March 7, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Managing files between your Android device and PC isn’t an easy task, and often requires additional software to do so efficiently in the absence of USB Mass Storage mode. Downloading a file to Android device can also be done through ADB, but this requires long commands and a physical connection if you haven’t already set up wireless ADB.
Luckily, you can transfer files between your PC and Android device via WiFi thanks to XDA Recognized Developer OmarBizreh‘s app Droid Sync Manager. This Windows-only application works with an Android client, and serves as a convenient command center.
With Droid Sync Manager, you are able to browse your PC’s files and folders and download them to your Android device. The application is still at an early alpha stage, so more functionality will be implemented in upcoming releases. The developer already announced that an option to browse and send files and folders to the PC is in works and will be added soon.
To try out this application, you need to install the provided PC host on your Windows machine. You also need a client installed on your phone and you are ready to go. You can grab both files by visiting the original thread, so don’t hesitate to go there and give it a shot.
March 7, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rolling out! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of Official CyanogenMod for the Sony Xperia M and that the Xperia Z2 camera has been ported to other Xperia Devices! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Wanam Kit, then Jordan talked about all the cool mobile games in the current Humble Bundle, and finally TK gave us an Android App Review of Navigation Layer. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
March 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
In addition to their inherent cool factor, floating apps and widgets can be quite useful productivity tools by allowing us to truly multitask with ease. Over the years, we’ve featured quite a few floating apps created by our community members here on the XDA Portal. But up until now, there hasn’t been much in the way of optimizing multitasking while in a phone call. And let’s face it—we’re always doing something else while in a call, so why not make it easier?
XDA Forum Member CurlyY recently developed a floating and movable widget called Blimps Floating Dialer. While not exactly a floating “dialer” per se, Blimps gives you a degree of call control while you are in another app. This is accomplished through two floating buttons that appear once a call is launched, and remain even when you return to your home screen or enter other apps. Currently, the supported floating buttons allow you to hang up a call and place it on speakerphone, but the developer states that he plans on introducing more features in the future.
Make your way over to the application thread to give this a shot. And if you are running a custom OEM skin that hasn’t yet been tested with the app, be sure to leave your feedback in the thread for the developer.
March 6, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Aside from being a famous god in Norse mythology, Odin is the name of an application used to flash Samsung firmware onto Galaxy phones and tablets. With this tool, you are able to revert your phone or tablet to vanilla state, and you can also root it using CF-Root or by changing the kernel without recovery.
Creating Odin- or Heimdall-compatible packages from scratch is not easy. But this isn’t challenging anymore, as XDA Senior Member hnkotnis wrote a simple guide that explains how to create an Odin-compatible firmware in just a few steps. To crate said firmware, you need a Linux machine or VirtualBox with Ubuntu or another Linux distribution mounted as the operating system.
Hnkotnis presents three situations for creating said packages. The first is RSF format with simg2img support, the second is an image with EXT4 format, and the last is RFS firmware incompatible with simg2img. Making a compatible image requires a few files and UNIX commands, which thankfully are described in detail in the thread.
If you own a Galaxy device and want to make your own pre-rooted firmware, head over to the original thread to learn more.
March 6, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
As much progress as Android’s UI has made over the past few years, many relatively experienced users still find the Settings menu a bit cumbersome to traverse. And even if you know exactly where every single setting resides, why should you have to tap the screen so many times to perform a simple task like toggling rotation lock?
Luckily, XDA Senior Member Jubakuba created a simple, yet powerful app that allows you to create customized shortcuts to any system setting on your device. The aptly titled Advanced Settings Shortcut offers a few basic actions in its settings shortcut arsenal. These include toggling quiet hours, rotation lock, unlimited screen timeout, and active display on supported devices. However, the real beauty of Jubakuba’s solution is in customization.
In addition to the basic included functionality, Advanced Settings Shortcut also allows you to change practically any settings parameter on your ROM, so long as it has a link in System Settings. While this functionality is admittedly much more difficult to set up than simply relying on built-in links, Jubakuba has provided example links to the Settings Java files for AOKP, OmniROM, CyanogenMod, and ParanoidAndroid so that you can find the appropriate names more easily.
This useful app is normally a paid application available via Google Play. However, the developer was kind enough to include a free full version of the application for members of the XDA community. You can get started by visiting application thread!
