Phandroid » Rooting Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Wed, 27 May 2015 01:39:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 You can now root almost every Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge without tripping the flash counter Mon, 11 May 2015 16:49:58 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S6 DSC09362

It’s been possible to root the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge since the day the devices were available, but the methods available would trip Samsung’s flash counter that lets their technicians know if the device has been modified. This would potentially void your warranty, which is not good if your device ever suffers an unfortunate fate and you need to get it fixed. It also disabled the use of some of Samsung’s applications such as Samsung Pay (which isn’t actually available yet).

But now there’s no need to worry — a trip counter-less method has arrived, and as long as you follow the instructions to a T you should come away with a rooted device whose flash counter is kept at 0. The best part is that the method — dubbed PingPongRoot — works for nearly every Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge model available, with only a few models having yet to be tested.

Be sure to confirm your exact model number is on the list before going through with it, and know that anything you do to your phone is your own responsibility. Downloads and instructions can be had at the original XDA thread right here, so have at it if this is something you’ve been waiting for.

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Sony gives developers an official path to bootloader access on select phones Mon, 04 May 2015 14:48:13 +0000 Sony Logo DSC08921

In Sony’s ongoing quest to make their phones more developer friendly, the company has opened up bootloader access for a handful of their current Android smartphones. FXP has found that Sony’s official Mobile Flash tool now offers up an “Open Devices” bootloader option alongside the standard consumer-shipped bootloader.

What will this enable? It’ll allow developers to install custom recoveries right to the devices’ recovery partition. This enables the use of custom ROMs and operating systems without the need to use tricky and clunky bootstrap solutions. In fact, it’s so open that it would be possible to flash recoveries and ROMs for non-Android operating systems such as Ubuntu and Firefox OS (if one has the wherewithal to figure that out, of course).

sony mobile flashtool

Sony has only rolled out support for devices with chipsets based on ARM Cortex-A7, so that effectively limits it to the Sony Xperia T3, Sony Xperia M2, Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and the Sony Xperia E3.

That’s not to say more won’t come down the line, though, and we hope to hear something official from Sony soon. In the meantime, you can find the mobile flash tool right here. We wouldn’t recommend using it to do anything immediately, but you’ll likely want it on-hand once the development community takes proper advantage of this new level of access.

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Rooting the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge will break Samsung Pay mobile payments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:53:22 +0000 Samsung Pay 2

Rooting our Android devices has long been a way to unshackle our phones and tablets from the confines of OEM restrictions. Things like completely removing bloatware (not just disabling), or running custom ROMs are all made possible through the power of root. While most of the time rooting allows you add cool features and tweaks, it’s not always be the case. The Sony Xperia Z3, for instance, took a big hit to its camera quality thanks to missing DRM keys breaking Sony’s proprietary image processing (although a workaround was eventually found).

Those of you thinking about rooting the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge take heed, doing so will break arguably one of the best features of the device: Samsung Pay. To be fair, Samsung Pay isn’t even available yet, but it wont be too much longer until it officially launches (sometime this summer). Once it does, you’ll be able to make mobile payments using your smartphone — not just at NFC-based terminals — but anywhere you can swipe a regular credit card using Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).

Of course, that’s just something you could do, providing you don’t root. Because Samsung Pay is so heavily tied into the Galaxy S6’s security, rooting your Galaxy S6 compromises its security and consequently, breaks things like KNOX and mobile payments. Just a little something to consider before you run off to root the S6, only to find you are forced to use your physical credit card like an animal.


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TeamWin Recovery Project for the Samsung Galaxy S6 released Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:34:40 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08448

In case you were wondering whether the best custom recovery in the land would come to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, wonder no more. TeamWin has released TWRP (TeamWin Recovery Project) for the Samsung Galaxy S6.

There are install methods that support both rooted (download this app from Google Play for a quick and easy install) and unrooted (flash a file through Odin) devices so if a custom recovery is what you desire there should be little in your way to get it.

