Most Android devices are stuffed with quite a few sensors used to determine countless variables like temperature, acceleration, and so on. These values are used mostly by Google Play Services, but developers here on XDA also make a good use of them directly in some very interesting projects.
One of the sensors that is commonly used by devs is the accelerometer. It’s used to determine whether the device is accelerating, and if so, at what rate. XDA Forum Member mrYoussef135 found potential in this sensor and decided to use motion to control device scrolling.
Tilt Scroll allows you to scroll in many application by just tilting the device. The app allows you to scroll the content either horizontally and vertically by performing certain gestures. Scrolling can be activated by shaking up the device. This application works perfectly with the Gallery and Internet browsers like Chrome and many others.
Tilt Scroll has a few requirements to work properly. It will work only with rooted devices, and it obviously requires an accelerometer sensor and multitouch input. Luckily, the vast majority of devices meet these requirements without any problems.
You don’t have to moves like Jagger to control your device efficiently without touching the screen. Tilt Scroll will do this for you. The app can be found in the Tilt Scroll application thread, so go there and give it a try.
Your smartphone’s dialer app is obviously one of the most frequently used apps you have on your smartphone. We use it practically on a daily basis to call our family, friends, and co-workers. The truth is that without dialer, our smartphones would be just small, Internet-enabled PCs that are unable to make calls.
Google has already updated some of its applications to meet the Material Design requirements. Unfortunately the stock dialer isn’t one of them. If you are looking for a perfect alternative to Holo-based stock dialer, XDA Senior Member Phat7 has something that you may find interesting. Phat7 has created Reactiv Dialer, an application that offers everything that a good dialer should. It’s small, lightweight and can perfectly replace the stock Android application.
Reactiv Dialer doesn’t just have nice UI design; it’s also very functional. Searching contacts really fast by name or phone number are just a part of its vast functionality. You can also define favorites that are shown at the top of the screen so that you always have them readily accessible.
Reactiv Dialer works with every Android version starting with Ice Cream Sandwich. If you decide to buy the full version of the app, you will be able to change its theme and customize the colors.
If you are looking for a lightweight, fast, and good looking dialer application, Reactiv Dialer might be up your alley. You can get it from the Reactiv Dialer application thread.
Although our mobile devices today are capable of executing nearly every task we normally perform on their full size PC counterparts, there are certain core communication tasks that seem to make up the bulk of what we do with our smartphones. These activities include Email, phone calls, and last but not least, text messaging. As such, there are hundreds or thousands of good text messaging apps available on Android, with many offering elaborate features such as integration with your desktop computer and so on.
XDA Senior Member kajozord recently created Yet Another Android Texting Application, and he named it appropriately as such. However, YAATA isn’t just another Android texting app. It offers quite a bit of added functionality that you will have trouble finding in other solutions, especially if you’re looking for one app that has all of them. For example, it allows you to customize when notifications are shown depending on certain variables such as screen being on, vibration being off, or volume messings. You’re also able to schedule text messages, convert long SMS messages to MMS, receive delivery reports, quick compose from your status bar, auto forward and respond, and much more.
Although YAATA is another entrant in the sea of already great text messaging apps, it offers quite a bit of added functionality that sets it apart from all the rest and makes it a dream for the texting power user. Head over to the YAATA application thread to get started.
A few months ago, we talked about MacroDroid. For those who don’t remember, MacroDroid is a quite handy application that brings device automation to the next level. MacroDroid makes use of various device sensors to determine many variables such as location, speed, and many others. If you like so see it in action, watch TK’s review on XDA TV.
Applications like MacroDroid, Tasker and Llama are extremely popular among XDA users, but none of them has been available for the fairly new breed of Android Wear smartwatch devices. Well, this unfortunate situation has changed thanks to XDA Forum Member UndeadCretin, who issued an update to MacroDroid. This update is pretty big and brings lots of new functions like:
These amazing Android Wear-powered devices like the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and the upcoming Motorola Moto 360 will be able to benefit from various new functions that have been introduced with this update. If your wrist is armed with one of the first generation of Android Wear watches, don’t hesitate to slap MacroDroid onto it. You can get the updated application by visiting the MacroDroid application thread. You can read more about the update by visiting the official MacroDroid blog.
