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Posts Tagged: Android 2.2 (Froyo)

ACSocket

Ever since the days of Windows Mobile, we have had features available on our devices that we pretty much have taken for granted. This includes things like applications for taking down notes, setting calendar events, alarms, and many others are things that we have lived with for many years. Because of this, not too many improvements are done to said features as they essentially do everything we expect of them—and they do it well. We have some developers out there who apparently can take these 100% working, reliable concepts and squeeze an extra 5-10% more out of them, making them effectively even better than the original tools. In this particular case, the concept in question is ensuring that you can use your devices when you wake up the following morning.

XDA Forum Member shadrmg has developed an application called AC Socket. The concept of this app is quite simple: It is a reminder to charge your device every night. Stock Android (well, not just Android but pretty much any device out there with a battery) will normally start complaining about lack of juice somewhere around the 10-20% battery charge remaining mark. While this app does not actually mess with that, it provides the device with a dedicated app to ensure that you remember to plug in your phone at a specific time, regardless of the charge level present in your phone. While you could potentially accomplish the same by setting up an alarm on your phone, this app also goes a step further and provides you with an average for your daily battery usage. The app also gives the user the opportunity to either disable this notification for a single day or completely.

Again, while this may not be the most novel concept out there, it takes an existing one and adds a bit more functionality. After all, lets face it. How many times have you gone to sleep after a stressful day only to find out that your phone died halfway through the night because you forgot to plug it in? Please take this for a spin and provide any feedback you may have to the dev.

AC Socket is an easy tool to help You not to forget dock-in Your smartphone at night every evening to have fully charged battery each morning.

You can find more information in the original thread.

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monect

One of the key advancements in the mobile industry is the fact that people want to break away from the chains of a desktop (and even laptop) computer. Not having to carry 5-7 lbs of tech on your back is always an interesting point to consider when deciding what you want to get for work/play. However, since our devices are not (yet) fully capable of replacing our computers, the best thing we can do is try to utilize what we have and make ourselves as comfortable as humanly possible. After all, even if it is a pain, being able to use your PC from a distance with wireless devices is not nearly as bad or cumbersome when you are sitting in your most comfortable couch. The only issue with this is that you need to spend money on wireless devices (such as keyboard and mice) to do what you normally do on a PC, and these are not always cheap. If you are reading this article and are on XDA, you more than likely have a wireless-enabled mobile device. Why spend more money when you have something perfectly capable of accomplishing said task?

XDA Forum Member monect released his own version of a wireless interface to control a PC, effectively turning your phone/tablet/phablet into a keyboard/mouse/joystick/keypad all-in-one combo. Monect uses WiFi or Bluetooth to connect to your computer via a sever application that needs to be installed in the target computer. Once that is installed, the device can act like a wireless mouse or a keyboard, just like most other apps of its kind. What truly sets this one apart from the others is the fact that it can also be used as a controller for different types of games such as racing, FPS, RPG, and more. Each type of game has its own different set up with familiar layout for those who are used to having different kinds of controllers for each game style. And it is not just the layout, the app makes full use of the on board sensors to provide the user the ultimate experience when playing (accelerometer, G-sensor, gyro, etc). For instance, FPS mode enables the gyroscope sensor, allowing you to aim at your target, while Race mode uses the G-sensor to enable steering. And these are just a few perks in this loaded all-in-one goodness of a control app.

The app is freely available in the Play store and has no special requirements such as root (other than the installation of the server side app on your computer, that is). The only thing that the dev is looking for at this point is feedback regarding bugs and suggestions on how to improve it. Please take it for a spin and share your experience with the dev.

Monect is a free app that allows you to control the PC over wi-fi or bluetooth,

You can find more information in the original thread.

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wakelockdetector

As our devices become more powerful, larger, and are filled with more and more software from the manufacturers (bloatware and some spyware); some things tend to take a hit that tend to make our experiences with our devices rather short lived. The battery is about the only thing in the entire technological salad that comprises our mobile devices that does not keep up with the rest. In this day and age, you will see similar sized batteries (in terms of capacity) to what you saw 2 years ago for far less power hungry devices. On top of that, as stated earlier, some software packages pre-installed do not help with your battery life either, which is why custom ROMs (particularly those of the AOSP variety) are a blessing as they are not loaded with the extra overhead. These extra apps are not only unnecessary, but many of them have a rather nasty side effect: They prevent your device from fully going to sleep when it has to.