TeamWin has download links and installation instructions right here, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested. Remember to read everything thoroughly, only use TeamWin’s recommended download links, and know that anything that happens as a result is no one’s fault but your own. Knowing all that, have at it!

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HTC One M9 has already had its bootloader unlocked Thu, 02 Apr 2015 12:49:25 +0000 htc one m9 s-off

If your purchase decision for the HTC One M9 hinged on its ability to have its bootloader fully unlocked, you can scratch that prerequisite off your list. Jcase is back at it with his exceptional development skills to provide proof that he has successfully achieved S-OFF just under 24 hours after receiving it (which means a fully unlocked bootloader with no restrictions on your ability to write to the system partition).

And that’s where the story ends — the unlock method is not yet available. Jcase came right out and said there are no ETAs, and that it will likely be weeks before they’re able to release the method to everyone. They’re likely taking the time necessary to create the easiest and safest route possible, and also testing the method to make sure nothing can screw up tons of devices in the process.

The best thing you can do right now is follow Jcase’s Twitter account as he usually posts all updates there. It might not be a bad idea to bookmark this XDA thread as well. Fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan!

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How to root the Motorola Droid Turbo Thu, 26 Mar 2015 02:06:29 +0000 If you’ve been scouring the Motorola Droid Turbo forums and looking for All Things Root you’ve likely been disappointed by the lack of content. Not anymore: there is now a Droid Turbo Root method available for the taking this very minute.

It’s called MOFOROOT and there are three important things you should know:

  1. It’ll cost you $20 at the MOFOROOT website
  2. Instructions are few and far between so watch the above video
  3. For further support, head on over to this thread on Android Forums

Plenty of conversations will inevitably be had on the topic and if you’ve got a specific question, you can start a new conversation. But be warned: if it’s about bricking your phone, we’re not responsible!

Happy Rooting!

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This is Cyanogen’s new boot animation, coming soon to Cyanogen OS 12 [VIDEO] Tue, 17 Mar 2015 01:11:52 +0000 Cyanogen Inc new logo

Cyanogen is all grown up. When they’re not making bold statements about how they’d like to “take Android away from Google,” they’re en route to secure $110 million in funding, with a company valuation of somewhere around $500 million. That’s a lot of money. So much money, in fact, it was time to get a new logo because — let’s face it — that sassy pseudo Android mascot, Cid, just wasn’t going to cut if for investors.

CM 12 Cid new boot animation

CyanogenMod’s current “Cid” boot animation

That’s why Cyanogen introduced a new “brand identity” for commercial devices during Mobile World Congress with a new logo, website, and all-around different tone than the Cyanogen we’ve grown up with. And, after a new Cid boot animation (above) was just barely introduced in CM12 nightlies last month for 3rd party devices, Cyanogen is now giving us a sneak peek at their all new boot animation that will soon arrive in Cyanogen OS 12.  You can check out the new boot animation down below, lens flares abound. Be sure to tell us what you think.


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Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have officially been rooted via CF Auto-Root Mon, 16 Mar 2015 23:04:32 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08970

Not so much surprising, as it simply is just nice to know. Android fans — who are also fans of rooting — looking to buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge can sleep well tonight. Chainfire announced via his Google+ profile that root for the T-Mobile Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T) and Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925T) has now been achieved via CF Auto-Root.

Really, he didn’t have to modify much, only the existing CFAR script and voila: root. He also notes that rooting will probably kill Samsung KNOX’s mobile payments on the device (there’s still Google Wallet). That being said, the phone’s aren’t even available, but you can rest assured that when they are, root is now officially waiting for you.

[CF-Auto-Root repository]

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New CyanogenMod Theme Engine options allow users to customize status and nav bar colors separately Thu, 19 Feb 2015 01:43:48 +0000 CM12 Theme Engine update satus nav colored nav bars

Being able to adjust even the smallest bits of the UI is one of the reasons Android fans turn to custom ROMs like CyanogenMod. Coming soon to CM12, developer Clark Scheff posted an updated Theme Engine screenshot showing new options to change both status and navigation bars independently from one another. While nothing groundbreaking, it’s yet another feather in the hat of an already full featured ROM brought to you by the boys ay Cyanogen Inc.

