If you've ever rooted your Android phone to modify system components, chances are, you've come across Magisk, which allows for systemless root access. Developer John Wu has constantly updated it to ensure it works just as well and goes undetected by Google's SafetyNet. The tool is now being updated to version 22.0, which introduces support for the Samsung Galaxy S21 series and kills the Magisk Manager as we know it.
For advanced Android enthusiasts, Magisk is one of the most popular tools for achieving systemless root access to a device. Since each yearly Android release introduces new underlying code changes, there's usually a lot of work to be done before Magisk can be made compatible. Developer John Wu started with the first canary builds back in April, and now it looks like Magisk version 21 is officially ready for Android 11 — as well as a completely rewritten version of Magisk Manager.
If you're part of the root and ROM Android enthusiast crowd, then you probably freaked out a bit back in March when it was revealed Google's SafetyNet check was getting a hardware-backed component with no easy workaround. Now, these changes have been spotted live in the wild, and some phones are already using hardware-backed SafetyNet attestation. Cue "the end is nigh" wailing.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Android may be a wide-open world compared to iOS, but there are still some things you just can't do on Google's mobile platform. One of them is capturing screenshots within apps that prohibit the act — either because the screen contains sensitive information or content protected by digital rights management. Lucky, then, that we have a trick up our sleeve called rooting! Yes, even in 2020, it still has utility for the people who need it the most. So, if you'd like to grab a freezeframe to meme up or spoil a drama series or keep some backup passcodes where you can easily pull them out, we've got a way (or three) to do that.
It's the same procedure as every year: Google releases new development builds for the latest version of Android, and the developer community begins digging through the code to see how it can achieve root. That's true for this year, as well, as Magisk developer John Wu has published the first canary builds of his systemless root solution for Android 11's developer preview.
Magisk and Google have been playing a game of cat and mouse for years: Google's SafetyNet technology is supposed to be triggered when it notices a rooted device, but MagiskHide does its best to keep banking apps, Pokémon Go, and other root-despising applications going, no matter what you do with your phone. However, the latest update to SafetyNet, apparently rolling out via the Play Services, seems to put an end to the game permanently. Magisk developer John Wu isn't convinced he'll find a solution that would keep his tool intact once Google fully implements the change.
Magisk, the popular root solution, is testing an updated interface for its Magisk Manager app's latest Canary release. It's a pretty drastic redesign, and developer John Wu is clear that this isn't the final look, but we can expect a focus on "functionality over aesthetics." John Wu has also announced that the developer who did the new redesign will be the "main" maintainer for the app (but presumably not Magisk itself) in the future.
Android root solution Magisk first offered support for Android Q in Beta v19 back in March. Compatibility with the latest version of Android — now known as 10, not Q — has now made its way to the stable release of the utility in version 20.
Along with many other security-related updates, Android Q also changed how system partitions work for the Pixel 3 and 3a to allow the seamless installation of Generic System Images through dynamic system updates and improve general system safety. A side effect of these new logical partitions is a complete shift in the way root access can be enabled. Previously, Magisk developer John Wu stated that this would mean that Android Q couldn't be rooted on newer devices for quite some time going forward. But as always, Wu surpassed himself and announced that he achieved the first working full root on a Pixel 3XL running Android Q Beta 4.