Wakelocks have been around for quite some time (meaning they are nothing really new), and they are part of your overall Android experience. The wakelocks essentially will prevent certain apps from being totally killed by the device’s native memory management, allowing you to enjoy a faster response when opening apps, preventing your device from sleeping while you are in the middle of something, and even allowing you to do things with the screen off. As one would expect, there is no free lunch and keeping your device’s processor active has a toll on battery life. Determining what is responsible for these wakelocks is not always an easy or straight forward task because any given app could have more than 1 process keeping your device from sleeping.  XDA Forum Member ahikmat has developed an app that allows you to determine which apps are causing the biggest wakelocks.

Wakelock Detector will group all processes causing wakelocks on a per app basis, which makes it easier to determine which ones are the biggest offenders. This is indeed a great tool for analysis of battery drain on devices suffering from constant power “bleeding.” Please leave some feedback for the dev in case you have any suggestions or run into any bugs.

Ever wondered why your smartphone screen doesn’t turn off automatically when it should have, the screen wakes up all of a sudden or you find your phone battery drained even when you exited apps and turned off the screen? This might be due to wakelock holding apps.

You can find more information in the original thread.

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quicksettings

A couple weeks ago, we brought you an overview of Android 4.2. The renovated OS includes some pretty exciting features like Photosphere, multiple user profiles, and TV connect. One feature that was mentioned was quick settings. For those who haven’t heard yet, quick settings is akin to HTC’s quick settings. It’s a separate page in the notification pull down that gives you quick access to a myriad of settings and toggles. Now, Samsung Galaxy S III I9300, or any device running Android 2.2 and up, can have something similar.

XDA Forum Member joelpg has released an application that works very much like the Android 4.2 quick settings. It looks the same and it acts the same. The upside to it being an application is that users don’t need to be running a specific ROM to use it. Anyone with Android 2.2 and up can use it. Here’s the app description from the Google Play Store:

Quick access the ringtone, volume and bright adjustments selector.
Quick access the personalization options using the quick settings that works like to the new Android 4.2 feature.

Users have reported that the application works pretty well, without any issues thus far. The only downside is that the app does have advertisements.For more details, check out the original thread.

Update:
Fixed the original thread link and tags. Sorry about that!

node

We have featured several LiveWallpapers on the Portal in the past—everything from Mario dashing through the different worlds in his game and Tetris pieces falling and accommodating themselves to Androids falling on your screen and bouncing around as you move your device. However from time to time, we come across some wallpapers so interesting that they deserve attention.

XDA Forum Member suffick released a few LWPs on XDA recently. And his latest addition Node is a physics-lover’s must have. The premise of the LWP is that you have an Android logo comprised of dots on your home screen. When the dots are touched either by tapping or swiping your finger, the dots spread around until they hit their elastic limit. Once this happens, they slowly return to their original position. All in all, the Android actually regenerates itself. For a somewhat analogous comparison, think T-1000 in Terminator 2.

Everything in this LWP can be easily customized such as the size of the spheres, their spacing, colors of the dots and background, and even the Android’s regeneration speed (i.e. how fast the dots get back into position). If you are into live wallpapers, please take this one for a spin and be sure to provide the dev with some feedback if you can think of any way to improve it.

 This started off as a bit of a physics experiment, but I found it quite fun to play with and decided to turn it in to a
live wallpaper. 

You can find more information in the original thread.

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shadowrun

We have seen some rather unique concepts on XDA when it comes to indie games. Everything from seeing who can scan the largest number of BT devices to fighting virtual zombies invading your city in a pseudo-AR fashion. After all, slinging birds at pigs can get monotonous after a while. Because of this, seeing new concepts such as that presented in Shadowrun by XDA member eyeballgames is refreshing to say the least.

Have you ever used your fingers to pretend that you are a little man running and jumping from table to table as you walked across a restaurant in a Pitfall fashion? If you have, then you should have no issues playing this game. Essentially, your goal is to run as far as possible, using your fingers as legs. This will move Shadow (main character in the game) and it will allow him to run, jump, and avoid obstacles to make it as far as possible without drifting away from the path. The game is set in a thriller type of atmosphere (black and white graphics) with music to match it, so that you are always at the edge of your seat while playing it.

