July 16, 2014 By: Samantha
There are many ways of ‘bridging the gap’ with device synchronization between our Android devices and our PC. After all, for many of us, the PC is the main workhorse at home, school, or work. Despite this, our phones and tablets are just as important in many other situations. This is why we’ve sought to bring these things closer together through apps, PC clients, and synchronization features.
With this said, XDA Forum Member peaklabs.net has developed an app called MissingLink, which allows you to more easily communicate between the PC and an Android device, as well as between two Android devices. It does this by providing a pretty inclusive set of features and functions we normally see fragmented among multiple apps, such as:
Expectedly, in addition to the app, there’s also an accompanying PC client, which as of now, is compatible with only Windows. However, the developer has plans of expanding compatibility to include OSX, Linux, and iOS in the future. Furthermore, the free version is technically a trial version. However, peaklabs.net has kindly made it possible for you to reset the trial an unlimited times.
If you would like to give MissingLink a go, check out the MissingLink app thread for more information.
July 16, 2014 By: Samantha
Emoji adds quite a lot to the text messages we send and receive all day. Without them, we’d all be left with only repeated letters and exclamation marks to help us figure out just exactly what the person on the other end is actually saying and feeling. Now, because numerous devices and operating systems have their own emoji, you may fancy the look on other devices. If this sounds like the predicament you’re in, you may want to check out Emoji Switcher.
Developed by XDA Senior Member Electrodeath0, Emoji Switcher allows you to easily and conveniently switch out your current set of emoji with another. All you have to do is open up the app, upon which it will detect which emoji set is default, and select which set you want to have instead. As of now, Emoji Switcher supports Google, Samsung, iOS and LG emoji sets. Furthermore, the app is open source, so if you feel like adding more, or want to tinker with the app a bit further, you can check out its GitHub.
Currently, Emoji Switcher is compatible with only devices running Android 4.4 and with root access. If you would like to check it out, visit the application thread for more information.
There are several thousands of files of various kinds within the confines of our devices. They may be things that we put there ourselves such as pictures, documents, APKs, etc. On top of that, you also have the files that are part of the OS, which may be more or less based on what kind of device you have, what brand, and what OS flavor and version you are carrying. The combination of both of the aforementioned makes one hell of a mess if you need to search for a specific file.
To deal with the clutter, there are various solutions out there—most of them in the shape of file managers such as Astro, ES File Explorer, Solid, and many others that allow you to search for a specific file. The problem with these is the fact that not all of them are quick enough as they have to comb through folders upon folders of files. Granted that in order to reduce the time, one can always refine the searches to look in specific areas, but you may be missing out on your target if you exclude the wrong folder.
With the need for speed in mind, XDA Forum Member marl1234 created an application called Search Everything. This app was modeled after a PC program called Everything. The app, in essence, will allow the user to look for any file within fractions of a second. Upon starting up, Search Everything looks for all files in the device and it will index them. After that, whenever you type something on the search bar, the results for any matching string will appear right in front of your eyes almost instantly. On top of that, the app offers the ability to force open the file that you searched for with the app of your choice. This is analogous to Windows’s “Open With” option present in the context menu and it means no longer depending on how your device wants to treat your files but rather how you want to do it.
The app is still in early stages of development. This means that the app is not yet perfect and has some faults, the major (current) one being that the app is unable to skim through the SD card (which is not really an issue for Nexus users). Please swing by the thread if you are interested in a search tool on steroids. Happy searching. You can find more information in the Search Everything app thread.
July 15, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android Wear devices are perfect companions for all Android lovers. A smart watch with many functions under the hood can easily relieve a smartphone from carrying out certain tasks. Some of the said functions are quite obvious, but these smartwatches can do much more than just show you the time. Watches like the LG G Watch can also inform you about what song are you currently listening to, and this can be very useful in situations like a restaurant or other public place.
EchoWear Song Search is a Shazam or Soundhound equivalent for Android Wear that was developed by XDA Recognized Developer kevdliu. The app records a segment of the song and uploads it to Gracenote for identification. After few seconds, the results comes back and you are informed about the title of the song. The application is started by voice command, so you can start it without unnecessary delay. If you are lucky, you can buy a song and enjoy a new hit on you music player.
It appears that EchoWear Song Search is one of first applications for that platform, but surely this new platform will attract much more developers in the near future and entice devs to make some really useful application.
If you have an Android Wear device on your wrist, try out kevdliu’s app by visiting the EchoWear Song Search app thread.
URL links can be a real pain when you’re on your phone or tablet. We’ve all had those moments when trying to copy an URL and we struggle to highlight the entire thing, thanks to a stray tap or because the URL is simply too long and the link takes up more than half of your screen when trying to paste it. And unfortunately, standalone URL shorteners are often too cumbersome to efficiently use.
