Phandroid » Rooting Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:40:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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TeamWin Recovery Project update brings smorgasbord of changes and fixes Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:28:03 +0000 twrp tablet

Everyone’s favorite touch-activated custom recovery has received another big update, and it brings with it a lot of key changes, bug fixes and improvements that you should be dying to get your hands on. The new version — numbered — brings the following healthy list of changes:

  • MTP will now tell the host PC that storage is removed instead of disabling MTP completely
  • MTP will now report the correct max file size based on the file system in use to the host PC (may fix transfer of large files)
  • Update and improve fix permissions and make fixing contexts optional
  • Update SuperSU in TWRP to 2.40 and update install process
  • Make TWRP work properly on AArch64 ( Nexus 9 is now built in true 64-bit binaries and libraries)
  • Attempt to set correct permissions and contexts on all files placed in storage so backups will show in Android
  • Fix kernel panic during MTP start on some devices
  • Support unicode fonts on devices with True Type Font support
  • Fix slider value not showing sometimes (vibration settings page)
  • Toggle MTP off during adb sideload to set correct USB IDs
  • Reduce library requirements for 5.0 L decrypt

It might not all be useful to anyone and everyone, but anything that shores up an already solid experience can only be applauded. You can get TWRP for your device by heading to the project’s landing page right here and searching for your model name. Be sure to back your phone up before flashing the new recovery, and don’t forget that no one is liable for anything that happens as a result.

[via Google+]

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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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