One of the biggest frustrations of dealing with Verizon, if you're someone who likes to tweak their phone, is that the carrier insists on locking the bootloaders on its phones that otherwise would not be locked. Samsung has offered Developer Editions of its phones in the past, including the Galaxy S III, largely to avoid that problem and appease the dev crowd. Today, that tradition continues with the Galaxy Note II which has now appeared on the company's site in a similar hacker-friendly model.
You know what time it is? Time for more CM 10.1 nightlies! This go around everyone's favorite custom ROM is rolling out for everyone's favorite phablets: the international Note (n7000) and Note II (n7100). The oversized handsets got their first taste of CM10.1 yesterday, and the latest build just hit CM's download site a bit ago.
There's no doubt that the breakout feature of Samsung's Note II is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps side-by-side on the device's massive 5.5" display. The thing is, this isn't yet available on all versions of the Note II, though Samsung has been doing a pretty good job of getting updates ready and rolling out to all the different variants.
Beginning on Wednesday, December 19th, T-Mo's Note II is next in line to receive multi-window in an OTA update.
There's some disturbing news today on the Android security front: an vulnerability has been discovered for Samsung's Exynos 4-powered devices. While the related exploit is useful for the mod scene in that it can be harnessed to gain superuser permissions and root pretty much any device running on an Exynos 4 chip, it's also got some rather disturbing implications. According to an XDA member with the handle "alephzain", who developed the exploit, using this security hole can also grant an app access to all physical memory on a given device - basically, anything stored in RAM is fair game.
Apparently it's the Day of the Deal, because the savings just keep rolling in. We've already highlighted a couple of good deals on GSIIIs today, but if that's just not your cup of tea, Amazon Wireless just knocked quite a bit off the price of Sprint's Note II and Optimus G for new customers.
While there may be a lot to like about being a Verizon customer - like coast to coast LTE coverage, for example - there's also a laundry list of things to dislike, too. Close to the top of that list is Verizon's bootloader policy: lock it down tight, to prevent modifications. But, you know just as much as I do, the Android modding community just won't settle for "no, you can't have ROM X on your device."
As such, Verizon's Note II is the newest victim to XDA's freedom fight, with famed hacker Adam Outler ringleading the whole shebang.
I have to say, Samsung is on a roll with the updates lately. First, they started pushing 4.1.2 to the international variant of the GSIII in Poland, and now 4.1.2 is on its way to the unlocked international Note II (GT-7100) and Note II LTE (GT-7105). According to SamMobile, this update brings quite a few new features to the Note II, including:
- New notification toggles
- Customizable notification toggles
- Brightness slider can now be disabled
- The ability to disable Multi-View
- Browser improvements
- Status bar is now black
- Continuous input keyboard
- New ink effect on lockscreen
- New Group Cast app
Like the SIII's update, this one is starting in Poland for the GT-7100, and it looks like users in Sweden will be the first to get it on the GT-7105.
If David convinced you last week with his testimony concerning his phablet conversion, you're looking to jump on the plus-sized bandwagon, and you're looking to get on Sprint, then today might be a good day to pull the metaphorical trigger. As of right now, Amazon Wireless is selling the Galaxy Note II for $149. Normally the carrier charges twice that much, though we've seen it for cheaper before.
Unfortunately, the phones are both backordered, so shipping will take 1-2 weeks.
When the original Galaxy Note was unveiled back in August of 2011, I’ll admit: I was one of the naysayers. Nay, I was more than a naysayer – I was a hater. The idea of the “phablet,” I thought, was absurd. Who would possibly need – or want – such a ridiculous piece of form-factor experimentation? Like much of the tech media world, I looked on and fully expected Samsung’s newest Galaxy product to be a total failure.
Roughly 20 hours ago, Verizon and Samsung finally announced that the Big Red variant of the Note II would be available today. And, well, now it's available.
You can get this monstrous not-quite-a-tablet-but-more-than-a-phone for $300 with a two-year agreement, but it seems to me that Verizon should've knocked at least $50 more off that price for the obtrusiveness of the branding which they so graciously slapped on the home button.