September 15, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Moto G on Boost Mobile receives its Android KitKat 4.4.4 release, finally! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement of the HTC Desire gets a custom ROM, recovery and kernel and be sure the check out the article talking about Google adding Android apps to Chrome OS! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV newcomer droidmodd3rx released a video sort of reviewing OmniROM. Then, rirozizo showed you how to make your GPS lock faster. And if you missed it, be sure to check out Jordan’s Review of the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
September 15, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Music is a passion that transcends age, gender, race, culture, and geographic location. There are music fans everywhere. And unless you’re deaf, chances are that music is a significant part of your life in some form or another as well.
For most people, the main form of musical exposure comes from various facets of the media. For example, we hear songs on the radio, watch music videos on MTV, and even browse the Billboard music charts to discover new music. Unfortunately with the last option, it’s often cumbersome to get from a text list with various songs to actually being able to sample the music for yourself. This is where Billy by XDA Forum Member Vibin comes in.
Billy is an application that lets you browse the most popular pop, rock, and dance songs on the Billboard.com charts and then stream them directly from within the app. Music is pulled from SoundCloud, and if you are feeling particularly interested in any given song, you can even choose to watch the official YouTube music video for each of the tracks.
If you’re a music lover looking for new tunes, Billy may be just what the doctor ordered. Just make your way over to the Billy application thread to get started.
When you are the leader of a large development project, Gerrit isn’t the only tool that can help you keep everything organized. While compiling and uploading a ROM or kernel for one or two devices isn’t overly time-consuming, building for a dozen devices or more can take loads of time and therefore makes it extremely difficult to maintain.
There is a good news, though. You don’t have to launch every nightly build manually.
Not so long ago, our XDA TV Producer AdamOutler gave an overview showing how to use Jenkins. For those who don’t remember, Jenkins is a tool that allows building multiple projects automatically on one of your build servers. While Jenkins isn’t that complicated to use, you can make it even easier. This is possible with a script created by XDA Senior Member streambinder called TSJ.
TSJ is an abbreviation for The Simplified Jenkins. This tool allows users to build multiple projects and upload them directly to an FTP server. Everything is easy and takes just a few moments to configure. We strongly recommend the use of Jenkins to handle large scale nightly or stable releases. It’s a fast and easy way of building ROMs for many users. You can also treat Jenkins and its configuration as a good chance to learn something new. Naturally, this tool will work only on Linux distros.
You can learn more about the TSJ project by visiting the TSJ development thread.
September 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s absolutely no secret that battery life is somewhat of an undoing for many great devices. With the exception of battery behemoths such as the Galaxy Note series with its superb longevity, most modern flagships seem to top out at only about eight hours of screen time or less. Because of this, it is quite common to see countless threads in various device-specific forums asking for advice on how to achieve better battery life.
One of the big culprits for battery drain is undoubtedly wireless connectivity. However, it’s not really practical to disable mobile data because doing so cuts one off from the outside world. Luckily, there are device automation tools like Tasker and Llama that can automate the process. But for those just wanting a simple app to do it for them, Tasker is a little bit of overkill.
This is where AutoData by XDA Senior Member symbuzzer comes in. As its name implies, AutoData automatically turns off your data when not in use in order to save battery life. It does this by turning off mobile data after your screen has been off for ten minutes. Your mobile data connection will remain off for 15 minutes, at which point, connectivity is restored for one minute in order to allow you to receive notifications from your applications such as Gmail, Whatsapp, Facebook, and so on. This cycle then repeats, and in doing so, saves your limited battery reserves. And of course, once your screen turns back on, mobile data will be reactivated.
If you find that your battery has a hard time making it through the day, you may want to give AutoData a shot. Head over to the AutoData application thread to get started.
About a week ago, our fantastic writer and my esteemed colleague Tom embarked on a mission to learn the vast and rich history of custom recoveries. The point of all of this wasn’t simply self edification, as Tom is in the process of compiling an article that details the evolution and progress we’ve seen in the world of custom recoveries.
Since the very beginnings of custom recoveries occurred so many device generations ago, their history has long since been forgotten by most still involved in Android development. And when Tom asked yours truly about what I remembered from the custom recovery scene back then, this editor blanked and only remembered that I indeed was running some kind of custom recovery, but failed to remember which options were available at the time.
Luckily, XDA Moderator Committee and Portal Team Member conantroutman had a better memory. So with a little bit of whiskey-inspired flair, he added his own unique spin to the great history of custom recoveries:
It all began with the forging of the Great Recoveries. Three were given to the Nexus devices; immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven, to the HTCs, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine recoveries were gifted to the race of Samsungs, who above all else desire power. For within these recoveries was bound the strength and the will to govern over each race. But they were all of them deceived, for another recovery was made.
