October 14, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
One of my personal pet peeves in mobile devices—especially tablets—is a right-sided volume rocker. No, I don’t care either way about the ergonomics of such button placement. After all, you get used the button arrangement after a set period of time, and this quickly becomes second nature. No, my gripe is with what happens when you rotate your device.
If a device features a left-sided volume rocker and you rotate it clockwise (the only way to keep the volume rocker on the top of the device), Volume Up is on the right and Volume Down is on the left. This is good. This corresponds with Android’s volume changer UI, as well as pretty much every volume readout on any modern piece of electronics. If, however, the volume rocker is on the right and you rotate the device counter-clockwise (again, keeping the volume rocker on the top of the device), Volume Down is now on the right and Volume Up is now on the left. This result is troublesome, as the keys no longer correspond with Android’s UI. While you could always rotate your device the other way, this would result in the volume keys being on the bottom, which is extremely inconvenient.
Thankfully, XDA Senior Member etatto83 created a quick Xposed module that straightens this out for us… literally. Since this comes in the form of an Xposed module, you need to have an ICS or later device and be running XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework (thread). If you meet these requirements, however, installation is a breeze and is as simple as installing and activating the module, and rebooting.
October 14, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
At this years Big Android BBQ, a new player in the custom ROM world comes to life with the announcement of OmniROM. 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 an article reporting online flashing with Universal Kernel Flash Tool and the announcement that you can now root your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in a KNOX-friendly way.
In other important news, Jordan talks about a multi-device image flasher based on CASUAL. Finally, Jordan talks about decompiling, deodexing, and more that you can accomplish with the Android Everything tool. Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Are you a fan of Match Three games like the popular Bejeweled? Have you been looking for a similar game with a slightly fruitier aesthetic? If so, you may want to give XDA Forum Member HazardGames‘s Jamaker Fruit Story a shot.
The game, similar to other games in the genre, has you swap adjacent tiles one at a time until you match at least three in a line. Once this happen, the matched tiles are eliminated and more fall from the sky.
While all games of this genre are inherently quite similar, Jamaker Fruit Story differentiates itself from its Match Three contemporaries with its interesting and fruity aesthetic, playful yet addictive music, and wide range of power-ups such as bombs, lasers, and ice storms.
Jamaker also features a leaderboard so you and your casual gaming buddies can see who’s best. Finally, there three different worlds and 75 different levels in all, so you can play to your heart’s without fear of running out of new challenges.
If you’re looking for a new take on Match Three Games, give Jamaker a shot. Head over to the game thread to get started.
October 13, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Android’s Sound Settings page does not allow for a great deal of customization. Currently on vanilla Android, you are able to adjust media volume, ring/notification volume, and alarm volume. As we all know, however, there are many other volumes that you are able to control in different places in the Android OS.
Previously, adjusting these hidden volumes meant waiting for these sounds to take sound focus and adjusting the volume manually with the volume rocker. Now, there’s a better way, thanks to Ultimate Sound Control by XDA Senior Member nagasgura.
So what exactly can you do with Ultimate Sound Control? Well, the root-enabled application lives up to its name by allowing you to view and adjust all possible volumes on your device. This includes media, ring/notification, call, alarm, and system volume—all from one screen. Furthermore, you can easily disable any system sound, such as your camera shutter or low battery sound. (Please note that in some regions, disabling a camera shutter sound is illegal.)
Make your way over to the application thread to get your fix.
Normally, this application comes in two forms: a lite version that allows you to adjust any volume and disable any sound, and a pro version that adds the ability to replace any system sound with a sound of your choosing. However, for the next three days, the developer has generously made the premium version available for free in the XDA thread.
Not too long ago, we covered XDA Elite Recognized Developer Adam Outler‘s new website Casual-Dev. The site was built to help other developers leverage his open source offerings in order to use CASUAL as a delivery method for outside development projects.
Since then, we featured a simple recovery flasher for the HTC One that in and of itself wasn’t terribly groundbreaking. However, it handedly demonstrated the viability of using CASUAL as a launching platform for development work. Now, XDA Senior Members enricocid and ivn888 have created a universal image flashing tool that uses the CASUAL platform as its delivery method.
The current implementation isn’t quite the friendliest interface yet, but usage isn’t terribly difficult either. Inside the tool’s JAR package, you’ll find a Scripts folder with four zips that correspond to flashing your bootloader, recovery, kernel, and radio. Once you obtain the image you wish to flash, place that inside the zip housed in the JAR. From there, run the JAR and choose the type of image you would like to flash. It’s as simple as that.
It’s great to see more work packaged using Adam’s CASUAL platform. Head over to the original thread to get started.
October 13, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Don’t you hate it when that certain app creates an unwanted notification in your status bar? So do we. In fact, even Google doesn’t like unwanted spam in the status bar. This is, after all, why they no longer allow advertisements in the status bar.
