XDA News Articles

Mathew Brack · Jul 29, 2015

Making Your Own Xposed Modules Is Easier Than You Think

Close to the heart of XDA is the Xposed Framework by Rovo89. Most of us will have used it but you may feel that the module repository is missing something. We have the solution with several guides aimed at getting you started to build your own modules, something that may be daunting but can open an entire new field of development with a little time and effort.     Where better to start than at the beginning? Rovo89 has created a straight forward tutorial for getting started with development for Xposed....

Tomek Kondrat · Dec 26, 2014

Learn to Sync Files Between Android And PC with Unison

Dropbox and similar cloud services are great if you’re planning to keep your files synchronized across your devices. Like almost everything, cloud syncing has its pros and cons. One major disadvantage h0wever is speed, because you're using Web protocols and transfers to keep your files up to date. One of the greatest alternatives to cloud is SSH, which allows you to manage your files on many devices within your WI-Fi network (or almost any device running with an SSH client installed)....

Tomek Kondrat · Dec 23, 2014

Easily Extract Lollipop Dat Files

With each iteration of Android, our favorite mobile OS expands and ROM sizes progressively increase. This is in addition to the bloatware added by OEMs that often increases the size of ROMs to a gigabyte or more. Downloading a firmware of that size is problematic, especially in countries with limited data speeds or caps. To make life easier for end users, Google decided to use the compressible EXT4 file system, which replaced the extracted partitions. While it proved beneficial in various regards,...

Tomek Kondrat · Dec 9, 2014

Pimp Your Xperia with Impressive Animations

Unlike Apple's iOS or Microsoft's Windows Phone, Android gives users tons of customization options. Almost every element of the user interface can be changed through third party applications, Xposed Framework modules, or simply through reverse engineering. Additionally, many OEMs also apply their own custom UIs in order to make their devices seem unique. One OEM with quite a lot in terms of skin customization is Sony. Animations and fancy transitions are just a small part of Sony's UI tweaks. If...

Tomek Kondrat · Dec 4, 2014

Learn How to Fix the FUSE Time Stamp Issue

Google's implementation of FUSE is far from perfect. Normally, on-file actions like copying or moving a file can be done without changing the time stamp. This is vital to make backup-on-sync reliable. Most currently available OSes are able to preserve file timestamps, but this is unfortunately not the case in Android. The problem was recognized a long time ago and has existed in the source code since 2009. Google still hasn't provided an appropriate fix, so users have either to...

Tomek Kondrat · Nov 21, 2014

How to Set a Video as Your Boot Animation

If you wish to make your phone truly unique, you may want to consider adding a nice boot animation. A boot animation is nothing more than a set of PNG files that are played one after another at the desired frame rate, while the operating system loads. Various OEMs put their own animations and often add sound during the boot process to make their devices cooler. Splitting one video into so many single files reduces fluidity, because device has to...

GermainZ · Nov 7, 2014

How to Use a Custom Toolchain for ROMs and Kernels

Toolchains are basically a bundle of development tools that are used in a chain (the output of one tool becomes the input for the next, and so on) in order to compile source code (in this case, ROMs and kernels). While the Android NDK toolchain (which comes with GCC, among other tools) is usually used for this, developers can also use other toolchains if they wish. These can include optimizations focusing on performance or stability, for example. Linaro and SaberMod...

Tomek Kondrat · Nov 2, 2014

Learn How to Make Your Own Theme

You don't need graduate degrees in the arts and computer science to create your own theme. Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of the talent and a decent graphics editing program. When you are beginning your journey in theming, you can choose one of two paths: modify an existing theme using APK Tool or write one from scratch using one of available IDEs like Android Studio or Eclipse. For most, the first option seems to be the easier...

Tomek Kondrat · Nov 2, 2014

Basics about APK Files and What You Can Do with Them

What's an APK? This question may sound trivial, but it's actually significant. You may think that an APK is just the format of those fancy files that you can install on your phone. You'd be right, but there is a while lot more that can be done with Android's application format in addition to (hopefully not blindly) installing them. Android applications are nothing more than archives with various folders encrypted during the compilation process. With proper tools like the legendary...

Tomek Kondrat · Oct 31, 2014

Add Frequency Bands to Your Qualcomm Device

Those of you who travel quite a bit undoubtedly own more than one device due to frequency band restrictions put in place by both carriers / OEMs, as well as local regulatory agencies. It's common to find regional variants of pretty much the same devices from Sony, LG, Samsung, and other OEMs. And of course, these companies want to turn a profit, so they often sell multiple devices rather than one that can switch between all of its hardware-supported frequency bands. Surprisingly,...

