August 7, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The long-rumored Moto X was finally released last week to a relatively mixed reception from tech enthusiasts everywhere. While the device is far from a class-leading smartphone in terms of raw specifications, it carries with it some interesting features that set it apart from the sea of other Android device. One of these features is the new Active Display functionality, which is supposed to make special use of the device’s somewhat unique processor architecture and AMOLED display in order to periodically display critical information on the lock screen without any user input.
Due to the somewhat lackluster hardware specs, many of us will not buy the Moto X. However, that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t want Active Display on our own devices. If you’ve found yourself longing for the feature, XDA Forum Member niko001 may have the perfect application for you with ActiveNotifications.
ActiveNotifications simulates the Moto X feature on Android 4.3 devices by using the OS build’s new Notification Listener service. Because of this, battery drain on AMOLED devices running this modification shouldn’t be terribly high, regardless of processor architecture. As stated by the developer:
It uses the new “Notification Listener” service introduced in 4.3 and therefore has minimal impact on your battery. If you own an AMOLED-phone, the “battery saving” feature should work automatically, since black pixels are simply not turned on. The app comes with similar features as the Moto X Active Display (such as not turning on when the device is inside your pocket, purse, or lying face down). Unfortunately, relying on the 4.3 Notification Listener also means that you need a device running Android 4.3 (which are pretty scarce at the moment)…I’ll think about creating a version for older versions of Android if there is enough interest.
Essentially, this is only practical on AMOLED devices running Android 4.3. Currently, this brings the list of officially supported devices down to 2: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition. However, if you’re running a custom 4.3-based firmware and have an AMOLED panel, this may well be up your alley.
Head over to the original thread to get started.
One of the most popular forums on XDA as of late is the Samsung Galaxy S4 and its US carrier variants (T-Mobile, Sprint and their bootloader-locked siblings on AT&T and Verizon). This is with good reason, as the device boasts top-of-the-line specs as well as pretty heavy backing from a marketing machine around the world. What is of great benefit to you, the user community, is that accessories (like cases) are interchangeable across the variants. And that’s where our partner CruzerLite comes in.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, not only have you missed some great seasons of Doctor Who and The Big Bang Theory, but you’ve probably missed the emergence of CruzerLite as one of the premier suppliers for Android-related merchandise. Back in December of last year we embarked on a great partnership with them to make XDA-branded cases and apparel, with the express desire that we not make anything from the sales, instead passing on the savings to you – the community.
That continues with the recent addition of the Galaxy S4 to the lineup of molded-case offerings from CruzerLite in black, green, and smoke. Made of scratch-resistant material, these fit like a glove and protect your precious device from all manners of perils as a result of your travels. And while you may think this type of case would cost you a pretty penny, it can be yours for $14 plus flat rate shipping of $4. That’s an extraordinary deal for keeping your expensive device in pristine condition.
But CruzerLite hasn’t stopped there. They recently unveiled our own storefront found at store.xda-developers.com, making it simple for you to find all of the XDA-related merchandise you desire all in one place. So make sure you visit the storefront and show your support for XDA and CruzerLite.
August 5, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
An OTA update of Android 4.3 for the HTC One of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is available and so are the kernel sources. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is an article about the new Free Software Foundation completely open source mobile operating system and news about the Google Chromecast OTA that prevents rooting via the current method.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about not calling yourself a programmer. Later, he released a video talking about the pitfalls of creating an Android app. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 3, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Nine days after the release of Android 4.3, the update to the latest flavor of Jelly Bean has started rolling out to the Google Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One. Whether you’re building AOSP-derived ROMs for their vanilla variants or are simply an end user of their aforementioned Google Play editions, these are exciting times.
The two Google Play edition devices received their updates in a rather timely manner. Though the update wasn’t quite as expedient as it was on Nexus devices—most Nexus devices, that is. And as expected (and legally mandated by the GPL), the sources and framework files were made available before the OTA release.
