April 12, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that a few days ago, we talked about a simple recovery-flashable ZIP by XDA Senior Member husen4u that allowed users to switch between ART and Dalvik runtime compilers directly from their custom recoveries. This tool actually came in the form of two scripts—one to enabled ART, and the other to enable Dalvik.
Naturally, the previously covered tool would be even more efficient if the two functions were combined into a single, AROMA-based ZIP file. Well, this is basically what XDA Senior Member hnkotnis has done. The aptly titled D2A_RT allows you to choose between ART and Dalvik runtime compilers right from your custom recovery. And since this comes in the form of an AROMA-based package, these two functions are combined into a single ZIP.
Using the package is incredibly easy. You simply flash it like any other ZIP file from your custom recovery and then use your touch screen to select which runtime compiler to use.
If you’re looking for a single archive that lets you choose your runtime compiler directly from your recovery, head over to the original thread and give this a whirl.
April 11, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat rolled out to the Nvidia SHIELD! 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 story on how the Sprint HTC One M8 was updated to 1.54.651.8 and received a new extreme power savings mode and the news about the HTC One M8 receiving S-Off! 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 Crappalinks, as well as a video explaining everything you need to know about the new Amazon Fire TV. Finally, TK also gave us an Android App Review of the C Locker update. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
About 8 months ago, TK reviewed a lockscreen App called C Locker by XDA Senior Member astoncheah. Now, the app received a major update and overhaul. This new update allows users to use everything from a customizable ring to other widgets and lock screen customizations. The app is all new, so TK decided to check out the changes.
In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews C Locker again. TK shows off the application and its changes, so check out this app review.
As we mentioned many times, KitKat was a quite substantial update to Android. The biggest change was probably the introduction of ART as an optional new runtime compiler. One of the other highlights is the new immersive mode. If you aren’t familiar with the name, it’s like entering a full screen mode on your device. Your software buttons are hidden, and you can bring back the status bar by swiping down from the top of the screen.
When you enter immersive mode for the first time, you are forced to accept a message explaining what immersive mode is and how to get back your navigation and status bars. This is then stored in memory, and you won’t have to accept this once again. However, Google implemented a “panic mode” for the more forgetful out there. This mode is actuated when a user turns off the screen and turns it back on within 5 seconds while in immersive mode. After that, the immersive mode message returns. Needless to say, that it’s not a convenient situation for those who have a habit of locking and unlocking their screens. Thankfully, XDA Forum Moderator GermainZ wrote an Xposed Module to prevent panic mode from being activated. The module simply disables the message and the annoyance. To use the module, your device must first be rooted, and you must be on the latest version of Xposed Framework.
If you would like to disable immersive mode’s panic mode, make your way to the module thread and give it a try.
April 8, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
In the age of text message, Twitter, and quick communications in general, we have a plethora of URL shorteners. However, URL shorteners have a dark side. Many things can be hidden within, including viruses, scams, and worst of all, the dreaded RickRoll. But now, there is an option for you to protect yourself.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that allows you see shortened links before you open them. XDA Forum Moderator GermainZ created the CrappaLinks Xposed Module. TK shows off the module and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
April 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
The Sprint HTC One (M8) was only released a few short weeks ago, but it has just received its first OTA update. No, it doesn’t update the device to some of those mystery Android 4.4.3 builds we’ve seen lately. Rather, it teaches the device a few new tricks.
The new firmware comes in at software version 1.54.651.8, and it features baseband version 1.05.20.0321_2. In addition to the claimed “Network acquisition enhancements,” this update brings a new Extreme Power Savings Mode. This new mode extends your battery life by “conserving CPU usage, reducing screen brightness, turning off vibration feedback, turning off data connection when screen is off, allowing only essential apps to run, and turning off pedometer.”
The new Extreme Power Savings Mode can be toggled via a status bar quick control. And as you’d expect from the name, enabling this new mode is pretty much a last resort. This is because when enabled, you’ll be prevented from doing pretty much anything with your device other than make calls, send texts and emails, check your calendar, and use the calculator.
