XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin set up his phone to respond to his voice. He does so with Tasker and some other programs like SMS, my Car and Me, AutoVoice, Secure Settings, and Gravity Screen Off. Earlier, Kevin showed us advanced Uses, intermediate uses , and basic uses of Tasker. Then, Kevin showed you an alternative to Tasker called Llama. He covered the basics then expanded on them.
In this part of the series, Kevin gives you what you asked for. Kevin shows you how to control your phone with your voice. So check out all the videos in this Tasker series, and make your phone work for you. What are you waiting for? Check out this video.
June 18, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Would you like to know one of the things that really annoys me on a daily basis? Tough, because I‘m going to tell you anyway. It is not being able to find the perfect volume level for my phone. Whether it’s listening to music on a commute or trying to balance the sound of a YouTube video over whatever rubbish my better half is watching on TV, rarely a day goes by when I don’t find myself flipping back and forth between two different levels trying to decide which is better. Sure it’s a pretty trivial problem, but I dare say that I’m not the only one infuriated by the limited number of steps on the volume control of my Android device. In fact, I know I’m not because XDA Senior Member HeadFox has created a thread not only offering to adjust the volume scale of your ROM for you, but also taking you through the process step-by-step if you’d prefer to do it yourself.
The guide is very clear and easy to follow, thanks to some helpful screenshots. It walks you through the process of extracting the relevant .smali file from your ROM’s framework and making the necessary changes before pushing the file back to your device. There are quite a few steps to follow, but all in all the process is pretty straightforward and very well explained. If you’ve always wanted to get your feet wet and learn how to make this kind of adjustment to Android, this is a pretty good place to start. All the tools you will need are clearly outlined and linked from the guide as well.
Head over to the tutorial thread for more information if this is something you’d like to try for yourself.
The release version of Heimdall Suite 1.4.0 is now available after an epic wait. You may remember hearing about this version of the suite way back in October when the release candidate was first announced. That’s quite a slow pace for the last steps toward a stable release, but it sounds like the time was well spent. XDA Recognized Developer Benjamin Dobell cited problems with packaging and squashing outdated content as the main cause of delay. He hopes that the work he put in here will mean shorter development cycles for future versions.
What can you expect from the upgrade? The Heimdall Suite is a tool for flashing firmware to your Android device. Its origins can be traced back to the need for a cross-platform flashing tool. But it’s much more than that now. One of the most notable additions is support for a wider range of Linux distributions, having only targeted Ubuntu in past version. Of course it still retains its ability to run under Windows and Mac systems. Also notable is added support for recent Samsung offerings like the Galaxy S III. There are several new backend features for developers like addressing partitions by name.
For the longest time, XDA has been a bastion, a pillar in the world of development. This is essentially because we try our hardest to make the free flow of knowledge and information our main focus so that everyone can benefit and grow, but more importantly, because it encourages others to share as well.
Everyone understands that very few things in this life are free and many simply see the things that started as hobbies either as a potential business or even as a waste of time that would need to be monetarily justified in order to carry on with their continued existence. This almost inevitable shift in mentality of people who slave themselves behind keyboards has led into a rather interesting new business in the underground world of mobile development: paid apps. Mind you, we are not saying that this is a bad thing. In fact, economic stimulus can be a fantastic driving force to get you to do more. But again, remember: XDA is a place to share knowledge, not make a quick buck.
Having said that and because of a large influx of brand new developers due to the advent of Android, we feel that we needed to clarify a few things regarding paid work on this site. First off, lets start with the most obvious place, Rule 11:
11. Don’t post with the intention of selling something.
Don’t use XDA to advertise your product or service. Proprietors of for-pay products or services, may use XDA to get feedback, provide beta access, or a free version of their product for XDA users and offer support, but not to post with the intention of selling. This includes promoting sites similar/substantially similar to XDA-Developers.com.
Do not post press releases, announcements, links to trial software, or commercial services. unless you’re posting an exclusive release for XDA-Developers.com.
Encouraging members to participate in forum activities on other phone related sites is prohibited.
Off-site downloads are permitted if the site is non-commercial and does not require registration.
Off-site downloads from sites requiring registration are NOT encouraged but may be permitted if the following conditions are met:A) the site belongs to a member of XDA-Developers with at least 1500 posts and 2 years membership who actively maintains XDA-Developers’ support thread(s) / posts, related to the download,B) the site is a relatively small personal website without commercial advertising/links (i.e. not a competitor forum-based site with purposes and aims similar to those of XDA-Developers.com.)
Now, a big chunk of Rule 11 deals with other topics aside from paid apps, so we will only focus on the two bold, underlined sections (the first two bullets for those reading this in apps that may not display formatting correctly). Both of these converge to the same point: Do not use xda to make money. Use it to share, to learn from others, to teach, to help; this is the intent of our site. This is what we are here for and the sole reason why we have survived for 10 years (and counting). If you feel that you must/want to post your paid work in here, you are welcome to do so. But if you choose to, please make sure that you follow a few simple guidelines to keep you out of trouble:
Pro-Tip #1 – Sell in the correct area
If you have a paid app that you are advertising on xda-developers, it must be posted in the Paid Software Announcement and Discussion section, which has a few guidelines that need to be followed before posting. To save you some reading, you must be a member in good standing with some good history behind you on the site. This way, we ensure that people are not here solely to sell stuff.
