Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The One Resource You'll Need To Root Your T-Mobile Galaxy S3

I've never really had a need to root my phone before. That changed a couple days ago.

With my new found Android hacking powers, I now crave the perfect script to execute when I plug my phone into the my car charger. I was able to create a script that did most of what I wanted: turn Bluetooth on, WiFi tethering on and driving mode on. But, I hit a stumbling block with turning on the GPS - you can't do so in Tasker without root access.

A couple of Google searches turned up a number of pages that explained just how easy it was to root your phone. 10 minutes, and I'd be all set. I started down the path with these clear instructions. Except, half way through, the instructions no longer matched up with what I was seeing and I saw some error about a file verification signature not matching. Gulp.

Fortunately, I poked around further till I found this video tutorial:

I was able to closely follow this video and sure enough, I painlessly rooted my phone.

With root access in place, I was able to follow these instructions for creating a GPS On and GPS Off task.

Finally, I can sleep better at night knowing that the driving I don't usually have to do can be done with a device that doesn't require a single clunky press of a GPS On button. Nope, I'm fully automated. Whew.

So now that I've got a rooted device, what's next? What apps do I absolutely need to install?

7 comments:

  1. so out of curiosity, have you really found any battery savings by enabling and disabling GPS? I just leave it on 24x7 and have never really had any battery issues.

    But most of all thanks for finding a root process that was simple to follow.... now I know what I'll be doing this weekend.

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  2. The battery life on the S3 has really been an issue for me. Shira suggested that turning off the GPS might help, and while I didn't believe her at first, I finally did and I think I'm seeing an improvement.

    It's definitely not scientific, but it seems to help.

    Good luck rooting, let me know how it goes. For a pro like yourself, it should be a walk in the park.

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  3. Hi Ben. Have you tried to accomplish the tasks in the second sentence of your second paragraph with NFC tags? It seems that you've already found another solution that works for you, but NFC tags may be something that will be useful for you, as well.

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  4. Jamea -

    Part of me loves the idea of using NFC tags. But part of me also thinks they are just going to be a clunky gimmick.

    In the case of the car scenario, I think it actually makes more sense to link it to plugging it into the car charger, rather than an NFC tag, because I really only want to turn on all those services if I'm plugged in. If I'm not plugged in, then I'd rather save my battery and just be a plain old phone.

    Still, what's your experience with NFC tags? Do you need to hover over them for a long time to take effect, or is it really a touch and go thing?

    I'm also a big fan of QR codes. I wonder how Tasker and QR codes mix to make a poor man's NFC code.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you are able to launch all of those tasks once you plug in your car charger, then you have saved one step over what you would perform with an NFC tag. I'm curious though; do the tasks only launch with the car charger or do they launch when the phone is connected to any charger?

    I use NFC tags in the car to turn on/off Bluetooth and to silence/turn on the ringers. I can combine these into one tag, but I haven't yet. I don't always need to silence my ringers, so I wanted a separate tag for that. I also use one at work to launch XM Radio on the phone.

    I would say that it's pretty much tap-and-go for the tag to launch the task on the phone. I just tried it and the task launched as fast as I could move without dropping the phone! The more inconvenient part is that you have to wake up and unlock the phone first. However, since you are rooted, there are ROMs out there that allow you to use the NFC function if the phone is locked and/or asleep.

    NFC tags aren't too expensive. They run a little over $1 each on Amazon from Tagstand. Samsung TecTiles are "prettier", but more expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  6. > do the tasks only launch with the car charger or do they launch when the phone is connected to any charger?

    Good question. They launch when I plug them into an AC connection, versus a USB connection.

    At night, I use my computer to charge the phone - so this works well.

    Of course this means that if I did plug my phone into a regular wall outlet it would think that it was a car connection. But so far, this hasn't been an issue.

    > I would say that it's pretty much tap-and-go for the tag to launch the task on the phone. I just tried it and the task launched as fast as I could move without dropping the phone! The more inconvenient part is that you have to wake up and unlock the phone first. However, since you are rooted, there are ROMs out there that allow you to use the NFC function if the phone is locked and/or asleep.

    Hmmm, thanks for the info. You know, I think I'll give the NFC tags a try.

    Really appreciate it.

    -Ben

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One other thing that I forgot to mention (I hope that I'm not too late) is that if you download the Tagstand NFC Task Launcher app, they will give you 20% off of your purchase of NFC tags.

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