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.
February 1, 2014 By: Samantha
Boy, have headphones changed in the last few years. From something that was simply a black wire that split into 2 earpieces, they’ve morphed into a plethora of options and varieties with an assortment of buttons, sliders, and connections, each meant to make your music experience a little bit more convenient. And with the addition of OEMs designing and creating earphones for specific device models, compatibility issues may arise when you plug them into a new device for the first time.
For Sony Xperia Z Ultra users, XDA Forum Member Pannam offers up a potential fix for issues with headphone / device incompatibility where certain buttons do not work on some devices. The fix basically consists of a simple tweak of a system value labelled headsethook. But first, you must install the provided keytest.apk and with it, find the numerical scancode of your headset. Once that’s done, simply change the headsethook value to the scancode of your headset. You then change the headset scancode to the original headsethook value, and install a third party headset app.
Although claimed to work with only the Xperia Z Ultra, it is likely that this will also work on other Xperia devices, as well as other Android devices in general. That said, always make a backup of the original files just in case things do not work out and you need to revert back to your previous settings. To find out more, visit the original thread.
January 30, 2014 By: Samantha
The LG G Pad 8.3 GPe is probably the only 8-inch tablet that ships with the pure Android experience, making it a standout choice for a growing trend of tablets armed with a screen of around 8 inches. Of course, by getting a GPe device, in this case the G Pad 8.3, one hopes to have greater lease of freedom regarding open development. And with this in mind, XDA Forum Member sleekmason has written a tutorial on kernels for the G Pad 8.3 GPe.
Basically covering from head to toe everything kernel related for your GPe G Pad 8.3, the tutorial has a main focus on teaching you how to download the kernel source of the tablet, compiling a new custom kernel with the source, and installing it onto your tablet. Users of the Linux operating system may find the tutorial easier to understand and follow, as sleekmason does note that the guide assumes a basic knowledge of the PC platform.
Sleekmason keeps the steps and explanations brief and simple without skipping on the important details. This is accompanied by plenty of examples of code and commands and links to external resources so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be doing when you compile and install your kernel onto your device.
So if you’re looking to compile your very own kernel for your G Pad 8.3 GPe, you can get started by visiting the original thread for more information.
January 19, 2014 By: Samantha
Starting out on XDA Developers as a newbie can be pretty daunting. With the nearly limitless possibilities with we can do with our Android devices, it can be quite hard to decide just where and how to start your developing journey. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S II and you find yourself in such situation, it might be a good idea to start off with the more basic tweaks. One simple, yet useful modification to get your started may be learning how to add home and lock buttons to your Galaxy S2′s status bar.
Written by XDA Senior Member corruptionfreeindia, the tutorial provides a necessary foundation for your modding journey by teaching you the basics of APK and XML editing with the steps of adding home and lock buttons to the status bar. The guide is simple and brief, but certainly does not skip out on any details, so you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.
If you follow the tutorial step-by-step, you’ll end up with the home button on the left of the status bar, and the lock button on the very right. If, however, you want to change it up and move things around, corruptionfreeindia provides a very simple way of doing so.
So if you’re interested in starting off your modding journey on your Galaxy S2, check out the original thread for more information.
January 18, 2014 By: Samantha
We’ve all pretty much gotten used to the standard Android navigation bar setup, which is normally any permutation of a back, home, and recent apps buttons. This generally features the home button right in the middle between the other two. But what about the power and menu buttons? Surely, they’re just as commonly accessed to warrant a place on the convenient navigation bar, right?
Well, XDA Senior Member Rajeev seems to think so. And as a result, he wrote a great tutorial on how to add both the power and lock buttons to the navigation bar of the Sony Xperia Z. The process is very simple, consisting of decompiling the SystemUI.apk, moving the provided images to the designated folder, adding and removing lines of code in a couple XML files, and finally recompiling it all back together into an APK and signing it off.
By default, you’ll end up with a navigation bar with all five buttons in the order of back, home, menu, lock, and recent apps, but switching the order up is just a easy. As explained by Rajeev further on in the thread, all you have to do is rearrange the order of the codes for these buttons in whichever way you like.
Any Xperia Z user who has either the official Android 4.1.2, 4.2.2, or 4.3 firmware running on their device will be able to follow the tutorial, although it may be possible for owners of similar Xperia devices to do so as well. If you would like to learn more, check out the original thread for more information.
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!
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.
December 15, 2013 By: Samantha
One of the greatest challenges nearly all smartphones and tablets owners must face is applying a screen protector. It’s not something that any beginner will be able to accomplish immediately, but rather, a task that requires minutes of intense preparation and scrupulous planning, a patient and composed state of mind, and meticulous application. Of course, you can also get a someone else to do it for you, but there aren’t many things in the world more satisfying than a perfectly applied screen protector that you did all by yourself.
So although not quite mobile development, knowing how to install a screen protector on your smartphone or tablet without those pesky bubbles, dust, and lint getting trapped underneath is quite important and practical. Fortunately, XDA Senior Member BillTheCat has written a fantastic tutorial on doing just that.
Originally written back in 2011, BillTheCat has continuously updated the tutorial with methods and techniques that work well. The process is quite ingenious really, requiring a little bit of sticky tape, a wiping cloth and cleaning solution, and a suitable environment. The tutorial then continues describing and explaining each step of the application, with multiple images of each step providing visual guidance.
