April 11, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Data security is very important, and we’re all well aware of that fact. Heartbleed only underscored our reliance on the security of our digital data. On the mobile device front, there are several ways to protect our data from prying eyes. One of them is a lock screen. You can secure your lock screen in several ways, including a variable device unlock PIN, face detection, passwords, traditional PINs, and of course pattern unlock. But an overly secured device can then also be a burden to its owner. After all, our memories aren’t perfect, and we may forget our unlock codes.
Entering an incorrect password five times forces you to wait 30 seconds before being allowed to try again. But none of us like waiting. With this in mind, XDA Senior Member hamzahrmalik created the More Pattern Attempts module for Xposed Framework.
As its name implies, More Pattern Attempts increases the number of incorrect patterns that can be attempted before the device locks itself to 20. The notice regarding five failures remains, but you will be able to enter the next patterns immediately. After 20 incorrect combinations, the device is locked and can only be unlocked by signing into your Google account. Since this comes in the form of an Xposed module, it works only on rooted devices with Xposed Framework installed.
You can find more information in the module thread.
April 11, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat rolled out to the Nvidia SHIELD! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the story on how the Sprint HTC One M8 was updated to 1.54.651.8 and received a new extreme power savings mode and the news about the HTC One M8 receiving S-Off! 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 Crappalinks, as well as a video explaining everything you need to know about the new Amazon Fire TV. Finally, TK also gave us an Android App Review of the C Locker update. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Smartphones are undoubtedly the most “personal” of our personal computers. We use them to access our Email, banking information, and pretty much the rest of our private data. Luckily, there are quite a few file locker applications available to help keep prying eyes away from our Gmail. However, things get a bit trickier if you’re looking to hide files that reside on your device’s storage.
Sure, you can easily encrypt your internal storage through Android’s security settings menu, but what about your external storage? And what about those who want to let others casually access their devices but don’t want their tech savvy friends viewing their naughty selfies? Luckily, XDA Senior Member Doplgangr offers up a great app to encrypt files of your choosing.
Secrecy, as its name implies, allows you to hide and encrypt various files of your choosing. These can be pictures, videos, or any other file type. And unlike many other available options, Secrecy actually encrypts the files in question, rather than simply storing them as raw data in a hidden location.
Now there is one caveat here, and it’s a big one. While this application states that every file is encrypted with AES256, it is not open source. Thus, you can never truly be sure how securely your files are being stored. But for the casual user simply looking to make certain files inaccessible when a device is mounted to a PC, Secrecy certainly does the trick.
If you’re looking for a simple and user-friendly way of hiding your files, head over to the application thread and give Secrecy a shot.
April 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Although we weren’t graced with the good fortune of receiving another Google Update Wednesday yesterday, the creator of our favorite little green robot has decided to share a few goodies with us today. These come in the form of first-party Android application updates for Chrome Beta and Google Keyboard.
Today’s update to Chrome Beta brings it to version 35.0.191634. As you would expect from a major version change, v35 brings quite a few new features. The most immediately noticeable is the ability to undo closing a tab. Before, one would have to navigate to the recently closed section of the new tab screen in order to reopen a closed tab. But now, you are able to click undo in much the same way as when you delete an email in the Gmail app.
In addition to the undo closed tab feature, Chrome Beta v35 also brings multi-window support for certain devices and improved controls and support for subtitles in fullscreen HTML5 video. Naturally, you must be running a compatible Samsung (or presumably LG) device with ROM support to use the multi-window feature. Finally, the Chrome Releases blog also cites that this version brings Chromecast video casting support even though this was added in a previous update.
Chrome Beta isn’t the only app to receive Google’s update love today. Google Keyboard also received a minor update from 3.0.19373.1072412a to 3.0.19423.1102675a. However, this update is nowhere near as significant as the update to v3. Instead, this seems to simply be a maintenance / bug fix release, as nothing was added to the app’s What’s New section in Google Play.
