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Posts Tagged: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

callme

Android is the only popular mobile operating system that allows users, developers, and OEMs to implement dramatic modifications to its user interface. Some OEMs such as Samsung, LG, and Sony release their devices with highly modified custom software, which differs greatly from Google’s version of Android that is seen in Nexus and GPe devices.

One of the aspects that is often changed in OEM skins is the lock screen. Almost every OEM has its own unique style of lock screen. But what to do when you want to have a bit of the AOSP taste in your device without fully switching to an AOSP-based ROM? If you have an ICS-powered Samsung device, the answer is simple: Read a guide written by XDA Recognized Contributor Mohitash that shows you how to change the lock screen on Ice Cream Sandwich-based Samsung devices like the Galaxy S Duos or Captivate Glide.

The guide begins by using the well known APKTool to decompile SecSettings.apk and android.policy.jar. Then, you perform some smali editing, recompile, and send the modified files back to the device. The method is thoroughly described, so you shouldn’t have much trouble adding it to your stock or stock-based TouchWiz ROM.

If you still own an older Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Samsung device and want to make it to look a bit more like a Nexus phone, head over to the guide thread and give the described method a try.

android-23-sd-card-support

In recent Android releases, Google has become more and more unwilling to cater to the use of external SD cards. It was never quite clear why Google decided to abandon SD card support in their Nexus devices, but many believe this to be due to the added simplicity of removing another storage area.

While Google nixed the idea on its own devices, various OEMs decided to keep SD card slots in their devices. To use them properly, some modifications to Android’s source code were needed. And due to changes in how some later versions of Android handled SD cards, many applications lost the ability to access external SD cards. Luckily, Xposed Framework allows users to modify various aspects of their OS without messing around with the files themselves.

Annoyed by the external storage situation, XDA Senior Member defim created a module to fix the aforementioned issues. The only thing required to apply the fix is to enable the module in the Xposed Installer after successfully installing it on your rooted device.

If you are suffering from external storage handling problems on your Android 4.0.3+ device, make your way to the original thread and give this module a shot.

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habits

Every New Year typically brings about a very rare phenomenon. No, I’m not talking about being plastered out of your mind. People tend to get in a certain mood—a mood that brings them hope and serenity about the upcoming year. Normally, people will look back at the previous year’s failures, and make plans to not fail again. That’s right, the New Year’s resolutions are here in full force. People all over the globe are hitting the gym, writing books, and looking for ways to get those raises they so feverishly deserve. But after January or February, it is back to regularly scheduled programming for many of them. In other words, resolutions go out the window or are simply forgotten and swallowed in the midst of everyday life.

The biggest problem with the resolutions is that most people lack discipline. And because of this, these resolutions simply fall through the cracks or are met with an unmatched sense of “meh… maybe later.” After doing some research and based on very sage advice from Mr. Jerry Seinfeld himself, XDA Forum Member scoderx0e decided that it was time to release a surefire way to motivate you into doing something and actually following through.

Habbits is the culmination of advice turned into programming. It is an app that will basically allow you to make yourself responsible for your own actions and accountable for not following through. The concept is the simple idea of crossing days off a calendar when you perform a certain action. The app allows you to set up a goal and track it on the built-in calendar with different colors for different outcomes. At the end of every month, you can see a summary of how well you followed your goal. Your only task in this is to try and complete an entire month with the same color. Once you get used to seeing full rows of the same color, your brain will automatically force you into those actions so that you don’t drop off.

If you are looking for someone/something to keep you accountable, now is your chance. Do keep in mind that the app is still in testing phases, so if you do have feedback, please share it with the dev. You can find more information in the original thread. Now, put your device down and go back to that treadmill!

