Android users who demand maximum control over their devices are most likely running franco.Kernel. The franco.Kernel Updater app lets you put all that power to use, and the latest update adds a ton of new features for devices running this kernel. There are display profiles, a "night shift" mode, and a few goodies for anyone running Nougat.
During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.
How it works
Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage.
For years, Google's Nexus line could be counted on for one thing, an unlockable bootloader. While carriers have occasionally had limited freedom to defile customize certain models sold through their service, owners were at least free to either modify the stock software or completely replace it with custom builds.
It goes without saying people were more than a little disheartened to learn Google's second attempt to team up with US carrier Verizon lead to yet another disappointing result: the Google Pixels sold through VZW have non-unlockable bootloaders. In fact, there are at least two carriers selling non-unlockable Pixels. The other is EE Limited (formerly Everything Everywhere) in the UK.
Owners of the Verizon Galaxy Note 4 have been stuck with a non-unlockable bootloader since the device came out more than a year ago, but that's changing thanks to noted modder Beaups. With a few ADB commands, you can unlock the bootloader and open up a whole world of modding possibilities. Of course, you might also break everything. So, proceed at your own risk.
Some people can't imagine using Android without root access. For those people, Nexus devices provide the surest way to maintain root without a bunch of monkeying around. Marshmallow has only started rolling out to devices, and already there's a new beta of SuperSU and modified boot images to root your Marshmallow devices.
Android 5.0 brought major changes to the platform, and that made it hard to get the Xposed system tweaking framework functional. The project's developer has finally announced that Xposed for Lollipop is ready after months of betas and unofficial builds. That doesn't mean it's completely without risks, but nothing should be obviously broken.
New smartphones are rolling off the line pretty regularly, and that means the tools we use to work with them have to update, too. Last month, Sunshine v3.0 emerged with support for an extensive collection of HTC and Motorola handsets, and now an update to v3.1 is about to build on that list. With the latest release, Justin Case and Beaups have added support for almost every variant of the HTC One M9, except Verizon's. Expanded compatibility isn't the only new treat for users, Sunshine has also added the capability to automatically SIM unlock most of the GSM-based phones manufactured by HTC.
If you're going to do any serious modding on your Android smartphone, your first step is going to be unlocking the bootloader. This is a simple procedure on Nexus devices and a few other handsets, but many of the top OEMs have added security measures to prevent regular users from mucking about with their stock software. For these devices, there's a tool called Sunshine by recognized developers Justin Case (jcase), beaups, and friends. Version 3.0 just came out, and it can unlock the bootloader and acquire S-Off with almost every modern Motorola and HTC smartphone on the market.
Back in March, Justin Case released a root tool called WeakSauce for HTC's flagship lineup on Verizon. Unfortunately, a steady procession of updates to each handset has patched the original exploit, leaving many without root. Now there's a new version of WeakSauce, and it can root just about every HTC phone on Verizon running Android 4.4.4 and below.
Named WeakSauce 2: The Habanero's Revenge, this tool works just like its predecessor, and it's completely free. Just install the apk from this thread on XDA and run it to attain root. Once it has finished, just install SuperSU from the Play Store and you're ready to go.
The T-Mobile version of the LG G3 isn't bootloader locked, but all the others are. That's par for the course, but now you can finally do something about it. Bump! is a new bootloader unlock tool that will allow you to run a full version of TWRP and flash anything that has been "Bump'd."