October 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, Google unveiled Android Device Manager, allowing users to locate and sound an alarm to their devices when they have been misplaced or stolen. Recently thereafter, Google even allowed users to secure their devices remotely with the web-based tool.
Having additional options is always nice, though, and XDA Senior Member pacosal created an alternative that allows you to create your own Mobile Device Manager. The aptly titled ownMDM allows you (and only you) to remotely control your devices using two parts: a PHP-enabled web database that issues commands and a mobile app with device administrator functionality.
The real draw in pacosal’s solution, however, is the multitude of commands that you can send from the web interface. After selecting which device you wish to issue a command to, you can select from the following commands, as described by the author:
- Message: Send a notification to device. Enter your message below
- Lock: Will screen block the device
- Ring: The device will sound like a police car
- Enable Admin: The device will receive a popup to activate this App if it is not.
- Ping: The device will answer with a ping to check if is responding (check log)
- Location: The device will answer with its location at google maps and wifi networks (check log)
- Location Alarm: Send you alerts when the device go out or in the actual device location. Enter the number in meters below, for example 5000, (check log)
- Wipe: The device will be completely deleted, only if it is stolen and you can not recover it
- Lock with Key: This command will lock the device with your own PIN from console. Even if the mobile is rebooted the lock will work.
- Force update Model: Will get model data to console
- Record Audio: Will record a 20 seconds audio and will send it to your mail
- Take a Picture: The device will take a picture and will send it to your mail
- Receive a Sms: Perfect for knowing the mobile number of the Imsi inserted in the device
- Track Device: The device will return location, sound and pictures every 3 minutes for 15 minutes
Essentially, you get the functionality of Google’s first party offering, and then some—and this is all done from your own MDM server. Head over to the utility thread to get started.
[Many thanks to our Assistant Forum Admin Sir Scots for the tip!]
October 1, 2013 By: egzthunder1
Many moons ago, a developer known as XDA Forum Member tliebeck released a pretty interesting file manager called FX File Explorer, which among other things, allowed you to view and organize your media files in a more intuitive way without having to guess what you were looking at. This same dev also had another app under the name of WebSharing 1.0. This app along with most of its features was a perfect companion to the aforementioned file manager. As time went by, so did the development of WebSharing and its capabilities, leading us to today and a brand new version of the app. As it is commonplace with the Internet era lingo, the app has reached a level of evolution which grants it the “2.0″ designation.
Ok, so what is WebSharing anyways? Lets just say that if you are one of those people who absolutely hates having to carry around USB cords and who also happens to hate having to choose between MTP and USB Mass Storage mode, you will absolutely love this. The app, in a nutshell, allows the user to transfer files between a device and a computer that are connected to the same WiFi network through nothing else than a web browser. It is that simple. Connect to the WiFi access point of your choice and presto: You are free to roam around your device’s internal folders without the need to physically connect the device to the PC.
The app allows for the transfer of the files through WiFi (so, you know you will get decent data transfer speeds). The use of HTML5 allows for a much faster and more fluid experience. If you are concerned that someone might be able to catch your files during the session, worry not. The app comes with a secure connection that will provide you (on the device) with a randomly generated password that needs to be entered into the browser in order to view the device’s contents.
The app is currently in beta stages, and there are quite a few ways to sign up for the trial (including a direct download in the thread itself). Please help the dev out and provide feedback, bugs, ideas, or whatever you would like to contribute with.
Files can be uploaded by dragging them into the browser window.
You can drag multiple files in at once.
If you use Google Chrome, you can upload entire folder hierarchies by dragging them into the browser.
You can drag in more files while files are uploading, they’ll be added to the queue.
You can navigate to other folders while files are uploading, and then drag files into those locations. They’ll be added to the queue as well.
You can also use the “File” menu to upload files if you’d prefer not to use drag-and-drop.
Older browsers can still use legacy file upload controls.
You can click anywhere in the upload progress area to see a detailed view of upload progress.
In 2.0, the multiple file upload system is now a free feature (in 1.x, only the paid version allowed multiple file upload via a Flash-based control).
All of this is provided in the free version, without any limitations.
You can find more information in the original thread.
September 30, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A little over a year ago, we took a look a Windows-based Android management utility created by XDA Recognized Developer DeepUnknown known as Droid Manager. Back then, the multi-purpose Android utility stood out by offering the ability to perform quite a few ADB-based tasks quickly and easily.
Since then, DeepUnknown has been hard at work, dramatically improving his application to bring in new features and more. One of the most interesting new features is Nandroid backup management, where you can easily create a new backup, list current backups, and delete existing backups. You can now also backup and restore installed apps, view boot animations prior to applying them, share files and folders via WiFi, and much more. The new version has even gained the ability to send any file on the connected device to your PC, provided that the included helper application is installed on the Android device. Finally, the utility has been given a completely new UI, in order to best present these new features.
If you’ve been looking for a general purpose Android management utility for your Windows PC that does almost any ADB-related task you could want, head over to DeepUnknown’s utility thread and give Droid Manager a shot.
