August 13, 2014 By: Faiz Malkani
File editing has never been one of the strong suites of smartphones and tablets for a variety of reasons–screen size and a lack of a physical keyboard being two predominant issues. While one can correctly state that some devices can fit the bill and handle a file editor, such as the hybrid tablets with physical keyboards or any other tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard, there’s still the issue of the absence of a powerful text editor, similar to the much acclaimed Notepad++ that desktop operating systems enjoy. Or at least, this was an issue.
In a well executed encapsulation of features offered by desktop file editors, XDA Senior Member Vlad Mihalachi has published a powerful file editor tool titled Turbo Editor. As expected of any powerful file editor, Turbo Editor offers features such as syntax highlighting, line numbering, web viewing, and more. And to top off this strong array of features, it offers a clean Material Design-like interface which lends an appealing aura, usually lacking in editors.
Head on over to the Turbo Editor application thread to get started with supercharged file editing, or view the source code to see how it works.
August 12, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just as was the case yesterday when we talked about unit conversion apps, there are dozens upon dozens of calculator apps available for Android. Due to this vast selection, there are different apps to pretty much fill any niche imaginable within the category. If you want a slightly more advanced calculator than the stock offering, you’re good to go. Want one that floats? Look no further. Want to calculate your wealth? No problemo. Want to figure out how many more miles you can drive before you’re left calling AAA? Again, no big deal. And if you want a calculator whose actual purpose is to hide your stash of naughty images, we’ve got you covered once again. With so many options already available, you’d think that there would be no room for a new calculator to jump in–but you’d be wrong.
If you’re looking for a good looking calculator that follows Google’s Material Design UI guidelines as much as possible, you may want to check out Numix calculator by XDA Forum Member paolorotolo. This calculator is based on the stock calculator app from CyanogenMod, but with a massive UI overhaul to make it much easier and more rewarding to use.
In addition to looking pretty, this calculator is highly functional. It allows you to swipe from the left and right of the screen to access advanced function panes, as well as use the action overflow button in the top left of the input box. It even lets you plot your results when required. And best of all, it’s fully open source, with all the relevant code available on the developer’s Github.
If you’ve been looking for a stylish, Material Design compliant calculator app, look no further. Head over to the Numix Calculator application thread to get your calculator on.
August 12, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We’re one day shy of Google’s traditional Update Wednesday, but despite this, the first party app updates for the week have already started rolling in. So far, we have a rather substantial update to the Google+ app, as well as minor incremental updates to Chrome beta, Search, and YouTube. And like always, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs for your sideloading pleasure.
First off, we have the most significant update, Google+. Today’s update brings us to version 126.96.36.199928916 (up from 188.8.131.52642489 just over two months ago). As you would expect in a jump from 4.4 to 4.5, today’s update packs quite a bit of new functionality. Most notably, today’s update brings the ability to cast a feed of your circles’ photos, videos, and more directly to your TV using the Google Chromecast. This playback feed can then be controlled (paused, advanced, returned) by the client app on your phone or tablet. The ability to Cast your Stream seems to be account based, so not everyone who updates to 4.5 will have the option. But since the APK is now rolling out via the Play Store, we can’t imagine that it’ll be too long before all accounts have the ability to do so.
In addition to the massive Google+ update, we have some relatively minor updates to Chrome Beta, Google Search, and the YouTube app. These bring the apps up to Chrome Beta 37.0.2062.71, YouTube 184.108.40.206, and Search 220.127.116.117016 (ARM only). Chrome Beta’s update brings a small menu animation tweak and address bar completion arrows, and the YouTube update appears to have solved an issue when used in conjunction with certain GAPPs packages. Search just appears to be simple bugfix updates based on version number changes and lack of user-facing feature changes, but as always, any new update is better than none.
As always, these updates are gradually making their way out to consumer devices via Google Play Store. But of course, not every device will get the updates in the initial wave. Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the updates on our Google Drive account for your early access, sideloading pleasure:
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the tip, APKs, and info on what's changed!]
Init.d plays an important role in custom ROM development. In short, it allows the execution of scripts upon every boot. It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple SD Card mount script or a rather complex set of performance tweaks–init.d is often used to initialize them. If your kernel has support for init.d built in, it executes these scripts every time.
Unfortunately, not every device is rooted and not every stock kernel supports init.d by default. This may leave many wishing for the ability to run various scripts on boot. Luckily, XDA Recognized Developer bartito has prepared an application that runs init.d scripts on every device. This simple app allows you to define a folder on your SD Card that contains all your initialization scripts and executes them after a successful boot. Some scripts require root access, such as those that change various values in the kernel, so you obviously need to be aware of the privileges required by the scripts you wish to run.
Usage of the app is very simple. Basically all that you need to do is copy your scripts to your SD Card, select a folder in the app, and put a checkmark on the “run at boot” option from within the app.
If your kernel lacks init.d support or perhaps you prefer to keep your system in a vanilla state without losing equivalent functionality to init.d, this app may be exactly what you are looking for! You can grab the latest version by visiting the Init.d for normal users application thread.
August 11, 2014 By: Samantha
One of the biggest setbacks Microsoft is facing with Windows Phone during a time when Android dominates the landscape is their adamant, yet honorable, willingness to resist anything Google-related. Microsoft influenced devices such as the Nokia Lumia, and even the heavily modified Android-based Nokia X family, are void of any and all Google services–with Microsoft and Nokia counterparts filling in the space. For the busybodies who rely much on Google services such as Google Tasks, this can be quite the inconvenience.
Thankfully however, XDA Senior Member mckoo has developed an app for WP8 called GTasker that allows you to manage your Google Tasks on your Windows Phone 8 device. Its features are extensive, including:
Of course, being a WP8 app, not all Windows influences have been removed. Instead, the app features the rather pleasant Metro design language that WP users have come to love. And if you don’t like how the app looks, there is support for dark and light themes as well. Additionally, GTasker comes in English, Chinese, and German, but you are free to translate the app into another language with the spreadsheet provided in the application thread.
If you would like to give GTasker a try, be sure to head over to the GTasker app thread for more information.
August 11, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
There is absolutely no shortage of unit converters on the Android platform. In fact, ever since our phones were graced with the awesomeness that is Google Now / Voice Search, we’ve been able to convert units on the fly using nothing but the soothing sounds of our own voice. But even though converting units by voice is convenient in certain circumstances, it’s not always the most precise. Because of this, there is still certainly a place for dedicated unit conversion apps.
With so many good unit conversion app options already available, any newcomer into the arena needs to bring something substantial to the table. This is exactly what XDA Forum Member SniperDW with his latest application, S Converter. The first thing you will notice when you fire up the app is its remarkably clean and user-friendly UI. It features Material Design visual flair, including a floating action button and a prominent action bar with support for a translucent status bar. This app’s look is also customizable, with both light and dark themes being available. You can even hide unused units to lessen the visual clutter. Next, you’ll quickly find that the actual conversion functionality is quite refined. You can combine units of different systems into a single unit, choose between different grouping units, create custom units, and much more. The app’s currency converter even supports over 40 currencies!
If you want a great looking and general purpose conversion app, S Converter is the way to go. You can get started by heading over to the S Converter application thread.
August 10, 2014 By: Samantha
One of the perks of having a smartwatch is the flexibility you have with regards to its aesthetics, and in particular, the watch face. And with Android Wear out for a few months now, there’s already an explosion of apps geared towards customization appearing in the Google Play Store. However, if one were to have the ability to create his or her own watch face, the possibilities for watch face customization become pretty much endless.
With this said, XDA Forum Member expressive87 has developed an app for Android Wear called WearFaces, which lets you easily create your own custom watch face. WearFaces makes this possible by letting you design the clock’s dial, hour hand, minute hand, and the watch face’s dimmed state. With only these items defined, you can transfer them onto your device, manually select them from the WearFaces app, and hit “Send to Wear.” After that, you’ll be able to select and apply your custom watch face. Additionally, because of its rather ‘open’ nature, you can also simply download watch faces made by other users and use them yourself.
From rookies to end users, WearFaces will definitely be a useful app for anyone looking for an effortless and convenient way of crafting their own custom watch faces for their Android Wear device. If you can’t wait to give this a try, head over to the WearFaces application thread to get started.
August 10, 2014 By: Samantha
A couple of months ago, Microsoft released Project My Screen for Windows Phone devices. This app, as its name suggests, lets you project the screen of your WP device onto an external display, such as your PC monitor. Requiring you to connect the devices with a USB cable, this was offered as a solution for those who were not able to do the same wirelessly. Project My Screen is a welcomed app for anyone who wants to view their phone’s screen on a larger display, but it didn’t offer a very simple way of recording.
XDA Forum Member hks25258 has managed to reverse engineer the project and integrate a video recording function to make it much easier for WP8 users to record their phone’s screen. With video recording in H.264/MP4 format, this new feature means you no longer have to use another third party software to record your WP8 device’s screen on your PC. In addition to this, this client is also open source, so if you want to include some new features and functions, you can download and play with the code as much as you want.
This new client and the link to its source code can be found at the original thread, so if you want to check it out, head over to the Screen Projection Client thread.
August 9, 2014 By: Samantha
Grocery shopping isn’t the most riveting activity one can think of. You grab your list of things you need to purchase, drive to the nearest supermarket, and buy your groceries. Perhaps you have your shopping list on your phone, written in a simple notepad app, or maybe you prefer a certain app because of its features and functions. If you’re an owner of a Windows Phone 8 device and are looking for shopping list app, you may want to check out Speech Shopper.
Developed by XDA Recognized Developer sensboston, Speech Shopper is shopping list app with one main feature that makes it stand out from the rest of the market: speech input. Having to simply dictate what foodstuffs and other groceries are needed as they come to your mind is perhaps much easier and more convenient than having to type them out when shuffling through your fridge and cupboards, although text input is still an option. Additionally, Speech Shopper’s user interface is both logical navigation and easy on the eye with its simple and clean look. Due to limitations of Microsoft’s speech, however, some words and names may not be recognized, so you may have to type in some of the more ‘creative’ product names.
If you’ve been looking out for a capable app to serve as your shopping assistant on your WP8 device, definitely give Speech Shopper a go. Head your way over to the Speech Shopper application thread for more information.
The vast world of something as simple as file managers has evolved substantially since the long gone days of Windows Mobile. Our current file managers do so much more than show us with pretty graphics where our stuff is located. With the right permissions, file managers in Android can allow the user to perform everything from file maintenance to categorizing, and even uninstalling system apps. Earlier this year, we spoke about a file manager here on the XDA Portal that goes by the name of Tomi File Manager. Not long after, the app grew and evolved into a far more sophisticated tool, and because of the work put into it, we decided to look at it once again. It is now over a month later, and we visit this app once again only to see that XDA Senior Member uuOuu has been putting some overtime on this wonderful app.
This new iteration of Tomi file manager has been blessed with more root level privileges such as the ability to uninstall some of that good old fashioned stock apps (also known as bloatware) that our beloved carriers seem to enjoy trying to shove down our throats. Also, the app’s UI was somewhat revamped and has an easier to use menu bar to improve handling of files. A few other updates also include the ability to manage files in Dropbox, 7zip management, more languages, and even now supports handling of files via SMB and FTP. Lastly, if you are an Instagram user, you can now use Tomi to let Instagram pic the pictures by using its interface.
This app is a great example of the developer listening to feedback from users. If you look at the second post in the thread, you will see the results of polls created by the OP, which includes lists of all the things suggested by you (the users) to be implemented into the app. It is a constant work in progress and as you can tell, the feedback is what has made this app take off like it has. So, please stop by and see if you can think of something to make it even better. You can find more information in the Tomi File Manager app thread.
August 8, 2014 By: Samantha
The Modern UI design aesthetic seen clearly in Windows Phone has been subject to substantial amounts of both criticism and praise. The UI is a little unconventional in its method of navigation and aesthetics, and many felt it a bit strange when Microsoft introduced it onto PCs. However, it offers extremely clean visuals and a stylish appearance. In terms of aesthetics and customization, there’s really not much going on when compared to Android–monochromatic squares, rectangles of pre-selected shades, and a couple of default themes. But as we saw at the Build conference earlier this year, steps are being taken to make WP8.1 more customizable.
XDA Forum Member xiaoshatian seeks to change this look for the better with OneStart, a Windows Phone 8.1 app he developed, which packs a number of beautiful polychromatic themes and background customization options for your device’s Modern UI. It’s features include:
Windows Phone 8 users looking for a bit more customization will definitely appreciate the customization options of OneStart. If you are one of these users and are interested in checking this app out, head over to the OneStart app thread for more information.
August 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Perhaps the main reason why we all own smartphones nowadays is that we all wish to feel connected. This usually takes the form of staying connected with friends, family, coworkers, and so on–but we also often need to remain connected to the world as well. Many of us consequently use our devices to keep up to date with the latest goings-on in the world, with sports, and more. And because of this, there are dozens of apps available that help us find and consume interesting news, as quickly as possible.
Although there are tons of news apps out there, not all of them are terribly convenient. Google’s own News and Weather app offers basic functionality, but those looking to customize are left in the cold. Not all aftermarket options offer widgets or tie into Google News as a source, so that’s not ideal either. Luckily, XDA Senior Member luciferabby decided to create Feed.Me, which brings Google News to your home screen in an intelligent and efficient manner.
Feed.Me is a simple and cleanly designed news widget that uses your browser history to collect and store Google Search topics. It then accumulates Google News items related to these topics. This functionality works both with Google Searches and Chrome. To use the app, all you need to do is add the widget to your home screen, and it’ll do the rest. You can also manually specify topics if you are so inclined.
If you’ve been looking for a great looking and highly functional news widget offering, head over to the Feed,Me application thread and give this a whirl.
August 7, 2014 By: egzthunder1
Our phones have, over the years, become so much more than just a way to communicate with others. They are our gates into the Neverland of cyberspace, they are our trusty companions, reminding us that we need to get up for that important meeting, they are our way to ford downtime when we can do nothing else than wait. However, of all the aforementioned, the two things that people use the most are the camera and camcorder capabilities. Selfies, precious family moments, and video are but some of the on board tools that our devices offer. The latter capability, video, is a great tool to have in such a small form factor.
With all of this said, video recording on our mobile devices, unlike their full fledged counterparts, has a major Achilles heel: If the device dies while recording, you can kiss the moments goodbye. The issue is that the file becomes corrupted when the process suddenly stops, and like any other corrupted file, it cannot be opened–unless of course, it can be fixed. If you have ever found yourself in this situation, XDA Forum Member iwobanas has something that might be able to aid you.
Video Repair is an application whose main objective is to, as its name properly describes, repair video files in your Android device. It does this by using other video files as reference. The only real requirement is that the reference video must be taken with the same exact settings as the one being repaired, which is not that hard considering that most folk won’t really mess with video settings in their devices. The dev has, so far, implemented this to work with video files of H264, AAC and MPEG4-SP formats. However, he does state that if there is enough interest in other video formats, that might be added at a later time.
As per the dev’s own admission, the app’s UI needs some TLC, but the app itself is functional enough to deem a release. Aside from that, the dev is looking for feedback on new features, bug reports, or really anything that pops into your head (regarding his app, of course). Have fun recovering all those long lost or forgotten video files and enjoy your trip down memory lane. You can find more information in the Video Repair app thread.