August 7, 2014 By: Samantha
Being able to run an updated version of Android is probably one of the most important things that we look for when it comes to Android devices. This is exemplified in the countless updates we feature here on the XDA Portal every time there is an indication, a leak, and release of new firmware of the major devices in the Android world, making sure you get to enjoy the newest features, bug fixes, and more as early as possible.
There are also specific tools available to help keep your device on track. And since this is a development-oriented site, one of the members of our community created such a utility for Sony devices called Xperifirm. Developed by XDA Forum Member IaguCool, Xperifirm is a tool that allows you to check for and download the most current and up to date official Android firmwares for every single Sony and Sony Ericsson Xperia Device. Xperifirm pulls up every single regional variant of firmware available for your device, and displays each one in a logical and easy to navigate interface.
Xperifirm currently runs only on PCs running Windows XP SP2 and newer at the moment, and requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or newer. You also need to have either Flashtool or Java Runtime Environment installed. And for users of Windows 8 and 8.1, you’ll need to download an extra ZIP package in order to run Xperifirm.
If you would like to give Xperifirm a go, be sure to head over to the Xperifirm tool thread to get started.
July 26, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
It’s been a while since the first Android Wear devices hit the shelves. Many potential users are still waiting for the Moto 360, but the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are already available to purchase. Since its release, these Android Wear devices have already been rooted, TWRP recovery is available, and there are quite a few applications.
Most of the devices supported here on XDA have a working toolkit–a handy tool that usually allow rooting, installing applications through ADB, unlocking bootloader, and so on. XDA Forum Member tdiddy.2 has made a multi-platform toolkit for Android Wear devices.
The project is at an early development stage, but can already reboot the device to bootloader, recovery, and system. Users are able to take a screenshot through the ADB. And last but not least, users can also install a single or multiple applications via ADB. Hopefully, the list of supported features will soon grow, and Android Wear users will be able to perform advanced operations.
The main advantage of this tool is its multi-platform compatibility. The tool is written in Java, so you are able to run it on every OS with Java Runtime Environment installed.
If you are a happy owner of any Android Wear device such as the G Watch or Gear Live, head over to the AWToolkit thread to put your hands on the toolkit for your tiny device.
The LG G Watch is one of the first two devices hitting the market rocking the highly anticipated Android Wear OS. Naturally, many folks have snatched one up to get a taste of what Google’s take on wearables would be like. And so if you’re one of these people, and especially if you’re a new owner of the G Watch, what better way to kick things off than with LG G Watch Tool?
Developed by XDA Recognized Developer Tomsgt, LG G Watch Tool is a toolkit which prepares your G Watch for aftermarket development and modification with a host of useful functions. This includes:
The toolkit is compatible with PCs running Windows, Linux and iOS, and Tomsgt has also provided a handy video tutorial for those who may be trying this out for the first time. Also, for those who may have a slow internet connection or very limited bandwidth, it should be noted that the toolkit is quite large in size, coming in at about 135 MB.
If you would like to kick things off the right way, head over to the LG G Watch toolkit thread to get started.
July 4, 2014 By: Samantha
The OnePlus One is one appealing device. With gorgeous industrial design, top notch specifications, and an unbelievably affordable price tag, it’s with no surprise that many of us are itching for a purchase invite, or even better yet, for the phone to be released to the wider market. And it’s certainly not hurting their cause by sponsoring xda:devcon ’14. Those who are lucky enough to claim a OnePlus One as their own, especially recent owners, may want to check out the OnePlus One Easy Toolkit.
Developed by XDA Senior Member scumpicule, this toolkit is especially useful for new OnePlus One owners looking to get their phone set up with the necessary software for customization and development. Functions that are able to be performed include:
In order to access these features bar the bootloader unlock, it is required for you to unlock the device’s bootloader first. So if you haven’t done this yet, make sure to perform this first with the toolkit before continuing.
If you would like to get started setting up your new OnePlus One, be sure to check out the OnePlus One Easy Toolkit at its original thread for more information.
