For one to say that this whole “Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III locked boot-loader” fiasco has been tumultuous would be quite the understatement. First, Samsung acknowledged the locked boot-loader and stated that it’s the direction they have and always will believe in. Soon after, Samsung and Verizon announced a “developer” edition of their Galaxy S III that will feature an un-locked boot-loader tailor made for developers and hackers. While that made some happy, it came with a hefty $599 price tag and obviously doesn’t do much for the customers that have already purchased or pre-ordered their Verizon Galaxy S III.
Now in a sudden, and quite surprising twist, it seems as if Samsung and Verizon are planning on a software update that will un-lock the Galaxy S III’s boot-loader. Several customers have reportedly been receiving e-mails from Verizon customer service reps acknowledging a supposed software update that will un-lock the boot-loader. Here’s one of the emails that a reader from Droid Life received from Verizon:
Google’s magical mystery sphere, the Nexus Q, can stream Google Music, Movies, TV Shows, and YouTube videos. But developers are already hacking the Q to run apps and even play games… like Pong Brick Defender. Mobile development shop BrickSimple managed to modify a Q to play a Pong-like game using the Q’s rotating top volume control as the paddle controller. Simple, but this is just the tip of the iceberg with what we know the development community can do to this thing.
Check out the video after the break.
HTC seems to be running a little slow with kernel releases, but better late than never. They just released the kernel source for both the T-Mobile One S and the Sprint EVO 4G LTE. Again these source codes don’t mean much unless you’re a developer, but if you own one of these phones, you can be on the look out for better performance from custom ROMs.
Samsung has been releasing a lot of source codes lately so it’s no surprise the AT&T Galaxy Note Ice Cream Sandwich kernel was just released. In case you aren’t aware of it, the ICS update hit Kies a couple of days ago. With the release of the source code, CyanogenMod Nightlies are now supported for the AT&T Galaxy Note. Just hit the source link to get started.
source: Samsung, CyanogenMod
I know there are a lot of you that might want to get into rooting and utilizing custom ROMs, but just don’t know where to start. Although it’s always best to do things the manual way, we can understand why some of you might want something that’s quick, simple, and has everything in one place. That’s exactly what toolkits do. They allow you to unlock and root your device as well as flash custom recoveries and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Well XDA member mskip has a toolkit available for the international Galaxy S III (i9300) as well as 3 of the 4 U.S. Galaxy S III’s (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint). Obviously Verizon isn’t included since the bootloader is locked. The U.S. variants get one universal toolkit, while the international version has its own. Hit the break to see a list of all the features, download links, and forum links.
If you own a Verizon Galaxy Nexus (toro), and you’re looking for a good AOSP-based Jelly Bean ROM, then you might want to try Peter Alfonso’s Bugless Beast 4.1. It’s based on Android 4.1.1 and is as close to stock as it gets. For enhancements, he did include native tethering, Google Wallet, improved scrolling, louder audio output, and Chrome is the default browser. It’s recommended that you download the offline speech recognition package in Google Search settings once you install the ROM.
It used to be called the Galaxy Nexus Root toolkit, but with version 1.5, it’s now called the Nexus Root Toolkit because it supports all Nexus devices, including the Nexus 7. WugFresh is famous for giving us the quick and easy way to unlock and root the Galaxy Nexus as well as flash it back to stock and re-lock it. There really couldn’t be anything simpler, although we do encourage you to go about things the manual way, which isn’t all the much harder.
Nonetheless, we understand that some of you might be a little nervous and that’s where the Nexus Root Toolkit comes in. It can even flash zips, install apps, restore android backup files, and flash/boot img files with just a double click. This new version now supports all Nexus devices. Hit the break for instructions and download links.
Today the CynaogenMod team announced CM9 support for three U.S. Galaxy S III devices. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Verizon’s version didn’t make the cut. For now they are supporting the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions. They did mention the Verizon version and their original intent, but nothing was said about the U.S. Cellular version. Hit the break for their statement.
Sure the Amazon Kindle Fire might not be at full fledged Android tablet, but that shouldn’t stop you from having the full experience including Jelly Bean 4.1.1. XDA member Hashcode just posted an AOSP based Jelly Bean ROM. This is a beta so there are some issues like the HD codecs (YouTube and Netflix). The good news is this will be fixed shortly as Texas Instruments is updating the libion code. Other oddities is the screen over rotates and the dev is having an issue turning on UMS. These are all issues that will be fixed shortly.
When we told you that Verizon was keeping their Galaxy S III tightly locked up, many folks were upset, considering the other carriers have user-onlockable bootloaders on their S III’s. Well fret no more, young hackers, for Samsung has just announced that they will be offering a developer edition S III that works on Verizon.
This hacker-friendly version will be sold directly from Samsung’s developer portal (developer.samsung.com) for $599. It’s unfortunate Verizon won’t sell it directly themselves since it won’t be subsidized, so if you want this phone for $199, you’re out of luck. But if you’re willing to spend the bucks or don’t want to be on-contract anyway, Samsung’s offer should be music to your ears. Of course, many of you who already purchased the Verizon S III are probably a little miffed. Time for a return?
All the usual warnings apply… unlocking, modding, flashing, etc. is all done at your own risk. Screw something up and you’ve got a very pretty and expensive brick. But we know you’ll be careful.
Hit the break to read Samsung’s mini-FAQ about this edition.