June 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re anything like I am, you dread the occasional moments when you realize that you must restart your device in order to accomplish some certain task. Be it a ROM flash, a cache flush, or simply a restart because your device that has been on for two consecutive months is starting to feel a little slow, there are various reasons that would mandate one to perform a system shutdown.
Thankfully, Android boot animations can help make the process a little more enjoyable by at least giving you some eye candy while you’re waiting to get to your next round in Super Hexagon. While most custom ROMs and some custom kernels come with their own hallmark boot animation, you may simply want some added variety to spice things up a tad.
Thankfully, XDA Forum Member raishiro has created and shared 81 superb 3D-rendered boot animations. These boot animations come from a collection of 56 .gifs from artist Paolo Čerić, and most of them are “interesting” enough to make you wonder if you have accidentally ingested some unmarked substance or inhaled a few too many fumes. Needless to say, they’re quite fascinating boot animations, and they make the restart process just a tad more bearable.
To give your boot sequence some bling, head over to the original thread. Don’t blame me if you find your device uptime lowered substantially while you try and catch a glimpse of your boot animation a few more times throughout the day.
Sometimes, some of the simplest concepts are the ones least likely to be re-imagined. However, they’re also occasionally the ones that can benefit most from some fresh ideas. In my own experience, I know that a lowly alarm clock is hardly enough to trick my brain into believing that it has had enough rest.
Thankfully, XDA Forum Member saqibvohra93 has crafted an alarm clock app that lets you customize practically everything. Designed for heavy sleepers, it allows you to wake up as violently (or as gently) as your heart desires. In the developer’s own words:
Alarm Clock Wise is fully featured, fully customizable, handy and most efficient Alarm Clock application in Google Play Store. Alarm Clock Wise has a very decent, elegant and sophisticated UI that attracts the user. Alarm Clock Wise is developed keeping in mind about heavy sleepers. Alarm Clock Wise wakes you up gently from light music or death metal if you are a heavy sleeper. Its barrier option ensures that your mind is not sleeping anymore.
None of us ever want to wake up when we’re not ready. However, there are things we can do to make it a little less unbearable, and this is a good start. To get started, head over to the original thread.
It’s been some time since we last heard about an update to AROMA. Sure, we publish stories of modifications and tweaks that utilize the AROMA Installer to afford end users choice in customizing exactly what they are installing. However, XDA Recognized Developer amarullz has now given his AROMA Installer a rather hefty update. For those who haven’t yet heard of AROMA, we recommend checking out some of our earlier stories on the installer.
So what do developers have to gain by upgrading to the latest version of AROMA Installer? Increased device compatibility, for starters. Amarullz has stated that his main focus with this release is to build on the installer’s already impressive compatibility, as well as to add stability and performance. However it appears as though devices must support ARM Neon to use the newest version.
AROMA File Manager has been updated as well. The new version brings forth the ability to take screen shots, a new input driver, and a host of other changes. And with an update time of 8 months and a change log lengthy enough to match, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Whether you’re a developer looking to package your goods in a shiny AROMA package or you simply want a nifty file manager accessible from recovery, you can head over to the AROMA Installer and AROMA File Manager threads to find out more.
June 24, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As our mobile devices become increasingly connected, client-server communications are also becoming increasingly necessary. Thankfully, a new guide has emerged that helps users setup a RESTful web API.
The new guide comes from XDA Forum Member Alkonic, and covers topics including setting up a database and PHP scrip, testing your new database server, and finally how to access this from Android. The guide is aimed towards relatively seasoned developers who have a working dev environment and have already written apps, but lack experience with MySQL or PHP.
What do budding cloud-enabled developers need to get started? Not much: an Android device to test with and a computer running on the same network, an Apache/MySQL/PHP server such as WAMP for Windows, and Postman Rest Client for Chrome. Thankfully the Alkonic also breaks summarizes the steps for those new to client-server communication:
- The client makes a request using a HTTP POST to a server
- The PHP script queries the MYSQL server
- The PHP script gets the SQL data
- The app parses the JSON and displays the data.