In the land of Seattle, in the fires of Mount Cyanogen, the Dark Lord Koush forged in secret, a master recovery, to control all others. And into this recovery he poured all his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One recovery to rule them all. One by one, the free peoples of XDA fell to the power of the recovery. But there were some who resisted. A last alliance of geeks and nerds marched against the armies of Seattle, and on the very slopes of Mount Cyanogen, they fought for the freedom of XDA.
Victory was near, but the power of the recovery could not be undone. It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Amon Ra, son of jesusfreke, took up his father’s sword. And Koush, enemy of the free peoples of XDA, was defeated. The Recovery passed to Amon Ra, who had this one chance to destroy evil forever, but the hearts of men are easily corrupted. And the recovery of power has a will of its own. It betrayed Amon Ra, to his death. And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.
History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the recovery passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, the recovery ensnared a new bearer. The recovery came to the creature feeyo, who took it deep into the tunnels under the Misty Mountains, and there it consumed him. The recovery gave to feeyo unnatural long life. For five hundred years it poisoned his mind; and in the gloom of feeyo’s cave, it waited.
Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the East, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Recovery of Power perceived. Its time had now come. It abandoned feeyo. But then something happened that the Recovery did not intend. It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable. A neckbeard, of the Shire. For the time will soon come when neckbeards will shape the fortunes of all…
What do you remember from the early days of custom recoveries? Let us know in the comments below!
September 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Nothing is more frustrating than opening up Google Maps and it taking way to long to lock your location. Additionally, slow GPS lock can impact the play-ability of GPS based games such as Ingress. When this happens, people try all sorts of voodoo to try and speed up the lock. They shake the phone, they walk in circles, they scream obscenities at the phone and more. What you really need, is to do something that might actually work.
In this episode of XDA Developer TV, XDA Developer TV newcomer and XDA Recognized Contributor rirozizo shows you how to make your GPS lock faster. He shows off the steps of how to modify the AGPS servers in the gps.conf. This is not as difficult as it sounds. So check out this video.
September 13, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Android firmwares straight from OEMs usually have a rather poor choice of wallpapers available to select from. If you are looking for some good looking alternatives, you may want to consider downloading a wallpaper application or finding your desired background manually. Unlike Android, the Google Chromecast quite the opposite, shipping with quite a few beautiful images and pictures.
If you weren’t able to find a good looking wallpaper the old fashioned way, XDA Forum Member donniemceduns has made a handy application full of more than a few eye catching options. Chromecast Wallpapers, as the name suggests, is a collection of stock Chromecast wallpapers that have been made available for use on Android devices. The concept behind this app is very easy. It simply downloads one of the 680 stock wallpapers and sets it as your background.
Every available image is available in in 1920×1080 resolution, so it should fit most mid-range or high-end devices available on the market. The wallpapers are hosted online, so be sure to use this application while you are connected to the Internet. Some wallpapers can be very big in file size, so using it while connected to WiFi seems to be a smart idea.
Don’t let your screen be boring. Get the Chromecast wallpaper application and give it some new life by selecting one of almost 700 beautiful pictures and images.
Call Recording is a feature used by a lot of people for a variety of different reasons. Unfortunately for users of certain devices, the feature isn’t always available by default. This is true in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S5. And although the feature is there, it’s not accessible without a little modification by the end user. There are various ways to enable this functionality, the simplest probably being the use of an Xposed module. But for some people, that may not be an option. So for those of you who do not or cannot use Xposed to enable call recording, help is at hand.
XDA Senior Member _alexndr has put together a simple yet comprehensive guide to enabling call recording in one of three ways. The modification itself is achieved by editing an XML file tucked away within the device’s /system partition. Simply add the appropriate code to the relevant line and you are good to go. For those you aren’t confident in making these changes manually, _alexndr has provided the changes in the form of a .zip that can be deployed either via Mobile Odin (for those who wish to avoid issues with Knox) or the more traditional custom recovery route.
This method is aimed primarily towards carrier branded variants of the device, but the script will check for alternate locations in which to make the necessary changes if the default location is not found. That said, it’s not guaranteed to work on an international version and you may need to do a little digging to find the appropriate location in which to make the changes. You will of course need a rooted device to achieve this. It may also be possible to adapt this method to work on other Samsung devices and firmwares as well. If call recording is a feature that you feel is missing from your device then check out the Call Recording guide thread for more details.
