• 5,600,446
    REGISTERED
  • 32,797
    ONLINE NOW

Posts Tagged: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

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.

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

fasthomewidgets

Not too long ago, XDA Forum Member taomorpheus released a rather interesting alternative to the current official Facebook app called Fast. The app is essentially a replacement for the original, bringing to the table a far simpler, less bloated, and much lighter client for the the infamous social media site. As good as it is, there is always room for improvement. Since the dev knew this to be the case, he kept on cranking ideas to make the experience of Fast even faster. The result after some months worth of testing, one can now use the app without going into the app thanks to widgets. With that in mind, he embarked on a journey to add as much FB functionality to the home screen launcher as humanly possible. However, this had to be done without compromising the lightness of Fast, which is (after all) what sets it apart from its official counterpart

Fast Home Widgets, much as its name suggests, is a set of widgets (10 to be precise) to do virtually everything you normally do on Facebook, but without actually opening the FB app. As mentioned earlier, the beauty of this pack is that it allows you to do something different with each widget, so you could essentially arrange them and use just the ones with the services that you normally use. For instance, lets just say that the only two things you do on Facebook are update your status and upload pics, but you are not interested in anything else like group chats, instant messaging, or even the news feed. You now have individual widgets dedicated to these two things alone, without having to have extra options that you do not use, effectively reducing the clutter and making the entire experience a more simplified one.

As a quick note, the dev has stated that these are in private beta testing at the moment. If you would like to participate as a tester, to please send him a pm. There is no mention of limit for the beta testing program, so this can only mean that the dev is doing it to have a better pulse on the feedback for the widgets. They will be released in two batches: The first few will be available for testing in the next day or so and the last few towards the end of next month. As it is the case for everything on XDA, please do not ask for ETAs.  If you get on the beta list, please provide any and all feedback for the dev. After all, that is exactly what you are signing up for.

 It’s a set of 10 widgets (android 4.0+) created in order to do the basic stuff on Facebook.
The first release will come with 5-6 widgets. I have planned to release the other 4-5 widgets by the end of May.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Advertisment
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.

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

hotspotcontrol

HotSpot functionality: the forbidden apple of mobile telecommunications. Being able to share your Internet connection with others or even with your own multiple devices is something that we did have always desired, particularly those who hate the idea of paying a “convenience/access fee” to a carrier. The feature/idea of tethering from our mobile devices is not new, and in fact has been around since well before the PDA Phone came to be. However, ever since its implementation, both manufacturers and carriers have been on a crusade to limit or flat out eliminate this functionality from our devices. Android comes with native wireless tethering capabilities, which again, are disabled, blocked, or removed from the OS for a wide variety of reasons. Well, if you fall under this category,  XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire can help you with his latest work.

HotSpot Control will allow you to use this functionality as long as it is present on the device (meaning, it was not removed from the OS). Normally, the native app can be disabled or hidden to favor other things such as carrier apps, which could prompt you to sign up for tethering monthly services. What’s more, there are times when the functionality will be blocked regardless of whether you have a carrier or not. In this particular case (and what really prompted Chainfire to work on this app), the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a “feature” which disables the option to create a tethered connection to other devices if the SIM card is missing from the device. This app will allow you to activate and configure your hotspot regardless of whether you have a SIM card in there or not, or even if the native component is hidden from sight. Oh, and unlike other apps for tethering, root is not a requirement here.

Do keep in mind that this app was intended to allow the connection to be established between the devices. This app was not created as a means to bypass any software locks your carrier may have implemented to charge you for hotspot usage. There are various practical uses for this, so if you have something that requires a tethered connection to your device, now you can do it. As always, if you have any feedback or run into any bugs, please leave the information in the thread. Logs welcome.

THIS IS NOT DESIGNED TO BEAT YOUR CARRIER’S TETHERING PROTECTION - For some people it does (it depends on how that protection is implemented) but this is not what the app was made for. It’s no use complaining that it doesn’t do this for you.

You can find more information in the original thread.

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

[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]

Buzz Launcher

Altering your home screen has been made simpler thanks to the work of XDA Forum Member Buzz Plan. Buzz Launcher, which is only available for phones with Android 4.0.1 or greater, allows users to quickly download, apply, and share home screens. The application also makes it possible to create your own home screen using features such as Multi-Wallpapers and My Icons. 

The Buzz Custom Widget add-on gives users access to clock, date, and battery widgets to include in their own personalized home screens. If the stock look of the widgets doesn’t leave you satisfied, you can modify them to look any way you want. Home screens that you create can easily be shared thanks to a one-touch upload feature.

 Buzz Launcher also has other features such as:

■ MULTI-GRID: you can designate different grids for each screen (up to 12×12)

■ MANAGE FOLDERS: you can make folders in app drawers/Homescreen, modify folder image, and resize folders

■ MANAGE APPS: features for viewing most frequently used apps, recently installed apps, and hiding apps

■ MANAGE APP DRAWERS: Screen concept is applied to app drawers so you can manage apps by screens

■ GESTURE SUPPORT: Glide up, Glide down, Double tab and more.

■ Previewing is supported for various view settings.

