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Posts Tagged: Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread)

SC20131217-204425

Android 4.4 KitKat was released two months ago, and it brought a lot interesting changes like a transparent status bar. But not many of you know that you can get a very similar effect on any ROM, even Gingerbread, and all you need to do is to visit the thread we’re going to describe below. With APK tool and good text editor like Notepad++, Gedit, or any UNIX-based notepads, you can easily make your status bar use a gradient background.

XDA Senior Member kk9999gada wrote a guide to describe the process of decompiling SystemUI.apk  to make the status bar transparent. He also provides the resources (a PNG file) needed to get this effect on your MDPI or LDPI device. The process of making your status bar more KitKat-like is very simple and takes a minute or two, so can be done while sipping some British tea. This modification proves that not only new, powerful devices with official and unofficial KitKat builds can have some of the best of Google’s UI tweaks.

If you have a Gingerbread device and want to add a transparent status bar to your favorite ROM, head over to the original thread and learn what exactly needs to be done.

Samsung_Galaxy_S_Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S Plus GT-I9001 is the lesser known cousin of the original Galaxy S GT-I9000 smartphone.While virtually indistinguishable from the I9000 from the outside, the devices are vastly different on the inside: For starters, the I9001 swaps out the 1 GHz Hummingbird processor for a 1.4 GHz Snapdragon S2.

While the hardware received somewhat of an upgrade compared to the original Galaxy S, there is a bit less aftermarket development available for the S Plus. Now, however, a major gap has been crossed, thanks to XDA Recognized Developer educk and Senior Member h0rn3t. The developer was able to get dual boot functioning on the device.

Educk and horn3t’s solution comes in the form of an application and compatible kernel that is able to switch between your ROM installations once the ROMs are installed in the manner specified by the developer. There are, however, a few requirements and restrictions that must be met before getting up and running. For starters, the main ROM has to be an AOSP-derived ROM based on Android 2.3.6 or above. This is installed on internal storage. The secondary ROM is then installed on your SD-EXT partition, and it must be Android 4.1.2 or greater.

If you’ve wanted to experiment with a newer ROM but didn’t want to leave behind your old Gingerbread installation, now may be the time to do it. To get started, head over to the original thread.

[Many thanks to XDA Senior Member mrjraider for the tip!]

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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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blackstone toolkit

There seems to be a tendency these days of referring to devices that have been around for a year or so as “old.” And given the pace at which mobile technology advances, that’s probably a fairly reasonable assessment. So by those standards, the HTC Touch HD (a.k.a Blackstone) is positively geriatric—not in a crocheting by the fire, reminiscing about the good old days kind of way though; the Blackstone is more of a fencing with walkers kind of device.

Originally released back in late 2008 sporting a whopping 3.8 inch screen, 288 MB of RAM, and Windows Mobile 6.1; the Blackstone is still  not ready to call it quits, and is capable of running a version of Android 2.3.7 built by XDA Senior Member fagyi. As if that weren’t enough, preparing your old Touch HD for the Android treatment just got a whole lot easier thanks to a flash tool from Senior Member mfsr98, which will allow you to flash custom kernels and recoveries, and also take you directly to fagyi’s ROM thread or the Blackstone development forum.

It might be somewhat limited, but for a four-and-a-half year old device; this continuing development is a testament to the versatility of not only the older HTC devices, but also the loyalty of those who buy them. If you have an old Blackstone in drawer somewhere going to waste, why not blow the dust off and take this Android build for a spin. You can find more in the development thread.

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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uncopt

Since the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android has been rather stringent on developers because of the whole Holo requirements set forth by Google. Essentially, ROMs are required to have this theme in the ROMs in order to be able to access the Play Store. Because of this and because a seamless aesthetic always looks better, many app developers have focused on trying to implement the Holo look on all their creations. The result is a myriad of launchers, themes, widgets, etc that tend to give those on AOSP (and variants) a nice and lightly themed device. The latest inclusion to the “Holo family” is a file browser and manager created by XDA Forum Member uncopt.

