Posts From Zachary Wander

Zachary Wander
Zachary Wander

Started out rooting and installing custom ROMs before moving onto modifying Android apps in Smali and subsequently developing various customization and utility apps for Android, such as SystemUI Tuner. Check me out on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wander1236.

How to install Windows 11 on almost any unsupported PC

Windows 11 is Microsoft's brand-new operating system. Leaked on June 15th and officially announced on June 24th, the first Windows 11 preview build became available to users on June 28th. Besides having a new look and feel, it also comes with some (very) recent minimum hardware requirements to run. Microsoft is allowing some unsupported computers to...

Android 12’s Fabricated Overlay API brings back rootless themes

The full stable Android 12 release is right around the corner, and Google has even posted the source code to its AOSP repo. There’s a lot that’s new in Android 12, including an addition to resource overlays called Fabricated Overlays. What was meant as an API to help the system manage the dynamic changes used...

Want to import a phone to the U.S.? Here’s why you should reconsider

It seems like every time someone in the United States reviews a phone, half of the comments on the article, video, whatever, will be about how expensive the phone is. They'll say something like "in Europe, no one would buy this phone. We can get a Xiaomi that does the same stuff for half the...

OnePlus Nord N200 vs Samsung Galaxy A32: Which budget 5G phone is better?

The mid-range value smartphone markets have never really been good in the U.S. As much as some of us would love to import a cheap phone from Europe, that isn't really an option. Thankfully, it seems like we're starting to get some of the value that most of the rest of the world has been...

Advanced Android Development: How to bypass the hidden API blacklist

Way back in 2018, Google released Android Pie. Among the UI changes and new features, there were also some developer-side changes. Those changes included new APIs, bugfixes for existing APIs, and also restrictions on access to hidden APIs. Luckily though, there are ways to get around those restrictions. Before I get into how to bypass the...

Advanced Android Development: Elevate app permissions using Shizuku

There are a lot of reasons the permissions normally granted to your app might not be enough. Maybe you're like me and enjoy creating hacky apps that abuse the Android API. Some of the APIs I use are locked behind special permissions. Sometimes only the shell user (ADB) or system can access them. There's a...

Android Development Basics: How to add Kotlin to an existing Java Android project

Kotlin is pretty great. It's got a whole bunch of useful language features, and the syntax is generally clean and simple. It's also cross-platform, and the base language can compile to a whole bunch of different languages and platforms. Kotlin for Java (called KotlinJVM) compiles to the same thing Java compiles to — JVM bytecode for...

Android Development Basics: How to replace AsyncTask with Kotlin’s Coroutines

For a very long time in Android, if you needed to do anything asynchronously when making an app, you'd probably be using AsyncTask. AsyncTask is an API in Android's framework that makes it easy(ish) to run operations in the background and return values when finished. And that makes sense. Unlike Kotlin's Coroutines, AsyncTask has been...

Android Development Basics: How to add View Binding to an Android Gradle project

Most Android developers are probably familiar with the classic findViewById() method. Pass it an ID of one of the Views in your XML layout and it'll return a reference to the inflated version of that View. That's all assuming you passed the right ID though, and that the View actually exists. findViewById() has no checks...

Bedrock syncs your Minecraft worlds between your Android devices

Minecraft may have come out over 10 years ago, but it's still an incredibly popular game. Over the years, it's gotten tons of (free!) updates, with new features, and even multiple versions of the game. But something that it's arguably been missing is the ability to sync worlds across devices. Sure, you could set up...

ADB Tips & Tricks: ADB commands that every power user should know about!

Android has a neat tool available to developers called the Android Debug Bridge, or ADB for short. It's used in Android Studio and manually by Android developers to install and test apps on Android smartphones and emulated Android devices. But there's a lot ADB can do, and most of it isn't only useful to developers. Even...

How to enable ECG and blood pressure on Galaxy Watch 4 paired with non-Samsung phones

Starting with the Galaxy Watch Active 2, Samsung added sensors to measure your blood pressure and take an ECG reading. These features are also available on the company's latest Galaxy Watch 4 series and last year's Galaxy Watch 3. But because of regulatory requirements, the functionality has quite a few restrictions. To record your blood pressure...