November 29, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Well over a year ago now, we brought you news of a tool that solved the problem of users not being able to distribute themes for paid apps. Remote Theme Injector did exactly as its name suggests and “injects” the necessary themed elements into an APK, thereby allowing themers to make their work on paid apps available without distributing warez. The tool was often updated by its developer, XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer Diamondback, whose name you might recognise from another project, Virtuous Ten Studio.
The Remote Theme Injector has since been incorporated into VTS, adding yet another useful feature into an already incredibly versatile piece of software for a variety of Android projects. VTS itself is essentially an IDE and a whole lot more, aimed at everyone from ROM developers to smali gurus, and now themers. It is capable of not only decompiling, modifying, and recompiling applications, but also modifying the m10 files that are a major component of HTC’s Sense UI, as well as the unpacking/repacking of boot images. That’s barely scratching the surface of what VTS is capable of, and I highly recommend checking out the VTS home page and XDA forum thread for more information.
The updated RTI bundled with VTS takes advantage of these features, and now allows for smali modifications to be included as part of the application themes. For a perfect example of just what is possible with RTI, check out the most recent batch of TapaTalk Pro/Free themes by XDA Recognized Developer and Themer Whiskey103. Whether you have the compulsive desire to ensure that all your installed apps maintain a strict theme or just fancy giving TapaTalk a quick makeover, this is definitely something worth looking into.
Storage space isn’t quite as much of a problem nowadays compared to before. Phones and tablets are being pushed out the door with some comfortable internal memory specs such as up to 64 GB. This is even more true if you insert a sizeable MicroSD card on expandable devices. That said, not all OEMs include external storage or large caches of internal storage, so some owners who enjoy a considerable music library or movie collection continue to be bothered by the ‘low internal storage’ notification.
Although not a miraculous instant fix for those suffering such woes, XDA Senior Member divinemamgai‘s Cassini may alleviate the situation to a certain degree. A PC-based tool, Cassini minimizes the size of the apps you have installed by compressing the app’s image files. This results in less space used up by apps, and more space for your photos, music, and movies. According to divinemamgai, all system apps except for LatinIME.apk will work with Cassini, while some apps from the Play store will be compatible such as ZPlayer, Textra, and Solid Explorer.
Before installation, a brief setup process is required, including running Java 7, creating a new system variable, and editing your path—nothing complicated. With this, you’ll be able to install the tool and be on your way.
If you would like to give Cassini a go, check out the utility thread for more information and download.
Getting a new phone can be likened to a ritual in many ways. After ripping apart the delivery packaging and bubble wrap, delicately removing the sticky tape, opening the phone’s box, finally holding the glorious new device in your hand, and then feeling the slight jolt of vibration when you turn it on for the first time, you come to realize that there’s still quite a long way to go before it’s ready.
So rather than sitting at the PC for the next couple of hours researching the individual steps for the more commonly accessed actions, you may want to check out XDA Senior Member stillthisguy‘s Moto X Toolkit. With this PC-based tool, Moto X owners are able to perform an extensive list of some of the more common actions. Actions include but are not limited to:
If you’ve just received your brand new Moto X and want a tool that streamlines the setup process, check out stillthisguy’s Moto X Toolkit in its original thread for more information and download.
November 15, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
Every Android user has encountered application or game crashes at some point. However, finding the cause of these crashes is a different story. Android offers its own logging system called logcat, which uses ADB to fetch all necessary information for developers to analyze and fix the problem.
It’s easy enough to install the android-sdk and execute the standard adb logcat command, but the output can be somewhat hard to decipher. XDA Recognized Developer Diamondback wrote a handy Windows tool to ease the process of working with logcats.
The application is easy to use and offers important features like log highlighting, dynamic filtering , exporting to text files, and uploading them to pastebin. It can also help you analyze other users’ logcats by importing them from text files.
The Advanced Logcat Viewer was originally a part of Virtuous Ten Studio, a fully featured IDE for everything related to reverse engineering on Android. However, in an effort to lower the complexity of VTS, Diamondback decided to publish certain parts of VTS as standalone versions as well. According to the developer, ALV is only the very first of these breakout features, and there are a few more to follow.
November 13, 2013 By: TK
The Google Nexus 5 was just released a few weeks ago, packing Android 4.4 Kit Kat. The Nexus 7 (2013) was released not that long ago, and officially received KitKat earlier today. KitKat brings a nice new feature that allows you to record the screen on your device. Previously, this required (paid) third party apps. And even then, many faced compatibility issues with certain SoCs and ROMs.
The new feature has one major down side, though. You must be connected to your PC to start the process. However, XDA Senior Member prsterero brings us a user-friendly PC interface that simplifies the process and allows you to control the screen recording functionality from your Windows-based computer. It also allows you to backup your media content and TWRP backups to your desktop PC. It does not (and is not intended to) unlock, root, or modify your device, but there are plenty of toolkits available for that already.
Head over to the utility thread for the details.