As for availability, Scheff mentions you should start seeing the new Theme Engine options arrive in February 19th nightly builds (and beyond), so be on the lookout. As for a little back story, Theme Engine had to be built from the ground up in order to play nice with Android Lollipop, only landing in CM12 nightlies about a month ago. Definitely nice to see further progress being made.

[CyanogenMod Nightly | Google+]

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Xposed for Lollipop is now available for root users [DOWNLOAD] Fri, 13 Feb 2015 21:07:19 +0000 xposed

A few days ago we filled you in on the progress of the popular Android mod “Xposed” being developed for Android 5.0 Lollipop. All of those holding off on updating to Lollipop because of Xposed incompatibility, today is the day: Xposed for Lollipop is now officially available for download.

For those out of the loop, Xposed is a tool for root users that offers up countless ways of customizing an Android device’s software by use of “modules.” These modules provide users with software features normally only found in custom ROMs. Since Lollipop made the move away from Dalvik to ART, it broke compatibility Xposed and the developer was forced to rework everything to play nice with the new runtime in Android 5.0.

Before you get too excited, the developer notes that this is only an alpha version of Xposed and currently only works on ARMV7 devices running Lollipop. Should you fulfill those requirements, you can download the app from the XDA thread right here. Godspeed.

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5 reasons you should learn how to root your phone today (and how to do it) Tue, 10 Feb 2015 20:56:29 +0000 rooted

If you’ve been using an Android phone for a while you’ve no doubt heard the term “root.” Android users love to talk about rooting and customizing their devices. Rooting your device opens it up to a world of possibilities. You may think Android is customizable out of the box, but it pales in comparison to what a rooted device can do. Still on the fence? We’ve got 5 reason why you should learn how to root your phone.

What is Rooting?

First things first: what does it mean to “root” your phone? The process of “rooting” your phone is to obtain root access. This allows you to dive much deeper into your phone’s system. It gives you access to everything in the operating system. That may sound very complicated, but rooting is only what you make it. You can do as little as use a couple of apps that require root access, or go all the way and flash a custom ROM. Anyone can do it, and there are several reasons why you might want to.

Why Root?

Boost Speed and Battery Life


Android phones have been getting more and more powerful throughout the years. Still, some people want more power, and everyone wants better battery life. Rooting your phone gives you access to a whole new world of apps. These apps can help keep your phone running lean and mean.

Greenify is an app that attempts to keep your phone running smooth and easy on the battery. It’s a lofty goal, but with root access it can happen. Greenify helps you identify and put the misbehaving apps into hibernation when you are not using them, to stop them from lagging your device and leeching the battery. It works without root, but if you have root it can do the job even better.

A custom kernel is a more advanced way to get better performance and battery life. The kernel is responsible for helping your apps communicate with the hardware of your phone. Basically, the better you can make software and hardware work together the better your phone will perform. Some manufacturers don’t do a great job at this, but with a custom kernel you can fix their mistakes.

Backup your phone like never before

nexus 6 nexus 5

Android’s built-in back-up features are pretty good (and even better in Lollipop), but there is a lot more you can do with root. Imagine setting up a new phone and all your apps are exactly like you left them. Signed in, game progress synced, and ready for you to start using again.

With DataSync you can do exactly that. It allows you to sync your apps and all the data that goes with them to the cloud (or local storage). You can use the data to sync game progress between devices, make it easier to set up a new device, and more. If you own multiple Android devices, or get new ones often, this is an indispensable app.



It’s no mystery that rooting your phone opens it up to tons of customization possibilities. Android is already more customizable than most OS’ by default, but when you root your phone it can do so much more. Xposed is an app that allows you to tweak nearly everything in your phone. You can essentially create your very own version of Android.

