Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unlock Samsung Galaxy SIII Bootloader

Found this XDA thread outlining the process and figured I'd write a quick tutorial on how to accomplish this without utilizing the one-click method (which requires Linux to function).  You'll need to be rooted for this method to work.

This is a two-step process:
  1. Download the unlocked bootloader
  2. Use either a terminal emulator or the Android Debug Bridge to flash the file.
First, you need to place the unlocked bootloader image onto your phone (aboot.img).  Where you place it will determine what the command you type points to.  Connect your phone using the USB cable and place the file either in:
  • sdcard
  • Internal Storage
If you're using the terminal emulator, open that up.  If you're using the Android Debug Bridge:
  1. Open the command prompt
  2. Enter the platform-tools directory (cd platform-tools)
  3. Type "adb devices" to initialize the Android Debug Bridge
  4. Type "adb shell" to activate the Android Terminal
In either terminal if you see the $ sign you'll need to type "su" to get the superuser prompt.  You'll know it's ready when you see the "#" sign.

If you placed the aboot.img file in the internal storage type:
  • dd if=/sdcard/aboot.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p5
If you placed the aboot.img file on the external SD Card type:
  • dd if=/external_sd/aboot.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p5
And a video tutorial to help you out:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Install Google Now (and Basic JB Voice Search Functionality) on ICS

To start with, here's the XDA-Developers thread where this was taken from.  Before we continue, please make sure you meet the following criteria:
  • You are on ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • You are on an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) Based ROM - not required, your mileage may vary however.
You also need a File Management app that allows for permissions editing.  I recommend Root Explorer - however, it is a paid app.  If you insist on using a free application, File Explorer is currently in BETA and allows for permissions editing of /system apps.

Once you're sure you're on ICS and have a File Management app that allows permissions editing, download the following files:
You should be ready to go now.  Follow these step-by-step instructions to install Google Now:
  1. Rename "Velvet-theos0o-5.apk" to "GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk"
  2. Place "GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk" and "GoogleNowVoiceSearch.apk" on your phone.
  3. Browse to the /system/app directory on your phone.
  4. Rename the existing "GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk" file to "GoogleQuickSearchBox.bak" by long-pressing on the .apk file and selecting the "Rename" option (mount system as read/write if required).

  5. Move the new "GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk" file into the /system/app directory.
  6. Set the permissions of the .apk to -rw-r-r by long pressing on the file and selecting "Permissions"
  7. Install the "GoogleNowVoiceSearch.apk" file like you would any other 3rd Party app - simply click on it and select "Install"
  8. Reboot the phone.
That's all there is to it.  If your ROM doesn't incorporate a widget that allows for Voice Searches you can download one from the XDA Thread.  There's also a troubleshooting section and an explanation of the various Google Now Cards.  So make sure to read the original thread if you have any questions!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Install Custom ROMs on Verizon SGSIII

Currently in the Verizon SGSIII world it seems that you need to have a specific recovery to flash certain ROMs.  Luckily, MMMEFF has released a cool little utility that makes this process incredibly easy.  It's called EZ-Recovery for VZW Galaxy S3.  Download it before you go any further (and go ahead and rate it 5 stars too!).

Most ROMs will tell you what recovery you need in nice big bold letters.  To flash the proper recovery simply:
  1. Select which one you want
  2. Click "Flash!"
  3. Click "Reboot Recovery"
Now you have to pick what ROM you want, I decided I want to install AOKP, so these are the specific instructions to do that; however, if you want to install something else, please read their specific instructions carefully.

Installing AOKP:
  1. Download the most recent versions of the AOKP and Google Apps (GApps) from here. (Check the "Downloads" section.
  2. Using the instructions above, flash CWM Touch and then click "Reboot Recovery"
  3. Format the system, data, and cache from Recovery Mode - don't skip this step
  4. Flash AOKP .zip
  5. Flash GApps .zip
  6. Reboot 
  7. The Activation Screen seems to hang, so at the "Welcome" screen you see immediately after the phone powers up simply bypass it by touching the four corners of the screen.  Start in the upper lefthand corner and go clockwise until you hit the bottom lefthand corner.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Boot Samsung Galaxy SIII Into Recovery Mode

Similar to the ODIN mode instructions, to boot into Recovery Mode on the SGSIII do the following from phone off state:

  • Hold Volume Up
  • Hold Home
  • Hold Power
That's all there is too it!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Set Up ADB (Windows 7)

These are instructions on how to set up the ADB on you system in order to do some basic shell commands, etc.  Plug your phone in and turn USB Debugging ON before you attempt this so it downloads the drivers for you.
  1. Download the platform-tools
  2. Extract platform-tools (comes in .7z format)
  3. Using a command prompt type the following commands:
  • cd [directory containing platform-tools]
  • cd platform-tools
  • adb.exe

That's all there is to it, now you should be able to perform commands like:

adb devices - lists devices connected to your computer

adb push - places a file on your phone, eg adb push filename.file /location/

adb pull - pulls a file from your phone, eg adb pull filename.file /location/

Root Verizon Samsung Galaxy SIII and Install Clockwork Mod

Here are the rooting instructions for the Samsung Galaxy SIII.  I snagged them from Rootzwiki. (you guys are the best!)  Make sure you USB doesn't disconnect during this process or you will brick your phone.  Also, this shouldn't trip the flash counter.  If you want to revert this process simply flash this file using the listed method and you'll be back on untouched, stock ICS 4.0.4

First you're going to need some files:
  1. Odin - the software used to flash your phone
  2. Rooted System Image - what Odin flashes onto your phone (large download, also in torrent) MD5=be4350a56e739eaf7a4184352d653a7b
Once you have those files you may begin the rooting process:
  1.  Boot your phone into Odin Mode and plug your phone into your computer.
  2. Start Odin, you should see your device in the ID:COM area
  3. Select PDA and browse to the rooted.system.img.tar file (second one you downloaded)

     4.   Click "Start" and wait.  This process took around 10 minutes for me.  Your phone will auto-reboot and Odin will have a large green "PASS!" in the top left.  Congratulations, you're rooted!

If all you wanted was root then you're finished at this point; however, if you want to install clockworkmod you'll need to  use the adb.  You can find instructions on how to set that up here.

Instead of the instructions below, if you want clockworkmod, simply use the awesome (and free) app EZ-Recovery and check out the ROM installation tutorial for how to use it.

Once adb is working place "recovery.img" (the third file downloaded) into the directory containing adb.exe and then put that directory on your desktop.  Open up a command prompt and type:
  • cd Desktop
  • cd platform-tools
  • adb.exe
  • adb push recovery.img /sdcard/
  •  adb shell
  • su
  • dd if=/sdcard/recovery.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p18
  • exit
  • exit
  • adb reboot recovery 
You're done, you should now have clockworkmod recovery installed!  Enjoy your root and keep posted for future updates. 

And, as per usual, a video tutorial:

Boot Samsung Galaxy SIII Into Odin Mode

So it looks like the Verizon SIII was rooted the day after it hit the shelves in the US.  In order to root and add a custom firmware you'll need to be able to access "Odin Mode", which seems to be the equivalent of the download modes of previous phone models.  To do it follow these simple instructions:

  1. Power off phone
  2. Hold Vol Down
  3. Hold Home
  4. Hold Power
Phone will vibrate and show you a screen that asks your confirmation to enter Odin Mode.  Press Vol Up to accept and you should see a little green android man with the words "ODIN MODE" in red at the top of the screen.