Articles about Modding

How Apple put an end to iOS jailbreaking

"iPhone jailbreaking is dead" reads the headline. Four words signaling the end of a 10-year long battle between Apple and those who wanted open control of their iOS devices. Here is an admission in black and white that prominent members of the jailbreaking community are giving up on attacking iOS devices. Apple created a system where their engineers, like soldiers in a castle under siege, were able to outlast the besieging army; throwing back assault after assault, until the attackers, deciding the siege was no longer worthwhile, packed up and headed home.

Ten years ago, finding a jailbreak was fairly doable, though it required skill. As iOS jailbreaks became harder to find, however, they became more valuable. Zerodium publicly announced it would pay $1 million, now increased to $1.5 million, for a remote jailbreak flaw (e.g. remote code execution) on iOS. This effectively priced the jailbreak community out of the market for iOS vulnerabilities. Markets only assign commodities such value when they are rare and difficult to obtain. If somehow you remain unconvinced, consider that the last publicly available untethered (e.g. persistent across reboots) jailbreak was discovered over a year ago, and was part of the government-quality attack tool Pegasus. The current generation of jailbreaks require the user to run a jailbreak app every time they reboot.

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OnePlus 5 gets OxygenOS 4.5.2 and root

OnePlus is among the few vendors that provide frequent updates for their smartphones. And it continues this tradition with its latest flagship killer, the OnePlus 5, which just received a software update over the air before its highly anticipated open release on June 27.

OxygenOS 4.5.2, which is also the update for the OnePlus 5, fixes a couple of bugs and adds a number of optimizations for the stock apps and built-in functionality. But that is not all that is new in OnePlus 5 land right now, as the flagship killer has also been rooted.

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Google lets developers exclude app support for rooted Android devices

Netflix is the first big name on Google Play to block Android devices that are rooted or have an unlocked bootloader from downloading its app. And it looks like it may not be the last, as now Google is officially giving all developers the option to do the same.

Developers on Google Play can enforce support exclusions based on a device's SafetyNet status, which is also what Netflix has used to restrict access. Out of the box, rooted devices or devices with an unlocked bootloader are supported, but developers have two options that they can choose to change that.

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Netflix drops support for rooted and unlocked Android devices

While rooting Android does not make it necessarily less secure, some software makers would rather you keep your device stock. Why? Well, because when you gain elevated privileges, which is what rooting enables, you might cause some issues or do some things that run afoul of their rules.

Netflix now seems to have a problem with Android devices that have been rooted and/or have an unlocked bootloader, as it just dropped support for those devices on Google Play.

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Jailbreaking puts mobile users at risk

Mobile users frequently stray from official app stores when looking for new mobile applications, putting themselves under increased risk from malware, ransomware and other malicious actors. This is according to a new report by RiskIQ, which says that users in the UK are a bit more "conservative," and a bit more on the safe side compared to mobile users in the US.

The report, entitled "Appsession: Is our appetite for mobile apps putting us at risk?" is based on a poll of 2,000 mobile users -- 1,000 in the UK and another 1,000 in the US.

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Hackers find a way to install new games on NES Classic Edition

When Nintendo launched the NES Classic Edition there was much rejoicing from gamers of certain ages. But while 30 and 40-somethings may have been looking forward to reliving their youth playing classic games, there was some bad news -- the bundled 30 games were all you could play.

Nintendo saying that there was no way to add new games to the console was seen by some as a challenge. Now hackers have found a way to upload new games to the NES Classic via USB... but it's not a super-simple process.

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Google makes Fastboot and ADB available as separate downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux

Android logo phone

Answering the pleas of many Android users, Google has finally made ADB and Fastboot available as separate downloads.

Previously only available as part of the large and intimidating Android SDK or Android Studio, the change of heart means that it is now quicker and easier than ever to jump on the handset flashing and sideloading bandwagon.

