December 1, 2012 By: Former Writer
Pandora Radio has become quite popular with mobile users. It’s available through your browser, and there are mobile apps for at least Android and iOS. It features a simple interface, customizable radio stations, and it doesn’t cost money to use it unless you want it to. Now, Windows 8 users have a dedicated app to get Pandora Radio.
XDA Forum Member hsalps posted a thread that outlines the various features of the radio app. It’s called PRadio, and it’s an essential app for Pandora Radio fans. Some of the features include:
* Add radio stations via the search charm
* Search for Genre, Album, Artist and Songs
* Delete radio stations via the app bar
* Pin radio stations to start menu
* Play/Pause/Skip songs
* Multimedia Keyboard Support
* Support for snapped view and portrait layout.
* History of Songs Played
* Share Song Information with other applications via share charm
* Provide feedback for a song
* Background Streaming
* Support for touch and tablets
There are some setbacks, though. It’s only available to Windows 8 users in the United States. There is also an error where songs don’t change when the screen is off. Other than that, users seem to be enjoying it. If you have Windows 8 and like Pandora Radio, this is definitely something to keep an eye on.
For more details, check out the original thread.
Some time ago, we brought you a tour through what XDA members and developers were doing on Windows 8. Since then, Windows 8 has been officially released, as has Microsoft’s flagship tablet, the Microsoft Surface. Now, app devs have begun making applications for it.
XDA Forum Member hulkkii starts us off by porting an application that Android and WP7 users already have called CamSpeed. For those who don’t know, CamSpeed is a camera benchmark test that measures how fast and quick the camera is. Here’s what it measures:
- Focus Time. Time from focus call to successfull focus event.
- Capture Start/Shutter Time. Time from capture call to the moment when the capture sequence has started.
- Capture Image/JPEG Available. Time from capture call to the moment when an image is available.
- Capture Completed. Time from capture call to the moment when the capture sequence is complete.
So if you’re looking to benchmark your Windows 8 device camera, this is how you’d do it.
XDA Senior Member and TV Producer lseidman has released an application called Health Center. This useful, if unusual, application allows users to search various prescription medication names for price comparisons. Essentially, it’s a pill search application. One never thinks they’d need an app like that until they actually need an app like that.
It’s almost certain that many, many more applications will start to surface as Windows 8 settles in, and more developers get their hands on it. For more details, check out the CamSpeed thread or the Health Center thread.
November 5, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, we at XDA have been releasing more Android and Windows Phone news updates than you could possibly keep up with. Luckily, Jordan is here to help you get caught up on any news you may have missed. Jordan mentions the PACman Rom‘s release for the Samsung GT-I9100 and GT-I9100G. Jordan talks about the exciting Windows 8 news, like the articles on the HTC 8x RUU and the Windows Phone 8 SDK.
In Android 4.2 news, Jordan mentions the Nexus 4 System dump. In other Nexus 4 news, Jordan mentions the article on possible build quality issues. Finally, Jordan talks about adding unlimited apps to the Galaxy Note 2 multi-window feature. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
The release of Windows 8 has come and gone, and people have mixed feelings about it. Some like it; some hate it—pretty much the consensus on everything ever released. Now that it’s released, though, it’s time to have some fun with it. That means hacking it, making it more usable, and more fun. To start, users of the Metro Browser can now get full Flash on any website.
XDA Recognized Developer Marvin_S has figured out how to get past Metro Browser’s Flash restrictions on certain websites. As Marvin_S explains:
As we all know Windows RT/8′s IE Metro browser has limited flash support based on a whitelist. However a lot of sites are not (yet) whitelisted and hence do not work as desired. So I did some digging in the whitelist mechanism and found a way to hack it.
To apply the hack, users navigate to and open C:\Users\[USER_NAME]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompatData\iecompatdata.xml. From there users can add their favorite websites to the whitelist and, thus, full Flash support. The syntax is quite easy and users shouldn’t have any problems getting it to work. This has been confirmed working not only on desktop versions of Windows 8, but the RT versions as well, like the on one the Microsoft Surface.
To learn more, check out the original thread.
Theming has been as popular on XDA as ROM cooking and development in general. The ability to customize the appearance of our devices is always an appealing concept for many of our members. One thing that we learned out of Windows Phone 7 is that Microsoft does not want us to do any of this, and wants to jam their set-in-stone Metro UI with no background and static colors down our throats. Windows 8 is no different, as it does not give you too many options to customize its look and feel. Having said that, there is always a bright, colorful light at the end of the tunnel when our devs are into these things. And this time around, the light bearer goes by the name of XDA Forum Member Argony-OT.
