December 4, 2013 By: eagleeyetom
HotFile.com is one of the most widely used file sharing companies, and one that has proven popular among various XDA users to distribute development works. Now, it has been shut down permanently, and their owners have to pay $80 milion, as part of a settlement with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Hotfile was initially accused of piracy in 2011, when the trial begun. The MPAA requested Hotfile to pay $500 million in compensation to the movie industries affected by warez hosting. After negotiations, both parties decide to lower this amount to $80 million. Now, Hotfile.com is shut down permanently with a following message:
The decision of the American Federal Court clearly shows that piracy is forbidden and people should pay for movies, music, or applications. At XDA we protect the developers and their intellectual property, and we would like to remind you that discussing or posting warez is illegal as well.
The shutdown also means that some developers who used to host their file on HotFile will have to change their online hosting providers. XDA has many hosting partners that are fast and free, such as Dev Host, Android File Host, and Goo.im—all of which are available in the private developer-specific forums. Developers can also use DevDB to upload their files. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that other services will share the fate of Hotfile and will be closed down in the future, but this makes it as good of a time as ever to migrate to more development-specific hosting solutions that are much less likely to be closed.
Which company has not one, not two, but three operating systems being actively developed at the same time? Microsoft does, and they’re getting tired of it.
The strongest suggestion of this comes with Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green’s statement that “We [Microsoft] have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We’re not going to have three,” at the UBS Global Technology Summit last week. The straightness of the statement strongly hints at a potential axing of an existing OS. And given each OS’s relative success, it’s not difficult to surmise which.
Although the bluntness may come off as rather shocking, we all should have seen it coming sooner or later, with trails of bread crumbs here and there. This is evident with comments made by Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft, who said that “We [Microsoft] should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices,” in September.
So which OS will be axed? Well, all the fingers point towards Windows RT, the lonely and confusing child that never quite knew who it wanted to be. And Microsoft doesn’t know either, with Larson-Green admitting “We didn’t explain [Windows RT] super-well. I think we didn’t differentiate the devices well enough.” She went as far as saying that “[Microsoft] should not have called it Windows.”
Windows RT will most likely be ‘gently’ merged with Windows Phone rather than suffer an immediate death. According to the Verge, Windows RT in some shape or form will be seen on mobile devices in the future, with Myerson complimenting the long battery life and large connectivity options and potential of ARM-based devices, on which Windows RT runs.
Despite this, troubling comments have been uttered by Larson-Green at the same summit that will possibly impact the potential of Windows and any future Windows OS being developer-friendly, or at least to an extent that is remotely close to Android. As she explains,
“you look at iPad in particular, and it’s a turnkey, closed system. It doesn’t degrade over time….It doesn’t get viruses. It’s not as flexible, you can’t do as much with it, but it’s a more seamless experience, even though more simplified….So we believe in that vision and that direction and we’re continuing down that path.”
This is a strong hint that Windows will probably be trying to keep to themselves in the corner of the room, much like Apple. It doesn’t bode well for developers who are hoping that maybe, just maybe, Microsoft may make Windows more open to development.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s vision and future plans? Have they gotten it right, or are they just digging themselves a deeper hole? Share them with us below.
November 14, 2013 By: jerdog
Trends in any industry are very important, from identifying which hamburgers people are buying to how quickly until the next pop star goes insane on international TV. The mobile app development industry is no different, with many important metrics helping to provide developers with the information necessary to shape their attention for the upcoming months.
XDA was founded for developers by developers, and we take our developers seriously. It is for this very reason that we have partnered with VisionMobile to present their latest survey on mobile app development, opportunities, and challenges: Developer Economics. The survey is used to compile a bi-annual report, which is then made available in the form of a free PDF report.
In this report, VisionMobile takes a close look at some of the latest trends in the mobile ecosystem, including developer Mindshare and platform prioritisation, platform adoption criteria, revenue models and revenues, as well as multi-screen development. State of the Developer Nation examines some of the top mobile platforms, pitting the three leading horses in the race (Android, iOS, and HTML5) versus the newcomers (BlackBerry 10, Windows 8, and Windows Phone) and the up-and-coming platforms (Firefox OS, Tizen, Jolla, Ubuntu). For an example of the vast array of information contained in the report, you can access the latest one from Q2 2013 here.
