February 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android KitKat 4.4.2 is now available for the unlocked and developer edition HTC Ones! 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 that CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 3 is available for 50 devices and their is now a way to turn your Moto G into a Play Edition! 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 Complete Action Plus, Jordan taught us about ART the Android Runtime compiler, and TK gave us an Android App Review of Quickr. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
February 13, 2014 By: Samantha
So now that the second raft of Sony Xperia devices are finally receiving the long awaited Android 4.3 update, I’m sure that there are plenty of folks eagerly glancing at the notification area and Sony PC Companion in anticipation of that firmware update notification. Some of you may also be constantly refreshing your device’s XDA forum page, meticulously keeping track of every relevant tidbit of information. If this sounds just like you, you may want to check out XDA Senior Member Macmol‘s Xperia Update Checker.
A tool for PCs, Xperia Update Checker enables you to check the current firmware of your Sony Xperia device. Besides the initial categorization of individual devices, firmware information is also organized by the region, branding, and customization number of your device, such as “Netherlands; Vodafone; 1266-1618.” Xperia Update Checker also allows you to check for links of firmwares for a particular device that you can download. It should be noted, however, that this tool only supports Xperia devices with Sony branding (e.g. Sony Xperia V) and not the Sony Ericsson branding (e.g. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc), and not all Sony Xperia devices are supported as of yet.
So if your finger’s getting a bit tired of constantly clicking refresh on your browser and Sony PC Companion, check out Xperia Update Checker over in its original thread for more information.
February 6, 2014 By: Samantha
Although boot times have been significantly reduced in recent years, and reboots are now only very sporadically required due to unrecoverable lag or similar issues, it still seems like it can’t get any slower. This is why many folks have been resorting to disabling unneeded apps that run on startup in order to lessen the boot up speed. But what can you do when the Android platform does not have this option natively? Rather than going the easy way by downloading an app, why not add it to your settings page yourself? Well, this is exactly what XDA Recognized Contributor DaRk-L0rD shows Sony Xperia users how to do in a new tutorial.
Explained with clear and simple instructions, the process essentially consists of decompiling the Settings.apk, adding and changing lines of code within the numerous xml and smali files, and recompiling the APK back together. Because of this, DaRk-L0rD has provided a number of screenshots to accompany the written instructions in order to make things as clear and easy to follow as possible.
If you own a Sony Xperia device and wish to learn more, head over to the original thread and get started.
It’s highly likely that all Sony smartphone or tablet users here on XDA have heard of Flashtool by XDA Recognized Developer Androxyde. It’s a great tool, which allows you to restore your Xperia to stock state, root it, unlock the bootloader, flash a kernel, and do basically everything else that’s needed to enjoy the custom ROM world.
Flashtool works on three platforms, including Windows which needs external drivers to successfully access the flash mode. These drivers were incorporated Flashtool, but eventually became outdated and out of sync with the new Flashtool releases. Androxyde therefore decided to release the driver pack separately. With help of XDA Recognized Developer DooMLoRD, the Flashtool team provides a new version of drivers that should help you to use Flashtool to backup or restore your Sony Xperia device. There are some issues with Windows 8 (surprise, surprise), but they have been resolved and the information to do so is in the thread’s OP.
These versatile drivers can be found in the original thread, which is housed in the Cross-Device Development Projects for Sony Devices forum. If you own a Sony device, don’t hesitate to go there and grab a copy. Don’t forget to get a newest version of Flashtool while you’re at it, which can be found in its thread.
January 26, 2014 By: Samantha
When it comes to Xposed modules focused on UI customization, there are some great choices out there. But because many of them are designed to have maximum compatibility with a wide range of different devices, naturally the amount of customization that is allowed will be restricted. So when an Xposed module developed specifically for one type of device, namely Xperia devices, one can expect greater customization options.
And this is exactly the case with Serajr Xperia, developed by XDA Recognized Themer serajr. This is an Xposed module developed only for Xperia devices running the official Android 4.2.2+ firmware (with a few exceptions). Its great range of customization options are organized into 5 main categories: System, System UI, Power Menu, Xperia Home, and Media. In total, there are a 44 options as of right now, including:
The device compatibility list includes most Xperia devices that have had their Android 4.2 and 4.3 update already such as the Xperia Z1, Z, and L, as well as a few devices which have only Android 4.1 such as the Xperia S and ION.
If you want to check out the Xposed module yourself, visit the original thread for more information.
January 20, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The kernel files have been released for the Android 4.4 KitKat update on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the full Smart Social Camera Experience has been ported to Android 4.3 Xperia Devices and Mobile ODIN has been updated with more features and support for more devices!
Be sure to check out the the other videos released this last week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Root Cloak, he then reviewed the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch 2.0, and finally he gave us an Android App Review of Calendar Status. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
With the new Android 4.3 update rolling out to the newer Sony Xperia handsets, and with the leaks going around for those still waiting, users may have discovered a new aesthetic feature called ‘Xperia Themes.’ They’re downloadable and customizable theme packs that change various elements of the whole Android interface, including your navigation bar, home screen icons and layout, and wallpaper. But since ‘Xperia Themes’ is only a recent addition to Xperia users, few custom themes are available for download. In order to remedy this, XDA Senior Member funky0308 decided to write a great tutorial on creating your own custom Xperia theme.
The process is very straightforward, consisting of editing an already existing theme’s APK by switching out the numerous PNG image files. Naturally, this means that you need some basic knowledge of decompiling and recompiling an APKs. Once it’s all done, install the new APK like a normal app, and you have your very own Xperia theme installed.