CblbsS9

XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed framework has been on every root user’s mouth for the last year or so. This revolutionary tool for customizing Android without actually touching the ROM itself has been a heaven sent tool for modders out there to share what they can do with their knowledge, without having to actually cook a ROM every time they want to implement a new feature. We normally feature them on the Portal and they even have their own XDA Developer TV segment called Xposed Tuesday. A major contributor of modules as of late has been XDA Forum Member MohammadAG, who has provided various other mods including a tinted status bar, recovery of the good old car dock mode, unlocking using NFC, and AOSP lockscreen on TouchWiz devices, among many others.

This time around, the module itself does not alter functionality but rather focuses on another aspect of Android modding: aesthetics. Settings for most Xposed modules can be easily accessed through the Xposed app itself. However, for some, going through yet another set of settings can be somewhat cumbersome. Well, our dev decided that it was time to make settings and preferences management more in line with the rest of the settings in the Android Settings.apk. So, he made a module to mash these together. The new module shows the settings for all Xposed modules in the Settings area, thus making the entire UI, a single, more unified version of settings.

The dev himself states that the addon provides no benefit or functionality, but it does make it easier to manage the settings for the entire device (global as well as for each individual module) a much simpler ordeal. The dev also warns of incompatibility with some TouchWiz ROMs. However, many people have already reported no issues with TW Samsung devices.

What are you waiting for? Get some much needed organization in your device and manage it all from one place. One settings app to rule them all… You can find more information in the original thread.

android-evolution

android-evolutionAndroid 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.

READ ON »

beta_cover

Switching Apps on Android is generally accomplished using Android’s native card-style multitasking solution. We’ve seen some apps that provide quick access to favorite programs with a swipe from the side of the screen with the original Sidebar, Sidebar plus, and Appsi Sidebar.

However, when you are in a program and want to switch to another running, you always had to go to the multitasking button. Depending on your device, that might be pressing and holding the home button for 2 seconds, double tapping home, or pressing the dedicated softkey. Switchr by XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib makes going back to a previous app as simple as swiping your finger. Mohammad_Adib, the same developer who gave us Sidebar and Floating Stickies, brings us a new way to switch between running apps that makes you wonder why this isn’t standard in the OS.

Switchr is a well designed and well polished app with a simple, yet practical function that allows users to access their running apps quickly and conveniently. The app is backed by an active and committed developer. It works with Android versions 4.0 and newer, but the dev intends on bringing support to Gingerbread devices as well. The beta will end on October 20, and will be followed by official release.

If Switchr interests you, head over to the original thread for more details.

s4lockscreen

Envy is a very interesting driver for innovation. Ironically, wanting to have something that others enjoy tends to have a somewhat interesting effect on our developers. After all, the will generated by the lack of newer versions of Windows Mobile available on newer devices was the main driving force that pushed XDA to be what it is today. Our “thing” or hobby (whichever way you want to see it) could be easily called envy. But regardless of how envious we may seem, having the opportunity to do what others do on top of what we do is, after all, what we do best. In this case, XDA Forum Member -Aatif- brings us a little something for all (who do not own a recent Samsung device) to enjoy.

S4/Note3 Lockscreen is a copy (not an APK taken out of the TouchWiz build) of the infamous lock screen app included with the aforementioned devices. In case you are not familiar with it, the newest Galaxy devices come equipped with a rather beautiful lock screen capable of giving you a wide array of customizable effects for unlocking the device. The S III family of devices introduced the “ripple effect” (making water ripples on the screen as the finger slides to unlock it) as well as the ink effect (add-on to the ripple effect in which an ink blob dissolves in the water ripple when the screen is touched); and the S 4 introduced the newer effects such as circles of light, lens flare, and more. All that, plus the ability to change fonts, along with everything else is included in this small package.

The app also has a few options in place to make your screen more you, such as giving you the option to hide the notification bar and even adding your own text to your home screen (not simply carrier text). It also has a few safeguards built in to avoid getting multiple lock screens jumping in at the same time. All in all, while it is a work in progress, it is difficult to argue that this lock screen is very complete and smooth. Please leave some feedback for the dev so that more options can be added down the road.