Pro-Tip #2 – Sharing is caring
If you do not have the status to sell your apps directly on the aforementioned Paid Software section, you may link to your paid app in the app store from a thread that offers a free version of the app you are trying to sell. In other words, you must create a free version of the app that is either exclusive to xda-developers or at the very least, free of charge. The free app, however, must not be:
So, what you can do is to go about using some of the commonly used methods of free app developers, such as
To sum this one up, feel free to have a Pro/Advanced/Plus/Premium/Donate (or whatever you want to call it) version of your app alongside the one you are sharing with the community. If people like your work, they will likely want to see what you can do when money is involved.
Pro-Tip #3 – Link =| Spam
Be mindful of the amount of advertising you do with your paid work. Again, you can link from within the thread of your free version. However, you cannot include direct links to your paid apps in your signature, profile, or anywhere else. You can, however, put links to your free app threads in the aforementioned places, which already contain links to the paid counterparts. Simply put, you must first present your free app before you direct others to your paid work.
Pro-Tip #4 – We Showcase Free Apps!
We tend to feature free work on the Portal, regardless of whether it has a paid counterpart or not. Use it to your advantage. And don’t forget to submit a tip if you feel that you meet all of the above and wish for additional exposure.
That is essentially it. Following the above will certainly ensure that your stay at our site maximizes your time spent here as that of others. Always remember, sharing in here is about sharing knowledge and not finished goods. That is what the Play store is for. Thanks for reading and happy sharing!
Small link to the rules for a bit of a refresher course for those who need them
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
June 17, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Community Manager Jono Bacon is scheduled to talk about Ubuntu Unification at XDA:DevCon 2013! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about NFC tag actions on your phone and how to find if there is an Ubuntu Touch build for your device.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about how a rookie can win a hackathon and he talks about women learning coding. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
June 17, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you are an Android app developer, you know that however great the Android OS is, it has some failings. One of those limitations is inflexible permissions. However, there are ways to work around that. Using a plugin strategy where the main app can be extended by users is one way to get around that limitation. Except Android doesn’t have a single model for plugins, but it does offer many ways to create plugin-centric architectures for apps.
If you have often thought about building an app to support plugins or wondered why plugins are important, you should attend this year’s XDA:DevCon 2013. One of our speakers is Mark Murphy, founder of CommonsWare and author of “The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development.” He is active in supporting the Android developer community, from answering questions on StackOverflow to publishing sample code and reusable components as open source.
Mark’s experience ranges from consulting on Open Source and collaborative development for Fortune 500 companies to application development on just about anything smaller than a mainframe, and he is a three-time entrepreneur. He has been a software developer for nearly three decades, from the TRS-80 to the latest crop of mobile devices.
As a man with immense experience, Mark will give anyone interested in app development loads of information at XDA:DevCon by presenting why plugins can be important and how to plugin-enable your app. He will be using apps like Roman Nurik’s DashClock as an example. Join us August 9 to 11 in Miami for XDA:DevCon 2013. Register to attend using this link for exclusive savings.
June 16, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
We’ve all done it at one point or another. You are hammering out some code and need one aspect of a method call to work so you just put null in for the rest of the parameters instead of actually researching how they work. I’ve actually done the very thing Dave Smith writes of in his article about inflating layouts. The second argument in a LayoutInflater inflate method calls for ‘ViewGroup root.’ I just slap ‘null’ in there and go about my business, none the wiser. There’s nothing wrong with that; it pulls the XML file passed as the first parameter into your layout so that it can be displayed on the screen. You could go years without having a real problem with it. But when it does it bite you at some point down the road, you’re going to pay a big time penalty trying to figure out what is going wrong.
Dave did a great job writing his article explaining how a LayoutInflater works. The reason the inflater is looking for a ViewGroup is to inherit any styling that may have been set at a higher lever. He shows an example of this using a ListView that should have a fixed height specified by the theme. If you specify null, it has no context from which to inherit the values and results in the smallest height possible. He goes on to assume that the developer would then create a second XML specification to fix the problem, and I think he’s spot on with that prediction. This breaks the concept of themes and makes the code much harder to maintain. He does mention an exception when inflating for an AlertDiaog, but this is a moot point because the inflater will basically ignore the ViewGroup parameter when specified for a dialog.
Sometime last year, we reported on an interesting app called Voice for WhatsApp developed by XDA Senior Member pacosal. Still in its beta phase at the time, its purpose was to literally voice your incoming WhatsApp messages out loud, as well as to send messages with voice input.
Well, pacosal has recently introduced a major upgrade to Voice For WhatsApp with a couple of major changes—the first being a change of name to Voice for Notifications. Its quite an apt change, given the app’s major introduction of support for all apps, including Gmail, Viber, and Line. The app will now prompt you for permission to allow any app that appears in the notification area to be read aloud while your device is in standby mode, a useful function for those who may be doing something else and don’t have the time to pick up the device to check.