The update is currently being delivered in the form of a staged OTA rollout. As such, not every device will receive the update in the first wave. Thankfully, XDA Recognized Contributor Rydah805 managed to pull the complete update for your sideloading pleasure. And if you would prefer to install the update without the new recovery and hboot, Senior Member eric00716 managed to separate the OTA and provide instructions on how to install it.
You can read more in the update discussion thread. And if you wish to get in on the update a bit early, head over to the pulled OTA links above. Finally, if you’re a Sprint HTC One M8 user already and you’ve already loaded the new update, share your thoughts in the comments below!
April 8, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
ART, which you can read more about in our story from February, is a hot topic in the Android world. This future replacement for Dalvik is still in the testing phase, and it contains some bugs that may pop up here and there. Hopefully, in the next release of Android, ART will be as polished and stable as it needs to be.
As ART still has a few lingering issues with certain apps, a number of you may encounter some problems with bootloops after switching runtime compilers from the default Dalvik. When your device refuses to boot, you can do few things like restore a backup if you have one, or edit some files to revert to working settings. If you are not so handy good with messing with system files, you should take a look at a recovery-flashable ZIP by XDA Senior Member husen4u. When flashed, this archive changes the default runtime compiler and restores your ability to boot. Of course, your device doesn’t have to be soft-bricked to test out these scripts, as you can enable it on (almost) every device running KitKat. You just need to keep in mind that ART is still a work in progress, and some applications and devices may have some problems.
You can get the ZIP from the original thread.
April 7, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
A game changing device in the Android world, the renowned GPU designer Nvidia released their portable Shield gaming console in part to showcase the power of the mobile Tegra 4 chipset. Now, this handheld micro console joins the ranks of the many other devices to have KitKat available for them.
However, this update brings more than just Google’s break-me-off-a-piece-of-that-Android-bar to the Shield. Nvidia upgraded several of the Shield’s unique features. GameStream, which allows you to stream PC games over your home WiFi network, has been upgraded to allow you to stream from certain GeForce-powered laptops. They have also introduced Remote GameStream, which is currently in Beta. Remote GameStream allows you to stream from your computer over the world wide intertubes. There are pieces included that improve this functionality, such as being able to wake up computers through Shield.
That’s not the only feature that they have improved. In the past if you wanted to connect your Shield to your television, you could connect a Bluetooth controller and play your Shield Games on the big screen using console mode. This feature has been improved to add support for Bluetooth keyboards and mice, which is almost certainly Nvidia’s way of competing with devices such as the Mad Catz M.O.J.O. You can now also charge your Shield while using Ethernet in Console Mode with a micro USB Host OTG Y cable.
Finally, there are some enhancements to TegraZone and the Gamepad Mapper. There is one big caveat that anyone considering this update should be aware of. The Shield comes with 16 GB of storage and that can get filled up quickly with huge games—I’m looking at you, Asphalt 8 and GTA! The solution has always been to get a huge microSD card and move applications to external storage. In the past, we’ve talked about how KitKat changes the way in which SD cards are handled. However, NVidia says this option still works. But now, you cannot browse your SD card using apps like ES File Explorer. Read more about their warnings here.
The update is available in wide release, so hammer your update button and enjoy your KitKat update. Then be sure to head over to the Nvidia Shield forum to share your experiences!
April 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Back on Friday, we talked about how the Verizon variant of the gargantuan HTC One Max had received technical approval and was set to receive its update to Android 4.4.2 some time today. Well folks, the update has now started rolling out to consumer devices.
Coming in at software build number 2.16.605.2 and baseband 1.36.60.0122, today’s update takes the Verizon variant of the HTC One Max up to Android 4.4.2 + Sense 5.5. Along for the ride, you get an improved location settings menu, which now offers a master switch for all location settings, as well as a list of apps using location and how much battery each app consumes. On top of the changes to location settings, the update also fixes several bugs related to car kits, notification light, and OTA update processing. Unfortunately, we now have three new pieces of bloatware: Verizon Cloud, Verizon Location Agent, and Verizon Support and Protect.
