Android L is shaping up to be one of the most important releases of Google’s ever so popular mobile OS. Many components have been rewritten, and the OS has gone 64-bit. Some system applications designed specifically for the latest developer preview version of Android L also work on previous versions, but the majority of them need to be ported. You can get some from the system dump that we talked about a few weeks ago.
The recently announced Material Design UI paradigm changes the look and feel of the OS greatly, and many design elements have to be rewritten from scratch. One of elements that was totally reworked is the lock screen. The one available in Android L is totally different from the lock screens that were used in Jelly Bean or KitKat. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, you can now do so, since XDA Senior Member xsmile711 has prepared the lock screen application to every version of Android greater than Ice Cream Sandwich.
The application is feature packed and allows you to change many settings and therefore make your system almost Android L-like. This app is in beta stage, so some bugs may occur. One of the most significant is a high amount of RAM consumption, but xsmile711 is already working to fix this issue.
Don’t wait for Android L to be finally released and then ported to your device; try its lock screen now! You can get the application from the Android L ported Lock Screen thread.
September 10, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Nexus family is Google’s answer to what they believe the Android experience should be, pure and clean without OEM customization interferrence. It is for this reason that many developers like to build and develop on Nexuses (Nexii?). It is always best to develop on a clean device, and Google is kind enough to open source parts of Android and provide factory images for you to install.
In this episode of XDA Developer TV, XDA Xposed Tuesday newcomer and XDA Recognized Contributor rirozizo shows you how to install factory images on your Nexus device. He shows off the step using his Nexus 5, but these steps should work for any of the Nexus line of products. So, if you wanted a stock clean install of Android, check out this video.
There is a long list of music player or media player applications available for Android. While most of them look pretty much the same as all the rest, some others offer a so called “premium touch” through the use of an equalizer, visualizer, or support for certain more obscure file types. Unfortunately, most of these applications are paid only, so you are forced to use some free alternatives if you don’t want to part with your hard earned cash.
Among the free music players, you can often find the occasional gem. One of them, Laisim Silver Music Player by XDA Forum Member rauma, was recently released to the public. The player contains most of the features known from other popular players like PowerAmp, PlayerPro etc., but it is available free of charge and doesn’t have any annoying ads. The application plays FLAC files without any issues, has a built-in equalizer, and even a tag editor. As the metaphorical cherry on top, it can download the lyrics of your currently playing song, and much more. How cool is that?
Laisim Silver Music Player will work on every version of Android starting with Ice Cream Sandwich. If you are stuck at Gingerbread, there is a version available that should work with this version of OS.
It’s good to see developers releasing their work without fee or ads. This reminds us all how the Android community should be like. Laisim Silver Music Player is one free, yet very good application. You can get it by visiting the Laisim Silver application thread.
September 9, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Over the past several years, social networks have quickly become a part of our lives. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ are the biggest examples of the social networks that we see across the Web. No matter the type or our language of choice, we use them everyday to communicate with our friends or simply to catch up with all the news.
Almost every social media site has its own Android application. They look different, but there are a few things in common. They often are very big, bloated, and use lots of device resources. One of examples is Facebook, whose mobile version is a battery hog and requires a fast device to work decently. However, the web version is much faster and works like a charm even on older devices. XDA Senior Member cixty decided to combine WebView with an application, and this is how Facebook Browser was born. This application is a simple browser that gives instant access to your Facebook account. This application doesn’t require other browsers to work.
There are two versions of the application. One with an action bar, and second without. If your device has softkeys only, the version with action bar should be your choice.
Are you tired of slow Facebook application? Does it use too many permissions and does it drain your battery? Try a lightweight alternative by visiting the Facebook Browser application thread.
September 9, 2014 By: Faiz Malkani
Back in May when the LG G3 was launched, one of its highly marketed features was its optional Quick Circle case. While not a pioneering venture in its field, this implementation utilized its circular cut-out window for more than just answering phone calls, extending its presence to widgets and full blown apps as well. Despite its rather expansive coverage, the Quick Circle case is best known for circular clocks, which allow the user to place circular widgets on the home screen that remain visible through the cutout. This then offers a variety of glanceable info needing only basic micro-interactions, if at all. However, the default Quick Circle clocks provided by LG have limited options and anything that stays same for a while tends to get monotonous.
Capitalizing on this lack of flavor in Quick Circle clocks, XDA Recognized Themer blackbearblanc has launched a set of cool graphic clocks called Urbann, which serves to increase the variety of options. The styles in the set range from minimal time-only clocks, to full blown weather information displays and replace all the stock clocks with new ones. The mod is in the form of a standard APK, but requires the Xposed Framework to run.
Head over to the Black Bear Blanc Theming thread to get started with customizing your Quick Circle. The app isn’t free on the Play Store, but blackbearblanc has graciously provided the APK in the thread for XDA members, so consider buying the app to support him.
September 9, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Text messaging is one of the most popular ways to communicate currently. However, if you are a responsible adult and respect those around you, there are times where you can’t, or shouldn’t, spend a lot of time text messaging. What you need is a way to speed up common text entry.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you set macros that will automatically type in what you set it to type. XDA Forum Member mikmitch created the Xposed Macro Expand module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
September 9, 2014 By: Samantha
Surfing the web on an Android device perhaps isn’t the most smooth experience one can have, especially when compared with using a PC. Maybe the screen is not big enough or not that responsive, or the words displayed are too small. Or maybe the browser you’re using is at fault, which, on many occasions, it tends to be for many people. If you’re using Google Chrome, and feel that its UI is not quite optimal, XDA Forum Member JT5 has developed an Xposed module that hopes to alleviate this problem.