This 10-minute survey is aimed at app developers. Survey respondents can enter a draw to claim great prizes, including an iPhone, a Galaxy S 4, two Lumia 925 handsets, as well as more cool gadgets. In addition, each of the respondents can claim a free, 1-month subscription to Bugsense’s crash reporting tool.
Also, survey respondents will gain access to the Developer Benchmark Scorecards, a visualization that allows respondents to benchmark themselves in terms of revenues and revenue models, platforms used, app categories, and use of tools versus other developers in the region, based on their responses to the survey (opt-in to the developer panel required).
Finally, the survey results will become publicly available as a free download in January 2014, so that respondents can get a sense of what the latest trends are and what other developers have to say. You can access the Q4 2013 survey here.
Many of us on xda-developers, including those here way back in the days of the original XDA device, the HTC Wallaby, started our smartphone journeys on a Microsoft OS. And though the mobile landscape is very different now, Microsoft does a lot right when it comes to building tools and providing services for mobile developers. Microsoft has been sponsoring XDA this month, and we thought it would be interesting to show some ways in which the company supports development across platforms, including Android. We hope this doesn’t read too much like an ad, but there are honestly some very cool programs the company offers—programs that most developers probably don’t know about.
First, if you’re a startup developing software that is less than five years old and making less than $1 million annually, you can join Microsoft’s BizSpark program. This gives completely free access to most of Microsoft’s software. This is 900 programs, the equivalent of an MSDN Ultimate subscription that costs over $13,000 on Microsoft’s website.
We enrolled the team at MyColorScreen, which is developing an Android-only app called Themer for theming your mobile device. The process is fairly simple: Sign up for a Microsoft account, fill out a form, and wait (up to five days) for your application to be reviewed. Once the account is approved, you get immediate access to lots and lots of stuff—everything from Office Professional Plus 2013, Windows 8.1, Windows Server, Visual Studio Ultimate, Robotics Developer Studio, and much, much more. You can even download Windows 3.1, which made me a bit nostalgic.
If you call yourself a startup and use any Microsoft product, there’s really no reason not to apply.
Windows Azure Mobile Services is an easy way to connect a scalable cloud backend to a mobile application. It stores structured data and integrates with user authentication and push notifications. In March, Microsoft added support to Azure for native Android applications.
Microsoft posted some beginner tutorials detailing how to add an Azure backend to an Android app. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple to-do list app and mobile service for storing data.
Azure is a pay service, but you can currently get $200 of free credit to explore.
Of course, Microsoft also offers tools and tutorials for porting Android apps to Windows Phone. Here is a tutorial, detailing how to both port and reimagine app design for Windows Phone. There is also an Android to Windows Phone API Mapping tool.
Check out our new Microsoft hub for more articles on mobile development with Microsoft tools.
September 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A few days ago, we wrote about the interop unlock achieved by XDA Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie on his Samsung Ativ S running Windows Phone 8. At the time, however, there was no guide / procedures thread for users to follow in GoodDayToDie’s footsteps. However, good things come to those who wait, as the product of GoodDayToDie’s and Senior Member -W_O_L_F-‘s work is now clearly described.
If you’re new to Windows Phone, you may be wondering what exactly you can do with interop-unlock. According to GoodDayToDie:
A brief summary, for those unfamiliar with interop-lock: Windows Phone allows a number of high-privilege app capabilities, which can be used to make changes to the OS which are normally not possible for a third-party app. The limitation on whether we can use these capabilities or not is based on what “level” of developer unlock the phone has; standard “ISV” (Independent Software Vendor) dev unlock (max 10 apps or less) is what pretty much everybody gets; OEMs, however, get a special OEM Developer Unlock (300 apps or more) which gives them the ability to use much higher-privilege app capabilities than the standard ISV unlock permits. The name comes from ID_CAP_INTEROPSERVICES, the capability which was most important in WP7. In WP8, however, there are a great many interesting capabilities. Note that Interop-unlock by itself does not enable all of these; a deeper unlock is still required to fully “root” the OS.
Since our last update, GoodDayToDie has now created the thread and filled it with the requisite information including a brief primer on what interop-unlocking your device accomplishes, as well as a simple guide showing how to achieve interop-unlocked status and what capabilities are gained.
Just as before, this is just for Samsung Windows Phone 8 devices, as it relies on the Samsung diagnosis app. However, work is in progress to extend this to other phones.
Head over to the guide thread to get started.
