April 21, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat has finally arrived on the Verizon LG G2! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement that the Xperia Z, ZL, ZR, and Tablet Z will receive their KitKat updates in May and the story about how the Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition has received a Bluetooth certification for Android 4.4.3! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan also talks about the exciting news of the Xperia Z1 receiving multiboot. Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos like, XDA Developer TV Producer TK’s Xposed Tuesday video for Call Blocker and TK’s Android App Review of Lockdown Pro. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
We’ve come to expect nearly perfect camera performance in our modern day smartphones. If the image quality is just a tad shoddy in one respect, this issue is then multiplied tenfold in our ever so critical eyes. So it’s unfortunate that sometimes a flagship phone’s camera quality is not up to snuff, especially if you’ve paid big bucks for a flagship device. If you own an Xperia device and find yourself in such a situation, you may want to check out XDA Recognized Themer and Contributor Rizal Lovins‘s new tutorial on tweaking your camera app.
Written specifically for use on Sony Xperia devices, the tutorial teaches you how to tweak and modify numerous aspects of the camera app in order to make sure all future snapshots and videos look the way you want them to. The procedures explained do not require much prior knowledge—mainly decompiling and compiling APKs and smali editing—so pretty much anyone will be able to do this themselves. Modifications include:
As can be seen from the list, there’s a whole lot of tweaks you’ll be able to play with thanks to this tutorial, and they’re all relatively simple and straightforward. If you would like to find out more, be sure to check out the original thread for more information.
April 13, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Theming is an art. As such, making a beautiful theme is an extremely time consuming and challenging task. Preparing resources requires countless hours spent in a graphics editor app. Putting everything together into an application isn’t easy, but within XDA you’ll find a long list of guides and tutorials that help you understand the Android ecosystem better.
If you have some ideas regarding theming and don’t know where to start, you should read a guide written by XDA Senior Member SArnab©®. This guide explains how to create a theme in Eclipse for Xperia devices in step-by-step detail. The guide should work with Xperia phones running Android 4.3.
Every step is explained with screenshots and commentary, so you most likely won’t get lost while making your own theme. The guide author was also kind enough to provide all the necessary files and source code for the Xperia Pink Theme, which can be used for reference. And with a few relatively minor modifications, you can make a generic theme that works with every device—not just those by Sony.
This guide is a great starter for those looking to begin a journey in theming. So if you are planning to modify the look of your device, head over to the original thread and study it carefully. We wish you all good luck and no build errors!
April 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Launched this year at MWC, the Sony Xperia Z2 is Sony’s flagship device for 2014. The device improves upon its predecessor in various ways such as a much better display, an improved processor, and so on.
In addition to the hardware benefits, the Z2 also packs a few unique software tricks. One of the Z2′s unique software features is X-Reality Photo and Video Enhancement. This option increases the sharpness and improves the colors on images and videos displayed through the native Gallery app. And now thanks to XDA Senior Member xperiaz2, you can enjoy X-Reality on any Xperia device running KitKat or Jelly Bean.
Installation is easy. Simply flash an archive through your custom recovery of choice and add two lines to your build.prop. Then, you will find an option for “X-Reality for Mobile” in your Display Settings page. Once enabled, you’ll notice improved image quality in the stock Gallery app.
Those looking to give their mobile photos and videos a bit more pop can get started by visiting the ported application thread.
There is, and will continue to be, much debate regarding whether to Odex or Deodex a ROM. Some people prefer leaving ROMs Odexed for greater efficiency, while others prefer Deodexed ROMs and their freedom. This becomes even trickier when looking at OEMs, as some Odex their stock firmware, while others don’t. Sony is one of the OEMs that does Odex their ROMs.
If you’ve ever worked with APKTool to modify something in a precompiled ROM, you’ve certainly had to deodex a ROM. This can be done with several kitchens, scripts, or by executing commands in terminal. You can now Deodex the firmwares of new Xperia devices really easily with Kamome by XDA Senior Member RyokoN.
