January 31, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android is extremely popular largely due to the fact that users can easily modify its look, which applications to use, and basically anything else. Changing your look is not only a wallpaper, launcher, or new icons. Rather, some deep changes can be done with custom themes that are not so hard to create.
With elementary knowledge of photo editing and a willingness to learn, you can create your own theme. XDA Senior Member Ayush Singh wrote a thorough guide on understanding the process of making a theme. The guide initially was aimed at the Sony Xperia Z1, but it can be used with almost every device, as themes don’t differ much in their structure. Ayush Singh presents the process with text and some screenshots, so so you can easily compare them to your own work in progress. Theming brings a lot of fun and can totally change the look of your device. With slight modifications, you can build a theme alongside your personal ROM.
You can find everything you need to create a theme by visiting the guide thread. Make your way there and start reading. And while you’re at it, check out yesterday’s interview with a popular theme creator.
January 30, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
As is pretty much always the case, quite a bit is happening in the Sony Xperia world. And today, this comes in the form of official updates for the Sony Xperia M and the flagship Xperia Z1—the former coming soon, and the latter already rolling out with a captured update package.
First off, we have the Sony Xperia M. The device, which was released in the middle of last year, was never destined to be a flagship device. In fact, with only a dual-core 1 GHz processor and a WVGA screen, it was more inline with the flagships of 2011 and 2012 than 2013. Regardless, the Xperia M is still a good device, and it has amassed a loyal following in our forums. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that many were upset when the device wasn’t included in the initial list of Xperia smartphones set to receive official Android 4.3—much less KitKat. Thankfully though, it appears as if the Xperia M will be receiving official Android 4.3 after all, as Vodafone Australia has queued the Android 4.3 update for testing. While this doesn’t say anything about unbranded devices or those available on other carriers (or even other Vodafone regions), it bodes well for Sony’s progress behind the scenes.
On the Sony Xperia Z1 front, we have an official maintenance update to software version 14.2.A.1.136. The update has only rolled out to certain BALs at this time, but XDA Recognized Developer Androxyde has managed to create an FTF from his customized BAL and mirror it in this thread for everyone’s enjoyment. Furthermore, several other users have provided the updates for different variants in the thread as well, if you’d rather have a different region’s firmware. The update itself is still Android 4.3, but it brings numerous fixes, as well as a new white balance setting.
If you’re a Xperia Z1 user and you would like to get your hands on the update in FTF form, head over to the firmware thread to get started. On the other hand, if you’re an Xperia M user and you’d like to discuss the incoming 4.3 update, head over to this discussion thread and speak your mind.
[Source: Vodafone.au | Thanks to Samantha for the tip!]
January 26, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
KitKat brought lots of eye candy to Android. Some of these changes came in the form of different wallpapers, different transparency on the status bar, and tweaks to lock screen album art during music playback. The revised lock screen music widget looks great. And now users who happen to still be on Jelly Bean can have a taste as well, thanks to a crafty Xposed Framework module. Yesterday we talked about an Xposed module that allows you to control your music playback using your device’s hardware buttons. Combined with today’s KitKat Music Lockscreen module, you can now show your favorite music application some love.
The KitKat Music Lockscreen module was created by XDA Forum Member prithvee, who adjusted Jelly Bean lock screen widget to look like the revised one found in KitKat. This module brings the feature of displaying Album/Cover art of currently playing music/song on lockscreen from KitKat to Jelly Bean (4.2+). With this module, you can easily change between the old and new styles with only a few clicks. This module should be compatible with all devices running Android 4.2 or greater. The only requirement is to have Xposed Framework installed.
To beautify your lock screen music widget, make your way over to the module thread.
January 26, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Having more than one Android is certainly not unusual. A tablet, a smartwatch, and even perhaps two smartphones are all occasionally present in our bags and pockets. And having notifications appear only on our main device is a sad reality, but thankfully everything can change with tools available here at XDA.
Bluetooth perhaps isn’t the most popular method of connecting devices, but it’s used in applications created by XDA Senior Member pacosal. M2D is a tool that allows you to see notifications from one device on another. As a perfect example, we can take tablet and mobile phone that you’re using. If your phone gets a notification, the tablet will show it on the screen. Notification mirroring isn’t the only function that this project has to offer. With M2D, you can control the multimedia system, start recording or playing sounds, and even take a picture or capture video. The developer also shared some necessary information necessary to build modules that work with M2D. Currently, the available modules can share messages sent through Viber or WhatsApp. To check out this project, you just need to install a set of applications available in the thread’s first post.
If you have more than one device and want to use the second one as a receiver, you should visit the development thread and learn more about this project.
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.
January 20, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The kernel files have been released for the Android 4.4 KitKat update on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the full Smart Social Camera Experience has been ported to Android 4.3 Xperia Devices and Mobile ODIN has been updated with more features and support for more devices!
Be sure to check out the the other videos released this last week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Root Cloak, he then reviewed the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch 2.0, and finally he gave us an Android App Review of Calendar Status. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 17, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4 KitKat official builds for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the Motorola Droids are getting Android 4.4 KitKat builds and you can get a Google Play Edition Moto G! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Root Cloak, he then reviewed the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch 2.0, and finally he gave us an Android App Review of Calendar Status. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve been talking quite a bit about Android 4.3 for the Sony Xperia, T, TX, V, and Xperia SP as of late. About a month ago, we saw the devices receive DLNA certification for the upcoming 4.3 update. Then not too long after, the leaks started pouring in—first for the Sony Xperia T and SP, then for the Xperia TX, and finally for the Xperia V.