To learn more, head over to the guide thread.
June 24, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Sony Xperia illumination bar API released! That 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 using CloudCube to tame your clouds and news about Ariel Shimoni and XDA Elite Recognized Developer Stericson speaking at XDA:DevCon 2013.
Jordan talks about the other video released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about how a to make money as an app developer and be more than “Ramen Profitable.” Also, the winners of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z contest were announced. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
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June 24, 2013 By: Samantha
Installing a custom recovery such as ClockworkMod and TWRP on your device isn’t much of an arduous process. It’ll only take about 5 to 10 minutes at most to connect your device to your PC in order to install your recovery of choice, maybe a tad bit longer if you need to find a recovery compatible with your device. Nevertheless, it’ll still be great if you can do all that in about 30 seconds rather than 10 minutes, wouldn’t it?
Luckily for us, XDA Forum Member DsLNeXuS developed Recovery Tools, an app that finds your custom recovery of choice for your rooted device and flashes it. Supporting an array of devices from a range of manufacturers, Recovery Tools allows you to skip the usual process of installing a custom recovery by doing it all for you in a fraction of the usual required time. It should be noted that not every device supported by Recovery Tools will have a choice between TWRP and ClockworkMod, as many of these devices only have one or the other developed. However, if you have another custom recovery that you would like to flash, there’s an additional option allowing you to select another recovery to install from your internal or external memory.
DsLNeXuS also made Recovery Tools open source, with its source code found on Github for anyone who’s interested in tweaking and playing with the app. The app is compatible with any device running Android version 2.1 or newer, and is ad-free and free from the Play store. So if would like to find out more, be sure to check out the original thread for more details.
June 23, 2013 By: Samantha
One of the first steps to theming brilliance for any aspiring themer is the changing of application icons, a skill that any experienced themer will undoubtedly need in their endeavors. And the great thing is, the process of doing so is not that difficult. Because of this, any novice can have a crack at it without the risks of the more complex activities.
Written by XDA Senior Member Rajeev, this simple and straight forward guide breaks down the process of changing app icons into ‘bite-size’ steps that are easily comprehensible and followed. Using the default phone book app as an example to demonstrate the procedure, the tutorial guides you through navigating the chosen APK with 7zip File Manager, finding where the right image files are located, and replacing them with custom icons of your choosing. The process is also illustrated visually with accompanying screenshots of the various steps. Of course, keep in mind that updating the app through the Play store will reverse this modification.
Changing icons of applications this way is usually recommended over using third party apps such as Desktop Visualizer since the changes will be consistent throughout your device rather than being limited to the home screen. So if you would like to give this a go, be sure to visit the original thread for more information.
[Screenshot courtesy of neizel]
June 23, 2013 By: Samantha
Using a command line interface is a daunting task for many novice developers and themers. So its unfortunate that one of the most popular tools for modding and theming, APKtool, requires such input. This is why we’ve featured some noteworthy guides on how to use APKtool for its many purposes, such as decompiling and recompiling APKs. However, if you are looking for a simpler, more efficient way to decompile and recompile APKs without command line, you may want to check out Android Apktool.
Developed by XDA Senior Member Flextrick, Android Apktool is a free program requiring Java that performs the simple function of decompiling and recompiling your APKs. It allows you to install your framework, decompile your APK of choice, and then recompile it with only a couple of clicks, streamlining and alleviating the process normally performed by APKtool. You’ll quickly be on your way after setting up the minimalist development environment outlined in the brief tutorial provided, as the rest of the process is quite self-explanatory. There’s also a log integrated into the tool that displays a history of activities convenient for the diagnosis of any errors that you may come across.
Coming in at a mere 2.81 MB, Android Apktool is certainly worth considering for decompiling and recompiling APKs. So if this has you interested, head over to the original thread for more information and download.
June 23, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
A lot of hard work goes into making an app: blood, sweat, tears, and curses. When an app is finally released, it is the hope of one who’s spent so much time to make some decent scratch. But often, they find they are only Ramen Profitable, meaning that they really only make a profit if they are eating Ramen noodles.
