Scroll Launcher is a Simple Yet Slick Homescreen Replacement

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Nobody can claim that there is a shortage of launchers replacements available on Android. Some of you probably stick to the same one fanatically (I know I do), but there are plenty of people who are always on the prowl for new options. With the continual advances in device specifications and capabilities, many of the newer launchers take this opportunity to add feature after feature. While this is generally a good thing, it can make these applications incompatible with older and lower spec devices.

Scroll Launcher, developed by XDA Forum Member slinkyregent, is specifically geared towards lower performance devices that run Android 4.0 or above. The app isn’t laden with complex and resour. . . READ ON »

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Tweet Balloon is ‘Facebook Chatheads’ for Twitter

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Facebook Chatheads debuted alongside Facebook Home. But unlike Home, Chatheads has actually proven itself to be a useful and practical, albeit resource-intensive, feature. Inspiring Paranoid Android’s Halo, its a wonder that Facebook’s biggest rivals such as Twitter haven’t followed suit and developed their own implementations.

So rather than waiting for it, XDA Forum Member kozaxinan developed Tweet Balloon, a Twitter client very similar to the aforementioned Facebook Chatheads and Halo. Once you’ve opened the app and signed into Twitter, Tweet Balloon will place a hovering circle around the left or right edge of the screen, much like Chatheads. Once you tap t. . . READ ON »

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Learn More About RAM Usage on Your Device with FreeXplain

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RAM management works a bit differently on Android than it does in Windows. For example, more RAM doesn’t mean wasted memory in Android, but rather that applications are cached so that they can be accessed more quickly at a later time. There are plenty of interesting discussions on the topic, but that’s not the point of this article.

If you’ve ever tried to check the free RAM on your Android device, you probably used the free command in Terminal Emulator. This works the same way as it does in Linux, and it shows you both free and used memory. If you are using a swapfile, it’s shown as well. But if you want to learn more about your device’s RAM usage, you need additional . . . READ ON »

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Change the Default Pane in Google Play Music with Xposed

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Nothing is more annoying than not being able to personalize something to your liking. Android generally gives us so much freedom, so when we’re faced with an exception to this, it’s especially noticeable. Luckily, there are quite often solutions to be found on the XDA forums.

One such application that frustrates many is the popular Google Play Music. Almost all of us know it and use it on a regular basis. And of course, it’s a good application. That isn’t, however, to say that it’s perfect. Google Play Music currently lacks the ability to set a default launch panel.

Luckily, XDA Forum Moderator GermainZ decided to solve this problem by making an Xposed module that lets . . . READ ON »

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Enable Stereo Speaker Playback System-Wide on Your Sony Xperia Z2

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One of the most notable additions to the new Sony Xperia Z2 is its set of stereo speakers. This is particularly notable, given the rather lackluster speaker quality of previous Xperia flagships. Although the improved speaker setup results in louder and more enjoyable listening experience, it’s surprising to see that Sony forgot to make the stereo playback system-wide for sounds such as the ringtones and notifications. But rather than wait for an official fix, XDA Senior Member olokos went ahead and fixed the problem himself.

The remedy comes in the form of a mod that enables notification sounds and ringtones to play from both speakers of the Xperia Z2 rather than just the bottom . . . READ ON »

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[APK Compendium] Minor Updates for Google TTS and Google+, and the Rest of This Week’s Updates

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For yet another week, Google is seemingly intent on demonstrating that the previously dependable “Update Wednesdays” have now come to an end. Despite this, we still received quite a bit of first party Android application love from the mothership. This began with Monday’s update to Gmail 4.8, which brought the ability to save attachments directly to the cloud, and continued with Tuesday’s updates to Google+ 4.4 and Chrome stable 35. And then just yesterday, we saw a few backend updates to Google Search that brought several newly supported voice commands.

In addition to all of the updates above, Google also pushed out updates to Google TTS and yet another round of updates to Goo. . . READ ON »

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Easily Add Rich Android Wear Notifications to Your App

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2014 is certainly shaping up to be the year of the wearables. Looking back at this year’s CES tradeshow more than confirms this. But although there are several fantastic wearable platforms either available now or looming on the horizon, most Android fans have their eyes firmly set on one class of devices: Android Wear. While there are still certain questions about Wear that remain, one thing is clear: Wear’s Android core will make it easy for developers to integrate the platform into existing Android applications.

One key function that many developers will want to implement with Wear is rich notification support. Naturally, the Android notification shade only provides a li. . . READ ON »

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Google Search Now Also Fetches Your Rental Car Reservations

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Although we didn’t really have a typical “Update Wednesday” this week, Google has more than made up for it with a complete Google+ UI overhaul and previous updates to Google Voice Search that gave it the ability to set a timer when asked and set reminders entirely by voice. However, that isn’t all that Google had in store for us this week.

In addition to the previously covered upgrades to Google Voice Search functionality, Google issued yet another backend Search update today that makes it possible to fetch rental car reservation information by simply asking your device “when is my rental car reservation.” This falls in line with previously added functionali. . . READ ON »

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Sony Releases Open Source Kernel Files for the Xperia M2

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Released approximately two months ago, the Xperia M2 is Sony’s mid-range offering for early 2014. Despite the device’s non-flagship status, the M2 has amassed a loyal following in the short time since its release thanks to the device’s competent specifications, great industrial design, and affordable price.

Up until now, Sony had failed to deliver the GPL-mandated kernel source code files for the device. Naturally, this had the unfortunate effect of stalling source-built development for the device. Now, however, Xperia M2 fans will be glad to know that source-built development can now begin for the device. This is of course made possible because Sony has released the required . . . READ ON »

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