After all these highly functional leaked builds, we all had a feeling that an official update would start rolling out soon. Accordingly, the official Sony Mobile News Twitter account stated earlier today that Jelly Bean 4.3 would start rolling out to end user devices by the end of January or early February.
Now for most of us, the official OTAs are more of a convenience than a necessity. After all, all of these devices have relatively functional builds of not only Android 4.3, but also the latest and greatest 4.4 KitKat. Regardless, it’s still nice to see Sony support their devices, even if they’re still a major version behind after this update.
What are your thoughts on Sony’s updates? Are you happy that (unlike HTC) they are at least coming, or are you disappointed that it took this long to receive a version of Android that isn’t even the latest? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to head over to the Sony Xperia, T, TX, V, and Xperia SP to get in all the discussion!
January 15, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Late last night, the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4 Active started receiving a 721 MB over-the-air firmware update. No, it’s not KitKat, but it’s a step in the right direction. Instead, this OTA is the long awaited Android 4.3 update.
In addition to bumping up the Android version to the last version of Jelly Bean, this OTA (build number I537UCUBML2) brings a few other notable features including Galaxy Gear support, drag-and-drop application uninstallation, and you guessed it, bloatware. The bloat in UCUBML2 comes from new preloaded applications including Kindle, Lookout, City ID, Password Keeper, Games, and AT&T Mobile Protection.
The update should be rolling out to devices everywhere, so if you don’t mind the added bloat, it’s time to search for updates. However, be aware that not every device will receive the rollout initially. Thankfully, XDA Forum Member xAjCx mirrored the OTA for everyone to get started without delay. To manually install the update, simply download the OTA and use a root-enabled file manager to place it in /data/fota.
Head over to the OTA thread to get started.
January 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve been talking about Android 4.4 updates, both official and unofficial, ever since KitKat was released alongside the Google Nexus 5 back in October of last year. And thankfully, the number of devices with official KitKat firmware releases is finally starting to gain some momentum. Despite this KitKat growth, many other devices have just recently received official Android 4.3 updates and/or leaks. While this isn’t ideal, at least some progress is being made towards relatively new firmwares.
However, there are some notable former flagships that are stuck in Android 4.2 land, and will never see any newer releases in official capacity. This unfortunately includes the HTC One X and One X+, the latter of which is one day shy of being just thirteen months old!
This sad news was first posted to HTC UK’s twitter account yesterday morning. And then in a statement issued to TheVerge, HTC expanded upon this by stating:
We can confirm that the HTC One X and One X+ will not receive further Android OS updates beyond Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed both devices to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.
HTC, I can only imagine what your shareholders must be thinking right now. You are barely scraping by financially, only earning a marginal profit last quarter by ridding yourself of Beats. And now, you wish to further alienate your already unhappy customers by not even providing updates for a thirteen month old device? Moreover, Android 4.3 was released only 8 months after the One X+ debuted! And as we’ve seen in all of the various ports to devices with far less powerful hardware, KitKat would run beautifully on the One X and One X+. Words just cannot express… There is no reasonable logic to be found here.
Are you a disgruntled HTC One X and One X+ owner who feels abandoned by this formerly glorious OEM, or have you already said goodbye to the Sense world and moved on to aftermarket, AOSP-derived ROMs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
January 13, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 gets a leaked Android 4.4.2 KitKat build! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Sony Xperia M got an unofficial Android 4.4.2 KitKat Release and the Sony Xperia TX has a leaked version of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about all the videos released on XDA Developer TV this weekend from CES 2014 including the a hands-on video with the Samsung Note PRO 12.2, Tab PROs and Galaxy Camera 2, Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G, and the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch video by XDA Developer TV Producer TK. Check out our whole CES 2014 Playlist. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
READ ON »
January 11, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Two days ago, we talked about a leaked Android 4.3 firmware build for the Sony Xperia T. The leak, so generously provided by XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, came in at version 9.2.A.0.278, and featured generally great performance aside from a strange “NFC closed error.” This highly functional status prompted many to question when a leaked build for its sibling, the TX, would emerge.
Now, a version for the Sony Xperia TX has appeared, thanks to XDA Forum Member MN-Ming. This leaked build comes in version 9.2.A.1.131, and it packs in a few interesting features. User reports so far seem to be primarily positive, with reports of improved multitasking and overall performance. Furthermore, this build now integrates the camera software previously seen on the Xperia Z1.
You will need an unlocked bootloader to give this a try on your TX. Those looking to get started should head over to the leak thread and give this a shot. Once you’ve given it a try, don’t forget to share your experiences here and in the thread to let other users know whether it’s worth the plunge.
January 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that just yesterday, we talked about how the Android 4.3 update for the Sony Xperia T and Xperia SP was drawing near. We were made aware of this thanks to XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, who shared screenshots of the latest test builds for both devices and was taking requests for any other screenshots that users might be interested in.
Now just a few hours after his previous “sneak peak,” DooMLoRD has decided to make the firmwares available. Initially, the firmware was meant for developer (brown) devices only. Luckily, DooMLoRD was able to get the update to boot on production devices. However, users should note that this is for devices with unlocked bootloaders only.
For those keeping track, the builds come in at version 9.2.A.0.278 for the Xperia T and 12.1.A.0.256 for the Xperia SP, and both are Android 4.3 with a Linux 3.4.0-based kernel.
Are you looking forward to giving the leaked 4.3 builds a try on your own devices? Let us know in the comments below.
Make your way over to the leaked firmware threads below to get started: