Thursday, March 29, 2012

Samsung's version of Face Unlock requires you to blink before it grants access to the phone

Just when we started wondering whether the company can pull off the eye-tracking tech supposedly in store for the rumored Samsung i9300 M Olympics phone, and it clarified how they do it.

Today Samsung Tomorrow, the company's official blog, issued a post aiming to introduce us to the kitchen of software updates. Buried inside the Galaxy S quasi-ICS update section was hidden this little gem: "Included in the firmware upgrade is the ‘Face Unlock’ feature found in the ICS upgrade. In response to security issues raised regarding Face Unlock, Samsung incorporated blinking for added security."

[ROM] ICS STUNNER Beta 4.1 by Team Passion


Latest PLAY apps. Working without any issues.
AOKP Features. Look below for the Euphoria Control in screenshots.
Device Settings. Tweaking data connection, screen color tuning, touch keys, and more.
DSP Manager. Far better than stock MusicFX.
TabletUI and PhoneUI can be switched with one reboot.
MultiTasking Mode and Gaming Mode available for RAM Tweaking
Increased HEAP Size. Enjoy your large apps.
Ad-free browsing and applications you install.




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note shipments hit 5 million

Samsung Galaxy Note shipments hit 5 million
More and more factual evidence suggests that the Samsung Galaxy Note is doing more than well with the latest statistics showing the gigantic device hitting the amazing 5 million shipments. That’s tremendous success for what’s seen by many as a rather niche device.

The Galaxy Note has been available globally for a mere five months. It launched in October, and stateside it arrived much later, but it seems that the US launch gave it a big push. 

Back in the beginning of the month, Samsung reported 2 million Notes sold, and now shipments are said to be 5 million.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

[ROM] AOKP BUILD 28 03/24/12 Beta 1 "NoName" 4.0.3This is theWidely Popular AOKP Rom been built by Roman and TeamKang who are Recognized Developers here on XDA and RootzWiki, the Original Thread is Here Without Their Hard work Developing this Rom we would not have it to port for your enjoyment many thanks to TeamKang.

This is theWidely Popular AOKP Rom been built by Roman and TeamKang who are Recognized Developers here on XDA and RootzWiki, the Original Thread is Here Without Their Hard work Developing this Rom we would not have it to port for your enjoyment many thanks to TeamKang.  

AOKP Build 28:
Added lockscreen color changer
Added 'traditional' toggle layout [where the toggles are on the very top] (Stevepear426) -- find in RC > Statusbar General > Layout

Added AOSP lockscreen style (Whitehawkx)
Added extra volume slider options (Stevepear426, tmoskowite on gummy)
Added lockscreen calendar options (!!!) (sethyx)
Removed any trackball support the ROM had, was only throwing errors, not properly implemented
Improved brightness slider under toggles, doesn't jump anymore
Improved brightness slider (when sliding your finger across the statusbar if enabled). MUCH more responsive now
Added ability to set custom lockscreen image for targets. Click picture in RC to set.
Also increased size of custom lockscreen images to more match the normal icons
battery bar should no longer disappear when in the navigation bar

**Beyond build 28 changelog**:
-Based on AOSP V06 + AOKP Build 28
-Photoshop capable now!
-USB Mass Storage works*use USB Mass Storage app from the app drawer, or play is on desktop/folder for quicker use* *DO NOT USE STANDARD ANDROID MOUNT!* *view HERE for bugs related to this app and to thank Neobuddy89
-replaced phasebeam lwp with rootbeam lwp
-added AppWidgetPicker2*helps organize widget menu*
-160dpi calling working.
-external sd is mounted where aosp has it /mnt/external_sd
-no launcher fc

Anything from AOSP
call answering slide may get cut off  


For downloads, visit the XDA Thread here.
Do thank the dev for his awesome work!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note ICS update coming in Q2 with Premium Suite in tow

Earlier this year, Samsung had promised a Q1, 2012 time period for the roll out of the Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note. But while its younger brother has started receiving the update, the Galaxy Note users are still munching on Gingerbread that is well past its expiry date. 

Samsung recently announced that the Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy Note has been pushed to Q2, 2012. This means it could be coming as soon as April or as late as June.
But to make sure that the wait is worth the while, Samsung has announced that the update will come with some extra goodies exclusive to the Galaxy Note. This includes a Premium Suite of applications and extra multimedia features.
The Premium Suite includes the S-Pen application, which allows you to scribble with the provided capacitive stylus, as well as draw tables and grids that are automatically digitized, along with solving hand-drawn numeric formulas. The Premium Suite also includes My Story app, which lets you create personalized digital cards for friends and family.
Along with this, you will also get a special version of Angry Birds Space. This version will include 30 extra Danger Zone levels, not found on any other platform.
And then of course, it's Android 4.0 itself, which will bring new features like Face Unlock, redesigned multitasking view, GPU accelerated UI, etc.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note ICS update pushed back to Q2

