There is, and will continue to be, much debate regarding whether to Odex or Deodex a ROM. Some people prefer leaving ROMs Odexed for greater efficiency, while others prefer Deodexed ROMs and their freedom. This becomes even trickier when looking at OEMs, as some Odex their stock firmware, while others don’t. Sony is one of the OEMs that does Odex their ROMs.
If you’ve ever worked with APKTool to modify something in a precompiled ROM, you’ve certainly had to deodex a ROM. This can be done with several kitchens, scripts, or by executing commands in terminal. You can now Deodex the firmwares of new Xperia devices really easily with Kamome by XDA Senior Member RyokoN.
Kamome is a Windows script that pulls all the necessary files using ADB, Deodexes them, and creates a flashable archive ready to be installed through recovery. Kamome is distributed in two versions depending on Android OS version. It should work with all Xperia devices except the Sony Xperia Z2.
If you are a Windows user looking to Deodex a recent Xperia device, head over to the original thread to give Kamome a try.
April 10, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Android applications are pretty easy to use, and some resources can be obtained directly from APK files. Much of this information is available in the XML manifest file that contains all of the relevant information about the app’s friendly name name, version, required SDK level, and more. If an APK has a decipherable package name, you can easily determine what application it is and even its version by looking at just the filename. However, it’s often difficult to determine an app’s true function when looking at com.developername.obscurepackagename.apk.
For these situations, XDA Senior Member dmagician‘s ApkSpy utility for Windows can help. ApkSpy is actually a newer, modified version of a previous application with the same name created by XDA Senior Member ido back in 2011. Thankfully, dmagician decided to give it a refresh, so he modified Ido’s tool and added various useful tweaks.
Once ApkSpy obtains the relevant information for APK files stored on your computer, it can then rename package files in order to help you avoid confusion. And after doing this, it can even install the applications directly to your device using ADB. To use ApkSky on your Windows PC, you must have ADB and AAPT in your system path, or have them in the same folder as the utility’s executable file.
To give this application a try, make your way to the original thread.
March 29, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It should come as no surprise that the cleanest and most robust way to introduce your own modifications to an existing project is through modifying the original source code and recompiling. However, this is not always possible. Often times, we must begin our journey to app or ROM modification from a closed source binary, and then work from there.
Luckily, there are various tools available to make life a little easier when not working with source. One such tool comes from XDA Recognized Contributor ricky310711. As one would expect from a typical ROM kitchen, Ricky’s ROM Kitchen allows you to perform various tasks to existing ROMs such as adding init.d support, busybox, root, and so on.
With this toolkit, you can also extract the ROM’s constituent files, deodex, and add various tweaks. The kitchen even allows you to easily de-Knox Samsung OEM ROMs. In addition to modifying ROMs, Ricky’s ROM Kitchen also allows you to modify APK and JAR files. To that end, you can quickly decompile and compile APK and JAR files, as well as classes.dex.
Although modifying and building from source is always preferable, it’s not always feasible. If you’ve been looking for a very versatile tool to help your non-source built modifications, head over to the utility thread to get started.
Few tools have made ROM installation and customization easier than AROMA Installer by XDA Recognized Developer amarullz. Rather than installing a preconfigured package, AROMA allows users to pick and choose what parts to install and/or what parameters to set.
If you’re a developer looking to incorporate AROMA installer into your flashable ZIPs, there are plenty of guides that we’ve featured to help you do so. However, those looking for an automated method should check out AROMA Zip Maker by XDA Senior Member DC07.
AROMA Zip Maker does what its name states by converting simple flashable ZIPs to AROMA Installer format. This allows you to easily add themes, change logs, and thanks pages to your flashable ZIP. Naturally, you won’t inherently gain the customization options by using this converter. But this is where the aforementioned guides come into play.
If you want an easy entry into the world of AROMA, head over to the original thread to get started.
March 23, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Thanks to the power and freedom of the Android platform afforded by its Linux underpinnings, we are free to execute various BASH, sh, or Python scripts on our mobile devices. Such scripts can accomplish a wide variety of tasks such as setting permissions on boot or keeping track of device power cycles. And given their functionality, many of these scripts are useful to perform upon boot.
Now thanks to XDA Senior Member r3pwn‘s tool BSE, we have an easy way to easily execute various script types on every boot. To use BSE, simply place the scripts you wish to execute in your /system/etc/startup folder. BSE takes care of chmod for you, so you don’t have to worry. Currently, BSE supports BASH, sh, and Python (assuming you have it installed). And as you would expect, you need to have init.d support in order to use this.
If you execute many scripts at boot and don’t want to bother setting permissions manually, BSE can be of use to you. You can get started by visiting the tool thread.
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.