Phones

How to Root the LG G3

July 31st, 2014 by David Cogen

All Done

The LG G3 is, by most accounts, an amazing device. With a QHD display, sleek design, super fast processor, what isn’t to love? Well, now that we mention it, maybe the software could be a little bit more customizable.

That’s where rooting comes in. By rooting the LG G3 (aka gaining administrative rights on the device), you can open a world of software customizations that normally wouldn’t quite be allowed. For example, installing the G3Tweaksbox app from the Play Store allows you to change how many apps sit in the dock of the launcher, modify the color of the LED for missed calls, disable the shutter sound on the camera, adjust what’s in the notification shade and much more. 

Here’s how to root the LG G3 in a few easy steps, using the phone and a Windows PC.

1. Download and install the drivers.

Verizon Drivers

All Other Varieties’ Drivers

Drivers

2. Download the toolkit:

Toolkit

Toolkit

3. Extract the .zip file to your desktop.

Extract Toolkit

MORE: 10 Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

4. Go to Settings > General > About Phone > Software Information > on the phone and Tap on Build Number repeatedly until it tells you you are a developer.

Build Number

5. Hit back > Developer Options > Turn on USB Debugging.

USB Debugging

6. Plug the device in via USB cable to the computer.

USB

7. Tap Always allow and hit OK when prompted for USB debugging permission.

Always Allow

8. Double-click the purpledrake_windows.bat file in the PurpleDrake folder you just extracted.

Click bat

9. Hit enter and follow the prompts until it says it is done.

Follow Prompts

10. Open the Play Store, search for SuperSU, and install it.

Install SuperSU

11. Open SuperSU, tap continue, and tap normal until you get the app’s main screen.

 

SuperSU

MORE: 12 Worst Android Annoyances and How to Fix Them

When it finishes you are all set.

All Done

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. 

How to Root the Motorola Moto E

July 25th, 2014 by David Cogen

Laptop Featured

The Motorola Moto E has been praised as one of the greatest budget phones you can get for the money, but there’s always room for improvement. Rooting — the process of gaining admin rights on Android — allows a ton of new possibilities for the inexpensive handset. From overclocking, to increasing battery life, to flashing custom ROMs like CyanogenMod which provide a whole different look and feel, rooting the Moto E makes the device even more functional. 

Here’s how to root the Moto E. A Windows PC is required.

1. Navigate to the Android SDK site if you don’t already have the Android SDK with the latest updates. If you do, skip to step 9.

SDK Site

2. Click on Get the SDK for an Existing IDE > Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Stand Alone SDK

MORE: 12 Surprising Things Your Android Phone Can Do

3. Check that you agree to the terms and click Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Download SDK

4. Save the SDK to your Desktop.

Save to Desktop

5. Double click the exe file and follow the prompts.

Run SDK

6. Make sure it is c:\android-sdk\ in the text field when prompted before hitting Next.

Install Location

7. Continue until it installs and then check the box that says Start SDK Manager and hit Finish.

Finish

8. Check off Tools and click Install.

Check Tools

9. Turn off the Moto E and turn it back on by holding down volume down and power for 6 seconds and then letting go. 

Hold down volume and power

10. Connect the Moto E to your PC via USB cable.

Plug it in via USB

11. Navigate to C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ on your PC, hold shift on your keyboard, right-click in any blank area, and select open command window here.

Open Cmd Window

12. In the command prompt type the following and hit enter at the end of the line:

fastboot oem get_unlock_data

Fastboot oem get_unlock_data

13. Copy and paste everything that comes up besides the words “(bootloader)” into Windows notepad. 

Copy unlock data

14. Remove all of the spaces so it becomes one long line of characters.

Remove the spaces

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15. Head to Motorola’s site to unlock the bootloader (login if asked).

 Moto Site

16. Copy and paste the long string of characters into the text box in step 6 on Motorola’s site and click Can my device be unlocked.