So far, a few people have seen and played the game, and believe that it is hard to master it. However, the game is a work in progress, and as such it could benefit from feedback and suggestions to make the game easier (or harder) and fix any and all present glitches. Judging from screenshots, it may be best to try it out in a tablet if you have one available. What are you waiting for? Get your fingers off the mouse and keyboard, and take them for a work-out on your device and see how far you can get!

This is the runner with original mechanic “running fingers”!

You can find more information in the game thread.

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Holo Launcher

With many devices getting official and unofficial updates to Ice Cream Sandwich, there are still a lot of devices that haven’t. While some may eventually receive ICS, a good deal will unfortunately be left in the cold. The good news, however, is that Gingerbread and Froyo users can still have some ICS goodness in the form of a launcher that emulates the look and feel of the stock ICS launcher.

Meet Holo Launcher by XDA Senior Member mobint. Developed to mimic the stock 4.0.4 launcher, it can be used on older versions of Android so even users who aren’t able to upgrade can sport the look and feel of ICS. Aside from looking similar to the stock ICS launcher, Holo has several additional features including:

Full ICS Style
ICS Icons, Folders, Outlines, Drawer Tabs, etc.
Custom Desktop Pages/Grid
Up to 9 desktop pages and 10 x 10 grid.
Custom Drawer Portrait/landscape Grid
Set different drawer grid for portrait and landscape screen.
Scrollable Dock
Up to 7 icons per page and up to 3 pages.
Infinite Scrolling
Loop through your desktop/drawer/dock continuously.
Desktop Previews
Pinch to access desktop previews.
Backup and Restore
Backup and restore your settings and shortcuts.
Other Customization Options
Keep in memory, home key action, hide labels, etc.

Essentially, it seems to have the look and feel of the stock ICS launcher, but with some added customization options, which shouldn’t hamper the simulated look. Furthermore, root is not required, so even unrooted users can get in on the fun.

For more information and download links, head on over to the application thread.

gardentroopers

If you are looking for a recipe for fun, XDA Forum Member Dimmerg has a recommendation for you.  He recommends that you try his Garden Troopers dish. To make this delicious dish Dimmerg has made the following recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen yogurt
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 game modes, sliced
  • 5 difficulties, julienned
  • 10 game fields, raised and dried
  • A handful of entertainment

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, cucumbers, frozen yogurt and a handful of entertainment. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
  2. Split into two smaller bowls, and one game mode to each bowl. Mix to combine.
  3. Mix the 5 difficulties in a blender
  4. Take each small bowl and dish onto on to 10 plates with a bed of 10 game fields, add the difficulty mixture on the top of the plates.
  5. Submit the completed dish to Google.
  6. Wait for approval and serve to XDA-Developers.
  7. Optional:  Replace frozen yogurt with a honeycomb or ice cream sandwich, for a unique twist.

To try this fun and exciting game check out the Garden Troopers thread. This recipe for fun will keep you entertained for hours. With different difficulties and game modes, the challenges are lasting.

sidekick

While the device has its own home on our forums, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G has been forgotten by many in favor of the more eye catching flagships from both Samsung and HTC. However, there are still many users out there using the device as their daily driver. While it may lack the speed and amazing screen of the above devices, it still offers a decently fast 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and a capable slide-out keyboard for the more messaging-centric users.

However, one common complaint from device owners is that reception and data speeds don’t quite live up to its name’s 4G aspirations. Luckily, XDA Forum Member Reviewers (one of the maintainers of the GenericGinger ROM for the device) has experimented with various modems and has found that using the modem from the recently rooted Galaxy Blaze 4G instead of the device’s native modem provides both an increase in signal and data transfer speed. Others in the thread have concurred, sharing their overall positive experiences. The modem itself was originally ripped from the Blaze 4G by XDA Recognized Developer Master&Slave™.

Installation is just a simple flash through any custom recovery. However, users must keep in mind that this is intended for either Froyo or Gingerbread builds only. In the words of the thread starter:

Modem pulled from the Samsung Blaze4G.
Not hard to install at all, just put it on your sdcard and flash in Recovery.
Yes. This was not originally for Froyo I have to remove some /libs.
I made it work for the Sidekick 4G.
Credits to Master&Slave for pulling the Modem from the device.

If you’re adventurous and wish to give this radio a shot, head over to the original thread. However, it may be a good idea to create a backup of your existing radio (or make sure you are able to find one for download) in case you wish to revert.

Downgrade Ahead!