UNCOPT File Browser is, as its name clearly states, a file manager capable of doing what most file managers can do today and more. One of its biggest features is something that TotalCommander fans will certainly appreciate, which is a split panel view to easily move files from one directory to the next. Panels are independent of each other and can be resized, which is a handy feature for devices that lack a bit on the screen real estate department. The app also has a very nice way of handling compressed archives which makes it stand out a little more. The files, upon being opened, are not decompressed or extracted on temporary directories or even on memory, which is a great way of not hogging down resources on your device. This last bit is of particular use for lower end devices, which may not have as much available internal memory. Moreover, the app offers the ability to view and open nested archives.

Some other features include full keyboard navigation, automatic sync of MTP and MediaStore, and all the root level access goodness that you are used to having (navigate up to root, change permissions, mounting system storage as read or read/write, etc). The dev is looking for some feedback to make the app better. If you have any features that you think may be worth considering, please let the dev know by posting your feedback.

UNCOPT File Browser is the nicest and most innovative Holo styled file browser for Android with root capabilities.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

ics-for-lg-optimus-3d

Leaks can be both good and bad. They give users and developers to a chance to check out what OEMs have in store for their devices. However, they can be fraught with danger, like the dreaded Atrix 2 ICS leak of 2012. Sometimes, it’s difficult to downgrade to a more stable previous release. This happened to the LG Optimus 3D, and there is now a fix.

XDA Senior Member berni987654321 released a method that helps get users safely back to Gingerbread. When flashing to ICS, it changes a few of the partitions and makes it difficult to flash back to Gingerbread. Here’s berni98765431′s explanation on how it was fixed:

Half a hour I read xbsals post the one whiches phones don’t boot
after flashing the gb bootloaders would need a special bin which nobody has
because nobody made a backup. But then I remembered my post in samnos thread about downgrading from wrong flashed ics leaks with my first 4 partitions attached.

The method involves downloading the partitions and flashing them. After that, it’s a matter of fixing the IMEI. Once that’s done, it’s possible to downgrade the device back to a stable Gingerbread ROM.

For more info, check out the original thread.

htc-amaze-4G-android-updated

Manufacturers and developers have a long standing love/hate relationship that has kept the fragile ecosystem where we spend most of our free time intact. The dance beat is somewhat the same across all brands and, for the most part, all devices as well. Most manufacturers out there are held against certain standards (either due to their own internal procedures and codes or due to contractual obligations with carriers) that force them to do certain things on the devices they make that keep most of us away from exploiting them and unlocking their full potential. This comes in the form of locking of bootloaders, pseudo-impossible to crack signature verifications, and secretive documentation that more often than not, has a tendency to foil the efforts of people with the required skills to fix the inevitable issues that arise on every device.

The HTC Amaze 4G was a device that came out about a year and change ago that fell under some of these categories. One of the most crucial ones was the fact that the device’s WiFi drivers were out of reach of our developers. While the wlan TI drivers are part of the kernel (which is GPL licensed), there are certain parts of it that are normally not licensed under this particular model, and this driver was the case. The missing code gave most developers on the device headaches simply because without this code, WiFi on custom ROMs (and even stock ones) was lousy (if functional at all). Because of this and all the issues generated from it, a petition was started about 7 months ago by XDA member aj_2423. The petition essentially asked HTC to release the sources for the drivers so that devs could work on them, fixing the remaining bugs (after thousands of hours of reverse engineering). However, the petition, which reached over 500 signatures, seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Just today, HTC Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon told us that after lots of deliberation and going back and forth with TI, both companies had agreed that the required sources could be released to the public. HTC had gone rather silent as of late in the developer world, as many people were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of cooperation with the dev community, despite their continued promises. It seems to be that even though the company was falling out of grace with devs, they are beginning to try and renew their efforts by showing signs that they are still trying to get us on their side.

Well, HTC, you have made the right choice. Developers may only represent a small chunk of your overall user base, but you must understand that we (devs, hobbyists, and enthusiasts) tend to have very large spheres of influence. And in this very technological world of ours, it is a very important thing to have influential, indirect sales people, boasting the glory and overall awesomeness of your products. So, while our numbers may be small on a first impression, we are legion! It is this writer’s sincere hope that during your internal discussions to release these docs, the idea and concept of better, faster support for the developer scene was a factor being discussed, because this could easily sway a LOT of people over the manufacturer fence once again.