Both Chrome Beta and Google Keyboard can be found in their respective pages on the Google Play Store. But for those who don’t have access to the Play Store or in case the updates aren’t available yet for all devices, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs on our Dev-Host account. You can find those links below:
April 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Way back in 2011, we talked about the interesting Chainfire3D plugin CF.lumen. For those of you who don’t remember, the plugin intelligently modified the color temperature of your device’s display based on the time of day and relative solar position. In other words, a customizable color filter would be added after sundown in the hopes of reducing eyestrain.
Unfortunately, however, the old CF.lumen plugin only worked with devices running Android 2.x. Now let’s fast forward to today, as XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s has brought CF.lumen back from the dead. Today’s new version of CF.lumen comes in at version 2.0, and it brings support for rooted devices running KitKat onwards. And rather than working as a plugin for Chainfire3D, CF.lumen v2 is its own independent application.
CF.lumen v2 functions in much the same way as the old plugin, as it allows you to set color filters to match the time of day. There are three conditions available (day, sundown, sleep), and each can be customized to your own liking. In addition, this version brings a colorblindness mode, which may help those with difficulty distinguishing between certain shades of colors.
April 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Back in October of last year, we talked in depth about malware on Android and the platform’s multiple layers of defense. One of the final pieces of puzzle is of course Android’s Verify Apps feature. And while only around 0.5% of applications end up triggering this security mechanism, it’s still a great safety net to have when dealing with closed source applications of untrusted origin.
The Verify Apps feature, which is available on devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread or later, has traditionally scanned apps against known malware signatures as they are installed. Now, Google has expanded the functionality of Verify Apps with constant device monitoring. This means that in addition to messages while installing applications with known malicious signatures (left two screenshots), your device will constantly search its installed applications for malware (right two).
In practice, the new functionality shouldn’t have too great of an impact on end-user security. Google states that after receiving a warning, only 0.18% of users actually end up installing the potentially malicious application. But then again, the list of known malicious signatures is constantly expanding, so even users who diligently deny installation to flagged apps will benefit.
The update to Verify Apps will be rolling out to your device through Google Play Services shortly, if it hasn’t already. Have you ever fallen victim to malware on Android? Have you seen any of the warnings above? Let us know in the comments below!
[Source: Official Android Blog]
April 10, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android applications are pretty easy to use, and some resources can be obtained directly from APK files. Much of this information is available in the XML manifest file that contains all of the relevant information about the app’s friendly name name, version, required SDK level, and more. If an APK has a decipherable package name, you can easily determine what application it is and even its version by looking at just the filename. However, it’s often difficult to determine an app’s true function when looking at com.developername.obscurepackagename.apk.
For these situations, XDA Senior Member dmagician‘s ApkSpy utility for Windows can help. ApkSpy is actually a newer, modified version of a previous application with the same name created by XDA Senior Member ido back in 2011. Thankfully, dmagician decided to give it a refresh, so he modified Ido’s tool and added various useful tweaks.
Once ApkSpy obtains the relevant information for APK files stored on your computer, it can then rename package files in order to help you avoid confusion. And after doing this, it can even install the applications directly to your device using ADB. To use ApkSky on your Windows PC, you must have ADB and AAPT in your system path, or have them in the same folder as the utility’s executable file.
To give this application a try, make your way to the original thread.
About 8 months ago, TK reviewed a lockscreen App called C Locker by XDA Senior Member astoncheah. Now, the app received a major update and overhaul. This new update allows users to use everything from a customizable ring to other widgets and lock screen customizations. The app is all new, so TK decided to check out the changes.
In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews C Locker again. TK shows off the application and its changes, so check out this app review.
Stock Android has improved significantly since the days when it was barely usable. However, some OEMs still love to put significant amounts of bloat into their firmware, thinking that we all love to play demo games or use pointless applications.
If your phone is held back by unnecessary bloat or too many installed apps, you can do two things: wipe your device completely or use a tool like the one created by XDA Forum Member SuffAdvApps. App Eater, as its name implies, eats applications. It’s a simple uninstaller with many great features like batch uninstallation, sorting, and app search.
