Having your phone stolen or lost is never a happy event. But if and when something like this does occur, it helps to have your IMEI handy so that you can help your local law enforcement in their retrieval process. However, your IMEI may not always be readily available, as you may need to locate some device documentation that’s difficult to access while on the go or if you’re away from home. Luckily, there’s a way to retrieve the IMEI code from your lost or stolen device with a simple SMS message.
This is where an application by XDA Senior Member hsay comes into play. This simple application can send your IMEI number via SMS when a specified code reaches the lost or stolen device. You can easily set a backup number and a code that will trigger the IMEI to be sent to your spare phone or friends/family. Then with the IMEI known, you will be better prepared to retrieve your device. The application should work on every phone running Android 2.1 and newer.
More information can be found by visiting the application thread. While we hope none of us will ever need this app, we should always be prepared for when bad things occur.
April 3, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
If you want to get updates about the weather, there are many apps that can help. Some people even like to know the weather in other parts of the world to see what their friends and families are experiencing. But what if you have a dream of being a weatherman? What application gives you a national weather map?
XDA Senior Member sylsau offers up an application that gives you more than just the temperate, it gives you a national weather map. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Live Weather. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
April 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier today, we saw Google release rather substantial updates to its Google Keep and Google Play Movies first-party Android apps as part of its now routine Update Wednesday. However, we were perhaps a bit too hasty to assume that El Goog was done for the day. Now, they’ve begun rolling out an update to Google Play Newsstand.
Today’s update brings Newsstand version 3.2.0, and it ushers in several useful new features. First, the “Read Now” screen now features mini-cards that show more headlines on screen at any given time. Swiping horizontally while in this view changes your view category. Next, “My Library” now combines News and Magazines for easier browsing. And just like in the “Read Now” view, you can switch between them by swiping horizontally. Finally, and perhaps the most noticeable tweak, the actionbar has been given a shiny new blue color to match the app’s overall theme. This color then changes when you switch between categories in the “Read Now” view.
Just like today’s earlier app updates, Google Play Newsstand 3.2.0 is currently being delivered in the form of a staged rollout. But if you wish to get in on the update before your time, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the update on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure.
[Thanks once again to kautionwirez for the APK!]
April 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Looks like we have ourselves another Google Update Wednesday, folks. Last Google Update Wednesday brought us personalized keyboard suggestions and improved voice search commands. Now, Google has issued significant updates to its Google Keep and Google Play Movies Android apps.
First up, we have Google Keep 2.2. Today’s update brings several important features. However, the biggest addition is undoubtedly optical character recognition for note searches. With Keep 2.2, you are now able to search for printed text within your notes’ photos. Checklists were given a facelift allowing users to set where new and checked items go, and the app finally has a “trash” folder for deleted notes. Finally, the UI was given a little bit of a facelift. In the app’s main menu, the actionbar is now yellow. And when entering a note, the actionbar then changes to match the color of the note.
Next up, we have Google Play Movies 3.1. The biggest change in today’s update is a dramatically improved video seek paradigm. With today’s update, you can swipe left and right in a video to seek backward and forward in 10-second intervals. You can also drag across the screen to scrub with greater precision.
These updates are currently making their way to devices in the form of a staged rollout. As such, your device may not receive the updated apps immediately. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored these on our Dev-Host account for those who want to get in on the update action a bit early. You can get in on the sideloading action by visiting the links below:
[Many thanks to kautionwirez for the tip and APKs!]
April 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Storing your music library in the Google Play Music cloud is incredibly convenient. Not only does this allow you to access your music from any web-connected computer, but doing so also lets you free up valuable storage space on your device. However, accessing the Google Play Music Cloud Streaming always meant using the official Google Play Music app or webapp—until now.
You can now access the Google Play Music cloud from nearly any third-party Android music player. Sourcery, you say? Not if you have a rooted device and are running GMusicFS by XDA Senior Member bubbleguuum. GMusicFS works by mounting the Play Music cloud as a FUSE filesystem. And because of this, the music stored on Google’s cloud appears like any standard file that can be played.
Unfortunately, this won’t exactly work on every device, every ROM, or every aftermarket media player. For starters, you need to be on a rooted device running Android 4.0+ on an ARM CPU. You also need to have SuperSU or Superuser installed, as well as a compatible music player. So far, Poweramp, Winamp, PlayerPro, and N7player are verified working. However, other players such as Deadbeef and XenoAmp won’t work with GMusicFS.
If you’ve wanted to access the Google Play Music cloud without using the official Google Play Music app, head over to the original thread and give this a shot.