Paste String

17. Check I agree and click Request Unlock Key. 

Request Unlock Key

18. When you received the unlock key via email, type the following into the command prompt and hit enter at the end of the line:

fastboot oem unlock [YOURKEY] *replace [YOURKEY] with the key you received via email from Motorola.

oem unlock

19. Download the SuperSU .zip file and save it to your desktop.

Save supersu

20. Copy the SuperSU .zip file to the internal storage of your device.

SuperSU on Moto E

21. Turn off the phone and turn it back on by holding down volume and power for 6 seconds and then letting go.

Hold down volume and power

22. Download CWM recovery and save it inside C > android-sdk > platform-tools folder.

Save CWM Recovery

23. At the Windows command prompt, type the following, hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Fastboot flash Recovery

24. Tap volume down on the Moto E to highlight recovery and push volume up to select it.

Boot to Recovery

MORE: 10 Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

25. Using the volume buttons to navigate and power to select, install zip from sd > choose zip from sd > 0 

Install zip

26. Select the SuperSU zip file and flash it.

Select SuperSU

27. Select advanced > reboot to bootloader.

Reboot to Bootloader

28. Select No if asked to fix root.

Don't fix root

29. At the Windows command prompt, again type the following with hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Fastboot flash Recovery

30. Select Normal Powerup on the device.

Normal Powerup

When it reboots, you should see SuperSU in the app drawer. All done!

SuperSU

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. Check out all of the Moto E ROMs in their ROM Repository that you can now install after finishing this tutorial.

Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

July 23rd, 2014 by Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief

 

With their zippy quad-core processors and big screens, smartphones have never been more powerful–or more power hungry. Yes, specs and apps matter, but what good are they if you’re hunting for an outlet by lunchtime? If you want a smartphone that endures, check out the handsets that made our list.

These devices lasted at least 8 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over 4G LTE. We set each phone’s display to 150 nits to normalize for brightness and make sure each handset is receiving at least 3 bars of service. See for yourself which smartphones keep going and going.

 

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How to Root the OnePlus One

July 21st, 2014 by David Cogen

OnePlus Root

Even though the OnePlus One comes from the factory running CyanogenMod, that doesn’t mean it has root (aka admin) access from the factory, too. If you want the benefits of root access, which include running root-only apps or switching to a custom ROM, then you’ll have to still jump through a few small hoops to obtain it. Here is how to root the OnePlus One.

Note: This tutorial is done using Windows. This tutorial will erase everything on your device so please back up anything you don’t want to lose.

1.Install Java if you don’t already have the latest version. You can download it from Oracle’s Java site.

Java 

2. Download the OnePlus Toolkit, save it to your desktop, and double click the exe to install it.

Download the Toolkit

MORE: How to Root the Galaxy Gear And Use it With Any Phone

3. Click Download ADB Drivers in the toolkit.

 Download ADB Drivers

4. Click Install ADB Drivers in the toolkit and follow the prompts.

Install ADB Drivers

5. On the phone, go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number repeatedly until it tells you you are a developer.

Enabled Development Settings

6. Hit back and tap on Developer Options and turn Android Debugging on.

ADB Debugging Enabled

7. Connect the phone to your PC in via USB, tap Always Allow, and tap OK.

Plug In

8. Click Enter Fastboot/Recovery in the toolkit then click Enter Fastboot. The device will reboot into fastboot mode. 

Enter Fastboot

9. Click Unlock Bootloader. The device will reboot and require you to go through the setup process again (it will also erase everything on the phone so make sure you did a backup before this step).

Unlock Bootloader

10. Re-enable Android Debugging by repeating steps 5 and 6 above.

ADB Debugging Enabled

11. Click Flash in the toolkit.

Flash

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12. Select TWRP and click Download.

TWRP Download

13. Close the command prompt and click Flash.

TWRP Flash

14. Click Boot.

Boot 

15. Select TWRP and click Boot.

TWRP Boot

16. On the phone, click Reboot.

Reboot

17. Tap System.

System

18. Swipe to Install SuperSU.

Swipe

19. Pull down the notification bar and tap Install SuperSU and tap play.

SuperSU Installer

21. Tap on Install.

Install SuperSU

22. Tap Open.

Open SuperSU

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23. Tap Continue.

Continue

24. Tap Normal.

Normal

25. Open the Play Store and install Root Checker.

Root Checker

26. Open Root Checker and tap Verify Root.

Verify Root

27. Tap Grant.

Grant

It should say Congratulations. You’re rooted.

Congratulations 

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. Check out all of the OnePlus One ROMs in their ROM Repository that you can now install after finishing this tutorial.

Tiny Magnet Brings Wireless Charging to the iPhone

July 18th, 2014 by Chris Hutton

2 614x400Many Android smartphones come with wireless charging ability. However, Apple has so far avoided adding this functionality to the iPhone. Users can add a clunky case or other attachment so they can use wireless chargers. However, China-based startup HEVO LABS is hoping Kickstarter can help them simplify and miniaturize an add-on to make things seamless.