September 28, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re trying to minimize your load times by lowering I/O time, optimizing your applications’ resources may be worth looking into. Naturally, loading smaller APKs leads to less time spent reading the application data. With any form of compressed data, there eventually becomes a tradeoff in compute versus read time in higher levels of compression, but for the most part application loads and general device performance seems to be limited by I/O rather than compute performance.
For this reason, XDA Senior Member gu5t3r created a simple BASH script to help you quickly optimize your applications. It mainly works by compressing your PNGs more efficiently. However, it skips the pesky NinePatch files in order to prevent potential force closes. For PNG compression, the tool uses a combination of TruePNG, pngout, and DeflOpt, and gu5t3r claims that it will result in a net halving of storage space compared to the more standard OptiPNG compression.
The script comes in the form of a Cygwin-based BASH script, and it comes with all of the executables you need to get started easily. Users in the thread have reported significant decreases in file size with no loss in functionality. Will it make any actual noticeable difference in performance? That depends on a number of variable such as your device’s I/O speed, CPU power, and application size. That said, it can’t hurt to try.
Make your way over to the utility thread to get in on the action.
[Thanks to Senior Member ct_moi for the tip!]
September 3, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Rooting, as we all know, opens up a world of possibilities. It is the first step that we in the XDA community take towards truly owning our devices. Once rooted, most people flash a custom ROM, recovery, and kernel. In order to easily accomplish these tasks and more, XDA Forum Member yashade2001 created AndRootKit.
AndRootKit performs various flashing tasks such as flashing images to your recovery, system, and boot partitions. It is also able to flash an update.zip file of your choosing, rather than individual image files. The utility can perform various ADB tasks such as rebooting, accessing ADB shell, installing APKs, and pushing files. The app can even be used to directly install an APK as a system app. However, it should be noted that a reboot is required in order for the system app to register.
Written in C# and geared at working with essentially any device, this Windows-based .Net utility helps you do almost everything you could want to do with a rooted device. Head over to the utility thread to get started.
September 3, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Some time ago, we talked about the importance of backing up the TA partition on Sony Xperia devices. Doing so on Sony Xperia devices saves your DRM keys. Why is this important? These keys are required in order to use a few proprietary software bits such as Bravia Engine in the Gallery app and OTA updates.
As we learned before, however, once you unlock your bootloader for the first time, these DRM keys are irreparably lost unless you previously created a backup. Luckily, there are great tutorials that teach you how to backup your TA partition, given that you do this before the initial bootloader unlock.
Now, thanks to XDA Forum Member DevShaft, there is a streamlined Windows batch file that does it for you. All you have to do is download the latest version, connect the device with ADB enabled, run the batch file, and choose from the menu options.
Obviously, this is of no use if you’ve already unlocked your bootloader without a backup and you have already lost your DRM keys. However, if you’re thinking of unlocking your bootloader for the first time, head over to the original thread to backup your TA partition easily. A list of known and assumed supported devices can be found below.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia ZL
Sony Xperia ZQ
Sony Xperia ZR
Sony Xperia ION
Sony Xperia S
Sony Xperia SL
Sony Xperia SP
Sony Xperia Acro S
Sony Xperia T
Sony Xperia TL
Sony Xperia TX
Sony Xperia M
Sony Xperia V
Sony Xperia P
Sony Xperia L
Sony Xperia U
Sony Xperia Sola
Sony Xperia Miro
Sony Xperia Tipo
Sony Xperia J
Sony Xperia E
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
All Sony Xperia models
All Sony Ericsson Xperia models
September 1, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We generally try to do things as quickly as possible. If this weren’t the case, we wouldn’t have a love affair with microwaves and instant ramen noodles. Luckily, various utilities also allow us to optimize our connected lives such as apps that help with multitasking and so on. Luckily, there are also various scripts that help us perform various modification tasks more efficiently, and now we have one to more quickly flash kernels and create backups of existing kernels on Sony Xperia devices.
Developed by XDA Senior Member HeadFox, the Windows batch utility is really just an incredibly simple batch script that reboots your device to the bootloader and flashes a new boot.img to the device. The download also includes the essential files for adb and and fastboot access, so you don’t even have to have them installed and added to your path for this to work. While this script is obviously nothing revolutionary, time saving is always a welcome benefit.
If you’ve wanted to make flashing an Xperia kernel an even quicker affair, head over to the original thread to begin.
While most power users have more than a firm grasp on using the Android Debug Bridge, using a command line interface may be intimidating to new users looking to get into basic device modification. While we greatly encourage learning the commands, it doesn’t hurt to also have a GUI for the most commonly used operations.
Now thanks to XDA Forum Member sandix, there is a streamlined Windows utility aimed at delivering many ADB functions through a graphical interface. ADB GUI supports quite a few operations including rebooting (to recovery, bootloader, and fastboot), logcat, remounting, flashing images, rooting (certain devices), pushing files, installing APKs, obtaining system information, and more. The program supports Windows XP and up, and requires for .NET 4.5 or later to be installed. It is compatible with devices running Ice Cream Sandwhich or later, though it may also work on Gingerbread.