March 31, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Ported apps are inherently fun. While shoehorning the Galaxy S 5′s stock app suite onto your two-year-old Galaxy S III won’t magically turn your aging device into Samsung’s latest and greatest, doing so allows you to experience some of the “exclusive” features that newer devices have to offer. Because of that, we frequently see quite a lot of work done here on the XDA forums to port OEM apps and other goodies to older devices.
So where do you find these mythical ported apps? Well you could pretend you’re playing Pokémon and try to catch them all by manually searching every section here on XDA—or you could visit XDA Senior Member tp2215‘s Definitive Ported Apps Directory.
Inside tp2215′s thread, you’ll find apps ported from the HTC One M8, Nokia X, Nexus 5, Galaxy S 5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Tab Pro, Nvidia Shield, Xperia Z2, Moto X, LG G2, Archos, and Google Glass—and these are just the current generation devices, as there’s another section for ports from older devices. The thread also houses a list of carrier-specific app ports, as well as ports from certain popular ROMs, and simulated Windows Phone 8 and iOS7 apps.
If you’ve got a case of device envy and wish to add some additional goodies to your smartphone, head over to the original thread and load some ported apps!
March 31, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Imagine that you’re in the middle of composing an email on your smartphone or tablet. Suddenly, you realize that you need to quickly verify a calculation before clicking send. Normally, this would require you to return to your launcher (or sidebar launcher), find the appropriate calculator app, perform your calculations, and finally return to your email in progress. All of this can be avoided through the use of floating applications.
Floating apps are not only cool; they can also help us be more productive. Thankfully, XDA Forum Member Floatricks created a nifty floating calculator app to make situations like the example above a thing of the past. Floating Calculator can be launched by clicking on a movable bubble that can be placed anywhere on your screen. Once summoned, the calculator slides out from the side of your screen and allows you to quickly perform any calculations needed.
The calculator itself is based upon the stock Android calculator that first appeared in ICS, and only relatively basic operations are covered. So if you’re in need of something a bit more heavy duty, check out the previously covered Complex Numbers.
If you’re looking to streamline your basic arithmetic, head over to the Floating Calculator application thread and give this a whirl.
March 31, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
There are few things more annoying than losing network connectivity on our supposedly always connected mobile devices. But one thing that definitely is worse is losing connectivity, and then subsequently draining your battery as a result of the lost connection. Unfortunately, this is all too common for those of us who frequently travel to rural areas because our mobile devices keep on searching for a network even when there is none.
Thankfully, there are steps we can take to make sure that our lost connectivity doesn’t result in a dead battery. XDA Forum Member ProjectZed created an innovative app called Auto Pilot Mode. This application is a lightweight tool that allows you to automatically enable airplane mode when your signal cuts out.
When you first launch Auto Pilot Mode, you set time and network strength thresholds to determine when airplane mode should be enabled. You can also set how long airplane mode should stay enabled before checking for signal again. In addition, Auto Pilot Mode also gives you the option to launch the app on boot and disable functionality when in a call. The app even allows you to automatically turn on WiFi when airplane mode is enabled.
If you frequently find yourself with an extremely low battery due to network issues, you may want to give Auto Pilot Mode a try. Head over to the application thread to give it a shot.
March 31, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Sony’s new flagship Xperia Z2 was released late last month at MWC in Barcelona. Improving on its predecessor in every aspect that counts, the Z2 is quite the tempting proposition for those looking for a new high-end device in early 2014.
Earlier this month, XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD provided a firmware dump for Sony’s latest flagship. While this was obviously not intended for end users, it was released with the intention of helping other developers port various parts of the Z2′s firmware to other devices. Now, XDA Senior Member Aman_Arora and Recognized Contributor Jishnu Sur™ have gone ahead and done exactly that.
Their first ported app is the Z2′s calendar app, which can now be used on any device running Android 4.0 or greater. (Android 4.1+ has been tested, but it is assumed that this will also work on 4.0.) Currently, most of the app’s features work, but there are a few minor problems here and there. For example, you are unable to add contacts to event attendee lists because they hook into Xperia-specific contacts files.
While the port isn’t 100% complete yet, those looking for an aesthetically appealing calendar with lots of event and display customization may find the Z2 calendar app worth a shot. Head over to the ported application thread to get started.
March 30, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Although it was briefly caught on camera a couple weeks earlier, HTC Sense 6 was officially unveiled to the world five days ago alongside the newly released HTC One M8 (2014). HTC’s Sixth Sense (sorry, had to) was then ported to various devices, including the HTC EVO 4G LTE, but not everyone wants to run an entirely new custom ROM just to get the benefit of a few OEM-specific apps.