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Google is making it harder to root Android 7.0 Nougat

Rooting Android remains very popular with a certain crowd of users, but fact of the matter is for most folks it is an unnecessary hassle. I have gone through the pros and cons of hacking the operating system in previous articles, so I will not discuss them again here, but suffice to say that both the software and the hardware have matured so nicely that the vast majority of people can be perfectly happy with their new smartphone or tablet as it comes out of the box.

Google has been somewhat permissive with regards to rooting, but, behind closed doors, it has been working hard to close the open avenues. While hacking Android has become harder, Nougat will take things to the next level, bringing new security features to make sure that your device stays the way its maker intended.

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How to jailbreak iOS 9 with Pangu

As with every previous version of iOS, it had to happen -- jailbreak instructions for iOS 9 have been released. Rumors have been circulating for a little while that a group called Pangu was on the verge of releasing a jailbreak tool, and now it's available.

Pangu Jailbreak for iOS 9 cracks open iOS in next to no time, opening up the possibility of installing apps and applying tweaks that would not otherwise be possible. Whether you're rocking a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, or you have an iPad or older handset the whole process can be over in less than five minutes. Here's what you need to do.

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow: How to enable battery percentage and hide Quick Settings toggles

After upgrading to Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your Nexus device you have likely noticed that there is still no way to change how the battery information is displayed in the status bar or choose which Quick Settings toggles are shown in the notifications panel. Google continues to be quite limiting in this regard, which is a bit puzzling considering others like Samsung allow this kind of customization. (After all, who wouldn't like to see a battery percentage instead of a bar that is hard to interpret?)

Fortunately, both of those things can be easily customized without relying on third-party apps or rooting. All you need to do is enable System UI Tuner, a control panel that is included, but hidden by default, in the latest version of Android. Here is how you can do that.

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How to jailbreak iOS 8.4

With previous versions of iOS we have had to wait a while for a jailbreak to finally come out, but for iOS 8.4 one is already available. The TaiG team has moved extremely quickly to update its tool, releasing an updated version that supports iOS 8.4 shortly after Apple made it available to the public yesterday.

Apple has packed dozens of security fixes in the new version of the mobile operating system, but the TaiG team announced on Twitter that the exploit it uses to jailbreak iOS has not been patched.

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How to jailbreak iOS 8.3

While iOS has become more permissive and powerful in recent years, there are still users who find the mobile operating system to be too limiting. There are few customizations one can make without running into Apple's barriers, but that can be easily fixed through jailbreaking.

Jailbreaks are usually available awhile after Apple releases a new iOS version, and in the case of iOS 8.3 the first jailbreaking tool, made by the TaiG team of modders, just arrived. Here is what you need to know about it.

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How to unlock your LG G4's bootloader

LG's Android handsets are not the best choices for enthusiasts. Bootloaders are tightly locked, so loading a different kernel or installing another distribution is next to impossible. And there is no official tool that lifts the restrictions, even if that would mean having the warranty voided. Without getting a Nexus 4 or Nexus 5, you are out of luck. Heck, even iPhones are friendlier to the modders.

Fortunately, LG is well aware of the enthusiasts' interest in its devices, so it has finally taken the first step towards embracing the community's ways by allowing G4 users to unlock the bootloader. Here is how it can be done.

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Root already available for Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

Rooting is still a controversial topic among Android enthusiasts. Bring it up and be prepared to hear countless arguments for and against it. I don't fully support either side; I admit to having conflicting thoughts about it. On one hand, root opens up a world of possibilities, but, on the other hand, it's not often that one needs to take advantage of the cool things it enables.

However, we can all agree that what's most important is having the option to choose. And if you plan on getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge on launch day, then you should know that rooting its Android distribution will be possible right from the start.

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Root already available for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note 4 is not yet available in most markets across the globe, as Samsung has opted for a staggered launch. However, despite the limited market availability, a well-known Android modding enthusiast has already achieved root access for the phablet.

Chainfire, the developer behind dedicated modding tools like SuperSU, has announced on his Google+ page that a number of Galaxy Note 4 models, based on Samsung's own Exynos chip as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor, are now supported by CF-Auto-Root. The software has been designed to automatically enable root access on Android devices.

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