Phandroid » Rooting Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:06:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Universal ADB Helper makes it easy for newbies to tinker with their devices Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:59:24 +0000 universal adb-helper

Rooting and tinkering with Android devices become easier and easier thanks to the great tools developers have whipped up, and another of those great tools has arrived. It’s the Universal ADB Helper, an app which helps you issue commonly-used ADB commands to your phone. It’s a simple batch file (which means Windows only, unfortunately) that’ll bring up a command line interface, but the only commands you’ll be issuing are numbers to choose which action you want to perform.

It comes with a fairly long list of functions:

  • Reboot in a certain mode
  • Install Apps
  • Delete PIN or Pattern on CM
  • Show Logcat
  • Show device
  • Backup
  • Restore
  • Factory Reset
  • Flash Recovery
  • Change bootanimation
  • Choose connection
  • Own ADB-Command

And the developer is adding more in each and every update.

ADB — short for Android Debug Bridge — is an interface used by Android developers for testing software on their devices, but the aftermarket development community often uses it to make it easier to push files and flash images. The standard, official installation of ADB alone can be daunting enough for the average user, and the need to remember commands can be even more confusing, so this tool definitely deserves attention.

Of course, even the most experienced users can use this tool if they prefer to let a batch script do the heavy lifting instead of having to issue commands themselves, so don’t overlook this if you don’t consider yourself a “noob.” The download can be had from the source link straight ahead.

[via XDA-Developers]

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Leaked Android Lollipop firmware for Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives in flashable form Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:42:09 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S5  back DSC05786

Folks with Nexus devices aren’t the only ones who can begin playing around with Android 5.0 Lollipop. A recognized developer has leaked a test build of the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5’s Android Lollipop firmware. The goods are flashable via ODIN if you’re brave enough to try it out, though the firmware is not final and does wipe all your data. The developer noted that calling, SMS and other typical functions work just fine, though he hasn’t fully tested all of the device’s sensors.

It sounds like it’d be decent enough to play around with and maybe even as a daily driver, but nothing is guaranteed to work and you obviously take sole responsibility for your phone as a result of anything you do with it.

There’s no word on how far into the retooling process Samsung currently is so what you see here might not be indicative of what we’re to expect once the official rollout begins, but if you want a quick sample then this is as good as it gets. Sprint folks daring enough to give it a go can head to XDA for the download links and instructions.

.[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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OmniROM details its Android 5.0 Lollipop plans Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:06:03 +0000 OmniROM Lollipop

Once Android 5.0 Lollipop was pushed to AOSP, many of you were wondering when your favorite custom ROMs would be making the leap and more importantly, which of your favorite features would remain. To answer this question, I’m tracking the progress of some of the most popular non-OEM-skin ROMs as they make the transition to Google’s latest and greatest codebase. OmniROM is one of the first to officially announce its rollout plans in detail (of course others have announced their plans, but to a lesser degree of detail).

In case you’re not familiar with OmniROM, it was created around the time Cyanogen Inc. was formally announced. Made up of a community-led development team including an all-star cast of legends from the development community (jerdog, Pulser, Andrew Dodd, XpLoDWilD to name a few), OmniROM introduced a number of original features to the rooted community. These include multi-window, OmniSwitch (a new take on Recents) and one of the first native file explorers to automatically integrate your cloud storage accounts through KitKat’s built-in cloud integration.

As for the ROM’s transition to Lollipop, I asked team publicist Jeremy Meiss (jerdog) the following questions:

Will all of the KitKat features be ported to OmniROM Lollipop?

That’s up to our community, but we hope most will be coming forward, except where they were superseded or made irrelevant by advances in L. In those cases, we hope to improve upon the user experience and functionality of stock, building on what we had before – example being our additions to Quiet Hours.

If not, do you know which ones won’t make the cut?

We don’t know – it’s very much down to our individual contributors, as Omni is a community-supported and community-led project.