May 10, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod 10.1.0 RC1 has been released for various devices. That story and more are covered by Kevin, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the Windows Phone 7.8 updater tool Sharp7Eighter and FireFox OS making an appearance on the juggernaut device, the HTC HD2.
Kevin talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve talked about unlocking the bootlader of the new HTC One, Kevin talked about spring cleaning for your Android and TK released an Android App review of Pocket Converter. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Although much of our news here on the Portal revolves around the Android ecosystem, there is still a healthy development community catering to the needs of all things Windows. Whether it’s RT, Windows Phone, or even Windows Mobile; people are using these platforms, people are developing for them, and they will continue to do so long after the OEMs and Microsoft cease to. A prime example of this is a utility called Sharp7Eighter by XDA Forum Member lesmo_sft.
The purpose of Sharp7Eighter is to bring older devices that (have not yet been updated to WP7.8) up to speed and give them the update they deserve. It should work on any Windows Phone device running version 7740 or above to the latest version of 7.8 (8862). It does this by acting as a frontend for Microsoft’s own updateWP.exe tool, which of course means that it uses official MS cabs to update the device. Updates can be paused and resumed at will due to their incremental nature. And according to the developer, it’s very unlikely that any harm will come to your device using this tool, which is always nice.
You’ll need a PC running Windows 7 or 8, as Sharp7Eighter isn’t currently compatible with Windows XP. You’ll also need the .NET framework 4.5 installed. Fulfill those two prerequisites, and you’re good to go. If you have an older WP device that could use a little refresh, this tool is definitely worth checking out. You can find more in the original thread.
May 2, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA Senior Member anthonycr has created a great Android browser to replace the standard app. His application is called Lightning Browser. How does his application compare to similar apps on other mobile operating systems like UC Browser for Windows Phone and Mercury Browser on iOS?
In this episode XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you these applications side by side by side. He shows you what they look like and he pits them against each other to see which one is the best and will reign as king of the Third Party Browser applications. Check out this video to find out which wins.
April 16, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA Forum Member bambou51 has created a great Android application to handle organizing your Podcasts. His application is called Podcast Addict. How does his application compare to similar apps on other mobile operating systems like WPodder for Windows Phone and Podcasts on iOS?
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you these applications side by side-by-side. He shows you what they look like and he pits them against each other to see what one is the best and will reign as king of the Podcast applications. Check out this video to find out who wins.
April 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, we talked about the differences between the Facebook App and the Twitter App on Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. We looked at their differences and similarities, and if they even have the same functionality. Today, we continue to examine these questions.
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you the native Instagram apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. He shows you how they look and talks about the differences, if any. So if you’ve ever wondered, check this video out.
April 6, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, we talked about the differences in the Facebook app on Windows Phone, Android, and iPhones. We looked at the differences, whether they were the same, and if they even have the same functionality. Today we continue to ask these questions.
In this episode XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you the native Twitter apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. He shows you how they look and talks about the differences, if any, between the apps. So if you ever wondered how they compare, check this video out.
March 26, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Some people say that the real difference between Windows Phone handsets, Android handsets, and iPhones are the apps. We at XDA know this isn’t true; there are hardware differences. However, how different are the apps? Are they the same? Are they completely different? Do they even have the same functionality?
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Steve shows you the native Facebook apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. He shows you how they look, and talks about the differences (if any) between the apps. So if you ever wondered what the difference was, check this video out.
March 24, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Going back what seems like eons in Internet time, we brought you news of a rather useful little application for Windows Phone 7 called VoiceTranslator by XDA Recognized Developer sensboston. In the time that’s passed, not only has the application been continually developed, but has also made it through to the final 64 of the Windows Phone Next App Star Contest.
The idea behind the app is simple, you talk into it, choose which language you’d like the speech translated into, and the application will then read it back to you in the chosen language. The translation takes place online and the app makes use of Google’s speech-to-text and text to speech APIs. However, you can enter the translations in text form if you’d prefer to. There’s support for several different languages, and those most commonly used can be assigned to an individual tile on the device’s main screen for easy access. The app will function on versions of Windows Phone from 7-8, and is available for free from the Marketplace.
Considering that the Next App Star Contest received over 9000 entries, making it through to the final 64 is an incredible achievement in itself so congratulations to sensboston for making it this far. The very best of luck for the remainder of the competition. If you would like to cast your vote for this app, you can do so from the link in the forum thread. By doing so, you will also be eligible to win a Nokia Lumia 920. Check out the application thread for more information.