July 10, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Some elements of Android development are hard to debug. While logcat gives a variety of useful information, missing images in Android icon packs and themes are still hard to track.
If you are creating Android icon packs, XDA Forum Member sabeersas has a tool that you may find extremely useful. Icon Pack Debugger finds broken icons and duplicated files and saves the output as a log on the root of your SD card. The generated XML file specifies which kind of error takes place. It can be either __drawable(notfound) when an icon is unavailable or __duplicate(ComponentInfo) when a graphics is duplicated.
Usage of this app is very simple. Just open the Icon Pack Debugger, long press on the icon pack and select debug in menu. The log can be found on the SD Card, so you can pull it to your PC to find out what’s wrong.
Are you planning to make your own icon pack? Or maybe you have some duplicated elements that you want to get rid of? Icon Pack debugger will help you out. All you need to do is making your way to the Icon Pack Debugger application thread and give this handy tool a try.
Puzzle games have been prominent on mobile devices since well before Android. After all, who can forget the legendary Tetris grazing the monochromatic screen of the original Game Boy? And just like that, there are hundreds of other games where there is no real objective other than not losing and acquiring points. Then as time went on, we got away from blocks and turned to bubbles, jewels, and all sorts of other things that could potentially be matched in a Connect 4-like fashion. It so seems that evolution of these games (or rather their persistence) is set to continue on. With this in mind, XDA Forum Member AlPav brings us his first app in the Play Store, called Colorate.
The game’s objective, as previously stated, involves not losing while scoring as high as possible. The premise of the game is quite simple. Much like the Bubble Blaster, your objective is to decimate the waves of blocks by shooting different colored pieces while trying to stack three of each color together to the ones on the ceiling. The ceiling blocks continue to come down, making the pieces approach the bottom as time goes by. The game seems simple, but it is challenging enough to get you to try it over and over again until you can beat your or your friends’ score.
The dev is looking for some feedback for Colorate. So, if you have ideas on how to improve levels, maybe even a suggestion such as “Time Attack” mode, please let the dev know. Also, please do not forget to report any bugs you may come across. You can find more information in the Colorate game thread.
July 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Although Google’s first party application update timing isn’t quite as predictable as it once was, “Google Update Wednesday” is still a thing. Today, Google has issued major updates to its first party Google Camera and Gmail apps, following up on a minor Google Search update that was issued yesterday.
The stars of the show here are Google Camera and Gmail. The update to Google Camera brings us up to version 2.3.017 (up from 2.2.024 a little over a month ago). This update brings support for Android Wear as well as a refreshed panorama mode interface. The new panorama and PhotoSphere interface increases visual polish by giving us larger and more visible guide circles, as well as a new in-app guide to show you how to get the best results.
Next up, we have a moderately significant update to Gmail. This update brings us to version 4.9 (1266230), up from version 4.8 last month. For those who don’t remember, last month’s update brought us the ability to save attachments directly to Google Drive from within Gmail. Today’s update takes the Google Drive integration one step further by allowing users to insert attachments directly from Drive. Google Drive-based attachments can be inserted just like standard local attachments, and they can be found in the action overflow menu in the compose screen.
Finally, we have a minor update to Google Search that brings us up to 18.104.22.1682550 (up from 22.214.171.1244234 just a few weeks ago). This update, which started rolling out yesterday, is pushing out to both x86 and ARM devices. It doesn’t seem to add any new functionality that we’ve noticed just yet. However, we don’t have too much reason to complain on that front, thanks to yesterday’s backend update.
All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our Google Drive for your sideloading pleasure:
July 9, 2014 By: egzthunder1
There are always reasons for us to try new ROMs on our devices. Be it the UI stylings of the a particular offering, special feature not available elsewhere, or maybe it is just the right mix of built-in modifications meant to save you from flashing and installing individual mods on your current ROM. The problem here is that not all devices are capable of receiving the latest and greatest, no matter how hard a dev or group of devs may try. So, what if there is something that you love about a ROM but you simply cannot have it? That is when people like XDA Recognized Themer mariozawa come into play.
As the title of this article suggests, PACROM lovers out there who may not be able to update to the latest KitKat builds were likely missing out on PAC’s Performance app. Mariozawa decided to try and help those on lower versions of Android by backporting the Performance app. It offers all the same features that you will find from the actual app in PAC ROM, but without the need for KitKat–or even PAC ROM, for that matter. The only real requirement is that you need to have a rooted device. And considering the multitude of rooting options available on this site, the likelihood of meeting this requirement is quite high.