Are there any new features you have decided upon for Lollipop?

Well, one thing has become clear with regards to AOSP 5.0 – Google does not care about, or seem to like, AOSP users. They’re breaking the AOSP applications left and right, and pulling many of them back to be proprietary. We’re in the process of getting people together from various projects to fix this. Get in touch if you’re interested – we want to make AOSP awesome again, even without Google apps!

Will your first Lollipop build be stock+, allowing for an earlier release or will you wait until you can include most of your most popular features?

We’ll wait until we have stable hardware support. At that point we’ll begin nightlies for devices with engaged and active maintainers. We are currently evaluating the feasibility of having a long-term support sub-project working on 4.4.4 if there are enough users with devices that will be left behind due to lack of OEM support for L. That is another reason to get in touch with us, as if there is enough interest it will help drive the direction.

Is there any estimated time frame for your first build?

It shouldn’t be too long now. The more that our maintainers get done now, the sooner it will happen. Our first priority is getting all of the hardware support stuff cleaned up and ready, and we’ve already seen several devices as old as the Galaxy Nexus (thanks to MWisBest) start to come up and build successfully. In the coming days we hope more maintainers will complete their bring ups and we can progress towards a nightly status.

You can find out more about their plans on their blog post, and if you know a few things about coding or if you’re willing to test some initial builds on your device you can contribute directly to their efforts here.

[Via OmniROM]

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Nexus 6 is hiding an RGB LED, can be used for notifications if you’re willing to root Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:50:05 +0000 Nexus 6 LED notification light

Seems the more we learn about the Nexus 6, the more it’s sounding like it was quickly hurried out the door. Another piece of evidence? The smartphone’s dormant (hidden) RGB LED light as discovered by some folks over on XDA. Yes, it’s there. Right smack dab in the center of the top speaker. Like most things, you’ll need root if you’re looking to activate it and an app like Light Flow to configure it.

Nexus 6 Red Blue LED light

If you need more help, check out the thread over on XDA. In the meantime, gawk over these pictures imagine what life would be like if you had the option to choose ambient display mode, LED notifications, or both on your Nexus 6.

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Here’s how to restore LTE to your Nexus 4 following Android 5.0 Lollipop update Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:46:31 +0000 Nexus 4

Those who upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop on their Nexus 4 ran into a bit of trouble with its LTE radios. If you don’t remember, the Nexus 4 shipped with LTE radios inside, but the device was not approved for LTE use by the FCC here in the United States. As such, Google ended up having to disable the radios via a software patch.

That didn’t hold the community back from bringing support in an unofficial capacity, of course, but those who upgraded to the official Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware recently have found themselves in the same pickle. And, well, today’s development proves history repeats itself quite a bit: you can now get an updated hybrid modem to enable LTE on your Lollipop-equipped Nexus 4. You’ll have to be rooted, though that should be no big task with Chainfire’s latest goods.

Once you’ve taken care of root then it’s as simple as this:

  1. Flash to “enable” LTE in the build.prop
  2. Flash this hybrid modem (in fastboot or recovery)
  3. Perform a full data wipe, or use these instructions if you’re knowledgeable on ADB to get the settings to stick
  4. Reboot

And that’s it. Not the most elegant solution out there, but if you’re not ready to loosen the grip on your Nexus 4 in favor of one of the newer devices then this is what you’ll have to work with. Be sure to back everything up before attempting this, and remember that anything you do on your phone is at your own discretion.

[via XDA, thanks Carl!]

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How to give your Nexus 6 a huge speed boost by disabling device encryption Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:32:58 +0000 tmp_18151--1203866297

For those that already have a Nexus 6, you may have noticed the device falling short of expectations given the beastly spec sheet. It turns out there’s a good reason for that. As AnandTech points out, Google’s implementation of device encryption carries a significant performance penalty. According to them, they’re of the opinion that the warm and fuzzy feeling of your personal data being encrypted and protected from prying eyes isn’t worth the hit in disk read/write speeds that results.

