March 27, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The importance of an aftermarket recovery is undeniable. These amazing tools make various tasks easy, and allow users to flash various modifications, as well as create Nandroid backups that save us when we get the bootloop blues. Recoveries are also needed to easily flash a ROM. Because of this, you can pretty much find one or more custom recovery for every device with a forum here.
The most popular recoveries around are ClockworkMod Recovery, PhilZ Recovery, and Team Win Recovery Project. TWRP was recently ported to NovaThor SoC Sony Xperias: P, U, Go and Sola. The user responsible for the porting is XDA Senior Member NoobCoder.
The recovery is distributed in a rather interesting way, as a script splits the boot.img, extracts the ramdisk, adds the recovery, re-packs the ramdisk, and creates a new boot.img. Because of this, it can be used with every kernel available. Of course, the recovery might be also used on locked bootloader devices, but that requires some skills and various modifications to system files.
[Big thanks to XDA Senior Member cpkunki for the tip!]
February 5, 2014 By: Samantha
If an Android user in search of a full-screen call experience, a wide range of Android apps are available to accomplish this goal. Many of them are perfectly capable of providing a great alternative to the stock call screens OEMs have on their devices. Despite this, many would rather retain the native look of their applications instead of replacing them with something out of place.
If you find yourself with such a preference and a Sony Xperia P, U, or Sola in hand, you may want to check out XDA Senior Member Rajeev’s full screen caller mod. Compatible only with Android 4.1.2, the mod allows you to retain the original Sony look, but with the added benefit of a full screen contact image. And because this is a mod of a native app, you can crop the image with the ‘Album’ app.
The mod comes in 6 different variants, four of which are combinations of different colors of the UI, and the other two having the additional features of call recording, disabling the ‘data disabled/enabled’ notification, and using only 2G. Rajeev has also provided a separate patch for the first four variants providing these features if one wishes to have them.
To find out more about the Full Screen Caller mod, check out the original thread for more information.
One of the biggest gripes we have with our NFC-enabled devices is the somewhat unnecessary requirement of having to unlock them in order to activate NFC. This requirement effectively reduces the practicality of our many enabled stickers, tags, and gadgets, as it leads to another inconvenient step that limits the use of NFC in the first place.
There is good news, though, as a couple of good folks here have created mods that allows for NFC activation when the device’s screen is off or at the lock screen. This has been made possible by XDA Senior Member StephanSch for the following devices:
This mod is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 thanks to XDA Senior Member OptimalKiller. The mods come in some variation of a modified NFC APK that is then moved to the /system/apps directory, thus requiring root access. It’s important to note that the mods are compatible with only certain specific builds, frameworks, and devices. Because of this, you have to make sure to download and install the correct version. Also, make some sort of backup to ensure that you can revert the effects if things go awry.
For more information and detailed instructions, visit the threads for the following devices: HTC One, One X, EVO 4G LTE, Sony Xperia Z, Xperia P, Xperia Sola, Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, and Galaxy S4.
As gaming becomes more popular on Android, developers are doing their part to make gaming more fun. Whether it’s connecting familiar controllers to faking PlayStation certification, the effort to make gaming more universal is there. Now, there is a gaming mod for a plethora of Xperia devices, including the Sony Xperia U, P, Sola, and GO.
XDA Senior Member GEKTHEBOSS released a tweak that makes gaming a little more fun for the aforementioned Xperia devices. The package doesn’t contain a lot of mods, but the mods included give users access to a lot of games. The features include:
*Full PlayStationMobile Certification
*Full Xperia Play PlayStation Certification
*Xperia Play Game Launcher
In addition, recent updates have added optimizations and an uninstaller. To install, users download the mod and install it via custom recovery. If it doesn’t quite work, fixing permissions is the accepted troubleshooting method. Several users have confirmed that the mod works on a few different devices. Some users on the Xperia GO have expressed that they’re having issues, but upcoming updates should sort that out.
If this looks like something you want to check out, go to the original thread.
November 16, 2012 By: Former Writer
Sony has done some interesting work with their Xperia devices. One of the more interesting software features they’ve begun implementing comes in the form of Small Apps. Small Apps are essentially floating window applications that open like windows on your computer. It’s similar to Galaxy Note 2 multi window feature. Now, some third party developers have gotten into Small Apps have released their own.
XDA Senior Member hhlong89 posted an application called WebView. It’s an Xperia Small App and also a web browser. It opens up a web browser in a Small Apps window, and lets users browse the web. It’s not too much different from regular Android web browsers, except the floating window feature. A full list of features include:
Share URL from Intent
Can Use Default Browser
（※↑Not Working When You Aleady Set another app）
Long press maxmize button go to Setting Activity
Long press home button to browser reload
Long press open with browser button(left bottpm) to show input form
In addition, some copy/paste functions don’t work and the pulldownlist doesn’t work. The app has been confirmed working on pretty much every Xperia device that can run Small Apps. Now that third party developers are digging into Small Apps, users may see more on the horizon.
For additional details, check out the original thread.
September 30, 2012 By: Former Writer
USB On-The-Go is probably one of the greatest tools for Android that not a lot of people know about. With it you can connect virtually anything that requires USB into your Android device, including external hard drives, flash drives, keyboards, mice, and pretty much whatever else you can think of—even your DSLR. As OTG technology gets more popular, the features that come with it will evolve as well. For many Xperia devices, including the Xperia S, P, U, Sola, and Acro S, you can now simultaneously use OTG and charge your device.
The method was written out by XDA Senior Member sonic_boom and it does require some hardware modification. Initially, the hardware mod gave users a choice to switch a cable from OTG mode to Charge mode and thus not have to use multiple cables. However, after some more tinkering, sonic_boom managed to get simultaneous OTG and charging using a 4-way USB hub. What’s the only other way to get this? By purchasing a special dock.
As expected with hardware modifications, your mileage may vary. This involves tinkering with pieces of hardware and may damage your device or your accessories. Aside from the standard boilerplate warning, the mod is actually pretty simple. As stated by sonic_boom, this should work on any OTG-enabled Xperia device.
To learn more, visit the original thread.
June 5, 2012 By: Former Writer
The Sony Xperia 2012 lineup has been getting bigger recently, and users are wondering if the new Xperia line will have the same robust development of the 2011 Xperia devices. While it’s impossible to gauge the success of these devices before they’ve had a chance to really grow in the development community, they sure are off to an outstanding start.
XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD has come out with a trio of kernels for the Xperia Sola, Xperia U, and Xperia P that automatically root their respective device. Want more? Okay. XDA Senior Member krabappel2548 released custom ROMs for the three devices. This means that all three can be bootloader unlocked, rooted, and have a custom ROM already. You can certainly conclude that they’re getting off to an outstanding start.
The processes are essentially the same for all three devices. Once the bootloader is unlocked, it’s a matter of installing DooMLoRD’s kernel to obtain full root and install BusyBox. Unfortunately, there aren’t any custom recoveries available yet, so those wanting to go the extra step and installing krabappel2548’s custom ROMs will have to do so via fastboot. Users looking to flash the ROMs should thus become familiar with fastboot before attempting. These processes will surely become simpler as time goes by and a custom recovery is created, so those wishing to wait probably won’t be out of luck forever.
Xperia Sola users can find everything you need in the Sola kernel thread and the Sola ROM thread. For the Xperia U, hit up the U kernel thread and the U ROM thread. And finally, Xperia P users should visit P kernel thread and the P ROM thread.