If you’ve been looking for a more interesting battery charging animation to replace the rather dull and conventional battery icon you have now, there are a wealth of options available ranging from battery mod compilations to 3rd party apps, and even a Windows tool. But if these options just don’t seem to cut it for you and you’d rather create your own battery animation from scratch, you may want to check out XDA Recognized Contributor erikalin’s tutorial.
Because of the personalized and limitless nature of the procedure, Erikalin keeps the tutorial clean and simple. It is broken up into two parts: things you have to get, such as 7zip and Paint (or any other image editor of choice), and things you have to do. If you fancy yourself as being more of a visual learner, this has also been catered for by Erikalin, who has made a video tutorial. It can be said that the video tutorial is more thorough than the written counterpart, as it shows exactly what Erikalin did to create his own battery animation.
Before you rush and open up Windows Paint, it should be noted that you will be editing 203 very small images, a task that is both time consuming and may not be healthy for your eyes if you’re at it for extended periods of time. Nevertheless, if you’re up for the challenge and would like to get started creating your own battery charging animation for your Samsung Galaxy S 3, head over to the original thread for more information.
February 27, 2014 By: Samantha
The S View cases for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Note 3 are fascinating products, as they not only protect the device and its screen, but they also feature a topside screen that displays your status bar, temperature, caller ID, and date and time. Not only that, but it’s also recognizes S Pen contact on the Note 3, which allows for some simple actions such as taking notes.
What may come as a surprise to some is that the S View cases don’t allow you to change the screen timeout period, and they also offer very few options for backgrounds and no ability to set your own custom background. Luckily, XDA Forum Member vonerk has written a tutorial on how to set a custom wallpaper and timeout period.
The process can get a bit messy, but overall it is quite straightforward. The tutorial requires you to use the previously featured Android APKTool to decompile and eventually recompile the various files that need to be edited, as well as have your custom background image and Notepad++ ready for all the editing in between. It should be noted that the end result does not allow you to quickly and easily change such settings, so if you want to change them again, you’ll have to go through the whole process again.
So if you’re getting a bit bored of the background options, check out the guide at its original thread to get started.
February 25, 2014 By: Samantha
Lackluster battery life is probably one of the biggest downfalls in the modern day smartphone, despite the slow gains being made by OEMs with each passing generation. Putting aside battery saving apps and devices with non-removable batteries, one way of getting more screen time from your device is to simply use a battery with higher mAh rating. This generally means a battery with larger physical dimensions that will not only add more bulk to your device and ruin its beautiful, carefully designed aesthetics, but can also prevent you from using key features.
This is most definitely the case for the 9300 mAh Zero Lemon battery for the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which completely covers the phone’s NFC chip with its ginormous form. Naturally, users can no longer use NFC, which for many has become an integral part of their lifestyle. But thanks to the efforts of XDA Recognized Contributor Bajanman, there’s now a mod that can allow you access to the phone’s NFC again.
One must keep in mind that this modification can be very complicated, especially for anyone who is not experienced or trained in soldering. The process essentially allows contact between the NFC chip and the phone with wires wrapping around the side of the battery. Having gone through and completed the procedure himself, Bajanman documented every step of the way and provided the images as much welcomed visual aid.
This mod is definitely not for everybody, aimed obviously towards those who have the Zero Lemon battery or are seriously considering of purchasing it. If however, you would much rather keep NFC than have a larger, both in regards to dimensions and mAh, it may be an idea to check out something else. If you would like to find out more about this mod, visit the original thread for more details.
Google seemingly brought a bit of the future into the present when it introduced voice activation to the Nexus 5 and Moto X, something we’ve only seen to such a degree in blockbuster movies and corny TV advertisements. Naturally, the rest of the Android community probably feels a bit left out of the fun while exclaiming ‘Y U NO VOICE ACTIVATE’ at their devices. There’s good news for folks who are feeling this way because there’s now a way for you to do control your phone with your voice as well.
This comes thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member lukes91, who has written a tutorial teaching you how to use Xposed, Tasker, Autovoice and Google Now together to achieve a similar effect. After making it clear that the tutorial is based only off lukes91’s personal setup on his HTC One X, the tutorial continues on explaining just exactly how to configure the settings of each of the aforementioned apps. Screenshots of the apps’ settings are posted throughout the guide, and lukes91 also inserts in a few personal variations to give you the feel of just how much flexibility can be had.
By the end of the process, you’ll be able to say “OK Google” to launch Google Now and other actions on your device, even when the screen is off. Of course, with such functionality, you should be prepared for some increased battery drain, with the significance varying from device to device.
If you’ve been wanting to have this function on your device, head over to the original thread to get started.
