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How working for Google changed Android hacking for Magisk maker John Wu

How working for Google changed Android hacking for Magisk maker John Wu

The creator of the popular Android hacking (rooting, modifying) system Magisk revealed some key updates this week. After having been hired by Google in May of this year, John Wu went a bit silent for a while. Rumors ran wild - which is understandable, when one of the most prominent Android hackers joins Google's Android Platform Security team. Now we get a bit of clarity.

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Android rooting tool developer joins Google Android security team

Android rooting tool developer joins Google Android security team

Every so often, a lone software developer's skills and dedication eventually gets noticed by some big company who then swoops up said developer, making an offer they almost can't refuse. Every so often, however, that also means that the developer no longer has time or opportunity to work on the thing that earned them that fame. Sometimes, however, things get even trickier because of potential conflicts of interests, a situation that may face the Android rooting community now that Magisk's developer is now working for Google.

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Nintendo Switch Android root released – but why?

Nintendo Switch Android root released – but why?

Today an unofficial root project was released for Nintendo Switch, allowing the masses to access Android on the device. But why? Why would you drop in on this sort of software when you have a Nintendo Switch in the first place? Today we're taking a look at what it'll take to access this software AND why you might want to do so - or avoid doing so.

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Oculus Quest 2 rooting could bypass Facebook requirement

Oculus Quest 2 rooting could bypass Facebook requirement

The Oculus Quest 2 is an admittedly impressive kit as far as standalone VR systems go. Its otherwise positive debut, however, has been marred by controversy, confusion, and consternation over the requirement to have and use a Facebook account to even use the previously independent product. Unsurprisingly, there have been attempts to circumvent that requirement but the most successful one so far is also asking for trouble by jailbreaking the Quest 2 that will surely force Facebook to respond in kind.

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Google SafetyNet update might be the end for Android rooting, custom ROMs

Google SafetyNet update might be the end for Android rooting, custom ROMs

One of Android's selling features is its openness. Some of it is by design, like the ability to use different app launchers or default apps. Others, however, are products of some rather involved hacking and development, specifically rooting and custom ROMs. Unfortunately, it seems that the latter set of superpowers might soon be coming to an end as Google ramps up its efforts to secure the Android platform, a move that could also make that same platform less attractive to a particular class of users.

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Google Stadia on non-Pixel phone possible with root for now

Google Stadia on non-Pixel phone possible with root for now

Stadia is easily one of Google's most controversial products of late, and, fortunately, not because of any privacy concerns. But despite the rocky start and loads of disgruntled subscribers, a less vocal number of Founder's Edition buyers are reporting mostly positive experiences. That may be enough for some Buddy Pass recipients to be excited about the service but may find some requirements, like a Pixel phone, to be beyond their budget. Fortunately, it seems possible to run Stadia on any Android phone, provided it has been rooted.

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Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures can be remapped but you need root access

Pixel 4 Motion Sense gestures can be remapped but you need root access

The radar-based Motion Sense is in danger of becoming the Pixel 4's Bixby Button, unwanted and unused. Or to be more precise, it's unused because it's actually unavailable in most markets, at least officially. Perhaps that's the reason why Google is in no hurry to make any Motion Sense API available to app developers to use outside of Google's official list. Fortunately, just like Motion Sense itself, some developers have developed ways to work around those limitations but it won't be an easy task.

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Pixel 4 low screen brightness has a fix that requires root

Pixel 4 low screen brightness has a fix that requires root

If Pixel phones are supposed to represent Google's vision for the perfect Android phone, the Pixel 4 is doing a rather poor job at it. In addition to some concerns about face recognition security, the wasted potential of Soli radar, and the newly-revealed durability problem, the Pixel 4's screen is also generating some disappointment among owners. Fortunately, most of these problems can be fixed through software. Unfortunately, one such fix requires users to root their phones first.

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Nokia 7.2 reported to have an unlockable bootloader

Nokia 7.2 reported to have an unlockable bootloader

HMD Global may be earning accolades for its speed in rolling out updates to its Nokia phones (still not as fast as Essential, though) but it doesn't have a good reputation among some Android modders and hackers. In particular, Nokia phones are notorious for practically being useless as far as rooting and using ROMs are concerned because the bootloader gates are tightly locked. It seems, however, that the Nokia 7.2 might be the first of its kind to be different though it remains to be seen if it's by accident only or by intention.

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Right to Repair ruling has huge implications for Alexa, consoles, cars

Right to Repair ruling has huge implications for Alexa, consoles, cars

If you follow the technology industry, there's a good chance you've heard the phrase "right to repair" at least once or twice. While many manufacturers want to restrict consumers' ability to repair the devices they own or take it to a third party for repairs, there are people on the other side of that argument who have been trying to keep that right. This is a battle and a debate that has raged on for years at this point, but today, Right to Repair proponents were granted a pretty huge win.

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Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL now rooted with Magisk

Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL now rooted with Magisk

The Pixel phones have replaced the Nexus line and while the former may have more exclusive features than the latter, that doesn’t always make them less open. In fact, just a few days after the Pixel 3 finally became available, it has already been rooted. Not the usual SuperSU root method, mind, but with the more modern modular Magisk framework. Suffice it to say, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are about to become even more interesting in the hands of modders and hackers.

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Pokemon GO scans users’ files to root out rooted phones

Pokemon GO scans users’ files to root out rooted phones

While rooted devices may have security implications for owners themselves, they’re also seen as potential threats to one specific class of Android apps: online games. Rooted devices have the potential to install modified versions of the game that could, in theory, give players an unfair advantage. That’s why some developers, by default, prevent rooted devices from playing their games. While that may be understandable, Pokemon GO developer Niantic Labs is using a rather controversial method to do so.

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