The Samsung Galaxy S4 root is successful, opening the door to customizations and ROMS on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 powered Galaxy S4.
This Galaxy S4 root is different than the originally reported root in that it is actually tested on the Samsung Galaxy S4, by Chainfire, a well-known member fo the developer community.
Earlier this week reports of a Samsung Galaxy S4 root for the Exynos version surfaced, using methods which normally root a Samsung Galaxy device. This method does not work on the Samsung Galaxy S4 thanks to enhanced security measures from Samsung.
The new Samsung Galaxy S4 security measures appear linked to Samsung KNOX and Samsung’s ambitions to gain more enterprise sales, rather than an outright attack on rooting and ROMS.
A Samsung Galaxy S4 root opens the door to full access of the Galaxy S4 by the end user. Rooting allows users to install customized ROMS that combine features and tweaks from various sources and allows the use of apps which don’t work on an un-rooted phone.
After additional time with the Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) model, Chainfire posted a Galaxy S4 root process in the xda-developer forums. This Galaxy S4 root is only available for the GT-I9505 Qualcomm Snapdragon model with LTE. At this time the root works on the XXUAMD2 firmware, but it may require additional tweaking by the time the Galaxy S4 release comes around. Often times, the phone will ship with a new firmware or receive an update just after release. This could require additional work to complete a GalaxY S4 root.
According to Chainfire, support for the Exynos powered Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500) may come after the public release, assuming Samsung includes an update firmware with fewer restrictions, similar to the GT-I9505.
It remains unclear exactly how the success on the Qualcomm powered LTE equipped Galaxy S4 translates into the U.S. versions of the device. The Samsung Galaxy S4 in the U.S. will use the same Snapdragon 600 processor as the GT-I9505 and supports LTE, which is a good sign.
The AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4 devices feature different model numbers, specific to Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile and Sprint Galaxy S4 devices will likely feature the same type of variations. Hopefully the firmwares on these devices are of the unrestricted kinds, which will allow developers to provide a root tool.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 release starts in late April internationally and the first U.S. Galaxy S4 release is set for May 1st on T-Mobile. AT&T is set to take Galaxy S4 pre-orders on April 16th. Greater device availability should aid the root and development efforts.