In any case, please be sure to check out the app if you are running anything on Gingerbread or above and see if it boosts your device’s performance. The dev states that there should not be any bugs, but if you do find some, get your favorite logcat app out and let the dev know. You can find more information in the backported PAC Performance app thread. Happy tweaking.
July 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
As accurate as Google Voice Search has become over the years, it’s still far from perfect–especially for less common words or when issuing search queries in noisy environment such as a car or crowded area. Now, a Google Search backend update update has made Voice Search a bit smarter by allowing you to correct misheard queries.
Google Voice Search has demonstrated contextual awareness for quite some time. For example, if you search for “Show me pictures of Renaissance art,” it shows you pictures of Renaissance art as you would expect. If you then follow this up with, “how about Baroque,” you are then shown pictures of Baroque art. Today’s update takes this one step further by allowing you to correct misheard search queries by simply saying “No, I said,” followed by the corrected query.
The results are pretty hit or miss right now, as Google Search seems to break contextual awareness somewhat frequently when correcting search queries. This is even more likely if you attempt to correct a misheard query multiple times. However, this added functionality is certainly a step in the right direction. And when used in conjunction with “OK Google Everywhere,” Voice Search is now even more useful for those in situations where direct device control isn’t the most convenient.
Being able to monitor the system information of your Android device is important when you’re looking find out just how well our devices run under different situations–when playing a game, multitasking, or testing a new app or ROM. Of course, there are a plethora of options available on the Google Play Store that easily allow you to do this. However, they generally come in the form of stand-alone apps with widgets and persistent notifications. But if you’re wielding an Xperia device with Small Apps functionality, a much more convenient way is available thanks to XDA Senior Member hansip87.
System Monitor is a Sony Xperia Small App that provides live updates for a range of system information parameters. And being a small app, you won’t have to exit whatever you’re doing on your device in order to view this data. Information being monitored includes:
In addition, System Monitor comes with some great customization options for each of the above, allowing you to toggle different types of information on and off, change the visual elements of the small app interface, adjust the update intervals, and more.
So if you own an Xperia device (or any device which has the Small Apps feature), and you’ve been looking for a way to monitor your device’s system info, be sure to check out the System Monitor Small App thread for more information.
July 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Over the past year, we’ve talked quite a bit about SideControl by XDA Senior Member Jawomo. For those who don’t remember, this app started out as a sidebar launcher, but it has grown into a much larger project capable of delivering your notifications and allowing you to perform up to 45 custom activities. Now, Jawomo is back with a new app called Floatify.
Floatify is essentially a floating notification center. When a notification is received, you are shown a translucent popup menu with stacked notifications. These notifications are interactive, just like they would be in your notification tray, and you are also able to open or dismiss the incoming messages. You are even able to open the app in xHalo and stay within the currently running application. And of particular interest to those longing for some Android L-like goodness, Floatify is also able to display these stacked notifications on your lock screen.
Just like Jawomo’s other app, Floatify is a very well polished utility. This polish shows through in features such as smart blacklist,which allows you to prevent popups while running certain apps. And once the blacklisted app is closed, the notifications will pop up like normal. In addition, there is an option that automatically shows you all pending notifications as soon as you unlock your device.
If you’ve been looking for a better way of handling your notifications or you want to get some of L’s benefits today, you may want to give Floatify a shot. Head over to the application thread to get started.
July 3, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall how last week’s update to Google Search brought “OK Google” hotword detection to any screen, something which was previously only available when on the home screen of the Google Experience Launcher or in the Google Search app itself. We’ve now received one more update to Google Search, but even with this latest update, the revised hotword detection is only available to certain Google accounts. Luckily, root-enabled users were quick to find workarounds, but as we all know, not everyone’s running a rooted device.
Now, Redditors have found a way to get this working on any device and user account, without the use of any fancy root-enabled sorcery. The procedure itself involves nothing more than searching for “OK Google Everywhere.” After doing so and then backing out of Google Now, you’ll be able to go to Google Now Settings –> Voice –> OK Google Detection and enable hotword detection from any screen (including the lock screen).
- Open Google Now
- Search for “OK Google everywhere”
- Click any link [may be unnecessary but I did it]
- Back out to Google Now
- Go to Settings>Voice
- Audio History and Anywhere Detection should now be available as settings.
If you’ve been longing for the Moto X-like hotword detection from any screen, now’s your chance to get in on the fun. Now if only this could be extended to when the display is powered off for users willing to sacrifice a bit of battery life for this added functionality.
When a phone or tablet gets stolen, not much can be done. Such situations should not occur, but the world isn’t perfect and some people want things for free. When this happens, there are some tools that help you protect your private data and wipe as a last resort.