Those looking to get in on the discussion should visit the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One forums. Inside, you’ll find various captured links for the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One OTAs. I’ve included one for each device in the links below. And if you’re looking to build a ROM for the devices from source, kernel sources and binaries for their respective devices can be found below as well.
HTC One – HTC Dev Center
Samsung Galaxy S 4
July 24, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is latest and greatest in the Samsung’s Galaxy S flagship line. It comes 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 four mods that he’s installed on his Samsung Galaxy S 4 using tools from the XDA Forums. These mods include Native Call Recording, Transparent Weather Widget, LMT (which he’s reviewed in the past), and Launcher 4×4. Check this video out.
We’ve all seen them before. You know, those fancy UI mockups that show how an app would look on a particular device. They not only help put the finishing touches on your app’s Play store listing, but they also help give your app a good first impression of being highly polished—before users even get a chance to try it out. And you know what they say about first impressions.
So how would one go about creating one of these mockups? Well, one way to do this would be to manually take an app screenshot and overlay it atop a Photoshopped image of your target device of choice. However, that could range in quality from excellent to laughable, depending on your skills with your favorite image editor.
This is where XDA Forum Member bydox comes in. Hoping to make the process more streamlined and increase overall end result quality, he released a set of minimal design mockups for five popular devices, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, Google Nexus 4, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920, and a certain unnamed fruitphone. All phones other than the Lumia and Nexus 4 are available in 2 colors: black and white. The Nexus 4 is only available in black, and the Lumia 920 is available in six different colors. The goods come in the form of 300 dpi PSD and PNG files, allowing you to export high resolution images once you’ve found what part of your app you want to highlight.
Head over to the original thread to start putting the finishing touches on marketing your app.
July 18, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer TK shows you how to root your Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Odin and a PC. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is the fourth iteration (obv.) of the Galaxy S flagship line. Many people say it’s just a small incremental update to the Samsung Galaxy S III. Anyway, it’s still a popular phone, and at XDA, we must root all the things.
TK presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your T-Mobile SGS4 variant using tools from the XDA Forums. The process is similar for other variants. You will just need to follow the links below for the specific files for your variant. So take a moment and check this video out.
July 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Camera App from the Samsung Galaxy Camera was ported to the Samsung Galaxy S 4. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article talking about the Android app to help you lose weight with a 7-minute workout and news about a new open source Gamework library for geolocation games.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. Jayce released a video talking about why new developers fail, and he asks if it is possible to be too old to become a developer. TK did an app review of Shooting Club 3: Zombies Attack! Pull up a chair and check out this video.
July 6, 2013 By: Samantha
One subtle, yet simple modification to your device is a different battery indicator. Probably one of the most looked at icons on your device, a different battery indicator can bring out pleasant changes to the overall look of your device. And although finding the right indicator and manually changing it is quite a simple process, it’ll still be great if they were all in one place.
Well, good news for users of Samsung devices, as you can now pick and choose all you like from a huge collection of hundreds of different battery indicator mods for your device. Compiled by XDA Senior Member NadMaj, the collection spans (almost) every different color, theme, and animation in the world of battery indicators—or at least enough to last you a lifetime. Previews accompany each one, and animations range from the classic battery and circular indicators to Pacman and Aliens, to Captain America’s Shield and the Pokemon Pokeballs. And even better, each battery indicator is packaged into a convenient flashable zip file, so say goodbye to manual drag and drops.
NadMaj has gathered 600 different battery indicators for Galaxy S3 and S4 users, while owners of the Note 2 and Note 10.1 have over 100 to choose from. So if this has gotten you interested, definitely head over to the original thread for the GS3, GS4, Note 2 or Note 10.1 for more.
July 5, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S 4‘s version of Android 4.3 leaked and XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire has rooted it! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about the new XDA Development Database and a guide giving a step-by-step process of removing bloatware from your Samsung Galaxy S 4.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video talking about Advanced Mobile Care, AdamOutler released a video unboxing of the GooPhone i5 that you cannot miss, and TK did an app review of Shooting Club 3: Zombies Attack! Pull up a chair and check out this video.