September 13, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
When CyanogenMod announced there were “going corporate,” there was understandably some hesitation from some people in to community. Whether you think it is a good idea or not, it bore fruit in the release of OmniROM. OmniROM is available for a wide varity of devices, is supported by a solid group of developers and offers nightly releases.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV newcomer droidmodd3rx, shows off OmniROM on his Samsung Galaxy S4. The main features covered and talked about in today’s video are the advanced settings, OmniSwitch and more. While we are showing the version on the Samsung Galaxy S4, the features will be similar on any OmniROM supported device. Grab your favorite beverage and check out this video.
September 13, 2014 By: Conan Troutman
Privacy and security are always a concern when it comes to mobile devices, and many of us probably have something or other stored or installed that we’d like to protect and keep from prying eyes or curious children. This can take the form of a certain app or set of applications that you don’t want just anyone to be able to access, or even–dare I say it–some revealing photos that you no longer trust to the cloud. If that sounds at all familiar then fear not, there are a few ways you can help to maintain your security and privacy by restricting access to your device content.
XDA Forum Member 1tek has developed an application that does just this called Droid Protector. The app will allow you to lock individual applications as you see fit and protect them with one of three ways of unlocking: the classic PIN code, a calculator unlock, or the less secure but more intuitive pattern unlock. The application also allows you to decide which of the images or videos stored on the device are readily accessible. Any selected media is effectively invisible to anyone who happens to be using the device, but readily available to you by simply opening Droid Protector.
Another rather clever feature of this application is that it provides the option to disguise the fact that you have chosen to protect certain applications. This is achieved by not just simply refusing to allow access to the unauthorized user. Instead, the application will present them with a fake crash dialogue that in most cases shouldn’t raise too much suspicion with the average user, yet still allows you to protect and secure your privacy.
Droid Protector is available from the Droid Protector application thread right here on XDA or via the Play Store for free and is compatible with devices running Android 2.3 or above. Unfortunately, it is currently incompatible with the Android L Developer Preview although 1tek does state that he is looking to address that in the future.
September 12, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
ADB and Fastboot are some of the most basic and yet most powerful tools available on Android. We use them practically on a daily basis to get bug reports or simply flash a kernel onto our devices. While these tools are good to the end user, developers may find them a bit limited and may want to enhance their capabilities a bit.
If you are a developer and you are looking for all-in-one library, XDA Senior Member k1ll3r8e has something that might interest you. AndroidCtrl.dll is a kind of AAPT/ADB/Fastboot/(apk/zip) Signer Framework written in C# .NET 4. It’s designed to provide a lot of predefined .NET functions to communicate with an Android device. This library can easily work both with rooted and non-rooted devices, but some features require root to work properly. This library is so cool that it can even work with multiple devices at the same time!
AndroidCtrl.dll can be used in every Windows-based project using ADB, Fastboot, or AAPT. If you want to try it in action, there are some demo applications presenting the library’s capabilities. Those applications require .NET 4 and Java Runtime Environment to work properly.
Make your project efficient, user-friendly, and light. Get the AndroidCtrl.dll by visiting the AndroidCtrl.dll project thread.
If you follow the custom ROM world closely, you have certainly noticed that some developers or teams use Gerrit to verify and implement the code that goes into their ROMs. It’s a popular way of controlling and reviewing code, as well as enhancing it, since the commits can be reviewed by other developers. Incoming commits can be merged, rejected or amended and then merged. This all combines to make the project better.
This handy tool can be hosted by almost any PC running Linux. If you are a project leader and you don’t know how to use this code verification system, XDA Senior Member codexc prepared something that you might find useful. He gathered most of the available Gerrit resources on the Web and converted them into a handy guide that explains how to set up and use Gerrit. If you are facing some difficulties, codexc provides the answer for your most frequently asked questions. Last but not the least, the guide shows you how to install plugins that add new functions into existing copies of the system.
There are many benefits that can be had by using Gerrit. Projects using it can be easily expanded by valuable code contributions coming from external developers. By following this guide, you will learn many valuable things that may make you a better developer.
Turn your project into more easily managed one and verify its code by using Gerrit. You can learn how to install it by visiting the How-to installation and configuration Gerrit v2.10 with GitHub oAuth thread.
September 12, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Sony Xperia Z, ZL, ZR and Tablet Z receive their official Android 4.4.4 update! 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 MultiROM being ported to the Sony Xperia Z and the OnePlus One, and be sure the check out the article talking about removing the Band Restrictions from various Qualcomm 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 Xposed Macro Expand. Then, rirozizo showed you how to flash factory Images on your Nexus device. And later, TK gave us an Android App Review of Narrate. Pull up a chair and check out this video.