February 25, 2014 By: Samantha
Tweaking CPU settings can be a very safe and easy way for rooted Android users to save a bit of that precious battery juice. More often than not, this can only be achieved by downloading a third party app, as only very few OEMs offer CPU speed controls in their built-in software. But if you own a Sony Xperia device and are up for a bit of coding, check out XDA Senior Member Pandemic’s tutorial on adding CPU settings into the native settings menu.
The process explained in the tutorial is very straightforward with not many complexities, perfect for the beginner looking to dip his or her toes in the pool but not yet ready to dive into the deep end of Android development. After downloading the attached files from the guide, you need decompile the settings.apk, navigate to the specified XML files which you then must add a few lines of code to, and recompile it. Once this is done, all you have to do is either make a flashable zip folder with the two APKs provided and the edited settings.apk and flash it through a custom recovery, or simply push these files manually to the system folder.
When you’re done, you’ll end up with a settings menu that has a new sub menu that enables you to change the CPU clock speeds, as well as view statistics regarding your device’s CPU such as the total run time and how long your CPU spends running at certain clock speeds.
If you would like to give this a whirl, visit the original thread for more information.
February 24, 2014 By: Samantha
If you have been following the Windows Phone headlines the past couple of weeks, you’ve definitely heard of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak. Although neither the rumored digital assistant Cortana nor the OS’s new Action Center are to be seen in the leaked build, there are still quite a few new additions and tweaks to the mobile platform. These include finally being able to install apps onto the SD card with Storage Sense, further UI customization options, better multitasking, and updates of core apps such as Internet Explorer, among others.
If you’re willing to try the leaked WP 8.1 build on your PC but are a bit lost as to just exactly how to go about doing that, you should check out XDA Forum Member myst02’s guide on installing the leaked SDK on your PC. The process is relatively simple, but will take up about an hour of your time, granted that you’ve already downloaded the SDK and installed Visual Studio 2013 Express on your PC. What follows is straightforward, involving extracting the ISO, running the installer, and typing in a couple lines into CMD. You can also create a handy shortcut on your desktop for the next time you want to run WP 8.1 without going through the initial process.
So if you’re interested in taking a closer look at what could be the next iteration of Windows Phone, head over to the original thread to get started.
February 21, 2014 By: Samantha
One interesting function Sony touted for their phablet, the Xperia Z Ultra, is its ability to react to ordinary pens and pencils—yes, pens and pencils—as a styli. Putting aside the obvious concern of scratching and ruining your phone’s screen with a pen, it’s still definitely a unique differentiating factor when you’re comparing different phablets.
Well, it turns out that the Xperia Z1’s screen also has this same capability, except it was disabled by Sony for some reason or another. First implemented in an AOKP ROM for the device, XDA Senior Member RyokoN has now made the this function available to any owner of the Xperia Z1 running the official firmware.
In order to get this working, you must edit edit hw_config.sh, or create an init.d script with the lines of code given by RyokoN. Don’t worry if this sounds a bit too brief and incomplete, as RyokoN has provided all the necessary steps and information to get this rather simple mod up and running. And for users of Tasker, RyokoN has also created an app to get Pen mode working with Tasker.
This mod is only compatible with materials made of metal, wood, and lead, so plastic and anything else will not work. If you want to give this a try, head over to the original thread for more information.
February 20, 2014 By: Samantha
Chances are that if you haven’t accidentally ripped or broken the headset that came with your phone, it’s probably hopelessly lost, never to be found. And on an Xperia device, that’s too bad because without it, you won’t be able to catch up on your favorite radio personality or listen to Top 40 without streaming it via mobile broadband. But hey, there’s now a way for Sony Xperia owners to listen to the radio without the required headset, thanks to a tutorial written by XDA Recognized Contributor DaRk-L0rD.
Much like the previously featured smali editing tutorials, this tutorial can be a quick and easy fix that anyone can follow and apply, be it a rookie or a pro. It simply requires knowledge of decompiling and compiling an apk, for which there many tutorials and tools, and of course, the actual Radio.apk file. After you’ve decompiled the APK, navigate to and open PhfHandler.smali. From there, make the necessary code changes, save the file, compile the APK, and push it to your device. There are also screenshots of the process for anyone looking for a bit more guidance.
If you are craving your daily morning radio but can’t seem to find the (no longer) required headset, check out the tutorial at the original thread to get started.
Ever since December of 2013, a large number of Sony Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra owners began to experience what has been dubbed and feared as an Xperia “Brickademic.” This issue that has garnered confused, angry, and disappointed responses spanning over more than 35 pages in the discussion thread, and the cause seems to be spawning from kernel incompatibilities that result from flashing an Android 4.3 firmware on a device running certain builds of Android 4.2.2. Now that it has been festering for a couple of months already, XDA Forum Members vovanx500 and the_laser have finally come out with a solution to the bricking problem.
