July 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
If you haven’t heard already, XDA is putting on its second annual xda:devcon. This year, we’re doing it international style and holding the event in Manchester, UK on the weekend of September 26-28. We have great sponsors from Sony and Oppo who joined us last year, to newcomer OnePlus. However, it takes more than great sponsors to make an event like the successful, it takes great speakers.
Returning to xda:devcon is a speaker from last year. Founding member of the “Free Xperia Project” and now a Community Manager with Sony Developer Relations, Alin Jerpelea has a core technical background and has been active on XDA since 2006 on multiple platforms.
At xda:devcon ’13, Jerpelea gave a presentation entitled “Android on Legacy Devices – Use It or Lose It.” In that presentation, he holds a dialog with the audience and talks about how Android support on legacy devices from developers is demanded by a lot of people because manufacturers rarely release Android updates. Developers and members at XDA work hard to support devices on new Android versions. Jerpelea pondered how much we should push those devices. Is it enough to have the latest Android version booted, or do we want more? Check out the video to see what they have to say on this video from last year.
This year, Jerpelea returns and offers up another excellent presentation. This time, he will be giving a talk entitled “AOSP For Sony Devices: Past, Present and Future.” Have you ever wondered what Sony is doing to open up for more collaboration and more innovation in the Open Source community? In this session Alin will share with you where Sony is taking AOSP for Xperia in the short term. Sony wants to support external community innovation, so Alin will discuss how Sony will improve their work on openness around AOSP.
July 14, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
It’s been a while since Android L’s official unveiling. We are now waiting for Google to squash all the bugs and release this bad boy to the public. One of the major improvements introduced in Android L is Material Design. In due time, most apps should will be polished to meet new guidelines, but some devs have begun experimenting with Material Design-like imagery on KitKat or Jelly Bean.
Some parts of Material Design can be found in the latest Google+ update. And with this app, you can see how the Android L floating button looks in action. A floating menu button can be added to every application. XDA Forum Moderator Faiz Malkani created a library that allows devs to customize the button by setting a color and drawable. Faiz Malkani added a short guide how to add his library into existing or new projects. It’s relatively easy and requires just a few additions in the source.
It’s not necessary to use Android L Developer Preview in order to test this library. It should work like a charm with all applications on KitKat or Jelly Bean.
You can add a floating menu button to your application and make it more Android L-like. Make your way to the FABulous Library thread to get started.
July 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android L Developer Preview has been ported to HTC One! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is how Google may consider changing the SD Card access rules in final Android L and the story about enabling Chromecast mirroring from Any Device! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Be sure to check out the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for NotifyClean. Then, AdamOutler investigated Smartphone Charging. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of Notific. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
How important is it for you to have your device just the way you like it, particularly after hopping around ROMs like a bunny on caffeine? Does this interfere with you ORD? If you are like the rest of us, it more than likely does. Setting up your status bar with the right colors or transparency levels can be a daunting task for anyone, regardless of your level of mastery with the Android platform. To make matters worse, this is but one of the many general settings that people mess around with on their devices. There are other modifications that may involve messing with app specific DPI, setting up multiple user accounts, and of course, who can forget the ever popular need to re-enter your WiFi passwords for your home, office, school, and so on? We know that there are several apps out there that can perform master backups of everything that is contained on your device, but sometimes getting the old settings to back up properly can be a challenge on its own accord. Because of this, XDA Senior Member Kisler developed an app that tries to focus on this one part.
Backup v3.0 is a small backup application that focuses mainly on the general settings for your device. It is small and quite straightforward, with a very simple-to-use UI (unlike apps such as TiBu, which now has over 9000 options, settings, and other features). The app requests root access to work, which makes sense as it needs to write to areas with elevated permissions. Once root is granted, the app presents you with just a few simple options including where you wish to save the backup and what you wish to save. You are also given the option to restore from the backup. Simple, right?
The app is still in early development. With the right kind of feedback, an app in such early stages can easily become a more powerful tool than many of its elder brethren. but with far more ease of use. Please take it for a spin and let the dev know how it performs. Also, if you speak another language and would like to take a shot at making the app friendly for people who may speak languages other than English, drop by as well and offer your support. After all, that is what a community project is all about.You can find more information in the Backup 3.0 app thread.
