The Pixel smartphones' new partition system and boot images have been a hot mess for developers and tinkerers who like to push their devices beyond the specs written on the shipping box. But even though this has slowed down the release of custom recoveries and other mods, it hasn't completely stopped our beloved enterprising developers who probably thought of the whole situation as a nice challenge instead of an unsurmountable obstacle.
Just yesterday, Ethan Yonker (Dees Troy) released an early alpha of custom recovery TWRP for the Pixel devices, but that created a problem for those who were using the boot-to-root images made by Chainfire for the Pixels. Read More
If you're involved in the world of custom ROMs, there's little chance you haven't heard of the Open GApps Project. As of late, Open GApps has been the go-to site for downloading Google Apps packages. It's not hard to understand why; the site is pretty and easy to use, and the packages, which come in nine sizes and variations, are always up to date. Now, the guys behind Open GApps have taken the stuff that makes their site so great and infused it into a new Android app. Read More
The Google Pixel phones' development has had a big week; just a few days ago, the Verizon and EE variants had their bootloaders unlocked. Now, Chainfire, the famed developer of SuperSU and FlashFire, has debuted a systemless root method for the Pixels.
Due to the Pixels' odd partition structure (two system, two boot, two vendor, zero recovery, and zero cache partitions), Chainfire's root method required a bit of re-engineering. It's pretty impressive how quickly he was able to do this, but we'd expect no less from him. Read More
For years, Google's Nexus line could be counted on for one thing, an unlockable bootloader. While carriers have occasionally had limited freedom to defile customize certain models sold through their service, owners were at least free to either modify the stock software or completely replace it with custom builds.
It goes without saying people were more than a little disheartened to learn Google's second attempt to team up with US carrier Verizon lead to yet another disappointing result: the Google Pixels sold through VZW have non-unlockable bootloaders. In fact, there are at least two carriers selling non-unlockable Pixels. The other is EE Limited (formerly Everything Everywhere) in the UK. Read More
Bless you, Xposed Framework. Thou art the last refuge of power users whose hardware has been forsaken by manufacturer and ROM developer alike. The root-enabled tool has a new module that back-ports a bunch of Android Nougat features to earlier versions of the OS. It's called AndroidN-ify, and the latest update includes a tweak that exposes Google's fancy new voice-controlled Assistant search tool to users on Android 6.0. An earlier build.prop tweak allowed Android 7.0 users to try Assistant on non-Pixel phones, which won't be officially supported when the new hardware launches. Read More
Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 220.127.116.11 or newer.
If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup. Read More
If you've got a rooted Android device and you're a Pokémon master, chances are that you've heard that the 0.37 update to Pokémon GO completely disabled the game for devices with root access and/or custom software. We made a guide on how to circumvent the SafetyNet check that Pokémon GO and Android Pay use with Magisk, but it might get bothersome to constantly toggle root on and off. Now, there's an app that lets you launch those apps without the slightly annoying root toggle. Read More
If you follow Android Police, there's a good chance you've got a rooted device, whether it be an easy-to-root Nexus or something like a Galaxy that takes more effort to do so. It's also very possible that you play Pokémon GO, which can probably be considered the fad of the year. For those of you who fall into both of those categories, you're probably frustrated that with the latest version (0.37), you'll now be forbidden from playing the game on your phone, just because some no-gooders used GPS spoofing and/or Xposed modules to get ahead. Even RootCloak doesn't work. Not to worry though, as there's a fairly simple way to circumvent this block. Read More
Pokémon GO may be one of the most-downloaded mobile games of all time, but the fact is that this Niantic Labs creation is dropping in users every day. The Pokémon GO team has seen this, and is adding a few features that were previously announced—Buddy Pokémon and Pokémon GO Plus support. However, it's not all good news; rooted Android devices (and jailbroken iOS devices, for that matter) are now blocked from loading the game up. Read More
Hiding your root status from apps that refuse to work when you are rooted—like Android Pay—is a cat and mouse game that enthusiasts have been losing lately. Chainfire, the developer who has become the main source of advances in rooting, announced today a new way to work around Android apps' ability to detect the root status of a device. The app, called suhide, works but comes with a number of caveats. Read More