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce talks about app marketing and being more than Ramen Profitable. To do this, Jayce interviews Ben Fox, CTO of Tapstream.com. Ben talks about their tools helps developers move beyond just being Ramen Profitable. Find out what he has to say and check out this video.
June 23, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The main benefit to rooting one’s Android device is the ability to run applications that are developed for root users. These applications allow you to take control of your device and do a wide variety of actions not normally permitted or possible without root access. Some of these applications allow you to take entire system-wide backups, change your devices screen density, or even alter the look and feel of your device. There is no doubt that rooting a device has many advantages.
At XDA:DevCon 2013, we are talking all about app development. Scheduled to present is XDA Elite Recognized Developer Stericson. Also known as Stephen Erickson, Stericson has been involved in the Android community since the prerelease of the T-Mobile G1, or since rc19 if we want to go in terms of Android releases. He started out learning how to create themes for Android and then he moved on to hex edits that enabled one device’s apps to work on another device. He finally moved on to developing Android applications and the RootTools library to assist others with creating applications for root users.
As a developer, creating root-enabled applications becomes trivial with the RootTools open source library. Sterison’s presentation will focus on how to use the RootTools library in order to create root applications that your users will love and appreciate.
There is no shortage of cloud storage services out there. It seems like with every couple of months, there’s a new one announced and marketed, offering some new twists and perks on top of a largely familiar set of features and functions. However, with this influx of variety and choice comes fragmentation of cloud storage apps on your device where you have an individual app for every cloud service you use. Not only will this issue have an impact on ‘real estate,’ but these apps are more often than not quite hefty in size and have a noticeably large memory footprint.
Fear not though, as XDA Forum Member aash-86 developed CloudCube. This app brings some of the most popular cloud storage services together into one comprehensive yet manageable app for your Android device. Supporting Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and Yandex Disk, CloudCube presents itself with a clinical and sliding user interface that provides access to the connected cloud storage, its directories, and files. CloudCube allows for the downloading and uploading of entire folders to and from your device, and will keep itself updated with regular synchronizations. The app also provides a history of actions, as well as any activity that is currently running.
What aash-86 has done with CloudCube is something that will most definitely be appreciated by users of many cloud storage services. It’s a well designed and polished app and still in its beta phase, will see the inclusion of more features such as tablet optimization and the synchronization of individual files. Its compatible with Android versions 2.3 and newer, ad-free, and free for download from either the application thread or the Play store. So if this interests you, make sure to check out the original thread for more information.
A custom recovery is an incredibly useful tool for anyone who wants to make the most of his or her (rooted) device. Even if you aren’t a fan of custom ROMs or kernels, you probably still use a custom recovery if for nothing but the ease of backing up and restoring your device. There are of course many other reasons why you might find yourself diving in and out of recovery, and that is a process which can become tedious.
That’s where TWRP Manager by XDA Recognized Developer and Forum Moderator jmz comes in. The application allows the user to initiate recovery functions without rebooting by using OpenRecoveryScript commands. TWRP is one of the most popular options available when it comes to custom recoveries, and with a wealth of features above and beyond the norm as well as support for a lot of the most popular devices available, it’s easy to see why. TWRP Manager mirrors the distinctive recovery UI that you are already familiar with. It allows you to flash, wipe, and restore your device easily without the need to reboot or use a button combination.
It’s important to note that the application is still in beta, so there will be bugs. However, if that’s not something that bothers you and TWRP is your recovery of choice, this is well worth a look. Head over to the original thread for all the details.
June 21, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Responses fom Ubuntu pouring into Ubuntu Touch Q&A thread! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news are two articles about Pearl Chen and Mark Murphy talking at XDA:DevCon 2013 and the review of the Oppo Find 5 now that it is more widely available in North America.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video talking about controlling your device with your Voice, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released a video all about CASUAL, and TK did an app review of four home automation apps. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
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