If you are a flashaholic and an owner of the Sony Xperia U, you may be interested in the multi-purpose tool developed for the Xperia U by XDA Forum Member AlexDroid00 that allows you to perform a whole host of actions that may alleviate the required process that are necessary otherwise.
Developed for Windows PCs, the multi-tool for the Xperia U combines many actions, which would otherwise have to be performed individually and with different tools, into one program for your convenience. These functions include:
Using the tool is easy and straight forward, only requiring you to follow the prompts in the program when running. With 8 updates under the belt, AlexDroidoo is actively working on the tool, He also has an extensive list of future improvements and features on the agenda, and he is taking part in discussions and answering queries from the community. The tool is available in 2 languages, Italian and English, and is a free download of about 45 megabytes.
So if you are a user of the Sony Xperia U, be sure to check out the original thread for more details and discussion.
April 29, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
It used to be the case that whenever you wanted to use ADB or FastBoot with a device, you were required to install a specific driver for each device. For anyone regularly flashing several devices or developers who test on numerous different phones and tablets, this could prove to be something of an inconvenience, especially when setting up for the first time and having to hunt around in a dingy corner of an OEM website looking for the correct driver. Thankfully, things are somewhat simpler nowadays thanks to several different solutions to this old issue.
You may remember us previously talking about the Universal Naked Driver by XDA Senior Member 1wayjonny. This is a Windows based tool (compatible with XP, Vista, 7 and 8) that allows you to make use of ADB, Fastboot, and (for ASUS devices) APX on over 250 different devices with minimal effort. Check out the link above and the forum thread for more information on this one.
Continuing on from the success of the Universal Naked Driver, Koush has taken the device/vendor ids collected within the UND thread and used them to create an alternative solution, which claims to work on all Android phones and all versions of Windows, presumably XP and above. You can find Koush’s Universal ADB Driver and the source for it from the G+ post linked to above.
Last but certainly not least is a project entitled Casual Android Driver Installer, or CADI for short. This is the brainchild of XDA Senior Member jrloper, and like the two already mentioned options, it attempts to alleviate the frustration of device-specific drivers. The difference with CADI though is that it is fully integrated into the CASUAL by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler and takes a somewhat different approach to the problem. It uses elements of an open source USB device driver installer called libwdi by Pete Batard and essentially determines which devices are connected via USB before generating drivers on the fly and automatically taking care of the installation process. That’s a pretty good example of three open source projects coming together in a glorious trinity of non-proprietary loveliness if ever I saw one.
So if you are still plagued by the problem of individual drivers for each of your devices, it’s definitely in your best interests to look into one, or indeed all of these options. Let us know your preferred method of driver avoidance in the comments below.
It’s fair to say that unless you’ve spent some time digging around inside APK files and making some heavy duty modifications to apps or the Android OS itself, you probably haven’t come face-to-face with a .smali file in its natural environment. They are a common component in many of the most popular Android tweaks and hacks out there such as adding toggles, extending the power menu, and adding CRT screen off animation.
The files themselves can often be found nestled inside APKs and become available for modification once that particular file is decompiled with a utility such as APKTool. Unfortunately, these smali files sometimes have a tendency to squirrel themselves away inside the classes.dex of a JAR file and make themselves a little more awkward and time consuming to reach and manipulate. Following on from his recent guide to ADB commands, XDA Senior Member iamareebjamal has put together a one-click tool that will allow you to decompile the classes.dex from any APK or JAR file with ease.
Simply place the relevant file in the input folder, decompile, make any necessary changes to the newly available files, recompile, and check the output folder for your modified version. It’s as simple as that. Obviously there are a few prerequisites to this, namely some kind of personal computing device running Windows, Java (ideally in software and liquid form), the relevant files and tools (notepad++, an archive manager etc), and some idea of what you’d actually like to achieve as the end result. If you have all of those at your disposal, this could prove to be a great little time saver and well worth a visit to the original thread.
