If you’re someone who enjoys talking on the phone, even during a time when voice calls have long been usurped as the most used function of a phone, it’s most probable that you’ve received nasty surprises in the past in the form of phone bills. And if you also happen to be someone who’s on a tight budget and have realized that perhaps daily late night phone conversations should be cut down a bit, Callistics might help.
An app developed by XDA Forum Member johnyf, Callistics performs a number of functions aimed at helping you get your phone bill under control. It gathers statistics and information on your phone calls, SMS and your phone contacts and displays them in an intuitive and comprehensive, yet simple manner with graphs and pie charts. In addition to this, Callistics allows you to set limits on the length of calls and the number of outgoing text messages you make, as well as select contacts and numbers which you want to be excluded from the app’s features.
So if you feel like you need to reign in your late night phone calls and SMS conversations, you’ll want to check out Callistics. Head over to the Callistics application thread for more information and download.
July 18, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
In this crazy fast and modern world, we often need to supplement our memory by writing some notes. The classic paper and pen system is often not an option, especially now that this can be accomplished with our fingers and our Android devices.
Android is pretty bare without third party applications, but the Play Store is huge and contains dozens of great alternative to Google’s own apps. Quick Note is one alternatives to Google Keep that was presented by XDA Forum Member HeartBroken.
Quick Note, as its name suggests, is a notepad with a bunch of handy features. In addition to making simple notes that help you to remember basic things, the application has a very useful checklist mode. You can plan your whole day and mark things off that have been done, or make a shopping list of what you need to purchase at the store. The app even allows you to set reminders for certain notes.
If you are a flash-o-holic and change your ROM several times a day, you can backup your notes with a built-in option. You can also search for notes that were written previously. Quick Note is a great companion that transforms your smartphone into a personal and capable notebook.
If you’re looking for a good notepad application alternative to Google Keep, you can try Quick Note in the Quick Note application thread.
July 18, 2014 By: Faiz Malkani
Picture yourself performing a particular task on your phone or tablet, like reading an article or writing a note. Suddenly, you get a notification, for example a text from someone. Normal procedure dictates that you stop whatever you’re doing, exit the current app, launch the app that spawned the notification, handle it, exit that app, and finally return to what you were doing. As is evident by the amount of words it took to describe that sequence of actions, the whole process is rather cumbersome and time consuming.
However, every problem has a solution. And the solution to this particular problem comes in the form of Last App Switcher, developed by XDA Junior Member Abhishek verma. Last App Switcher adds a semi-transparent, unobtrusive floating button that persistently stays above all your apps and allows you to quickly switch between your current app and your last app. The app also promises snappy transitions and a low memory footprint to augment its already strong suite of features.
Head over to the Last App Switcher thread to get started. Last App Switcher is completely free and contains no ads or in-app purchases.
July 18, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The recently unveiled Android L has changed quite a few things related to user experience, as well as some interface design nuances. Google presented its new design language, Material Design, which will soon replace the good old Holo in the majority of future applications.
Material Design is currently available only on Android L, and some lucky testers can try it out on the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 7 (2013). Developers have quite a bit of homework to do, as apps will eventually need to be updated to the new design guidelines to match Android’s new look.
One of the first applications modified to match the new design guidelines is an unofficial Apollo Music Player build. It’s been adapted to Material Design thanks to XDA Senior Member TheXorg. HenryMP doesn’t differ much from the original player released by CyanogenMod team, but it looks really nice with the Developer Preview firmware, and shows off how this third-party music player may look in the Fall.
It’s unclear as to whether HenryMP will work with Android 4.4 KitKat or older releases. But due to issues we talked about earlier, it’s likely that this will only work with Android L.
If you are looking for a free music player that takes on Android L’s new look, HenryMP might be something that you are looking for. Give it a try by visiting the HenryMP application thread.