November 4, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re one of the lucky few to already have your grubby little paws on the recently released Google Nexus 5, you are probably the envy of all of your Android-loving comrades. But do you know what would make them even more jelly? Rooting your Nexus 5 and adding a little bit of customization.
We recently covered XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s CF-Auto-Root for the Nexus 5. CF-Auto-Root is essentially the easiest way to get from fresh-out-the-box to rooted stock. However, for those looking to do a little bit more device modification than simply rooting, XDA Senior Member ricky310711 created a small toolkit that does all of the basic operations for you.
The toolkit allows you to unlock the bootloader, root the device, install TWRP, modify your build.prop, backup your device, and flash and wipe various partitions. Now, it is important to keep in mind that since this is a Nexus device, you have full access to all of the fastboot commands such as fastboot oem unlock and fastboot flash. Thus, customization is already a breeze on the device when you do it manually.
Make your way over to the utility thread to get started. Then to really get started with device modification, head over to the Nexus 5 Original Android Development section and try out a new custom kernel.
November 3, 2013 By: egzthunder1
Probably one of the toughest jobs for anyone trying to get a product into users’ / customers’ hands is the eternal balancing act between trying to be productive, reaching as many people as humanly possible, and not having to deploy an eternity of small/medium/large tweaks to target other markets. Languages are by far the best possible example of this important part of product development. Not everyone around the world speaks the language that the developer is comfortable with, and as a result, many people are left without the possibility of testing a potentially good app or tweak.
While there are people out there, particularly on XDA, who will gladly help out with translations to different languages, a faster solution may be preferable. To that end, XDA Forum Member BalcanGSM brings us an application developed by Artfulbits called Android Localizer.
Android Localizer essentially acts similar to how Google Translate does in browsers—by automatically translating the text of a particular page. Similarly, the program automatically translates parts of the decompiled APK that you would like to translate into other languages. It is simple and rather quick to use, and the translations are quite “spot on,” as it uses Google Translate.
Needless to say, the APK needs to be decompiled prior to running this tool. The tool is small and it runs on a Windows environment, starting from XP and up. So if you were waiting for your favorite dev to translate your favorite games into Amharic, now is your chance to be proactive and learn a thing or two about compiling and decompiling APKs, as well as getting your language skills going. Please leave any and all feedback on the thread so that you can share your experiences with the app. Finally, remember to ask permission of the developer if you are planning on distributing the translated APK.
You can read more information in the original thread.
October 20, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As our mobile devices grow faster and faster with each passing generation, more people opt for the convenience and ease of customization of deodexed ROMs rather than the (theoretical) speed advantages of odexed ROMs. While we aren’t here to debate the merits of either stance, some people still prefer to use Odexed ROMs. That said, those wishing to learn more about the pros and cons of each should visit XDA Recognized Contributor philos64 excellent information thread.
What do you do once you’ve determined that you want to Odex your ROM and you are away from your computer? XDA Senior Member MatrixDJ96 created a simple recovery-flashable script that does this for you from the comfort of your device. The tool does one thing, and it does it well: odex your device’s ROM.
To get started, visit original thread and give this a whirl in any custom recovery. Just remember to please make a full nandroid backup before you get started. This is useful both if something goes wrong, as well as if you decide you wish to revert to your ROM’s previous state.
Not too long ago, we covered XDA Elite Recognized Developer Adam Outler‘s new website Casual-Dev. The site was built to help other developers leverage his open source offerings in order to use CASUAL as a delivery method for outside development projects.
Since then, we featured a simple recovery flasher for the HTC One that in and of itself wasn’t terribly groundbreaking. However, it handedly demonstrated the viability of using CASUAL as a launching platform for development work. Now, XDA Senior Members enricocid and ivn888 have created a universal image flashing tool that uses the CASUAL platform as its delivery method.
The current implementation isn’t quite the friendliest interface yet, but usage isn’t terribly difficult either. Inside the tool’s JAR package, you’ll find a Scripts folder with four zips that correspond to flashing your bootloader, recovery, kernel, and radio. Once you obtain the image you wish to flash, place that inside the zip housed in the JAR. From there, run the JAR and choose the type of image you would like to flash. It’s as simple as that.
It’s great to see more work packaged using Adam’s CASUAL platform. Head over to the original thread to get started.
October 12, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We first talked about the Android Everything Tool in June of this year, at which point we noted that the Windows-based tool offered an impressive array of features and functions that could serve useful to those looking to tweak their Android devices. A little over a month later, XDA Senior Member ricky310711‘s toolkit was given a major update, with the ability to install OpenSSL and Curl, as well as access certain device information.
Ricky310711 has kept busy, and as such, another major update to the Android Everything Tool has been released. In response to user request, Ricky has added the ability to decompile and deodex apps, modify update.zip files, install AROMA, and more.
The Android Everything Tool now also has a built-in ROM kitchen to allow you to customize ROMs that you download. Please in mind, however, that simply using a kitchen does not make one a developer. In other words, please don’t share kitchen kitchen ROMs with the community. That said, they may be useful for your own needs, so a kitchen may come in handy.
Make your way over to the utility thread to get started.
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.