You've probably seen or installed modified applications, be it a patched dialer for your resolution or a custom WhatsApp version with added features. How do developers do that, though? A lot of the time, the applications' source code isn't even available, so how does it all work? We'll see that first, then take a look at a new tool that aims to make the process much easier, and finally compare it to the popular Xposed framework to see how they...
Setting Up an Android Build Environment in OS X Mavericks
Android is a mobile device OS that the open-source community has come to know and love since its inception in 2007. The seemingly endless possibilities of what can be achieved with the OS are intriguing, and they have rekindled the spirits of developers worldwide. As mobile device owners, we often use our interest in Android to push our devices further and customize them to become truly our own.
As with any modifications or customization, tools are necessary. This has led to the creation of tools like Themer, an app that can be downloaded and used to easily select and apply custom themes directly on the device within a matter of seconds.
But where do tools like Themer come from? How are they built? Perhaps an even better question to ask is how is Android built? The answer to these questions is actually very simple: a build environment.
A build environment is a set of tools and directories that a developer has setup on his or her computer. This build environment allows the developer to download the Android source code, which can then be used to create a custom ROM, themes, apps, or anything else related to the OS. Some components of a build environment include a computer, the Java Development Kit (JDK), the Android SDK, the Android source, and of course, a little bit of time and patience.
Finally getting to the point, I want to bring your attention to a build environment that only a handful of developers use: OS X 10.9 Mavericks from Apple. With the right know how and proper setup, working on Android in an OS X build environment can be just as enjoyable as working in any other OS like Linux or Windows.
If you own a Mac, setting up your build environment has now been made simpler thanks to good folks like XDA Recognized Contributor jakew02, who wrote a very thorough guide on setting up a build environment, specifically in OS X Mavericks. While his guide won’t show you exactly how to build things like a custom ROM or kernels, it helps you make sure you and your Mac are better prepared to start your Android development journey.
Being a Mac owner, I’ve used the guide, and have found it to be very helpful. It is really nice coming across jewels like this on XDA. If you are a Mac user ready to start developing, head on over to jakew02’s guide thread to learn more.
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With more and more OEMs ditching SD cards on their flagships, cloud storage is becoming even more important in the mobile world. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive have already become widely adopted by the majority of smartphone users, but is cloud storage ready to replace external storage? Let us know your thoughts below.
When the first reports of the M9 overheating came to light, many forum users began a collective joke-round calling the phone a popcorn machine, a grill, and other unoriginal remarks that we’ve seen with every device that presents sign of overheating, from gaming consoles to graphics cards. In this sense, the internet is not very inventive, and the cycle of rehashed jokes re-surfaces on different products every year or so. This time it was the M9’s turn and it was...