November 27, 2013 By: egzthunder1
Our devices have turned from the communicators they were meant to be a decade and a half ago into multimedia powerhouses capable of doing most of what we do with other gadgets and larger equipment. Of course, the all-in-one aspect and reduction in component size come at a cost (normally quality), but that is a topic for another discussion. For all practical purposes, our devices are powerful enough to do what we want to do without having to be stuck in a room or waiting for others to do stuff for us.
One thing that has truly grown on mobile devices over the last decade or so has been the camera. The sensors have been getting better and better, lenses have become not only more durable, but also enable us to take better pictures, and apps in general enable us to be more creative with how we do things. Today, we will talk about an app that enables you to do something with that gigantic stash of pictures in your SD card (no, not that stash…).
A photo mosaic is basically a picture, which is composed entirely of smaller pictures, arranged in such a manner that the eye perceives the formation as a different picture than the ones used to form it. The arrangement of pictures is something that is normally left for PCs, as it requires quite a bit of processing power to get something done efficiently, that will look half decent.
XDA Forum Member zagonico just released an app that enables you to perform this same task, but on your mobile device. Why is this good? Well, for starters, you no longer need a computer in order to create these. On top of that, it saves you a few minutes worth of transferring gigs of pictures into your computer’s HDD. Yes, you could connect the device to the PC via USB or even take out the card and plug it in the PC, but that hinders your overall speed due to data transfer rates via USB/card reader being considerably slower than those that come from reading off the internal drive. And last but not least, you can do it any time, any place. The app uses rather decent resolutions for the small pictures, so the resulting image looks quite nice. It also allows the use of grayscale and sepia effects for added creativity.
The dev has stated that he tried it on a LG L9 and a SGS2, both of which presented different completion times for the same project. In other words, your mileage may vary depending on your device’s hardware. Please take it for a spin and report your results in the thread so that others will know what to expect whenever they try this on their device(s). Also, feedback and bug reports are welcome.
You can find more information in the original thread.
November 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
We’ve covered How to Build an Android App in the past. We’ve showed you how to install Eclipse and Android SDK and how to write a root app. We even showed you how to develop with Arduino and the Google ADK. There is a lot of thought that needs to go into building an Android app. Building an Android App is not hard, but it is certainly not easy.
In this video, XDA Senior Recognized Developer AdamOutler shows an example of some of the things you can do with some code. AdamOutler makes an app that allows him to launch web pages from Google Now. He talks code, explains what things are and shows you how it works. So if you’ve ever wanted to build an Android App, check this video out.
November 27, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
We have been writing about Xposed a lot lately, and this is all well deserved. Most of you have either heard about it, or have already installed it. Xposed Framework gives almost unlimited freedom in adding your favorite features into almost any ROM, no matter if it’s custom or stock. Xposed was recently updated to support Android 4.4 KitKat. And now, many of these modules can be used on Nexus 5 or other devices running KitKat.
One of the most popular modules comes from XDA Senior Member C3C076. We are naturally talking about GravityBox, a tweak box for Android greater than 4.1. Since our last article about this project, quite a few things have been added and refined. The most noticeable change was adding an experimental support of KitKat, which took place in version 2.7.4 .
The developer also informed us that he will create an exclusive branch for KitKat devices as soon as his Nexus 5 is delivered. C3C076 mentioned also that he will focus mainly on KitKat project. Because of this, Mediatek devices, for which originally GravityBox was developed, will be eclipsed by ongoing development for newer devices. To use this module, your device must be rooted and newest version of Xposed Frameworks must be installed.
If you want to add some excellent features known from custom ROMs like CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android, make your way to development thread and give GravityBox a try.
November 27, 2013 By: Samantha
One thing that’s lacking in Android devices is the ability to capture and save RAW image files and take multiple pictures with burst mode. Sure some devices feature burst mode, but it’s not built into the default Android camera application. This is about to change in the future, as Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano confirmed early rumors that such support will be making its way to Android in a future update.
“Android’s latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography. We will expose a developer API in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality,” Scigliano said.
With support for RAW image files, users of Android devices will be able to take full advantage of their images free from compression and processing. This allows significantly more post-processing flexibility, especially compared to the lossy compressed JPG images. Of course, those who do not need to tinker with their photos won’t be experiencing the full potential and benefits of such support, but it’s good to know that there will be the choice in the future.