Exellent copy of Samsung Galaxy SIV, Galaxy NoteIII Lockscreen
Now NO need to “ROOT” now 

* Light Effect
* Ripple Effect
Ink Effect (New)

You can find more information in the original thread.

2-togglebuttons

If you’re a fan of the notification toggles found in XDA Senior Member lidroid‘s series of ROMs for various Samsung devices, you may be hesitant to switch to a different ROM or even a different device. After all, as we discussed earlier, notification toggles are quite useful, and having more of them is never a bad thing. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member Adi Aisiteru Reborn has created a guide showing you how to port the toggles over to various non-Samsung Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROM.

The guide first instructions you to decompile SystemUI.apk, and then it walks you through the values you will need to modify. Naturally, you need to know how to decompile and recompile APK files, but there’s a guide for that. You will also need some patience and a little bit of experience, as the guide doesn’t cover all of the basics involved in the process. However, if you’ve decompiled an APK and made some modifications before, you should be fine.

In addition to the 21 lidroid toggles, Adi Aisiteru Reborn has also added additional toggles made by Recognized Themer serajr.

we are going to port 21 Lidroid toggles :
( -Lock screen/screen-off action, -Reboot action, -Shutdown action, -Airplane mode, -Bluetoth, -Brightness, -GPS, -Flashlight, -Lockscreen, -MobileData, -Orientation, -ScreenTimeOut, -Sound, -Sync, -Wi-fi, -Wi-fi Hotspot, Battery info, Stay awake, USB Connection mode, USB Debugging, Network mode )

To get started head over to the Android 4.0 guide or Android 4.1 guide.

Make this map available offline

It didn’t take long for Google to address several shortcomings with its July 10 Google Maps update. Although the update includes some exciting new features, which are described in an earlier posted article, it also lacked a few useful features that were in previous versions. This of course left some of the Android community with negative feedback and criticism. In response to those complaints, Google posted a public statement on its G+ account at approximately 1 a.m. PST, July 11.

Through its G+ post, Google acknowledge user complaints concerning the lack of easy access to offline maps.  While the update did include a feature to cache maps by typing in “ok maps” in the search bar, users were left unsatisfied. In addition to this “hidden” feature, Google promised that offline maps were simply disabled for the time being and would return in a future update.

Due to the negative response,  Google quickened up the pace of this “future update” and put its engineering team in overdrive. The company said they have been working around the clock in order to make this feature available once again. A “Make this map area available offline” card has been implemented below the search box as a way to make offline mapping easier to access. For those who prefer typing, the “ok maps” command still works. The update also answers the question “where’s Latitude,” by clicking the link at the bottom of the side menu. Doing so provides more information about what is in store for location sharing.

Keep an eye on your notification bar because the new update to the update will be rolling out globally starting today.

Google Maps Update

To the standard end user, this year’s Google I/O  left much to be desired. The disappointment was mainly in the fact that Google failed to release the highly anticipated Android update, Key Lime Pie.  Instead, the annual developers conference, which was held the week of May 15, focused on developer tools and a rebuild of Google Maps. The “new Google Maps,” as the Mountain View company calls it, is a major update that integrates Google Earth to create three-dimensional tours of user surroundings. According to Google, the application highlights the things that matter most to you, wherever you go and whatever you are doing.

On July 10, two months after Google’s announcement of the exciting new update, the company finally introduced the mapping application for Android smartphones and tablets. Google Maps v7.0.0 is gradually rolling out global updates to Android 4.0.3+ devices through the Google Play store, and soon  through the App Store for iOS devices. For those of you who cannot wait for the update, leaked APKs are already being seen in the wild. Updates are specific to Android versions, so if you can’t wait for it to be officially rolled to your device, make sure you are following the correct download.  For quick access to Android 4.1+ updates, see Android Police’s compiled list of mirrors.