Because of this, XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib developed ShortPaste. This app rids you of such woes by automatically shortening all links you highlight and copy on your device. Once started and allowed to run in the background, Shortpaste pastes any link you copy in shortened form. By default ShortPaste uses goo.gl, but it also allows the use of bit.ly in the options. In addition, you can trim the “http://” prefix and set a custom Bit.ly username and API key. And if you want to revisit any links you’ve shortened before, you can access a list of them in the archive.
Shortpaste is compatible with any device running Android 4.0 and newer, and can be downloaded for free from the Play store. If you would like to check it out, head over to the application thread for more information.
July 13, 2014 By: Samantha
OEMs have been coming out with some pretty innovative cases and folios for their devices recently, two of which being the the LG G2 QuickWindow case and the LG G3 QuickCircle case. Both cases feature a screen, which when connected to their respective devices, display a range of handy information that you can quickly glance at without having to go through the actual phone. However, because they’re two entirely separate accessories, the apps they run are not interchangeable between the two.
Wanting to get a taste of LG G3 QuickCircle apps on the G2, XDA Forum Member Ashrockr managed to port some of the LG G3 QuickCircle apps to the LG G2 QuickWindow case. The ported apps include the:
Installation is very straightforward, requiring you to simply download the provided ZIP package and flash it through a custom recovery on your G2. It should also be noted that this port is not compatible with the official 4.4.2 firmware as of now.
If you would like to check this out for yourself, be sure to head over to the ported QuickCircle app thread for more information.
July 12, 2014 By: egzthunder1
As stated in a previous article, each individual replacement browser brings its own strengths to the table. These ultimately benefit the overall Android ecosystem by giving more options to the end user. However, because of the way computing is in this day and age, apps are growing larger and more bloated with each and every iteration. Coders waste no effort in attempting to add more features that make the overall experience richer. However, this takes a toll on the size of the apps that we use. Take Google Chrome for Android for instance, which sits at a hefty 63.5 MB. For newer devices, this is not an issue as they come with at least 16 GB of internal storage–out of which, a large chunk can be used for apps. For devices with lower amounts of storage, Chrome can become somewhat of a luxury. Because of this, many people look around for alternatives that provide maximum functionality without having to sacrifice precious storage. If you are among these people, look no further because XDA Senior Member Jeeko has the solution that you need.
The dev is looking for feedback on bugs, requested features, and performance for different devices. So, please take it for a spin and see if you would like to free up about 60 MB off of your device! You can find more information in the Now Material Browser app thread. Happy browsing!
How many times have you called a phone number only to forget who the number belongs to? Or perhaps someone called you and you forgot to add the name to your contacts list. In certain situations, numbers aren’t really worth keeping, as you will only use them for a few hours or maybe a day.
XDA Forum Member sreenisatish came up with an idea to create something between a sticky and contact book. Qcktag allows its users to tag numbers both from incoming and outgoing calls, so you can keep numbers not exactly worth keeping in your phone’s memory without losing the ability to identify the caller. After opening an app, you can send a text message to the pseudo-contact or add them to your true contact list.
The idea behind this app is pretty brilliant because it keeps your phone’s contact list tidy and you won’t mistake any these numbers for truly unknown numbers. The app doesn’t require root access, and it works on every device with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and greater.
You get this application by visiting the Qcktag thread. If you like the concept, go there and give Qcktag a try.
Just a few days ago, our XDA Developer TV Producer TK gave us a walkthrough of this little app. Ever since Motorola hit the market with their innovative Active Notifications feature, lots of devs have tried to not only mimic this functionality but also to improve it. In case you are not entirely familiar with said feature, it is basically a way to see your notifications on your lockscreen–particularly that of AOSP, which lacks native notifications. This little tool shows your notifications for a short period of time or until the user interacts with it either by accessing it or dismissing it. Battery consumption is minimal due mainly to the fact that the app is only triggered by the notification event, so it is not like it is always listening (preventing your device from sleeping) or anything of that sort. As stated earlier, there have been several incarnations of this tool and now we bring you the work of XDA Forum Member anandbibek, Notific.
Notific displays your notifications on the lock screen in Heads Up Notification style. Most other Active Display type programs show you the icons, whereas Notific shows you a preview of the message in a floating window in the middle of the lock screen. Another feature that sets Notific apart from the rest is the innovative “pocket mode.” Essentially, this makes use of the device’s proximity sensor. If a notification comes through and your device is in your pocket, the sensor will know this and it will instruct the screen to not turn on. Worried about battery? Don’t be because as explained earlier, this type of app is not always awake but rather wakes up due to the notification triggering the app. Once the notification comes through, the sensor will remain active for a mere 10 seconds, which has minimal (if any) impact on your battery life.
