Loot For Root

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Loot For Root

How do you feel about paying for apps like Sun Shine by Jcase and company or programs like MoFoRoot*? Here are some of my thoughts.

rooted

There are two sides to the discussion about paying for exploits and development on your android devices.  One side is obviously the developers and the other is that of the user or android community member who has been waiting for a awesome new root or unlocked bootloader method to be released.  Since there are two sides, I decided it would only be fair to contact Jcase and ask him in person why he has chosen to create a paid-for tool like Sun Shine app*. Let me start this post with a quick note: I am going to try and stay neutral in this matter until the end of the post where you will see my thoughts on the matter, so lets begin.

Here are some of Jcase’s thoughts and some of the questions I asked him.

Q:  Why make everyone pay for the Sun Shine app instead of just releasing the exploit to the android community and the world?

A:   “There are way more complaints with the free exploits than the paid versions” So I asked him to explain. When he releases free exploits they are normally not in a perfect form and may even be a bit buggy, but they still work. Jcase has no desire to make them work any better since he mainly enjoys finding the exploit, not spending tons of time making them noob friendly. Since it isn’t the easiest exploit in the world to perform on a given device, it turns into a big headache for him to deal with and ain’t nobody got time for that!

Q:  What cost is involved for you to find and create these exploits for the Android community?

A:  To answer this question Jcase gave this example. To fully test Sun Shine app he had to buy 30 Motorola Moto G phones to make sure that Sun Shine would be noob friendly. Along with this major cost, there is the time and research. He invests alot of time into the paid versions of his exploits like Sun Shine. “You get what you pay for.”

Q: Why not fund your research and expenses with donations and bounties?

A: He explained that the last bounty only paid out 30% of what was promised in the bounty thread.  Jcase continued to explain that by selling Sun Shine app, he is crowd funding his research and future development.

A few quick notes from our conversation:

1.  Working on android is for fun and done in our free time.

2.  Family time is important and Android takes a lot of time away from them.

3.  If working on Android exploits isn’t enjoyable, then he doesn’t want to do it.

4.  Jcase and the MoFoRoot Developer don’t owe the Android Community anything. If they don’t want to release Android exploits anymore, they don’t have to.

My Thoughts 

I wish that the Android community as a whole was a lot more understanding and friendly to the developers that do Android in their free time. I think that some of the community has scared off many of the developers with all their complaints and demands. If you like what a developer is doing, then support them with a donation. This will really encourage him or her to continue their work on Android. The Android community can be a really great and helpful place. I have met many of you online and love all the fun we have had together over the years. I really wish that we could go back to just donations and bounties to fund and help the developers like Jcase, but that ship has sailed. Loot for root is the new era we have found ourselves in. I, for one, am happy to pay $25.00 for a root or unlocked bootloader; this is much cheaper than buying a developer edition device.  There is just something about paying vs. donations that just gets under my skin and maybe you feel the same way. In my opinion, if we want to get back to the good old days of more free exploits and root methods, then lets start by donating to our favorite developers in the Android community and leave them some great comments of encouragement! A little lovin’ goes a long way 🙂

Please leave your comment and thoughts. I would love to hear from you.

Tom S. / RootJunky

 

 

*MoFoRoot is a Tool that lets you flash edited rooted system images to your Motorola Droid Turbo and Moto X 2014

*Sun Shine App is an amazing tool that lets you unlock your bootloader on many Motorola and HTC devices along with S-off

Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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So you got a new phone and you’re wanting to delve into the world of Android rooting. A lot of questions are probably going through your mind. Should I root it? Should I not root it? What could happen if I do? These are all very logical questions that I’m sure the majority of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. So in this article, we’re going to dive head first into the world of Android root, and hopefully make things a little more clear for you.

 

Some of you may be asking, “Well what does root really mean?”

To root your phone basically means to have administrator rights over the system partition on your phone. It can somewhat be compared to having administrator rights on your Windows PC. Basically this means that you can install, and uninstall whatever you want on your phone. Sounds good right? It is. However, there are a couple valid reasons why your phone does not have this access right out of the box. Supposed you’re new to Android and notice that upon turning your phone on, you instantly have access to every system app and system file that is available on your phone. Woah! Careful though, you have no idea what you can or cannot delete without messing something up. You’re smart though, you can use common sense to get you through this. Next thing you know your phone no longer boots up, it won’t even charge! This is one of the many valid reasons that your phone does not come out of the box with superuser access. Believe it or not, it’s disabled to actually protect you!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re probably thinking “Well should I or shouldn’t I?” The answer to that question is entirely up to you. So let’s go through the advantages AND the disadvantages of rooting your Android device.