Similarly for burst mode, choice is the main benefit. We are all well aware that in addition to the many OEMs that have already implemented their own burst mode into their camera software, there are dozens of third party apps that do the same thing. Nevertheless, having native burst mode is definitely a step forward for Android.
Scigliano also mentioned that the “team is aware of the issues and is working on a software update” in regards to Nexus 5 camera responsiveness. However, there is no definite timeline or explicitly set date for both the release of the RAW and burst mode support, and a possible fix to problems of the Nexus 5 camera.
Storage space isn’t quite as much of a problem nowadays compared to before. Phones and tablets are being pushed out the door with some comfortable internal memory specs such as up to 64 GB. This is even more true if you insert a sizeable MicroSD card on expandable devices. That said, not all OEMs include external storage or large caches of internal storage, so some owners who enjoy a considerable music library or movie collection continue to be bothered by the ‘low internal storage’ notification.
Although not a miraculous instant fix for those suffering such woes, XDA Senior Member divinemamgai‘s Cassini may alleviate the situation to a certain degree. A PC-based tool, Cassini minimizes the size of the apps you have installed by compressing the app’s image files. This results in less space used up by apps, and more space for your photos, music, and movies. According to divinemamgai, all system apps except for LatinIME.apk will work with Cassini, while some apps from the Play store will be compatible such as ZPlayer, Textra, and Solid Explorer.
Before installation, a brief setup process is required, including running Java 7, creating a new system variable, and editing your path—nothing complicated. With this, you’ll be able to install the tool and be on your way.
If you would like to give Cassini a go, check out the utility thread for more information and download.
November 26, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
The Xposed frameworks gives a tremendous amount of freedom, when it comes to selecting which modules to use. It’s a powerful tool, which offers hundreds of modules available to download as standalone applications. And with a recent update to work with Android 4.4, it’s available to even more users.
The display font is a UI element that is very easy to change. However, changing it on your system partition results in a global change, so every application will use the same font. To prevent such situation, XDA Senior Member zst123 created an Xposed module that allows users to change the font for individual applications.
This module offers 8 different sets of fonts that can be used with applications. These fonts are: Monospace, Serif, Sans, Roboto Condensed, Storopia, Rosemary, Roboto Slab, and the default system font currently in use. Those fonts were seen in various OS revisions such as Gingerbread and KitKat. You can also use custom fonts placed on your SD Card or internal storage. The only requirement is to have Xposed Frameworks installed, and sometimes a reboot is needed. More details can be found in the original thread.
If your in-app fonts are boring, make your way to the original thread and give this module a try.
November 26, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Many Android enthusiasts are almost fanatical about what they have installed on their system and what they don’t. In fact, there are some of us who want a certain app to be installed so we can run it at will, but we don’t want the app to load on system startup. Using the Xposed Framework, you can do just that!
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews BootManager. XDA Senior Member defim created this Xposed Module to help you control the apps that load on system startup. TK shows off the module and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
November 25, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The T-Mobile and AT&T variants of the Moto X get Android 4.4 KitKat, hitting the public not long after it was released for the Verizon model! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Sony is expanding its KitKat rollout list to include more Xperias and that the Xposed Framework now works with Android 4.4!
In other important news, Jordan talks about the article talking about how XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase has rooted the Moto X Android 4.4 KitKat. There is another article talking about how jcase also rooted the Oppo N1 with just a single APK. Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Not too long ago, we talked a bit about dialers and how they have shaped a large chunk of what we do here at XDA. They are an integral part of our devices, and such, they need to cover all the basics: They need to be visually appealing, functional, and easy to use. There are a few alternative dialers out there in the Play Store, but many of them are so cumbersome and filled with options that they need built-in tutorials. A tutorial… for a dialer? One thing is to add functionality. Overloading it with options and making it borderline unusable is something entirely different. That said, the core of these apps remains the same, despite all the added “flair.” It is a matter of how to use this core function that makes all the difference.
Right now, we are going to take a step in the opposite direction and talk about Old School Rotary Dialer by XDA Forum Member sylsau. This app emulates the use of, yes you guessed it, an old rotary phone. The app has all the sounds you would expect from the old mechanized communicator, including the unforgettable taca-taca-taca-taca noise as the disk returns to its original position. Other commonly used functions are there and easily accessible, such as quick dial, save number, and all the core functions that you would expect on a dialer.
