Although our mobile devices today are capable of executing nearly every task we normally perform on their full size PC counterparts, there are certain core communication tasks that seem to make up the bulk of what we do with our smartphones. These activities include Email, phone calls, and last but not least, text messaging. As such, there are hundreds or thousands of good text messaging apps available on Android, with many offering elaborate features such as integration with your desktop computer and so on.
XDA Senior Member kajozord recently created Yet Another Android Texting Application, and he named it appropriately as such. However, YAATA isn’t just another Android texting app. It offers quite a bit of added functionality that you will have trouble finding in other solutions, especially if you’re looking for one app that has all of them. For example, it allows you to customize when notifications are shown depending on certain variables such as screen being on, vibration being off, or volume messings. You’re also able to schedule text messages, convert long SMS messages to MMS, receive delivery reports, quick compose from your status bar, auto forward and respond, and much more.
Although YAATA is another entrant in the sea of already great text messaging apps, it offers quite a bit of added functionality that sets it apart from all the rest and makes it a dream for the texting power user. Head over to the YAATA application thread to get started.
A few months ago, we talked about MacroDroid. For those who don’t remember, MacroDroid is a quite handy application that brings device automation to the next level. MacroDroid makes use of various device sensors to determine many variables such as location, speed, and many others. If you like so see it in action, watch TK’s review on XDA TV.
Applications like MacroDroid, Tasker and Llama are extremely popular among XDA users, but none of them has been available for the fairly new breed of Android Wear smartwatch devices. Well, this unfortunate situation has changed thanks to XDA Forum Member UndeadCretin, who issued an update to MacroDroid. This update is pretty big and brings lots of new functions like:
These amazing Android Wear-powered devices like the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and the upcoming Motorola Moto 360 will be able to benefit from various new functions that have been introduced with this update. If your wrist is armed with one of the first generation of Android Wear watches, don’t hesitate to slap MacroDroid onto it. You can get the updated application by visiting the MacroDroid application thread. You can read more about the update by visiting the official MacroDroid blog.
August 22, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.3 lands on the European HTC One M7! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of a Google Glass firmware update and be sure the check out the article talking about XDA members porting KitKat to the Motorola Droid X! 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 Kids Mode. Then TK reviewed the Samsung Gear Live Smartwatch. And later TK gave us a an Android App Review of Androignito. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
As we’ve said in the past, there are quite a few calculators available on Android. Essentially, if there’s any particular kind of simple or elaborate calculation you’d like to perform, there is undoubtedly an app for that. And with the previously linked Numix Calculator, you can perform standard calculations with gorgeous Material Design style. But as always, having even more choice is never a bad thing, especially when these choices help fill particular niches not yet occupied by any other app.
XDA Senior Member thotran7989 recently created a smart new calculator app called Calc+. As its name alludes, it offers a bit more than standard calculator functionality. For starters, Calc+ lets you touch already entered numbers and operators to modify them on the fly. In other words, you can reuse your previous calculations to see how the results change when modifying variables. Additionally, you can easily define constants that you use frequently, customize the interface with various themes, and even modify the display font. All of this adds up to an extremely smart and powerful calculator that also looks great.
While Calc+ doesn’t offer advanced graphing or equation solving functions like some of the other options we’ve looked at in the past, it’s still a great option for those who need a simple calculator that also happens to be smart and beautiful. Head over to the Calc+ application thread to get started.
Developing an application is a hard and often times ungratifying task. It also requires quite a lot of time and even more focus. No matter how good the application is, it will always contain some bugs that need to be squashed sooner or later. Developers can’t detect all the bugs on their own, so they are forced rely on user support requests. The majority of users don’t send crash reports though, so it’s really hard for developers to track down what’s wrong with their applications.
Luckily, there are some solutions that make a developer’s life a bit easier. One of them is a tool written by XDA Forum Member crashlog. The Crash Report SDK will send debug data using one of available network connections. This SDK can be added to the application source and initialized by adding proper code triggers. Submitted reports are available at the crashlog’s website, giving developers access to proper debug data. It’s a quick and relatively easy way of getting information required to fix your app’s remaining bugs.
Before adding this library to your project, it’s strongly recommended that you let your users know about this SDK. Apps that are built using this SDK require Internet access in order to work properly, and that’s might be something that many people may find suspicious. Better be safe than sorry.
Don’t wait; use this SDK in your projects if you’re trying to get better bug reports. You can find the required information and relevant code in the Crash Report SDK for Android developers Library thread.
August 21, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
If you’re enjoying an active way of life, you probably travel a lot, go fishing, or perform other similar activities in various outdoor locations. It’s needless to say that you can easily get lost while doing all of this, so you need proper tools to get you back to the starting point. Paper maps are handy, but how do you determine what direction you should go when you are in the middle of nowhere?
One solution to this tricky problem has been provided by XDA Forum Member BaseManAndroid, who created an application called LocationDetector. This app leads you to whatever place you have marked on the map. It uses GPS satellites, so the result should be pretty accurate. The app can also work as a compass if you prefer the more traditional way of navigation and traveling. If you get lost, you can always send an SMS with your coordinates to emergency services and hopefully get rescued.
This application can be pretty useful in various outdoor situations, but you should always treat it as a additional help, not a life-saving tool. After all, you could always run out of batteries, not get signal, or your device could just die. Keep this in mind before hopping into the middle of the woods.
If you are planning to do some traveling or simply wish to get lost outdoors, this application is what you’ve been looking for. You can get it by visiting the LocationDetector application thread.
August 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Most of us live very active lives. This is after all why we’re fans of mobile technology, as our favorite little devices allow us to stay connected with the world while out and about. But because we’re so active, it’s often hard to keep track of exactly where we go and what we do at all times. In other words, we may spend a little more time procrastinating and doing certain activities than we’d care to admit.
Normally, there wouldn’t be an easy way to examine your time sinks easily in order to fix them, but XDA Forum Member zoharby recently released an application that lets you do exactly this. Called LifeStats, this automatic journal essentially records every place you go and generates a daily journal of your activity. This lets you keep track of where you go, how long you’re there, and even how long it takes you to get there, so that you can best optimize your time. Once the data has been gathered, you are able to view the results graphically in the app, with various filters for time. You can enter each individual event, see its location with Google Street View, and more.
If you’re interested in keeping tabs on what you are up to at all times, head over to the Life Stats application thread to get started
August 21, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Stop right now, look at your phone, and see how many pictures, videos, and files you have on your Android device. There is a lot of personal information on our phone. If you leave your phone behind somewhere a nefarious person can learn a lot about a person based on what photos and files are on your phone. The best way to protect yourself is to delete those files, but that is now always an option.
XDA Forum Member aritraroy offers up an application that gives you the ability to “hide” your files. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Androignito. TK shows off the application and talks about his thoughts of the application. Check out this app review.
There are literally thousands of note taking apps available on Android, with practically every single possible niche already filled. In fact, Google’s own solution, Keep, does a pretty good job at taking care of all the casual notes you may want to store. However, it’s not quite perfect for every use-case. And if you’re not one to live in the Google ecosystem, you may want a capable and quick notes app that doesn’t use Google as its cloud backend.
XDA Forum Member PowerLemons created an application that works very similarly to Google Keep, but with the exception that it lets you sync your notes with either Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box. Notes are then stored in a user-readable format on those cloud services, allowing you direct access to your notes through your cloud file storage. The notetaking interface in BrightNotes is very clean, with minimal clutter to get in the way of storing, editing and viewing notes. And once entered, notes can be searched using a convenient action menu button.
If you’re been looking for a Google Keep replacement that let you live outside of the Google cloud, you may want to give BrightNotes a try. Head over to the BrightNotes application thread to get started.
August 20, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The Android OS shows great potential in many areas. One of most interesting things that can be done with Android devices is to control them remotely. Phones or tablets can be controlled by our PCs pretty nicely. To do so, a Remote Administration Tool is needed, and there are only a few applications that offer such functionality for free.
One such application is called Monitordroid. Developed by XDA Forum Member mephala124, this app gives you an opportunity to control your phone via a standard Web browser. You can send SMS messages, browse your contacts and even make calls. The list of features is very long and is still growing since the app is still just a beta. All functions are available for non-rooted devices, which makes Monitordroid even more interesting choice for those of you who don’t want to or simply can’t root their devices.
To use the app on your PC, you need to prepare a server capable of issuing GCM-Messages. The author provides instructions on setting a free server up. If you don’t want to dig into PHP code and use your own PC as a server, you can buy hosting to do this for you.
If you are interested in controlling your device directly from your PC, Monitordroid is something that you may find useful. You can get the application by visiting the Monitordroid original thread.
August 20, 2014 By: jerdog
Intel, largely known for their long-standing reputation as the king of processors powering PCs and Macs, has lately been moving into the mobile market. With a number of devices already sporting Intel chips, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 being one of the more recognizable offerings, Intel hopes to make a splash in Android. It’s not as easy as it would seem, seeing as Android was developed natively for ARM processors, though Android does have x86 support. Any serious attempt from Intel to take a piece of the Android device pie will require developers to actually care about developing applications with Intel architecture support–and that has been difficult to come by. Until now.
Today Intel and Unity are announcing that they are collaborating to help bring Android applications, and those familiar with Unity’s development platform, to Intel architecture natively. For those unfamiliar with Unity, it is a high-performance development platform capable of bringing 2D and 3D environments to life on multiple platforms. This added support includes all of Intel’s current (Intel® Core™ and Atom™) and future processors. Says Intel’s corporate vice president Doug Fisher:
“We’ve set a goal to ship 40 million Intel-based tablets this year and expect more than 100 Android tablet designs on Intel in the market by the end of this year,” said Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group. “Our collaboration with Unity will give its nearly 3 million developers the necessary software tools and support to build amazing Android experiences on Intel architecture.”
We look forward to seeing what our talented app developers on XDA are able to create using the power of Intel and Unity together. You can read more about the announcement here, or visit Intel’s Developer Zone.
Recently, Google announced Android Wear to the world. Android Wear is the Android-based initiative from Google to standardize the world of wearable devices. This year at their I/O event, Google showed off two Android Wear devices: the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live.
Today, we will be reviewing the Samsung entry into the Android Wear market. The Samsung Gear Live is Samsung’s third mainstream smartwatch release, after the Galaxy Gear 1 and 2, and the first to sport Android Wear as the others sported Android and Tizen OS. READ ON »
The camera app on our Android smartphones and tablets isn’t something we focus on all that often. Usually, we use the built-in app or some third-party alternative like Focal by XDA Senior Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD, but most of us don’t even use all of the features to their fullest potential. However, the truth of the matter is that a good camera application can improve the quality of our photos and simply enhance our photography experience.
If you can’t snap a perfect and steady shot on your own, you might be interested in application made by XDA Forum Member mdwh. Open Camera will automatically stabilize your photos, so you don’t take a bad shot. It will also show the device’s current angle, so you can hold it straight and get the best possible photo. The application naturally also offers those functions that are already available in most of camera apps such as configurable volume keys, geotagging, compass direction and more. Open Camera can also switch some elements of the UI to optimize usage for left- and right-handed users. This application is fully open source, so you can make it even better by reviewing its code at Sourceforge.
If your current camera application bores you to the bone or you’d just like to look at other options, head over to the Open Camera application thread and give it a try. Perhaps this application will help you finally snap that ever elusive perfect photo.