How to Manually Update the Sprint Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.3

Posted: October 31, 2013

The aging Sprint Galaxy Nexus is finally going to start receiving an Android 4.3 update today and into the coming weeks with a random deployment over the air. If you do not want to wait, you can manually update to 4.3 from the most recent stock version, 4.2.1 (the official GA02 build) by following these steps. These steps assume that you have stock everything on the GA02 build.
  1. Download the new 4.3 update direct from Google.
  2. Download the Android SDK if you do not already have it (you will need ADB for this). Make sure you have the Samsung drivers downloaded as well.
  3. While those are downloading get back on your phone and go to settings → About Phone and check the Baseband version and Build number - they should both end in L700GA02 (see screenshot).
  4. Now while you are in the "About Phone" menu tap the build number until it says, "You are now a Developer."  
  5. Now go to Settings → Developer options and check on "USB debugging" and then plug your phone into your computer (leaving it on).
  6. On your computer move the update zip file you downloaded (it has a very long name but should end in "GA02_to_GJ04" into the platform tools folder of the Android SDK (or wherever ADB resides on your computer).
  7. Now go to the "Platform Tools" folder of the Android SDK, press shift + right click and select "Open command window here" - you can also open command prompt and then cd to this folder.
  8. In command prompt, type:
    1. adb devices to make sure your phone is recognized by adb (if not check that you have installed the necessary drivers).
  9. In command prompt, type: 
    1. adb reboot recovery
  10. Your phone will now reboot into recovery. Press the power button then volume up to get to the recovery menu.
  11. Once you see the recovery menu pop up, press volume down to select "apply update from ADB" then press the power button to start.
  12. Now go back to the platform tools folder on your computer and copy the name of the zip file you downloaded that ends in "...update_mysidspr_GA02_to_GJ04"
  13. In command prompt, type: 
    1. adb sideload [paste filename here].zip replacing [paste filename here] with the actual file name that ends in GJ04 and ADD ".zip" to the end so that it looks like the following screenshot, then press enter.
  14. When it is done installing (it will take a while) your phone will show that the update completed and it will give you the option to reboot by pressing the power button again. Do so, and you are done.

Google Nexus 5 is Released

Google Nexus 5 Released
Today Google announced the Nexus 5.  It has been heavily leaked in the past few weeks, but now it is finally official.  The device is made by LG and has some pretty impressive specs considering the reasonable price of $349 for the 16GB version and $399 for the 32GB one.

The specs include a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, a 4.95" 1080p IPS LCD display with 445 ppi, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, and a front facing 1.3MP camera.

The Nexus 5 also comes with the latest Android OS, Android 4.4 KitKat. Some important new features in 4.4 include improvements to the camera and messaging apps. One interesting thing to note is Google is obviously trying to deal with Android fragmentation by creating this version of the OS to be able to run on lower end devices with only 512MB of RAM. You can read more from the official announcement or from the Nexus 5 page.

However, one of the best aspects of this phone is that it supports most US carriers - both GSM and CDMA providers.  That means you can activate it on AT&T, T-mobile, and Sprint.  Only Verizon appears to have excluded themselves from the Nexus 5.

I use a Sprint MVNO called Ting as my service provider and I am hoping that Sprint will allow them to activate the Nexus 5, but it is unknown at this point. They do, learn how to activate the Nexus 5 on Ting.

How to Turn Off Camcorder or Video Recorder Sounds on a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2 or S3

Posted: October 24, 2013

I have a Sprint Samsung Galaxy SII that I use on my favorite provider, Ting, and have learned a few things about turning off annoying sounds that are typically not user-adjustable on Sprint phones.

Update: if you do not wish to root your device or want to mute other sounds, check out my guide on muting any sounds with Tasker.

This tutorial was prompted by questions asked on another post, How to Turn of Galaxy S2 Camera Sounds.  This adjustment requires that you have a rooted device, but if your device is already rooted it is a very simple fix.

First, if you do not already have some sort of root file browser, download one - I am using root browser lite in this tutorial - but anything that can change file permission will work fine.

Now open the root browser and navigate to system → media → audio → ui as shown below:
Once you are in the "ui" folder look for two files, "Cam_Start.ogg" and "Cam_Stop.ogg" as shown below:
These are the sound files that make the noise when recording video.  Long press Cam_Start.ogg first and then press "Permissions" as shown below. Once you have selected permissions, UN-check all of the permissions as shown below and press OK:
Repeat this process for "Cam_Stop.ogg", again turning off all of the permissions. Once you have turned off all the permissions the Cam_Start.ogg and Cam_Stop.ogg files should look like this with no read or write permissions:
That should be all you have to do to turn off the video camera sounds. You can learn more about how to turn off the regular Galaxy S2 camera sounds, and how to turn off the boot and power down sounds if you really want to stop all the annoying noises this phone makes :)