It’s with no doubt that Google has done a remarkable job with its design of Google Now. The gorgeous aesthetic philosophy they’ve incorporated has been replicated in numerous apps, themes, and mods that can be found throughout the XDA forums, and remains a testament of Google’s and XDA members’ eyes for beauty. So it is with no wonder that a live wallpaper will manifest from this, to continually please our eyes wherever and whenever.
Developed by XDA Forum Member Svarion, GoogleNowWallpaper presents a collection of 11 live wallpapers comprised of images extracted straight from Google Now. Featuring cities such as London, San Francisco, and New York, the live wallpapers much like Google Now mirror what is outside your window by cycling through dawn, day, dusk, and night. They also offer customizable settings in regards to the times of these phases.
The other excellent aspect with this concept is that despite being a live wallpaper, the wallpaper won’t drain as much battery as other conventional live wallpapers. This is because these images are static, and are triggered to changed only at the pre-determined times. Thus, they are not ‘active’, so to speak, during every second of every minute of every hour of every day.
Two versions of GoogleNowWallpaper are available: a 960 x 800 version and a version supporting up to 1440 x 1280. Svarion has made both of these versions free and compatible with Android versions 2.2 and up, so make sure to head over to the original thread for more details and downloads.
Aesthetic uniformity, for many Android users, is a must. And in this day and age, it’s all about Holo UI. So with this increasing streamlining of application designs, you may be looking for a Holo alternative to your stock messaging app, something like ICmess.
“Delivering a more ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ messaging experience” was the philosophy XDA Forum Member Percussio had in mind when developing ICmess, and Percussio may as well have achieved such an aim. A quick flick through the app will most definitely stand as a testament of this, especially with its horizontally sliding interface and the light or dark Holo theme. ICmess consists of 3 sliding screens for the current and existing conversations and a settings menu, which surprisingly packs quite a variety of customization options. From here, options regarding the interface, notifications, messages and multimedia messages can be found, with other nifty features such as ‘slide down to search’ and ‘SMS popup’ tucked into the app along with its main function of messaging.
For an app that is still in its beta stage, ICmess is noteworthy for its presentation of text messaging. It’s simple and uncluttered, and most importantly, not buried under a copiousness of peripheral features that many messaging apps on the market tend to have nowadays. Percussio does accepts bug reports and feature requests during this app’s beta phase, and is actively working towards polishing ICmess further.
ICmess is compatible with any device running Android 4.0 or newer, and is free and ad-free from the Play store. If this has gotten your attention, be sure to check out the original thread for more information.
Do you travel? Do you work with international companies? Are you just a unit nerd who likes to know distance in miles and kilometers, or speed in miles per hours and kilometers per hour? Well, it would be nice to have an handy app to convert back and forth between different units.
XDA Forum Member ahmed_14 has an application to help you convert measurements and currency. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Pocket Converter. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
May 9, 2013 By: Samantha
How many times has your mum, dad or roommate come home with the groceries, only to forget the chocolates you asked them to buy just before they left? Or maybe they’re already out when you suddenly had the urge to munch on some whole grain chips? Well you can save the frustration because now you can just share all that onto the Shared Shopping List and they’ll know exactly what to get.
XDA Forum Member GammaL has come up with a practical solution for those instinctive purchases in the form of an app called Shared Shopping List. Taking on a somewhat familiar user interface as many other conventional shopping list apps out there on the market, you can create a new shopping list of which within a list, you can add different items as well as how many of each one. Tapping on an item will simply cross it off as ‘purchased.’ And once all is done, you can clear the list with a ‘trash’ button on the top right corner.
However, the most notable feature of Shared Shopping List is (as its title implies) its sharing capabilities, allowing you to share lists with others who have the app installed. After creating a new username or account through the app, you can then tap on a list and selecting the ‘share’ option. Both you and your friend must have individual accounts, and must be logged in on the app before you can add each other as ‘friends’ and sharing lists. A handy notification will pop up when a list has been shared, and any changes to lists will then trigger new notifications on the other device. As you would expect, both devices must be connected to the internet either via WiFi or mobile broadband in order for ‘shares’ to operate normally.
Shared Shopping List is compatible with any device running Android version 1.6 or newer, is ad-free and free from the Play store. If you like what you’ve read so far, most definitely check out the application thread for more details.
May 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you take a moment to pull your attention away from XDA and look outside, you will see that Spring has sprung. That means it is time for Spring cleaning. So recycle those Jolt Cola bottles from around your desk and toss out those old pizza boxes.
While you are at it, don’t forget your Android Device. You device is filled up with temporary files and other apps you may not need. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin shows you how to clean your device with Clean Master and SD Maid. Check out this video.
May 8, 2013 By: Samantha
For most Android users, the battery consumption statistics accessed from the settings may be enough to know exactly what’s going on with the battery. However, for those who are looking for some more advanced and detailed data, the Battery Test Utility app may be of some helpful and practical use.
Developed by XDA Forum Member jacksparao, Battery Test Utility allows users to run different tests on an Android device to calculate an array of information regarding your battery and how it responds to video and music playback, as well as Internet browsing. Presented with a clinical, Holo user interface, users can select an audio, video, or browser test with adjustable settings such as screen brightness, music or video file, and URLs to be visited. When the battery level drops to 15%, the test phase is considered complete, upon which data such as music bitrate, start and end time of the test phase, battery consumption rate, and other settings like the light sensor and accelerometer computed and displayed. The app however, does come in at a rather large size of 118MB, thanks to the HD videos packaged along with it for testing purposes. But do not worry, as the app thankfully does install itself straight onto the SD card.
Battery Test Utility is a great dedicated battery tester, which presents complicated data in an uncomplicated way, unlike many other apps of similar function in the market. It’s a useful app not only for end-game Android users, but also for those curious about just how much of the precious battery is drained by the favorite album, a typical movie, or a bit of web browsing. Jacksparao has made the app available to all who have devices running Android 2.2 and up, and free from the Play store. So if this has gotten you curious, be sure to check out the original thread for more details.
A few days shy of one year ago, I brought you news of nifty little application called ReadItToMe by XDA Senior Member crazyfool_1. This app, as the name suggests, takes any incoming messages and call notifications that you might receive while a headset is plugged in or the device is streaming audio over Bluetooth and reads them to you aloud. The concept is perfect for those who are fed up of constantly hauling your device out of your pocket or impulsively taking one eye off the road whenever a notification comes through.
Since that article was posted, the application has been developed further and in fact it has been essentially rewritten and given a hefty update. It has not only received a boost in functionality, but also a full Holo UI makeover. It makes sense to keep such an app consistent with the aesthetics of newer versions of Android and contemporary applications, as the basic functionality is something people are pretty much always going to find a use for—well, for as long as we have devices capable of playing back music and receiving calls/texts anyway.
Possibly the greatest feature of this application, though, is that it will translate the gibberish that is “txt spk“ and read it back to you in proper English (other languages are available). Although this isn’t a new feature, it’s still awesome. There are of course other features that are new and available in the applications PRO version, such as receiving notifications from apps like Google Talk and WhatsApp. I wasn’t planning on mentioning the premium version because we only focus on freely available apps here on the XDA Portal. However, seeing as crazyfool_1 has been kind enough to make the PRO version available to XDA members for the low low price of £0.00*, I think we can make an exception.
Check out the application thread for more information on the app itself and what’s changed in the past year.
*Approximately $0.00 (depending on current exchange rate)
Working with a team of developers can be great because you have someone to talk to when you hit the coding wall. If you don’t have that luxury, you can still learn how other programmers do things in order to sharpen your skills. That’s what XDA Recognized Contributor coolsandie had in mind when he started his list of all open source Android apps.
The list is huge, spanning several posts in the original thread, so there are many examples to learn from. All of the apps listed are available in the Play Store, which should equate to them being less buggy than random code snippets found in the wild. You can install them to see what features they include, then follow the list’s links to the source code to see how the original developers did everything.
Just reading through the source code is a great way to improve your own work and decrease the time you spend developing, but this is also a great resource to turn to when faced with a very specific problem. Want to know how to detect movement? Check out Pedometer which keeps tracks of how many steps you take each day. Need an example of how to add Widgets as part of your App? You’ll have no problem finding one in this list.
The methods for expressing one’s thoughts are constantly changing. Fluid in form and nature, they are most often characterized by whatever is readily available, which in our case, is technology. Within only a decade, came MSN, text messaging, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and even Omegle—all aiming to satisfy our natural tendencies to blabber our mouths away at anyone who would care to listen. The one restriction that has remained constant through the ages, however, is that you cannot blabber at people when you’re not actually there or if you simply do not have the time. So with this, pops up Schemes in the XDA forums.
Developed by XDA Senior Member Flozzo, Schemes is an app that allows you to remind, badger, or pester people at any time you want, with its main function of sending messages based on a set schedule you set. With support for SMS, Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail; you can set the time and date for the message, Tweet, or Email to be sent. Additionally, messages can be sent on up to four networks at the same time, something you can choose to do from the message creation screen. Notifications can also be toggled in the settings, which when on, notifies you upon the sending of a scheduled message. Flozzo then packs all of this into a pleasant Holo user interface that’s simple in design and navigation.