The app is still in early stages and there are some bugs present/some polishing left to do. Because of that , if you do decide to take it for a spin and notice something is off, please let the dev know so that the app gets improved. Of course, feedback is welcome as well. You can find more information in the Notific application thread.
Over the years, we have seen various different browsers on Android. They have all offered their unique features that differentiated them from others. Be it the smoothness of Dolphin (back before Chrome for Android), the openness of good ol’ fashioned Firefox, or the blazing speed of Opera’s mobile Web compression (again, before Chrome). They all brought their two cents of originality to the table. It seems that originality is not a dead art, and that there are people out there capable of squeezing a few more drops of coolness out of the tree that seemingly stopped bearing fruit many moons ago. Without further ado, XDA Forum Member popinterfaces brings us something unheard of on mobile devices. Introducing PopWeb browser.
So, what is this PopWeb browser, and why is it so interesting? Well, most internet browsers out there offer tabbed functionality. This allows you to have multiple pages opened at the same time. However, for those people used to PC browsing with multiple monitors, having multiple tabs is sometimes not enough. There is a need for interaction with multiple pages at the same time. That is where this browser comes in. PopWeb allows the user to have all their pages opened at the same time, thus allowing the end user to interact with each and every one of them simultaneously. (
read yell in Billy Mays’ voice) But wait! PopWeb also has another feature that anyone who is into website maintenance/development will absolutely love. The browser works on what the developer labelled “spaces.” This is like a canvas that holds all the windows that are opened together at the same time. Every time a link is opened, a new tab opens and it is placed on the active space. However, this is not all. The new tab actually gets a line to the “mother” page. What this means is that as you navigate, you create somewhat of a flowchart which aides you in backtracking your steps in case you need to. As stated, this is a great tool for people working on website development due to it providing a very visual road map of their site.
The browser is still in early stages (not even hitting version 1.0 yet). However, the dev has shared with us what he has so far and seems to be drastically following up on the proper development by squashing bugs and adding different functionality as time progresses. Please leave your feedback if you can think of any good suggestions–and of course, bug reports are welcome too. You can find more information in the PopWeb application thread.
Well, seeing as Google Now didn’t automatically write as I requested, it’s safe to say that Google Voice Search still has a number of limitations. When Google first demoed it, this feature was but a shadow of its current incarnation. Google Voice Search commands were unpractical, limited, and sometimes inaccurate. Each update augmented it and today, it can perform a wide range of tasks ranging from setting a reminder and placing a call to giving directions and playing music.
Yet, the list of its capabilities is somewhat conservative and limited to only basic tasks. Something like toggling the GPS would involve telling Google Now to open Settings and then navigating and toggling it manually. However, XDA Senior Member RsenG2X has a solution in the form of Commandr, an app that allows you to add custom commands to Google Now without requiring root access. And with its Tasker integration, the permutations and combinations are endless.
Head on over to the Commandr application thread to give it a shot. The developer assures that it doesn’t drain extra battery and has a bunch of features planned for future versions of the app with a handy upvote system within the app itself.
July 10, 2014 By: Samantha
Introduced back in 2012, the Sony Xperia Small Apps feature was perhaps the first major step in what has become an integral part of multitasking on Android devices. And since then, there have been plenty of useful small apps, as well as various mods and ports developed by XDA community members. Now two years on, the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon, especially when taking into account the four new small apps recently developed by XDA Recognized Developer and Themer Pranav Pandey.
Phone is the first of the four new Xperia small apps, and it allows you to conveniently access all your contacts, call log, and dial pad when you have another app running at the same time. The Phone small app comes with a host of functions you’d not normally see with floating apps, such as speed dial, cursor functionality, contact and call log details, just to name a few. The second is Launcher, which enables you to launch apps you have installed from a list of all your apps. You can also search for certain apps, and long press apps for more options such as application information, uninstall, and view in Play store. And if you need a stopwatch or a torch real quick, simply open them up from the Small Apps UI, and you’re good to go.
If you would like to check these out, visit the Xperia Small Apps thread for more information.
July 10, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
You’ve probably got an Android phone. And because you’re on XDA, you are more than likely a power user. Chances are you get a lot of notifications. This is probably true even if you don’t consider yourself to be a power user. Wouldn’t it be great if you could view and respond to your notification on your Android Lock Screen?
XDA Senior Member anandbibek offers up an application that allows you get your notifications on your lock screen. In this video XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Notific. TK shows off the application, its uses, and functionality. He then gives his thoughts. Check out this app review.