Few things tell us more than an image. Our brains decode image much faster than other forms of information such as text, sound, and so on. Even when meeting new people, first impressions are largely based on visual cues. Android is no different, and the XDA community is home to lots of themes, mods, and wallpapers to make our favorite operating system look better.
You can do countless things with image, but you require good software to apply some effects or filters. Sadly, most of this software is available only on traditional computers, and can’t be done with a phone. It’s a shame because nowadays, Android devices are capable of doing almost everything from make calls to controlling cars. If you ever wanted to play with your images directly on your device, XDA Recognized Contributor Chris95X8, made a simple application that allows you to dim, blur, and save the modified images on your phone. The app is very minimal, and can do wonders with your favorite wallpapers to make them even better.
You can find Tholotis by visiting the application thread. So if you are interested, pick your favorite image and make it even more beautiful with ease.
Sometimes, we all like to sit back and enjoy a bit of diversion with our favorite mobile apps. Be it chatting with friends on Facebook, binge watching every episode of House of Cards on Netflix, or sitting down for a few hours with Flappy Birds, we all find ourselves wasting a bit more time than we’d like from time to time. Wouldn’t it be great if you could track your time spent in individual apps to better optimize your day? Now you can.
Frequency by XDA Forum Member AggieDev is a simple application that shows you a list of your installed applications and how long you’ve spent in each. The list is presented in descending order, in order to best highlight the apps that consume the greatest amount of your time.
Frequency offers a good amount of customization to better fit your needs. It allows you to display which apps you’ve used most in the current day, past week, past month, past three months, past year, and all time. Additionally, it allows you to hide certain applications that you want excluded from consideration such as, let’s say, your launcher. The application also allows you to configure its accuracy. And since increasing accuracy also consumes more battery, so lower accuracy may be a better choice for some.
If you’ve ever wondered about your time-sucks, head over to the application thread and objectively track them down!
March 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Pretty much everyone reading this article can be considered a power user. And what do power users love? We long to know as much as humanly possible about everything in the world around us. Now thanks to XDA Forum Member naman14‘s new app S Tools+, we can at least get part of the way there.
S Tools+ is a collection of some rather useful, though slightly unrelated, utilities. The application displays your CPU frequency (and how much time was spent at any given speed), a full sensor data readout from all of the sensors on your device, a color picker to find the color value (both RGB and hex) for any image, a digital compass, and information about your device itself. Essentially, S Tools+ serves as the Swiss Army Knife of the Android app world in that it can accomplish quite a few tasks, and it takes up minimal space while doing so.
You can get started with S Tools+ by visiting the application thread.
Anyone who ever had a friend or loved one battle cancer will surely attest to the fact that the disease is no laughing matter. But while cancer itself is obviously not fun, it can make for an interesting and altruistic game aimed at raising awareness and funding for cancer research and prevention.
XDA Forum Member Triton1986 recently created the game Triton – Stop Cancer, where the player’s goal is to… stop cancer. The game presents you with cancer cells, which multiply over time, and your goal is to eradicate them (or hold out as long as possible). Cancer cells can be killed by tapping on them—if only it were that easy in real life—and sometimes they die spontaneously.
The game itself is free, but comes with unobtrusive ads. But best of all, all of the profit earned by the in-game advertising goes towards Cancer research.
March 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
I’d be willing to be a pretty penny that a good deal of our readers also happen to enjoy Randall Munroe’s delightfully nerdy webcomic XKCD. For the few who haven’t heard of it yet, go check it out. Now.
A few weeks ago, a rather interesting “comic” appeared on the site. But rather than serve as a comic in the traditional sense, XKCD Now is more of a useful reference tool that puts time zones into perspective by visually showing your what time it is in all the different parts of the globe. Now, XDA Forum Member Shef_ has turned this into a home screen widget, so you can always be aware of what time it is, anywhere in the world.
If you find yourself calling people across the globe or simply want an aesthetically appealing live wallpaper that brings a piece of XKCD to your home screen, you should give this widget a try. You can get started by visiting the application thread.
