July 18, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer TK shows you how to root your Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Odin and a PC. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is the fourth iteration (obv.) of the Galaxy S flagship line. Many people say it’s just a small incremental update to the Samsung Galaxy S III. Anyway, it’s still a popular phone, and at XDA, we must root all the things.
TK presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your T-Mobile SGS4 variant using tools from the XDA Forums. The process is similar for other variants. You will just need to follow the links below for the specific files for your variant. So take a moment and check this video out.
July 16, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
There’s a lot of talk about privacy these days, with government and carriers trading your data like Pokemon cards. However, focusing on that is worrying about the wrong thing. Yes it’s bad, but what about that game you installed from the Google Play store that you allowed to access your device’s phone number?
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin shows off XPrivacy from XDA Senior Member M66B. Kevin shows you how to set up XPrivacy to block applications’ access to your information, as well as how you can spoof your location with location-aware apps and this program. Check out this video.
XDA is the place to go for your rooting and custom ROM needs. We all know custom ROMs add cool features, and having the latest version of Android does as well. One of the great features in the latest version is Quick Settings toggle page. But what if you haven’t gotten around to rooting your device or you can’t since it’s your work device? What if it’s your mom’s phone and she won’t let you root it?
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin shows off AntTek Quick Settings. Kevin shows you how to set up a Quick Settings panel on your stock, unrooted device. Now you can have quick access to your settings or apps without the hassle of rooting your Grandmother’s smartphone. Check out this video.
You have seen XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin set up his phone to respond to his voice, and to respond to changes in locations or WiFi status. Tasker is Kevin’s best friend, and he’s shared with you some of his tips and tricks in the past. Well today, he will show you how to use the NFC function in your phone to change automate changes in your phone.
In today’s video, Kevin shows off NFC Launcher. Kevin shows you how to set up NFC Tags to change options on your phone or launch a Tasker task. Also, check out all the videos in his Tasker series and make your phone work for you. Check out this video.
Many of us forget how daunting and sometimes downright confusing the terminology that’s thrown around on the forums can be for new users. Once upon a time, you wouldn’t have even found your way to XDA without already having a solid understanding of your device and how it functions at either a hardware or a software level. Those days, however, are long gone and many, many new people find their way to the site on a daily basis—many of them with little or no previous knowledge of how a mobile operating system functions. As the number of such users increases, so does the need for readily available and easy to understand information that answers some of the commonly asked questions and provides a solid base upon which to build further knowledge.
XDA Recognised Contributor Tha Technocrat created a thread to help those new to Android gain a good understanding of the OS, the kernel, and how the two interact with each other. He also talks about the way in which ROMs are structured, how to prepare to flash one, and some of the possible errors you might encounter while doing so. The final thing he talks about is the various partitions found on most modern Android devices and their specific uses.
While you might argue that anyone who doesn’t already know what the kernel actually is shouldn’t be flashing one (and you’d be right), many people seem to be asking the kind of questions answered by this guide only after something goes wrong. If you are new to modifying your devices software and feel there are some knowledge gaps that you’d like to fill, check out the original thread for more information on the subjects mentioned above.
If you’ve ever thought of emulating an Android device on your PC, for either playing games that are otherwise incompatible with your current mobile device or for Android development and app testing, you may have looked into the Android emulator Genymotion. If you’re looking for a bit of help on how to get things started, you may want to check XDA Senior Member pratyush997‘s guide Genymotion.
The tutorial focuses specifically on PCs running Windows, and guides you along the steps necessary for a successful installation and set up of Genymotion. With helpful screenshots of the program with every step of the way, pratyush997 goes through the necessary prerequisites, the installation stage, and the initial setup of the emulator. The various functions and features of Genymotion are also covered, such as configuration of the battery level, toggling of the various settings, setting a custom resolution. and ADB. Pratyush997 also guides you through setting up and using ADB correctly with the emulator, such as connecting, ADB pushing, and pulling.
Running Android 4.1 and rooted ‘out of the box,’ Genymotion’s ‘basic features’ are also open source—specifically in regards to VirtualBox and support for different Android versions. So if you are looking for a head start with Genymotion, be sure to check out the guide thread for more information.
So much of our Android experience is dependent on modifying various APKs. Modding, theming, ROM and app developing in one way or another often require some sort of tweaking, modifying, or refashioning of an APK. So XDA Senior Member XperienceD has decided to create a ‘Definite APK Modding and Theming’ thread intended for everything to do with modding and theming.
XperienceD starts this thread off with a thorough, ‘all-in-one’ guide on APK decompiling and recompiling, signing and zipaligning, .9PNGs, and flashable CWM zip files. Categorized into these respective sections, the guide comprehensively covers every tool, step, and code with sufficient detail and covered minutiae needed. He does so in such a way that any novice or aspiring developer without an engineering or computer science degree can follow. XperienceD eases the process with asides of advice, links to other guides, external resources and sites, and the inclusion of numerous helpful visuals and videos.
XperienceD’s guide is most definitely one of the more thorough and comprehensive guides that I’ve come across. Not only is it a great starting point for the beginner, but even the experienced folks may find the guide worth a read and a bookmark. So if this has gotten you curious, make sure to check out the original thread for more information.