July 5, 2013 By: Samantha
Samsung seems to be the only company right now that is producing and marketing a smart camera actually worth considering. Running Android Jelly Bean with TouchWiz and packing 16 MP, the Galaxy Camera is essentially an Android device with a really good camera. So why not port the camera, or at least the camera app, to the company’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S 4?
Well this is exactly what XDA Senior Member LastStandingDroid has done. Compatible with GS4s running the Google Edition firmware, LastStandingDroid has managed to get the core functions of the Galaxy Camera up and running, as well as a couple other features, such as:
The port is still a work-in-progress. The rest of the Galaxy Camera’s features to be completed such as Best Face, Burst Shot, and Dual View, so the port may not be for everyone just yet. LastStandingDroid also acknowledges a bug where the boot animation will be disabled when the port is installed, an issue spawned from a Galaxy Camera-specific file. Installation is a piece of cake, requiring you to download the given zip file, flash it through custom recovery, and reboot.
If you would like to find out more, head over to the original thread for more information.
The recently released Google Edition Galaxy S4 has been generating a lot of excitement since being announced. What a lot of people did not see coming was Jelly Bean 4.3 leak. Despite containing only a few minor changes likely that would affect the average end user, there may well still be a few differences under the hood that we are yet to discover.
A recently leaked Samsung firmware based on Android 4.3 (JWR66N for those keeping track) has been found to work pretty darn well on the original TouchWiz-laden Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4. However it was not rootable until today, and therefore somewhat less viable of an option for those who can’t live without their root applications. Cue XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire and his modified version of SuperSU, which is specially adapted for use with 4.3.
The exploit was made public in a Google+ post by Chainfire, and it explains precisely why a modified SuperSU is required. The main difference between this and a regular version of SuperSU, in Chainfires own words, is that:
For this root, SuperSU is running in daemon mode (new feature), and launched during boot.
The daemon handles all su requests, and while this should mostly work just fine, some apps may expect their su session to be running on the same branch on the process tree as the app that launched the session.
Whether these changes are due to Samsung or just Android 4.3 in general remains to be seen. But needless to say, once we see a few more 4.3-based firmwares, we will have an answer. There are also some other differences that will you will want to be aware of, especially those of you using a CWM-based recovery, so I highly recommend checking out that post in full.
If you’re currently running the 4.3 leak on your S4, this is probably something you’ve been looking forward to for a few days now. The flashable zip file itself can be downloaded from the Google+ post, and the current SuperSU thread should be used for any related issues.
July 2, 2013 By: Samantha
Bloatware is extremely frustrating at times. There’s usually no problems when removing a couple, but things just get tedious when you have no idea which app is safe to remove or not. It’s even more of a hassle when your Galaxy S 4 comes with nearly 100 of them baked into the system, meaning leaving it to either a pre-cleaned ROM or an AOSP-derived, source-built ROM are your two best options. However if you want to do it yourself, you should check out the TrulyClean script by XDA Senior Member schoolsux.
Initially created for schoolsux’s own personal use, the TrulyClean script removes more than 98 apps considered bloatware, taking out the guesswork and saving you the time and effort. Installation, or uninstallation rather, is quite straight forward, requiring you to flash the provided zip file and running the prompted script. Schoolsux does recommend you to do a full wipe of your device and install either a stock or custom ROM first before installing, but it’s not strictly a requirement.
Apps such as Gmail, Earth, and Google+ will be on the chopping block, and so will S Voice and Samsung Hub. And for those who prefer the stock browser as opposed to the 3rd party alternatives, there’s even a version which keeps it intact. If there are other apps you’d rather not get removed, there’s a quick and easy tutorial briefly guiding you through the steps to edit the script to your liking.
Schoolsux’s TrulyClean is compatible with both the i9500 and i9505 S4 variants. If this has you interested, be sure to check out the original thread for more information and download.