September 22, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Flyme OS has been ported to the Google Nexus 5! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement of Android L having Data Encryption turned on by default and be sure the check out the article talking about how to compile your own kernel! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Newcomer droidmodd3rx released a video reviewing the WowWee MiP. Then Newcomer Jared showed you some great battery saving tricks. And if you missed it be sure to check out Jordan’s Review of the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
September 20, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Android L, once it is eventually released, will feature data encryption turned on by default. This information has been revealed by Niki Christoff, spokeswoman for Google. And in doing so, the Mountain View company is joining Apple in the battle for user privacy and security.
Data encryption is nothing new in Android, as it has been available on certain Android devices since 2011. With the upcoming Android L release, which should happen next month, Google will add procedures to make the encryption automatic. This means that only those users who enter the device password will be able to listen to music, watch videos, or see the pictures on the device when it is connected to a computer or accessed manually.
“For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement. As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won’t even have to think about turning it on.”
– Google spokeswoman Niki Christoff
Google’s move is not surprising. Turning on an encryption is a response to Apple’s actions, as iOS 8 offers similar protection enabled by default as well. Both companies have now embraced a form of encryption that in most cases will make it much more difficult or impossible for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from users’ smartphones.
It remains to be seen whether this encryption will affect aftermarket Android development. TWRP already supports encrypted devices, so flashing a ZIP should still be possible. Hopefully Google will not change the encryption methods and just turn the feature on by default. Everything will be known next month when we see Android L’s official premiere.
Android L is shaping up to be one of the most important releases of Google’s ever so popular mobile OS. Many components have been rewritten, and the OS has gone 64-bit. Some system applications designed specifically for the latest developer preview version of Android L also work on previous versions, but the majority of them need to be ported. You can get some from the system dump that we talked about a few weeks ago.
The recently announced Material Design UI paradigm changes the look and feel of the OS greatly, and many design elements have to be rewritten from scratch. One of elements that was totally reworked is the lock screen. The one available in Android L is totally different from the lock screens that were used in Jelly Bean or KitKat. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, you can now do so, since XDA Senior Member xsmile711 has prepared the lock screen application to every version of Android greater than Ice Cream Sandwich.
The application is feature packed and allows you to change many settings and therefore make your system almost Android L-like. This app is in beta stage, so some bugs may occur. One of the most significant is a high amount of RAM consumption, but xsmile711 is already working to fix this issue.
Don’t wait for Android L to be finally released and then ported to your device; try its lock screen now! You can get the application from the Android L ported Lock Screen thread.
August 25, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Google Chromecast has become rootable once again! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement of Android L potentially being called Lemon Meringue Pie and be sure the check out the article talking about the Hotel and conference rates special for this year’s xda:devcon! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Newcomer Tom released a video showing you how to manually factory reset your Samsung Gear Live Android Wear Smartwatch. Then Newcomer Droidmodd3rx showed off CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 9. And if you missed it be sure to check out Jordan’s Review of the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 23, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Android L’s official release is growing closer with each passing day. But despite how close we are to its official release, two preview releases, and a limited source code release, we still know relatively little about Google’s next OS. The codename still remains unknown, and this has lead to quite a bit of speculation regarding the next sweet treat to emerge from Google’s Android bakery. One thing is known: It will start on the letter L. Lollipop, Lion, Lemon Pie or perhaps LOL? We’ll know pretty soon.
The folks over at Android Police recently determined that the next Android will be codenamed Lemon Meringue Pie. This name has been tossed around quite a bit in the past, and many references in Android list the new release as a “LMP,” which might be short for the delicious baked pie. Their report is just based on assumption and can’t be judged as 100% for certain. After all, the “KLP” codename seemed obvious not so long ago, but we know that Key Lime Pie eventually was released as KitKat after Google’s agreement with Nestlé.
