May 9, 2013 By: Samantha
How many times has your mum, dad or roommate come home with the groceries, only to forget the chocolates you asked them to buy just before they left? Or maybe they’re already out when you suddenly had the urge to munch on some whole grain chips? Well you can save the frustration because now you can just share all that onto the Shared Shopping List and they’ll know exactly what to get.
XDA Forum Member GammaL has come up with a practical solution for those instinctive purchases in the form of an app called Shared Shopping List. Taking on a somewhat familiar user interface as many other conventional shopping list apps out there on the market, you can create a new shopping list of which within a list, you can add different items as well as how many of each one. Tapping on an item will simply cross it off as ‘purchased.’ And once all is done, you can clear the list with a ‘trash’ button on the top right corner.
However, the most notable feature of Shared Shopping List is (as its title implies) its sharing capabilities, allowing you to share lists with others who have the app installed. After creating a new username or account through the app, you can then tap on a list and selecting the ‘share’ option. Both you and your friend must have individual accounts, and must be logged in on the app before you can add each other as ‘friends’ and sharing lists. A handy notification will pop up when a list has been shared, and any changes to lists will then trigger new notifications on the other device. As you would expect, both devices must be connected to the internet either via WiFi or mobile broadband in order for ‘shares’ to operate normally.
Shared Shopping List is compatible with any device running Android version 1.6 or newer, is ad-free and free from the Play store. If you like what you’ve read so far, most definitely check out the application thread for more details.
Every so often, an OEM will do things right. Well, nearly right anyway—right enough at least for their stock ROMS to only need some minor tweaks before they are almost perfect. More often than not though, these tweaks are things that can be tricky to implement for the average user—a user who will often find himself looking to install a custom ROM that is pretty close to stock with these desired tweaks added in. Usually that means downloading a pretty large file and then following the obligatory backup/flash/restore process that many of us now have down to a fine art. It shouldn’t have to be this way though, and luckily it isn’t. You just might not know it yet.
You may or may not have heard of the Xposed Framework, the brainchild of XDA Recognized Developer rovo89. If you’re already familiar with this particular mod, there’s really no need for me to tell you how awesome it is. You’re excused and can go play outside. If you aren’t already familiar with the framework, take a seat and listen up. While the Xposed Framework certainly isn’t a new thing, it doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as it deserves, and it’s time to do something about that.
According to the developer, Xposed works as follows:
“Some technical details:
I extended the /system/bin/app_process executable to load a JAR file on startup. The classes of this file will sit in every process (including the one for system services) and can act with their powers. And even more: I have implemented something that allows developers to replace any method in any class (may it be in the framework, systemui or a custom app). This makes Xposed very powerful. You can change parameters for the method call, modify the return value or skip the call to the method completely – it’s all up to you! Also replacing or adding resources is easy.”
What that means is that modifications (known as Xposed modules) can be made to any app or element of the OS itself by simply coding the desired change, packing it into its own APK, and installing to the device. The Xposed Framework takes care making sure it gets to where it needs to go and stays there. This eliminates the need to decompile the specific item you’re modifying or creating different versions for different ROMs and devices. There may be a need to alter an Xposed module after a major change in Android itself, for example 4.1 to 4.2, but let’s face it: That’s a fairly infrequent occurrence. No files on the device itself are modified, and this means that in the event something does go wrong, returning the device to a stable state is no more complicated than flashing a zip to disable the framework. That’s right, no more lengthy and storage consuming nandroid backup process every time something goes wrong.
Installation is incredibly quick and painless, considering the scope of this utility. Simply grab the Xposed Installer from the forum thread and sideload to your device, open up the app once it’s installed and click on “Install/Update,” reboot the device, and you’re good to go. No seriously, it’s that simple.
Installing each individual module is as easy as sideloading the APK, installing, activating it via the Xposed application and rebooting. Some mods will offer a user interface depending on how much functionality they are capable of, others just have one specific purpose and need no attention at all.
So what kind of modifications are we talking about here? Well, if you can think of tweak then chances are it can be packed into an Xposed module. Think of the added little extras that make your favourite custom ROM so appealing. Those are the sort of things that Xposed was created for.
A perfect example is Smart Alarm Icon, created by XDA Forum Member Mantelinho. This mod will configure the alarm icon in your status bar to only be displayed at a predetermined period before the alarm is due to sound. Let’s say you have your alarm set Monday through Friday. You can leave the alarm set all week but won’t have to see that little clock shaped reminder of Monday morning hanging around in your status bar over the weekend.
There a multitude of mods out there for various purposes, and you can bet that we’ll be highlighting as many as we can in the future. In the meantime, you can check out a repository for various modifications that was put together by Developer Admin pulser_g2. There is also a development tutorial aimed at getting people to create their own modules and making this the single most powerful tool for customisation there is.
Just when you thought this whole thing couldn’t possibly get any more awesome, it’s all open source. Be sure to check out the original forum thread on the Xposed Framework for more information.
May 8, 2013 By: Samantha
For most Android users, the battery consumption statistics accessed from the settings may be enough to know exactly what’s going on with the battery. However, for those who are looking for some more advanced and detailed data, the Battery Test Utility app may be of some helpful and practical use.
Developed by XDA Forum Member jacksparao, Battery Test Utility allows users to run different tests on an Android device to calculate an array of information regarding your battery and how it responds to video and music playback, as well as Internet browsing. Presented with a clinical, Holo user interface, users can select an audio, video, or browser test with adjustable settings such as screen brightness, music or video file, and URLs to be visited. When the battery level drops to 15%, the test phase is considered complete, upon which data such as music bitrate, start and end time of the test phase, battery consumption rate, and other settings like the light sensor and accelerometer computed and displayed. The app however, does come in at a rather large size of 118MB, thanks to the HD videos packaged along with it for testing purposes. But do not worry, as the app thankfully does install itself straight onto the SD card.
Battery Test Utility is a great dedicated battery tester, which presents complicated data in an uncomplicated way, unlike many other apps of similar function in the market. It’s a useful app not only for end-game Android users, but also for those curious about just how much of the precious battery is drained by the favorite album, a typical movie, or a bit of web browsing. Jacksparao has made the app available to all who have devices running Android 2.2 and up, and free from the Play store. So if this has gotten you curious, be sure to check out the original thread for more details.
May 7, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, HTC released its latest flagship device, the HTC One. The HTC One comes in variants including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. After numerous delays, the phone started shipping. And what do we do here at XDA developers once we get a new device? That’s right, we customize it.
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you how to unlock the bootloader on the HTC One. This allows you to be about to install custom recoveries and customer ROMs. You can then gain root access to your device. Check out this video to find out who wins.
May 6, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Most of the tutorials out there to get you started in developing Android applications will recommend using Eclipse as an IDE (integrated development environment) and not without good reason. It’s a solid and dependable program that is intuitive and particularly friendly to those with minimal experience. You could almost be forgiven for thinking it was the only viable option given its popularity, but this is far from the truth and there are alternatives.
XDA Senior Member ramdroid77 has taken to the newly launched App Development Forums to talk about his choice of IDE, IntelliJ IDEA. After running into some issues with Eclipse failing to load certain projects on both Windows and Linux, he sought out an alternative and settled with IDEA. One of the reasons for his preference is as follows:
“One big difference (and it seems many people have troubles with it) is IDEA’s handling of library projects. Unfortunately I think this is done in a very logical way, as each “project” is handled as a model. Means you create a project (“My app”), add a module for your main app project, and add new modules for each library project you would add. For each modules you can set the dependencies and say on which modules it depends.”
IDEA itself supports Windows, OSX and Linux, another notable feature is the inclusion of an inbuilt Android UI designer. It also happens to be open source and is available from the JetBrains site as a free download (there is also a paid version with increased functionality). This definitely looks like it might be worth a spin for all of you app developers out there. Be sure to head over to the relevant forum thread and share your experiences as well.
May 6, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The official Google Play store is now available on the Nook HD. That story and more are covered by Kevin, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is a discussion of the new Paranoid Android Halo and a custom kernel for the HTC One, which modifies its button’s function.
Kevin talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talked about Code Katas and The Curse of Knowledge regarding App Development. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
A few days shy of one year ago, I brought you news of nifty little application called ReadItToMe by XDA Senior Member crazyfool_1. This app, as the name suggests, takes any incoming messages and call notifications that you might receive while a headset is plugged in or the device is streaming audio over Bluetooth and reads them to you aloud. The concept is perfect for those who are fed up of constantly hauling your device out of your pocket or impulsively taking one eye off the road whenever a notification comes through.
Since that article was posted, the application has been developed further and in fact it has been essentially rewritten and given a hefty update. It has not only received a boost in functionality, but also a full Holo UI makeover. It makes sense to keep such an app consistent with the aesthetics of newer versions of Android and contemporary applications, as the basic functionality is something people are pretty much always going to find a use for—well, for as long as we have devices capable of playing back music and receiving calls/texts anyway.
Possibly the greatest feature of this application, though, is that it will translate the gibberish that is “txt spk“ and read it back to you in proper English (other languages are available). Although this isn’t a new feature, it’s still awesome. There are of course other features that are new and available in the applications PRO version, such as receiving notifications from apps like Google Talk and WhatsApp. I wasn’t planning on mentioning the premium version because we only focus on freely available apps here on the XDA Portal. However, seeing as crazyfool_1 has been kind enough to make the PRO version available to XDA members for the low low price of £0.00*, I think we can make an exception.
Check out the application thread for more information on the app itself and what’s changed in the past year.
*Approximately $0.00 (depending on current exchange rate)
Working with a team of developers can be great because you have someone to talk to when you hit the coding wall. If you don’t have that luxury, you can still learn how other programmers do things in order to sharpen your skills. That’s what XDA Recognized Contributor coolsandie had in mind when he started his list of all open source Android apps.
The list is huge, spanning several posts in the original thread, so there are many examples to learn from. All of the apps listed are available in the Play Store, which should equate to them being less buggy than random code snippets found in the wild. You can install them to see what features they include, then follow the list’s links to the source code to see how the original developers did everything.
Just reading through the source code is a great way to improve your own work and decrease the time you spend developing, but this is also a great resource to turn to when faced with a very specific problem. Want to know how to detect movement? Check out Pedometer which keeps tracks of how many steps you take each day. Need an example of how to add Widgets as part of your App? You’ll have no problem finding one in this list.
Yesterday, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce talked about finding resources to learn to code. Today, he delves into it a bit more and talks about some of the resources he’s found. From online YouTube tutorials to Java coding games, Jayce gives an overview of some of the options out there.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce interviews Chris Haseman, an Android Developer at Tumblr, about Good Code. Chris talks about how the journey to write good code is to write a lot of bad code since it helps give you the experience you need.
The methods for expressing one’s thoughts are constantly changing. Fluid in form and nature, they are most often characterized by whatever is readily available, which in our case, is technology. Within only a decade, came MSN, text messaging, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and even Omegle—all aiming to satisfy our natural tendencies to blabber our mouths away at anyone who would care to listen. The one restriction that has remained constant through the ages, however, is that you cannot blabber at people when you’re not actually there or if you simply do not have the time. So with this, pops up Schemes in the XDA forums.
Developed by XDA Senior Member Flozzo, Schemes is an app that allows you to remind, badger, or pester people at any time you want, with its main function of sending messages based on a set schedule you set. With support for SMS, Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail; you can set the time and date for the message, Tweet, or Email to be sent. Additionally, messages can be sent on up to four networks at the same time, something you can choose to do from the message creation screen. Notifications can also be toggled in the settings, which when on, notifies you upon the sending of a scheduled message. Flozzo then packs all of this into a pleasant Holo user interface that’s simple in design and navigation.
With an active developer behind it, Schemes may see support for multi-recipient SMS support, Facebook posts on friends’ walls, photo sending and sharing, and a whole lot more in the future. The app is compatible with Android versions 3.0 and newer, and can be downloaded for free from the XDA forum post. So if this has gotten you interested, most definitely check out the application thread for more details and download.
May 4, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You asked for it, so now you are going to get it. Since the last couple of videos, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce has read your comments and you have asked for more information for people starting out as Android developers or developers in general. Well, he’s found some answers.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce interviews Miguel De Icaza, Co-Founder and CTO at Xamarin, about Code Katas. Miguel talks about development and learning new code by repetition using so called “Code Katas.” Check out this video.
It’s well established that addictive games are fun. There’s something about them that just clicks with your dopaminergic reward system, and before you know it, your night’s over after a couple of ‘quick’ rounds. Now mix this with fruit and juice, and you have FruitPunch in your hands, courtesy of XDA Forum Member hIVESaRELaW.
Faced with a glass filled with fruits and juice, the most obvious and instinctive action would be to squash them as quickly as possible.You achieve this by launching fruit into the glass and aiming them at other fruits of the same kind until three or more connect, at which the fruits explode with a satisfying ‘squish!’ However, if you miss the glass, or fruits overflow out of the glass, game’s over, and you’ll have to restart the round.
It’s the little touches here and there that truly makes this game that much more enjoyable. The bright and chromatic colors mixed with the true-to-life sound effects ranging from fruit hitting the glass, to the splashes of the water really adds to the atmosphere and zest of the game play. And with 144 unique levels and an arcade mode, a productive night is no longer an option.
FruitPunch is simple and satisfying with game play in the vein of Match 3 games, which means one addicting game. It’s compatible with any device running Android version 1.6 or newer, and can be downloaded for free from the Play store. So if this has gotten your attention, definitely check out the application thread for more information.
May 3, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Linux 3.0.8 kernel is available for 2011 Sony Xperia Devices. That story 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 AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 being released with a locked bootloader and in related and unsurprising news, the Galaxy S4 bootloader has been unlocked.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve had an App Shootout between third party browsers for Android, Windows Phone, and iOS; AdamOutler talked about the Google ADK 2012 code; and TK released an Android App review of Incall Recorder. Pull up a chair and check out this video.