That said, there are definitely other times in which even non-spam notifications may become annoying. These annoyances may arise from an app requiring an ongoing notification to prevent itself from being killed when losing focus, or any number of other reasons.
As of Jelly Bean, Android now has built in provisions in the App Info screen to allow users to disable notifications on a per-app basis. However, enabling and disabling notifications for each app must be done on a per-app basis. Furthermore, we all know that not everyone has access to a stable build of Jelly Bean.
Thankfully, XDA Senior Member defim has created an Xposed module that allows you to disable application notifications en masse. Instead of having to enter each application’s app info screen and manually disabling notifications, you can now easily specify which applications’ notifications you’d rather not see.
Naturally, since this is an Xposed Module, you need XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework (thread) to play. However, the installation is easy, and this should be compatible with all devices that can run Xposed (ICS+ with Xposed installed).
Head over to the module thread to get started.
There are plenty of Xposed modules out there. Their purposes range widely from adding previously device-specific functionality to patching bugs, and everything in between. This is, of course, all made possible by XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s fantastic Xposed Framework (thread) . The framework allows developers to create a module APK that is able to make a modification at runtime, while leaving original files intact. Both a boost in ease-of-use and user safety, Xposed makes device modification into a click and reboot affair.
A new Xposed module from XDA Senior Member defim has appeared, and its purpose is to remove that annoying low battery popup alert that you are given when running low on juice. Yes, being notified that your battery is running low is generally useful. However, for those of us who actively look at the battery meter in our status bars, it’s a bit redundant. Furthermore, if you happen to be in a call when you receive this alert, it will generally turn on your screen, thus reactivating the touch sensor. For yours truly, this has resulted in accidentally ended phone calls, unintentional muting, and more.
The module will work on any ICS+ device with Xposed Framework installed. Simply install the module, activate it, and reboot. To tame your low battery alert, head over to the module thread.
For those of you not able to attend the Big Android BBQ, you may not have heard that a number of developers including XDA Elite Recognized Developers Xplodwild, Chainfire, Dees_Troy announced a new direction in the world of custom ROMs.
Omni is what custom ROMs used to be about: innovation, new features, transparency, community, and freedom. While other ROMs may water down their distributions to ensure they pass Google’s approval, Omni offers you an alternative: an Android distribution that remains compatible, but which doesn’t compromise on your experience. People install custom ROMs because they don’t feel their needs are met by the preinstalled ROM on their device, and Omni is about ensuring your needs are met.
Omni is a chance to get involved, no matter who you are. Developers, whether you’ve been developing apps for a week or ROM features for 3 years, you’re welcome. Users, we know you want to help out, and we know you’re frustrated when you are told, “no bug reports on nightlies.” You want to help out more, and now you can: Omni actively encourages bug reports and feature requests, which can be added to our publicly accessible roadmap. What’s the point in giving you a ROM, and forcing you to not tell us about any bugs you find?
Speaking of nightlies, we also recognize how people use Custom ROMs—we’re all custom ROM users and developers ourselves—the argument that “nightlies are not for end users” is over-used, and no longer valid. We’ve found that the vast majority of users want to get nightly updates to their ROM. For that reason, nightlies aren’t a playground; nightlies are for new features that are finished. You should be able to expect the same stability and reliability from a nightly as you would from a “release” ROM, and can report any bugs that prevent this from happening.
We know not everyone wants to update their ROM daily, and you are free to update as frequently or infrequently as you like. Omni is about flexibility and giving users what they expect, rather than forcing users to use unstable builds in order to run a recent version of Android, then be denied the ability to report bugs, or suggest features, or point out issues, as part of a vibrant and open community, where it’s all free and open-source. No “pro” versions, no nonsense.
If you are interested in finding out more, details will be made available shortly. XDA-TV was there to record the entire talk, and it will be posted shortly. In the meantime, we have opened the Omni forums for any questions, discussions or suggestions. More information will follow very soon with regard to full sources being made available, and how you can get involved and start contributing, as well as a proper roadmap towards getting support on your device.
Update: Sources are now available on github.
We’ve seen a few Android-based image flashing tools in the past. These tools, such as XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s Mobile Odin (thread), allow us to sidestep the traditional inconvenience of having to take our device offline in order to perform certain flashing tasks. Instead, they allow us to flash from within the Android UI itself. Chainfire’s offering, in particular, is rather interesting because you can inject MobileOdin and Superuser, as well as flash entire firmware packages, radios, and more from within the app’s UI.
It’s always good to see other options pop up, and one such option comes from XDA Recognized Developer frapeti. The app doesn’t flash entire ROM packages or radios. In fact, it only flashes kernels. However, it has a very streamlined user interface and gives extensive feedback throughout the entire process, including preventing you from flashing an incorrect kernel and a readout on the to-be-flashed image’s MD5sum so that you can verify that the image is uncorrupted.