Tomek Kondrat · Oct 18, 2014

Add Emoji Support to Your Jelly Bean Xperia Device

Full emoji support was implemented in KitKat. It’s clear that not every device, even with a proper hardware configuration, received an update to this OS. Thus, emoji has been impossible for many to use fully. Luckily, the community can find a solution for almost everything, and we have seen it so many times through the years. The same applies to emoji on Jelly Bean ROMs. Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer niaboc79, users can send emoji smileys on Sony devices with...

Tomek Kondrat · Oct 4, 2014

Learn How To Make Your Own Small App

Floating applications are very popular--not only here at XDA, but in Play Store as well. One of the first OEM that used floating application in its stock firmware was Sony. Small Apps are independent applications that can be used on top of other applications. For example, you can run a small calculator and perform some calculations while browsing a web page. Those apps can be launched from the small apps bar available by pressing the navigation button. Small App can...

Tomek Kondrat · Sep 26, 2014

Learn How to Build Ubuntu Kernels with Comprehensive Guide

Linux is an operating system that many of you folks love and use on daily basis. It's free, powerful, and quite a configurable operating system that can compile Android without much effort. One of the most popular Linux distributions is Ubuntu. Unlike Arch, which is a bleeding-edge distribution, Ubuntu uses tested packages that have been added by maintainers. This type of distribution is called cutting-edge. Ubuntu comes with quite old Linux kernel (3.13), while the newest stable release is 3.16.3....

Tomek Kondrat · Sep 23, 2014

Add Some Power to First Generation Snapdragon CPUs

Some older devices still remain very popular. Phones like the HTC Desire, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, and HTC HD2 are considered legendary and have many developers still actively working on ROMs, kernels, and tweaks to keep these old devices kicking. All of these old devices feature the first generation Snapdragon SoC with the Adreno 200 GPU. And although top-notch back in its time, the SoC has long since been forgotten by all but just a few who keep these older devices. It goes without saying that devices that...

Tomek Kondrat · Sep 18, 2014

Add the Xperia Z2 Lock Screen to Your Favorite KitKat ROM

Almost every OEM adds its own unique flair to their stock firmwares. While some of them focus rather on applications and small tweaks to enhance user's experience, others bring the level of customization to the next level. Without a doubt, Sony prefers to do the latter, because their UI differs greatly from the AOSP-like firmwares in almost any kind. With the release of the Sony Xperia Z2, Sony added an incredibly good looking lock screen. Basically when you tap on the screen, small...

Tomek Kondrat · Sep 12, 2014

Learn How to Easily Set Up a Gerrit on Your PC

If you follow the custom ROM world closely, you have certainly noticed that some developers or teams use Gerrit to verify and implement the code that goes into their ROMs. It's a popular way of controlling and reviewing code, as well as enhancing it, since the commits can be reviewed by other developers. Incoming commits can be merged, rejected or amended and then merged. This all combines to make the project better. This handy tool can be hosted by almost any PC running Linux....

Tomek Kondrat · Sep 11, 2014

Remove the Band Restrictions from Various Qualcomm Devices

Every country is different, and I'm not referring to the British having steering wheels on the right side of their cars. Sometimes, you might go to another country and find that your phone does not work. This is often caused by OEMs blocking the available or usable frequencies on the device. So called bands differ in every part of the world. For example in North America, GSM operates on the primary communication bands 850 MHz and 1900 MHz, while in Canada 1900 MHz...

Tomek Kondrat · Sep 1, 2014

Fix KitKat WiFi Drops on Your Own

Despite introducing many useful features and overall great performance and enhancements, Android 4.4 KitKat is not without its flaws. For many, it's not quite the most stable OS released by Google, and one of the “features” that drive people crazy is the intermittent WiFi drop. It unfortunately hasn't been fixed in the various releases since KitKat's original unveiling. If you suffer from intermittent WiFi connection drops, XDA Recognized Developer M_J_Nazari provides a solution for this rather frustrating situation. In many cases, the whole issue is caused by...

Tomek Kondrat · Aug 27, 2014

Add Bits and Pieces of Honami to Your Current ROM

In the last few months, we've talked about quite a few Sony Honami-related projects. The Sony Xperia Z1 is quite a popular device, due no doubt to its aesthetic UI that has been ported to other devices by many developers and themers. Changing the look of your device's framework to match the Honami isn't as difficult as it may initially look. The situation gets even easier with a guide by XDA Senior Member KuaQ, which thoughtfully explains the process of transformation. KuaQ's guide is place where you can...

Tomek Kondrat · Aug 25, 2014

Change Your Sony Xperia Device’s UI

Nothing tastes better than the product of your own hard work. This applies everywhere, from cooking to Android, where you can modify almost every element of the UI either by editing smali code or by using an Xposed Framework modules. XDA is your source for a limitless supply of guides explaining what needs to be done in order to achieve the desired effect on your device. One such guide was recently published by XDA Senior Member DanielFlorin who showed what could be done with the Sony Xperia phones to make...