March 6, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Sometimes looking through the list of the different launchers available to navigate Android can be dizzying. It feels like you’ve stumbled into Bargain Bob’s Android Launcher Emporium and Warehouse! “I am currently overstocked on Android Launchers, and I am slashing prices. These prices are so low, THEY’RE CRAAAA-AAA-AAZY!!!!!!” But every once in a while, Launcher apps stand out with a great list of features.
XDA Forum Member wariat offers up a way to create shortcuts and navigate your device with different layers. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Navigation Layer. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
March 5, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s become quite the routine to see nearly weekly application updates to Google’s major first-party Android apps. And with so many entries in their Android app portfolio, this is quite a commendable accomplishment. Just last week, we saw Google deliver a massive update to its Google+ app, giving it much improved photo editing capabilities straight from their Snapseed acquisition. Now, Google has delivered major updates to Chrome Beta, their TTS engine, and Google Play Games.
Perhaps the most significant update this is Chrome Beta version 34, which now offers hidden Chromecast streaming support for HTML5 video. Streaming is still not available by default, even in Chrome beta, but it can be enabled by going to about://flags/#enable-cast on your mobile device. Then after a reboot, you should be able to Cast videos from any HTML5 video player, just like you would through your desktop browser. However, the results aren’t always perfect. While this generally works flawlessly on YouTube, other video sites don’t always work as they should. Perhaps this is why this feature must be enabled via flags.
Next up is Google TTS version 3, which brings higher quality voices and a few minor UI tweaks. Loading the app’s voices list, users will now see new options for “high quality” voices. Rather than the standard voices that range from 3-6 MB, these higher quality voices are often well over 100 MB. They do offer a notable improvement, but since the standard quality voices were already better than the competition, this is more of a luxury item.
Finally, Google Play Games version 1.5 brings a few new features that are slated to improve your multiplayer mobile gaming experience. With 1.5, you are now able to see who in your Google+ circles happens to play a particular game. You can now also view all invitations for multiplayer games from within the Play Games app.
You can get in on these application updates by visiting the Google Play Store listings for Chrome Beta, Google TTS, and Google Play Games. But since these updates are coming in the form of a staged rollout and since not everyone has access to the Google Play Store, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account.
Google Play Store Listings:
DevHost APK Mirror:
[Many thanks to XDA Senior Member kautionwirez for the tip and APKs!]
March 5, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Unlike Apple’s iOS, Mac OS X is quite a viable choice, even for power users. And thanks to full terminal access, it’s even the platform of choice for many Android application, ROM, and kernel devs. As such, it’s always nice to see Android-based tools that play nicely with Mac OS X.
About a year ago, we covered an extremely useful Android application developed by XDA Forum Member mushrom. The aptly titled Mac Remote allows users to control media playback on their Mac computers from the comfort of their Android-powered devices. But part of the beauty of Android is choice. And as such, it’s always nice to see multiple solutions to any particular problem.
XDA Junior Member qbait created the similarly titled application, Mac.remote. This app offers much of the same functionality as mushrom’s offering, but with a few differences. For starters, it offers a bit more in the way of customization, as well as a remarkably modern looking user interface, complete with support for Android’s new slideout hamburger menu. The control key interface also follows the same usage paradigms as iTunes, whereby long clicking “next track” will fast forward. Finally, the app allows you to control multiple devices, without the need to re-enter each IP manually.
You can learn more about Mac.remote by visiting its project thread in the forums. And while you’re at it, also give the previously covered Mac Remote a try as well. Both are great options, and you can’t go wrong with either!
March 5, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android devices can be controlled from terminal or command line using ADB and other communication protocols. However, using a graphical interface to do some basic operations is significantly more convenient and user friendly than typing long commands with a high risk of typo.
Luckily, there are some tools able to perform some basic operations with point-and-click ease. One such applications is Android Device Manager by XDA Forum Member Al-Mobarmge. The tool can easily install and uninstall applications on internal memory or directly to your SD card, but app-related operations are not only you can do with this tool. You can backup APKs, your /system directory, or even your entire ROM, and then restore it when necessary.
ADM is also very useful if you want to flash a ROM update, recovery, or change your boot animation or kernel. If your device is not rooted, the tool contains a rooting method by XDA Recognized Developer Bin4ry, which is compatible with dozens of devices. This tool enables you to transform your Windows PC into a proper command center.