Wiping data and locating your device is not everything that can be done remotely, however. XDA Senior Member leducbao has gone further and created an app that also can be used as an Xposed Framework module, to take a selfie of thief using front camera of your device. The photo is sent to a predefined Email afterwards. This data can help you and police gather evidence to catch the thief
Theftie works in three modes: Prevent protects the device from unauthorized access by locking it and making a selfie of the thief. Catch allows communication with the device. Finally, rescue data – retrieve your personal data like SMS, photos and documents and save them to Google Drive.
Just like Android Device Manager, Theftie can wipe the SD card and phone data. While activated, app can’t be uninstalled which makes your phone protected.
Don’t allow your device to be stolen without hope of rescuing your data. Head over to the application thread and give Theftie a shot.
Apps like Android Device Manager or Theftie don’t guarantee your device’s safety, so if your phone gets stolen, don’t hesitate to inform the local police.
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, America’s holiday. The great thing about being American is if you want to be lazy, you can bet there is a shortcut product available for you now for only 4 easy payments of $19.95. But wait, there’s more! If you call now, you get twice the product. Today’s app feature helps make your life simpler by making controlling your Android device easier.
XDA Senior Member bluenote73 offers up an application that allows you control your device with a sequence of clicks on your volume keys. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews QuickClick. TK shows off the application, its uses, and functionality; then he talks about his thoughts of the application. Check out this app review.
July 3, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s still Wednesday in Mountain View, and you know what that means—it’s another Google Update Wednesday. Today, we have one entirely new application in the Play Store, two major app updates that bring Android L compatibility, and four other, more minor updates.
First off, we have Android Wear. Coming in at inaugural version 126.96.36.1991840, this app allows you to pair with and edit the parameters of your new Android Wear device–provided you’re one of the lucky few to already own one. In addition to basic device configuration settings, this app also allows you to control voice action preferences, as well as notification settings.
Next up, we have Google Docs 188.8.131.52 and Google Sheets 184.108.40.206. Those of you brave enough to be using the Android L Developer Preview on your daily driver device will have undoubtedly noticed that before today, Docs and Sheets simply would not install on L Preview. This changes today, thanks to updates to both of these apps. In addition, both updates now allow you to directly edit Microsoft Office (Excel and Word) files, just like what we saw in Slides not too long ago. If that’s not all, both apps have been given a touch of Material Design UI flair, thanks to a floating action button and trademark Material Design visual stylings.
Finally, we have minor updates to Search, YouTube, Slides, and Google Play Services. These updates come in at versions 220.127.116.114529, 5.7.41, 1.0.783.22, and 5.0.84, respectively.
All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:
Latest App Updates:
Google Play Services:
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the APKs!]
Friedrich Nietzsche once said that without music, life would be a mistake. For many, this statement can’t be any more accurate. Music plays an important part in the lives of billions, including many of us here on XDA.
Because of music’s importance in our lives, music players are some of the most important and frequently used applications on Android. If you are looking for a free and lightweight solution, XDA Forum Member kcrims has something that might interest you. Pixel Player is a highly customizable and powerful music player that can replace other, more popular applications. And it won’t use all your system resources because it’s a very lightweight application.
What does Pixel Player has to offer? Holo UI, lockscreen controls, queue management, widgets, and headset button controls are just a small subset of its available functions. The player is actively developed and kcrims is open for suggestions, so Pixel Player can easily become a perfect player for you.
The app is still in its beta stage, so may contain some bugs. It’s a very interesting application for all music lovers nonetheless. It will work on devices running Android 4.0 and newer, which by now is the vast majority of users.
If you are looking for free and functional music player, make your way to the application thread and give Pixel Player a try.
July 2, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
When it comes to app development, coding and debugging must be treated equally. Finding bugs and fixing them is a tiresome but essential job that simply has to be done. Very often, developers decide to create tools to help with debugging and make their apps bug free.
Debugging also applies to modding, hence why some changes cause crashes and unexpected behavior. XDA Senior Member r3pwn created an application that helps debug Google Apps. Some ROM teams or individual developers change the proprietary Google application using reverse engineering tools. These changes may cause malfunctions, and those apps have no debugging system built-in. Luckily, an application by r3pwn adds a menu with debugging scenarios.
After reading and analyzing logs, developers should be able to find what’s wrong and apply a fix. This application should work on every version of Android starting from Ice Cream Sandwich. The newest Android L developer preview causes some trouble though, but hopefully it will be fixed soon. #DebugAllTheThings requires root access to properly get debugging data.
If you are an app modder and modifying Google Apps has caused you to pull out your hair, make your way to the application thread and give #DebugAllTheThings a shot.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member nathantaylor for his fancy meme image and Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a half foe original art work.]