November 24, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
The flagship LG G2 was released not too long ago. Powerful hardware—almost identical to its younger sibling, the Google Nexus 5—places G2 in the top league of Android devices. But while the G2 packs great camera hardware, the stock camera software is a bit less than ideal.
A camera mod released by XDA Recognized Contributor Jishnu Sur™ improves the photo quality significantly. For example, the stock camera app shoots video at 14 FPS in low light, which results in a choppy picture. After the mod, the framerate is back at 30.
Increased low light video FPS is just one of the many improvements. A detailed technical changelog is available in the thread. With this mod, the G2′s camera works like it should have from the beginning. Of course, it’s possible to revert back to stock camera application. Jishnu Sur™ was kind enough to provide a flashable zip that restores the original app.
October 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is latest and greatest phablet in the Samsung’s Galaxy Note line. It comes from the factory with many neat features. However, here at XDA, we don’t just want a normal device. We want to customize our device to get even more power, functionality, and great features.
In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK presents three mods that he’s installed on his Samsung Galaxy Note 3 using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. These mods include Fixing the Titanium Backup Issues, Getting the Floating Pen Windows on any App, and performing a Region Unlock. Check out this video.
As you may all be aware, plenty of mods are available for the picking that offer customized settings menus. Usually, they include the addition of the standard CPU frequency settings, on-screen buttons, and a bit of shifting here and there of the settings layout. However, it’ll still be nice to know the process behind such mods, either for curiosity’s sake or because the available offerings are just not clicking with what you had in mind.
Well, XDA Recognized Themer RomWiz brings you one step closer with a guide teaching folks how to customize the settings menu with the addition of shortcuts to apps on an Android 4.0+ device. Requiring APKtool and Notepad++ ready at hand, RomWiz guides you through the way with clear, understandable steps, from the initial decompilation of the settings.apk, to including a custom app icon, and the recompilation.
Visual learners will be glad to know that the tutorial is very much visually orientated, with each step accompanied by screenshots and points of interest. Furthermore, RomWiz has even created and attached the guide in video form to make sure you don’t miss a beat when you’re going through the procedure yourself. A generic zip file has also been conveniently provided, which when you have placed your customized settings.apk in it, can be flashed to the appropriate directory through a custom recovery.
If you would like to learn more, head over to the original thread for both the written and video guide.
July 1, 2013 By: Samantha
Feeling that there are some settings missing in the settings of your device? Or do you think some settings are a bit too tedious to reach? Perhaps the overall layout is just bugging you a little? You’ve seen it done in custom ROMs, but never really knew how to do it yourself. Well, good news, because with the help of XDA Recognized Contributor Quinny899‘s tutorial, you can now switch up the settings layout to your heart’s content.
Sorted into different categories of your intended modification, the guide covers:
Each category’s difficulty is conveniently rated out of 5 stars, and if you come across hiccups where your APK doesn’t recompile or your new settings menu does not appear, there’s a general troubleshooting section. Examples of the necessary code edits and additions accompany each step of the guide, and Quinny899 has also provided a download of icons of various sizes you may want to use.
So if this interests you and you would like to learn more, visit the original thread for more information.
[Screenshot courtesy of Diaz1999]
If you’ve only recently made the transition from hardware or capacitive navigational buttons to on-screen buttons like I have, you may have found the virtual buttons to be quite obstructive and intrusive, for a lack of better words. If you own either the Sony Xperia Z, T, TX, or V; there is now a guide that allows you to not only make the on-screen buttons transparent, but also the status bar if you wish.
Written by XDA Forum Member Spaun_Studio, the guide is relatively simple and straightforward, detailing the required process for transparent virtual buttons and status bar with clear and direct steps. Users must decompile the android.policy.jar and SystemUI.apk file with a tool such as APKtool. From there, users edit, remove, and add a couple of lines in various .xml and .smali files, and recompile them once completed. Each step is accompanied visually with examples of code, with a convenient color coding system to aid users with finding the specific codes that require editing.
We always love guides that teach users how to mod their phones themselves—not only because they encourage users to learn, but also because of the unrestricted flexibility they enable. In this case, users can freely change a couple lines of code to have whatever degree of transparency they fancy.
Of course, following the instructions I have only briefly outlined would would most certainly result in an unwelcome outcome (although you’re more than welcome to try), so it’s best for you to visit the guide for a successful modification.