The tool and a full description of functions can be found in the original thread.
[Big thanks to XDA Forum Member youssef badr for the tip!]
March 5, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re an application developer, understanding the demographics of your potential users is of utmost importance. Naturally, you’ll want to know about their preferences when developing certain features. However, it’s often just as important to know what versions of Android OS they are running to make sure that your app is able to be experienced by as many users as possible.
Due to the fact that the Android OS update process is rather complicated, it’s to be expected that not many devices are running the latest and greatest version of Android at any given time. Luckily, detailed platform stats are available on the Android Developers Dashboard. And with the latest version of these stats, we’re pleased to see Jelly Bean and KitKat on the rise.
But more important than the raw data is where it’s headed. Since the last time we talked about Android Platform Stats in early February, KitKat has risen from 1.8% to 2.5% of Android devices—a increase rise of just under 40%. Jelly Bean has risen as well, albeit at a significantly slower pace, from 60.7% to 62.5%. Ice Cream Sandwich is down to 15.2% from 16.1% last month, and 2.x is down to just 20.2% from 21.3% last month. And since the total percentage of devices running 4.x is relatively unchanged at 79.9% from 78.6%, it’s not unreasonable to assume that most of the increase in KitKat and Jelly Bean has come at the expense of Ice Cream Sandwich, thanks to the many OTA updates we’ve seen in the last month.
While for the most part there aren’t any night-and-day changes between this and last month’s data, it’s great to see that progress is being made, especially in the very latest version of Android. Are you an app developer? If so, is Android fragmentation an issue for you? Let us know in the comments below!
[Source: Android Developers Dashboard]
March 5, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
If you have spent any amount of time on the Internet and are a gamer, you’ve no doubt heard of the ‘pay-what you-want’ and charitable giving game package called Humble Indie Bundle. In recent years, the Humble Bundle has moved away from solely featuring independent developer games, and has even expanded to include mobile devices.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan talks about the most recent Humble Mobile Bundle, which includes the games Catan, Vector, Riptide GP2, Zombie Gunship, and two other bonus games. In this video, Jordan talks about Catan, Vector, and Riptide GP2. So if you want to learn more about the Humble Bundle, check this video out, check out their site, and check out other XDA Developer TV videos.
It is indisputable that an almost endless selection and variety of apps is a major part of the Android platform. This has gotten so impressive that other mobile operating systems and new OEMs have decided to jump on the bandwagon by adding Android app support. We’ve now seen this with Jolla Sailfish, the once dominant Blackberry, and Nokia with their freshly announced X lineup. Hence, we totally understand your uncontrollable excitement to be part of something so awesome.
Where should you get started at and what should you do if you’re an app developing rookie who wants to create the next viral app? Well, you may want to check out XDA Senior Member Rachid.Ala’s tutorial on developing your first Android app. It’s written with the beginner in mind, teaching you how to create a very simple Android app that does nothing more than display the classic, “Hello World.” What’s important to take away from this guide are the very basics of app development, which lay the foundation to more complicated and creative apps in the future.
Rachid.Ala does a great job explaining all the tools and software required for your first Android app, including JDK, Eclipse, and the ADT plugin. Plenty of screenshots are given along the way, as well as examples of code. It should also be noted that the guide is written for Windows PC users, so if you use another PC OS, you’ll have to tweak the instructions a little.
So if you can’t wait to finally get started on your very first Android app, make your way over to the original thread for more information.
March 5, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Gathering usage data for various internal components in Android has never been easy. Sure, some information is available in performance settings on certain ROMs. But in some stock UIs, it’s either cumbersome or impossible to track your usage. Naturally, this information is quite useful when your phone suffers from unexpected battery drain thanks to high CPU respource consumption.
To make up for the lack of a built-in solution, XDA Forum Member Rolf Smit created Tinycore. This app serves as a system, CPU, and memory indicator that is displayed right in your status bar. But due to limited space of the bar itself, only one variable can be displayed at a time. The application doesn’t require root or any special privileges to run. But if you really like it, you can set Tinycore to run at every boot. You can also customize its display options to suit your needs most.
If you are interested in monitoring your RAM and CPU usage, you should give Tinycore a try. A full list of features and the download link can be fount in the application thread.