S4 Active

Load custom ROMs without touching the original boot loader using Safestrap

Folks with a Galaxy S4 on AT&T or Verizon, as well as users with the Galaxy S4 Active have a new method of loading custom ROMs in the works — Safestrap. Originally born out of necessity for the Motorola Droid line — many of which were and still are locked down tightly — Safestrap allows you to load a custom ROM of your choosing after your phone is booted.

What happens is that a system process the runs at the end of the boot process gets hijacked by crafty Android hackers, and is pointed to a bit of custom code that loads a sort of virtual machine running a custom recovery, which can continue loading a ROM of the users choosing. The original ROM is still safe and sound, it's just not active. Of course this is a simplified version of events. For the more technically inclined, you'll want to have a look at the further discussion here

Since AT&T and Verizon seem to have a need to get manufacturers — even ones who have been typically developer friendly like Samsung — to lock down their phones, seeing this come to the S4 and the S4 Active is really cool. The project is still in its infancy, so there will be bugs galore, but I have a feeling this one will grow into something very nice. Have a look at the link below for all the information you need to give it a try.

Source: XDA. Thanks, Matthew!

There are 12 comments

sublimaze says:

Nice. The devs should change the Safestrap icon to a big middle finger.

Some people are more professional than that I suppose.

brannan.f says:

Looking good for the peeps that took MF3 ota.

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ctleng76 says:

This is why I love the Android OS. If you don't like something about your phone, give it time, someone will figure out how to change it. Kudos to the devs working hard on this!

mrmartin86 says:


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Raptor007 says:

Glad to see they have found a way around the carrier lock down crap. I hope they can expand support for the GN3 so we can enjoy the custom bennies.

sharpehenry says:

As soon as unroot method (besides trip to the best buy) is available, I would definately give this a try. I'm always scared to do stuff if I have no way of going back to pure stock. This is a great news by the way. Keep up the good work!

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AlertTheSky says:

I work at Best Buy so one day I decided I didn't like my current ROM so I went to the samsung table and thought maybe I should let them wipe it for App to SD support! Great Idea....except I was never able to go back, now I'm just stuck on ME7 now with App to SD support and root. I would love to have Hyperdrive again.

Nick Sages says:

try restoring via ODIN mode and then rerooting. worked for me when i accidentally deleted my recovery image and soft bricked the phone

movielover76 says:

Glad I never took MF3 for my AT&T S4, but I'm glad the great devs are finding a way around it for those stuck with the MF3 baseband.

flybub says:

I've been following the thread over on xda and I am stoked about this! Well done dev's!!

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K Roberts says:

Awesome 12days I hope everybody gets what they want!!