With an active developer behind it, Schemes may see support for multi-recipient SMS support, Facebook posts on friends’ walls, photo sending and sharing, and a whole lot more in the future. The app is compatible with Android versions 3.0 and newer, and can be downloaded for free from the XDA forum post. So if this has gotten you interested, most definitely check out the application thread for more details and download.
It’s well established that addictive games are fun. There’s something about them that just clicks with your dopaminergic reward system, and before you know it, your night’s over after a couple of ‘quick’ rounds. Now mix this with fruit and juice, and you have FruitPunch in your hands, courtesy of XDA Forum Member hIVESaRELaW.
Faced with a glass filled with fruits and juice, the most obvious and instinctive action would be to squash them as quickly as possible.You achieve this by launching fruit into the glass and aiming them at other fruits of the same kind until three or more connect, at which the fruits explode with a satisfying ‘squish!’ However, if you miss the glass, or fruits overflow out of the glass, game’s over, and you’ll have to restart the round.
It’s the little touches here and there that truly makes this game that much more enjoyable. The bright and chromatic colors mixed with the true-to-life sound effects ranging from fruit hitting the glass, to the splashes of the water really adds to the atmosphere and zest of the game play. And with 144 unique levels and an arcade mode, a productive night is no longer an option.
FruitPunch is simple and satisfying with game play in the vein of Match 3 games, which means one addicting game. It’s compatible with any device running Android version 1.6 or newer, and can be downloaded for free from the Play store. So if this has gotten your attention, definitely check out the application thread for more information.
Whether its at a party, a picnic, or a get together, trivia is always quite fun. Be it on the bottom of a bottle cap, on the wrapping of sweets or on actual trivia cards, these little nuggets of information more often than not, trigger a satisfying little ‘oh…cool!’ moment every time you read one. Well, now you can enjoy this moment everyday conveniently with the app What About Today? on your Android device.
What About Today? is a fun little app developed by XDA Forum Member darkstay, and it serves up a fresh dose of trivialities for your and your company’s entertainment. Every day, you can read up on a famous quote, find out a cool little fact, kick start your mind with a fun riddle, discover a quick historical fact, get a brief history of the day, and more. The user interface is very simple, consisting of vertically scrolling list of facts and trivia under the present date, and horizontally sliding screens for content of preceding and succeeding days for those who would like to explore a bit more. All the content are also stored on your phone, so you can access the app anytime and anywhere.
I guess the saying ‘You learn something new everyday’ may actually be true, especially with an app like this. You may never know when you might need to know that snails can sleep for up to 3 years or that 70% of the human brain consists of water. The application is available for anyone using Android versions 2.2 or newer, and can be downloaded for free from the Play store. So make sure to check out the original thread for more information if you’re interested.
May 2, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA Senior Member anthonycr has created a great Android browser to replace the standard app. His application is called Lightning Browser. How does his application compare to similar apps on other mobile operating systems like UC Browser for Windows Phone and Mercury Browser on iOS?
In this episode XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you these applications side by side by side. He shows you what they look like and he pits them against each other to see which one is the best and will reign as king of the Third Party Browser applications. Check out this video to find out which wins.
May 1, 2013 By: Samantha
I usually silence my phone during class, in the library, and when I sleep at night. This means every day I usually have to toggle on and off my phone about 6 times a day, which is okay. But then, I still often get some loud and nasty surprises which either draw a couple glares and scowls or wake me up during the middle of the night, all because I forgot to silence my phone and a spam email got through. This is, more likely than not, a situation that many of you folks experience as well, so wouldn’t it be great if there’s an app that could just do all that for you, no questions asked?
Well, XDA Forum Member AggieDev has developed a useful app called SmartSilence, which automates your silencing rituals based on schedules you set. A weekly schedule can be created, allowing you to define the days of the week, the start time and stop time you want your phone to be turned silent. You can also toggle a vibrating notification to mark the moment when the phone is turned silent. During the silenced period, a notification will pop up in the slide-down notification area, which can deactivate the currently active silence schedule. You can also toggle on and off schedules from the app’s main screen, which also shows all the schedules you’ve created, and the start/stop times and selected days that the schedules are set to be active during.
AggieDev has developed an app that will surely very useful for many smartphone users out there. It’s simple to use, easy to set up, and doesn’t interfere with any other activities you may need your phone for. It’s compatible with Android versions 2.0 and newer, ad-free and available free from the Play store. So if you would like to check it out, visit the original thread for more information.