March 5, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android devices can be controlled from terminal or command line using ADB and other communication protocols. However, using a graphical interface to do some basic operations is significantly more convenient and user friendly than typing long commands with a high risk of typo.
Luckily, there are some tools able to perform some basic operations with point-and-click ease. One such applications is Android Device Manager by XDA Forum Member Al-Mobarmge. The tool can easily install and uninstall applications on internal memory or directly to your SD card, but app-related operations are not only you can do with this tool. You can backup APKs, your /system directory, or even your entire ROM, and then restore it when necessary.
ADM is also very useful if you want to flash a ROM update, recovery, or change your boot animation or kernel. If your device is not rooted, the tool contains a rooting method by XDA Recognized Developer Bin4ry, which is compatible with dozens of devices. This tool enables you to transform your Windows PC into a proper command center.
The tool and a full description of functions can be found in the original thread.
[Big thanks to XDA Forum Member youssef badr for the tip!]
February 24, 2014 By: Samantha
You may remember that a couple of months ago, the Sony Xperia Tipo received an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 port, supporting the fact that even small phones can have Kitkat too. Of course, what’s the use of such a port if you don’t have your Xperia Tipo set up and ready to take a bite of the Kitkat bar in the first place? Good thing for you if this sounds a bit too familiar to you, as XDA Forum Member AlexDroid00 has developed a handy multi-tool called Xperia Tipo Tools.
The aptly named utility packs in some very useful functions, both for new owners of the Xperia Tipo, and for those who have been playing with it for some time. Its functions include:
AlexDroid00 chose to categorize the tool’s functions as primary, secondary and universal, but all of them should work just fine with your Xperia Tipo. Additionally, the tool comes both in English and Italian, and is already version three. It must be noted that as of right now, the root function only works in Italian. So if you can’t read the language, you either have to wait for a future release which may include English as well perhaps other languages, or use Google translate.
If you would like to give Xperia Tipo Tools a go, head over to the original thread for more information.
February 13, 2014 By: Samantha
So now that the second raft of Sony Xperia devices are finally receiving the long awaited Android 4.3 update, I’m sure that there are plenty of folks eagerly glancing at the notification area and Sony PC Companion in anticipation of that firmware update notification. Some of you may also be constantly refreshing your device’s XDA forum page, meticulously keeping track of every relevant tidbit of information. If this sounds just like you, you may want to check out XDA Senior Member Macmol‘s Xperia Update Checker.
A tool for PCs, Xperia Update Checker enables you to check the current firmware of your Sony Xperia device. Besides the initial categorization of individual devices, firmware information is also organized by the region, branding, and customization number of your device, such as “Netherlands; Vodafone; 1266-1618.” Xperia Update Checker also allows you to check for links of firmwares for a particular device that you can download. It should be noted, however, that this tool only supports Xperia devices with Sony branding (e.g. Sony Xperia V) and not the Sony Ericsson branding (e.g. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc), and not all Sony Xperia devices are supported as of yet.
So if your finger’s getting a bit tired of constantly clicking refresh on your browser and Sony PC Companion, check out Xperia Update Checker over in its original thread for more information.
One might say that there really aren’t many perks that the Moto G GPe can offer over its regular counterpart. Thanks to Moto G’s timely updates from the previously Google owned Motorola, the near stock Android platform its running, and the uninvasive and minimal additions (or tweaks) Motorola has included with the regular Moto G, this opinion may not be too far from the truth. But the GPe still does has its appeals, with the most obvious being its undisturbed, intact Android experience.
So if you are after the GPe experience but currently own a regular Moto G, you may want to check out MotoTool All In One (AIO) by XDA Senior Member alonsoch. Much like the previously featured MotoTool, AIO performs a number of functions a new owner of the Moto G, both regular and GPe, needs to do to get started, such as:
What makes AIO different, however, is its ability to also convert your regular Moto G to the GPe with only a few clicks. Just download a GPe firmware, place it in the designated folder on your PC, and press “Convert.” If you come across an issue where there is no signal after conversion, alonsoch has provided the a brief guide on overcoming this.
So if you are interested in giving this tool a go, visit the original thread for more information.
The Moto G is a fantastic low-end device with some great mid-to-high-end specs, so we totally understand why you might be considering the device’s potential for aftermarket development when choosing the next phone you’re going to purchase. Now for those who have already purchased and received the device, a great starting point to your new journey is the MotoTool.