March 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
No matter how much we try to hide it, we all have some creative juices flowing somewhere deep inside, just waiting to get out. For many of us, this creative expression takes the form of music.
There are countless applications available on Android that allow you to create music. In fact, there are probably as many keyboard apps in the Google Play Store as there are media players—or more. However, XDA Forum Member olegnal created a different means of music creation with his application Sequencer.
Sequencer allows a user (even one without any musical background) to create a melody with various instruments and percussion sounds. Sounds are placed graphically into the sequencer, and then you adjust tempo, add effects, and so on. Once you create something you’re proud of, you can even share your songs with the integrated cloud sharing system.
If you’re looking for a way to pass the time by creating a bit of music while you’re on the go, make your way over to the application thread and give Sequencer a shot.
Everyone has some important information that must remain private at any cost. Sometimes, this can take the form of important information such as phone numbers, addresses, or even a short note from that meeting you just left, and you must protect this data from prying eyes. Due to their size, accessibility, and reliability, Android devices make for great private notebooks.
There are many applications offering taking and storing notes. Some of them also add widgets, but not many give you the ability to password protecting your notes. One such applications is IO Notes by XDA Forum Member djonnystevensabenz. This app is a simple, minimalist tool that is able to store notes in an encrypted database that requires a password to unlock. The unlock key must be at least 8 characters long, so it won’t be very easy to crack on the device itself.
In addition to its privacy features, IO Notes has a great interface. For example if you find yourself distracted easily, you can use IO Notes in Zen Mode to dim the status bar and minimize the surrounding “noise” of notifications. The app also features two graphical styles, light and dark, so you can customize it to fit nicely with your favorite ROM. More functionality is already planned, and will be ready to use in upcoming releases.
If you care about privacy and want an tool to store your important data, head over to the application thread to learn more.
Back in July of last year, we took a quick look at Floating Touch by XDA Forum Member dasi1241 Built using XDA Senior Member pingpongboss‘s StandOut libraries, Floating Touch brings various commonly used settings and apps to your fingertips with an interface resembling pie controls originally seen as an experimental feature in the old AOSP browser. Now, dasi1242 is back with a new, yet similar application that aims to improve the way you multitask on your device.
As its name suggests, Sidebar Launcher can be summoned by swiping from the side of your screen. Once called, you are greeted with a set of “cards,” which provide access to your favorite apps, various settings, and system information. Sidebar Launcher is quite configurable, as you are able to define both what settings and applications are displayed, as well as the swipe area and direction to summon the launcher.
Currently, Sidebar Launcher supports 10 types of cards: time and date, quick settings, favorite apps, various functions like turning on the flashlight and changing your volume, application shortcuts, battery and memory status, music playback control, recent apps, recent calls, and recent messages. And if you’re rooted, you can even use Sidebar Launcher as a virtual menu and back button, making Sidebar Launcher a handy replacement to the on-screen navigation buttons on many modern devices.
To get started with Sidebar Launcher, simply head over to the application thread and give it a whirl. It’s nice to see such a versatile app intended to help you multitask more efficiently.
Due to the relatively open nature of Android, it’s almost a given that there are dozens of ways of accomplishing practically any task. Most of these solutions come in the form of aftermarket applications available on the Google Play Store, but there are also great OEM-provided applications that appear once in a while.
While Archos devices haven’t exactly seen the same knid of commercial success experienced by other OEMs like Samsung, there are quite a few goodies that come preloaded on their devices. Some of their first party apps, particularly their media player and file manager, are quite good. Luckily, XDA Forum Member tablet-guy was able to port several Archos apps for users of all Android devices to enjoy.
There are currently six ported apps available to use: Archos Music, Files, Video, Game Zone, Kids Zone, and Share. Unfortunately, Game Zone doesn’t appear to be working consistently for everyone, but the media playback and file manager apps (likely the most relevant to most users anyway) seem to work like a charm.
If you want to give your device a little bit of a different feel, make your way over to the ported applications thread to give these apps a try.
