Android operating systems are based on the Linux kernel — my personal favorite kernel and operating system out of any that are in existence in the whole world. However, just because they are my favorite doesn’t mean they are perfect. No operating system comes close — yet — to perfection. One of the problems that Android operating systems have on mobile devices is the fact that you can only control one audio device connected to the handset running Android at any given time. While that is undoubtedly a royal pain, there is a way around it. The way we get around the problem is by installing the Viper4Android application — an app that is only available for those of you with a rooted operating system. The Viper4Android app allows Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners to control the music playback through the speakers, Bluetooth, and headset for any audio that you connect to the Galaxy Note smartphone.
The rooting exploit in this guide is based on LRX21V.N9008SZCUCOH2, which is part of an Android 5.0 Lollipop software update roll out to some regions. You do not need to have the same firmware build number running on your Note 3 smartphone before you follow this guide. The build ID is just given there for you to use as an indicator only. Chainfire says that some Samsung devices will not boot old images so you might need to take a look at the build number and install a build of a similar date to get your device rooted.
What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?
When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.
Why Would You Want to Root Android?
Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:
- Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
- Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
- Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
- Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.
What Are the Risks of Rooting?
If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.
With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:
- Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
- You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
- You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.
Files You Need
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Note 3 SM-N9008S on Android 5.0 Lollipop from here.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone from here.
You must have the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with the SM-N9008S model number to use this guide or else the rooting package will brick the device. You can find out the Note 3’s model number by tapping on the Settings icon > About Device > Model Number.
You must have a computer that is running a Windows operating system to use this guide or else the flashing tool will not work.
There will likely be some Android updates to the software that bring new bootloaders. These updates usually happen when Android is updated to a new version number. When that happens, Chainfire relies on the users like yourselves to submit the new recovery image files to the official CF-Auto-Root thread created by Chainfire over at the XDA-Developers website.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9008S running the Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Turn on the USB Debugging Mode on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone before you follow the rest of the guide.
- Extract the CF-Auto-Root tool to the desktop of the computer.
- Install the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer so your smartphone from Samsung can connect to the computer and be detected by the flashing tool.
- Double-click the Odin executable file that is on the desktop of the computer.
- Press the Power button on the Note 3 smartphone and choose to turn it off from the menu.
- Reboot the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone by pressing the hardware button combination for the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable that you usually use to charge the device which is the same USB cable that you found your device came with out of the box.
- Wait for at least five to ten seconds for the drivers to start working and then look for a yellow or blue ID: COM port coming from the Odin user interface letting you know that your device has been detected by the flashing tool and is now ready to flash.
- Do not change any of the default settings that are available from the Odin user interface. (Those are the default settings that you would usually see after extracting and opening a new Odin flashing tool version. Anyone who is using an existing Odin flashing tool version and has played with the default settings beforehand should download the rooting package and use the Odin flashing tool package that comes bundled with the rooting file, so you have a fresh copy.)
- Click the AP button from the Odin user interface and then browse the desktop for the rooting file that is ending in the tar.md5 extension and only available to you after you did the extraction at the beginning of the guide.
- Click the Start button from the Odin user interface and then look over at the display for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.
- Check that you can see your Galaxy Note 3 stating that it is installing the SuperSU application, cleaning the cache partition and the reflashing the stock recovery.
- Look up at the display of the computer and check the Odin user interface gives you a pass message in a green box.
In conclusion, that is all you need to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9008S running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop software updates by using the updated version of the CF-Auto-Root tool by Chainfire and a computer that is running a version of the Windows operating system. Your Note 3 device will now reboot back into the normal mode where you will find the SuperSU application is now available from your application drawer. That SuperSU application will automatically be running each time you install a root requiring an application from the Google Play Store. All you need to do is be on the look out for messages asking you to grant the rooting permissions to the apps you want to have them. Additionally, you can open the Google Play Store and download the basic root checker app free and test if your device is properly rooted.
Furthermore, you can install one of the other versions of the Odin flashing application if you need to try a new version to get the guide to work. There will be times when one version of Odin — like the version that comes bundled with your rooting package — does not work for your Samsung Galaxy Note 3. These times appear to be completely random and unpredictable. All you need to do is extract a different Odin version much the same way as you extracted the rooting package that revealed the Odin you used in the guide above and then flash your rooting file in the new version of the Odin flashing application. The version of Odin that comes bundled with the Galaxy Note 3 rooting package is the Odin 3.10, but you can try the Odin 3.09 or even the Odin 3.07 instead.
Moreover, sometimes a device might not get into the recovery mode that is necessary for a device to be rooted. Chainfire says that any device that does not get into recovery mode after the flashing completes will not be rooted, and you will need to boot the device into the recovery mode manually. You can do that by pressing the hardware button combination for the recovery mode once the flashing is complete.