Vovanx500 makes it clear at the beginning of the tutorial that the fix is not for the faint of heart, with the process requiring disassembling your device, which voids your warranty, in order to access the testpoint. The tutorial lays down the necessary steps to recover your bricked device, from guiding you on what has to be done once you’ve removed the back cover of your device, to running the actual program and finally getting the device back on track. The fix would not be possible without the efforts of the_laser, who developed the program used in the process, as well as vovanx500’s Xperia Z Ultra which was used as a guinea pig to find the testpoint.
This definitely isn’t a fix that everyone may want to try due to its complexity. But if you’re willing and have the nerve, head over to the original thread for more information.
[Thanks to Senior Member zeppelinrox for the tip!]
February 14, 2014 By: Samantha
For many Android users out there, the wallpaper on the home screen is like the centerpiece of the entire device, which is probably why we invest so much time with wallpaper apps and forum threads. Of course, the bad thing is that when you navigate to anywhere else on your device, you can no longer see the wallpaper. If you much prefer this not be on your Sony Xperia device, check out XDA Forum Member kalel2012’s transparent framework tutorial.
The tutorial goes about showing you how to edit your device’s Framework-res.apk so by the end, you have a transparent UI wherever you go. The process includes decompiling the APK, changing and adding lines of code to a couple of XML files, and finally recompiling it back together. To help you out, kalel2012 also provides screenshots accompanying the steps of the process.
This mod has been tested to work on the Xperia L running Android 4.1.2 and 4.2.2, and the SP running Android 4.1.2, but any other Xperia device running official Android Jelly Bean should also be compatible. However, 2013 Xperia devices need to have a modified Framework-res.apk and framework.jar to proceed, something which can be achieved a tutorial linked in the guide.
So if you’re wanting to see your magnificent wallpaper from every part of your phone, or are after a new look, head over to the original thread for more information.
February 8, 2014 By: Samantha
Being forced to look at a lock screen for the umpteenth time everyday can wear down someone’s liking towards said lock screen setup. So what does one do? You switch things up a bit—maybe a custom lock screen, or customizing it with mods, or even simply a new wallpaper. If however, you own a Samsung Galaxy S Advance, are looking for something different, and up for a challenge, why not give XDA Senior Member BOOTMGR’s Lock screen Blur Effect a go?
Inspired by the GravityBox Xposed Module, the tutorial is written specifically for devices running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It is compatible with all lock screens, including AOSP, pattern lock, and the default Samsung lock screen. The mod, however, has only been tested by BOOTMGR and confirmed working on TouchWiz firmware, with no guarantee for users running other ROMs.
The process requires you to have android.policy.jar, APKtool, and Notepad++ at your side, and consists of decompiling android.policy.jar, adding, removing and changing code and files with those provided, and recompiling it. Once it’s all done and installed on your Galaxy S Advance, the mod will take a screenshot of your current screen when you’re locking your device, apply a blur effect, and set it as the lock screen wallpaper. Pretty neat.
If you want to check the mod out and give this a go, head over to the original thread for more information.
February 8, 2014 By: Samantha
A common way for Android users to delete a large number of apps, such as bloatware, is to find a convenient bloatware removal script. Just download the base script, edit it by adding and removing the undesirable apps, and run it on your device, and voila. Of course, using a text editor to change the script can be quite a tedious process, especially if you do this often or have a massive number of apps to remove. If this is the case, you may want to check out an alternate method of bloatware removal through an AROMA package.
Originally developed for the Samsung Galaxy Y by XDA Senior Member the_pirate_predator, the AROMA package simply named Bloatware Remover, allows you to not only perform the expected function of removing apps in bulk, but also enables you to easily choose which apps to remove right there and then. This means no more manually editing scripts with apps you wish to remove and save, a benefit many folks may appreciate. Additionally, to reduce instability and the time you spend finding a particular app, the_pirate_predator has made it so the AROMA installer only displays apps that can be deleted.
Additional kudos must be given to the_pirate_predator, as he has also provided a detailed guide to port this device-specific AROMA package to other devices, so users of other devices will also be able to give this bloatware removal method a go. So if you’re interested in trying out an alternate method of removing bloatware from your Android device, make sure to check out the original thread for the Galaxy Y, and the porting tutorial for more information.
Update: It seems like users looking to port this AROMA package still must manually include all the apps that one wants to be included as ‘bloatware’ during the porting process. However, no more script editing is required after this initial process is done.
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.