We don't talk about rooting nearly as much these days. It's not that plenty of people aren't still doing it, but the popularity of modding has slowly dropped off as Android continues to mature. One of the leading deterrents to rooting is the hassle of manually staying current with updates, which can take more effort than it's worth–especially with Google adopting a monthly rollout schedule for Nexus security updates. Chainfire, developer of SuperSU, has updated his app FlashFire to take the pain out of keeping up-to-date by adding support for OTA packages and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Well, it was nice while it lasted. A few months ago prolific Android developer Chainfire introduced a method of rooting Android devices without modifying the /System partition. It had the added and extremely welcome benefit of getting around SafetyNet detection for applications that were intentionally disabled on rooted phones, like Android Pay. But it looks like Google has caught on: starting this weekend (as reported on the /r/Android subreddit ), Android Pay and other SafetyNet apps no longer work with the roundabout root method. Bummer.
Google's system uses a server-side update, so at the moment there's no way to get around the check even with older versions of Android Pay, Google Play Services, et cetera.
By now most orders for the Nexus 6P have been delivered, or at least getting close. If you haven't tried unlocking the bootloader yet, it might come as a surprise that the 'fastboot oem unlock' command no longer works. Attempting to use it with the Nexus 6P fails with a message that it is an unknown instruction. Don't worry, this doesn't have anything to do with drivers, and it isn't a fluke. Google had Huawei replace the oem command in the Nexus 6P bootloader with the new flashing command. Here's what it will look like:
fastboot flashing unlock
fastboot flashing lock
fastboot flashing unlock_critical
fastboot flashing lock_critical
fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability
There are two levels of unlocking: normal and critical.
If you've been modding your Android devices for any amount of time, you're probably familiar with Chainfire, developer of the extremely popular SuperSU root permissions manager and various other mods and apps. His latest work attempts to solve an annoyance that has bothered Android power users for years, but has become particularly annoying since the introduction of Android 5.0. Chainfire's new experimental method for rooting Android phones, tablets, and other gadgets does so without modifying any of the files on the /system portion of the device's storage, instead using a modified boot image.
That's a big deal, because after Android 5.0 any modifications to files in /system (even without a permanent root solution) cause over-the-air and sideloaded updates to fail, forcing rooted users to stay on older versions of Android or re-flash the stock build, then root again.
Google hasn't said much about how its new OnHub router works—it's a mysterious black box (blue cylinder, technically) with inactive radios and updatable firmware. The modders from Exploitee.rs have gotten their hands on an OnHub, and it didn't take long for them to root it. Interestingly, they rooted it like a Chromebook because that's sort of what the OnHub is—a Chromebook with no screen acting like a router.
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.
Among the Android modding circles, there's no app more recognizable than SuperSU. It has a well-earned reputation as the de facto standard for rooting your phone, tablet, and really just about anything that runs Android. Chainfire, the creator and developer of SuperSU, has been maintaining it himself since 2012, but now he's ready to hand off the reins. In a post on Google+, Chainfire says he's transferring ownership of SuperSU to Coding Code Mobile Technology LLC, or CCMT.
Under the new arrangement, SuperSU will have more developers and additional funding to continue maintaining and building onto its feature set.
As announced earlier today, the HBO Now app is live in the Play Store for all devices. Although, when I say "all devices" I don't really mean all of them. Rooted phones and tablets aren't supported, because you're obviously a dirty pirate if you root your phone. Everyone else can get a free 30-day trial of HBO Now, though.
Have you seen Mr. Robot? The show is only three episodes in, but it's already shaping up to be a surprisingly awesome hacking drama. And I don't mean "hacking" in the CSI/NCIS/Scorpion "120WPM and 60 flashing windows" kind of hacking - the protagonist and his Anonymous-style compatriots use real methods and technology, mostly relying on a combination of known vulnerabilities, social engineering, and brute force attacks to play at being cyber-vigilantes. You should check it out - USA has the first three episodes available for free on its website.
The third episode features a pretty cool segment where (extremely mild spoiler alert) the antagonist gains physical access to an Android phone in order to digitally tap it.