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Latest Features▼ Android

[April Fools! Sort of...] Introducing XDA:BOOT

Every year at around this time, we here at XDA-Developers like to take a step back and figure out what we can do to make our little home on the web an even better place. About four years ago, we accomplished this by introducing the world to XDA Core. And then two years later, this meant shifting our priorities to a demonstrably superior operating system.

Today, I’d like to share with you a truly revolutionary idea that was the result of many femtoseconds of reptilian planning. I am, of course, referring to XDA:Ban On One’s Terms, also known . . . READ ON »

F2FS Put to the Test Against EXT4

F2FS Put to the Test Against EXT4

You may recall that earlier this month, we talked about speeding up the original Nexus 7′s internal memory by using F2FS. F2FS was created at Samsung early last year for use on Linux-based operating systems. As its name implies, Flash-Friendly File System is a file system designed specifically to cater to the specific characteristics of NAND-based storage devices.

This log-structured file system is widely thought to be faster than traditional file systems such as EXT4 on flash memory, but is it really faster? And if so, by how much? XDA Recognized Contributor Androguide.fr set out to measure the performance differences . . . READ ON »

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And Today’s Bully Act is Brought to You by HTC

Ok, the image chosen for this article might be a tad misleading, but it does try to convey a rather important point. HTC is a company that has always worked closely with the underground/hacker/modder/developer community—or at the very least, they have not done a whole lot to prevent us from doing what we like. It has been this way ever since the days of Windows Mobile. They have pretty much kept their distance and have tried to tip toe around the many activities that take place on XDA and similar sites.  However, this has not always been the case and . . . READ ON »

Have You Paid Your Linux Kernel Source License Fee?

256px-License_icon-gpl-4.svgWhen asked for source code, MediaTek asks for money. They literally charge a Licensing Fee to device manufacturers for Linux Kernel source code.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a manufacturer closes off GPL-protected Source Code.  It’s even sadder when they are providing compiled firmware with several severe security vulnerabilities.  It’s sadder even still when they require a license fee.  This is going on right now with MediaTek (MTK), and it’s their standard operating procedure.

2014-03-22

There’s a reason you don’t see many MTK devices in the US and other regions with stricter license enforcement. They are a . . . READ ON »

Just How “Open” is Android Wear?

Just How “Open” is Android Wear?

To say that Android Wear has been on everyone’s mind ever since its unveiling would be a bit of an understatement. While we’re still several months away from being able to purchase Wear-powered devices, we can already install the emulator on our PCs, root it, and even attempt to port the software to other smartwatches such as the original Galaxy Gear and Moto Actv thanks to an emulator system dump.

While much is already know about how Wear will work from an end-user perspective, remarkably little is known about Wear from a developer perspective. Yes, we all know that . . . READ ON »

Google Play Services 4.3 Brings New Analytics, Tag Manager, and Address APIs, and Improvements to Play Games and Drive

For some time now, Google has been combating Android fragmentation by delivering key developer services and frameworks independently of Android OS versions through Google Play Services. And over the past year and a half, we’ve seen several key updates roll out, which have enabled developers to target a wider range of Android devices. Now with Play Services 4.3, Google has incorporated a few additional developer APIs and updated some of their existing services.

New in Google Play Services 4.3

New to Play Services 4.3 are Google Analytics, Tag Manager, and the Address API. Analytics and Tag Manager existed as standalone . . . READ ON »

Nokia X: A Phone for Nobody?

Nokia X: A Phone for Nobody?

It’s now been one day since the official unveiling of the Nokia X lineup at MWC in Barcelona. And while most of the details were already known far in advance, there were a few surprises the day of. For starters, we received not one, but three Android-powered Nokia devices. We also learned a bit more Nokia’s custom UI, including the Fastlane notification center and more specifics about various device specifications. But for the most part, the Nokia X family is almost exactly what we thought it would be—a low end device with a matching low end price tag. So now . . . READ ON »

Meet the Next Big Thing: Samsung’s Galaxy S 5

Meet the Next Big Thing: Samsung’s Galaxy S 5

SM-G900F_charcoal BLACK_01The Samsung Galaxy S 5 has just been officially announced at Samsung’s Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona. And as expected from the latest iteration of Samsung’s flagship, it packs quite a healthy dose of high end specifications and mobile “firsts.” Is Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” for you? Read past the break to learn more.

In many ways, the Galaxy S 5 is simply an evolutionary product. Featuring a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor (other variant available with octo-core Exynos), a 5.1″ 1080p Super AMOLED screen, a 16 MP camera, 2 gigs of RAM, and either 16 or 32 gigs . . . READ ON »

The Android-Powered Nokia X is Here, Comes in 3 Flavors

X-pile-bodyAfter countless headlines through more rumors than the latest fruit-phone, the Android-powered Nokia X is finally a reality—though it may not exactly be everything that you hoped for in a marriage between Nokia and Android. The device claims to offer the best of both worlds by giving access to the world of Android apps while also providing the “signature Nokia experience” through branded first party apps. But is the Nokia X itself truly anything to be excited about?

The Nokia X comes in three flavors: the Nokia X, X+, and XL. They are all very similar from a hardware . . . READ ON »

Google Project Tango to Bring Kinect-Like 3D Awareness to Smartphones

When Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 Billion at the end of last month, many were worried about what this would mean for the future of the team behind Motorola’s modular smartphone project code named Ara. Then one week ago, the ATAP team announced that it would be moving from Motorola to Google. This naturally lead to speculation regarding whether the ATAP team had anything else cooking in their secret ovens. The answer is now here: Google Project Tango.

In its current form, Project Tango is a working prototype of a 5″ smartphone featuring custom hardware and . . . READ ON »

Could a Lenovo-Motorola Nexus 6, an Asus Nexus 8, and an HTC Nexus 10 v2 be in the Works?

Hot off the heels of selling money pit Motorola to Lenovo, could Google be eyeing the new Moto-novo as the next Nexus phone manufacturer? According to sources over at  IB Times Australia, this is highly likely. Ignoring the obvious irony in selecting the now third party Motorola as a Nexus device manufacturer, this alleged partnership could make quite a bit of business sense.

For starters, let’s consider a potential timetable. Since Nexus phones are typically released in the Fall, that would mean that R&D for such a device would have to begin a significant amount of time prior. Assuming . . . READ ON »

ARM Cortex-A17 to Bring High-End Performance and big.LITTLE Support to the Mid-Range

The mobile SoC market is highly dynamic and full of quite a few powerful solutions that have made their way into our flagship devices. We recently talked a bit about Nvidia’s Kepler-based Tegra K1, which will finally bring much of the company’s desktop graphics prowess into the mobile space.

Unfortunately, SoCs like the ARM Cortex-A15-based Tegra K1 (or its future 64-bit ARMv8-compatible Denver variant) are aimed squarely at the high-end. And rather than focusing on mid-range devices, most chip manufacturers instead re-purpose yesterday’s flagship architectures into today’s mid-range products. While this makes sense from a cost-cutting perspective for . . . READ ON »

Google Issues Another Round of First Party Android App Updates with New Versions of Maps, Search, Newsstand, Hangouts, and Drive

Just yesterday, we took a look at Android’s latest platform statistics. While adoption of the latest versions of the OS is generally going in the right direction, there hasn’t been very much movement since one month ago—a figure which itself wasn’t too different from what we saw in December.

Luckily, the update process for various aspects of the core Android experience is somewhat decentralized thanks to updates to Google Play Services, as well as numerous first party Google apps that have found their way into the Google Play Store. And just like yesterday brought an update to Google . . . READ ON »

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