Advantages:

Debloat. Bloatware apps are usually carrier specific apps that come preinstalled on your device. They can be helpful, or they can be a nuisance. Keep the ones you want, get rid of the ones you don’t, permanently. NOTE: permanemtly deleting apps bloatware from your device can some times make ota updates fail.

Install and use those “root required” apps. Such as MyBackup Pro, Root Explorer and many more! These apps can become very useful tools in the rooting world and give you so much more control over your device.

Mods, tweaks and themes. Want to have your clock centered? Well that requires root to be able to install or flash a modified SystemUI.apk.

Custom ROMs. ROMs are basically packages of custom made Android software that you can install on your device to have all the nice little features that custom ROMs come with. Rooting is the first step in being able to flash ROMs.

Control “startup apps.” With root permissions, you can even control what apps start automatically when you turn your device on!

These are just some of the very very many advantages to rooting your Android device. Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages. (Yes those actually exist.)

Disadvantages:

You may soft brick, or perma brick your device. “Bricking” has 2 forms basically. Softbrick, which is where your phone either bootloops or won’t boot at all, but you still have access to Recovery and/or Fastboot. “Permabrick” or “hardbrick” is exactly how it sounds. You’re phone is a paperweight. It will not boot, it will not charge, and you have no access to Recovery and/or Fastboot.

You’re opened up to making a lot more mistakes, such as deleting your phone.apk, your Settings.apk. You’d be surprised at how much it actually happens. (However, this is why we have websites such as Rootjunky.com and XDA!)

Ok so now we got those out of the way as well, let’s get into some rooting myths!

Myths:

“Once you root, you will no longer receive OTA updates.” – This is simply not true at all. You will still receive the OTA update on your phone if you’re still on the stock software, and you can still install that OTA update as well. However, you WILL lose root access. This can be a pain if your bootloader is not unlocked. You will have to wait for someone to verify that root access is still possible on the new software version.

“Rooting voids your warranty.” – No. No. No. Rooting absolutely does not void your warranty. The absolute only way that root voids your warranty, is if it can be proven :-), that rooting was the direct cause of your issue. However, this is also a confusing subject. Some carriers don’t really care what you do, and some do. Those that do, will not hesitate to deny you any service or replacements if your phone is rooted. Some do not check at all and do not care. Then again, this also varies between OEMs (Motorola, LG, HTC, Samsung). Some OEMs follow the rule I posted above, and some will not grant you any repairs if your device is rooted. The main reason that some places do not care is because of one simple thing, rooting, can in now way at all, damage your device. All rooting does, is install 1 app (Superuser app of choice) and install 1 file (usually in /system/xbin). That’s it. It can in no way cause your touchscreen to stop working, cause your wifi to stop working, cause you to lose mobile data, none of that. It simply can’t do it, unless YOU mess with something after the fact. Keep in mind what I said before though. This is exactly why we have websites like Rootjunky.com and XDA. If something happens, you have a very good chance of recovering your device.

So there you have it. Some advantages, disadvantages, and even some myths about Android rooting. The choice is always up to you if you root or not. That being said, let me leave you with some tips!

1.) Always always always do your research first! Find out what Android version your device is on, find out if it has been confirmed to be able to be rooted.

2.) Try to stay away from Toolkits and “one-click” methods. I’m not saying that the people that make such methods don’t know what they’re doing. What I’m saying is, if you’re going to get into this world, learn the way it used to be done! Learn your adb commands, learn your fastboot commands! Don’t take Android modding away from it’s roots.

3.) When you find a guide about rooting your device, FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE “T!!!” Do not cut corners, do exactly what the guide tells you to do!

4.) Last but not least, always make sure you perform backups before flashing ROMs. Always make sure you have a recovery plan before doing ANYTHING to your phone.

Well hopefully this article helped you learn something, and hopefully it made the decision a little easier on you. The Android community is very amazing community that is just filled with people willing to help others out when they’re in need. We’re a community that you absolutely WILL NOT find anywhere else. On that note, be safe, be smart, read, read some more, and have fun!!

 

BY

Gary H

 

Android 5.1 Launches On Nexus Devices

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Android 5.1 Lollipop Arrives

This week on the Official Android Blog, Android Lollipop 5.1 was announced with some minor, but well deserved modifications to Lollipop 5.0.