BillTheCat has also included a note on choosing your screen protector, providing a useful insights on different options available, from the cheap ones to the pricier options. The process detailed in the tutorial is intended for self-adhesive, non-water based screen protectors, but can also work for those requiring a spray method.
So for anyone who is struggling with applying a screen protector, check out BillTheCat’s guide over in its original forum thread to find out more.
Most, if not all OEMs, like to bundle devices with their own iterations of certain apps, especially music players, gallery apps, and video players. Most of the time, they’re not that different from one another, despite how much each OEM makes them out to be. Despite this, many folks still have their favorites in regards to which app they like best. This may be because they’ve recently moved on to another OEM’s device, or simply because they like the look of it.
Unfortunately, because these apps are developed only for the OEM’s own devices, not everyone is able to download and use them. Sure, there are worthy alternatives in the Play store, but some people are looking for a specific experience that they normally couldn’t get with other devices. One way to overcome this issue is to port these apps over, and XDA Recognized Themer and Contributor Rizal Lovins has written a tutorial on how to do just that.
The tutorial lays down the process needed to port OEM-specific apps, such as Sony Xperia Walkman app, to other devices. It outlines the requirements, the APK decompiling process, and points out the various lines of code that need to be changed. Rizal Lovins warns that not all apps can be ported this way and that porting apps native to Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich to Gingerbread will be quite difficult.
So if your device doesn’t have a port of an app native to another device and you would like to give this a go, visit the original thread for more information.
December 4, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan shows you how to root your Oppo N1. The Oppo N1 is hot news in the Android ecosystem. It is the device that is pushing the limit of phone size, and some say even phablet size. This thing is huge. But as usual at XDA, we must root all the things, and the Oppo N1 is no exception!
Jordan presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your Oppo N1 using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. First, Jordan shows you how to gain root access using XDA Senior Recognized Developer Jcase’s APK root exploit. Then, he installs TWRP and OmniROM. If you wanted to root your Oppo N1, take a moment and check this video out.
December 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Alongside the various user-facing and security-related changes introduced Android 4.4 KitKat, Google also significantly modified how the SMS Content Provider works. In Android 4.4, users can now select a default SMS app from within Settings -> Wireless & Networks. Then, two intent broadcasts are sent: one for all SMS apps (SMS_RECEIVED_ACTION) and one for only the default SMS app (SMS_DELIVER_ACTION). Thus, non-default SMS apps are able to receive incoming SMS messages, but they are not able to do certain things such as abort the broadcast.
Despite the positive effect on software modularity afforded by being able to select a default SMS app, the change also brings a few limitations. Namely, in order to delete (or restore) an SMS message, your app must temporarily become the default app if it isn’t already. This is problematic from a UX standpoint because there will be two mandatory prompts, where the user must select the default SMS app: one to select your app and one to revert.
Thankfully, XDA Senior Member stepic came up with a workaround that allows app developers to write to the SMS Content Provider in KitKat without being the default SMS app. Stepic made his discovery by looking in the Android source code and finding a special permission: OP_WRITE_SMS. Unfortunately, this workaround either requires user interaction or root access. However, this is only a one-time affair, rather than two prompts for user input every time a non-default SMS app needs to perform certain tasks.
If you’re an app developer looking to make an SMS app for KitKat, head over to the guide thread to learn more about this workaround.
“Just one last video”
Yes, I’ve had those too. A whole day wasted on YouTube watching cute cat videos, ‘epic’ failures, and hilarious Vine compilations. You try to assure yourself that the current video of someone faceplanting on the ground will be the last one for the day, but this only heightens the guilt when you press the replay button or the next video. So rather than wasting hours on YouTube, put that time to good use by creating boot animations of these videos so you can relive those moments every time you turn on your phone or tablet.
XDA Senior Member deathviper wrote a great tutorial on doing just that. Once you have installed the three required programs, being XDA Recognized Developer despotovski01‘s boot animation creator, an image resizer, and a video pad editor, all of which are free, you’re already well on your way. The procedure is very straightforward, consisting of resizing, and not stretching, your video to the resolution of your device. Then, you push it through the boot animation creator.
All the steps are well explained and illustrated with plenty of corresponding screenshots and helpful links to additional information. If a boot animation is the wrong size, don’t worry, as deathviper has also covered the necessary steps to get it working correctly on your device.
Deathviper’s guide definitely makes the process of converting and resizing your favorite videos a breeze. So if you’re interested in making this happen, head over to the forum thread to get started.
Ever since XDA Recognized Developer amarullz created the AROMA installer, we’ve seen it used in quite a variety of ways. One of the first proofs of concept was the constantly evolving AROMA File Manager by amarullz himself. We’ve also seen it used for ROM and kernel customization, toolkits, debloating utilities, and much more.
The widespread use of AROMA installer should come as no surprise. After all, the installer is both versatile and user friendly. So naturally, quite a few developers have adopted it into their own development work, making it their delivery method of choice. However, getting up and running with AROMA is understandably more difficult than creating a simple updater-script. But if the only thing holding you back from incorporating AROMA installer into your flashable files, XDA Senior Member Ayush Singh has a comprehensive guide aimed at getting you started with AROMA installer as efficiently as possible.
The guide, while clear and well documented, is understandably long. After all, it covers quite a lot of material. This ranges from initial setup and basic editing to things like visual customization, displaying menus and system information, and giving various options. Thankfully, every step along the way has sample code and an accompanying screenshot.
To get started, make your way over to the guide thread.