AT&T and Verizon, with their insistence on locked bootloaders for Android devices, are the scourge of the Android customization scene. Unfortunately they're also the largest carriers in the United States, which leaves a lot of Android power users in a pickle. If you're on either carrier and rocking a branded Galaxy S5, today is your lucky day: someone's gone and made a near-universal and amazingly simple root method that should work for the S5 (and more) on both carriers.
Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
A lot of Android devices have dedicated buttons to bring up the multitasking list, but Switchr may offer an even faster way to jump between running apps. This utility debuted on XDA recently as a beta, but now it has come to Google Play in both free and paid forms.
Switchr, like some similar apps, creates an active swipe zone on the edge of the screen. Swipe in through that area, and you trigger the app switching interface.
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).
Everyone likely to read this knows that root can unlock a lot of doors for Android modding, and an unlocked bootloader opens even more. But for HTC phones, S-OFF is the ultimate in control, allowing users essentially unlimited access to every piece of code on the device. The Revolutionary dev team has released a new S-OFF method for the HTC One. You may remember these guys from exploits on most of the major HTC phones from 2011 and earlier.
Most college kids are at home this time of the year, celebrating the end of finals and/or nursing hangovers. But the ROM's scene's number one destination is hosting classes all year round at the the new XDA University site. XDA-Developers has been working on the extension of the main site as a destination for newcomers to the world of root, custom ROMs, and other Android modifications, as well as a place to learn about more serious Android development.
Sure, the Galaxy S III is the first major flagship device to get Jelly Bean outside the Nexus line. That's not fast enough for you, though, is it? Of course not! We can do better! Or, more accurately, XDA can do better. In fact, a TouchWiz Jelly Bean ROM has found its way to the development forum giant's threads already!
The build is still unofficial and obviously there are inherent risks to flashing it.
If there is one major downside to the custom development community, it's that the sheer volume of minor variations in custom ROMs and largely-borrowed development makes it difficult, if not impossible to find real, quality development. XDA aims to change this by creating Original Development forums. These special forums will be reserved for projects that adhere to a set of rules, not the least of which is being largely original work.
Motorola Droid RAZR owners (and developers) received a bit of good news yesterday, thanks to a leaked set of fastboot files which allow your RAZR to be restored to stock in case of a soft brick or other unforeseen issue.
Many users over at XDA and DroidRZR.com forums have already reported success in flashing the files and restoring their devices, indicating that the fastboot set is, in fact, the real deal.
If, like many LTE Galaxy Nexus users, you are frustrated by Verizon's choice to block Google Wallet from Samsung's hottest new device, and don't want to root just yet, XDA has some good news. It turns out that Google's standard Wallet APK can be installed on the Nexus' LTE variant without issue.
The news came after many rooted users reported issues using a flashable .zip file to get Google Wallet up and running.