If creating home screens is not your thing, there are more than 300 available to choose from—and they are all provided through Homepack Buzz Service. Installing a home screen only requires you to download the one that you want. Buzz Launcher automatically sets everything up once the download is complete. Linked apps can then be downloaded at your own leisure.

There are many useful and created home screens available for use with this application. Many of the changes that Buzz Launcher users have made are reminiscent of Rainmeter. So if you’re in the market for a new launcher or simply just want to try something novel, more information can be found in the original 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.

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

xperia-arc-midnightblue-620x440

Not too long ago, we started covering how-to guides in the Epic 4G Touch section. These guides aimed to teach users and aspiring developers alike the ins and outs of messing with ROMs internals at the code level, as opposed to simply flashing zip files from recovery. The guides covered a few minor mods (features of TouchWiz ROMs on SGS3) that were mostly for eye candy and some functionality. However, the underlying point of them was not to make your phone prettier (this was the end result). The point was to try and get people to understand the process involved in coding and making tweaks is not as simple as some make it seem.

Taking on a very similar concept, we now jump to the Sony Xperia Arc where XDA Forum Member sandy7 brings us something rather similar. The dev has created a one stop shop thread for mods that can be enabled in the Xperia device. The first tutorial covers a mod that has been ported to virtually every brand of phone out there… music track skipping by using the volume rockers (long press). The dev goes on to discuss and talk about the different parts of code that must be added and modified in order to get this going on the Arc. The following one talks about modifications to the lock screen and the addition of the magnifying glass. Last but not least, the third post covers addition of settings to control things like CPU and panel settings. All these mods will require you to modify the android.policy.jar and whatever APK you are trying to mod, so make sure that you have the necessary tools available to decompile APKs and add the reuqired lines of code to them.

XDA Forum Member jader13254 has also contributed to the thread by adding a guide to make the mods compatible with the newer ICS base (.13). This means that if you know of something that could be included in this master thread, you should definitely drop by and add your share of knowledge to enlighten and motivate others. Lastly, leave your feedback and things you would change if you find easier methods to get to the same end result.

  • android.policy.jar
  • APKTOOL
  • Notepad++
  • winrar or 7zip
  • and some patience.

You can find more information in the original thread.

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

[Thanks to XDA News Writer jman2131 for the tip!]

screenies

Installing multiple essential mods on a device that’s been constantly reflashed with a fresh new ROM can be cumbersome and tedious. You run the risk of finding yourself with the dreaded bootloop if you forgot one simple step in the installation process. On top of this, the whole process is extremely time consuming, on many occasions taking up hours of your time. To help alleviate this, XDA Recognized Contributor Pandemic presents ST Octane Settings for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola.

ST Octane Settings is a collection of useful mods for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola, all packaged into one simple and flashable zip file. The pack includes mods such as Jelly Bean switches, Quick panel, On Screen Buttons as well as settings to turn them on and off, CPU Control, and location-based WiFi. Installation is relatively straightforward, requiring the user to flash the provided zip file through ClockworkMod recovery, however Small Apps must be installed prior to the installation of ST Octane Settings. Pandemic also has a mod pack for the Xperia S and Ion under the same name, and Xperia Arc, Arc S and Neo called Xperia Go Settings offering similar modifications, all wrapped up and presented in the same, singular zip file.

If you’re running stock Ice Cream Sandwich and you’re interested, make sure to check out the original thread for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola, here for the Xperia S and Ion, or here if you have the Arc and Arc S, or here if you have the Neo.

 

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.

greenify

For most people, this is an old tune, one to which they have danced before: the eternal promise of extending battery life, making your device smooth and silky as the time it was taken out of the box. We have had these programs such as task managers, app killers, RAM savers, and so on for a very long time. The truth of the matter is that Android is actually quite capable of handling apps in a very efficient manner, and more often than not, these are not normally needed. Also, the available RAM on most newer devices certainly makes them obsolete (for newer gen devices anyways). Furthermore, leaving programs in RAM (when available) prevents the need to relaunch them the next time you open them. However, when a new approach is tested, it is always worth looking into it, and that happens to be the case with Greenify by XDA Forum Member oasisfeng.

The app itself acts like a bit of a task killer, hunting down applications that may be active in memory but not being used. This app, however, uses a different method to kill an app. The method used here not only disables the apps, but it prevents it from coming back to life, which is the failing point of most app killers. There are other ways to achieve a similar result, such as using the freezing feature of Titanium Backup, which essentially completely disables the app temporarily. However, using this approach also disables your ability to use said app. Greenify uses a method known as am force-stop pkgname as opposed to the commonly used kill. The app hunts for alarms and active ServiceRecords, which act as restore points for the app being killed and gets rid of them. This way, the app is completely disabled without actually completely disabling the app.

The app requires root, but other than that, it has no special requirements. Please take it for a spin and make sure that you leave some feedback for the dev. Also, please leave your experience as well. Did it help? We would love to know.

No more envy of your friends’ iPhone which never become slow and battery hungry after lots of apps installed. With Greenify, your Android device can also run almost as smooth and lasting as the first day you have it!