As a Nexus 4 user, I followed this thread created by XDA Senior Member gear.h34d.2012, during my test drive (get it? “test drive,” “Google Maps,” bahahaha) of the app. Unfortunately, the original link is unavailable do to increased traffic on his Dropbox account. However, a mirror was posted directing traffic to grab the file at Dev-Host.

Google has continued with the simplistic and modern Holo user interface aesthetic seen in the rest of its recent app updates, but has deviated a bit in certain design choices. Keeping in form with the rest of the Gapps package, they have also replaced the old fashioned drop down menu with a hidden swipe-to-access gestures. Unfortunately, the drop down menu isn’t the only thing missing from this update. Latitude and check-ins, offline mode , and My Maps have also been removed.  If you are steering clear of the update for this reason, you will only have until August 9 before Latitude and check-ins are retired for good. In the meantime, those who want to continue to stalk their friends and family can do so via the location sharing and check-in features on  G+.

For those of you who tend to travel in low-signal areas and require offline maps, you still have the option to cache portions of your map by zooming into the map and typing “OK Maps” into the search box. Lastly, although My Maps is not available in this release, it will return in future versions of the app. Google recommended using Maps Engine Lite on desktop for those who absolutely cannot live without custom maps.

So what exactly does the new Google Maps bring to the table? For one thing, the entire map is interactive. Clicking on any of the nearby location marks will give you instant reviews, business information, street view pictures, and a navigation option that displays how long it will take to arrive at that destination. You can also save locations and share them right from the main maps screen. These options are not new by any means, but the new design shaves a few steps in the process.

Navigation also became a lot simpler with quick access to recent locations, and the ability to easily choose whether you are traveling by car, bus, bicycle, foot, or boat (okay maybe not by boat, but the other four options should get you where you need to be). One thing I found handy is the ability to easily choose to navigate from either your current location or a completely different starting point.

For those of you who like to explore, Google has made it possible to quickly uncover local favorites, including places to eat, shop, play, and more.  And for those who are unable to find the “Explore” option, it seems to be location-based and may not be available if you live in a less populated area. Try searching for the closest city near you, such as Sacramento, CA, and then check to see if  “Explore” appears.  With the built in five-star rating and reviews system, you can easily decide the places that best fit your needs. Who really needs a Chamber of Commerce when you have Google Maps and detailed reviews?

Lastly, the latest Google Maps will not only help get you to your destination efficiently, it will also get you their as quickly as possible by “outsmarting traffic jams,” as the company puts it. Through dynamic rerouting and live incident reporting, Google Maps will help get you to your destination on time, and without delay.

powertoggles

Ever since the introduction of multi-window with things like Cornerstone and floating apps, there has been a somewhat radical change in the overall Android UI. Granted, not everyone can take advantage of this as most manufacturers do not include such features in their brand UI experience. Samsung is one of the only ones that actually does this with their multi window capabilities. Not too long ago, Sony decided to jump in the bandwagon with their own concept of multi-window usage with a concept called “mini apps.” For those not familiar, these mini apps act similar to active widgets, providing you with some functionality that would otherwise require an app taking the entire screen use. Sony includes a few in their stock ROMs for several devices running ICS and up, and the community has been working hard to come up with more. Having said that,  XDA Recognized Themer serajr just took that “need” for more and turned it into a reality.

Serajr Power Toggles is the closest thing you will get to having full control over most settings of your device without having to actually go into Settings. By activating the small app, you will get access to normally used toggles such as WiFi, BT, GPS as well as other not-so-used toggles such as USB Debugging and battery information. There are 23 toggles in total, so you can literally access practically everything you need without having to clutter your home screens. This comes as a bit of a relief for those who want to have the Quick Toggles that come with 4.2.2, but that are not willing to go into an AOSP ROM.

A quick warning from the dev though. This was originally coded with the latest Sony Add-on SDK. Patches to the SystemUI.apk need to be added since the toggles that manage system functions do not work out of the box with the app (being as each device has specific code to control these settings). Having said that, patching the APK is relatively straightforward and the dev provides a step by step walkthrough to help you get this accomplished. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to rearrange or even use many of these toggles if you do not do this.