Yesterday, we had a rather typical Google Update Wednesday, with major updates to Google Wallet and Chrome Stable, as well as a minor update to the Google Play Store. Now, Google is following up on yesterday’s updates with a major revision to Google Maps, which brings elevation info when using biking navigation and better support for voice input.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature in Maps 8.2 is elevation information in route planning. When viewing route options in biking mode, you now get a visual representation of route altitude This feature is currently reserved for those using biking directions, as it wouldn’t be of much use to those driving to their destination.
In addition to the new elevation info, you are also now able to issue voice commands while in navigation mode. Voice input is initiated by tapping on the microphone icon in the lower left hand corner of the display. Using voice input, you are able to ask Maps questions like, “how long until destination,” “what time will I get there,” “mute voice guidance,” “show a route overview,” “show traffic,” “what’s my next turn,” and so on. Unfortunately, however, Google’s traditional Fuzzy Logic voice input capabilities haven’t quite carried over into maps. So if you don’t say the exact right phrases, it doesn’t appear to work very consistently.
While Maps 8.2 has already begun rolling out, it will naturally be some time before everyone receives the update. As such, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APK for your sideloading pleasure.
July 17, 2014 By: egzthunder1
Lets face it, we are all busy individuals. Many of us are always on the go, and despite needing constant Email communications, there is simply no time to sit down and skim through even important Emails. One solution to such problems has always been the ever popular voice assistant.
This concept is not new, as options have existed since the days of PocketPC such as Microsoft Voice Command, and probably even before that. But of course, these apps had grave limitations of only alerting you to incoming messages rather than reading them. In other words, if you are driving all by yourself and you receive an Email notification, you can either pick it up (and risk getting into an accident) or pull over and read it (and risk being late for your. If this loosely represents your daily life, then XDA Forum Member raduzz might be able to help.
Mail Reader for Gmail is, conceptually, what a voice assistant should be able to do. Once installed, the app catches all your incoming Gmail messages and reads them out loud using Google’s TTS (text-to-speech) engine. The app offers various different options including the control of the text being read including header information such as sender, title, date, as well as a summary of the Email received, which unfortunately is the first couple of sentences rather than the entire message. This still works great for shorter Emails, though. One other cool feature is that the app does not require authorization every time to access your account thanks to OAuth2.
The app is still at a very early stage, and the dev is looking for suggestions and feedback to make the app even better than it already is. If you would like to help with getting this off the ground, please swing by and teach your device how to read your Gmail to you. Have fun, and drive safely. You can find more information in the Gmail Voice Reader app thread.
July 17, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Everyday, more and more crap gets uploaded to or created on the Internet. However, some of this stuff is funny, shocking, cats or memes–basically stuff you have to share with your friends. Often times, when you do share these links, you end up sending them a message with a link the size of Robert Downey Jr’s ego since the success of Iron Man!
XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib offers up an application that allows you share a link and have it be automagically shortened. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews ShortPaste. TK shows off the application, its uses, and functionality. Check out this app review.
July 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s Wednesday once again, and more often than not, that means that it’s time for another set of Google first party Android app updates. Today, we have major updates to Google Wallet and Chrome Stable, as well as a minor point revision to the Google Play Store.
First up, we have Google Wallet. Today’s update brings us to version 2.0-R172-v18 (up from the 2.0-R163-v17 update about two months ago). Despite not escalating much in terms of version number, it brings one key feature that has been in the works for some time: gift card management. In addition, it also allows you to ask for money directly within the app and send money for free using your debit card.
Next up, we have an update for Chrome Stable. This update brings the stable release channel to version 36.0.1985.122, up from last month’s 35.0.1916.141. It doesn’t add much in the way of user-facing features other than something we spotted in Chrome Beta last month when it was updated to version 36: improved text rendering on non-mobile sites.
Finally, we have a minor update to the Google Play Store, bringing it to 4.8.22 (up from 4.8.20). This update should proceed in the background for most people, and if not, you can manually request it by going to Play Store settings and tapping on the version number. However, this doesn’t always work for everyone, so we’ve gone ahead and mirrored it (and the other two updates) below for your sideloading pleasure:
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the Play Store APK]
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: Tomek Kondrat
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.