HEVO designed a Lightning-compatible microadaptor, which magnetically connects to the iPhone 5s charging port just like the MagSafe connector on a MacBook. The adapter is compatible with a variety of wireless charging devices. Among those devices are the Cabin portable battery case, the Cabin charging dock and the Magadaptor that plugs into the Lightning charging cord also from HEVO. The Cabin case also has the same magnetic connectors, which makes it compatible with the Magadaptor and charging dock.

MORE: 7 Killer Kickstarter Alternatives

The 2200mAh Cabin portable battery is slim compared to most batteries and offers up to 130 percent additional battery life. The charging stand can also sync the iPhone if connected to a computer. The magnet will keep the phone in its case, and makes it easy to shift between devices. 

Cabin’s Kickstarter currently offers the opportunity to preorder the three devices. Backers can preorder the microadaptor and Magadaptor for $25. Users can add a dock at the $59 level, or a portable battery at $99. The first 200 to preorder the whole package will pay $135. Any other preorders will cost$145. HEVO expects to release the first orders by November 2014. Cabin seems expensive when compared to wireless charger kits like the Duracell Powermat, but the number of accessories seems to make up for it. 

While the iPhone 6 is rumored to have wireless charging abilities, the current iPhone 5s or 5c doesn’t. Would wireless charging be a reason to swap from Android? 

How to Root the LG G Watch

July 16th, 2014 by David Cogen

Featured Image

Tech-savvy Android users have long enjoyed the process or rooting (gaining administrative control) their phones, but what about your smartwatch? By rooting your LG G Watch today, you can improve responsiveness and battery life a bit with a lot more options and mods coming in the near fture. Here’s how to gain root access to your LG G Watch.

Note: This method only works on Windows so you need a Windows computer to complete this procedure. 

1. Navigate to the Android SDK site if you don’t already have the Android SDK with the latest updates. If you do, skip to step 9.

SDK Site

2. Click on Get the SDK for an Existing IDE > Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Stand Alone SDK

3. Check that you agree to the terms and click Download the Stand Alone SDK for Windows.

Download SDK

4. Save the SDK to your Desktop.

Save to Desktop

5. Double click the exe file and follow the prompts.

Run SDK

6. Make sure it is c:\android-sdk\ in the text field when prompted before hitting Next.

Install Location

7. Continue until it installs and then check the box that says Start SDK Manager and hit Finish.

Finish

8. Check off Tools and click Install.

Check Tools

 

MORE: LG G Watch Review

9. Double tap on the Watch Face to bring up the voice prompt for Google Now.

Google Now

10. Scroll down and select Settings > About.

About

11. Continue to tap Build Number until it says you are a developer.

Developer

12. Go back and then tap on Developer Options and check ADB Debugging on.

ADB Debugging

13. Connect the watch to your computer via USB.

USB

14. On your paired phone, check the Always box and tap Allow.

Allow RSA

15. Navigate to C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ on your PC, hold shift on your keyboard, right-click in any blank area, and select open command window here.

Open Cmd Window

16. Type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of the line:

adb reboot bootloader

Reboot Bootloader

17. When it reboots, type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot oem unlock

OEM Unlock

18. On the watch, tap the right arrow and then the circle to accept.

Unlock Bootloader

19. Download the Root Boot image for the G Watch and save it inside the c:\android-sdk\platform-tools\ folder.

Root Boot Image

20. Type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of the line:

fastboot boot LGGW-rootboot.img

Flash Root Boot

21. Pair the device with your phone and renable ADB Debugging.

Reenable USB

22. Type the following into the command prompt with hitting enter at the end of each line:

adb shell
su

SU

If you see root@dory, you are all set!

Root Access

 

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential.

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Most Anticipated Smartphones of 2014

July 1st, 2014 by Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer

2014 has already seen its fair share of quality smartphones, from the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 to the LG G3. But the year is far from over, and Apple fans the world over are chomping at the bit for the iPhone 6. Samsung is expected to take on its biggest rival by launching a new Note phablet (and possibly a metal S5). Meanwhile, Android purists are holding out for Google’s next Nexus. The coming months look pretty exciting, with the biggest names in tech battling it out for smartphone dominance. Here’s what we expect to see for the rest of the year.