Once again, this is a great day for renewd relationships, particularly between developers and HTC. Keep up the good work, guys. We’ve missed you!

You can find the original petition in this thread and the sources by going over to HTCDev.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

[Thanks Jeff for the tip and the great news!]

Note from the author: The article has been corrected to reflect the original author of the petition.

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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sdswap

Quick, simple, and dirty. Some of the best hacks around on XDA require very little to get them to work, and make your life easier in the process. Also, these “simple tricks” tend to fix major snafus from some manufacturers when it comes to so-called features that make you ask “What in the world were they thinking?” So is the case for many Samsung Galaxy devices.

One common complaint is how external storage on Galaxy devices is “weird” (for lack of a better word). Samsung coders decided to treat the internal storage on the device as the external part, which forces several apps to save data, settings, and more to this part of the device. This is impervious to flashing, so it is not that dangerous and your data stored there will survive a flash. However, people seem to like the idea of removing the SD card to use it elsewhere, as well has having the USB storage data for ALL their apps stored within.

With this in mind, XDA Forum Member jocala developed a quick app with a simple GUI that allows the user to switch the destination of the external SD card where it belongs—on the external SD card. The dev has only tested this on the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, but it should work on other devices so as long as the /system/etc/vold.fstab file matches.

A full Nandroid back up is strongly recommended before attempting this. Please take it for a spin and post your results, including phone model, in the dev’s thread.

A common complaint about some Samsung Gingerbread phones is the fact that they mount the relatively small internal sd memory as /mnt/sdcard and this memory is treated as the phone’s primary removable storage by some apps, ignoring the “real” removable sd card that Samsung refers to as “/mnt/sdcard/external_sd”.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Android-4.0-ICS-09-Data-Usage

Those of you running later versions of Android such as Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean have probably noticed the useful data usage monitor. What most people won’t realize is that the basic framework for this data monitor is also included in Gingerbread.

XDA Senior Member tweakradje decided to start digging around in Phone.apk to see if anything resembling a data monitor was in there. Sure enough, hidden away from view, lives the framework for the data usage monitor. It appears that Google started work on the monitor in the days of Gingerbread, but never got around to implementing it until later flavors of Android. As well as being a data usage tracker, it appears that it also supports bandwidth throttling.

Tweakradje has put a large effort into “filling in the blanks” in order to get it functioning. Progress has been made, with the system now able to measure data usage, but the data usage app is currently force closing when opened.

If you would like to help make more progress with the project, head on over to the dev thread.

1cwm

Custom recoveries such as the venerable ClockworkMod Recovery are (in addition to Superuser and SuperSU) likely some of the most widely utilized programs developed on XDA due to the functionality they bring and the doors that they open. As such, CWM has been ported to countless devices, and has become the preferred method of flashing custom ROMs onto virtually anything that runs Android. It seems that the CWM fever expanded into devices that were never meant to run this type of recovery image such as Windows Mobile devices. Now, we are all familiar with this thanks to the likes of the immortal HTC HD2 and its ability to run virtually any OS, regardless of platform. However, the HD2 is not the only WinMo device capable of running Android or CWM.

XDA Forum Member jianC just released a version of the famous recovery for the HTC Rhodium (AT&T Tilt 2 or T-Mobile Touch Pro2 for those of you in the US). The device still keeps on getting some support from developers, and the Android project is one of those ideas that are keeping the device alive. This recovery accomplishes standard custom recovery fare by allowing you to perform basic functions such as clearing  cache (standard and Dalvik) as well as flashing ROMs and kernels. This is a particularly useful feature for those who have installed Android on NAND (i.e. those who have given up on WM completely).

Installation is accomplished through Fastboot, so make sure that you have the Android SDK on your system along with the proper drivers for your device. The port is fully functional, but any and all feedback regarding bugs is always welcome. If you still have your TP2, take it out for a spin and let the dev know how it is working.

 This is just a recovery I compiled from the latest available code from the CM10 source. It does not offer any major upgrade in function from ACL’s latest cwm recovery, but is slightly aesthetically different. 

You can find more information in the original thread.

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