Over the years, Google has been shoring up security on Android in a bid to make the operating system more attractive to governments and businesses, and to reduce the threat of malware for regular users. Unfortunately, these changes often come at the expense of flexibility in our beloved platform. As we close in on the next major release of Android, due to be announced next month, SuperSU developer Chainfire has discovered a set of commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) that may seriously impact some of the functionality currently enjoyed by many root users.
Two weeks ago developer Chainfire rooted the international GSM-LTE version of the Galaxy S5. These things take time, but apparently not much of it. Barely two weeks later, the modder is back after having rooted six additional variants just in time for the official commercial launch. These include the T-Mobile, US Cellular, and MetroPCS models, the International Exynos option, and some shipped to various other parts of the Western Hemisphere.
According to Chainfire, the night mode and color adjustment features from Chainfire3D and the original CF.lumen Gingerbread apps are frequently requested. So frequent, in fact, that they're back for KitKat+ devices as CF.lumen on the Play Store.
If you've ever used f.lux for your PC, you know basically what to expect here - color temperature adjustments based on the time of day, bringing tones more in line with your eyes' expectations when the sun goes down.
That was fast. Despite the fact that the Galaxy S5 won't be released for another two weeks, well-known developer and modder Chainfire has already rooted the phone. Well, at least one of the Galaxy S5s (S Fives? Galaxies S5? whatever), specifically the SM-G900F model, which seems to be the international GSM-LTE version. The root method will probably work with at least some regional and carrier variants.
To get root privileges, check out this XDA-Developers post for Chainfire's latest version of the CF-Auto-Root tool, flashable via a PC with Samsung's ODIN tool.
Privacy and technology maintain a tenuous relationship, and the balance between convenient features and personal security is always one worth keeping in mind as users make the most of their devices' capabilities. To that end, Chainfire has released a new proof of concept app that aims to give users at least some peace of mind when it comes to the - for lack of a better term - trackability of their devices, specifically related to Wi-Fi.
OTA updates are usually a good thing, but first impressions can be misleading. The just leaked Android 4.4 KitKat build for the Galaxy S4 seems good, but some behind-the-scenes changes broke SuperSU, making root access difficult. Ever the go-getter, Chainfire already has it sorted out.
The new flashable ZIP file is available from Chainfire's site – version number 1.89. CF-Auto-Root has also been updated to include the new SuperSU. This has been successfully tested with the leaked ROM on the GT-i9505, but should also be fine on other devices you need to get root on.
Last week we reported that the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 had a root method from a couple of enterprising gentlemen over at XDA. The same team-up of designgears and Chainfire has now reproduced the Root De La Vega root method for Verizon's Note 3 (model number SM-N900V), which isn't quite as appropriate as far as the name goes, but it's just as awesome.
The same unfortunate conditions apply for the Verizon version of this exploit.
AT&T might be steadfastly refusing its customers full access to the devices they "own," but it's still plenty possible to get root access on most new phones, especially if they're popular. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 certainly qualifies for the latter, and the fellas at XDA have come through once again. XDA Recognized Developer "designgears" (with a little help from the reliable Jorrit "Chainfire" Jongma) has released a working root method for AT&T's model of the Note 3 (SM-900A).
Samsung was the target of extensive hate recently as it came to light that the Note 3 and other high-end devices would be sporting a new region lock designed to cut back on gray market importers. The company said the lock was only a problem the first time a phone was activated, but some users now claim to be having ongoing issues with foreign SIMs not working. Whether or not Samsung's region lock is working as intended, noted developer Chainfire has released an app that can circumvent the lockdown entirely.
These days, it seems like everybody is trying to make Android more secure. As usual, rooting and modding are often casualties of this effort. Just over a month ago Android 4.3 broke the existing model for root, forcing updates to existing methods, and now Samsung is rolling out updated Android 4.2.2 firmwares for the Galaxy S 4 which fully enable the company's heavily secured KNOX environment. Fortunately, Chainfire is already on top of it and has updated his popular root software, SuperSU, to be compatible with the new system.