The update is currently making its way out to end-user devices by way of a staged OTA rollout. As such, not every device will receive the update in the first wave. Luckily, XDA Recognized Developer Flyhalf205 was kind enough to pull and mirror the update for your sideloading pleasure. Naturally, you’ll need to be on stock or very close to stock firmware in order to run the update, and you’ll also need the stock recovery, which can be downloaded in this thread.
You can find out more about the update itself on Verizon’s support PDF for the update and get in on the discussion in the Verizon HTC One Max KitKat Update discussion thread. And if you’re after a mirror, go check out Flyhalf205′s mirror.
April 7, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 5.5 update is coming to the Verizon HTC One Max today! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews some of the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement that the Verizon LG G2′s KitKat update was leaked, as well as a story about how to convert your Carrier HTC One M8 to Google Play Edition! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the exciting news coming out for development starting on the Nokia X with TWRP and CWM ported to it and the announcement that CyanogenMod 11 has hit Milestone 5! Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
April 5, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
There plenty of great options available for those looking for a large-scale, multi-device custom ROM. But despite this, CyanogenMod is still the first name that comes to the minds of most Android users. There’s good reason for this, as CyanogenMod was the first source-built community distribution of its kind. And though the years, we’ve seen great development work come from its team.
Today, the CyanogenMod team has released the Milestone 5 release of CyanogenMod 11. With this, the team is one step closer to CyanogenMod 11 stable. Compared to the M4 release, M5 brings various fixes and feature additions. As stated on the CM Blog:
Trebuchet – Fix last icon from hotseat disappearing
Trebuchet – Fix custom home transition effect
Volume Panel – Increase opacity of transparency (previous level led to visibility concerns)
WhisperPush – Relocate to Privacy menu
WhisperPush – fix NPE on viewing identity if unregistered
Translations – Initial imports from CrowdIn (followup blog post next week)
MultiSim – Additional support patches (25+)
Privacy Guard – Additional AppOps permissions
Additional Right-to-left (RTL) layout mirroring support
Settings – Add ‘screen color’ support
Quickboot support (device specific)
Stylus – Fix eraser being disabled by palm rejection
NavBar – Allow toggle in runtime (needs kernel support)
Add ethernet icon support to status bar
Dialer – Open Source forward/backward/incoming look-up
The builds are currently in the process of building, and there are 26 ready at the time of this article, with many more on the way. While these milestone releases are still technically not CM11 final, you’d be hard pressed to find any major bugs on most devices. So if you’re a CM user, head over to the source link below, download and update, and then head over to the forums and the comments below to share your experiences.
The HTC One Max is the bigger brother to last year’s flagship HTC One. Although it’s been a bit slower to receive the KitKat than its more reasonably sized sibling, we’ve already seen the update roll out to the European and Sprint versions of the device. Unfortunately, however, this does nothing for device owners in different regions and/or on different carriers such as Verizon here in the US, which typically lags behind its competitors when it comes to updates.
Now, we’ve gotten word that the update to Android 4.4.2 + Sense 5.5 has received technical approval for OTA release on Verizon. News on the update comes from HTC’s executive director of product management @moversi, who posted about the update to his Twitter account earlier today.
While this statement comes a full week after we saw the update roll out to the Sprint model, this is still great news for Verizon HTC One Max owners looking to receive the official KitKat goods. Are you looking forward to the update on your Verizon HTC One Max, or are you already running an aftermarket KitKat build for your device? Let us know in the comments below, and of course visit our HTC One Max forums.
April 4, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Sprint LG G2 is rolling out! 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 how HTC made kernel source available for the One M8 and how Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana and Action Center! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan also talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Cool Tool. Jordan then reviewed the Mad Catz M.O.J.O. Finally, TK gave us an Android App Review of Live Weather. Pull up a chair and check out this video.