In future releases, the developer promises to add root support, so App Eater also be able to help you uninstall all of the bloat from your stock ROM. The application also supports widgets, so uninstalling the most recently used application is very easy. This then makes it good for testing apps, since it’s only a click away.
To find out more about this application, make your way to the original thread.
Remember back when we would have to send text messages via T9? You know, before the age of the modern smartphone? I know, I know. Many of you reading this are under the age of 20, and thus don’t really have a clear memory of the ’90s. Heck, I’m sure some of you were born in the ’00s, but go with me for a second.
One would think that banging out even short SMS messages with a standard numeric keypad would be a chore. And in a way, that’s certainly true when compared to full QWERTY keyboards and today’s amazing predictive text soft-keyboards. However, the single innovation that made this manageable at the time was the T9 predictive text algorithm. Since then, T9 has largely been forgotten, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still plenty of uses for this relic from the past. And one such example is Dial an App by XDA Forum Member luciferabby.
As its name implies, Dial an App allows users to “dial” applications like they’re placing a call on a standard telephone keypad. In other words, you’re presented with a grid of nine letter blocks, which you use to spell out the application name. The more letters you enter, the more the choices are narrowed down. Essentially, you can think of it like Launchy for your Android device.
So does it work? It’s actually quite efficient. Rather than scrolling through several home screens or your cluttered app drawer, you can get to the application you want in seconds. And about the only thing holding it back from being “perfect” is the lack of a traditional phone dialer. Now, imagine how great this app would be if you could not only dial applications, but also make calls from within the same interface? There’d never be a reason to use any other dialer. Luckily, the developer let me know that this is in the cards for a future update.
If you wish to give Dial an Application a try or have suggestions for the developer, head over to the application thread.
April 9, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
An announcement from Amazon recently caused the Internet a great deal of excitement. Amazon has expanded its Kindle empire and is attempting to take Google TV, and perhaps the Chromecast, head on with its new Amazon Fire TV. Running Android deep deep down, we recently added a forum for it!
In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK takes a look at the Amazon Fire TV. TK shows off how use the various functions of the device. TK even shows you how to use the voice search, attach Bluetooth Controllers, and play games on the device. So check out this video.
April 9, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
XDA-Developers is all about learning and sharing the knowledge with others. It doesn’t matter if it’s knowledge on installing an application or hacking the bootloader; knowledge is priceless.
Not too long ago, we talked about a guide to making your own Flappy game clone. Making a game is a challenge, but it’s within range of even so called newcomers. However, it certainly takes ambition and determination to achieve your goals. If you prefer spoken word to written, you should definitely watch a series on game making by XDA Forum Member evh98.
Evh98 recorded 50 videos, in which he describes the complicated and long process of creating a game. During the session, evh98 teaches you Java and the LibGDX library in order to create a 2D game. Just be sure to keep it away from birds, pipes, and other rather addictive elements. If you already know how to code, the author suggests that you start from video 21, where the game making process begins.
For more information regarding the project, please go to the original thread. There, you can find links to YouTube channel with tutorial. We all hope that one day you will present your game here on XDA boards.
Nothing provides more satisfaction than making something yourself. Learning is a beautiful process. And when you create even something small with your own brain, you feel like a king. The same thing applies to Android, where first you start by using apps created by others and then you may venture to make your own.
Xposed Framework module development differs a bit from that of a regular application. As you know, Xposed Framework allows you to modify many aspects of the Android OS without APKTool, decompiling, pushing back to your device, and all of the requisite clutter. If you are ready for a challenge, XDA Forum Member hamzahrmalik posted a tutorial on how to create an Xposed module.
Before you get started, you should know that this isn’t an easy process. You must know quite a bit about Java. But with a bit of an effort, you should be able to create your own module. The module presented as an example in the guide was made in Eclipse, but you can use an IDE to compile an application. You should be able to create one on every operating system that supports Eclipse.
So if you think that now is a good time to start developing some Xposed module, make your way to the tutorial thread to get started.