July 12, 2014 By: egzthunder1
As stated in a previous article, each individual replacement browser brings its own strengths to the table. These ultimately benefit the overall Android ecosystem by giving more options to the end user. However, because of the way computing is in this day and age, apps are growing larger and more bloated with each and every iteration. Coders waste no effort in attempting to add more features that make the overall experience richer. However, this takes a toll on the size of the apps that we use. Take Google Chrome for Android for instance, which sits at a hefty 63.5 MB. For newer devices, this is not an issue as they come with at least 16 GB of internal storage–out of which, a large chunk can be used for apps. For devices with lower amounts of storage, Chrome can become somewhat of a luxury. Because of this, many people look around for alternatives that provide maximum functionality without having to sacrifice precious storage. If you are among these people, look no further because XDA Senior Member Jeeko has the solution that you need.
The dev is looking for feedback on bugs, requested features, and performance for different devices. So, please take it for a spin and see if you would like to free up about 60 MB off of your device! You can find more information in the Now Material Browser app thread. Happy browsing!
How many times have you called a phone number only to forget who the number belongs to? Or perhaps someone called you and you forgot to add the name to your contacts list. In certain situations, numbers aren’t really worth keeping, as you will only use them for a few hours or maybe a day.
XDA Forum Member sreenisatish came up with an idea to create something between a sticky and contact book. Qcktag allows its users to tag numbers both from incoming and outgoing calls, so you can keep numbers not exactly worth keeping in your phone’s memory without losing the ability to identify the caller. After opening an app, you can send a text message to the pseudo-contact or add them to your true contact list.
The idea behind this app is pretty brilliant because it keeps your phone’s contact list tidy and you won’t mistake any these numbers for truly unknown numbers. The app doesn’t require root access, and it works on every device with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and greater.
You get this application by visiting the Qcktag thread. If you like the concept, go there and give Qcktag a try.
July 12, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Google Keep is one of these first party Google apps that has earned very positive feedback from its users. This app plays the role of a virtual notebook, and is loved by many.
Unfortunately, Keep isn’t perfect. The current model of deleting a note that serves no purpose is quite cumbersome. You need to perform three steps to get rid of it: First, you need to long press the note. Then, you tap on the three-dot overflow menu. Finally, you can select delete. XDA Senior Member xenon92 made this process easier using Xposed Framework. Keep Trash removes the three-dot menu step by adding a delete button to the current menu. You can easily save yourself some tapping, in order to make Google Keep more efficient.
Since Keep Trash is an Xposed Framework module, you need to have Xposed installed on your device. And of course, your phone or tablet must be rooted. Needless to say that this module works only with Google Keep, so you need to have it installed as well.
If Google Keep is one of your crucial applications in Android, enhance its functionality with Keep Trash. You can find it by visiting the Keep Trash module thread, so go there and give it a shot.
Over the years, we have seen various different browsers on Android. They have all offered their unique features that differentiated them from others. Be it the smoothness of Dolphin (back before Chrome for Android), the openness of good ol’ fashioned Firefox, or the blazing speed of Opera’s mobile Web compression (again, before Chrome). They all brought their two cents of originality to the table. It seems that originality is not a dead art, and that there are people out there capable of squeezing a few more drops of coolness out of the tree that seemingly stopped bearing fruit many moons ago. Without further ado, XDA Forum Member popinterfaces brings us something unheard of on mobile devices. Introducing PopWeb browser.
So, what is this PopWeb browser, and why is it so interesting? Well, most internet browsers out there offer tabbed functionality. This allows you to have multiple pages opened at the same time. However, for those people used to PC browsing with multiple monitors, having multiple tabs is sometimes not enough. There is a need for interaction with multiple pages at the same time. That is where this browser comes in. PopWeb allows the user to have all their pages opened at the same time, thus allowing the end user to interact with each and every one of them simultaneously. (
read yell in Billy Mays’ voice) But wait! PopWeb also has another feature that anyone who is into website maintenance/development will absolutely love. The browser works on what the developer labelled “spaces.” This is like a canvas that holds all the windows that are opened together at the same time. Every time a link is opened, a new tab opens and it is placed on the active space. However, this is not all. The new tab actually gets a line to the “mother” page. What this means is that as you navigate, you create somewhat of a flowchart which aides you in backtracking your steps in case you need to. As stated, this is a great tool for people working on website development due to it providing a very visual road map of their site.
