February 26, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Mobile World Congress is happening right now. Chances are your FaceGramTwitterBook Plus feeds are being spammed with all the exciting announcements—everything from Sony’s new devices to Samsung and HTC, and that’s not all! There’s a good chance you missed something or have Kelly Bundyed it. That’s when you hear too much stuff and you loose the older information as it falls right out of your brain.
There is no need to fear because XDA Developer TV Producer Extraordinaire Jordan has scoured the web, RSS feeds, Social Media feeds, YouTube, and a Taco Bell Breakfast menu to compile all the information you need to know about what has been announced at this year’s Mobile world Congress. So, pull up a chair and check out this video.
February 26, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
The right to SIM unlock one’s mobile phone has been feverishly contested in recent years. But for the first time since a 2012 decision by the Library of Congress that ruled cell phone unlocking a violation of the DMCA, progress has now been made to give consumers greater choice in network patronage.
Yesterday, a bill was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives that allows for consumer cell phone unlocking for use on alternate networks. The bill passed by a 295-114 vote, and it essentially repeals a the Library of Congress’s 2012 ruling to not renew a DMCA exemption that was granted in 2006 and 2010. The 2012 ruling eventually lead to a massively publicized petition that gathered 114,322 signatures before gaining presidential support. Now, the fruits of the petition have come in the form of bill H.R. 1123, which can be summarized as follows:
H.R. 1123 repeals a Library of Congress (LOC) rulemaking determination made on October 28, 2012 (upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights) regarding the circumvention of technological measure controlling access to copyrighted software on wireless telephone handsets (cell phones) for the purpose of connecting to different wireless telecommunications networks. This practice is commonly known as “unlocking.” This legislation replaces this with a rulemaking determination that went into effect on July 27, 2010. This would reinstate the exemption that allowed consumers to be able to legally unlock their cell phones so that they can use it on other cellular networks.
In addition, this legislation allows any individual who wishes to unlock their cell phone for personal use to seek help from others without violating anti-circumvention provisions and clarifies that this bill does not permit the unlocking of cell phones for the purpose of bulk resale. Finally, H.R. 1123 directs the Librarian to study the issue of unlocking other cellular devices (e.g. tablets) and enact a rulemaking for these devices.
In other words, the passing of H.R. 1123 overrules the Library of Congress’s decision to not renew the previous DMCA exemption for cell phone unlocking by allowing individuals to unlock their phones without fear of violating anti-circumvention provisions.
While the passing of H.R. 1123 is in some ways beneficial to consumers, it is far from perfect. Unfortunately, the legislation does not extend to unlocking for the purpose bulk device resale. Thus, while permitting individual users to unlock without fear of legal repercussions, it still limits consumer freedom indirectly by hindering device resale and ultimately limiting an otherwise valid means of obtaining devices at a discount.
This is a step in the right direction, but it is just a small one. The lack of support for unlocking for bulk resale is troubling, but hopefully these issues will be ironed out in time.
February 25, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It happens to the best of us. No, not that... Well, maybe that too, but what I’m really talking about is being so busy with your day-to-day life that you forget to keep track of your finances. This endemic is only getting worse as we progress in this perpetually busy age, thanks to the growing number of recurring bills and multiple sources of income from separate jobs. Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer bartito, there is now yet another tool available to help you better keep track of your finances, no matter how complex.
The aptly titled Pocket Book / Currency Convert does exactly what its title would lead you to believe. It keeps track of your recurring expenses and sources of income. You can add all of these credits and debits into the app, along with their payment schedule and receive notifications when a payment or expense is scheduled to post. And given that our world is growing increasingly connected, these expenses and sources of income can be inputted in any currency of your choosing, thanks to real-time currency conversion courtesy of Yahoo’s servers. And in addition to simply keeping track and scheduling your bills and sources of income in any currency of your choosing, the application also allows you to browse currency conversion rates, their evolution over time, and manually convert between currencies.
Pocket Book / Currency Convert is quite a useful tool if you have a difficult time managing many sources of income and recurring expenses, especially if you deal with more than one currency. Make your way over to the application thread to take charge of your finances.
February 25, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
A boot animation is the first thing a user sees after turning on a phone or tablet. This introductory part of the ROM is very important, and directly influences our experience of said ROM. For this, Android uses PNG files and a desc.txt bundled into one zip. The text file contains resolution and frame rate information so that the boot animation displays at the correct size and with the desired speed.
