntu because due to technical reasons, a Windows version is currently impossible.  Root is acquired by running [...]
Jelly Bean on DROID Bionic Root Method…



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