February 27, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Chromecast is perhaps one of the most innovative $35 devices to come out in the last year. Until recently, you couldn’t do much with it except stream Netflix to your TV. But what about local content? I just want to just select some local media and cast away!
XDA Forum Member awjones offers up a way to show your local media on your Chromecast. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Castaway. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
February 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s become quite a routine occurrence to have at least one of Google’s major first-party Android apps updated per week. This time, the latest “victim” is Google+, which received its update to version 4.3—and with it, a plethora of new photo-related options for your shutterbug pleasure.
The most significant update is in the new photo editing menu. Borrowed from Google’s recent Snapseed acquisition, G+ Photos now presents the user with many more photo editing tools. In addition to the standard crop/rotate/auto tools, you can now apply various image tweaks such as brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness through simple swipes. Vertical swipes select between tools in any given mode, whereas horizontal swipes adjust each option’s parameters. In addition, these tools can be applied to specified tool hot zones, as shown in the screenshot with the red circle.
In addition to simply offering more tools to appease your photo editing OCD, the latest version of G+ also allows for non-destructive editing across devices. In other words, you can make edits on one device, and then continue editing, revert changes, or start from scratch at any point on another devices. Finally, the auto photo backup was given a bit of a tweak, now allowing users to backup all local folders, in addition to just those taken by the device camera. This is especially handy if you use other photo apps with different default folders. Unfortunately, this feature does not yet allow users to select which folders are to be backed up—but we can hope that Google will rectify this simple oversight in future versions.
The update is being released in the form of a staged rollout. And while the Google Play Store listing shows that the application has been updated, it may not hit your device immediately. As such, we have mirrored the APK over on DevHost so that you can get in on the action a bit early.
Are you a fan of the Snapseed-inspired photo editing tweaks? Let us know in the comments below!
[Many thanks to XDA Senior Member kautionwirez for the tip!]
February 26, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s been a long time coming, and now the time is here. The Google Now Launcher is finally available in the Google Play Store, but there’s a catch: It’s only officially available for Google Play edition and Nexus devices running Android 4.4 KitKat.
The Google Now Launcher, otherwise known as the Google Experience Launcher, originally debuted on the Nexus 5 alongside its release back in October. While the launcher isn’t the most feature packed, there are nice addons available to tweak the functionality of the GEL to your liking.
During the past few months, we’ve seen the launcher appear on other devices by means of side-loading the launcher stub and having the latest version of Google Search installed. But until now, this was just officially a Nexus 5 treat. Google has now opened up the launcher for use on its other devices, namely all Nexus and GPe devices running KitKat—though some custom ROM users have reported compatibility issues.
So if you’ve got yourself a GPe or Nexus device other than the Nexus 5, head over to the Google Play Store Listing to get started. And if you are running a different device but already have the latest version of Google Search installed (184.108.40.2069776), head over to our DevHost mirror to download the APK directly. Then once you’re done loading the launcher on your own device, ask your device, “OK Google, What does the Fox say?”
[Many thanks to Developer Committee members kinfauns for the heads up on the lack of compatibility with certain ROMs and Overground for the APK.]
February 26, 2014 By: Samantha
If you’re nice, you’ve probably lent out something of yours to someone. If you’re really nice, you might have lent out a couple more things to some people. And if you’re really nice, you probably need an app to track all the things you’ve lent out to people so you don’t forget them. But you’re not that nice, because otherwise you’ll just give these things away. So to all the really nice folks who also happen to use a Windows Phone 8 device, there’s now an app that will actually keep track of all the personal belongings that you’ve lent out to other people.
Developed by XDA Forum Member poken1151 for the WP8 platform, Who’s Got My Stuff? (WGMS) is a simple and well-designed app that lets you keep tabs on who owes you what. The main screen displays all active ‘time capsules’, which are records of information that include:
You can also set a return date and details of when your friend finally returns your item. Additionally, you have the option to display a countdown, search contacts, add shortcuts to creating “time capsules”, and backup and restore your WGMS data to and from SkyDrive (now rebranded as OneDrive).
If you would like to find out more, visit the application thread for more details.
February 25, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It happens to the best of us. No, not that... Well, maybe that too, but what I’m really talking about is being so busy with your day-to-day life that you forget to keep track of your finances. This endemic is only getting worse as we progress in this perpetually busy age, thanks to the growing number of recurring bills and multiple sources of income from separate jobs. Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer bartito, there is now yet another tool available to help you better keep track of your finances, no matter how complex.
The aptly titled Pocket Book / Currency Convert does exactly what its title would lead you to believe. It keeps track of your recurring expenses and sources of income. You can add all of these credits and debits into the app, along with their payment schedule and receive notifications when a payment or expense is scheduled to post. And given that our world is growing increasingly connected, these expenses and sources of income can be inputted in any currency of your choosing, thanks to real-time currency conversion courtesy of Yahoo’s servers. And in addition to simply keeping track and scheduling your bills and sources of income in any currency of your choosing, the application also allows you to browse currency conversion rates, their evolution over time, and manually convert between currencies.
Pocket Book / Currency Convert is quite a useful tool if you have a difficult time managing many sources of income and recurring expenses, especially if you deal with more than one currency. Make your way over to the application thread to take charge of your finances.
February 23, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Such addiction. So Doge. Wow.
Be it Flappy Doge, Dogecoin, strangely addictive online mining simulators, or the original meme itself, DOGE is pretty much everywhere nowadays. While the aforementioned Cookie Clicker clone certainly takes care your Doge-clicking needs on a desktop computer, there hasn’t been a suitable fix for your click-based addiction on mobile. But now thanks to XDA Forum Member Krzem, you can strategically and competitively tap away at your screen for hours—all while enjoying an image of a rather confused looking Shibe Inu.
Doge Breeding builds its game play on the same click for points concept seen in Cookie Clicker and Doge Mining Simulator. But rather than creating cookies or mining for cryptocurrency, you’re breeding doge. At the start of the game, each tap of the screen results in one doge. But in addition to mindlessly tapping the screen, you can purchase a variety of power-ups with your newly bred doge that either increase your doge-per-click or your doge-per-second. Sound simple enough? Not so fast. Another level of depth comes from how every time you purchase an upgrade, buying the same power-up becomes incrementally more expensive.
If you haven’t already had enough DOGE in your life, now’s the time to get some more. Get started by making your way over to the game thread and see if you can make it onto the game’s built-in leader board.
February 23, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that pairing your device’s custom ROM with a good Google Apps package is quite important. This is especially true thanks to the emergence of ART, and its incompatibilities with certain Gapps packages.
In the past we’ve featured quite a few ways of getting Gapps on your device with minimal struggle. But thanks to XDA Senior Member TKruzze and the official PA Google Apps, there is a fantastic solution for users of any 4.3- or 4.4-based ROM.
So, what makes this Gapps package unique? For starters, the applications are updated 0-day. In other words, a new version of the Gapps package appears as soon as Google releases a new version. Next, several (modular) packages with varying numbers of built-in applications are offered. Finally, new versions to the Gapps come as OTA updates if you’re a Paranoid Android user.
While these are the official Paranoid Android Google Apps, they should work on any 4.3- or 4.4-based ROM, as long as you select the proper version of Android. Head over to the original thread to get in on all of the latest Gapps action.
February 22, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Pushbullet is one of my favorite applications, and it became a must-have on my device ever since I first tried it. It’s a great tool that allows users to perform a variety of tasks such as share a photo and sending relatively large files between a computer, phone, or tablet with ease. The tool was featured some time ago, but it has been updated a couple of times since then. XDA Forum Member guzba and his crew haven’t been sitting idle, and now Pushbullet has its own version for Windows.
Previously, this app worked as an extension for Chrome or Firefox. But this wasn’t perfect, as those two browsers aren’t used by everybody. Now, the Pushbullet team announced on their blog that a dedicated application for Windows is out and they are looking for beta testers.
Having a standalone app is beneficial because a PC is now treated as a separate device. It can now be used to send or receive notifications, without needing to have a browser running in background. Another great thing is the ability to sending files directly by right clicking on the file and selecting a pushing option.
February 22, 2014 By: Samantha
When you want to do something on your Android device, chances are that it’s followed by an instinctive reaction—actually doing that what you want to do. Want to play some music? Go to that music widget. Want to change the sound mode? Tap that quick setting toggle a couple of times. Want to put the device to sleep? Reach for that awkwardly placed power button. Of course, this isn’t the case for all devices and situations. Some may be running older version of Android, your music widget may not be compatible with that third party launcher, or perhaps your power button is placed in a really inconvenient position. If you’re looking to remedy some of these issues, or simply wanting to try out a new method of performing actions on your device, check out Potato Statusbar Gesture.