Everybody has a nemesis of some kind. Odysseus had Poseidon, for Captain Ahab it was the white whale, and Sherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty. As for Android themers, well they have NinePatch (.9png) files.
If you aren’t familiar with NinePatch, check out this great tutorial which deals with the intricacies of working with these particularly troublesome image files. In summary, they are “stretchable” image files used for elements of the UI that often require resizing, such as a speech bubble used to contain a text message. Instead of storing multiple different sizes of the same image, it makes much more sense to simply resize the same one as needed, and that’s where NinePatch comes into play. Although on paper these files are an incredibly efficient solution to a problem, they can be a real nightmare to work with, as they need to be edited properly to avoid horribly misshapen and downright ugly images after the stretching takes place. And if you hadn’t already spent enough time messing around with one single file, when it dawns on you that you need to resize it for use on different screen sizes, this becomes a tempting solution to the problem.
Android Drawable Resizer by XDA Forum Member ~RoN~ should help to alleviate some of the frustration caused by these pesky images by allowing you to automatically resize the images for use on different resolutions. Once you have one size edited to your liking, simply use this Windows-based tool to specify it’s original density, select which densities you wish to create from your original, and the tool handles the rest. This is a fantastic time saver for any themers out there who aren’t afraid to tackle the NinePatch.
Check out the original thread for more information if you often find yourself spending too much time on this type of file.
The vast majority of us have probably, at some point, backed up the data on our devices—whether it’s in the form of a Nandroid backup or just using Titanium Backup (other backup apps are available) to preserve your applications and their relevant data. There are many reasons why you might want to do this, whether its for restoration after flashing a new ROM or just for posterity in case of disaster while tinkering around.
Another reason you might want to backup data is because you want to unlock your bootloader, and doing so often requires your device’s /data partition to be wiped. However if you haven’t unlocked your bootloader then chances are you don’t yet have root access, which makes backing up significantly more difficult.
Well not anymore, as XDA Forum Member Gigadroid has created a Windows-based tool that allows you to back up various different types of data and restore them, all without root access. It’s worth mentioning that this is not like a nandroid backup which is effectively a snapshot of your current device set up, this backs up apps, app data and information stored on the internal/external SD card.
The way this works is because of the greater permissions given to ADB compared to apps run on the phone itself, which carries with it its own potential risks. In other words, once done backing up your data, you should consider turning USB debugging back off.
The tool was tested on a Galaxy Nexus, but should work on any device running Android 4.1 or above with USB debugging enabled. Slide on over to the original forum thread to find out more.
Windows Phone 7 development around XDA has been steadily increasing, and that’s a really good thing. XDA Recognized Developer dotcompt has added a couple of much needed tools to the Windows Phone 7 application arsenal.
The first is a super tool that gives users various shortcuts to tools and the other is an alternative market for home brew apps, XDA apps, etc. The super tool application, aptly named DS Supertool offers its users:
. Connectivity shortcuts.
. Favorites contacts speed dial.
. Quick web search tool.
. Easy find your local weather and news.
. Notes application.
. Reminder application.
. Easy launch camera shortcut
It is a free application and offers quite a few useful tools for WP7 owners. The application isn’t available in the market, so you’ll have to side load it after downloading but, as mentioned, it’s free, so no big deal.
The other application, called DS Marketplace, allows users to download applications that may not be approved by the Windows Market. Says dotcompt:
All .xap files are stored in Deepshining Mobile Server and when Homebrew .xap files are updated from XDA Devs, I will upload this files again to my server so you can download it again.
Aftermarket Market applications are always fun and can offer a variety of applications that aren’t on the official market.
