March 30, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we featured an innovative quick access shortcut bar by XDA Forum Member Jawomo called SideCuts. In the time since, the sidebar launcher has donned a new name, SideControl, and it has been rewritten to incorporate several new and important features. But with so many fantastic sidebar launchers available, is SideControl worthy of its space in your app drawer?
Just as before, SideControl allows you to easily launch apps, shortcuts, contacts, and bookmarks from practically anywhere on your device. And like we first saw in the initial version, this can be accomplished with up to eight gestures that can be executed at any time and in any app.
New to this new iteration, SideControl now supports the latest Android notification features. With this, SideControl is able to open your latest notifications with a predefined gesture and/or open a sidebar with all apps that contain open notifications. It now also supports HaloFloatingWindow by XDA Senior Member zst123 so that you can open your sidebar apps in a floating window. But of course, you have to have Xposed and the HaloFloatingWindow installed to enable this functionality. Finally, you can even attach music controls and settings toggles to the supported gestures.
Now more than ever, SideCuts is a great alternative in the sea of sidebar launchers, Make your way over to the application thread to give it a shot.
March 29, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve talked quite a bit about XDA Senior Member astoncheah‘s “C” series of applications in the past. Bringing both Convenience and Customization, C Locker allows its users to launch applications and perform various tasks directly from their lock screens.
Since its initial release last March, C Locker has seen plenty of frequent and feature filled updates. The last we heard of the app was back in early February, when it received a substantial upgrade to version 4. This update brought many important features such as Tasker integration and improved lock screen notifications for devices running Android 4.3 or newer.
Now, version 5 has been released, and with it, come several new and important features. For starters, the new version allows for users to add multiple widgets to the lock screen, including one third party widget. And on the topic of widgets, the music widget now shows up automatically when music is playing.
In addition to the new features, this update also ups the polish on existing features by making the settings layout more user friendly, adding a notification count for incoming notifications, and enabling root users to hide the status and navigation bars.
Whether you’re a longtime C Locker user or you’ve never tried it before, head over to the application thread to get started.
March 27, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
If you want to get updates about your friends or want your friends to know what you are up to, or if you simply want to share lame current affairs jokes, the best place to do this is on a social network. But sometimes, you want to share across all of them at the same times–and you want an Android app to do that. Well there is a solution out there.
XDA Senior Member anandbibek offers up an application that shares a post across all of your social networks. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Shareboard. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
March 26, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Sony loves to add various social applications to their device firmwares. In 2010, they added Timescape, which integrates messages with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Four years later, they still believe that social networks are the best way to keep their customers connected—and they’re likely right. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other similar services are dominating the Web.
A new version of Sony’s social application Sociallife is available on the Xperia Z2′s firmware. Having this new flagship is not a requirement though, as XDA Senior Member xperiaz2 modded the original Socialife application to work without issues on other Sony devices even with Ice Cream Sandwich installed. Your firmware version won’t stop you from keeping in close contact with your family and friends, and Socialife will inform them about your current status. The ported app should work with all Xperia phones running stock or stock-based software.
You can grab the application and discuss it in the original thread in Cross-Device Development Projects for Sony Devices forum. If you like social networks, go there and don’t forget to share this article on your wall.
When beginning the journey with Android, many surely dream about making a great applications like our (Recognized) Developers do. Writing an application is not easy, and requires vast knowledge of Java and understanding of various APIs. It’s a long road with hoops that you must jump through.
Imagine not having to enter hundreds lines of code to create your very own application. Sounds promising? It surely does, especially when a project allowing that exists. XDA Forum Member Rheti developed an application that allows you to add custom app elements and get an APK as the final output.
The project is at a very early stage, and requires signing up for the beta. However, XDA users are highly welcomed and appreciated by developers, which are sending beta invites willingly. The project is an extremely interesting option for those looking to become amateur developers, and it may be good motivation to start learning Java and become a next famous application developer with millions of installs in Play Store. XDA University is a good place to start your journey with programming.
