One of the best things about the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the ability to modify the device in countless ways, as with any other Android device.
A recent guide on adding softkeys to the GS3 from mod Faisal inspired me to share some information on how to edit build.prop, which is your device's "ID Card". It tells applications the specifications of your device, so that apps adjust their interface or function for your specific device.
Editing the build.prop file is most commonly used for changing LCD density, build number, and your device's model or manufacturer. Changing your "fingerprint", model, or manufacturer can trick some apps in the market into becoming compatible with your device.
- A rooted Samsung Galaxy S3.
- A root-capable file explorer. I'll be using ES File Explorer. Make sure to go to Settings, Root Settings, and have all the items checked off.
- A current nandroid/backup of your device.
Proceed with caution: Attempting to modify and/or overwrite core system files may be detrimental to the function of your device, which could result in lost and unrecoverable data. Make sure to back up your device before continuing with this guide.
You'll first need to open up the build.prop file. Open the ES File Explorer app, navigate to the "system" folder, and click on "build.prop".
Then open the file using the app's ES Note Editor.
There are too many hacks and mods that can be unleashed through the build.prop file on your GS3. Below are the major ones; their function in bold, and the line/lines you'll need to add underneath.
- Fast Reboot
- Increasing the Video Recording Quality
- Screen Rotate to 270 Degrees
- Increase VM Heap Size (Resolve Some FC's)
- Render UI with GPU
- Increasing It Will Make Mobile Smoother
- Video Acceleration Enabled
- Increase Performance
- Disable Sending Usage Data
- Deeper Sleep / Better Battery Life
- Ringing Will Start Immediately
- Disable Error Checking
- Increase Quality of Media Streaming
- Disable BootAnimation
- Force Launcher to Remain in Memory
- Disable Waking Up of Phone by Volume Buttons
- Off the Proximity Quickly After Call
- Signal Tweaks
- NetSpeed Tweaks
- Google DNS Tweak
- Increase Photo and Video Quality
- Touch Responsiveness
- Scrolling Responsiveness
- Power Save Tweaks
- Disables Debug Icon on Status Bar
- Faster Scrolling
- Wi-Fi to Scan Less Frequently
- Improve Battery When No Signal
- Frees RAM to Allow Applications to Load Faster (edit existing line)
For extensive information on all of the workings of build.prop, check out this comprehensive guide by Jeff Mixon.
Now that you've chosen what you want to add to the file, let's edit it. I will add "Touch Responsiveness" and "Scrolling Responsiveness" as an example.
- Scroll to the bottom of the file.
- Enter a description for the hack(s) you want to implement by typing "#" and a description.
- Very carefully input the hack(s) you want to implement.
Once you've entered all of the hacks you want to implement, back out of the editor and save the file when prompted.
Now that you've edited build.prop, it's time to "activate" the changes you've made.
- Reboot into recovery. If you do not have this option in your power menu, turn the device all of the way off, and get into recovery by pressing Volume Up + Home + Power.
- In recovery, you want to Wipe Cache and Wipe Dalvik Cache. This will clear standing caches for your apps so that there are no issues with your new build.prop file.
- Now go ahead and reboot your device.
Depending on what you added to the file, you may or may not notice any immediate changes. Now that you've done it once, you can play around with different settings. If you're on a custom ROM, check out any hacks your developer may have thrown in.
The possibilities are vast and you now have a glimpse into the amazing level customization available for our devices.