It was never in doubt that Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, would be rooted, allowing consumers to remove Samsung’s TouchWiz interface and install custom ROMs. What was unexpected was that the root would happen more than a week before its European launch date.
Last Friday evening, while the whole world was still speculating about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s IPO, a user on the XDA Developers forum named Chainfire posted the keys to the Galaxy S III kingdom. Chainfire detailed the process for rooting the phone, calling the process “trivial.” From the post:
This root is, as expected, trivial. It was a simple matter of repacking the stock kernel, with a modified adbd binary that thinks ro.secure=0 (even if ro.secure=1). This gives access to all adb root commands (see screenshots). Then SuperSU was installed manually.
Later on Saturday, after verifying that it was not tracable, Chainfire updated the post with a link to the insecure kernel. As was the case with the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II, the bootloader for the Galaxy S III was already unlocked. Nearly every exclusive aspect of the Galaxy S III has been leaked now, including the Android version of Flipboard and Samsung’s S-Voice – it’s Apple Siri competitor.
Customers who root their phones will be able to install custom ROMs that are closer to a pure Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich experience. These ROMs often enable extra features for the Android operating system, or reenable features that may have been disabled by manufacturers or carriers, such as tethering.