Information on Rheti and the contact form can be found in the original thread. What do you think of these sorts of tools? What’s your next big app idea? Share your thoughts in the comments.
March 24, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
In just under two years since its initial debut, Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed Framework has become a staple of development here at XDA. We’ve talked about modules of all sorts both here on the XDA Portal and on our YouTube channel. These modules have enabled us to modify our ROMs without editing a single APK or flashing any additional mods.
Nine days ago, Xposed 2.5 Beta was released. Now, Xposed 2.5 has exited beta, and brings various improvements to the Xposed-wielding masses. This release ushers in various new features such as a rewritten installer for improved compatibility, safe mode to disable Xposed in the event of bootloops, and improved ROM compatibility.
Safe mode, which was developed by Recognized Contributor Tungstwenty, allows you to disable Xposed at boot. This is useful if a particular module is causing you bootloops. Safe mode can be activated by repeatedly pressing any of your device’s hardware buttons during early startup. Your device will then vibrate twice after the first button press is detected, after which you have five seconds to press the same button an additional four times. Safe mode is then confirmed with a long vibration. And with regards to compatibility, Xposed now works with Android 4.3- and 4.4-based Sony and LG ROMs, as well as Android 4.4-based Meizu ROMs.
In recent years, modern gaming has essentially become synonymous with fast-paced kill sprees, adrenaline-provoking competitiveness, and visuals good enough to fool casual observers. But every once in a while, a simple yet ingenious game is released that makes us put down our copies of BF4 and GTR-E and use our noggins. XDA Forum Member LZ77 created one such game called Colorem.
The concept behind Colorem is simple. Your goal is to color all of the blocks on your screen using four provided colors—but it’s not as simple as it sounds. You can only color a certain number of blocks in each color, and no two adjacent blocks can be the same color. This doesn’t sound that difficult—and at first, it isn’t. But in later levels, it becomes infuriatingly challenging.
Coloring in the blocks is easy. All you have to do is tap a block to add a color. Tapping multiple times cycles between the available colors. However, once you move on to the next block, you can’t go back to a previous block to change its color. This makes planning ahead essential.
The game features 30 levels, with more on the way, and it should keep you entertained and using your grey matter for quite some time. Make your way over to the game thread to get started.
March 23, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
In addition to rooting, modifying, and otherwise hacking our mobile devices, many take to modifying the visuals as well. This can range from installing various themes to playing around with various launchers and more.
There is an almost endless supply of available themes in our Android Themes forum, and then there’s the whole awesomeness of Themer. But not every theme that you could possibly want has been neatly packaged for ease of installation. And if you’ve ever manually installed an icon pack, you know how much of a pain this can be.
XDA Senior Member Blaze wanted to do something about this. To that end, he created a template icon pack to help themers easily package up their icon packs for easy end-user installation. Blaze’s template icon pack works with all the popular launchers (Go, Aviate, Nova, Apex, ADW, Holo, and more), and it supports Android 2-3 through 4.4.2. Blaze also shows you how to get your icons integrated into the template icon pack in just a few steps.
If you’re a themer and you want to make it easy for your users to install your icon packs, head over to the original thread and give this a try!
As the weather’s starting to change and we welcome the new season, it’s getting more and more important to look up the day’s forecast before stepping outside. While those in the southern hemisphere may be dreading the cooler days of winter that are now just a few short months away, we here in the northern hemisphere are in fear of quite the opposite.
Luckily, there are plenty of weather apps and widgets available on Android to keep you up to date with your region’s weather information. Heck, even Google Now has a weather card that pops up whenever the weather changes. However, some of us want something a bit more powerful, and for that, XDA Senior Member sylsau created LiveWeather.
LiveWeather is a fancy weather app that displays current weather data such as temperature and conditions. These additional conditions include humidity, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure. LiveWeather also gives extended forecasts (along with high/low charts) for temperature. It also allows you to see weather throughout the world, by continent, city, or country. The data is displayed graphically or numerically, overlaid atop a geographical map. And finally, the app also offers three aesthetically pleasing clock and weather widgets to add some nice bling to your home screen.