The trend over the last month or so on XDA has been getting a number of devices downgraded so they can get to a bootloader that can still be unlocked with S-Off. Those devices are, of course, almost all HTC devices ever since the release of HTCDev, which unlocks the bootloader while maintaining S-On. In the march of obtaining S-Off, a few devices have already had a contingency plan in place to get users down to a software version that can be properly hacked.

XDA Forum Member Setherio has been maintaining and updating a thread for nearly a year now that allows the HTC G2 and Desire Z, the HTC MyTouch 4G and the HTC Desire HD to be downgraded to Froyo in order to then update to a rooted Gingerbread ROM. The process is quite a long one, but that is to be expected when it serves as a guide for multiple devices. The process runs users through gaining temporary root, the entire downgrading procedure—including Fastboot downgrades—and then reminding users to not apply any large OTA updates to avoid being thrown back to unrooted Gingerbread and forcing them to start the process all over again.

As root methods for newer iterations of Android have been getting more and more difficult for HTC devices, any method that can bring full root should be looked at. As usual, be extremely careful when completing the steps, and make sure the steps you are following are indeed for your device.

For much more information, a plethora of download links, and even some troubleshooting help, head over to the original thread and let the downgrades continue!

QuickChange

A penny saved is a penny earned, that is unless Canada follows through with its threat to stop producing the Canadian penny. If you are like most people, when you do use cash and you get change, you often don’t like carrying it around. Some throw it in random places. Others unload their pockets every night into a single jar. A solution exists either way.

XDA Forum Member NickAVV offers you version 3.0 of his QuickChange application. In the words of the developer:

QuickChange … helps you keep track of how much money is in your piggy bank, or other coin-containing apparatus. It supports 7 different currencies too. It has a slick new interface, lets you track multiple jars, shows you graphs of your balance over time

Keeping track of your spare change turns it from a nuisance into a valuable asset. By setting a goal you can save up enough to get that upcoming Nexus Tablet. Seeing your progress helps to motivate you. QuickChange even allows you to view a graph of your jar’s balance over time.

QuickChange works on all versions of Android from 2.1 onwards. Check out the application thread of more information.

Card Swapp

Are you often multitasking while synergizing with the C-suite to maximize the ROI of the SEO implementation of your web presence? Do you mow through your piles of RFPs before COB? Do you have heated debates regarding the use of double-declining versus straight-line deprecation of capital improvement assets? Most importantly, are you tired of lugging around paper business cards while networking?

If your brain didn’t melt from the questions above, XDA Forum Member sharpwitz may have a solution for you. The application is Card Swapp. Card Swapp creates a QR code full of your contact information for people to scan. With the app, you can now avoid typing in your contact information manually ever again.

The Card Swapp App that manages business cards better than BUMP and Linkedin’s Card Munch. This app is also the 1st and only business card with a built in news feed.

Not only does Card Swapp create QR codes for your vendors and contacts to scan, but it allows you to scan other QR codes you see in ads, business cards and from other Card Swapp members. You can follow Twitter accounts, access and save restaurant menus and hours, and get live traffic reports.

Card Swapp is more than a business card QR application. It is possibly the business card QR application of the future. The application is available for Android 2.1 and higher, and *sigh* the iPhone. Learn more in the application thread.

frenzyfugu-SC20120205-193252

One cannot help but to love games on devices which make use of the sensors loaded in them. Who can forget the ever popular Teeter where you needed to balance and direct a ball through a maze filled with obstacles like holes, walls, and uneven floors? If you have not seen too many of these and are simply tired of slicing fruits and veggies and tossing birds or other cute and fluffy animals across a screen, then you should take a look at the work of XDA Forum Member FrenzyFugu. In Frenzy Fugu Fish, you are in control of a Fugu fish (hence the name) and your main objective is to try and eat all the pearls and targets on the level in a given time period.

The controls are simple as you will need to use your accelerometer to direct your fish. The caveat of the game is that levels get increasingly harder with more obstacles, less time, and even enemies such as other larger fish trying to make you their dinner. Your Fugu will be able to pick power ups from time to time to become invincible by inflating, which will allow it to do other things such as eating other smaller enemies. Just remember that you need to eat your objectives before time runs out. The game features 45 levels with more added every month.

Frenzy Fugu is casual fish game with 45 levels in 3 sets, each set with unique graphics design of the environment and introducing new game elements. Game will receive new set of 15 levels each month.

You can find more information in the original thread. Please leave your feedback for the dev if you would like to see features added to future revisions.

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