George Hotz is known in the jailbreak scene by his pseudonym GeoHot for years. Several times he has already developed or designed tools which lets users crack their iPhones. Now he is also active in the Android camp and has a free software available for download published on the net, with which it is now possible to obtain root privileges on the Samsung Galaxy S4 with 1 single click!
The application is called Towelroot and is currently available in version 1.3. On the website, a conventional APK file has to be downloaded, which can be installed on any Android device, if you allow the installation of software from unknown sources. This is done in the menu settings.
After installing the software your phone will automatically restart. Now a button with the text “Make it ra1n” is available – the same name GeoHot chose in the past, even with jailbreak tools.
Once you ran Towelroot, you should now have access after a reboot. You can test this with apps that require special access and are labeled accordingly in the Google Play Store. Or you can download Root Checker.
Officially Towelroot was made specifically for the S5 and the Note 3. But according to user reports can also be other Android phones such as the S3 and you can even use it on S4’s Mini models (see the specific instructions for that here), the Google Nexus 4 and 5 and can as well provide root access to various devices from LG. With Android smartphones from HTC, Towelroot does not work.
I will have to wait and see whether Samsung will complicate the root access on its smartphones as part of future firmware updates. In the past, the company had already access to the service menu which was impossible to have, for example, it allowed users to limit the wireless coverage to the LTE network, which is not possible via the traditional menu.
Current industry rumors say that the S5 will still get an update this month to Android 4.4.3.
It should also be noted that this for owners of Android phones is certainly attractive, since some functions are only available by getting it rooted., but it does void your warranty! So know that before proceeding.
Here’s a brief video that shows you how the process works if you’re interested: