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.
August 7, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
A quick search of the Google Play Store for a Reddit app, and you get a bunch of results. There are almost as many results as there are subreddits. The conundrum than for an Android Reddit app, is the same as for a subreddit, which one is most appealing to me? Which one best suits my interests and needs? Which one doesn’t suck?
XDA Senior Member Theworld2020 offers up an application that gives you a lag free experience for accessing Reddit on your Android device. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Pro Reader for Reddit. TK shows off the application, its uses, functionality and talks about his thoughts of the application. Check out this app review.
August 6, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s Wednesday, and you know what that (most likely, but not always) means. It’s time for another Google Update Wednesday. Although we had no formal Google Update Wednesday last week, the fine folks over at Mountain View haven’t forgotten about us. Today, we receive two moderately sized updates to Google Play music and YouTube, as well as a minor update to Google Hangouts.
First up, we have the update to YouTube, which actually started making its way out to consumer devices late last night. Coming in at version 18.104.22.168 (up from 5.7), today’s update brings a few new tricks to the table. Given the rather large version number jump, one would expect a major increase in user-facing features. This, however, is unfortunately not the case. That said, there are tweaks to Playlist handling, including a new “View All” playlists button in the “hamburger” slide-out menu that takes you to all of your playlists. Once there (or anywhere else with a playlist), you can now click on the three button context menu for that playlist and either save or share it.
Next, we have Google Play Music. Today’s update takes us to version 5.6.1616P.1323377, up from version 5.5 from a few months back. This update packs a bit more meat than the YouTube update, bringing several user-facing changes. Perhaps most noteworthy, version 5.6.1616P.1323377 brings major changes to the application’s widgets. There’s a new 1×1 “I’m Feeling Lucky” widget that corresponds with the music player app’s similarly named option. In addition, there is a new 3×1 widget with a cleaner and more aesthetically appealing color scheme, which can also be resized to 4×4 to display album art in addition to controls. Finally, the Download Queue area has been renamed to Manage Downloads, and it displays your free storage space in the top.
Finally, we have a minor update to Google Hangouts, which takes us to version 2.1.317 (up from 2.1.311 released two months ago). This update, unlike the first two, appears to be just a minor bugfix release. As such, there are no user-visible changes that can be seen. That said, an update’s an update, and we’ve got your fix as well.
All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our Google Drive account for your sideloading pleasure:
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the APKs!]
August 6, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
There are dozens upon dozens of replacement launchers available on Android. These all aim at making your applications (and other device features) a little bit easier and more convenient to access. But what about when you’re already in an application and I want to switch to a new app? Normally, you’d have to return to home, find the new app, and finally launch it. So in addition to traditional launchers, we’ve recently seen sidebar launchers grow rather popular since they allow users to launch apps directly from any running application. Now, XDA Forum Member ebtokyo wishes to take the concept of the sidebar launcher one step further with his new offering App Swap.
App Swap is, for all intents and purposes, a variation of the now popular sidebar launcher. It allows you to open any app from within any currently running app. But for all of its similarities, it differs from most other sidebar launcher offerings in a few key ways. For starters, it launches by hooking into the Android Intent reserved for summoning Google Voice Search. So if you’ve got software keys on your device (e.g. Nexus, recent Xperia, HTC One M8, Moto X and G, etc), all you need to do to launch App Swap is swipe up from the bottom of your screen. Then when this is done the first time, you can set App Swap as your default handler for the “swipe from bottom of the screen” action. Next, rather than simply displaying your apps in alphabetical order or by last access date, App Swap determines which applications you use the most and intelligently places your apps in an order tailored to you.
If you’ve been looking for a great sidebar launcher that offers a few new twists, head over to the App Swap application thread and give this a whirl.
August 6, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that earlier this year, we covered a simple Smai modification by XDA Recognized Themer and Contributor iamareebjamal that allowed users to change their battery stats color with a simple Smali modification. Such a modification isn’t exactly groundbreaking, as it just changes the way a certain (though often used) Settings page looks. However, as Google and OEMs place an increasing emphasis on UI styling, customizing a page’s look is more valuable than ever.
Let’s say that you wanted to go ahead and apply the modification listed above. Unfortunately, the guide only showed users how to do this through a Smali modification. While the modification itself isn’t anything difficult to perform, you still need to go through several steps before it can be applied. You have to pull your Settings.APK, decompile it, search for a particular location, and edit it to your liking. Then once that’s done, you have to push it back to your device, reboot, and hope that you like the color. If you’re not happy with the result, you have to repeat the whole, tedious process.
Luckily for those who don’t want to spend all day looking for the perfect color to match their particular mood, iamareebjamal went ahead and turned this into an Xposed Framework module that does the exact same thing–but with much greater convenience. The mod can be applied like any other Xposed module, and once enabled, you simply pick your color from the color wheel in the module itself. You can even set a particular transparency and compare the old and new colors directly.
If you have wanted to modify your Battery Stats color, head over to the X-Battery Stats module thread to give this a shot.