Developed by XDA Senior Member alonsoch specifically for the Moto G, the MotoTool has all the functions all you new Moto G owners will definitely need when setting up your devices. With only the prerequisite of an unlocked bootloader, which can be easily be achieved with the instructions alonsoch has linked, the tool allows you to:
Two downloads have been provided, the first with the restore function with a size of 530 MB, and the second without it but only coming in at 60 M. Additionally, alonsoch has provided additional instructions to help you root the Moto G as the tool does not do that automatically.
If you would like to check MotoTool out for yourself, head over to the original thread for more details.
February 2, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
If you ever wanted to make a flashable ZIP, you certainly know how much work is needed to write a proper updater-script. Not so long ago, we presented a Windows-only tool and Geany add-on to find all your syntax errors, but you still had to enter all the commands on your own.
Your updater-script nightmare is now over, as XDA Forum Member OrglCe created a very useful Windows-only application that automates the process of creating a flashable ZIP with the proper updater-script and binaries. The archive is then compressed with the DotNetZip library.
With Zip Creator, you can easily create flashable ZIPs for user apps, system apps, framework files, and boot animations. You can also use it to edit the updater-script. In upcoming versions, it will be possible to create zips with multiple apps.
The application is pretty easy to use, so even beginners should be able to create a recovery-compatible ZIP. The only disadvantage of this tool is that it doesn’t work properly with KitKat. However, this is due to the fact that Google changed few things in the updater-script handling in the latest version of Android.
Windows users looking to get their hands on the latest version of Zip Creator should make their way over to the utility thread.
February 1, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
The Google Nexus 4 is a very popular phone. A powerful CPU, combined with 2 GB of RAM and a relatively low price at launch made it an ideal choice of many XDA community members, myself included. Despite being a great device, and one which is still extremely popular, the Nexus 4 has some issues with LTE. As it never officially featured LTE connectivity, you need to do some tweaking to enable it, as ever since radio 0.48, LTE has been disabled.
Luckily, the community managed to find a solution by creating a hybrid of newest radios with 0.33, which was the last radio with LTE capabilities. Those hybrids were created by XDA Senior Member morrislee. They previously needed to be flashed with the PC, which increased difficulty and hassle for many. Luckily, this is all in the past, as XDA Senior Member bpear96 created an application to flash your desired radio with just one click. With this application, you can do three things: flash a stock modem starting from version 0.24 up to 0.98, flash an LTE Hybrid Modem, and enable/disable LTE support in your build.prop. If you plan to flash your modem with this application, you naturally have to make sure that your device is rooted. That’s pretty much the only requirement.
To try out this app you should visit the original thread. So if you’ve got a Nexus 4, make your way there and enjoy super fast LTE connectivity.
January 23, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
BusyBox is a small executable that allow Android (and other OSes) to use various common Unix/Linux commands and utilities. It was released in 1999 by Eric Andersen and originally developed by Bruce Perens in 1996. In Android, BusyBox is used to execute various Unix files and commands. The main disadvantage of BusyBox is that the utilities are striped down versions and provide less features than the originals.
BusyBox is not the only project that offers such functionality. XDA Senior Member alireza7991 created an alternative project that offers more commands than standard BusyBox. Currently, GNU CoreUtils on Android allows you to use 105 utilities, but 2 of them don’t work. It’s pretty impressive number, and it is growing.
The GNU Core Utils package is built with the Linaro toolchain in order to be optimized for the greatest performance. The utilities can be executed by adding cu at the beginning, and this was done to avoid conflicts with the current version of BusyBox. To test this set of tools, you need to have a relatively new phone compatible with the ARMv7 instruction set, as well as support for ARM NEON—and most modern SoCs other than the Tegra 2 support both. Your device must be also rooted and have a custom recovery installed.
To get more information regarding this project, make your way to the development thread. It’s still pretty early, but this project seems to be extremely interesting.
January 20, 2014 By: Samantha
So you’ve already cracked the screen on your beloved Moto X when it just ‘somehow’ fell to the ground, and you’re worried that Motorola will void the warranty because you’re phone is rooted. Developer editions aside, there probably isn’t much of a chance the tired and overworked device repairman will discover and immediately reject your device, but it wouldn’t hurt to refresh your device back to ‘brand new’ as a safeguard.