Making a public preview of boot animation wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Recording from a device with a video camera definitely doesn’t look professional, and the video quality leaves much to be desired. If you ever planned to make a video of your boot animation, you should definitely give a try to a Windows-only tool written by XDA Forum Member makers_mark. A batch script pulls down the boot animation from the device using ADB. Then, it converts the bootanimation into an MP4 file that is ready to be uploaded to YouTube or similar video delivery services. The script uses such tools like 7zip to unpack the archive and FFmpeg to convert those files into a video. The process is carefully described in the thread, with an explanation of the particular elements that go into boot animations.
The tool works only on Windows machines, and it can be downloaded from the original thread.
Google seemingly brought a bit of the future into the present when it introduced voice activation to the Nexus 5 and Moto X, something we’ve only seen to such a degree in blockbuster movies and corny TV advertisements. Naturally, the rest of the Android community probably feels a bit left out of the fun while exclaiming ‘Y U NO VOICE ACTIVATE’ at their devices. There’s good news for folks who are feeling this way because there’s now a way for you to do control your phone with your voice as well.
This comes thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member lukes91, who has written a tutorial teaching you how to use Xposed, Tasker, Autovoice and Google Now together to achieve a similar effect. After making it clear that the tutorial is based only off lukes91’s personal setup on his HTC One X, the tutorial continues on explaining just exactly how to configure the settings of each of the aforementioned apps. Screenshots of the apps’ settings are posted throughout the guide, and lukes91 also inserts in a few personal variations to give you the feel of just how much flexibility can be had.
By the end of the process, you’ll be able to say “OK Google” to launch Google Now and other actions on your device, even when the screen is off. Of course, with such functionality, you should be prepared for some increased battery drain, with the significance varying from device to device.
If you’ve been wanting to have this function on your device, head over to the original thread to get started.
February 25, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
If you are a frequent visitor here at XDA, you more than likely enjoy Android, and probably “stock Android” without all the crap OEMs or carriers like to add. On their “stock Android” Nexus 5, Google launched the Google Experience Launcher. But to some, the experience is similar to OEM experience because you can’t fine tune the settings as much as a power user might like.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that allows you to control your Google Experience Launcher settings in more detail. XDA Forum Member theknut created the GEL Settings Xposed Module. TK shows off the module and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
February 24, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
With every new Linux distribution, some changes are required to successfully compile an Android build. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and is widely used to compile Android builds on home workstations. The most recent stable release is 13.10, but 14.04 is in testing and will be released in less than two months.
Trusty Tahr already can be used to stress test your CPU and compile your favorite ROM. As with almost every distribution, some preparation is needed, but a solution has been posted by XDA Senior Member sylentprofet.
Sylentprofet’s guide compiles all the necessary information, and how to use it. The main issue with Ubuntu 14.04 is Java. To build the Android OS with current tools, the Java version must be reverted to 1.6. Luckily, that can be done with just a few commands. Sylentprofet also shared a list of required tools and libraries needed to compile a ROM. The guide includes everything you need to know about setting up a build environment on Ubuntu and all Ubuntu-based distros like Mint, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and so on.
Daily builds of Ubuntu can be obtained from the official Canonical website. Perhaps it’s a good time to test the beta, since it can now be done without losing the ability to compile Android. More information can be found in the guide thread.
[Thanks to my fellow news writer Samantha for the tip!]
February 24, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the T-Mobile HTC One been released! 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 announcement that AT&T HTC One KitKat update is available as well and you can see Google Project Tango in action! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the announcement that the AT&T LG G2 KitKat release is out now. Xposed Developer Rovo89 had a Reddit AMA and talked about ART! Finally, Samsung is set to announce the Galaxy S 5! Pull up a chair and check out this video and be sure to check out other great videos on XDA Developer TV.
February 23, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Such addiction. So Doge. Wow.
Be it Flappy Doge, Dogecoin, strangely addictive online mining simulators, or the original meme itself, DOGE is pretty much everywhere nowadays. While the aforementioned Cookie Clicker clone certainly takes care your Doge-clicking needs on a desktop computer, there hasn’t been a suitable fix for your click-based addiction on mobile. But now thanks to XDA Forum Member Krzem, you can strategically and competitively tap away at your screen for hours—all while enjoying an image of a rather confused looking Shibe Inu.