July 1, 2013 By: Samantha
Feeling that there are some settings missing in the settings of your device? Or do you think some settings are a bit too tedious to reach? Perhaps the overall layout is just bugging you a little? You’ve seen it done in custom ROMs, but never really knew how to do it yourself. Well, good news, because with the help of XDA Recognized Contributor Quinny899‘s tutorial, you can now switch up the settings layout to your heart’s content.
Sorted into different categories of your intended modification, the guide covers:
Each category’s difficulty is conveniently rated out of 5 stars, and if you come across hiccups where your APK doesn’t recompile or your new settings menu does not appear, there’s a general troubleshooting section. Examples of the necessary code edits and additions accompany each step of the guide, and Quinny899 has also provided a download of icons of various sizes you may want to use.
So if this interests you and you would like to learn more, visit the original thread for more information.
[Screenshot courtesy of Diaz1999]
June 28, 2013 By: Samantha
If you need something done with your Android device and you’re not sure which program is needed to do it, it can probably be done with the Android Everything Tool by XDA Senior Member ricky310711.
Alright alright, so it obviously can’t do everything, but it sure seems like it can. A free tool for PCs running Windows, Android Everything Tool brings together a whole range of functions that are normally fragmented between multiple apps, tools, and software. This includes performing custom recovery functions such as backing up and restoring your device, and wiping the data, cache, system and dalvik cache. Android Everything Tool can also change the LCD pixel density of your device and fix that pesky low battery error.
The tool also comes with numerous guides that help you unlock your bootloader, install a recovery theme, restore your device to its default state, and more. Users of the HTC Sensation XL are treated to a longer list of functions such as S-Off, force update, and flashing a custom radio, among others.
Android Everything Tool, originally compatible with only the Sensation XL, will now work with any Android device that uses ADB and fastboot. Now with six versions under the belt, ricky310711 may be coming out with a seventh version incorporating bug fixes and suggestions from the community. So if you would like to give this a go, be sure to check out the original thread for more information and download.
June 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android has become the dominant mobile operating system. Many of us love Android, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore any new mobile OSes that may come along. What if we ignored Android when it was first released? In that spirit of support of new ideas, XDA has added forums for other OSes such as Ubuntu Touch, and we are having some discussions about Ubuntu Touch at XDA:DevCon 2013.
We already know the Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon will be discussing Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu. But what if you want to learn how to develop for Ubuntu Touch? Is there some kind of workshop you can attend? There is!
Open Source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist Michael Hall will be holding an Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop at XDA:DevCon 2013. Working for Canonical, maker of the popular Ubuntu operating system, and experienced in Perl, Java, PHP and Python languages and a number of desktop applications and libraries, he was responsible for promoting development of Ubuntu itself and the applications that run on it. He led projects to improve integration with Ubuntu’s flagship Unity desktop among desktop and web application and Canonical’s Skunkworks initiative, which brought in select community contributors to work on unannounced projects being developed internally.
When Ubuntu announced their plans to enter the mobile phone and tablet market and released an early preview of their SDK, Michael took a leading role in bringing it to application developers and working with Ubuntu engineers to extend and improve on the developer toolkit. He has overseen the collaborative development of a number of core applications for Ubuntu’s mobile offering, bringing community developers together with Canonical staff to plan, develop, and deliver high quality and visually stunning apps.
With all this experience in hand, he will be leading a workshop on getting started with Ubuntu Touch development. During this workshop, he will present the new Ubuntu SDK, what it has to offer mobile application developers, and how you can use it to create your own apps for Ubuntu devices of all sizes. You will be shown how to get a development environment setup, install the SDK, and where to find extra help and documentation. Finally, you will be shown step-by-step how to develop a working real-world Ubuntu Touch app, so bring your Ubuntu laptop (or VM) to code along!
June 26, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
We have often stressed the importance of backing up your device. Whether before a ROM flash or a new kernel, being able to get your phone backed up fully and quickly is important. Also, if something horrible happens to your device, you have your data in hand. However, sometimes you forgot to update your backups manually.
In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin shows you how use OBackup to automatically backup your device. Kevin talks about how to set this up and some features of OBackup. What are you waiting for? Check out this video.
NinePatch or .9 PNG files are a nuisance for many. These awkward little blighters are the number one cause of Android themers throwing their PC out of the window. Despite being incredibly frustrating, once mastered they are also incredibly useful and allow the use of a single image in various different shapes and sizes. Getting to grips with them can take a little time though and there are various tools out there to help. If you’re just starting out with these particular files, there’s no better place to start than a good old fashioned tutorial.
XDA Recognized Contributor iamareebjamal put together an incredibly detailed (and I mean incredibly detailed) guide to NinePatch files. The guide takes you through the process of decompiling and editing them, along with a rundown of all the tools you will need to do so. As an added bonus, it also covers some of the most commonly themed areas of the UI and where to find the relevant image files as well as how to edit a batch of PNG files at once.
Packed with screenshots and information, this guide is well worth a look for anyone getting to grips with Android theming. Even those who have been theming for a while might learn a thing or two from this one. You can find more in the tutorial thread.