So, where does this report get its data from? There are some instances in the source code referring to “LMP.” The first can be found in the Android SDK, where the test build is labeled as “lmp-preview-release”:
<!– From: file:/usr/local/google/buildbot/repo_clients/https___googleplex-android.googlesource.com_a_platform_manifest.git/lmp-preview-release/frameworks/support/v7/cardview/res/values/colors.xml –>
<!– From: file:/usr/local/google/buildbot/repo_clients/https___googleplex-android.googlesource.com_a_platform_manifest.git/lmp-preview-release/frameworks/support/v7/cardview/res/values/attrs.xml –>
<!– Background color for CardView. –>
<attr name=”cardBackgroundColor” format=”color” />
<!– Corner radius for CardView. –>
<attr name=”cardCornerRadius” format=”dimension” />
<!– From: file:/usr/local/google/buildbot/repo_clients/https___googleplex-android.googlesource.com_a_platform_manifest.git/lmp-preview-release/frameworks/support/v7/cardview/res/values/dimens.xml –>
<!– From: file:/usr/local/google/buildbot/repo_clients/https___googleplex-android.googlesource.com_a_platform_manifest.git/lmp-preview-release/frameworks/support/v7/cardview/res/values/styles.xml –>
The second source indicating that Android L will be Lemon Meringue Pie is hidden in the WiFi certification of the upcoming Nexus 9 aka Flouder aka Volantis:
The speculation surrounding the upcoming release will continue to grow every day, and we will surely see more and more reports suggesting one name or another thing. One thing is certain, however, and that’s the fact that Google could potentially fool us all and release the new version of Android codenamed whatever they’d like. So in other words, let’s take this all with a grain of salt.
[via Android Police]
August 8, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Android L developer preview images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 have been updated!! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 9 being available for supported devices and be sure the check out the article talking about bringing Android Aut- like functionality to your device with Digital Car! 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 Statusbar Gestures. Then, TK showed off some mods for the Sony Xperia Z2. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of Pro Reader for Reddit. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
July 24, 2014 By: egzthunder1
Everyone likes screen real estate–no question about that. The sole idea of having more space available for your clutter of icons, widgets, and so on is what has fueled phone manufacturers to come up with screens so large that they barely fit in our pockets anymore. We do, however, always look for more, and one sure thing that many people could (and do) away with are the soft buttons (for devices with no hardware buttons) and the status bar.
There are apps such as video players and games that hide both the status bar and software navigation buttons while active. This is known as immersive mode. But while some apps offer immersive mode, not every app has this feature built in. Sure, there are a myriad of options out there to hide either bar (or both) using tools such as Xposed Framework, or even by simple build.prop manipulation. Several launchers such as Nova and Buzz even allow you to hide the status bar and bring it back out via gestures. However, all of the above (except the launchers of course) require root or custom ROMs. Well, XDA Senior Member StupidIdea is here to tell you that you no longer need root.
GMD Full Screen Immersive Mode is an app that automatically gets rid of either of the aforementioned bars, or both. This app is really a combination of some of StupidIdea’s previous works, many of which have been featured in the Portal over the past few years. As stated, the app does not require root and has the ability to hide either one of the bars, or both for the full immersive experience. GMD is actually quite simple to use, thanks to gesture controls that allow you to hide and reveal either bar through simple swipes. It also comes equipped with a notification in the status bar that allows you to switch back and forth. The app does have a few quirks such as how in order for the keyboard to work on certain apps, the Navigation bar must be present.
So, what are you waiting for? Get back every pixel that is rightfully yours by trying this app. Oh, and while you are at it, try and see if you can find any bugs within the app that the dev should know about. You can find more information in the GMD Full Screen Immersive Mode app thread.
July 18, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The recently unveiled Android L has changed quite a few things related to user experience, as well as some interface design nuances. Google presented its new design language, Material Design, which will soon replace the good old Holo in the majority of future applications.
Material Design is currently available only on Android L, and some lucky testers can try it out on the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 7 (2013). Developers have quite a bit of homework to do, as apps will eventually need to be updated to the new design guidelines to match Android’s new look.
One of the first applications modified to match the new design guidelines is an unofficial Apollo Music Player build. It’s been adapted to Material Design thanks to XDA Senior Member TheXorg. HenryMP doesn’t differ much from the original player released by CyanogenMod team, but it looks really nice with the Developer Preview firmware, and shows off how this third-party music player may look in the Fall.
It’s unclear as to whether HenryMP will work with Android 4.4 KitKat or older releases. But due to issues we talked about earlier, it’s likely that this will only work with Android L.
If you are looking for a free music player that takes on Android L’s new look, HenryMP might be something that you are looking for. Give it a try by visiting the HenryMP application thread.
