August 21, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
If you’re enjoying an active way of life, you probably travel a lot, go fishing, or perform other similar activities in various outdoor locations. It’s needless to say that you can easily get lost while doing all of this, so you need proper tools to get you back to the starting point. Paper maps are handy, but how do you determine what direction you should go when you are in the middle of nowhere?
One solution to this tricky problem has been provided by XDA Forum Member BaseManAndroid, who created an application called LocationDetector. This app leads you to whatever place you have marked on the map. It uses GPS satellites, so the result should be pretty accurate. The app can also work as a compass if you prefer the more traditional way of navigation and traveling. If you get lost, you can always send an SMS with your coordinates to emergency services and hopefully get rescued.
This application can be pretty useful in various outdoor situations, but you should always treat it as a additional help, not a life-saving tool. After all, you could always run out of batteries, not get signal, or your device could just die. Keep this in mind before hopping into the middle of the woods.
If you are planning to do some traveling or simply wish to get lost outdoors, this application is what you’ve been looking for. You can get it by visiting the LocationDetector application thread.
August 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Most of us live very active lives. This is after all why we’re fans of mobile technology, as our favorite little devices allow us to stay connected with the world while out and about. But because we’re so active, it’s often hard to keep track of exactly where we go and what we do at all times. In other words, we may spend a little more time procrastinating and doing certain activities than we’d care to admit.
Normally, there wouldn’t be an easy way to examine your time sinks easily in order to fix them, but XDA Forum Member zoharby recently released an application that lets you do exactly this. Called LifeStats, this automatic journal essentially records every place you go and generates a daily journal of your activity. This lets you keep track of where you go, how long you’re there, and even how long it takes you to get there, so that you can best optimize your time. Once the data has been gathered, you are able to view the results graphically in the app, with various filters for time. You can enter each individual event, see its location with Google Street View, and more.
If you’re interested in keeping tabs on what you are up to at all times, head over to the Life Stats application thread to get started
There are literally thousands of note taking apps available on Android, with practically every single possible niche already filled. In fact, Google’s own solution, Keep, does a pretty good job at taking care of all the casual notes you may want to store. However, it’s not quite perfect for every use-case. And if you’re not one to live in the Google ecosystem, you may want a capable and quick notes app that doesn’t use Google as its cloud backend.
XDA Forum Member PowerLemons created an application that works very similarly to Google Keep, but with the exception that it lets you sync your notes with either Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box. Notes are then stored in a user-readable format on those cloud services, allowing you direct access to your notes through your cloud file storage. The notetaking interface in BrightNotes is very clean, with minimal clutter to get in the way of storing, editing and viewing notes. And once entered, notes can be searched using a convenient action menu button.
If you’re been looking for a Google Keep replacement that let you live outside of the Google cloud, you may want to give BrightNotes a try. Head over to the BrightNotes application thread to get started.
August 20, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The Android OS shows great potential in many areas. One of most interesting things that can be done with Android devices is to control them remotely. Phones or tablets can be controlled by our PCs pretty nicely. To do so, a Remote Administration Tool is needed, and there are only a few applications that offer such functionality for free.
One such application is called Monitordroid. Developed by XDA Forum Member mephala124, this app gives you an opportunity to control your phone via a standard Web browser. You can send SMS messages, browse your contacts and even make calls. The list of features is very long and is still growing since the app is still just a beta. All functions are available for non-rooted devices, which makes Monitordroid even more interesting choice for those of you who don’t want to or simply can’t root their devices.
To use the app on your PC, you need to prepare a server capable of issuing GCM-Messages. The author provides instructions on setting a free server up. If you don’t want to dig into PHP code and use your own PC as a server, you can buy hosting to do this for you.
If you are interested in controlling your device directly from your PC, Monitordroid is something that you may find useful. You can get the application by visiting the Monitordroid original thread.
The camera app on our Android smartphones and tablets isn’t something we focus on all that often. Usually, we use the built-in app or some third-party alternative like Focal by XDA Senior Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD, but most of us don’t even use all of the features to their fullest potential. However, the truth of the matter is that a good camera application can improve the quality of our photos and simply enhance our photography experience.