Kamome is a Windows script that pulls all the necessary files using ADB, Deodexes them, and creates a flashable archive ready to be installed through recovery. Kamome is distributed in two versions depending on Android OS version. It should work with all Xperia devices except the Sony Xperia Z2.
If you are a Windows user looking to Deodex a recent Xperia device, head over to the original thread to give Kamome a try.
April 12, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Most devices sold nowadays come with emulated external storage. On many devices, this emulated SD card is located on the same partition as your installed applications and their data. But on certain other devices, it’s located on a separate partition.
There are various tradeoffs associated with each approach, most of which are beyond the scope of this article. However, one rather significant annoyance with having your mount points on separate partitions is that you may run out of space on one partition while having abundant free space on the other—even though they’re both on the same eMMC chip. Luckily, there’s a solution for this, and it involves repartitioning your internal storage to better suit your needs.
Traditionally, repartitioning your device is a difficult and risky process. Moreover, the way to accomplish this is generally unique to a particular device or device family. But thanks to XDA Senior Member bsined, it’s a little more straightforward for owners of certain Sony Xperia devices.
Bsined’s guide was originally created for the Sony Xperia T, TL, TX, V, though it has the potential to work on many other Xperia devices—so long as a few requirements are met. First, you’ll need to have a rootable FTF file for an Android 4.1.2-based firmware. For the aforementioned Xperias, this is linked in the guide. You’ll also need a particular recovery, Sony Flashtool, and a few other utilities attached in the thread’s OP. From there, you proceed to backup all of your data, downgrade to 4.1.2, and repartition your device.
While the guide makes the process relatively easy to follow due to its clear steps and explanations, one must keep in mind that any kind of low level modification like this is inherently risky. So before trying this, make sure that you understand all the steps that are being done. Finally, it should be noted that all of these changes are reverted if you flash an FTF file that includes partition data.
If you want to maximize app storage space on your Xperia device, head over to the guide thread to learn more.
April 12, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Many are fans of particular OEM skins and their built-in features. One of the features available in stock Xperia ROMs is a Battery Stamina Mode, which was introduced to help users make the most of their batteries.
In this mode, all connectivity except GSM is disabled. This also disables your device’s LED lights. It works pretty well, but many find that disabling the LED is unnecessary. After all, without an LED, it’s rather easy to miss a call or message.
Now thanks to an Xposed Framework module by XDA Senior Member itandy, you can re-enable your LED leven when in Battery Stamina Mode. As you would expect, you need to be rooted and have Xposed Framework installed to get this going. And since this is an Xposed module, you can easily disable this when you want to go back to standard Battery Stamina Mode.
You can find the module in the original thread.
April 12, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
It’s been a long time coming for some devices, but Sony is now rolling out Android 4.3 and 4.4 firmware updates to the majority of its lineup. But with so many devices and so many different versions of Android available for these different devices and their variants, it’s quite easy to become confused.
Because of the complexity, it’s useful to have a centralized service to inform you of the latest version for your device and whether you need to update. Thankfully, there is a tool that allows Windows users to check to see if they are running the latest firmware. But of course, this tool requires Windows, and there are plenty of Xperia owners running Linux or Mac.
There is nothing more universal than a website that can be accessed directly from almost every device. And because of this, XDA Forum Member pascalbrax created one with up-to-date information regarding software updates available for Sony devices. The site displays the the latest firmware and links to supporting forums in many languages. Most newer devices are included, and can be monitored from the site.
You can find a link to the website and more information by visiting the original thread. If you are a Sony Xperia owner and you are eagerly waiting for your KitKat update, now’s a good time to make sure you’re running the latest firmware.
April 6, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Many of us don’t have unlimited texting plans. After all, why should we pay for something that essentially costs the carriers nothing? Plus, with practically everyone using some form of smartphone nowadays, it’s often more convenient to simply send an email or Hangouts message.
However, there are still times in which we must send a traditional text. For example, these messages can go through even when there is no standard data connectivity. When this happens, we either pay per SMS message or we eat at a given pool of messages that we purchased in our plan—unless, of course, we have an expensive unlimited messaging plan.