You might have noticed Google makes this difficult by not allowing users to disable this encryption from within the OS.  If you really want to boost your performance at the expense of device encryption, you can now do so thanks to yet another clever developer over at XDA. There’s no need to have your device rooted yet or have a custom recovery installed — you can do it all in fastboot mode (after unlocking your bootloader, of course).

In his thread, XDA recognized developer bbedward posted the necessary file to flash via fastboot, giving the following instructions:

1.) Reboot to boot loader
2.) Unlock device if not already (fastboot oem unlock) – will wipe all data
3.) I think unlocking the device will automatically run encryption jobs, so don’t boot android write your most important stuff down and then continue without backing it up.
4.) Download the boot.img noencrypt above
5.) Flash it in the bootloader (fastboot flash boot boot_noforceencrypt.img)
6.) If still encrypted, run a factory reset
7.) If it doesn’t work, you can go back into the bootloader and flash the stock image.
8.) Run CF-Auto-Root for root, if desired. Flash TWRP, do wutever you want.
9.) Updates will overwrite this and turn encryption back on, you should probably update manually (or remove the boot.img from the update) if you don’t want encryption to get turned back on (turning it back on may be a PITA in the sense that you’ll have to factory reset to get it off again)

As with any sort of fastboot and/or root tinkering, what you do is at your own risk, and I should point out that the developer who posted the solution doesn’t have a Nexus 6 of his own to actually test with. That being said, neither the developer, XDA, nor Phandroid can be held responsible for any damages to your device. You’ve been warned (and good luck!).

[via XDA]

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Chainfire releases SuperSU root for the Nexus 6 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:47:17 +0000 tmp_1155--1203866297It’s been a busy Wednesday for the Nexus 6 between T-Mobile finally having it available a week later than planned, Dees Troy releasing TWRP Recovery for it, and now legendary root guru Chainfire releasing SuperSU auto-root for it. Oh, and our own Derek Ross got to spend some quality time with it.

If you’re not familiar with the world of in-depth modding for Android phones and tablets, the developer-oriented Nexus line is almost always the first to get root and recovery due to its easily unlockable bootloader and its relative lack of proprietary code in the operating system. It’s also usually the first lineup to have custom ROMs and kernels available for it due to the early release of source code from Google.

SuperSU is Chainfire’s take on Superuser, which gives you access to the entire operating system, vital for common root-dependent apps like Titanium Backup, Root Explorer and Tasker. Root access and recovery are also vital for installing most custom ROMs, although there’s been a recent trend toward ROMs that don’t include root access by default due to security concerns. Kernel tweaking apps and popular battery-saving placebos apps such as Juice Defender and Greenify also depend on root access.

To gain root access on your unicorn Nexus 6, simply boot to TWRP Recovery and flash the .zip file from the source link below.

Source: Chainfire SuperSU website





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TWRP Recovery already available for the Nexus 6 (now all you have to do is get one) Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:15:30 +0000 tmp_21442-maxresdefault604049789

Coincidentally (not really), on the day T-Mobile finally made the Nexus 6 available, Dees Troy of Team Win has released an initial Nexus 6 build of TWRP Recovery for your flashing pleasure. As you might expect this early in the game there are no ROMs, kernels or mods to flash yet, but at least the the groundwork for installing them has been laid. It’s only a matter of time before the forums get populated with unofficial builds of favorite custom ROMs and a few “stock-plus” newcomers.

With the new build comes a new version number with the following changes over

-Pull in all changes from Android 5.0 lollipop into TWRP
-Add decrypt support for Android 5.0 lollipop encrypted partitions including automatic decrypt when the default_password is in use
-Revert some changes to exFAT that were breaking exFAT support on some devices
-Other minor fixes and updates

Note: At this time we do not have a GUI representation for pattern unlock. You can still decrypt patterns though by translating the pattern dots to numbers. The pattern dots correspond to numbers in the following pattern:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

So an upper-case L would translate to a password of 14789 entered on the keyboard. Eventually we plan to add a proper pattern unlock to TWRP but it is a relatively low priority at this point.