If you can’t snap a perfect and steady shot on your own, you might be interested in application made by XDA Forum Member mdwh. Open Camera will automatically stabilize your photos, so you don’t take a bad shot. It will also show the device’s current angle, so you can hold it straight and get the best possible photo. The application naturally also offers those functions that are already available in most of camera apps such as configurable volume keys, geotagging, compass direction and more. Open Camera can also switch some elements of the UI to optimize usage for left- and right-handed users. This application is fully open source, so you can make it even better by reviewing its code at Sourceforge.
If your current camera application bores you to the bone or you’d just like to look at other options, head over to the Open Camera application thread and give it a try. Perhaps this application will help you finally snap that ever elusive perfect photo.
August 19, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The greatest thing about technology is its ability to teach and promote personal growth. No one knows this to be truer than the technology enthusiasts who have procreated and have a little mini-them running around. However, sometimes this little spawn gets ahold of your phone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and they sometimes make changes they should.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you create a kids mode on your phone to protect your device. XDA Senior Member WasseemB created the Kids Mode module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
August 19, 2014 By: Faiz Malkani
Photography is something that everyone enjoys–be it a serene landscape or a vibrant concert, a sad scenario or a happy couple. And rightly so, because a thousand words cannot do justice to the direct message that a picture conveys. However, one can argue that despite pictures being able to convey a message clearly, they lack the ability to provide an explanation or the context of pictures, an ability that is the privilege of text. To remedy this, pictures began being captioned, but what about pictures that you click? Getting a sketching app and scribbling on the image is quite cumbersome and requires a fair amount of effort.
However, XDA Forum Member donniemceduns has a solution for this quandary in the form of Smiley Camera. This handy app allows you to caption your picture with text as well as an icon or smiley, thus giving you the ability to make your pictures tell a story. Smiley Camera comes with an impressive collection of more than 500 icons and smileys, bundled together in a clean Material Design-like interface that is extremely user friendly. All of this amounts to an app that lets you turn your pictures into something that’s just a little bit more than usual.
Head over to the Smiley Camera application thread to get started with adding icons and captions to your pictures. Turn that selfie into a self-sustaining story quickly and easily!
There are many messenger apps available for Android. They use our Gmail addresses or phone numbers to communicate with other devices and users. Almost all such apps look pretty much the same and serve pretty much the same purpose. Now, Imagine a situation where instead of messages with emoticons, you are sending bananas to your friends. This idea sounds funny, but it’s absolutely real thanks to XDA Forum Member pytel.
The Ultimate Communication Tool, as the Bananas app likes to call itself, sends bananas (instead of short messages) to your friends. You can greet your friends with “Hello Banana,” invite them for a party with “Party Banana,” or do whatever else you like. It’s pretty bananas. You are limited to only one word, so spread banana wisely. Empty messages are replaced with “Banana.” Using the application also gives you the opportunity to attain some proper knowledge about bananas, so after using it for a while you will become a banana master. Your banana friends are marked on the map. And you can see where they squashed the bananas.
Bananas is a simple, yet funny communications app. It’s a nice alternative to real messengers like Hangouts, Whats App, and that evil Facebook Messenger. You can find some bananas by visiting the
banana application thread. Don’t let other messengers drive you bananas!
GitHub is a Web-based distributed revision control and source code management system. It is home to quite a few open source projects here on XDA. Developers use GitHub to store sources for kernels, applications, libraries, and other projects on the Web. The main goal is to allow developers to keep records of their commits, which then enables other users to verify the work and help to improve the code. The service is so popular that XDA users can even link their GitHub profile with their XDA account.
The official GitHub application for Android lacks some crucial functions, so some alternative apps made by community are growing in popularity. One such app by XDA Forum Member alorma is called Gitskarios. Gitskarios allows its users to browse current repositories, star them, and watch the followers. The application serves all the basic functionality needed to browse code on GitHub. The only thing that is missing is commit browsing, but hopefully it will be added in the future.
The application is a very fast way of accessing the code repositories of your favorite developers and reviewing their work. It’s one of the applications that should be installed if you are a fan of open source software.
Check the latest code and help to improve it. The first step you need to take is to obtain the latest version of this application by visiting the Gitskarios application thread.
LTE has slowly become the standard when it comes to mobile Internet in many countries. OEMs are always trying to include the newest hardware solutions, so having a phone or tablet with an LTE support is nothing unusual. As such, pretty much every flagship device ships with support for various bands of LTE.
By default, Android indicates which kind of connectivity is currently in place. This is shown in the top right corner of the screen, right next to the clock. Some OEMs prefer to display LTE, while others simply use a 4G icon instead. If you want to swap yours on the fly, XDA Senior Member hamzahrmalik prepared an Xposed Module that allows you doing this effortlessly. You can change your icon very easily, without recompiling the whole System UI of your ROM. Don’t let OEMs or carriers decide. Instead, you can make the choice for yourself!
Naturally, this module requires Xposed Framework to work. You can find the application and module collection in the dedicated Xposed Framework forum. To use it, your device must of course be rooted.
If you don’t like the way how your LTE connectivity is displayed on your device, head over to the 4G LTE Status Bar Xposed thread and change it right away. 4G or LTE: it’s up to you!
August 17, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Material Design is Google’s new UI metaphor for Android, which was presented for the first time during the Google I/O 2014 keynote. Developers are slowly adapting their applications to match these latest design instructions. However, this is naturally a slow process that is hindered by Android L preview SDK’s limited availability. Hopefully more applications will be updated to Material Designed aesthetics after the official Android L release.
One of the most popular applications to control your CPU parameters is No-frills CPU Control. Unfortunately XDA Recognized Developer hrk, who created this application has been inactive for some time and the application hasn’t been updated for over a year. XDA Recognized Themer TheArc took the publicly available sources and adapted them to match the Material Design look. The new app is now known as CPU Controls and offers basic options to control the hidden kernel settings. With this application, you can change the maximum and minimum frequency, governor, and I/O scheduler. CPU Controls will soon be expanded to have some under the hood features enabled, which weren’t introduced with the original No-Frills CPU Controls.
To change the hidden values in your kernel, the application needs a root access. You can find out how to root your device by checking our database! Your CPU can be controlled in a stylish manner. CPU Control gives you a way to do this within the confines of the Material Design aesthetic. You can get started by visiting the CPU Control application thread.
Almost all of us use widgets on daily basis. We use them to change the track in our favorite music player, read Emails, check our calendar, or check the weather forecast. It’s really hard to imagine Android without widget support.
Widgets with all their pros, have some cons as well. For example, they can typically be accessed only from the home screen. XDA Forum Member sreenisatish decided to change that. Inspired by Paranoid Android’s Halo, he made an app that allows the use of widgets in every app. Widgets can be accessed even in apps running in full screen mode. The most interesting part of Flippr is that you don’t have to exit any applications to use a widget. For example, you can change your music track while browsing the Internet with Chrome or playing Flappy Birds. Flippr uses a small bubble as a trigger, so all widgets are only one swipe away. Widgets can be organized into groups, so you can organize them to suit you best.
Manufacturer-specific widgets (Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC etc.) will not work properly with Flippr. You need to keep that in mind before deciding to try this application out.
You can enhance your Android functionality with Flippr. The Flippr application thread is the perfect place to get started.
Stock Android isn’t designed to give its user a full control under their files. Friends or family can relatively easy access personal videos, photos and other files without much effort. You can protect your device by adding a PIN, pattern, and so on, but still you can’t be sure that your files are safe.
To strengthen your file protection, can add another layer of protection. This will make your device a bit safer for your personal stuff. XDA Forum Member aritraroy came up with an interesting idea and created an application to hide files by adding a PIN file. The app can hide the most popular file types like documents, images, apps, and ZIP archives from public view. The app has a built-in Stealth Mode that deceives intruders into a fake vault. When the users fails to log in three times, application blocks itself for 15 minutes.
Hidden files can be protected with 3-Layer Encryption Engine, so hidden files are extremely hard to crack. If this application is not something that you are looking for, be sure to unhide all files, otherwise you may lose them permanently.
Fight with your nosy friends and protect your files. Head over to the Androignito application thread and give it a try.
Please note: It is important to keep in mind that while applications like this are helpful to prevent casual snooping, it’s almost guaranteed that an experienced hacker with device access will be able to have his way with your files. Furthermore, no details are given about the actual encryption algorithm used. But again, for preventing casual snooping, Androignito may be for you.