…Well almost everyone. We all know that PureView and UltraPixels are on the hardware side of things, and can’t really be replicated through software, but maybe we can get sort of close via software, right? This is exactly what XDA Senior Member Xperia-Ray has done with the mod posted in the XDA forums along with a guide on how to emulate the results with the camera app Vignette.
What Xperia-Ray has essentially done and what the guide details is decompiling Vignette with APKtool and adding a couple of lines of code in the ‘Vignette.smali-‘ file, subsequently resizing the picture from the original, full sized image down to about 50% height and width. This modification then displays finer and sharper images by packing more details into the smaller output image size. Xperia-Ray details each step with clearness and straightforwardness aided with examples of code and links to external guides and tools helpful to the process.This guide was initially written for devices with 8 MP cameras, but now will also work with other MPs with the same process.
Judging solely on the before-and-after pictures in 2 MPs by Xperia-Ray, this mod has a positive effect, with finer and clearer per-pixel details in the image. However do keep in mind that results may be different depending on the camera specs of different manufacturers. A multitude of devices have been reported to work with this mod, including the Xperia Arc, Ray, Mini, and Galaxy S3.
If you would like to give this a try, head over to the original thread for more details.
[Picture on the left is unedited, 2MP photo, and picture on the right is 8MP photo compressed down to 2MP by mod]
Update: The thread has now been deleted at the request of the OP.
Modifying and theming your Android device are both key tasks to enriching your Android experience, which is probably why members of the XDA community absolutely love modding and theming their devices. Today, we’ll be going over the basics of creating your own mod and theme for your Android device.
To get a good grasp on the fundamentals of modding, it’s recommended to refer to the Zip-based rom tweaking guide found at XDA-U. The guide lists what tools you need, and goes on to break down exactly what each folder of a zip-based rom consist of, and what function of the device each folder is required for. Examples include the all important /System folder where the majority of your operating system is located, as well as /Framework which houses the core system framework apps that act as the ‘system skeleton’. The guide also points out exactly what folder, app and file is safe to change, and what possible modifications and customization can be achieved by doing so. This is especially important as changing, deleting or adding files may, in many cases, brick your device, such as with a bootloop.
The guide also details what you can do with the Update-script file located in META-INF. Using the edify language, the guide defines what the most common update-script commands are and outlines what they do. It then goes on to describe what the boot.img is, and how to create your own flashable zip file.
The introductory guide to basic ROM theming guides you on how to proceed with theming your ROM or device. It is to be stressed that a high level of competence with Photoshop or GIMP is required, especially if you are attempting to craft a complete theme. Getting a grip on how Android styles are defined in the XML format is also necessary, and an external link to a very thorough guide is provided. The next stage is the actual modification of aspects of the system’s graphics, requiring the decompiling and recompiling of system apps with tools such as apktool and AndroidSuite, which in most cases, tend to be SystemUI.apk and framework-res.apk. Again, the guide provides a basic outline of the process with external correlative links to more comprehensive and specific guides. Once this process is done, create a flashable zip with the modified files and flash the file or, if the modified apk is not a system app, sign the apk and flash or push it to the appropriate folder.
Creating your own mod and theme can be quite a complicated process, but with it comes countless possibilities to personalize your device to suite your specific taste. If you are interests, make sure to head over to the respective guides on XDA-University for a more detailed and complete learning experience.
If you would like to contribute to XDA-University or get involved in any sort of way, feel free to contact us.
It’s fair to say that unless you’ve spent some time digging around inside APK files and making some heavy duty modifications to apps or the Android OS itself, you probably haven’t come face-to-face with a .smali file in its natural environment. They are a common component in many of the most popular Android tweaks and hacks out there such as adding toggles, extending the power menu, and adding CRT screen off animation.
The files themselves can often be found nestled inside APKs and become available for modification once that particular file is decompiled with a utility such as APKTool. Unfortunately, these smali files sometimes have a tendency to squirrel themselves away inside the classes.dex of a JAR file and make themselves a little more awkward and time consuming to reach and manipulate. Following on from his recent guide to ADB commands, XDA Senior Member iamareebjamal has put together a one-click tool that will allow you to decompile the classes.dex from any APK or JAR file with ease.
Simply place the relevant file in the input folder, decompile, make any necessary changes to the newly available files, recompile, and check the output folder for your modified version. It’s as simple as that. Obviously there are a few prerequisites to this, namely some kind of personal computing device running Windows, Java (ideally in software and liquid form), the relevant files and tools (notepad++, an archive manager etc), and some idea of what you’d actually like to achieve as the end result. If you have all of those at your disposal, this could prove to be a great little time saver and well worth a visit to the original thread.