Before installing TWRP, you need to unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 6. The original post in the forum thread recommends installing TWRP Manager from the Play Store but you’ll already need to be rooted. If you’re not, you can download the image from the Team Win website and flash it manually in fastboot mode, after which you’ll want to flash the latest SuperSU root file for Lollipop and then you’ll be all set.

[via TWRP for Shamu]


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LG G2 gets Lollipop thanks to unofficial CyanogenMod 12 build Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:59:31 +0000 1416432878055

If you’re itching to get your lick of the Lollipop but have the LG G2 rather than one of LG’s Nexus phones, you can now get your Android 5.0 fix via an unofficial “experimental” build of CyanogenMod 12 for most variants. Keep in mind that this is still early in the game, only 16 days since Lollipop was pushed to AOSP. CM12 is basically a stock Android build, with some variant-specific bugs that could prevent it from being a daily driver for you. Some of the bugs listed in the original post of the corresponding forum thread have since been ironed out, but others remain. Those present in the latest builds (mostly dated 11/19) are as follows:

  • GSM-based (D80x – AT&T, T-Mobile, some international variants): Bluetooth is skittish (video recording and playback bugs are also listed in the OP but have reportedly since been fixed)
  • Sprint (LS980): NFC is not working
  • Verizon (VS980): mobile data is incorrectly being reported as roaming on the status bar
The Verizon variant incorrectly reports roaming, but isn't that a pretty lockscreen? Here you can see the incorrect roaming indicator in more detail along with the new Lollipop notification shade. I prefer custom wallpapers on my homescreen over the stock Lollipop ones. Quick Settings gets a facelift but loses some valuable functionality in Lollipop. For the time being, this and working NFC on most variants are the only visible differences between this experimental CM12 build and stock Lollipop.

It is very important to follow the instructions in the OP for flashing this build, especially for the Verizon variant, since you’ll need to have the latest version of TWRP (currently Just to be safe, I flashed the Jelly Bean (12b) bootstack (baseband) since most CM builds will bootloop on the latest KitKat baseband for the Verizon variant. So far, it’s running like a champ on my VS980 with no random reboots, no NFC or Bluetooth issues, and no video recording or playback issues. For me, it’s as close to daily driver status as it can be without actually attaining it.

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TeamWin’s Recovery Project (TWRP) now available for the Nexus 9 Volantis Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:27:20 +0000 Nexus 9 DSC07273

Rooters and developers who prefer to use TeamWin Recovery Project (affectionately known as TWRP), listen up — you can now get it on your Nexus 9. The alternative recovery will give you a full touch interface if you aren’t a fan of using volume rockers and power buttons to do your bidding. Its XML-based GUI makes this themeable, though we’re not sure many will care too much about the theme of a utility like this one where it’s all about getting straight down to business.

This release also brings TWRP up to version, and it brings with it the following changes:

-Pull in all changes from Android 5.0 lollipop into TWRP
-Add decrypt support for Android 5.0 lollipop encrypted partitions including automatic decrypt when the default_password is in use
-Revert some changes to exFAT that were breaking exFAT support on some devices
-Other minor fixes and updates

Remember that you will need an unlocked bootloader and root (check out our guide here) in order for TWRP to install, but as long as you take care of that it’s as simple as downloading TWRP Manager from Google Play and choosing to install the advanced recovery. Be sure to grab it as soon as you can!