Please try them out on your device and share

Here´s my Serajr Power Toggles small application for all Sony JB/ICS Small App ready devices.

You can find more information in the original thread.

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

TheNewsUK

As of late, we have been covering apps that have surfaced on XDA that perform functions that we are used to seeing on most mobiles. However, the gist of these new/old apps is that they all add a bit of a twist to the already working models, thus breaking the status quo of all the other apps in its category. In the particular case of RSS feeds or other types of news feeds, most apps will deliver vast contents to your screen, from any source capable of relaying information to your particular app. However, the limitation for most if not all apps of this kind is that they will display only a couple of sentences, maybe even a small synopsis of the entire piece, and will link you to the source’s website to read the article. XDA Recognized Developer h4oxer has come up with a rather elegant solution to avoid having to go to yet another site to finish reading interesting stories.

The News: UK Edition is, as stated before, a news feed. It is capable of retrieving information from pretty much any news source in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), so you can stay up-to-date on anything from local news, traffic, to even some of that juicy gossip that revolves famous people. The difference between this app and others is that the app can retrieve the entire article and put it in your screen thanks to what the dev has called EasyRead technology. Because of EasyRead, there is no the need to link to an external website anymore, thus forcing you to read the article in a web browser. The articles are formatted newspaper-style, so they are quite easy to read. You do have the option to go to the website as well in case you are more comfortable reading the pieces that way.

The app’s interface can be fully customized by letting you change the order of all pieces, sources, and news type. On top of that, the app offers integration of some of the most commonly known media tools. This way you can share your favorite stories with the rest of the world via Facebook, G+, e-mail, and much more. The dev is looking for good feedback, whether it is bugs or suggestions. So, please leave your thoughts in the thread.

The News: UK Newspaper Edition (Free) is the ultimate App for getting the latest UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales) news from all the UK’s top newspapers, from broadsheets to tabloids. With our EasyRead technology you can decide to view the full articles in perfect newspaper format right from the App!

You can find more information in the original thread.

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

[Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer h4oxer for the tip!]

allthephones

You may or may not recall sometime last year, when a member by the name of XDA Recognized Developer rovo89 introduced a brand new concept to this world, named Xposed Framework. This essentially enables the user to hack any ROM and change virtually anything without coding, cracking the ROM open with a kitchen, or even flashing a zip through recovery. Possibilities with such a tool are virtually endless, and it is nearly risk free. Some people have released a few things here and there, but as with most novel concepts, things take time to take a foothold in people’s minds. The good news is that more and more people are beginning to see the wonders of this framework and have begun using it to add functionality that would otherwise require a brand new ROM (as what you want may not be available for your favorite ROM). XDA Forum Member ruqqq is among those people, and he has released something quite interesting based on Xposed.

XThemeEngine is similar to TMobile theme engine found in CyanogenMod and derivatives. Essentially, choose a theme, download it, and apply it via the engine. There’s no flashing, and there’s no mess. The only difference is that the CM engine is only available for AOSP ROMs (there are some engines analogous to this like VR Theme Engine, but this one is completely built on Xposed as the platform). The dev states that this will work if two conditions are met: The device needs to be rooted, AND Xposed framework needs to be installed. It has been tested on a wide range of devices already without issues. The dev also states that it is possible (and in fact quite simple) to make new themes from scratch (template provided as well), so you can literally let your imagination fly. If your imagination pool is somewhat dried up and you feel like using an existing theme,  porting can also be easily accomplished by following a few steps.

Please take it for a spin and share your creations with the rest of the world. Do keep in mind that this is still under beta phase and as such, there are some bugs. So, please read the entire opening post for all the details.

XThemeEngine allows you to theme your device similar to how T-Mobile/CM10 Theme Engine. Install theme apk, activate theme from XThemeEngine app. Voila!

You can find more information in the original thread and you can read more about Xposed Framework in this thread.

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

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