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.
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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.
BlueStacks is planning to bring all Android apps available to Windows 8, integrating them just like regular Metro-style apps as tiles on the homescreen. The recently released alpha version of its “App Player” software that allows you to run Android apps on Windows has been updated for Windows 8 and will launch alongside the Windows 8 beta, widely expected to be arriving in late February, in the Windows Store.
The software is said to be able to run pretty much all Android apps, with no porting required and full hardware acceleration for 3D graphics. While this will no doubt remedy a lack of applications that is to be expected for a time after the Windows 8 launch – the Android Market just recently passed 400,000 applications – Android apps obviously aren’t designed with the Metro guidelines in mind and few are optimized for tablets, making for a sub-par experience. Even with some OEMs preloading the BlueStacks software on their PCs, this hopefully won’t deter developers from writing native Windows 8 applications.
However, it’s of course nice to see such “hacking” work to be done, and if you’re curious, you can go ahead and download an early alpha version of the BlueStacks app player for regular desktop Windows right now. The Verge also got a nice hands-on video showcasing the upcoming software on a Windows 8 tablet.
If you are old enough to remember the great HTC Shift or even better you still have one, this will be of your interest. XDA member djwillis told us about a guide to install the Windows 8 preview on the Shift. According to the source, no part of the installation process is complicated, it mostly came down to installing the right drivers in the right order, so if you follow the instructions it should be ok.
You will need to consider:
- Wipe the Shift’s HDD. Don’t bother with an upgrade from Windows 7. Not worth the hassle
- You don’t mind manually reinstalling Windows Vista or Windows 7 when you decide 8 is not for you.
- You are well aware you are installing an unsupported pre-beta bit of software on your device, and the device is under MS’s recommended minimum specs.
- You understand not all the hardware is 100% supported and there may be driver issues.
- Make sure you have enabled WiFi using the Shift Control Panel before you start the install inside the old OS. If you don’t you may need to have a USB Ethernet adaptor before you can enable WiFi to get on the internet.
So, if you are going forward, please leave your feedback.
Originally posted by djwillis
[GUIDE] Installing Windows 8 Preview on the HTC Shift
This thread is to record comments/questions on a guide I have posted up on my site regarding the steps to get a fully working Windows 8 Developer Preview install onto the HTC Shift.
The process to get Windows 8 working (with graphics correctly setup etc.) is a little bit of a pain but nothing all that difficult. Especially if you follow the steps (usual rules, I made mistakes to save others the hassle )
The resulting install of Windows 8 running at 1024*600 is VERY usable , much to my surprise. Metro is actually quite nice on the tablet form factor.
The touchscreen is a little unresponsive round the edges but I suspect that is my device as it has never been very good.
Continue on to the original thread to find more information.
September 16, 2011 By: egzthunder1
If you have been around since the time before Android, you likely remember the joy of playing with your registry values to get your Windows Mobile device to do other things. Well, since we recently added a section in our site for Windows 8, XDA member fiinix decided that it was probably a good idea to get things in this new section going. The best part is that he kicked things off with a registry hack, which likely made people who switched from WM to Android to remember the past and smile. This hack basically allows those who don’t enjoy the new Metro look in the OS to go back to a more familiar type of taskbar, like the one found in Windows 7. The tweak is relatively simple as only a couple of entries must be modified to get this going.
Please post your results if this worked out for you. Also, don’t forget to leave feedback for he dev.
Some of you may have seen it on youtube/google/tech-sites, but i just wanted to show you guys how to disable this new “Metro”, to be able to see the original “taskbar” as seen in Windows 7 (so you don’t need to put effort into finding how to disable it)
You can find more information in the original thread.
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Yes, folks you read it correctly. It looks like Microsoft is trying to integrate everything they can into this mobile generation of ours and as such, their new upcoming PC operating system (Windows 8 ) has just established its home here at xda-developers. Microsoft’s intentions seem to be rather clear as they are desperately trying to break back into a market they once dominated with Windows Mobile. However, don’t expect to see Windows 8 running on any phone any time soon. The OS seems to be directed towards the (not so) new and growing market of tablets or slate computers, one in which Microsoft has always prevailed. The Metro style UI seems to have been born from the Windows Phone 7 concept and while several people don’t agree with this “feeling right” as it is somewhat awkward to use it without touchscreen capabilities, once cannot help but to wonder about the possibilities of this new OS. There are some talks of porting already going on and one cannot help but to wonder if we will see this running on other devices such as maybe a Xoom or a Transformer. At this point only time will tell.
Please drop by to share your experiences with the Developer’s test version of this new OS.
You can visit Windows 8′s new home on XDA right here.
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