OblyTile is an application that allows anyone with a Windows 8 computer to add, modify, and delete tiles for the not-so-new tile array in Windows 8. This will allow you to create tiles not only for programs and applications, but for files and folders as well! The app works in a simple fashion by creating the files and storing them locally in the program folder. It then links them from the Start menu, and presto—Instant tiles! As of now, the app is limited to creating 120×120 square tiles, but the dev may implement other sizes in future revisions.
If you are on Windows 8 and want to add some spice to your tablet, please take this for a spin. The dev is also asking for feedback and suggestions to improve this app and maybe add more options. So, please do the needful and share your thoughts.
This program is meant to create tile to the windows 8 startmenu.
You can find more information in the original thread.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
October 2, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
A lot has been said about Apple’s new maps app. From suggesting people drive off an overpass onto a busy freeway and directing you to an entire underwater town, Apple’s Maps has missed the mark, literally. While Google Maps is the standard, perhaps there are other options as well.
In this video XDA Developer TV Producer Lance reviews Nokia Drive for the Windows Phone platform. Lance shows off the application, its uses, and functionality. He then gives us his thoughts on the app. Be sure to check out this app review.
September 9, 2012 By: Former Writer
So far, users have been through two releases of Windows 8: the Consumer Preview and the Release Preview. Neither of them will stack up to the official release, but they give users a pretty good idea of what the final release will be like. Developers, on the other hand, actually have access to the RTM version now to prepare for when it’s released to the public. What has come of this? Not a lot publicly. However, developers here on XDA have begun releasing some introductory items for Microsoft’s newest offering.
XDA Forum Member Pasquiindustry has been rather busy and has released two tools to help future Windows 8 users. The first is called Modern Back Changer, and it allows users to theme various pieces of the OS, including the start screen background and other accents. The second tool by Pasquiindustry is MetroApp Link, which creates Metro App shortcuts right on your desktop. This can be handy if you only use certain parts of the Metro App and want to access them quickly.
Another application comes from XDA Forum Member MosquitoD4K, who released a calculator application called Calc4Win. It’s not the most advanced application in the world, but many use calculators for various things. This one appears to be a scientific calculator, which can be much more useful than the stock Windows calculator for some.
Lastly, an application is in the works from XDA’s newest TV producer lseidman, who also helped users install Windows 8 via USB drive. This application is called Tube and, if you hadn’t guessed, it’s a YouTube application that brings the functionality of the YouTube website to a native Windows 8 application. The UI isn’t complete yet, and there are still a few tweaks to be made, but the application looks very promising for those who frequent YouTube.
Despite still being weeks away from public release, there are those here on XDA who have already begun work to make Microsoft’s newest offering a little better. While many of our users handedly prefer Linux to Windows, our community has always been about options, and there’s nothing wrong with making Windows 8 a more attractive option.
For more details, check the links below:
With Microsoft’s Windows 8 right around the corner, it’s only natural that interest is kicked into high gear. Two members of the XDA community, Recognized Developer Nullstring and Senior Member lseidman, have posted guides to help users install the latest version of Windows 8 onto their devices via a USB drive.
Nullstring posted a video guide that walks users through the process on a PC / laptop, as well as allowing for the OS to be dual booted along side Windows 7. Be warned the video is 46 minutes long and goes as far as analyzing boot speeds and setting up Administrator mode. XDA Senior Member lseidman has taken this entire process a step further and has provided an in-depth guide to installing either the 32 or 64 bit versions of Windows 8 on tablets and slates via USB drive as well. He too provides a video overview of the process, however, it currently only covers up to the point where the boot ISO is created.
Both of these guides are sure to be helpful to users looking to load Windows 8 on their respective devices, but who haven’t done so yet. So head over to Nullstring’s thread or Lseidman’s thread. Let the development commence.
By now, we are all surely familiar with MetroUI, the critically acclaimed interface powering Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. While the Windows 8 test builds have proven that the interface is indeed usable under the traditional computing model, many assumed that Microsoft had an ace up its sleeves. This is exactly what Microsoft announced yesterday at a mystery event in Los Angeles.
Roughly ten years after the launch of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Microsoft announced its next generation of tablets—one running Windows RT, and the other running Windows 8. While the two devices share some DNA in the form of PVD (physical-vapor deposition) magnesium casing, screen size, and basic design language; the two devices feature markedly different internals.
