August 24, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Battery life is one of those things that still is a bit of an issue on modern Android devices. It’s also the subject for many discussions that take place on the forums. Android itself is somewhat of a battery hog, and Google is trying to do its best by adding Battery Historian, a feature to track down wakelocks. There are also plenty of third party solutions like scripts that help or make the situation even worse.
One device component that often reduces users’ battery life is Google Play Services. These services often wake up a device every 60 seconds and then keep it awake for 15 seconds in a wakelock. It’s easy to calculate that Google Play Services are running for 25% of the overall device time. XDA Senior Member cryptyk decide to fix this behavior by making an Xposed module that lets you reduce the frequency of ALARM_WAKEUP_LOCATOR from 60 seconds to whatever time you want. Alarms can even be totally disabled, saving yourself lots of juice on your device.
Any solution that makes Android more battery friendly is more than welcome, especially when you can tailor the behavior to your liking. And judging from user response, this module is reportedly increasing the battery life quite a bit.
If you are running Xposed Framework on your device, you can easily change the wakelock frequency and thus add more battery life to your device. You can get started by visiting the NlpUnbounce module thread.
August 24, 2014 By: Faiz Malkani
In the past few years, design has become one of the top priorities in the software development cycle. Whether its intuitive layouts or appealing interfaces, users expect more from applications than just basic functions. Delightful animations, meaningful icons, harmonious color schemes–all these subtle factors enhance the overall experience the application provides, and in turn, keep the users satisfied and loyal. This importance of design has carried over to Android too, and good design is now one of the deciding factors that separates an app from the competition
In the spirit of making application design easier for developers, XDA Junior Member alexander.developer has released StyleSplash. Android apps are styled using an XML file, which stores design attributes and can be accessed by any layout file throughout the project. StyleSplash allows you to create this XML file (usually titled styles.xml) on your Android device by defining attributes, creating XML gradients, adding color swatches and shows you a dynamic preview simultaneously, allowing you to design your app on the go without needing access to your IDE.
Head over to the StyleSplash application thread to get started with creating your own application styles and subsequently, creating delightful application experiences.
August 24, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The past year has been a big year for CyanogenMod. With events from becoming a corporation to deals to ship on phones like the OnePlus One, Cyanogen Inc has been busy. However, the community is still hard at work building CyanogenMod 11 based of Android KitKat 4.4. CyanogenMod gives you loads of customization and many people perfer its approach to mobile device operating over Google’s stock Android offering. Their latest Milestone for version 11 was recently released.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV newcomer droidmodd3rx shows off CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 9 on his HTC One M8. The main fetaures covered and talked about in today’s video are the CyanogenMod 11 Theme engine, which allows for almost unlimited customization, heads up notifications, and a few others. While we are showing the version on the HTC One M8, the features will be similar on any CyanogenMod 11 supported device. Grab your favorite beverage and check out this video.
Your smartphone’s dialer app is obviously one of the most frequently used apps you have on your smartphone. We use it practically on a daily basis to call our family, friends, and co-workers. The truth is that without dialer, our smartphones would be just small, Internet-enabled PCs that are unable to make calls.
Google has already updated some of its applications to meet the Material Design requirements. Unfortunately the stock dialer isn’t one of them. If you are looking for a perfect alternative to Holo-based stock dialer, XDA Senior Member Phat7 has something that you may find interesting. Phat7 has created Reactiv Dialer, an application that offers everything that a good dialer should. It’s small, lightweight and can perfectly replace the stock Android application.
Reactiv Dialer doesn’t just have nice UI design; it’s also very functional. Searching contacts really fast by name or phone number are just a part of its vast functionality. You can also define favorites that are shown at the top of the screen so that you always have them readily accessible.
Reactiv Dialer works with every Android version starting with Ice Cream Sandwich. If you decide to buy the full version of the app, you will be able to change its theme and customize the colors.
If you are looking for a lightweight, fast, and good looking dialer application, Reactiv Dialer might be up your alley. You can get it from the Reactiv Dialer application thread.
August 23, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Do you want to Factory Reset your Samsung Gear Live Smartwatch? This can be either because you had a bad flash, you installed an app and now things just aren’t right, or because it’s just slowing down in general. There are many reasons to factory reset your device. The steps are quick and easy, but they are unique. The button combinations are different than most other devices because there really is only one button.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV newcomer and XDA Recognized Contributor RootJunky shows off how to manually boot into the Samsung Gear Live’s bootloaders and factory reset the device. Grab your device and check out this video.
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.