We are afraid we have some bad news for the Galaxy Note users out there. The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the phoneblet has been pushed back from its initially announced Q1 launch to Q2.
It's only been confirmed by Samsung Norway through its Facebook account, so it's not certain if the delay will be a global thing, but that seems likely. The global rollout of the Ice Cream Sandwich update only took a few days, so we assume the Galaxy Note units, which are much fewer in number will be updated in a very short interval.
The reason for the delay is unknown just yet and so is the exact launch date. With Q2 starting in a couple of weeks and ending in June the delay might be a pretty minor thing or it could mean another three months without the latest and greatest from the Google OS for the Note users. Here's hoping it will be a case of the former rather than the latter!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Google Play replaces Android Market, new source for apps, books, movies and music

Google Play replaces Android Market, your new source for apps, books, movies and music

The Android Market has morphed significantly since its inception, which now allows users to purchase books, music and rent movies, all from within a hub that was originally designed for just apps. To recognize this fundamental shift -- and emphasize the availability of content for sale -- Google is launching a new platform known as Google Play. The move hints at a strategy shift from just Android to the cloud as a whole, and establishes an umbrella brand for the diverse content sold by Google. For example, its Books, Music and Videos apps will now become Play Books, Play Music and Play Movies, while the Android Market itself will take on the moniker of Play Store. Users of Android 2.2 (and above) should notice the software update within the next few days, although other than the new name, initial changes should be minimal. We're also to be on the lookout for a new "Play" tab within the top toolbar of Google's website. To mark the occasion, the company has announced a promotional "Seven Days to Play" sale, which will tease would-be shoppers with discounted apps, books, movies and music throughout the week. For an additional peek at what's in store, you'll find the gallery below and a video after the break.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[ROM] Galaxy Note imilka's AOSP ICS IML74K v4.0.3

I really don't like TouchWiz at all, so, when the first ICS sources became available, a developer named 'Imilka' started porting AOSP (Android Open Source Program) to the Galaxy Note.

There are still some major and many minor bugs, but ROM seems to be stable and usable.

It is clean and clear ICS (4.0.3) without any modifications. This is not CM (Cyanogenmod), just AOSP. It may be used with tablet or with phone UI.


  • MAJOR: Video recording (camcorder) doesn't work (videos are not saved). Camera (taking pictures) working properly.
  • MAJOR: USB File transfer (MTP) doesn't work.
  • MINOR: First SMS Message is reported as not sent. It is NOT TRUE - first message sends correctly. This is just some false report.
  • MINOR: Sometimes Wi-Fi can't be re-enabled - that means sometimes you can't turn wifi on after you've turned it off. Reboot fixes that.

Google increases the app size limit for Android Market to 4GB

Developers for Android have had to work around the crippling 50MB file size limit for a long time now. To take care of this problem, many developer devised an idea where you first download a small application from the Android Market and upon launching it will download the rest of the files from the developer's server.

Samsung looking to push "Premium Suite" update to Samsung GALAXY Note instead of Android 4.0?

Sometimes it is hard to know what a manufacturer has in mind unless it is said clearly and completely. Other times, no matter what is said, it is best not to believe it until you see it. Back in December, Samsung said that instead of delivering Android 4.0 to the Samsung Galaxy S and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, it would update both devices with a "value pack" that would bring better multitasking, faster web browsing, improvements to the camera and new widgets to the pair. The Korean based manufacturer 86'd the "value pack" in January, and those two units might be stuck with Gingerbread forever.
The teaser reveals a Premium Suite coming

Monday, March 5, 2012

Key Lime Pie is the next tasty version name of Android

Wondering what Google would be calling the next to next version of Android – folks over The Verge have got the answer. According to their trusted source, Google will be naming the version after Jelly Bean as Key Lime Pie. It fits perfectly in the alphabetical dessert naming scheme of Google for different Android versions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note: ICS installation guide, detailed impressions

Up until a few days ago I was really beginning to worry that Samsung wasn't on track with it's release schedule for bringing ICS to the Galaxy Note. I'd been watching leaked ICS ROMs come to the Galaxy S II with an alarming frequency for weeks and weeks, but nothing for the Note. Given Samsung seem to be as leaky as a sieve when it comes to keeping their firmwares in-house, this just made me think the Note might have been getting a bit neglected. Fortunately those fears have proven unfounded, as an ICS build for the Note leaked a couple of days ago. Naturally I flashed it ASAP, I mean, what's a self-respecting Android geek to do?

OK, so here are some of my thoughts in some more detail and some screengrab which might be an easier way to digest some of the stuff.