As we’ve said in the past, there are quite a few calculators available on Android. Essentially, if there’s any particular kind of simple or elaborate calculation you’d like to perform, there is undoubtedly an app for that. And with the previously linked Numix Calculator, you can perform standard calculations with gorgeous Material Design style. But as always, having even more choice is never a bad thing, especially when these choices help fill particular niches not yet occupied by any other app.
XDA Senior Member thotran7989 recently created a smart new calculator app called Calc+. As its name alludes, it offers a bit more than standard calculator functionality. For starters, Calc+ lets you touch already entered numbers and operators to modify them on the fly. In other words, you can reuse your previous calculations to see how the results change when modifying variables. Additionally, you can easily define constants that you use frequently, customize the interface with various themes, and even modify the display font. All of this adds up to an extremely smart and powerful calculator that also looks great.
While Calc+ doesn’t offer advanced graphing or equation solving functions like some of the other options we’ve looked at in the past, it’s still a great option for those who need a simple calculator that also happens to be smart and beautiful. Head over to the Calc+ application thread to get started.
August 21, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
If you’re enjoying an active way of life, you probably travel a lot, go fishing, or perform other similar activities in various outdoor locations. It’s needless to say that you can easily get lost while doing all of this, so you need proper tools to get you back to the starting point. Paper maps are handy, but how do you determine what direction you should go when you are in the middle of nowhere?
One solution to this tricky problem has been provided by XDA Forum Member BaseManAndroid, who created an application called LocationDetector. This app leads you to whatever place you have marked on the map. It uses GPS satellites, so the result should be pretty accurate. The app can also work as a compass if you prefer the more traditional way of navigation and traveling. If you get lost, you can always send an SMS with your coordinates to emergency services and hopefully get rescued.
This application can be pretty useful in various outdoor situations, but you should always treat it as a additional help, not a life-saving tool. After all, you could always run out of batteries, not get signal, or your device could just die. Keep this in mind before hopping into the middle of the woods.
If you are planning to do some traveling or simply wish to get lost outdoors, this application is what you’ve been looking for. You can get it by visiting the LocationDetector application thread.
August 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Most of us live very active lives. This is after all why we’re fans of mobile technology, as our favorite little devices allow us to stay connected with the world while out and about. But because we’re so active, it’s often hard to keep track of exactly where we go and what we do at all times. In other words, we may spend a little more time procrastinating and doing certain activities than we’d care to admit.
Normally, there wouldn’t be an easy way to examine your time sinks easily in order to fix them, but XDA Forum Member zoharby recently released an application that lets you do exactly this. Called LifeStats, this automatic journal essentially records every place you go and generates a daily journal of your activity. This lets you keep track of where you go, how long you’re there, and even how long it takes you to get there, so that you can best optimize your time. Once the data has been gathered, you are able to view the results graphically in the app, with various filters for time. You can enter each individual event, see its location with Google Street View, and more.
If you’re interested in keeping tabs on what you are up to at all times, head over to the Life Stats application thread to get started
There are literally thousands of note taking apps available on Android, with practically every single possible niche already filled. In fact, Google’s own solution, Keep, does a pretty good job at taking care of all the casual notes you may want to store. However, it’s not quite perfect for every use-case. And if you’re not one to live in the Google ecosystem, you may want a capable and quick notes app that doesn’t use Google as its cloud backend.
XDA Forum Member PowerLemons created an application that works very similarly to Google Keep, but with the exception that it lets you sync your notes with either Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box. Notes are then stored in a user-readable format on those cloud services, allowing you direct access to your notes through your cloud file storage. The notetaking interface in BrightNotes is very clean, with minimal clutter to get in the way of storing, editing and viewing notes. And once entered, notes can be searched using a convenient action menu button.
If you’re been looking for a Google Keep replacement that let you live outside of the Google cloud, you may want to give BrightNotes a try. Head over to the BrightNotes application thread to get started.
August 20, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The Android OS shows great potential in many areas. One of most interesting things that can be done with Android devices is to control them remotely. Phones or tablets can be controlled by our PCs pretty nicely. To do so, a Remote Administration Tool is needed, and there are only a few applications that offer such functionality for free.