Dum_Dums_Lollipops

 

A small list of some of the changes:

  • Voice-Over-LTE (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • HD Voice (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • Device Protection (Remote locking similar to iCloud lock on iOS products)
  • Better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Quick-toggles
  • Support for Multi-SIM devices

Android 5.1 is currently being pushed to Nexus 5, 6, 7, 10. If you want this latest firmware the best place to download it is from HERE

Source from Official Android Blog

A couple things i have noticed with android 5.1 are that it runs much smoother on my Nexus 6. Apps and browser windows load quicker which I really like. It also seems like the encryption on the Nexus 6 kind of slowed down the device but with Android 5.1 it is working normal again even with the encryption.  There are also a lot of little animations that make it a much nicer experience.

NVIDIA SHIELD Android Gaming System

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android Gaming System

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Today we are taking a look at Nvidia’s Version of a Android TV box setup. We have already seen the Nexus Player, Ouya, Fire TV and many others but none of them compare to the Nvidia Shield android TV box.  The processing power and specs on this iteration of Android tv box is really amazing and really aimed at the gamer.  The Nvidia shield box will come with a Tegra X1 processor sporting 256-core maxwell GPU, 3GB of ram and be able to display in 4K ultra HD.  This device will be a Android Gamers dream.

Just like all the other Shield device Nvidia has made you will be able to stream games with Nvidia Grid. What’s more is that NVIDIA has worked with partners to port major game titles to Android, specifically for devices powered by the X1 processor. Games like Crysis 3, Doom 3: BFG Edition, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, The Talos Principle, Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance and Resident Evil 5 among others.

Now the best part off all about this device is the price just $199.99 this includes the Nvidia Shield android tv Box, shield remote, and shield controller. The release date is in may 2015 in the us. I for one cant wait to check this device out.

images

 

Nvidia Shield Android TV Specs

  • NVIDIA Tegra X1 Processor with 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 4K Ultra-HD Ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60fps (VP9, H265, H264)
  • Audio Features: 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI, High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192kHz over HDMI and USB, High-resolution audio upsample to 24-bit/192hHz over USB
  • 16GB on board storage, MicroSD slot supporting 128GB
  • Wireless: 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth: 4.1/BLE
  • Interfaces: Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, Two USB 3.0 (Type A), Micro-USB 2.0
  • IR Receiver (compatible with Logitech Harmony)

Check out Nvidia Shield console official page HERE along with a cool video on it

HTC One M9

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HTC One M9 Plus VR Powered by VALVE

Official-HTC-One-M9-renders-price-and-almost-full-specs-allegedly-leaked

HTC One M9

I am sure many of you have seen or even owned a M7 or M8 and know that it is one premium device made of a nice metal unibody build. The HTC One M9 isnt any different but this time HTC added a two tone look to it that i kind of like. The back still has the silver brushed metal but the edges have a nice looking gold metal shine. I think this just adds to the premium look and feel of the M9. Other big changes to note about the M9 is that HTC finally got rid of there back ultra pixel camera and now has a 20mp back camera which i think will be a very big improvement. For those of you that love the ultra pixels, you are also in luck since HTC just moved that camera to the front. Lets talk speed this bad boy will be rocking a Snapdragon 810 octa core CPU based on the 64-bit architecture. The M9 will also have 3GB of ram giving this new HTC device some real processing power and of course it will still have those amazing boomsound speakers we all love. I cant wait to get my hands on this device. make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel for full coverage of the M9 along with any hacking rooting and modding i will be doing on it.

htc_one_m9_2_render

Here is HTC’s official page for the HTC One M9.

 Basic Specs

  • CPU Speed

    • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810, octa core
    • 64-bit, 4 x 2.0GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
  • Memory1

    • ROM: 32GB / RAM: 3GB
    • Extended memory: microSD™ up to 128 GB
  • Camera

    • Main camera: 20MP with sapphire cover lens, auto-focus, BSI sensor, f/2.2, 27.8mm lens, 4K video recording
    • Front camera: HTC UltraPixel™, BSI sensor, f/2.0, 26.8mm lens, 1080p video recording
  • Display

    5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p

  • Sound

    HTC BoomSound™ with Dolby Audio™

  • Battery3

    • Capacity: 2840 mAh
    • Talk time: Up to 25.4 hours for 2G/ 21.7 hours for 3G
    • Standby time: Up to 391 hours for 2G/ 402hours for 3G

HTC VR powered by VALVE

htc-vive-pr-630

 

Here is a picture of the New HTC VR that is in developement. check out the official site HERE

US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

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US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

unlock carrier

Policies: Verizon | AT&T | Sprint | T-Mobile | US Cellular

First what is carrier unlocking and why might I want this for my device? If your device is carrier unlocked then you can put any carriers sim card in your phone and it will work as long as the device you are using supports that carriers network frequencies. On the other hand if your cell phone is carrier locked then it is stuck on whatever carrier you have and will not work on any other network.