Xposed uses “modules” to customize certain things. For example, you can install  module that adds a “reboot” option to the power menu. Other modules can allow you to download location-restricted apps from the Play Store, choose the color of the nav bar, use apps in floating windows, and so much more. If that’s not enough customization for you there is one other thing you can do…

Flash a custom ROM

Paranoid Android VSenn

A custom ROM is the ultimate customization. You’re replacing the version of Android that came with your device with something completely new. Custom ROMs come in all shapes and sizes. Some look completely radical, while others are just slightly refined versions of stock ROMs. The choice of custom ROM will depend on what device you have.

Three popular ROMs that we like are CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, and Android Open Kang Project. Each of these ROMs work on a wide variety of devices and offer unique features. CyanogenMod has become popular for being a refined and feature-rich version of stock Android. Paranoid Android takes Google’s design principles and extends them even further with tons of new features. AOKP similarly adds new features for power users.

Check to see if your device is supported by these ROMs by visiting their websites (CM, PA, AOKP).

Automation to the next level


One of the best things about Android is the ability to automate things. Apps can easily hook into the OS and communicate with each other, which makes the automation so powerful. Apps like IFTTT can do a lot of cool stuff without root access, but you can do even more if you decide to root.

Tasker is another automation app that can do a lot without root access, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Open it up to root access and you have a world of possibilities. Tasks such as toggling 3G, GPS, changing CPU speed, turning the screen on, and others require root access. You’ll never have to remember to turn on WiFi or dim the screen again.

How To Root

Lollipop charging

Now that we’ve got you interested in obtaining root access we can talk about how to do it. There is no one end-all and be-all way to root every phone. Each and every device presents different obstacles and quirks. The good news is that most phones nowadays are relatively easy to root, especially if you have a Nexus device. If you don’t have a Nexus, but you have a popular flagship, you should be fine.

The first thing you’ll want to do is head to Android Forums and find the forum for your particular device. You should find some sort of guide for rooting that device, like this thread in the Nexus 6 forum. Here are guides for some of the most popular devices right now:

The actual rooting process may be slightly different from phone to phone, but there are a few things everyone should do before they get started.

  1. Back-up and save everything you want to keep.
  2. Enable USB debugging in the Developer options
  3. Depending on what you’re doing, you may need to download the Android SDK

The most important thing you can do when rooting your device is to follow all the directions to a T. Don’t skip steps or try to do things differently. Rooting a device is not difficult, but if you make a mistake it could result in a bricked device. No one wants that. Once you have the power of root there is nothing you can’t do. Welcome to a brave new world of Android tinkering.

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CyanogenMod 12 nightlies head to the Nexus 9 with a box full of Lollipops Mon, 09 Feb 2015 13:57:06 +0000 cyanogenmod logo 5

CyanogenMod fans with the Nexus 9 have been deprived of their Lollipop goodness to this point, but no longer — the Nexus 9 is the latest device to receive CyanogenMod 12 nightlies. In case you don’t know, a nightly is a daily snapshot ROM of the latest changes.

It’s to be considered an alpha ROM as it often contains bleeding edge features, fixes and changes that might not stable. That said it’s a good way to get a taste of what’s to come if you absolutely can’t wait for the release candidates or stable releases to reach your device.

You flash it like you would any other ROM (here’s a handy collection of resource links if you’re not sure where to begin), of course, and you do so knowing that you’re responsible for anything that happens as a result. Take heed to that, and should you decide to go through with it the the download links will be waiting right here.

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CyanogenMod announces official CM12 Nightlies Tue, 06 Jan 2015 04:17:32 +0000

The most popular custom ROM has officially taken the wraps off of its Lollipop phase, according to the team’s blog. Official CyanogenMod 12 nightlies have now been “activated”, though you’ll likely notice a few of their iconic features have not been fully developed yet. For example, Theme Engine support and navigation bar customizations are still absent, though this is to be expected from such a major Android version bump.