Doge Breeding builds its game play on the same click for points concept seen in Cookie Clicker and Doge Mining Simulator. But rather than creating cookies or mining for cryptocurrency, you’re breeding doge. At the start of the game, each tap of the screen results in one doge. But in addition to mindlessly tapping the screen, you can purchase a variety of power-ups with your newly bred doge that either increase your doge-per-click or your doge-per-second. Sound simple enough? Not so fast. Another level of depth comes from how every time you purchase an upgrade, buying the same power-up becomes incrementally more expensive.
If you haven’t already had enough DOGE in your life, now’s the time to get some more. Get started by making your way over to the game thread and see if you can make it onto the game’s built-in leader board.
February 23, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that pairing your device’s custom ROM with a good Google Apps package is quite important. This is especially true thanks to the emergence of ART, and its incompatibilities with certain Gapps packages.
In the past we’ve featured quite a few ways of getting Gapps on your device with minimal struggle. But thanks to XDA Senior Member TKruzze and the official PA Google Apps, there is a fantastic solution for users of any 4.3- or 4.4-based ROM.
So, what makes this Gapps package unique? For starters, the applications are updated 0-day. In other words, a new version of the Gapps package appears as soon as Google releases a new version. Next, several (modular) packages with varying numbers of built-in applications are offered. Finally, new versions to the Gapps come as OTA updates if you’re a Paranoid Android user.
While these are the official Paranoid Android Google Apps, they should work on any 4.3- or 4.4-based ROM, as long as you select the proper version of Android. Head over to the original thread to get in on all of the latest Gapps action.
February 23, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Porting a ROM is an amazing adventure, as well as an excellent learning experience. Here at XDA, we have hundreds of ROMs floating around ready to be ported to your device. If your device has a working device tree, you may begin your journey with a repo tool and later on with ROM building.
If you happen to be looking for a list of ROMs available to compile, XDA Forum Member PixCM created a thread with a list of repo initialization commands, making the search much less fatiguing. The list contains 17 positions including Gingerbread ROMs, MIUI, Mokee, and other Jellybean and KitKat ROMs. The guide also contains links to teams’ Github repositories, so the code can be verified before syncing.
This guide, combined with some other guides available on XDA University, allows you to create a ROM for your device. And with a little bit of practice, reading, and Java/C++ work, you will be able to create your own, unique ROM. Every opportunity is good to start. But before flashing a homemade ROM, it’s recommended that you make a backup of your current software in the event that something goes wrong.
The commands and a short explanation of repo tool can be found in the original thread, so head over there to get started.
February 22, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
If you haven’t already heard of XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s innovative Xposed Framework by now… Well, let’s just say that you have quite a bit of catching up to do. For the sake of the one or two of you reading this who haven’t yet experienced the framework’s awesomeness, Xposed essentially allows for various ROM-agnostic modifications to be performed at runtime—all without the need to ever decompile an APK.
With a platform as versatile and powerful as Xposed, many end users undoubtedly have lots of questions regarding both Xposed itself and the man behind the tool. Thankfully, rovo89 took a few hours out of his day yesterday to field a Reddit AMA with dozens of the community’s most pervasive questions.
The first question on almost everyone’s mind when it comes to Xposed is ART compatibility. As we already know, ART is scheduled to be the default runtime in the next version of Android. Luckily, rovo89 has already stated that ART support will come some time after this change is made. This was confirmed once again in the AMA.
Other questions asked concerned rovo89′s daily driver device (Nexus 5), whether he views Xposed as the replacement for custom ROMs (no), the framework’s name, security, his favorite modules, and comparisons between Xposed and Cydia.
[Many thanks to XDA Forum Member Sunymoore for the tip!]
February 22, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Java is a programming language that is used to code software for many devices, including Android. It’s criticized by many, but Java is still widely used, mostly because its ability to run properly across many OSes as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Quite a few tools available on XDA are written in Java, including the Sony-specific Flashtool application, CASUAL, and so on.
Here at XDA, we’ve already presented a couple of applications, guides, and tutorials for Java. You may have already noticed that Java uses classes to handle various tasks. One such class, FileFilter, was recently presented in the form of a picture guide by XDA Senior Member Beatsleigher. The guide shows you how to write a custom class from scratch, so it’s pretty nice for all beginning programmers to understand the language better.
FileFilter can be used to display only a given file extension in an open window. So for example, a user can select .apk or .mp3 files only, and the rest won’t be visible. If you are working on your first Java project and it opens different file types, this guide will probably be very helpful.
You can find all needed resources in the guide thread.