February 13, 2012 By: ElCondor
The USB host function on recent Android phones and tablets, is perhaps the most unspoken yet incredibly useful innovation in recent mobile device development. I remember, a few years ago some developers struggling with connecting a 3.5″ HDD to an HTC Touch Diamond, and see where we landed now: manufacturers are slowly building the USB host function into their phones and tablets. The Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Nexus were said to be able to host any USB device as long as it doesn’t require any special drivers- so any flash drive and hard disk should be able to connect with those phones. But the USB Host functionality didn’t work at all.
It took Google another update to fix this issue, but many users already reported several problems from crashing applications to not being able to connect a USB flash drive to it. As XDA Senior Moderator Chainfire ironically says:
There are even cases where OEMs advertise USB host support, but the device does not support it at all. It appears as if USB host support isn’t tested by Google or the OEMs when they push out new firmwares and devices at all.
His solution: a tool which diagnoses the USB host functionality on your phone. It basically gives answers to the question: ‘Does my phone have that awesome USB Host function or not?’ What you do need is a USB OTG Cable, a simple flash drive and Android 2.3.1 or newer. Results of the app can be uploaded to an online database – so soon we will have a clarifying list of devices and ROMs and their USB Host capabilities.
Take a look at the thread to download the tool and join the discussion. The apk should not be redistributed.
February 10, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Most devices have a plethora of dedicated developers. People who make ROMs, Mods, Tweaks and even Tools. However, some phones aren’t so lucky and don’t get a lot of developer support. In either case, there are still those out there who develop things for everybody.
This is the case with The Configurator. It’s a tool made by XDA Senior Member smokin1337 that can be used on any phone with busybox installed and it can do a great number of things. The features are ridiculous, and some of them can even replace apps you may have already been using. They include:
1. Set CPU Governor
2. Set Max CPU Frequency
3. Set Min CPU Frequency
4. Undervolt CPU (If Available)
5. Multiple Tweaks
6. Enable/Disable Virtuous OC (Developed by rmk40)
7. Configure Virtuous OC
8. Enable/Disable The Configurator
9. Optimize Mounts
10. Enable/Disable SD Read Ahead
11. Backup Apps
12. Restore Apps
13. Backup Configurator Settings
14. Restore Configurator Settings
15. Enable/Disable Cleanup
16. Set I/O Scheduler
More tweaked settings
So, basically, this tool takes all the things any root user should need and bundles them up in a nice, complete package for anyone to use. Based on the dates on the change logs, the application is also well supported so any newly discovered features could make their way to this application as well.
For anyone who wants to try it, you can find it in its original thread along with instructions for use, downloads and update information. As per the norm, users should make complete backups before using or applying anything from the app, just in case something goes wrong!
February 10, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Tools make the Android world go ’round. They bridge the gap between the creation of cool modifications and processes and the average user by taking what could be a complicated process and automating it. That makes it easy to use and highly useful.
The full feature list includes:
- Auto Update-Tool
- MUlti-language Support
- ROM Cleaner
- Android SDK installation (with auto-update PATH variable)
- GoldCard Tool
- Change Boot animation
- Change Splashscreen
- Check your getprop
- Install HBOOT drivers
- Radio S-OFF
- Reboot Mode
- Flash ENG HBOOT (S-OFF)
- Flash Recovery
- Auto Flash Radio Capability (All radios are stocked in a private server) Compatibility “Desire, Desire HD & Incredible S”
- SIM UnLock
- Change CID
- Set Super CID
- Install APK Packages
- Auto Detection Capability
- Auto Downgrade Capability
- Auto Logging for debug
Of course, there’s some pre-requisites before using the tool, including:
- HTC Sync installed
- Enable USB Debugging.
- Disable Fast Boot.
- Enable Unknown Sources in Application Settings.
- Connect Device in ‘Charge Only’ mode.
After that, the tool will work for you with all of it’s uses and features.
If this seems like a tool you should be using, then you can find the full feature list, full change log, screen shots, downloads and instructions in the tool’s original thread. As per the norm, make sure you perform a backup before using, just in case something goes wrong.