Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire tablet now has access to an unofficial Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update. Members of the xda-developers forum recently managed to get a “pre-alpha” version of Android 4.0 running on Amazon’s new slate. The installation is based on the popular CyanogenMod 9 and while the ROM is working well in this early stage, there are still a number of bugs that need to be ironed out. It should also be clarified that this custom Ice Cream Sandwich ROM will remove all of Amazon’s customization features from the tablet, such as its user interface and deep integration with Amazon services. Hit the break for a video of Android 4.0 in action on the Kindle Fire and provided you understand the risks involved, follow the read link for all the tools you’ll need to install Android 4.0 on your Kindle Fire. More →
A group of security researchers recently demonstrated on video that they have successfully gained root access to the QNX-based operating system found on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook jailbreak and related “mack truck” security hole these hackers identified could have some serious implications for future BlackBerry devices, but RIM says users should not get ahead of themselves. “Research In Motion (RIM) is aware of a claim made on Twitter by security researchers working together that suggests the ability to ‘jailbreak’ a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet,” RIM said in a statement, noting that no BlackBerry smartphone users are affected. RIM also said it will begin working on a patch for the claimed security hole if its investigation determines the hackers’ claims are genuine, and it will also investigate any PlayBook jailbreaking tool released to the public. RIM’s full statement follows below, along with a video demonstration of security researcher “neuralic” gaining root access to a BlackBerry PlayBook.
HTC on Friday responded to user allegations that at least two of its smartphones, the HTC Sensation and the HTC EVO 3D, spy on users. BGR reported on Thursday that a new Android software update issued to these two handsets included tweaks that cause the OS to log users’ behavior. As discovered by InfectedROM forum member TrevE, Carrier IQ and four other processes in Android 2.3.4 purportedly gather usage stats and transmit them in the background. HTC has confirmed to BGR that these functions are all tied to an opt-in service however, and the Taiwan-based firm says it is not spying on anyone. Read on for more. More →
In a quick statement just published on HTC’s Facebook page, HTC CEO Peter Chou said:
“There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience,” Peter Chou, CEO of HTC
For anyone out there that roots their devices to customize them, this is probably the best news you can get. Well, or stock Android devices from the beginning, we guess. More →
Gingerbread is lurking deep in the recesses of your Honeycomb, Android tablet. According to a report filed by mobile blog Pocketables, the interface you’re presented with on your Honeycomb tablet can be changed by adjusting your tablet’s perceived screen density. On a rooted Dell Streak 7 running Android 3.1, the default interface experience is the new Honeycomb UI — complete with updated widgets, homescreens, and controls. By changing a single line, thereby tricking that tablet into thinking its pixel density is 170 instead of 160, the Gingerbread layout is presented upon reboot. What does this mean for you? Nothing… but it is pretty cool to see in action. Hit the jump to see a video demo and let us know what you think. More →
Motorola DROID X users are reporting that the highly anticipated update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is finally beginning to rollout. Update 4.5.588 is currently being delivered to devices as an over-the-air (OTA) update and while no official change log is available at this time, the stand-out addition is obviously Gingerbread. Yes, the DROID X has finally been thrust into 2011, which will definitely be a relief for many anxious owners. What’s more, the new Android 2.3 build for the DROID X has already been rooted, and a public root solution should become available shortly. So, DROID X owners, if you haven’t already received the update, sit tight — it should hit your handsets soon. For the impatient among you, hit the read link to download the update file and apply it manually.
AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
While investigating several Android Market applications that appeared to be duplicates, Reddit user lompolo discovered several apps that provide an extra, and definitely unwanted, service. The applications in question contain an exploit that, when downloaded, automatically root the Android handset. Not only that, the apps — 21 in total — also contain an embedded .apk file that can accept remote code and upload device information (like your IMEI) to a server in California. The malicious bundles were published by user Myournet and some of the individual applications have been downloaded over 50,000 times each. Once alerted of the potential malware, Google investigated and removed the code from the Market and users handsets. Unfortunately, that doesn’t have any effect on data already compromised by downloaders of the rogue applications. Google has yet to publicly comment on the incident.
UPDATE: More information about the exploit and affected applications can be found here. More →
As noted by enthusiast blog istartedsomething, Windows Phone 7 is on the verge of being jailbroken. Actually, hackers have already gained root access Windows Phone 7’s registry and file system — their methods simply aren’t yet bundled up in a nice little user-friendly package. “Jailbreaking” or “rooting” is a process that will allow users to install applications that have not been approved by Microsoft. It will also allow developers to build applications that utilize functions of the OS that are not accessible using standard developers tools. As it did with the iPhone, a Windows Phone 7 jailbreak will open up a whole new realm of possibilities for apps and customizations that would otherwise be unavailable to end users. More →
Dear hardware OEMs: Resistance. Is. Futile. It seems as though the gang over in the IRC channel #G2Root xda-developers have found a permanent rooting solution for T-Mobile’s HTC G2 handset. As you may recall, the rooting community ran into a little hiccup with the Android 2.2 device due to an auto-restore feature aimed at helping the average consumer un-brick their handset. The new solution comes just days after HTC released the source code for the G2 on their website. The root exploit for the G2 is far from production-ready, but it does look like the software is well on its way to getting the one-click treatment.
UPDATE: Quick correction — As Aaron pointed out in the comments, the G2 root was originally discovered by members of the #G2root IRC channel; an XDA forum member announced it. Thanks, Aaron!
[Via Android Spin] More →
Kids, don’t try this at home. Seriously. Despite the fact that the Internet let out a collective gasp when the T-Mobile G2 was revealed to sport an 800MHz processor, the handset is fantastically responsive out of the box. But that won’t stop the good folks over at xda-developers from ripping T-Mobile’s latest G-phone apart, of course. Forum member coolbho3000 has posted all the goodies one would need to overclock a T-Mobile G2 to a blistering 1.42GHz. While we recommend strongly against attempting the mod unless you really know what you’re doing, that shouldn’t stop anyone from ogling the results of this great hack. Hit the jump for a video of the G2 tearing through benchmarks like a champ. More →
In case you haven’t been keeping up on your HTC G2 news: The recently released Android 2.2, G2 handset from T-Mobile has a built-in security feature that is having an adverse effect on those who are trying to root the device. As T-Mobile explains:
The HTC software implementation on the G2 stores some components in read-only memory as a security measure to prevent key operating system software from becoming corrupted and rendering the device inoperable. There is a small subset of highly technical users who may want to modify and re-engineer their devices at the code level, known as “rooting,” but a side effect of HTC’s security measure is that these modifications are temporary and cannot be saved to permanent memory. As a result the original code is restored.
This is good for those users who are not interest in root access; as the chance of a bricked device become slimmer. It is however not so good for that “subset of highly technical users” who are trying to get their electronic mitts on the G2’s innards. It appears as though the Android-tinkering community will just have to be a little more creative than usual with the G2. More →
The recently announced, unreleased Samsung Galaxy Tab has officially been given the root treatment. Blog sera-apps.de is reporting that they have seen, used, and possess a rooted Gally Tab (now that didn’t take long). The site does caution, “I don’t know if the final Galaxy Tab can be rooted the same way like the one I have here. This is a work in progress prototype – thinks [sic] can differ a lot.” Either way, it is an encouraging sign for Android enthusiasts who are looking forward to getting, tinkering, and h4x0ring their Galaxy Tab. More →