While this is not conceptually novel, it certainly does provide a decent, free alternative to other overly bloated dialers. The dev is simply looking for feedback, so if you are looking to drastically re-shape how you use your phone to call others and would like to lend a hand and offer your two cents/report bugs, now is your chance. Enjoy your trip down memory lane.
You can write more information in the original thread.
With a launch of the Google Nexus 5 and the release of the Google Experience Launcher, Android users were allowed to enjoy the new translucent status bar and other goodies offered by Android 4.4 KitKat. Of course, many of you have used similar third-party modifications in custom ROMs years before, but now these features are available for regular users to enjoy as well. Many developers realized that the new Google Experience Launcher has a big potential, but lacks functionality. That’s why new launchers are springing up all over the place.
One of these launchers was created by XDA Forum Member kkappteam. KK Launcher offers a variety of customization options like setting up desktop text size, hiding the search bar, and modifying icon scale. The functionality can be expanded because this launcher supports icon themes designed for other launchers such as Apex, Go, Nova, and ADW. The performance is simply amazing. Scrolling is very smooth, and transitions are handled in blink of an eye. Another great thing is that the developer seems to be listening suggestions and implement them into new releases.
If you are looking for an actively developed launcher featuring lots of customization, you should consider visiting the application thread and giving KK Launcher a try.
We’d like to think we’ve gotten launchers all figured out on our Android devices. And for the most part, we’d be correct. A launcher normally consists of multiple sliding panels, where widgets and shortcuts can be placed, an app dock for your most accessed apps, an app drawer that’s opened with a grid-like icon, and maybe some custom themes and icons to choose from. Of course, these aren’t strict requirements. We’ve covered plenty of fantastic launchers with their own twists and perks, but they’re more or less modifications of your standard launcher template.
Which is why XDA Senior Member Suxsem‘s Slide Launcher is such an intriguing concept. Despite billing itself as a “launcher,” Slide Launcher strays away from the standard in many ways, one of which is the fact that it only runs when you want it to. This is achieved with its ability to launch only when you slide up from the home capacitive button, overlaying itself over the app that’s currently running. This means that unlike your conventional launcher, Slide Launcher doesn’t run in the background eating up RAM and battery when you’re not using it. It also means that you can have Slide Launcher run concurrently with another launcher if you wish.
Once activated, Slide Launcher displays a personalized arrangement of shortcuts to apps, contacts, and actions such as a direct call or message. If you’re running a Paranoid Android ROM, apps can also be launched in halo mode, which is another nifty feature. As far as customization goes, you can adjust and change just about every element of the launcher, from icon arrangements and size, to background transparency and color, to haptic feedback.
Slide Launcher is definitely a launcher you’ll want to check out if you’re looking for something different and unprecedented, or even as an alternative to the popular sidebars. Suxsem has made the app free to download, and is compatible with Android 4.0 and newer. For more information, visit the application thread.
Android is six years old now. One week ago, we presented the first part of the Android story. Now, it’s time to continue the journey.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—located in Mountain View, the first version of the operating system dedicated for tablets was born. Google called it 3. 0 Honeycomb and presented it alongside the Motorola Xoom.
Although a calculator is one of those taken for granted pre-installed apps that you are likely to find on most devices, the bundled apps are often quite simplistic and useful only for simple calculations. Those of you who might need something a little more heavy duty are certainly not short of choice when it comes to finding a more capable number crunching application. And if that’s something that you do need, you might want to check out aCalculator by XDA Recognized Developer zFr3eak.
aCalculator is a simple, yet very functional and stylish alternative to the bland OEM offerings. In addition to the basics, it supports a number of math operations likely to boggle the mind of a numerical plebeian such as myself. Most notably:
There are also other useful features such as a history, storage for up to five variables, support for radians and degrees, and more. The UI of the application is clean and stylish, with both a Holo dark and light theme and support for all sizes of device from phone through to tablet. Yes that’s right, I’m acknowledging phablets as a category all of its own now.
The developer hopes to continue development of the app and add even more operations, as well as support for graph view, so please do check this one out and offer some feedback if this is something that you’re likely to find useful. aCalculator is 100% ad-free and available in the application thread.