It's that time again: the software engineers at Samsung are on an open-source bender, and they won't stop until every last Galaxy phone has been served. Today Samsung posted kernel files for some big (as in widely-used) devices, and some not-so-big (but still actually pretty big) devices. Verizon's version of the Galaxy S4, the vanilla Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos, and the GSM version of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 all have kernel source code posted at Samsung's open source repository.
If you saw the Aurora Red version of the omnipresent Samsung Galaxy S4 yesterday and decided you just had to have it, AT&T has got you covered. Just let your fingers do the walking to the AT&T web store and get a pre-order in, and it'll be on its way in a little over two weeks. At present the $200 16GB model ($639.99 off-contract) is the only one available in a hue that matches your ruby slippers.
When news broke that Verizon's and AT&T's versions of the Galaxy S4 would ship with locked/non-unlockable bootloaders, people were... upset. This sort of action was basically expected from Verizon, but AT&T had historically left its device's bootloaders unlocked, allowing users to do what they wanted with their own handsets. To make matters worse, the Galaxy S4's bootloader signature verification is nearly impossible to crack.
Then, at the first of the month, all-around genius hacker Dan Rosenberg released a teaser for his upcoming tool that would "hack" the AT&T's versions bootloader.
Attention, Verizon-shackled Samsung fans (like me): the Galaxy S4 is available today. Like, right now - you could probably drive down to the Verizon store and it would just be sitting there, waiting for you to fondle its 1080p screen. If you want to take it home, it'll cost you $199.99 with a new or extended two-year contract. Still clinging to that unlimited data like the last slice of pizza in the frat house?
Give the community enough time and almost any device can be cracked open, no matter how determined a carrier or OEM is to keep it locked down. The Verizon Galaxy S4 has proven a tough nut to crack, but a new root method is much less convoluted than previous ones. Just flash a kernel, run some tools, flash again, and you're done! Well, it's a little more involved than that, but not much.
Cricket Wireless wants you to know that they'll have the Samsung Galaxy S4, just like the big boys. They just don't have it yet. In a press release issued today, Cricket revealed its own special version of the Galaxy S4 (which is exactly like all the other LTE Galaxy S4 models), and it will be available to customers in-store, online, and at authorized resellers on June 7th. The cost for Cricket's unsubsidized phone is a wallet-searing $599.99, but those who are short on green can put $54.99 down and pay it off over a couple of years.
In case you hadn't heard, Samsung is making a little extra effort to secure the Galaxy S4 via tougher software kernels, which aren't susceptible to some of the more common root methods from previous Galaxy models. But where there's a will, there's a way, and noted Android developer/modder Chainfire has found a way around the security on the stock kernel for the Galaxy S4 i9505 - that's the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered LTE variant, and the model sold for AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States.
Have you ever wondered just how private your data is? How protected your personal info is? For all you know, apps could be running off sharing your phone number, contact log, and device ID to third parties. Or even worse, they could be doing so over an unencrypted connection. I shudder at the very thought.
This contest is now over.
The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future.
Throughout the history of the modern smartphone, those who wanted something that could take a beating but keep going were left with one option: buy a device with at least year-old specs. For some reason, manufacturers just couldn't get behind the idea of releasing an ultra-ruggedized device with cutting-edge specs. That has slowly started to change as of late with devices like the Sony Xperia Z, and now Samsung is looking to join the party and with a rough-and-rugged device featuring top-tier specs.
Well hi-diddly ho there, aspiring app developer! Has the life of a recent CompSci grad got you down? Does the world of independent mobile app programming leave something to be desired in the area of, say, ostentatious sports cars and penthouse apartments? Samsung would like to help you out with their Smart App Challenge 2013. A cool $800,000 has been reserved for the makers of ten winning apps, with 200,000 American greenbacks going to the top entrant.