If you’ve wanted a really nice weather application, you should give LiveWeather a try. Make your way over to the application thread to get started.
March 22, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re a power user running Linux or a BSD-based operating system such as FreeBSD or Mac OS X, you are probably family with the popular Conky system stats applet. The free and open source app is highly customizable, and it allows users to monitor many system variables such as CPU utilization, memory and swap usage, temperatures, and much more.
Although there are more than a few stats widgets available for the Android platform, wouldn’t it be nice if something aimed at replicating Conky’s functionality existed for Android? Now there is, thanks to XDA Senior Member torch2424‘s app Stats Monitor Widget.
Stats Monitor Widget is a minimally styled Android Stats widget that displays various system properties such as battery, CPU utilization, system uptime, free memory, and more. It’s both minimally clean and customizable, as you can remove unwanted items from being displayed.
If you have been after a constantly updating stats monitor for your home screen, you should take a look at Stats Monitor Widget. Head over to the application thread to get started.
March 22, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Sure, there aren’t actually any Android Wear devices available to consumers just yet, but here on XDA, that’s just a minor inconvenience. In the past week, we’ve talked quite a bit about Wear. We covered the platform’s launch (and subsequent creation of forums), as well as how to root the emulator, a system dump, and we’ve even a closer look at how “open” Wear really is.
However, we’re not the only ones interested in the platform. Application developers are also showing interest in the platform, and many have already begun work on applications for Google’s attempt at your wrist. The application Pocket recenlty became one of the first to add support for Wear, but independent developers are at it as well. XDA Senior Member x102x96x is one such developer.
CameraWear is a very simple application that allows you to open your default camera app remotely via Android Wear. In addition to CameraWear, the developer also created a demo application that shows off notifications on Wear. It first shows an initial notification with text. This notification can be updated along with a counter, and it can also be expanded to show a summary of the notification, actions that can be taken, and open the original notification-invoking application.
While these mini apps aren’t really inherently “useful” now, it’s fun to see development progressing for Wear. However, the real star of the show is that the developer shows users how to setup the Wear Emulator and get up and running testing Wear apps. Furthermore, he plans on sharing the source code to help others looking to break into the world of Wear.
Make your way to the application thread to get started.
March 22, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
A little over a week ago, we took a quick look at the innovative application Recent by XDA Forum Member uuOuu. As its name implies, Recent brings all of your recently accessed applications, photos, and downloads to your fingertips with a handy and user-friendly radial menu.
Given the application’s innovative concept and brilliant execution, Recent amassed quite a loyal following of users. But while Recent offers substantial added functionality, many users found themselves unable to use the application due to its power demands.
After investigating the matter, uuOuu quickly got to the root of the matter and was able to cut down his app’s power consumption dramatically. And for the benefit of other developers struggling to optimize power usage in their apps, uuOuu chronicled his sleuth work. The applications used were WakeLock Detector and DU Battery Saver.
If you’re an app developer and you find your app consuming a bit more battery usage than you’d like, head over to uuOuu’s power consumption thread to learn how he optimized his app’s power consumption.
March 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Two days ago, we talked about how Google added a couple new voice commands to its Android Search app as part of this week’s Update Wednesday. The new commands allowed Search to record a video and take a picture just by saying either phrase into Google Voice Search.
Naturally, the new commands added on Wednesday were simply taken care of through Google’s back-end, as no official Android application update was pushed out to end-user devices. Now, Google has added one more command in a similar manner, and it’s quite a bit more useful than Wednesday’s glorified party trick.
As of today, you can now tell the Google Search app to “Play some music,” and it will load a “surprise playlist just for you.” Of course, what Google means by this is that saying this voice commands launches “I’m Feeling Lucky Radio.” This normally assembles a list of songs from music you have stored on your device or have uploaded to Google Play Music, but if you are an All Access subscriber, the music will include anything related to your selected favorites and song history.
It’s nice to see additional functionality added to Google Search. And while Wednesday’s new commands were largely just for novelty, this command could be legitimately useful if, for instance, you use your Android device as a media hub in your car.