How to Jailbreak iOS 7.1.1 on Your iPhone or iPad

June 30th, 2014 by David Cogen

 

Pangu Featured

By jailbreaking (aka gaining admin rights) to your iPhone or iPad, you can do everything from changing the  system font to installing custom live wallpapers. Up until now, there was no way to jailbreak devices with  iOS 7.1.1, the current OS version. However, a Chinese developer team named Pangu has come to the rescue releasing a simple jailbreak for iOS 7.1.1 for all iOS devices. Before you begin, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Note: The Pangu jailbreak is controversial and may deliver malware if downloaded from an unofficial source. 
  • As with every new jailbreak, the developers of the tweaks (the apps you use to alter the system after jailbreaking) will need to update their tweaks before they work well with the new 7.1.1 version of iOS.
  • This only works on Windows at the moment, but the developer has plans to release a Mac version. The procedure below will be the same regardless as you will just download the Mac version instead of the Windows version if it is available.
  • You must have the latest version of iTunes installed. If you don’t, please head to Apple’s iTunes page, download it, and install it.

1. Navigate to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (or Passcode if not on an iPhone 5S) and tap Turn Passcode Off.

Turn Passcode Off 

2. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time and turn off Set Automatically.

Set Automatically Off 3. Change the date to June 2nd, 2014 and plug the phone into the computer via USB.

Change Date

MORE: 10 Tips and Tricks Every iPhone Owner Should Know

 4. Download Pangu to your desktop and double click it.

Pangu Program

5. Uncheck the box in Pangu (this stops it from loading other software on to your iPhone besides Cydia).

Uncheck

6. Click the ???? button.

???? Button

7. On your iPhone, tap on the Pangu app icon after the progress bar in Pangu gets halfway and pauses.

Pangu

8. Wait for it to reboot a few times and you should see Cydia now on the homescreen.

Cydia

9. Open Cydia and let it install everything. Then you’re done.

Open Cydia

 

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. If you want to see what you can do with your iPhone now that it’s jailbroken, head to the how to’s section of his site for videos on the best jailbreak tweaks you can now install.

How to Root the Samsung Galaxy S5 (AT&T and Verizon)

June 27th, 2014 by David Cogen

Featured Image

Shortly after the Galaxy S5 launched in April, we published a how-to which explains how to root (gain admin rights to) the T-Mobile version of Samsung’s flagship phone. Unfortunately, even the brightest Android developers could not find a root method for the AT&T and Verizon versions of the phone, until now. Thanks to Geohot, the kid who famously jailbroke the first iPhone, we have a way to root the Samsung Galaxy S5 on America’s two largest carriers. By rooting your Galaxy S5, you’ll be able to fully delete bloatware, overclock your phone or run one of many rooted apps.

Here’s how to root your AT&T or Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5.

1. Navigate to Settings > Security > Check on your phone and check Unknown Sources.

unknown-sources

2. Navigate to http://TowelRoot.com on your device.

Go to Towelroot

 

MORE: 12 Worst Android Annoyances and How to Fix Them

3. Tap on the Lambda in the center of the page.

Tap the Lambda

4. Tap OK when asked if you want to download it.

Tap OK to Download

5. Pull down the notification shade and tap on the notification that says the Download Complete.

Tap download complete

6. Tap Install. 

Tap Install

7. Open TowelRoot from your app drawer.

Tap TowelRoot 

8. Tap Make It Ra1n and let it do its thing. 

Tap Make it Rain

9. Search for and install SuperSU from the Play Store.

Install SuperSU 

10. Open SuperSU one time and let it set up the binaries if needed.

Open SuperSU

11. Search for and install Root Checker from the Play Store.

Install Root Checker 

12. Open Root Checker.

Open Root Checker

13. Tap Verify Root.

Tap Verify Root

You should see “Congratulations!”. Enjoy. 

Cobgratulations

 

David Cogen’s site, TheUnlockr.com, is a popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how to’s to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential. If you want to see what you can do with your Samsung Galaxy S5 now that it’s rooted, head to the ROM repository to flash a custom ROM and open up a new world of possibilities.

Top 10 iPhone Alternatives

June 17th, 2014 by Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief

Apple’s iPhone 5s is one of the best smartphones in the world, but it has some drawbacks. Its 4-inch display, though bright, is significantly smaller than the 5 to 5.5-inch screens found on today’s leading Android handsets. And while its interface is slick and easy to use, it’s not nearly as customizable as Android, or as unique as Microsoft’s Windows Phone. If you’re looking for something different than Apple’s smartphone, these are the handsets for you.

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