This tutorial was originally written by funy0308 only for the Xperia Z1, but any other Xperia device with the official Android 4.3 firmware running should also be compatible with these custom made themes. So if you can’t wait to get started, check out the original thread for more details. And if you’ve already made your own, share them with us in the forums!
January 8, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
At the 2014 International CES, Sony released two phones. The phones are similar and share similar names. These devices are the Sony Xperia Z1S and Xperia Z1 Compact. The Xperia Z1S is locked to T-Mobile to try and help Sony’s US market penetration, while the Xperia Z1 Compact is, well, more compact.
XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan was on site and got his hands on the Xperia triplets: the Z1, Z1S, and Z1 Compact. Jordan sat down and talked with the folks and Sony. And in this video, he shares what he learned, while showing off the two new devices and how they all share basically the same base design. Check out this video to see what the newest Xperia devices look like.
January 3, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4 KitKat unofficial builds for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! 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 that the Motorola Xoom has a KitKat build, and you can get CyanogenMod on the locked Sony Xperia S! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. Jordan gave us the top 5 tech trends of 2013. Then, Jordan gave us the top 5 tech stories of 2013 and TK showed the top 5 app of 2013. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
December 17, 2013 By: Samantha
There are a wealth of guides on the XDA forums that teach folks how to tinker with the information displayed in the ‘About Phone’ menu of an Android device, allowing people to change the build number, Android version, the ‘easter egg’ animation, among others. More often than not, such changes are only for novelty and aesthetic purposes, with no effect on the device’s performance, but that’s what make them fun.
Another equally nifty and neat modification Xperia device owners are able to perform is including a visual banner in the ‘About Phone’ menu along with the default information already displayed. Thanks to XDA Senior Member abo hani, a tutorial is available on the forums that teaches the steps, and it’s very simple and straightforward. The procedure essentially consists of decompiling the Settings.APK, inserting the provided .xml file, your image file, and a line of code. Then, you simply recompile and push it back.
The end result consists your new and improved ‘About Phone’ menu with a banner of your selected image at the top of the menu and above the rest of the device information. The tutorial was inspired by XDA Senior Member gravtec‘s collection of mods that modified the ‘About Phone’ menu to include a few images gravtec had chosen.
This is certainly a nifty little modification that I’m sure will interest quite a few people. If you are one of them, check out the tutorial at the forum thread for more information.
November 13, 2013 By: Samantha
With the release of the Sony Xperia Z1 came the ‘new and improved’ camera app exclusive to the device. With a couple simple taps on the screen, you’ll be able to spawn in dinosaurs and erupting volcanoes in a boring office scene, search additional information on the book or a landmark you snapped, and stream live videos onto your Facebook profile.
It goes without saying, it’s a camera app that has definitely caught the attention of many smartphone users. Hence came the ports of the camera app to fellow 2013 Xperia devices, the Xperia ZR, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z, and Xperia Z Ultra, which finally allowed their users to see what things are really about. This was inevitable due to the similar internal architecture the Xperia Z series shares, which no doubt eased the porting process.
With this said, it’s time for owners of a couple more Xperia devices to get taste of the Z1 camera app, as XDA Recognized Developer niaboc79 has managed to port it to all Qualcomm Xperia devices. This includes the Xperia T, TX and V, the Xperia SP, Xperia M, Xperia L, as well as the Xperia S, Acro S and Ion. However, before you dive in, it must be noted that although the port is functional, it is not entirely stable as of yet with a number of bugs that are yet to be polished out.
If you would still like to give this ago, make sure to visit the original thread for more information.
We’d like to think that temperature control is the least of our problems when it comes to our smartphones and tablets. It’s a factor that the majority, if not all, of the large manufacturers refuse to acknowledge—instead preferring to tout form, power, and performance. So when we do CPU-intensive activities, such as playing games, or when the weather’s hotter than usual on a particular day, we don’t expect our devices to usually heat up to such a degree.
To manage such problems, Sony has Thermanager, a ‘thermal management solution’ for Xperia devices with binaries that were previously released through their Developer’s Portal. An issue with this was developers weren’t given the flexibility and freedom to customize, improve, or analyze the behavior of the thermal management. This then hindered possible fixes and solutions to thermal-related problems, which were not properly addressed otherwise.
Sony decided to address this issue by releasing the source code of Thermanager to the general public. Made available through their Github, this source release is yet another step that Sony has taken inline with their developer-friendly reputation. So if you’re a developer looking to build on the existing thermal solutions, be sure to check their information post.
I’ve always thought the illumination strip located at the bottom of some Sony Xperia devices to be pretty funky. Despite how ‘gimmicky‘ it feels, the novelty is sure quite fun. This is evident with its ability to light up with the color that’s most prevalent in an image in the gallery app or the album art in the Walkman app, as well serving as a notification light for messages and calls. In fact, users loved it so much that Sony even decided to release the APIs behind them, as to allow further developmental work to leverage the illumination strip.
With this in mind, XDA Forum Member sagar29 decided that the Xperia SP can even serve as a disco light, so he developed the aptly titled application Discolight. The app allows you to control each of the three LEDs of the illumination bar with individual RGB color selectors. It also gives you the option to randomize the pulse color and to start the app on device boot.
With Discolight activated, any audio output will be accompanied by your personalized light pulses, including music and phone calls. Apart from requiring root access, there really isn’t much else needed. Just plug n’ play and you’re good to go.
If you’d like to check this app out, visit the forum thread for more information and download.