Note: Most people confuse bootloader unlocking with carrier unlocking. These are to very different things carrier unlocking has to do with the Network and bootloader unlocking has to do with freedom to flash custom firmware / OS to your device.

Above you will find linked all the policies for these major carriers. Check to see if you meet the requirements and can get your device carrier unlocked for free through there programs. If you aren’t eligible then start Googling carrier unlock and you will find that there are many free and paid for services out there that can accomplish this task of unlocking your phones networks for you. Most cost 25 dollars or less some are even free.

As of today Feb 11th 2015 the FCC and CTIA is forcing all carriers to allow customers to unlock there phones if they meet the requirements listed. So go check out your carriers policy and see if you are eligible.  Now you will be able to bring your device to any carrier and not have to buy a new one if you don’t want to. As a customer you bought the device and you should fully own it and have full control not the OEM or the carrier.

Other Important Links:  FCC device unlocking FAQ | CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service

 

Sony Firmware Restore

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Sony Firmware Restore

Today we will be talking about using FlashTool-0.9.18.4 to restore your Sony android device to stock firmware also to unbrick your device if needed.

Flashing Firmware with Flash Tool Requirements

1. Sony phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Sony Drivers downloaded and installed

4. Download FlashTool-0.9.18.4 and install

5. Some time. I would plan on 1 hour depending on your internet speeds of course.

Instructions

1. Open FlashTool-0.9.18.4

Flashtool start

2. click on devices then check updates scoll through the options and pick your device family

pick device

3. look thought this next list for your model. If you right click on branding you can check release and it will show you the version

model 2

4. once you have the version you want then click that file and it will download

downloading firmware

5. After downloading and extract the firmware along with some decryption you will see this page

extracted firmware

6. select all files and click arrow moving them all to the other side like the picture below then click create. once the FTF restore file is created you can flash it.

create firmware button

7. click flash button on the tool that looks like a Lightning bolt. then choose Flashmode. pick your newly pulled firmware from the list and click the flash button.

flash firmware

8. the flash tool will tell you to unplug your device and plug it back in while you are holding the volume down button. keep holding volume down until the flash starts. once 100% the device will reboot it self or you can unplug and manually boot it back up and you will be restored and unbricked. NOTE: if you dont want to wipe out your apps and data uncheck the wipe section boxs.

 

Will add to this post as i learn more.

Samsung Firmware Restore

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Samsung Firmware Restore Plus Unbrick

In this tutorial I will be covering two programs that can restore your Samsung phone or tablet. The first program is Odin, a great tool that interfaces with a Samsung device while it is in download mode. The Second program is Kies or Kies 3, another great tool offered by Samsung to help customers manage their tablet or phone. Kies can do a lot more then just restore your device, but in this post I will only be covering the restore and update functions. (NOTE) Odin program is designed only for Windows PC. Samsung Kies works with Windows or mac. Lets start with Odin Instructions, which is my preferred way of unbricking and restoring my devices.

Flashing Firmware with Odin Requirements

1. Samsung phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Samsung Drivers downloaded and installed

4. Download Odin v3.09

5.  Download your devices latest firmware. (NOTE) The best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings, then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number. Between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you don’t know this info and your device is bricked, then start Googling it. You can get your Samsung firmware from my server or SamMobile.com

 

Instructions

(NOTE) Before you start this process, it is a good idea to backup all your data and fully charge your device. Also, this process will wipe all your data off the device and return it to like new. There are some customized firmware out there that removes the wiping data part of the restore, if you can find them. I check XDA developers site if I am looking for the NO WIPE FIRMWARE

1. Extract (unzip) the firmware file to desktop.

2. Extract Odin zip-file to desktop also.

odin folder

4. Open Odin v3.09

odin

5. Reboot phone into Download Mode (press and hold Home + Power + Volume Down buttons) from the powered off state.

6. Connect your device to the PC and wait until your drivers install and you get a blue sign in Odin. You should see a com plus a number.   For example: COM 4 Added in the odin program.

odin connected

7. Add the firmware file by pressing the AP / PDA. After selecting your firmware file, Odin will check the MD5 to make sure you have a good download.

odin AP

8. Make sure re-partition is NOT ticked.

9. Click the start button, sit back and wait a few minutes. (NOTE) most firmware restore will take about 10 minutes to flash and then the device will reboot and you need to give it another 10 minutes to boot up. Once the device is fully booted, you can close Odin and unplug your device. DO NOT unplug the device while flashing firmware as this could hard brick your Samsung device.