When the M8 was launched, many were surprised to see that many of HTC’s first party applications such as BlinkFeed were also made available on the Play Store. No, this isn’t for you to enjoy HTC’s trademark UI on your Nexus 5 (although BlinkFeed will eventually make it to non-HTC devices). Rather, this is intended to allow HTC to update its core experience without interference from carriers, similar to how Google made Android version status a bit less important with Play Services. So how do we make use of these HTC apps in the Google Play Store? Port them to other devices, of course.
XDA Senior Member Ashutos1997 downloaded and mirrored the APKs for the HTC Sense 6 apps available on the Play Store. This includes HTC’s Service Pack, Sense TV, Zoe, Gallery, Blinkfeed Launcher, and Music. It also includes the required libs and framework files for Zoe and Gallery. Unfortunately, only the first three (HTC Service Pack, Sense TV, and Zoe) work directly without being ported, but it’s highly likely that the more desired components such as Blinkfeed Launcher will be ported to work with other devices.
If you’re up for the task and want to begin porting the Sense 6 apps to non-Sense devices, or if you simply want to install the apps that work without being ported, head over to the original thread and give this a shot.
March 30, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s not quite back-to-school time anymore, and not many people deal with complex numbers on a day to day basis. But if you’re a student or engineer, it never hurts to incorporate a new tool to streamline your tasks.
XDA Forum Member WeissenbornC recently created an app to help you work with complex numbers more easily. The app is divided up into four pages: basic arithmetic, quadratic equation, roots, and polynomial factorization.
Basic Arithmetic allows you to perform simple operations on complex numbers such as adding or multiplying them, taking their root, or performing trigonometric functions. Quadratic Equation allows you to use real and complex coefficients to solve using the quadratic equation. Roots allows you to solve n-degree polynomials for all of the roots using the Durand Kerner Method. Finally, Polynomial Factorization takes an n-degree polynomial and divides it into n factors.
If you’re a student or engineer constantly working with complex numbers or if you simply want a tool to help you with quadratic factorization, Complex Numbers can potentially be a huge time saver. Head over to the application thread to give Complex Numbers a shot!
It’s reasonable to go out on a limb and assume that most of our readers have at least 50 apps installed on their mobile devices. Because of this, we often turn to sidebar launcher apps such as the recently updated SideControl to make all of these apps easier to launch. But sometimes, instead of making apps easier to get to, what we really want to do is escape for a bit. After all, having a cluttered home screen full of dozens of folders and apps can get quite tiresome.
Thankfully, there are great options out there for those looking to simplify. For example, there are quite a few minimalist templates available in the popular Themer app. But what if you want something even simpler? XDA Senior Member alobo offers a fantastic option called Crescendo.
Although Crescendo is technically aimed at making mobile devices easier to use for seniors and kids, it’s a stylish alternative for those looking for a more minimal Android experience. The app includes a streamlined and task-based home screen. But instead of being filled with a sea of apps, your home screen gives you information about the weather and allows you to perform certain common tasks such as making calls, taking pictures, browsing the Internet, writing Emails, and looking at photos. Crescendo also provides an app drawer to allow you to still reach your favorite apps, but they no longer create clutter from your start screen.
In addition to its home screen functionality, Crescendo is also loaded with several simplified apps such as an easy-to-use web browser and flashlight. It also integrates various commonly accessed settings into a simplified menu.
Whether you’re looking for a home screen app for those unfamiliar with technology or you just want to simplify your Android experience, Crescendo is a great and aestehtically appealing option. Head over to the application thread to give it a shot.
Widgets are some of the most useful staples of our Android home screens. They’re also perhaps the biggest differentiation we have to set our devices apart from the generic grid of icons found on iDevices. Widgets come in all shapes and sizes, and there are options to handle pretty much every task imaginable.
Since most of us use widgets to personalize our home screens, wouldn’t it be nice to have a widget that’s a bit more one of a kind than something that can also be installed by every other Android user? With XDA Senior Member newHere:)‘s app DrawTime, you can now create your own one-of-a-kind clock widget.
Using DrawTime is quite simple. You start off by drawing a set of template numbers. These can be any shape and color of your choosing, and you can even use multiple colors per template number. Next, you configure your clock by choosing what application is launched when tapping the widget, as well as how you would like your clock to be displayed. Finally, you add your widget, and you’re good to go with a truly unique widget that is sure to set your home screen apart from every other Android device.
If you want that last bit of personalized flair on your home screen, head over to the application thread and give DrawTime a shot.