March 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
While by now the majority of us have already kicked our Flappy Bird addiction, many still harbor some animosity towards the curiously addictive game for taking so much time from us. Luckily, there are a few ways to get back at that clumsy bird.
A few days ago, we talked about FlapShot by XDA Recognized Developer EatHeat, where instead of playing as the bird, your job is to shoot the bird. Now, there’s a new way to take out your aggression thanks to Crushy Birds by XDA Forum Member benjamin94.
Crushy Birds is a rather satisfying game. Rather than playing the part of a bird trying to fly through pipes, you are the pipe. And instead of letting the birds through, your job is to smash as many birds as possible. To crush the birds, simply tap on the screen. And to add a bit of added difficulty, there are also “Super Birds,” which require 3 taps to kill. The game features leaderboards (both locally and through Google Play Services) so that you can show your friends who’s boss.
Make your way over to the game thread to get started.
March 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Let’s face it. Not all of us own cars featuring fancy, built-in touch screen navigation systems. Regardless of the high initial expense, these systems are often quite cumbersome and underpowered, at least when compared to our modern mobile devices. Because of this, many instead choose to permanently mount their Android-powered tablets to their dashboards.
While using your Android-powered tablet as a car computer works quite well for the most part, there are a few lingering inconveniences in doing so. Perhaps the biggest one is manually powering on and off your device. Luckily, XDA Forum Member gdort2 created AutoSleeper to make this a thing of the past.
As its name implies, AutoSleeper automatically wakes and puts your device to sleep—and it does so when you turn on and off your car. You may be wondering how exactly it’s able to do this without any proprietary hardware, but it’s rather simple. When the device senses that it’s connected to external power, the app turns on your display. Then when the power is removed, the app turns off your display. This method works quite well, as the vast majority of cars cut 12V power when the engine is turned off, and only turn it back on when you turn on the car or put it in ACC mode. And on the Android side of things, all you have to do is give the app Device Administrator privileges so that it can lock and wake your device.
If you’ve got an Android-powered car computer or want to set one up, make your way to the application thread and give AutoSleeper a shot. Then while you’re at it, try the Torque app, along with one of those fun little ELM327 modules.
March 7, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Managing files between your Android device and PC isn’t an easy task, and often requires additional software to do so efficiently in the absence of USB Mass Storage mode. Downloading a file to Android device can also be done through ADB, but this requires long commands and a physical connection if you haven’t already set up wireless ADB.
Luckily, you can transfer files between your PC and Android device via WiFi thanks to XDA Recognized Developer OmarBizreh‘s app Droid Sync Manager. This Windows-only application works with an Android client, and serves as a convenient command center.
With Droid Sync Manager, you are able to browse your PC’s files and folders and download them to your Android device. The application is still at an early alpha stage, so more functionality will be implemented in upcoming releases. The developer already announced that an option to browse and send files and folders to the PC is in works and will be added soon.
To try out this application, you need to install the provided PC host on your Windows machine. You also need a client installed on your phone and you are ready to go. You can grab both files by visiting the original thread, so don’t hesitate to go there and give it a shot.
March 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
In addition to their inherent cool factor, floating apps and widgets can be quite useful productivity tools by allowing us to truly multitask with ease. Over the years, we’ve featured quite a few floating apps created by our community members here on the XDA Portal. But up until now, there hasn’t been much in the way of optimizing multitasking while in a phone call. And let’s face it—we’re always doing something else while in a call, so why not make it easier?
XDA Forum Member CurlyY recently developed a floating and movable widget called Blimps Floating Dialer. While not exactly a floating “dialer” per se, Blimps gives you a degree of call control while you are in another app. This is accomplished through two floating buttons that appear once a call is launched, and remain even when you return to your home screen or enter other apps. Currently, the supported floating buttons allow you to hang up a call and place it on speakerphone, but the developer states that he plans on introducing more features in the future.
Make your way over to the application thread to give this a shot. And if you are running a custom OEM skin that hasn’t yet been tested with the app, be sure to leave your feedback in the thread for the developer.