The Windows RT version weighs in at just 1.5 lbs and is 9.3 mm thick. It will come in 32 and 64 GB flavors, and will be powered by an ARM processor. The Intel-based Windows 8 version is a bit chunkier at 1.9 lbs and 13.5 mm, and it will be available in 64 and 128 GB varieties. It will also feature USB 3 connectivity, a “Full HD” (we assume 1920×1080) display, and digital ink support with a magnetically-attached pen. Both versions will featire a 10.6″ ClearType screen, a built-in kickstand, and a magnetically-attached Touch and Type keyboard covers.
Retail pricing for the Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets is currently unclear, but many expect it to be in line with current ARM tablets and Ultrabook PCs, respectively. The Windows RT version is expected in October, and the Windows 8 should be available around three months later.
Can’t wait to get your hands on one? Is this what you envisioned as the first step towards the future of computing? And most importantly, do Microsoft’s new tablets live up to their claims of a “no compromises” experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion in our newly created Microsoft Surface sub-forum located in the Windows 8 Development and Hacking forum.
In today’s Quick Take of This Week in Development, Jordan covers four stories of interest from the XDA Portal. Jordan covers the article discussing C# possibly becoming the code of choice for Android. Jordan then talks about the HTC EVO 3D getting ICS and the Blue Angel receiving an Android port. Finally, Jordan mentions some fixes for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Check out more stories at the XDA Developers’ Portal.
March 17, 2012 By: jerdog
Recently we reported that Microsoft would be requiring that the manufacturers lock down the bootloader on all ARM devices that would ship with Windows 8, and an interesting turn of events has happened. Qualcomm and Microsoft have teamed up to provide developers with Windows 8 PCs and tablets in order to create applications that will optimize the ARM-architecture of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor. Microsoft’s Director of Business Planning, Stefan Kinnestrand, had this to say:
“Microsoft’s development tools and the Qualcomm Snapdragon test PCs will enable developers to build and test Metro style apps for Windows on ARM PCs. Based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, these systems will equip developers to create Metro style apps and offer a rich set of hardware peripherals that plug in and help enable seamless user experiences on the Windows on ARM platform.”
Now what is interesting here is this news comes on the heals of the revelation of the locked bootloader on ARM devices. One is sure to wonder what would happen if one of these devices would happen to fall into the hands of a developer who was sympathetic to the end user and would welcome the opportunity to give back by initiating collaboration with some of the amazing developers we have here at XDA-Developers. Let us see what the future holds.
See here for the full press release from Qualcomm and Microsoft.
March 8, 2012 By: jerdog
Microsoft is at it again. First, they forced many mobile device OEMs to pay a fee for every Android device shipped. Now they want to put the stranglehold on manufacturers wishing to use ARM with Windows 8. In their infinite wisdom, Microsoft has decided that customers who purchase a Windows 8 devices with ARM architecture must not be able to load any other operating system other than what shipped with it.
Their Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements point to a “custom” secure boot mode via UEFI, allowing users to add signatures for alternative operating systems, and thus enabling that device to boot the operating system. That doesn’t apply to ARM devices though, as this “custom” mode is explicitly prohibited by requirements:
On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enable.
Disabling Secure [Boot] MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems.
What this means for XDA Developers, and the development community as a whole, is that unless a security exploit with UEFI is found, no ARM device with Windows 8 will ever run anything other than Windows 8 and Metro UI. When previously questioned about rumors of this restriction, Microsoft’s Tony Mangefeste stated, ”Microsoft’s philosophy is to provide customers with the best experience first, and allow them to make decisions themselves.” Evidently what he really meant to say was, “Microsoft’s philosophy is to provide customers with our experience, which is the best, and to make sure that’s all they use.” Sound like another OS and hardware manufacturer to you?
Unlocking a bootloader isn’t anything new to developers at XDA—just look at what has been done with HTC’s HBOOT and SBK on ASUS devices—but UEFI’s secure boot mode would seem to hold a whole new set of restrictions not previously encountered. Let’s hope that is not the case, and the development community will find a way to get around Microsoft’s ridiculous, and quite obvious, attempt to keep customers from using Android or Linux on devices manufactured with Windows 8 in mind.
Source: Software Freedom Law Center
We always enjoy the concept designs that pop up from time to time made by regular users showing what they would like to be produced, although we know this will never happen is nice to have different and amazing options of futuristic devices.
This design made by Mithun Darji from Ahmedabad, India demonstrates an interesting concept that would look very cool if ever came to reality.
The concept is about a Windows 7/8 device with WIFI and Phone functionality on a watch strap which includes Bluetooth headset, four music transport keys, two volume keys and 4 other keys (Maybe phone keys).
Although this is only a concept design would be nice for Microsoft to have an operating system which could be ported onto different platforms like mobile devices, tablets and more.
Please leave your a comment with your thoughts about this cool design and thanks for reading.