In terms of looks the ROM is a bit frankenstein at the moment with a mixture of TW/GB/ICS elements throughout the UI. This isn't too big a deal, within a few days we should start getting custom ROMs and themes to remove this jarring eyesore from our vision.
  • Performance in general UI navigation is a big step up from Gingerbread ROMs, even custom ones. It's worth pointing out that this is despite this ROM limiting the CPU clock speed to the 1.2Ghz/core that the Chinese i9220 Note uses, rather than the 1.4Ghz/core clock speed in the international N7000 version.

As you see from the model number in settings
this ICS build comes from the Chinese Note
- model number i9220
  • On the topic of performance, there is one thing I know a lot of people will want to know - has wakelock delay been sorted? Happily I can report that it seems drastically reduced in ICS - in fact from my point of view it's gone (others who are more discriminating than me may still notice it I guess)
    If we move away from how it feels in general use and get to some hard numbers the Note saw nice increases all around in benchmarks. In particular graphics performance got a very nice bump in ICS - 44fps in Nenamark 2 which is basically the same as the Transformer Prime on ICS (in other words, wow)

                An increase of 12fps over the Note's Nenamark 2 score on Gingerbread!
  • Those lovely little ICS touches that I missed coming back to the Note from the Nexus - the brilliant task switcher, swiping to dismiss individual notifications, Face Unlock in all it's novelty-not-security glory, the consistent UI language throughout system and stock apps - are all here

The ICS task switcher, awesome. Swiping
away recent apps is rather addictive.

Swiping away individual notifications? Also
addictive. Note the ICS persistent shortcut to
Settings here also, and the Mobile Data
Toggle, which I much prefer here over GPS

  • Inbuilt Google Apps are of course lovely in their ICS incarnations
  • While talking about new ICS stock apps I really want to single out the most important of them - the browser. The browser is a massive step up from the Gingerbread browser. The performance is better for one thing, but even better the options are excellent - inverted rendering (an excellent battery saver on AMOLED screens), the ability to save pages for offline reading, the ability to finally! have a desktop UA without about:useragent shenannigans. If that wasn't enough you can even get the Chrome for Android beta, which is also excellent, although lacking some nice features of the ICS default browser like the ones mentioned above and flash player support.

Inverted rendering, your AMOLED will thank
you for it

A bevy of excellent new options

A good increase in the Vellamo score, if a little
disappointingly less than the Tab 7.7's score

The browsermark score much increased

The Chrome Beta, love how it handles tabs!

...and here is that consistent UI design in action:
you can swipe between tabs if you start the
swipe from the bezel outside the screen!
Still some work to do to bring the beta browser
up to speed though

  • Apps with stuff specifically for ICS work with this build, for example notification drawer controls for PowerAMP are present (YES!)
A feature I've wanted for a while from
  • Of course all this is well and good, if it's too unstable to be actually be used as your daily driver then this all becomes a bit academic, doesn't it? This may be the best news of all, because it is already stable enough. More than stable enough, it's running incredibly well!

So, you've suffered through reading my impressions of the ICS build, and all you really want now is to find out how to get it on your Note - this bit is for you (or maybe you paged down a couple of times instead, whatever). What follows is the method I used, and I've had zero problems with it on my Note. Naturally I can't guarantee that it'll be so smooth for you, that seems to be one of the vagaries of flashing, sometimes things don't seem to work the same even following the same procedure. While I'm talking about not guaranteeing anything, please familiarise yourself with our standard disclaimers found at the beginning of this post here. Bear in mind I don't say all that stuff to be cruel, it's just that our capacity to troubleshoot from the blog is limited.

Before we get into the step-by-step, there are of course a few pre-requisites:

A fully charged Galaxy Note. Duh.
The Galaxy Note must be Rooted. Bummer. Oh, wait!
The Note must be properly backed up before flashing this ROM. That means making a Nandroid backup, backing up your apps and their data in Titanium Backup, and backing up your EFS folder. That's quite a bit to get your head around if you're not already familiar with it, but luckily for you we've got your back again with a guide for backing up your Rooted 'Droid.
Odin on your PC, or Mobile Odin from the Android Market on your Note. Mobile Odin is the easiest option, and a superb app for supported Galaxy Devices. It is a paid app, but you should know that in buying it you not only get the app, but also a heaping helping of warm fuzzies for supporting developer extraordinaire Chainfire - at no extra cost!
OK, once you've worked through those few things here are the steps you need to follow to give your Note the fresh, fresh taste of Ice Cream Sandwich:
Download Chainfire's repack of the i9220 ROM version for the international N7000 Note model. Get it here. Once downloaded copy it to your internal SD.
Download Google Apps 7.1 here. Once downloaded copy it to your internal SD.
Open Mobile Odin, choose the ROM .tar file and flash it to the phone - this will also Root the new ROM and pre-install CWM recovery and Superuser. Your phone will reboot.
When your phone restarts it should automatically boot into recovery, in recovery factory reset/wipe data and then install the Gapps zip.
Reboot the phone.
When your phone is fully rebooted, reboot it again.
Use Titanium Backup to restore apps and their data. DO NOT restore system settings. Freeze or uninstall all of the Chinese bloatware the ROM comes with - I got rid of them all without incident.
Enjoy ICS on your Galaxy Note
If any of that is difficult to follow read the guides linked to above, they cover basics like going into recovery, and how to do things in recovery like factory resets/wiping data/installing zip files and so on.