June 19, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Occasionally, the situation arises when our cell phone screens die completely. Be it due to a nasty fall, playing a bit too rough with other items in your pocket or backpack, or other device trauma, these things unfortunately happen from time to time. We hope that you never have to experience this rather unpleasant situation, but if it does ever happen, we might have a solution for you that will enable you to control your device in order to extract its data.
If your touchscreen doesn’t respond, some would assume that their data is lost. However, there are various ways to connect to your device and retrieve your data. XDA Forum Member k.janku1 created a handy tool for Windows users that allows you to control your device using a mouse and on-screen buttons. Your device’s screen is shown in a small window, which gives you a way to copy your texts, gallery or anything else that happens to be stored somewhere in phone’s memory. As you would expect, in order to run this tool, your Android-powered phone or tablet needs to have USB debugging turned on. The app then handles the rest.
Do you have a broken screen and do you need to still access your device? If so, all you need to do is head over to the original thread and give this tool a try.
ADB is the most basic and in many circumstances, one of the most powerful Android debugging tools available. With ADB, one can easily install an app, flash your favorite ROM, or grab a logcat to help developers. ADB has one major disadvantage to newcomers, though, and that’s command line.
Command line is great for scripting, and practically every advanced user becomes or already is quite comfortable, but not everyone can remember various lengthy commands. Luckily, XDA Senior Member Mohamed Hashem created a tool for newcomers and people who like simplicity.
With Mohamed Hashem’s tool, you can pull a logcat, install or uninstall applications, reboot your device to a selected mode, and more. It can also flash a recovery, kernel, or ROM using fastboot. The fact that it’s written in Java makes it multi-platform, and as such, it can be used on Windows
, Linux, and OS X. Mahmed Hashem’s tool is a great way to show the true potential of ADB to new users who don’t know much about ADB, fastboot, and command line in general.
If you are new to Android or simply want to have things automated, make your way to the original thread to give this tool a try.
May 23, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
To install any ROM through a custom recovery, you need to have an updater-script. It’s basically a few lines of commands that tells your Android recovery what to do. These files are also widely used with Aroma Installer and other scripting engines, but of course everyone knows this already. However, a problem arises when you need to create your own updater-script from scratch, as it’s not always generated during the build process.
For beginners, the updater-script language (Edify) might be like black magic. Thankfully, there are some tools that can help out with basic commands such as a GUI-based utility by XDA Forum Member Octanium91 (posted thanks to courtesy of XDA Forum Member borndead) called Android Script Creator that allows you to create an updater-script with just a few clicks.
Android Script Creator does all the dirty work for you. All you need to do is select which option should be added to your current updater-script. Every option is presented through a simple dropdown menu that explains all of the commands. The generated script can then be used with a ROM, application, mod, or practically anything that can be flashed through a custom recovery.
If you are a beginner trying to get through complicated Edify scripting, head over to the tool thread to get started.
May 11, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
With a much certainty, we can say that Aroma is one of the most widely used projects here on XDA. We have talked about it countless times in the past. This system was created by XDA Recognized Developer amarullz, and it has since dramatically changed how we install ROMs, kernels, and flashable modifications by allowing us to select which applications, libraries, and boot animations we would like to have installed. It’s almost a given that everyone reading this has already seen a thread with the word AROMA in the title.
Aroma is a great tool, but can be little problematic when you are using it for the first time. Aroma beginners should try out tool made by XDA Senior Member Madaditya. Lazy Aroma is a Windows batch script that helps you begin Aroma more easily. With this script, you can perform such actions like building the initial Aroma windows, adding some comments and information, and even creating the updater-script that launches the Aroma window during installation. To try out Aroma with your personal project, you need to have it on your PC and let the script do its magic.
If you are a developer looking to give your users more freedom, visit the tool thread and give Lazy Aroma a try.
May 4, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
If you theme or otherwise modify your device and its applications, you have surely deodexed either your entire ROM or certain apps. This process isn’t particularly difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but it can be a bit annoying and burdensome if not done with a user-friendly, GUI-based tool. Luckily, there’s Ultimate Deodexer.