 

 

Flashing Firmware with Kies Requirements

1. Samsung phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Download and install Kies or Kies 3 software whichever your device needs.

4. Find your Device Model number and IMEI number. You can find your device model number in download mode. It will be called Product Name or model. The IMEI number can be found under the back cover; sometimes under the battery on the device. (NOTE) if you have a tablet you will need your Serial Number which should be printed somewhere on the back of the device.

Instructions

(NOTE) Before you start this process it is a good idea to backup all your data and fully charge your device. Also this process will wipe all your data off the device and return it to like new. There are some customized firmware out there that removes the wiping data part of the restore, if you can find them. I check XDA developers site if I am looking for the NO WIPE FIRMWARE

1. Reboot phone into Download Mode (press and hold Home + Power + Volume Down buttons) from the powered off state.

3. Connect your device to the PC and wait until your drivers install. This might take a couple minutes. (NOTE) The Samsung drivers got installed when you installed kies software.

4. Start the Kies program you downloaded and installed on your computer.

Kies recovery

5. Click on Tools on the top bar of kies and select Fimware upgrade and initialization. Then enter your model and IMEI numbers, then click OK.

Kies Download firmware

6. You will now see this screen below and just click start Upgrade to restore the device. Kies will find the right firmware for your device and start to download it. This step will take some time; you may have to come back in a hour if your internet connection is slow. Most new devices have 1.5GB firmware files so this is going to take awhile.

Kies Start upgrade

(NOTE) Do not unplug the usb cable from the device during the Firmware Download or it will freeze and you will have to start the download all over again.

Kies firmware downloading

kies firmware updatekies restored device

Once the firmware is at 100% the device will reboot and it may boot to recovery and install your cell radios or may just reboot. Sit back and wait another 5 to 10 minutes and your device will finish booting up and you will be fully restored and/or unbricked. Go through the setup on the device and enjoy your fixed device 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Check out the rest of my site for tons of great videos on many Samsung devices.

CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop

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Official CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop

CM12 roms are starting to show up on CyanogenMod.org which means many Android enthusiast with be getting there hands on one of the best Lollipop custom rom experiences. I recently installed CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop on my Motorola Nexus 6 and it is running nicely. Something new that i noticed in this version of CM is that Root access is turned of by default. Come to find out you can turn it back on by entering developer Options in the devices settings and then selecting Root access mode. here you will find a couple options: enable for apps only, enable for adb only, or enable root for both apps and adb which is the option i selected. Having root mode off by default i think is a really bad idea since most Android fans that install CM12 really want root. But i guess that is up to CyanogenMod.

Here is a little Video i made talking about how to turn on said Root access mode

So if you are looking to install Official CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop on your android device then check out there download page HERE If you cant fine your device listed you may want to check XDA developers site because there are many unofficail CM12 roms in the forums that work just fine. Good luck and lets start rocking some Lollipop Android 5.0

Moto E Super Tool

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Moto E Super Tool

This is a little script tool I made up for the Moto E XT1023 The Firmware restore will only work on the XT1023 but all other options should work on all the variants of the Moto E
It is really simple. But requires a unlocked bootloader video HERE If you need help with bootloader unlock
Click image for larger version</p><br />
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Download the Moto E Super Tool
extract the tool to your desktop
Turn on usb debugging mode on the device
install the Motorola drivers
Run the Moto E 1 Moto-E-Restore-XT1023.bat file
then just select what you want to do
1. Root your Moto E
2. Flash TWRP Recovery
3. Flash Stock Android Recovery
4. Flash CWM recovery
5. Remove the unlocked bootloader warning
6. Fully restore the Moto E to stock
7. Fully restore plus Relock the bootloader

Newest release V2
Change Log

Vision 1 first release
Version 2
updated TWRP
Updated Supersu.zip

DOWNLOAD SUPER TOOL

Hope this will help out some noobs