July 18, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Live from New York, its the XDA News Update hosted by Jordan Keyes! Ok, so maybe it’s not live, but Jordan does review all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of the Nexus 5 receiving Android 4.4.4_R2 in selected countries and be sure the check out the announcement of the XDA Root Directory! 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 Heads Up Notifications. Then, Jordan reviewed the LG G3. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of ShortPaste. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
July 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android L Developer Preview has been ported to HTC One! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is how Google may consider changing the SD Card access rules in final Android L and the story about enabling Chromecast mirroring from Any Device! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Be sure to check out the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for NotifyClean. Then, AdamOutler investigated Smartphone Charging. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of Notific. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
With each passing day, we grow closer and closer to the eventual release of Android L. We could just sit around, waiting for Google to release the source code and system images, but waiting for an official release is far from being fun. XDA members love porting fun, and custom ROM development provides the required dose.
The Android L port for the Google Nexus 4 was more or less expected, and came relatively shortly after Google released the developer preview images for the N5 and N7-2013. Not many expected to see a HTC One (M7) port, but XDA Senior Member ssrij and a team of developers managed to port the Android L Developer Preview to this former flagship device.
The port is still in alpha stage, and some things simply don’t work. Running Android L on first generation HTC One was made possible thanks to ramdisk and kernel modifications, so it might not run as it should. However, the Developer Preview was made to show people how the Android L will look like and what functions we should be expected.
July 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Quick–without thinking too much, come up with a short list of your five to ten favorite features found in custom ROMs. Chances are, one of these is the ability to customize your Quick Settings toggles. I’d even be willing to argue that for most people this is near or at the top of the list–aside from root access, of course.
Just two days ago, we talked about how Google was considering the possibility of changing the way external SD cards are handled in the final Android L release this Fall. Now, we have learned that Google is also contemplating adding a customizable Quick Settings interface in the final Android L release this Fall.
Just like the news on SD card handling, news of this possible feature addition comes courtesy of the Android L developer preview issue tracker. The initial request was made nine days ago, and it was then “Acknowledged” on the 4th and “Accepted” as “feature-16186589″ yesterday.
While no concrete information is available just yet regarding how this will be accomplished–or even if it will be added–it’s certainly encouraging to see a feature number attached to this user request. Would you like to see a customizable Quick Settings interface in the final Android L release, or does this feature not matter much to you? Let us know in the comments below.
July 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
With the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, Google introduced a few changes that impacted the way in which SD cards are handled. As a result, user-installed applications are not longer allowed to access the entirety of your SD card partition. Instead, user-installed apps running on KitKat are only given full access to files and folders of their own creation.
The change in SD card behavior in KitKat was a very deliberate one–and one which was aimed at improving both security and overall SD card tidiness. As you would expect from such a marked change, both users and third party applications were caught in the cross-fire and left with broken apps and support nightmares. Luckily for those looking to revert this behavior, there’s an easy workaround. But as you would imagine, this isn’t quite idea.
Now, there’s a glimmer of hope that a more ideal solution may be introduced into Android L when it is eventually released later this year. Earlier today, a report was filed on the Android L developer preview issue tracker that details one app developer’s concerns with the changes introduced into KitKat. The issue reads as follows:
In every Android version before 4.4, apps were allowed to (unofficially) write to the user’s external storage. Due to competitive pressures, users demanded this feature from app developers, whom were expected to provide this feature.
In Android 4.4, this was changed so that only system apps continued to have full access to the external storage, and other apps did not, unless they used new URI-based APIs.
- I don’t see how these APIs are usable from Java or Native code that expects to work with Files, not URIs.
- It places all 3rd-party app developers at a disadvantage versus system apps.
- Users expect apps to offer them full access to the SD card, and are not asking for this restriction. This has been my experience based on user feedback.
I don’t currently see how the changes in L will improve this situation. Am I missing something? If the situation’s not as dire as I see it, perhaps Google can consider a migration guide so that it’s more obvious how to transition to the new APIs and provide the same feature set as the current java.io.File / POSIX File APIs?
Please reconsider restoring this access, even if tied to a new permission.
The issue was promptly marked as “Acknowledged” by an Android project team member, who later followed up by saying that this suggestion will be passed along to the development team.
Obviously, this in no way indicates that the SD card access rules will be changed once Android L is released in the Fall. After all, simply reverting the change in KitKat would be counterproductive for the vast majority of Android users. However, it does indicate that Google is willing to consider taking another look at the policy change–even if nothing can or will be done as a result.
Are you an app developer frustrated by the SD card access policy changes in KitKat? Are you a frustrated user tired of broken apps? Or are you pleased with the added security and order made possible by this change? Let us know in the comments below!