Unfortunately, many special characters reduce the number of characters that can be sent in a single message. This then requires the use of two or more SMS messages to achieve the same message. This then gouges our pockets to an even greater degree. Luckily, an interesting hidden option appeared in our Cross-Device Development Projects for Sony Devices forum.
Recognized Contributor and Themer DaRk-L0rD described the process of enabling a hidden option that converts certain special characters into their more traditional forms in order to make it so that your 160 characters stay at 160.
To perform the mod, you’ll need to decompile the original Sony messaging app, search for and modify a pair of strings, save, recompile, and resign the APK. The whole process is very simple, and you’ll be in and out in a matter of minutes.
If you are sick of wasting money on text messages and want to limit the number you send out without actually changing how you use your device, head over to the guide thread to learn more.
If you’ve been thinking of developing your first custom ROM for your Sony Xperia device, chances are that you probably need a kernel to go along with it, especially if the ROM is for devices with locked bootloaders. Because of this, it’s sometimes best to know how to extract the kernel from an FTF file in order to integrate it into your ROM.
A great place to begin with would be a tutorial by XDA Recognized Contributor matt4321 and XDA Recognized Contributor and Themer DaRk-L0rD. Divided into two parts, the tutorial first guides you through the steps of extracting a kernel from an FTF file and converting it into a boot.img file. The second part teaches you how to make a flashable ZIP package containing your freshly extracted boot.img file.
Additionally, because the kernel is located in different partitions in different Xperia devices, DaRk-L0rD also includes a handy list of just where you can find the kernel for your particular Xperia device. Just keep in mind, however, that not all Xperia devices are on the list at this time, so DaRk-L0rD also provides a simple way of finding out the directory yourself.
If you would like to find out more, check out the original thread for more information.
March 28, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rolling out! 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 the announcement of Sony has made some Open Source archives available for the Sony Xperia Z2 and Z2 tablet and how Chainfire rooted the Samsung Galaxy S 5 ahead of it’s release! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Gesture Control. He then showed you how to root the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Finally, he gave us an Android App Review of Shareboard. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
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March 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
If a piece of software appears on any given Sony Xperia device, it’s pretty much only a matter of time before it’s ported over to another Xperia or group of Xperias. This has happened time and time again. And today, we present yet another example of this.
The Voice Balloon Photo camera addon is one of the coolest features to come along for the ride with the KitKat update that is now hitting several Xperia devices. Unfortunately, this software is normally only available for Xperia devices running official KitKat. Luckily, XDA Senior Member xperiaz2 was able to port the app addon to work with all Xperia devices running Android 4.1 or later.
Obviously, you must have Sony’s Smart Social Camera installed in order to use this camera addon. However, once everything is installed, you will be able to add audio to your photos with voice balloons and recognized text.
If you’ve got an Xperia device running Android 4.1-4.3 and want to try out the Voice Balloon Photo camera addon, head over to the application thread and give this ported app a shot.
March 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that building a custom ROM from source is much preferred to starting from a manufacturer-provided firmware and then adding on a few modifications. Building from source allows users much more freedom to merge commits and change practically anything they’d like. However, there are times when some users would prefer to start from stock firmware in order to keep OEM-specific functionality. Sony Xperia devices are no different, as for the most part one must choose between OEM-specific functionality and source-built goodness.
Those who have taken to modifying OEM-provided ROMs on Sony Xperia devices may have noticed a few issues recently. Ever since the latest round of official firmware updates, it’s been a bit difficult to modify the framework-res.apk file. While the decompile, modify, and recompile process goes as planned, users generally face a bootloop when using the newly recompiled file.
Luckily, XDA Recognized Themer BDFreak released Advanced APKTool. This utility not only solves the framework-res.apk issue on the latest round of Xperia updates, but also incorporates a bit of automation and user friendliness into XDA Recognized Developer Brut.all‘s APKTool. It can also automatically decompile, recompile, sign, and zipalign APKs and JARs—and all this is done from the comfort of an easy and menu-driven interface.
To get started, simply head over to the utility thread, and give the latest version a whirl.