Additionally, pacosal has given Voice for Notifications a major user interface overhaul that’s a noticeable shift from its previous, more simplistic interface that was present on Voice for WhatsApp. All notifications from apps that Voice for Notifications has permission to read aloud will now also be displayed in its main screen. Tapping on them performs the action that would normally be triggered when you tap them in the notification area. There is also support for the Sony SmartWatch, with an app that notifies you of any new notifications, a function that’s surprisingly not native to the watch itself.
Voice for Notifications is compatible with any device running Android version 2.3 and newer, and can be downloaded for free from the Play store. If you would like to check it out, visit the application thread for more information.
There is no doubt to any of us in the Android enthusiast realm that there are plenty of talented females in the ranks. Obviously, there are an extraordinary number of males in this environment, and often it is said that the environment is inhospitable to women. However, we like to encourage developers of all sexes, races, religions, and ethnicities.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce talks about women and coding. Jayce interviews Heather Paynce, Founder of LadiesLearningCode.com and Co-Founder of HackerYou.com. Heather talks about her experience with code and the industry. Find out what he has to say and check out this video.
A few days ago, we covered a tool aimed at making it easier to use Baksmali/Smali, a disassembler/assembler for the Dex files used by the Dalvik Virtual Machine in Android. Another incredibly useful tool to have in your modification arsenal is APKTool, which was originally developed by XDA Recognized Developer Brut.all and is continued to this day by XDA Senior Member iBotPeaches.
While APKTool is incredibly powerful, it can also be intimidating to new themers and modders. Thanks to a guide created by XDA Recognized Contributor and Themer PulseDroid, though, this should no longer present much of an issue.
The introductory-level guide covers what files you need, your development environment, and how to actually use the tool to decompile and recompile. This is accomplished in four easy steps: installing framework, decompiling (and applying your modifications), recompiling, and inserting the new contents into the old APK to retain the old signature.
The guide steps are accompanied by copious screenshots and plenty of explanation. All in all, this incredibly easy-to-follow guide will get you on your way, regardless of how little experience you may have at the start.
Working on-the-go nowadays usually means a laptop or tablet with mobile broadband access—either through tethering your mobile device or a separate dongle with a mobile broadband plan. In most situations, WiFi tethering your phone would be enough. However, if you do require extended periods of time connected to the Internet, you might be able to save yourself some battery and convenience with a USB 3G adapter. However, what do you do if your tablet isn’t compatible with your dongle?
Well thankfully, XDA Senior Member Bhaskar1109 has figured out a way of bypassing this incompatibility, allowing for any 3G broadband dongle to connect to any rooted Android tablet. A process that may seem a bit daunting to some, it requires ES File Explorer to be installed with root access and terminal software on your PC and tablet.
To accomplish this, you must install an APK on your tablet, as well as run two scripts that are available in the guide. Bhaskar1100 has included screenshots for extra guidance, and he has also acknowledged a small bug where the mobile broadband icon is not displayed in the status bar. However, this won’t affect functionality.
For more information, head over to the original thread.
Here at XDA, we celebrate developers of all types—from hardware hackers, to kernel commanders, and even bootloader bandits. Also, we love to see people make their own applications. Our love for app developers is so great that we have a special forum resource and are putting on a bunch of talks about app development at XDA:DevCon 2013.
One way an app developer can show of his or her stuff is to attend a hackathon. A hackathon is an event where developers can got together to build something. They often last a day to a week and have some intended end product. Often, there are winning groups or people. However, what if you are new and do you stand any chance against these seasoned veterans?
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce talks about how a rookie can win a hackathon. Jayce interviews John Scott, the Berkley University Hackathon Winner and the Co-Creator of “Picture Yourself.” John talks about his experience at the hackathon. Find out what he has to say and check out this video.
A couple of months ago, we covered an app called LEDBlinker by XDA Senior Member MOST2K2. This app gave users flexibility in customizing a device’s LED light and its behavior with certain apps under certain situations. There’s recently been a major update to the app.
MOST2K2 has gotten rid of the previous restriction that limited the number of supported apps, and has allowed support for all apps. Support for all apps includes some of the largest messaging and social networking apps including Whatsapp, Instagram, Viber, Twitter, and Kik. The other main addition is the home screen widget that conveniently clears all LEDBlinker notifications that you may have accumulated throughout the day.
As before, LEDBlinker allows users to customize the LED color for different apps and situations with either the preset colors, HSV color palette, RGB values, or with Hex values. These notifications are sorted into 8 different categories for ease of navigation. Settings also include the option to set the LED blink rate, toggle vibration, and have the LED fade in and out, among many others.
With pretty much the same functions and features as its full version, LEDBlinker is free from the Play store and its forum post, and available to all users with devices running Android versions 2.1 or newer. Feedback and suggestions are welcome, so if you would like to give LEDBlinker a go, check out the original thread.