If you're too cheap or too poor to get Mobile Odin you can get the same result with Odin on your PC, simply flash the ROM .tar file as PDA in Odin (the second half of the Note Root guide shows you how to use PC Odin if you're not already familiar). Be aware that if you do use PC Odin the flash count for the phone will increase, which of course means potential warranty problems. You can reset the counter and remove the attendant yellow triangle by using Triangleaway. This is yet another Chainfire app, so I hope you're beginning to realise how awesome this guy is and how much he deserves a few of your dollars for Mobile Odin if you're in a position to pay for it.

So, there it is. ICS finally! on our Galaxy Notes.

What are you waiting for?

Mugen Extended Battery for the Galaxy Note - 4500mA of staying power

Is this the extended battery you're looking for?

Battery life. The final frontier of convergence. The great challenge facing all smartphone owners... ...or at least those who actually use their convergence device for more than simple telephony (if you caught a faint whiff of a derisive sneer with that comment, it's because I meant it).

I can virtually guarantee that if you're here reading this you have at some point complained about your present phones battery life, and probably every smartphone you've owned before it too for that matter. I can also be almost certain that you've invested a fair amount of time investigating and experimenting with ways to extend it. Be that dimming the screen, scrupulously avoiding light coloured wallpapers, meticulously micro-managing your sync activities and data usage, flashing custom ROMs, or just plain curtailing your use. One thing nearly of all these things have in common is that you're compromising your use and enjoyment of the device.

'Jelly Bean' confirmed to be the codename for Android 5.0 by 'ASUS"

Among the many Android manufacturer's out there, ASUS has a good reputation for offering quick software updates for its devices, with the recent Transformer Prime being one of the first to get the Ice Cream Sandwich update. According to ASUS' Corporate Vice President Benson Lin, this is due to the good relationship between his company and Google.
But while he was boasting about his relationship with Google, Lin also let go of a tiny bit of information regarding the next version of Android, which as the rumors often told us, will be named Jelly Bean.
Speaking to TechRadar, Lin said:
"Asus is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update."
This, along with the bowl of jelly beans at Google's booth at MWC makes it clear that the next version of Android will in fact be called Jelly Bean.

Rooting the phone

Just to be crystal clear: If you flash via Odin as I demonstrate in this guide there is no way to reset the flash counter. That means that your warranty is irreparably void, you cannot return the phone to a stock state for warrany purposes. You've been warned.
Only follow this guide if your Note already has no warranty and you'd prefer to use Odin because you are already familiar with it.
Your phone will flash a yellow triangle every time you boot it up to denote that the phone has been flashed unofficially. There's an app to remove it known as 'triangleaway'. Read the post here.
Even though the chances of going wrong are very few, but I am not responsible for any bricked device. Flash at your own risk!
Here is a list of things you will need:
A fully charged Galaxy Note
A micro USB connection cable
A Windows PC (I have no experience with doing this on a mac, so for now the guide will only cover Windows)
The PC will need to have the USB drivers for the Galaxy Note installed:
If you simply connect the Galaxy Note to the PC with the micro USB cable it will install them
To be very sure your device will be recognised by Odin connect twice - once with USB debugging enabled, and once without - different drivers are installed depending on the status of debugging (USB debugging is in Settings --> Applications --> Developement)
If you're still having no luck try also installing the latest version of Samsung's Kies
A copy of a program called Odin  - you can download it here
The correct CFRoot kernel from here
Alright, now we've got all those things assembled, it's time to void your warranty! Here are the steps you need to follow:
Start Odin.
Click the button "PDA", shown in the picture below. Navigate to the CFRoot kernel you downloaded earlier and select it.
Make sure "Repartition" is NOT checked.
Power down your phone, and then put your phone into download mode. Do this by simultaneously pressing and holding the Volume Down and Home buttons, and then while holding these buttons down press and hold the power button down until something appears on the screen.
Follow the instructions on that screen and press the Volume Up key to proceed into download mode.
Connect your phone to your computer with the USB cable, after a few moments Odin should recognise the device.
In Odin press the Start button.
Odin will flash the kernel to your device.
Your device will reboot, disconnect the device
Congratulations, your Galaxy Note is now Rooted! You should now make a Nandroid backup of the ROM using the Clockworkmod app that pops up in your app drawer.

Credit: Chainfire at XDA - please donate to him to keep his amazing Android development efforts alive!