Similar to the aforementioned complete firmware package flashing tool Mobile Odin, Universal Kernel Flash Tool does not increase your flash counter. Currently there are four officially supported devices, but many more devices will inevitably work. However, if you’re trying this on an unsupported device, do yourself a favor and make a full Nandroid before proceeding and be ready for the unexpected in case something does go wrong.
Make your way over to the original thread to get started with the flashing.
A little over a year ago, we took at Anti Spy Mobile, an application by XDA Senior Member pandata000 that was aimed at helping users make sure that their applications’ permissions were in check. The previously mentioned app worked by figuring out which applications are installed, searching for well known spyware, analyzing permissions and Android intents, and giving an easily understandable output to the user listing potential trouble spots. Anti Spy Mobile unfortunately is not able to track the actual connections made by spyware.
In response to user request, pandataooo has now created a new application aimed at showing all of your current connections. Aptly titled Network Connections, pandataooo’s new app monitors and logs all connections from every network-connected app so that you know where exactly your data is going. Similar to the netstat command, this app works for both inbound and outbound traffic, and it displays the output on a per-app basis. Network Connections is even compatible with non-rooted phones. In other words, you have no excuse for not at least checking periodically.
Head over to the application thread to get started.
Please note: Network Connections normally comes in two forms: lite and premium. There are a few minor restrictions in the light version such as an unobtrusive nag screen and a limit on how long you can leave continuous capture enabled. The application can be relaunched indefinitely, allowing users to still capture connection information after the limit has been reached. However, as a special offering to the XDA community, the developer has made an unlocker available from now until next Saturday (10/19/2013) that will give you a permanently free copy of the premium app.
October 12, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We first talked about the Android Everything Tool in June of this year, at which point we noted that the Windows-based tool offered an impressive array of features and functions that could serve useful to those looking to tweak their Android devices. A little over a month later, XDA Senior Member ricky310711‘s toolkit was given a major update, with the ability to install OpenSSL and Curl, as well as access certain device information.
Ricky310711 has kept busy, and as such, another major update to the Android Everything Tool has been released. In response to user request, Ricky has added the ability to decompile and deodex apps, modify update.zip files, install AROMA, and more.
The Android Everything Tool now also has a built-in ROM kitchen to allow you to customize ROMs that you download. Please in mind, however, that simply using a kitchen does not make one a developer. In other words, please don’t share kitchen kitchen ROMs with the community. That said, they may be useful for your own needs, so a kitchen may come in handy.
Make your way over to the utility thread to get started.
Do you have the need for speed? Rather than taking out your aggressions on the road where you may cause an accident that injures not only yourself but also other drivers, why not exhaust your racing fever virtually? For those looking for a top-down, arcade-style racing game to pass the time, look no further than XDA Forum Member BeetlePlay‘s Sprint Driver.
The game puts you in control of a motorcycle, where your objective is to evade cops and other drivers while collecting as many coins as possible. Inevitably, you will either crash or run into an obstacle, thus ending your run. The coins you collect along the way allow you to change tracks or vehicles. And if you have enough coin, there are three tracks and nine vehicles to choose from. Controls for Sprint Driver are primarily accelerometer-based. However, you also have a boost button at the bottom right portion of the screen.
There are game genres where it’s not about the graphics, but let’s face it: Racing games
deserve require refined graphics. The game itself was made using the highly regarded (and highly capable) Unity 3D engine. As such, its visuals are absolutely top notch, especially for a game created by an independent developer. And on my own Nexus 7 and Oppo Find 5, the details were crisp and rewarding, without a hint of stutter at max settings.
Head on over to the game thread to get in on the racing action. Just don’t blame us when you’re hooked.
Over the last few months, we’ve talked about many different of simulating some of the built-in features of the Moto X on other devices. This includes apps (and open source projects) that deliver Active Display functionality and make Google Now listen to you at all times. A new modification courtesy of XDA Senior Member MohammadAG has appeared, and it allows any NFC tag to be programmed to function like the Motorola Skip.
The app, aptly titled NFC Unlocking, comes in the form of an Xposed Module. Because of this, you will need to have XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework (thread) installed. Once the module is installed, simply activate it from your modules list and reboot. The module is based on previous work (NFCLockScreenOffEnabler) by qwerty12, as well as modifications by madfish73. MohammadAG then built from this to create his module.
So what exactly does this module do? Similar in function to the $20 Motorola Skip (essentially a glorified, non-writeable NFC tag), NFC Unlocking unlocks your device when a preregistered NFC tag is tapped to the device’s NFC sensor. And since this module forces your NFC sensor to stay active even when the screen is off, the mod works without having to first power on the display. The app also allows for a bit more freedom than the official offering, as you can set a detection sound, timeout, multiple authorized tags, and more.
You can get started by visiting the module thread.