To help with this, XDA Recognized Developer mattlgroff has created a tool called Moto X Restore Utility, and it does exactly what its name suggests. It has three primary functions and they are pretty self explanatory, them being:
Additionally, mattlgroff has made the Moto X Restore Utility compatible with all three major PC operating systems – Windows, Mac, and Linux. To help new users get a grasp of the tool on their PC, mattlgroff has provided detailed written tutorial for users, as well as link two video tutorials for the Windows version. The tool however, only works with the two developer editions of the Moto X (who really have no need to worry), and those locked in with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, so international users may be out of luck.
If you would like to give the Moto X Restore Utility a go, visit the original thread for more information and download.
If you’re an Android device owner who happens to use a Macintosh, you may feel a bit left out at certain times, especially with regards to toolkits and other software for your device. Sadly, the majority of toolkits run only on Windows PC, with Mac and Linux support unfortunately low on the list of priorities. Thankfully, there’s good news for Moto X and Mac owners, as XDA Forum Member mjphillips1981 developed a nice toolkit that helps you perform various Moto X tasks from the comfort of Mac OS X.
Inspired by a previously featured toolkit for the Moto X, the Moto X toolkit for Mac allows you to do pretty much everything you need to get your Moto X all set up (and maybe a bit more). These actions include:
This toolkit should work with any Moto X, even those carrier locked to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. But it should be noted, especially by those with slower Internet speeds, that the tool is quite hefty in size, coming in at 87.15 MB.
If you would like to give this a go, head over to the original thread for more details and download.
A couple of months ago, we talked about the beta release of CyanogenMod installer. The installer, was intended for new users otherwise unfamiliar with the custom ROM world. It essentially serves as the fastest and most streamlined way of installing CyanogenMod onto your device, with little to no effort expended. CM Installer was removed from the Google Play Store not too long after due to developer agreement violations, but that did nothing to halt the project’s development.
One major limitation of the CM Installer previously was that it was only compatible with Windows. While the vast majority of the world runs on Windows, quite a few of us enjoy alternative platforms like Linux and Mac OS X. Now, the CyanogenMod Installer has reached opened its doors to a whole new world of users by offering beta support for Mac OS users.
If you’re a Mac user, you can get started by joining the CyanogenMod Installer for Mac Google+ community. From there, follow the directions in this post and install the top post (“About this community”), and get cracking. The currently supported devices are the same as on the Windows version, and it can be found on the CM Installer Wiki. Then of course, don’t forget to head over to your device’s home forum on the XDA-Developers forums to get in on the discussion.
January 2, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is the most important and widely used debugging tool on Android. With ADB, it’s possible to push a file to the /system partition, make a backup, or even get a logcat for debugging. The official way to install ADB is to download the ADT Bundle or SDK tools, which are nearly 100 MB.
Configuring the ADB on Windows is not the easiest as well, as you need to add its path in order to access it from anywhere on your PC. Downloading a huge package and the troublesome installation process may discourage new users from installing these tools, but there’s now a handy solution thanks to XDA Forum Member snoop5, who created a simple tool to install ADB on a Windows machine in approximately 15 seconds.
The Windows-only tool automatically installs ADB, Fastboot, and the required device drivers, so nothing more is required and your device should work like a charm. The package comes in at only 9 MB, so it’s quite a bit smaller than the original SDK Tools. You don’t need to worry about your system being 32- or 64-bits, as this tool will take care to determine which version are you on.
If the process of installing Fastboot and ADB have been holding you back from further tweaking your device, make your way over to the tool thread and give this a try.
January 2, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android is meant to be open source. And most components, despite being covered by the Apache license, have publicly available source code. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that only Nexus devices owners can do Java modifications without digging into Smali assembler language, which is not simple and needs much more effort than Java. Also, decompiled applications can’t be imported to Eclipse or Android Studio.
There are some tools like GetJava that already can do the job, but in most situations the result isn’t 100% accurate and some files still need to be translated to Java. XDA Senior Member darkguy2008 decided to start a project aimed to provide a better solution than JAD or JD-GUI.
The project is still at a very early stage, but most things are working already. This project is written in C# and needs Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 installed to work properly. Hopefully in the future, it will be possible to use it on other operating systems like Linux or Mac OS X. Undoubtedly, this project has terrific potential and with help of other developers, the Android development can be significantly improved.
More information regarding this converter can be found in the original thread, so don’t hesitate to go there and give some input to the developer. Of course, you can also contribute by pushing some patches to the Github repository.
Bear in mind that tools like this should not be used to get some freebies from paid apps and re-release it under your name. Developers sell their work for a reason, so you should use it only for educational purposes.