A mod and app developed by XDA Recognized Themer mariozawa, Potato Statusbar Gesture allows you to perform certain actions by simply tapping or swiping to the left, right, double tapping, or long pressing on your status bar. Actions that can be performed include:
There are also the options to enable vibration when an action is performed, as well as set the default color of your status bar.
Installation of Potato Statusbar Gesture comes in two parts. The first is the actual app’s APK, which must be downloaded and installed. The second part consists of decompiling your SystemUI.apk, adding the provided smali files, editing an xml file, recompiling the APK, and pushing it to your system directory.
Potato Statusbar Gesture is compatible with Android version 2.3 and newer, with all the provided files and tutorial available in the original post. So if performing actions with only your status bar seems like something you will like to try out, check out the original thread for more information.
Some of us XDA community members work as system administrators in real life. Systems like to crash at the least expected moments. Our sysadmin, bitpushr could probably fill a book with such stories, but that’s not the point. The important thing to remember is that monitoring is important. You can easily verify this with a browser or ping command, but it becomes problematic when you maintain more than one website.
Luckily, there are tools here on XDA that make life much easier. XDA Forum Member Jeffail created an application to monitor your websites. With this application, you can easily check a site’s ping. The tool also determines whether the website is dead. Pypmin even ffers advanced settings, whereby users can define checking intervals.
And since any website can be monitored, Pypmin is useful not only for system administrators, but also regular users, as they can use this tool to check whether their favorite websites are working.
If you work as a sysadmin or wish to monitor your favorite websites, make your way over to the application thread and give Pypmin a go.
February 21, 2014 By: Samantha
If you’re running Windows 8 on a device of yours, you’re probably already aware of the wealth of unit conversion programs and software granted by the platform’s capability to run standard Windows EXE files. Of course, one of the most glaring downsides with this is that most, if not all, of such standard PC programs are not designed for the touch interface, which can lead to a whole lot of accidental presses. So, if you’d rather have a touch optimized app converting all those confusing units for you, check out Global Converter.
Developed by XDA Senior Member jimdem, Global Converter is compatible with both Windows 8 and RT. As an app with tablets and other touch screen devices in mind, its interface features big and unmissable buttons as the primary mode of navigation. The left half of the interface is dominated by a list of all the different types of units that the app supports, such as area, data, pressure, and radiation, while the right half is where you plug in your numbers and where the units are converted.
Global Converter is a well-polished and easy to use unit converter that can be downloaded for free, and it is ad-free. If you own a Windows 8 or RT device and would like to give this a go, check out the application thread for more details.
February 21, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
What ties together logcat and Holo UI? Possibly not much, as logcat is just a output of hundreds of processes running deep inside the phone, and Holo is an Android UI paradigm present since Honeycomb. It’s hard to find a connection between these two things, but there is one: a holo-fied logcat application made by XDA Recognized Contributor Quinny899.
The application doesn’t differ greatly from the original CatLog, but a few things have been changed to make the application even more efficient. The top search and action bar were removedm, and ActionView method was replaced by ActionBar. The application was heavily redesigned in terms of UI and looks in order to be totally different from its predecessor. Logs are now presented in the dark Holo style. Even the app’s themes were redesigned.
Holofied CatLog becomes one of the most interesting and good looking applications for debugging on Android devices. If you are not familiar with the ADB version of tool, this application is a must-have on your phone.
Is your phone is unresponsive or buggy? Help the developer of your ROM by posting a logcat. And if you need help doing so, CatLog is a tool for you. The application can be found in the original thread, and should work with Android 3.0 or greater.
February 20, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Smartphones serve as ideal multimedia devices. With them, you can easily control your Smart TV or stream video through your Chromecast. Phones can be also used to control your PC, but you need external applications for that—applications like PC Quick Commands by XDA Senior Member ssrij.
This tool is divided into two separate parts. The first is an Android client, with which you can send some commands to control your PC. You can easily shutdown your PC, reboot it, or even put into hibernation. That’s not everything, as you can also easily run an application or process, so your smart device can become a modern remote controller. The second part of the tool is a Windows application that listens to your Android device and waits for the commands. It’s a small app that sleeps somewhere in the status bar of your Windows machine with NET 2.0 installed.
The developer also announced that the application will soon work with more operating systems, so Linux and Mac OS X users will also get to join in on the fun. The application is open source, so all the code can be reviewed and improved by the community.
More information about the project is available in the original thread. You can find both Android and Windows clients there, so don’t hesitate to go there and give it a try.