The browser is still in early stages (not even hitting version 1.0 yet). However, the dev has shared with us what he has so far and seems to be drastically following up on the proper development by squashing bugs and adding different functionality as time progresses. Please leave your feedback if you can think of any good suggestions–and of course, bug reports are welcome too. You can find more information in the PopWeb application thread.
Well, seeing as Google Now didn’t automatically write as I requested, it’s safe to say that Google Voice Search still has a number of limitations. When Google first demoed it, this feature was but a shadow of its current incarnation. Google Voice Search commands were unpractical, limited, and sometimes inaccurate. Each update augmented it and today, it can perform a wide range of tasks ranging from setting a reminder and placing a call to giving directions and playing music.
Yet, the list of its capabilities is somewhat conservative and limited to only basic tasks. Something like toggling the GPS would involve telling Google Now to open Settings and then navigating and toggling it manually. However, XDA Senior Member RsenG2X has a solution in the form of Commandr, an app that allows you to add custom commands to Google Now without requiring root access. And with its Tasker integration, the permutations and combinations are endless.
Head on over to the Commandr application thread to give it a shot. The developer assures that it doesn’t drain extra battery and has a bunch of features planned for future versions of the app with a handy upvote system within the app itself.
July 11, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod 11 M8 is now available for supported devices! 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 Chromecast now being able to mirror your Android devices’ screen and what you can do with Android Wear! 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 NotifyClean. Then, AdamOutler investigated Smartphone Charging. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of Notific. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Just two days ago, we talked about how the Google Chromecast gained beta support for Android device screen mirroring. This new feature, which was originally discussed in the Google I/O 2014 keynote, is made possible by the latest Chromecast Android app update and the recently released Chromecast 17250 firmware.
While the newfound Android device mirroring capabilities are quite useful, they are also quite limited. Sure, the functionality works practically flawlessly on officially supported devices. However, only 14 devices are currently approved to screencast to the Chromecast.
Luckily, this is XDA-Developers, where dreams come true and OEM limitations removed. And like various other third party development efforts in the past, the Chromecast mirroring functionality has now been extended to other devices. This work comes courtesy of XDA Senior Member r3pwn, who was able to create a root-enabled application that fools the standard Google Chromecast companion app into thinking that you’re running a supported device.
Naturally, there will be issues on certain devices. As such, this is currently marked as “experimental,” until more devices are tested. However, we already know that the Xperia Z1, HTC One M8, Samsung Note 8, and Note Pro 12.2 are working fine. The Galaxy S3 and Note 2 are hit or miss, but unfortunately the Evo 3D doesn’t seem to work at all. This is, of course, in addition to the 14 officially supported devices. It is reasonable to assume that only devices running KitKat MR1 (4.4.1) will be able to use this functionality.
If you wish to enable Chromecast mirroring from your Android device, you are n ow free to do so. Simply make your way over to the Chromecast mirroring thread to learn more.
July 10, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
You’ve probably got an Android phone. And because you’re on XDA, you are more than likely a power user. Chances are you get a lot of notifications. This is probably true even if you don’t consider yourself to be a power user. Wouldn’t it be great if you could view and respond to your notification on your Android Lock Screen?
XDA Senior Member anandbibek offers up an application that allows you get your notifications on your lock screen. In this video XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Notific. TK shows off the application, its uses, and functionality. He then gives his thoughts. Check out this app review.
July 10, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Some elements of Android development are hard to debug. While logcat gives a variety of useful information, missing images in Android icon packs and themes are still hard to track.
If you are creating Android icon packs, XDA Forum Member sabeersas has a tool that you may find extremely useful. Icon Pack Debugger finds broken icons and duplicated files and saves the output as a log on the root of your SD card. The generated XML file specifies which kind of error takes place. It can be either __drawable(notfound) when an icon is unavailable or __duplicate(ComponentInfo) when a graphics is duplicated.
Usage of this app is very simple. Just open the Icon Pack Debugger, long press on the icon pack and select debug in menu. The log can be found on the SD Card, so you can pull it to your PC to find out what’s wrong.
Are you planning to make your own icon pack? Or maybe you have some duplicated elements that you want to get rid of? Icon Pack debugger will help you out. All you need to do is making your way to the Icon Pack Debugger application thread and give this handy tool a try.