It's a regular rite of passage for new Android phones: most flagships get the root treatment within a day or two of being released, allowing power users access to tools and apps that most people aren't all that interested in. But there are some exceptions, namely those draconian carriers who insist upon locking the bootloader of their Android devices. Their reasons for doing so could charitably be described as "bull hockey," but they're pretty effective: it's sometimes months or years before these phones get rooted, if they do get rooted at all. Read More
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. Read More
Chainfire, the developer behind SuperSU as well as many other popular apps and mods, has published FlashFire, which he dubs the "spiritual successor" of Mobile ODIN. FlashFire is, as the name might suggest, a tool for flashing ROMs, kernels, and mods without the need for a custom recovery. It could (upon stable release) make these tasks, which generally involve a lot of button pressing and a little elbow grease, drastically simpler.
For owners of Mobile ODIN Pro, you will get pro features of FlashFire for free if it is installed on your device. Read More
Pity the poor Verizon customer, whose options for user-moddable Android phones are more limited than any other US carrier. It's particularly cruel, then, that Verizon tends to get some awesome Motorola exclusives in the DROID line. 2014's entry is the DROID Turbo, which is basically the Nexus 6 crammed down into the 5.2-inch body of the second-gen Moto X, plus the usual DROID Kevlar styling and an enormous 3900mAh battery. Oh, and a locked bootloader that makes root and custom ROMs difficult. Read More
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. Read More
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is expected to start showing up in a few weeks, and already Chainfire has gotten an updated version of CF-Auto-Root ready to go. So yes, there is a root method for some versions of the Galaxy S6, but only if the bootloader is unlocked. This is to be expected.
Android 5.1 made some major changes to the way recent apps are handled in Android. You can include Chrome tabs in the recent app list, and apps that are called up from another activity get their own card to keep things more consistent. However, Google also decided to never clear the list of recent app cards. It just goes on and on and on... it's kind of annoying. "Recently" from Chainfire fixes that, but you need root. Read More
Android 5.0 has a lot of smart features, and battery saver mode is one of them. When your phone reaches a user-defined low battery level, Lollipop will automatically reduce animations, turn off most background data, cut vibration from alerts, and lower the standard brightness on the screen. It's a smarter implementation of the feature than, say, the ultra power saving modes on recent Samsung or HTC phones, which disable all but a few apps. Read More
Sony's international phones have unlockable bootloaders, and the company even encourages users to tinker around with neat extras like AOSP builds. Alas, in markets like the US the carriers are still the keepers of the keys for a lot of customers, and T-Mobile has once again insisted on locking that sucker down for anyone who buys its version of the Sony Xperia Z3. Now users with this lamentable affliction can at least get root access on their phones, thanks to a bounty-winning method from an XDA user. Read More