[via XDA-Developers]

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Chainfire brings Auto-root tool to 6 more Nexus devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop Mon, 17 Nov 2014 14:11:59 +0000 Lollipops

Chainfire began the root train for Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Nexus 9, and now that the upgrades are out for most other Nexus devices you will be happy to know that more have joined in on the fun. Six devices in all can now enjoy rooted Lollipop goodness thanks to Chainfire’s auto-root tool. Here’s the quick list:

We imagine the Nexus 6 and some Google Play Edition devices will be added to that list as images and firmware for those devices become available. Chainfire notes that he is still using a multiple file distribution for auto-root as he continues to work on making his tool compatible with more Android 5.0+ devices.

As such,  you’re still going to need to manually boot your device into fastboot mode to allow the script to flash SuperSU into the system. The script will also require an unlocked bootloader and will attempt to unlock your device if you haven’t already, so be sure to back any files up just in case (as the unlock process forces a data wipe). Be sure to head to Chainfire’s site here for the downloads for your specific device, and jump through to the source link if you’re interested in the notes straight from Chainfire himself.

[via +Chainfire]

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CyanogenMod: First Android 5.0 Lollipop nightlies could arrive later this month Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:49:37 +0000 Lollipops

Seeing the latest version of Android hit AOSP is an exciting time for ROM users everywhere. It usually means AOSP-based ROMs such as CyanogenMod are well on their way to being updated to the latest and greatest codebase with all the fan favorite ROM features in tow. So where’s CyanogenMod itself stand in the wake of the big Lollipop rollout?

The development arm posted an update today noting that they’ve begun work on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and that folks can start to build it from the public github right now. Unfortunately they aren’t yet providing the ROM in nightly capacity, but the good news is that they don’t expect it to take long before those start showing up — the window has officially been set for late November or early December.

The team won’t look to rush the update out as they’ll want to get all the killer features CyanogenMod has become known for loaded up into Android 5.0 Lollipop, and potentially rework features that don’t fit the new look of Lollipop.

They also touched on device support, noting that while they don’t have a clear idea of how many devices they can support for Android 5.0 Lollipop, it’s looking to be a wider range of devices than they originally anticipated. This might be thanks to Google’s work to make Android work smoothly on entry-range and mid-range hardware. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the near future. For now, you can get your hands on CyanogenMod 11 M12 (which is more of a security and bug fixer than anything else) right here.

[via CyanogenMod]

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Paranoid Android joins forces with Project Ara competitor Vsenn Thu, 13 Nov 2014 01:47:27 +0000 You may have heard of Google’s Project Ara, which has the potential to change the way you purchase your next phone by letting you swap out modules to mix and match specs to your liking. Recently, another company called Vsenn threw its hat into the modular smartphone ring, and Wednesday they announced that you will be able to flash Paranoid Android on your new Vsenn device without losing your warranty.

Paranoid Android VSenn

Paranoid Android is one of the most popular ROMs in the Nexus community (along with some popular “legacy” devices with “unofficial” builds), and it’s the first to be included in Vsenn’s “Approved ROM Program”. Vsenn was co-founded by former Nokia X program manager (we all know how the Nokia X turned out, right?) and it’s still in its infancy, thus it remains to be seen whether or when a Vsenn phone will ever see the light of day. Still, it’s interesting to see an Android OEM publicly pledge to continue to honor your warranty after you flash a custom ROM.

As for Paranoid Android, some of its most popular features include a Recents feature that almost resembles that of Lollipop, Dynamic System Bars that automatically adapt to blend in with the active app window, PIE controls to replace your navigation bar, and Hover, which opens apps in a floating window when triggered from notifications. Presumably, Lollipop will be well-established by the time the first Vsenn device hits the market, so it remains to be seen whether it will launch with the current KitKat Paranoid Android builds available or a Lollipop version with a new take on the Recents feature.

It’s unclear what standards a ROM must meet to be included in this “Approved ROM Program” but I’d imagine a certain level of stability would be required. Vsenn did have the following to say about its rather unique program:

The roms developed under the ARP program will keep all the advanced proprietary functions, like noise reduction algorithms, of the original Vsenn software.
We welcome all the independent rom communities and creators to be a part of the ARP program.