If you fancy creating and applying themes for your applications, you no doubt have become well acquainted with APKTool. The application, originally created by XDA Recognized Developer Brut.all has become a staple in application modification on Android. It enables the modification of app resources by allowing users to easily decompile and recompile applications.
We’ve recently featured a few tools aimed at streamlining the APKTool experience, as well as a few guides on the subject. However, sometimes a script with some optimized use-cases can useful as well. This is where XDA Senior Member dfkt_ and his script BatchAPKTool come in.
BatchAPKTool isn’t intended to take care of every need for every user. Rather, it’s intended to perform a limited subset of tasks extremely efficiently. These tasks include decompiling the application resources into a dedicated subfolder, deleting all files other than image resources, optimizing the images, compiling the NinePatch PNGs, rebooting to recovery, and performing various tasks such as pushing the newly themed app.
While BatchAPKTool isn’t a general purpose script geared at satisfying everyone’s needs, it is useful for those looking to perform certain types of application theming more efficiently. Head over to the original thread to get started.
A couple of months ago, we wrote about a tool that allows users to easily decompile and recompile APKs. Similar in functionality to the legendary APKTool (thread) by XDA Recognized Developer Brut.all, Android APKTool by XDA Forum Member Flextrick made the process extremely user friendly by adding a simple and easy-to-use GUI.
In the time since our last posting, Flextrick’s utility has been given a major overhaul in its upgrade to version 2. As before, it runs on Windows computers with Java and .Net framework installed. A temporary quirk, however, is that only the Windows 8 version of the app has been updated to version 2. The Windows 7 version is still on 1.2. Luckily, the Windows 8 version runs just fine on Windows 7, with the exception of a somewhat broken layout.
According to the developer, version 2 lands with a complete code rework, along with a folder structure for a better overview. Furthermore, modified files will appear in their own folder, and buttons were added to select between JAR and APK files. Finally, some additional UI changes were made, as well as other miscellaneous changes across the board.
If you’re looking to easily (and graphically) modify your APKs, head over to the original thread to get started.
August 25, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we covered a couple of guides aimed at helping developers get started with XDA Recognized Developer amarullz‘s powerful AROMA installer. While versatile in that the guides help developers use the AROMA installer for customizing ROM installs, this isn’t all that AROMA can be used for.
Another popular use of AROMA is to create custom app packages, in which users can pick and choose which apps to install. We previously talked about a utility for creating these app packages with AROMA installer functionality. Well, some time has passed since then, and the AROMA App Package Creator has received several substantial updates.
Created by XDA Senior Member commandersafi, AROMA app package creator runs on Windows and requires users to have Java 6 or higher installed. Just as before, the utility allows users to easily insert and categorize APKs that can be selected from using the AROMA installer interface. Unlike before, however, the AROMA codebase is now 2.56, so device-specific calibration is no longer needed. Furthermore, you are now able to install apps to /system/app/, zips can be signed, multiple APKs can be chosen when adding apps to the installer, and various other tweaks have been made.
Head over to the utility thread to get started making your own custom app packages.
So you’ve got yourself a shiny new HTC One, and you want to get started playing with it. Obviously you’ll want to do things like apply Revolutionary Team’s Revone S-Off. You’ll probably also want to then flash a custom recovery, and then root your device. All of this will ordinarily take a moderate amount of time and effort, right? Not anymore, thanks to XDA Senior Member squabbi and his GUI-driven toolkit for the One.
Squabbi’s extremely user-friendly toolkit allows Windows users to do basically everything they’d need to get started playing around with their new device. It lets users start out by installing the requisite drivers, and provides methods for unlocking the bootloader with HTC Unlock or using the much more powerful Revone. It then also allows you to change the device CID, flash a custom recovery of your choice (you can select from CWM, CWM Touch, TWRP, or even upload your own), root the device, flash an image to a specific partition, and execute basic ADB commands for commonly used functions and sideloading apps.
If you’re looking for an easy and streamlined way of getting started with your new HTC One and are a sucker for well organized and user-friendly interfaces, squabbi’s toolkit may be up your alley. Head over to the utility thread to get started with the user-friendly modifications.
Oppo is proving to be a developer-friendly manufacturer of Android devices. Not only was it a Senior Sponsor for the XDA Dev-Con event a couple of weeks ago, but it has also shown much love and acceptance for the open source development community on their flagship Oppo Find 5.
With this spotlight shining upon Oppo, it is with no surprise that it has attracted a great number of users, new and experienced, to the development prospects and potential it has to offer. To help both novice and end-users ease into the flow of things with the Find 5, XDA Recognized Developer benjamin.j.goodwin has developed Simple Tool. A multi-purpose tool for the PC, Simple Tool does some of the more frequently performed ADB and Fastboot actions in a simple and straightforward manner, including:
A handy and brief FAQ has also been posted answering to some of the more common issues users may encounter. Benjamin.j.goodwin also has plans to update Simple tool with additional actions such as one-click rooting and support for additional devices.
If you would like to find out more, visit the original thread for more information.