October 28, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The great Samsung sieve has given us another Android 4.3 leak, this time for the Samsung Galaxy Note II. That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article reporting and Xposed module that will give AOSP lock screens to some TouchWiz users and the announcement of new forum for the jumbo-sized HTC One Max.
In other important news, Jordan talks about increasing the volume on your Sony Xpera Z1. Also, if you haven’t already checked out the Big Android BBQ presentations given by two XDA Elite Recognized Developers, make sure to check out XpLoDWilD‘s “Developments in the Open Source Community,” and Dees_Troy‘s “Software Architecture and Design.” Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
A couple of months ago, we covered a mod that increased the external and internal volumes of the Sony Xperia Z, a possible remedy for those who may have had issues with its sound capabilities. Well, despite having a largely improved external speaker on the phone’s successor, the Xperia Z1, users longing for that extra ‘umph’ may be interested in a mod by XDA Senior Member auras76.
Auras76 created a similar mod to that previously covered called Volume Boost XZ1, which increases various volumes on the device. Provided in a single and simple flashable zip, the mod increases the volume of the:
As always, it is recommended to create a Nandroid backup before you proceed with the installation to guard against any software or hardware incompatibility issues. Auras76 has also kindly provided a flashable zip file to reverse the mod’s effects if one chooses to do so.
However, one should also keep in mind that listening at high volumes for long periods of time is, in most cases, unhealthy both for yourself and possibly for the external speakers. Nevertheless, if you would still like to check out this mod, make your way over to the forum thread for more information and download.
September 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re a developer looking to target the Sony Xperia Z1 or Sony SmartWatch 2, the latest version of Sony’s Add-on SDK will undoubtedly be of interest. While having device-specific features inherently brings a set of pros and cons, it’s hard to argue with the fact that doing so uniquely tailors the software to work well with the hardware. Sony recently unveiled the second version of its Add-on SDK, which adds support for the new Sony SmartWatch 2 and the new Camera Add-on API.
The new capabilities for the SmartWatch 2 allow users to specify layouts to be displayed on the watch like they would be specified on Android. This also enables smoother scrolling than before in Gallery and ListView. You are also able to specify menus to be displayed on the device, as well as access the compass and light sensor.
The new Camera Add-on API allows you to tailor your camera app to make it accessible directly from the Xperia Z1′s “Smart Social Camera.” Doing this, the app gains additional visibility and integration from within the standard camera interface. Furthermore, developers can use the API to integrate the Xperia Z1′s camera features and modes into their own apps. This allows third party camera apps to work particularly well with the device’s camera.
To learn more, head over to the Sony Development Blog post detailing the v2 SDK. From there, also visit the posts below to use the new APIs:
September 20, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If there’s a take home message regarding development on Sony Xperia devices, it’s that what appears on one device will inevitably appear on another. Be it due to the developer friendly nature of the company or similarities in internal architecture, we’re not complaining.
We recently talked about how losing the TA partition on an Xperia Z1 could have disastrous effects on camera functionality if a backup is not made prior. And given other reasons to keep a backup of that partition, we would highly recommend that would-be rooters make a backup before unlocking. Luckily, though, that’s not the only news we have to report on the Z1′s camera.
Thanks to porting efforts by XDA Recognized Developer krabappel2548, the Xperia Z1′s camera software can now be installed on the Xperia ZR, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z, and Xperia Z Ultra. So what features does this upgraded camera software bring? According to the developer:
- Info Eye
- Augmented Reality effects
- Timeshift mode
- Manual Mode
- Social Cast mode
- Automatic mode
To get started, head over to the appropriate thread below:
Any time we root and otherwise modify our devices, there’s an inherent risk involved. Yes, once in a while things don’t quite go as planned. However, if we’re careful, things usually go well. And we’re usually able to recover when they don’t.
A recent exception to this feeling of security had to do with the TA partition on Sony devices, where unlocking the bootloader would clear the TA partition, its stored DRM keys, and your ability to use certain Sony applications and receive OTA updates.
Now, there is something else to worry about when bootloader unlocking the Sony Xperia Z1 in particular: camera functionality. As noted in this thread (starting with post 4), various users are reporting problems with their cameras after unlocking their bootloaders.
It was eventually discovered that restoring the TA partition seems to fix the problem. So if you must proceed with unlocking your Z1, we highly recommend that you create a valid backup for your TA partition. However, proceed with caution, as restoring the TA partition seems to be the only way to restore camera functionality at this time.
September 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Samsung recently unveiled three new and enticing devices aimed at making you simultaneously lighten your wallet a little, as well as pack your pocket, briefcase, and wrist with a little more technology. These are, of course, the Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), and the Galaxy Gear.
Samsung refreshed its popular Galaxy Note lineup with the Galaxy Note 3 phablet and the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). Both build upon their predecessors by adding more powerful specs, while retaining the critically acclaimed S Pen functionality. The Galaxy Note 3 ups the ante on its predecessor by raising the screen resolution to 1080p, upping the RAM to 3 GB, and packing in a quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. Similarly the Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) increases its screen resolution to 2560×1600, brings the RAM to 3 GB, and packs that same quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon processor as its little brother. Samsung also introduced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The device, which connects to various Samsung mobile devices, features an 800 MHz processor, a 320×320 resolution display, and half a gig of RAM.
In today’s additions, we also have the Sony Xperia Z1. Codenamed Honami, the Z1 is a high-end device with a 5″ 1080p display, 2 GB of RAM, a quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, and a slim 8.5mm profile. More info and specs can be found on Sony’s official product page.
Are you thinking of adding any of these to your mobile arsenal? Let us know in the comments below, and of course, don’t forget to head over to the newly created forums to get in on the discussion!