Even as nightlies are just now official, the team says it’s nearing its first stable “M” release of CM12. Missing features are still being worked on, and will join new features specific to Lollipop in “the coming weeks”:

CM11 features aren’t the only thing we’re working on, with new features such as Ambient display, a brand new Messaging app, and some small tweaks including a weather option in the new Lollipop extended status bar. Our team is continuing to work on new additions and we have some big plans ahead for L.

It’s also important to note that official support is not yet available for all of the usual devices, but they do have a healthy initial list, including the Nexus 4, 6, 7 (2013 WiFi), the OnePlus One (hey, at least you can still get the community builds for it), the LG G3 and the HTC One M7 and M8. Noticeably absent are the Nexus 5 and the LG G2, but “additional devices will trickle in as the days go on”. The builds are not yet available at the time of this writing, but we expect to start seeing them uploaded on Tuesday.

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OnePlus releases first alpha of company’s new ROM, and it’s basically AOSP Lollipop Fri, 02 Jan 2015 13:53:09 +0000 oneplus one lollipop aosp rom

The folks at OnePlus revealed a while ago that they’d been working on their own ROM to pursue their own vision beyond CyanogenMod. We weren’t sure what to expect from their first and early effort, but we do now: it’s Android 5.0 Lollipop straight from the Android Open Source Project, and that’s about it.

The company published the ROM, which is in its first alpha state, for public flashing through the TWRP recovery, and they noted that the build doesn’t have any added features that don’t already come with stock AOSP Android Lollipop. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t done anything at all, but this is where they are in the early going.

OnePlus One DSC06079

It’s also worth noting that the ROM doesn’t ship with Gapps, the package which gives you access to all of Google’s services not shipped with AOSP. You’ll need to find a quick download of that package to flash after you’ve flashed the ROM (this one should do), but after that you should be good to go.

You should know there are a few known issues being worked through at the moment, though none are particularly experience-breaking. Here’s the quick list:

  • Data roaming is on by default. Make sure to turn if off to avoid potential charges.
  • Camera and video may be unstable. This build supports 4k video, however quality may be low as we are still fine-tuning the camera.
  • Capacitive keys do not turn off when you enable software keys.
  • Clock crashes periodically.
  • If using the new app pinning feature in L, make sure to turn on the software keys first. Otherwise, you will have to reboot your machine.
  • On first boot, startup time will be a bit slow.

No one said alpha builds were perfect, eh? Still, that list seems light enough to consider this one ready to be your daily driver if you can put up with a wonky camera and clock.

CyanogenMod’s wares are probably still your best bet if you’ve come to enjoy the OnePlus One’s unique features, but Lollipop for that particular configuration won’t be ready for quite a while and this is your best bet at getting a taste of Lollipop on your OnePlus One in somewhat official capacity.

That said, OnePlus expects to use this ROM as a basis for a much bigger project going forward, with the company looking to bring their own suite of features and looks in future updates. Feel free to hop on the bandwagon early on, but just know it won’t be anything special or out of the ordinary unless you really want a taste of Lollipop. Find instructions and download links over at the OnePlus forums.

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Franco Kernel makes its way to the Nexus 6 Mon, 29 Dec 2014 18:05:59 +0000 nexus 6 overview

Francisco Franco has brought his much-loved kernel to Google’s latest enthusiast device. The developer, who says he’s fallen in love with the device in his time having it, says the upgrade is being pushed out at some point later today. The previous version of the kernel already works seamlessly with the Nexus 6, though this upgrade will likely brings changes specific to the Nexus 6 and the hardware packed inside.

Franco’s Kernels have long been celebrated due to their clean, fast performance and advanced features, and anyone hoping to keep their device in tip-top shape a few years past its purchase date would be wise to use it (or any decent after-market kernel) on their Nexus 6. For those interested, you’ll simply have to install the Franco Kernel Updater on your rooted Nexus 6, and wait for the goodness to arrive to your phone over-the-air.

[via Google+]

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