Called ChromePie, the module essentially lets you navigate Google Chrome and Google Chrome Beta with pie controls. Actions include:
As one may ascertain from its functions, ChromePie offers a practical solution to any gripes one may have with Google Chrome’s UI by allowing quick navigation to many of the most used functions of the browser, such as opening and closing a tab, adding bookmarks, and more. The module has been tested on JT5’s Nexus 5, but it should work with any other Android device with the Xposed Framework installed.
To check out the Xposed module yourself, head over to the ChromePie application thread for more details.
September 8, 2014 By: Samantha
It seems that with modern day smartphones, we increasingly need access to the Internet–not only for communication such as Emails and text messages, but for apps, synchronization, and more. For many folks including yours truly, we keep our mobile data on just so we don’t miss those Facebook notifications, messages, or Snap Chats, even if by doing so, we’re sacrificing our precious battery life. If you find yourself in a situation where mobile data and WiFi are not available to you, you can now surf the Web by connecting a USB modem to your device.
XDA Senior Member ISF created a simple guide that teaches you how to connect one of these USB modems to your Android device with only an OTG cable. The process is quite simple and straightforward, requiring you to download and install an app, configure the necessary network information, and connecting your Modem to your device. In order to do this though, your Android device must be rooted. ISF has also recorded a video teaching you this process as well so you can have a more visual understanding of what needs to be done.
If you’re interested in giving this a go, head over to the USB modem tutorial thread to get started.
September 8, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Music knows no boundaries. How many times have you wanted to share your music with your friends but faced some kind of issue or inconvenience? I bet that this has happened more than a few times. Unfortunately, playing music out loud in public places isn’t always the best idea, and is often considered tasteless.
There are other solutions to share your hits without driving people bananas. One of them is MediaBowl, an interesting application written by XDA Forum Member lrangasw68. MediaBowl is a media streamer that plays media files on every Android client within the range of a specified WiFi network. The application can be used as a host to share your music, or as a client to play the files shared by others. Music is not the only content that can be streamed. The application works nicely with movies and pictures as well. It can even stream and play the music at the same time!
MediaBowl can be used at every phone and tablet that has a working client of the app, reducing the need for high volume. Usage is very easy. Just select the content you wish to share and click on the icon on the bottom of the screen. The application will do the rest. Every MediaBowl user on the specified WiFi network will be able to find your stream and join the party.
Don’t struggle to share your movies and music while out and about. Head over to the MediaBowl application thread to give it a shot!
September 8, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Moto 360 has been released! 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 Verizon HTC One M7 Android 4.4.3 KitKat and be sure the check out the article talking about getting an Unlocked Moto X in any color! 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 RootJunky released a video showing you how to install TWRP on your Android Wear device. Then Newcomer droidmodd3rx showed off how to make any Android Device have the same software as the OnePlus One. 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 7, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Oppo’s spunky offspring company OnePlus announced their first smartphone, the One, to much fanfare. It ships with a special version of CyanogenMod installed. Many people love CyanogenMod and would love to get their hands on a phone with this version. However, getting your hands on a OnePlus One is not as easy as going down to the store and buying one. The supply is limited and there are many paths to getting the opportunity to buy one, and some paths are very sketchy.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV newcomer droidmodd3rx, shows off XDA Senior Member zedomax‘s OnePlus One Conversion Kit. This kit allows you to install the special OnePlus One features like the OnePlusOne lock screen, camera, soundfx, whisper push, privacy guard, wallpapers, and more on any smartphone that runs CyanogenMod 11. 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.
September 6, 2014 By: Samantha
PhilZ Touch Recovery is one of the most popular CWM-derived custom recoveries available for Android devices. With a plethora of compatible devices and being fully open source, anyone can try to get it working on their device if it isn’t available already. Fortunately, if you find yourself in a situation where you want to use PhilZ Touch but don’t know where to start, there’s now a tutorial that shows you how to compile the recovery for any Android device with a MediaTek SoC.
Written by Senior Member yuweng, the tutorial is comprehensive and detailed in its explanation of the steps necessary to compile PhilZ Touch for your device. It also provides a background of what PhilZ Touch recovery is for any newcomers, a quick rundown of the compilation process, and the tools required. The tutorial is accompanied with plenty of examples of code and screenshots along with other helpful information and links. Additionally, yuweng provides some additional information that you may find helpful, such as some miscellaneous tips and even a case study.
If you own a device with a MediaTek chip and are looking for a tutorial on compiling PhilZ Touch Recovery for your device, yuweng’s tutorial is a great place to start. Head over to the PhilZ Touch 6 for MediaTek devices tutorial thread for more information.
September 6, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Wireless Internet Access Points, also known as mobile hotspots, are getting more popular every day. That said, they are still in areas where Internet access is considered a luxury. When you are traveling a lot, you’d likely want to inform your family of your status and whereabouts, and hotspots often are your only choice. As we all know, international phone calls, SMS messages when abroad, and mobile data are very expensive, so they often are not an option if you don’t want to pay a fortune.
Some of us make a quick call and quickly disconnect after hearing the first ring tone. This can be used as code stating that we are okay or maybe to expect a call. It’s a fast and free way to send a short message. XDA Forum Member ringlabs came up with the interesting idea of using ring tones to send predefined messages, free of charge and fast. Ringtext uses XMPP protocol or phone calls to send free messages. The recipient gets a call and a short message in the client. You can add up to 100 messages. Such a number should be enough to prepare yourself for almost every situation.
All calls are absolutely free of charges. It’s a perfect solution for kids without mobile data, backpackers without data coverage, as well as international business travelers seeking to avoid roaming costs.
Don’t pay too much for simple phone calls and SMS messages. Get ringtext and talk with your friends and family for free, without the Internet, fast and simple. Get it from the Ringtext application thread.