We’ll keep you posted as more details emerge.

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Sony shows off Xperia Z3 runing Android 5.0 Lollipop AOSP [VIDEO] Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:38:28 +0000 Android 5.0 Lollipop Sony Xperia Z3 AOSP

I think it’s safe to say most Android fans are salivating over the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop. But unless you have a Nexus device — or a rooted device — you wont be seeing it for at least a good few months. Enter Sony who is borderline trolling the Android community be uploading this video of the Sony Xperia Z3 running stock Android 5.0 Lollipop built from AOSP.

The purest form of Android, you wont even find any Google apps on this bad boy. Instead, it’s more a less a proof of concept, just a test to show what stock Lollipop would look like on the Xperia Z3 (and making us curse the Android gods for not launching an Xperia Nexus device). For brave souls looking to get this up and running on their unlocked Xperia devices, you can head to Sony Developer World for more info.

Sony also revealed an exclusive pilot program they’re launching in Sweden called 3Beta. The program looks to give willing participants the chance to test drive Sony’s version of Android 5.0 Lollipop (with Sony’s usual UI skin, of course). Sony hopes to gain as much feedback as they can, ensuring the release is as bug-free as possible before they commence the Lollipop rollout next year. FOr more info

The premise is pretty simple – gather as much early feedback as humanly possible in order to make the Sony User Experience on Android Lollipop as good as it possibly can be, before commercial rollout early next year. If there’s enough interest, Sony even says they could bring the program to other markets as well.


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CyanogenMod 11.0 M11 begins rolling out, here’s the changelog Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:53:57 +0000 cyanogenmod logo 5

CyanogenMod faithful be joyous, for a big new update is headed to your phone and/or tablet. CyanogenMod has announced the M11 release for CyanogenMod 11, which is to be seen as a major milestone release that brings a lot of changes and fixes. Folks brave enough to be on the nightlies track may have already been enjoying these features, but this is a rather important release for folks who prefer to stick with stable goods. Changelog? Thought you’d never ask:

  • New Devices: Galaxy S4 Active (jactivelte), Galaxy S4 SK I-9506 (ks01lte), Galaxy S5 GSM (klte), Galaxy Tab 10.1 (picassowifi), Galaxy Player 4.0 (ypg1)
  • Re-introduce Samsung Galaxy Relay 4G (apexqtmo) support
  • Fix signal strength showing ‘2147483647′ on certain devices
  • Frameworks & Core Apps: CAF and other upstream updates
  • Lockscreen: Do not play sounds while a phone call is active & MSIM updates
  • Frameworks: Add base & MSIM APIs for SEEK (Secure Element Evaluation Kit) support
  • Frameworks: Fix volume button changing two ‘steps’ per click
  • Frameworks: Add ‘Screen Off’ action for double-tap/long-press configuration options
  • Show devices connected to your WiFi (tethering) Hotspot
  • Fix bug related to ‘switch to last app’ action while in Recents view
  • Fix Navigation Bar arrow keys in RTL locales
  • Translations updates from CyanogenMod CrowdIn team
  • Adjustments to ‘Glove Mode’ (High Touch Sensitivity)
  • APN Updates for various regions
  • Camera: Add support for all available Slow Shutter speeds (hardware dependent); Improve shutter button
  • Dialer/InCallUI: Fix smartcover always showing answer fragment
  • LG G2: Address GPS and NFC issues
  • Base support for HTC Desire 816 & HTC One Mini 2 (pending nightlies)
  • Various security updates
  • General bug fixes

At this point we most likely won’t be seeing a lot more exciting additions as we’re on the road to Android L, but it’s always nice to get such a wide breadth of changes that should benefit a great majority of the user base. Be sure to head here to find the download for your specific device, and don’t forget that you take full responsibility for anything that happens with your phone. Happy flashing!

[via CyanogenMod]

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