You can find more information in the original thread.

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

SenseGrid

I have been a Sense fan for a very long time—ever since it was known as Manila, to be more precise. It offered all the eye candy that you could handle at the expense of not having much RAM left over, but as phones became more powerful, this became less of an issue as time went by. Among all the pretty weather animations, fancy clocks, and sliding homescreens, there was one feature that always captivated me: the picture frame. I am not entirely sure how or why. Maybe it was a mistake or an Eureka moment, but HTC got it right the first time around with this feature. Going from WM to Android, the Photo Widget was adapted into Sense and retained much of the same look and functionality that it had before. During the days of Sense 3.5, the widget was given an alternative look, and that pretty much completed what was missing: a grid preview that shows an array of pictures from your folder, all laced with a beautiful tile-style transition animation as you swipe your finger through it. On top of all this, the standard photo frame in Android is just plain bad.

The issue with this is that, much as it is the case with all Sense widgets, you need to have Sense to run it. Not everyone is a fan of Sense-based ROMs or even have access to a Sense device. And even with one of these on hand, the idea of running lighter ROMs such as AOSP-derived works pretty much makes this into choosing between your choice of OS versus your choice of home screen contents. Well, attempting to work towards a future where such choices need not be made,  XDA Forum Member itandy decided to make a widget to bridge the gap between both worlds. While still a work in progress, the dev’s Photo Frame/Grid Widget aims to bring most functionality of the infamous Sense widget while retaining your right to run AOSP, TW, or any kind of ROM you want to have on your device. You can choose from either design, and the grid sizes as well as spacing between pictures can be fully customized. On top of that, if you feel that you want to have separate widgets for separate albums, the app allows you to have multiple widgets, each with its own settings, which can be changed on the fly without having to scrap the widget every time.

As mentioned, the widget is still under development, but it is certainly a breath of fresh air over the stock Android widget. Please provide some feedback for the dev if you run into any bugs.

This is my first Android app. Basically I want to replicate the grid-style photo widget from HTC so it can be used by other phones or in AOSP ROM.

You can find more information in the original thread.

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

HTC Thunderbolt

Let’s face it: HTC is far from being the model of the open source development world. While they still have a large following, their recent earnings statements are an indication that their followers are no longer following them. Their deliberate snubs at the development community, and the users who depend on them, have ranged from complete lack of required GPLv2 kernel source code to locked bootloaders and then allowing a pseudo-unlock which prohibits the flashing of partitions. With a net profit of only $33mil in Q4 2012 (down almost 90% from Q4 2011) and sales down 7% in January 2013 compared to January 2012, it’s obvious something needs to change. HTC’s CEO Peter Chou seems to think that marketing is the way to solve their problems though. Living in a different dimension, anyone?

Typically we would say that providing OS updates to devices is a great step to keeping the user happy, but this is another area in which HTC continues to falter. They have routinely promised updates to their phones and then delayed them or just flat out said they aren’t happening. Now, as luck would have it, the HTC Thunderbolt, a device launched in mid 2011, is finally getting the ICS update after being promised it would be released back in August of 2012. Verizon notified users a few days ago that an OTA update would be slowly rolling out to those still using this older device, with the software version upping the device to Android 4.04 (HTC Build 7.02.605.06710RD) and HTC Sense 3.6. What is interesting is Verizon has added a new application to the Thunderbolt, “Verizon Remote Diagnostics.” If you look at the description for this application, it sure seems like HTC and Verizon haven’t learned a thing from the CarrierIQ saga of late 2011.

New customer care solution to improve customer service experience. When a customer calls into Verizon Wireless customer care, this solution, with the customer’s permission, allows support personnel to remotely view the user’s device for device training, application demonstrations and troubleshooting.

There is currently a thread discussing the update, with development soon to follow once XDA’s developers get their hands on it.

Minimalistic Text Editor for Android

January 18, 2013   By:

Wordpad_Android_TextEditor

As mobile devices have evolved, so have the tools for performing every day tasks. What used to require Microsoft Office on a standard computer can now be accomplished with various mobile applications that can create, edit, and view Office documents (because Microsoft still can’t figure out how to mobilize their mammoth, memory-hungry, piece of… oh never mind). Further expanding the analogy, we used to use apps like Notepad to edit text files, and now we have a bevy of apps on the desktop that allow you to not only edit a text file, but also features color-coding for different programming languages.

Sure, we have a number of text editors on mobile, but many of them try to be all things to all people. Now we have a new text editor designed for Android 3.x and above. Wordpad – Minimal Text Editor by XDA Forum Member Gibbz1 lives up to its name, and takes the minimalistic approach to app design.

When you open the app for the first time, you are presented with the screen seen to the right.

There is not much more minimal than that. You get a nice blank screen, with a blinking cursor waiting for you to type or to open an existing file. One downside to the app is that it can only be used with text files on your SD card, and does not show up as an option for editing text files elsewhere on the device. That said, the developer is very responsive, and is looking to continue to add features. So visit the application thread and add your feedback.

Advertisement

XDA TV: Most Recent Video

Buy/Sell on Swappa