One such application is called Monitordroid. Developed by XDA Forum Member mephala124, this app gives you an opportunity to control your phone via a standard Web browser. You can send SMS messages, browse your contacts and even make calls. The list of features is very long and is still growing since the app is still just a beta. All functions are available for non-rooted devices, which makes Monitordroid even more interesting choice for those of you who don’t want to or simply can’t root their devices.
To use the app on your PC, you need to prepare a server capable of issuing GCM-Messages. The author provides instructions on setting a free server up. If you don’t want to dig into PHP code and use your own PC as a server, you can buy hosting to do this for you.
If you are interested in controlling your device directly from your PC, Monitordroid is something that you may find useful. You can get the application by visiting the Monitordroid original thread.
The camera app on our Android smartphones and tablets isn’t something we focus on all that often. Usually, we use the built-in app or some third-party alternative like Focal by XDA Senior Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD, but most of us don’t even use all of the features to their fullest potential. However, the truth of the matter is that a good camera application can improve the quality of our photos and simply enhance our photography experience.
If you can’t snap a perfect and steady shot on your own, you might be interested in application made by XDA Forum Member mdwh. Open Camera will automatically stabilize your photos, so you don’t take a bad shot. It will also show the device’s current angle, so you can hold it straight and get the best possible photo. The application naturally also offers those functions that are already available in most of camera apps such as configurable volume keys, geotagging, compass direction and more. Open Camera can also switch some elements of the UI to optimize usage for left- and right-handed users. This application is fully open source, so you can make it even better by reviewing its code at Sourceforge.
If your current camera application bores you to the bone or you’d just like to look at other options, head over to the Open Camera application thread and give it a try. Perhaps this application will help you finally snap that ever elusive perfect photo.
August 19, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The greatest thing about technology is its ability to teach and promote personal growth. No one knows this to be truer than the technology enthusiasts who have procreated and have a little mini-them running around. However, sometimes this little spawn gets ahold of your phone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and they sometimes make changes they should.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you create a kids mode on your phone to protect your device. XDA Senior Member WasseemB created the Kids Mode module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
August 19, 2014 By: Faiz Malkani
Photography is something that everyone enjoys–be it a serene landscape or a vibrant concert, a sad scenario or a happy couple. And rightly so, because a thousand words cannot do justice to the direct message that a picture conveys. However, one can argue that despite pictures being able to convey a message clearly, they lack the ability to provide an explanation or the context of pictures, an ability that is the privilege of text. To remedy this, pictures began being captioned, but what about pictures that you click? Getting a sketching app and scribbling on the image is quite cumbersome and requires a fair amount of effort.
However, XDA Forum Member donniemceduns has a solution for this quandary in the form of Smiley Camera. This handy app allows you to caption your picture with text as well as an icon or smiley, thus giving you the ability to make your pictures tell a story. Smiley Camera comes with an impressive collection of more than 500 icons and smileys, bundled together in a clean Material Design-like interface that is extremely user friendly. All of this amounts to an app that lets you turn your pictures into something that’s just a little bit more than usual.
Head over to the Smiley Camera application thread to get started with adding icons and captions to your pictures. Turn that selfie into a self-sustaining story quickly and easily!
There are many messenger apps available for Android. They use our Gmail addresses or phone numbers to communicate with other devices and users. Almost all such apps look pretty much the same and serve pretty much the same purpose. Now, Imagine a situation where instead of messages with emoticons, you are sending bananas to your friends. This idea sounds funny, but it’s absolutely real thanks to XDA Forum Member pytel.
The Ultimate Communication Tool, as the Bananas app likes to call itself, sends bananas (instead of short messages) to your friends. You can greet your friends with “Hello Banana,” invite them for a party with “Party Banana,” or do whatever else you like. It’s pretty bananas. You are limited to only one word, so spread banana wisely. Empty messages are replaced with “Banana.” Using the application also gives you the opportunity to attain some proper knowledge about bananas, so after using it for a while you will become a banana master. Your banana friends are marked on the map. And you can see where they squashed the bananas.
Bananas is a simple, yet funny communications app. It’s a nice alternative to real messengers like Hangouts, Whats App, and that evil Facebook Messenger. You can find some bananas by visiting the
banana application thread. Don’t let other messengers drive you bananas!