Ultimate Deodexer by XDA Recognized Themer BDFreak is an incredibly user-friendly deodexing tool that allows anyone to deodex any APK or JAR with just a few clicks. This works for all Android versions, even 4.3 and 4.4, which were initially troublesome with certain utilities. All you have to do is load the appropriate files and click the start button. The tool even allows you to drag and drop files and folders to deodex. And once done, you are given a log that shows how everything went.
If you find yourself deodexing APK or JAR files 0ften, head over to the utility thread to give Ultimate Deodexer a shot.
If you’ve ever pulled a logcat to help a developer find and fix an issue, you might have done so in one of several ways. There are numerous applications out there that allow you to generate logs quickly, easily, and usually with some degree of formatting and/or filtering. However, log files exported from Catlog, which seems to be a popular choice for people sending logs to developers, aren’t always easy to look at and sift through—especially for those who may not have a great deal of experience.
It’s for this very reason that XDA Forum Member Bikonja put together a simple web-based tool that takes a raw logcat and automatically adds formatting, highlighting, and filtering. Simply paste the text and select the desired options to reformat and filter as required. The tool is currently set to expect logs from Catlog but as Bikonja himself says,
This should make it fairly simple for somebody to adapt to handle a wider range of input if needed. Check out the forum thread for more information and a link to the tool itself.
GIMP is a popular image editor for various operating systems. It’s free, easy to use, and can perform many complex operations on various file types including PNGs, which are widely used in Android. It’s the primary image editor on Linux, and it has no real alternative (except perhaps Pinta). This makes GIMP’s user base quite large and devoted.
GIMP can be used to create an Android theme. But thanks to XDA Senior Member Kdio, theming is now quite a bit easier for GIMP users. Kool Android Transmutation Kit is a set of tools that create a ready-to-flash ZIP file with newly themed files and XMLs. These tools work both on Linux and Windows, and can theme every variant of Android to date, including HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz.
KatKit then builds, signs, and zipaligns files to make them ready to use. KatKit requires Java and GIMP to work. Linux users also need to have root privileges to set correct permissions onto the files.
If you are a theming enthusiast or wish to become one, make your way to the tool thread and give Kool Android Transmutation Kit a shot.
April 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
If you’ve ever modified precompiled applications, you have undoubtedly spent time with XDA Recognized Developer Brut.all‘s APKTool or one of its variants. APKTool works quite well, which is why after so many years, people still use it. However, using APKTool then requires you to use a separate app such as Notepad++ to edit the decompiled binaries. Once that’s done, you then have to go back to APKTool to recompile the modified app.
In order to streamline things significantly, XDA Forum Member vaibhavpandeylive created APK Studio. Perhaps the best way to classify APK Studio would be to call it an IDE for .smali files, complete with syntax highlighting. But rather than simply allow you to edit and visualize the code, APK Studio also is able to decompile and recompile binaries from within the utility itself. Thus, it leads to a much more streamlined APK editing process, since now you only need one tool to do everything.
While ideally source-built development and app modification is the way to go, there are many times in which an app’s source code is not available, but you still wish to make a few tweaks for personal use. For situations like these, APK Studio will certainly come in handy. Head over to the utility thread to give it a shot. And if you think you can improve upon the app, download the app’s source code and have a go at it.
April 19, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s innovative and versatile Xposed Framework allows developers to change virtually any aspect of a device’s software at runtime. And by virtue of these changes being made at runtime, users don’t have to permanently modify system files in order to achieve the desired result. Because of this, very many developers choose to create their development projects for use with Xposed rather pursuing other means.
In order to help make Xposed Module development just a few steps more streamlined, XDA Senior Member hamzahrmalik created a simple tool that automatically sets up an Xposed Module project in Eclipse. When activated, the tool automatically adds the Xposed API to the build path. It also adds the Xposed meta tags to the Manifest file, creates the appropriate packages and classes, and creates the required xposed_init file.
The tool comes in the form of a JAR file, so you can use this auto setup utility on any computer that is compatible with the Eclipse IDE. If you wish to get started creating an Xposed module, head over to the original thread and give this a try!