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Get the AOSP Lock Screen on Your ICS-Powered Samsung Device

Posted by wicked April - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

callme

Android is the only popular mobile operating system that allows users, developers, and OEMs to implement dramatic modifications to its user interface. Some OEMs such as Samsung, LG, and Sony release their devices with highly modified custom software, which differs greatly from Google’s version of Android that is seen in Nexus and GPe devices.

One of the aspects that is often changed in OEM skins is the lock screen. Almost every OEM has its own unique style of lock screen. But what to do when you want to have a bit of the AOSP taste in your device without fully switching to an AOSP-based ROM? If you have an ICS-powered Samsung device, the answer is simple: Read a guide written by XDA Recognized Contributor Mohitash that shows you how to change the lock screen on Ice Cream Sandwich-based Samsung devices like the Galaxy S Duos or Captivate Glide.

The guide begins by using the well known APKTool to decompile SecSettings.apk and android.policy.jar. Then, you perform some smali editing, recompile, and send the modified files back to the device. The method is thoroughly described, so you shouldn’t have much trouble adding it to your stock or stock-based TouchWiz ROM.

If you still own an older Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Samsung device and want to make it to look a bit more like a Nexus phone, head over to the guide thread and give the described method a try.

Fix External Storage Handling with Xposed Module

Posted by wicked March - 28 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

android-23-sd-card-support

In recent Android releases, Google has become more and more unwilling to cater to the use of external SD cards. It was never quite clear why Google decided to abandon SD card support in their Nexus devices, but many believe this to be due to the added simplicity of removing another storage area.

While Google nixed the idea on its own devices, various OEMs decided to keep SD card slots in their devices. To use them properly, some modifications to Android’s source code were needed. And due to changes in how some later versions of Android handled SD cards, many applications lost the ability to access external SD cards. Luckily, Xposed Framework allows users to modify various aspects of their OS without messing around with the files themselves.

Annoyed by the external storage situation, XDA Senior Member defim created a module to fix the aforementioned issues. The only thing required to apply the fix is to enable the module in the Xposed Installer after successfully installing it on your rooted device.

If you are suffering from external storage handling problems on your Android 4.0.3+ device, make your way to the original thread and give this module a shot.

Create your Own Routines and Stick with them with “Habbits”

Posted by egzthunder1 February - 1 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

habits

Every New Year typically brings about a very rare phenomenon. No, I’m not talking about being plastered out of your mind. People tend to get in a certain mood—a mood that brings them hope and serenity about the upcoming year. Normally, people will look back at the previous year’s failures, and make plans to not fail again. That’s right, the New Year’s resolutions are here in full force. People all over the globe are hitting the gym, writing books, and looking for ways to get those raises they so feverishly deserve. But after January or February, it is back to regularly scheduled programming for many of them. In other words, resolutions go out the window or are simply forgotten and swallowed in the midst of everyday life.

The biggest problem with the resolutions is that most people lack discipline. And because of this, these resolutions simply fall through the cracks or are met with an unmatched sense of “meh… maybe later.” After doing some research and based on very sage advice from Mr. Jerry Seinfeld himself, XDA Forum Member scoderx0e decided that it was time to release a surefire way to motivate you into doing something and actually following through.

Habbits is the culmination of advice turned into programming. It is an app that will basically allow you to make yourself responsible for your own actions and accountable for not following through. The concept is the simple idea of crossing days off a calendar when you perform a certain action. The app allows you to set up a goal and track it on the built-in calendar with different colors for different outcomes. At the end of every month, you can see a summary of how well you followed your goal. Your only task in this is to try and complete an entire month with the same color. Once you get used to seeing full rows of the same color, your brain will automatically force you into those actions so that you don’t drop off.

If you are looking for someone/something to keep you accountable, now is your chance. Do keep in mind that the app is still in testing phases, so if you do have feedback, please share it with the dev. You can find more information in the original thread. Now, put your device down and go back to that treadmill!

Xposed Module: Preference Injector

Posted by egzthunder1 January - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

CblbsS9

XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s Xposed framework has been on every root user’s mouth for the last year or so. This revolutionary tool for customizing Android without actually touching the ROM itself has been a heaven sent tool for modders out there to share what they can do with their knowledge, without having to actually cook a ROM every time they want to implement a new feature. We normally feature them on the Portal and they even have their own XDA Developer TV segment called Xposed Tuesday. A major contributor of modules as of late has been XDA Forum Member MohammadAG, who has provided various other mods including a tinted status bar, recovery of the good old car dock mode, unlocking using NFC, and AOSP lockscreen on TouchWiz devices, among many others.

This time around, the module itself does not alter functionality but rather focuses on another aspect of Android modding: aesthetics. Settings for most Xposed modules can be easily accessed through the Xposed app itself. However, for some, going through yet another set of settings can be somewhat cumbersome. Well, our dev decided that it was time to make settings and preferences management more in line with the rest of the settings in the Android Settings.apk. So, he made a module to mash these together. The new module shows the settings for all Xposed modules in the Settings area, thus making the entire UI, a single, more unified version of settings.

The dev himself states that the addon provides no benefit or functionality, but it does make it easier to manage the settings for the entire device (global as well as for each individual module) a much simpler ordeal. The dev also warns of incompatibility with some TouchWiz ROMs. However, many people have already reported no issues with TW Samsung devices.

What are you waiting for? Get some much needed organization in your device and manage it all from one place. One settings app to rule them all… You can find more information in the original thread.

KitKat Now 1.4% of Android Users, Nearly 60% Running Jelly Bean, Gingerbread Down to 21%

Posted by Will Verduzco January - 12 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Capture

A little over a month ago, Google released its Android Platform Distribution Statistics for the tail end of 2013. Now, we’ve entered a new year. And as expected, we also have a new batch of platform stats available on the Android Developer Dashboard.

In general, the new stats indicate a gradual move to newer Android OS builds. In the last month, KitKat rose from 1.1% to 1.4%. While this number may not sound like a lot, it’s still somewhat surprising given how few devices actually have official Android 4.4 updates. And if leaks are indicative of an impending release, we can expect this number to rise dramatically in the coming months. Similarly, Jelly Bean rose from 54.5% to 59.1%. This can be explained by all of the Android 4.3 updates we’ve seen popping up for various devices in the past few weeks.

As expected, older OSes generally saw a decline in usage. In the span of one month, Ice Cream Sandwich usage declined from 18.6% to 16.9%. Similarly, Gingerbread went from 24.1% to 21.2%. Froyo also took a bit of a dip from 1.6% to 1.3%. And that red-headed stepchild Honeycomb? Well, that’s the same at 0.1%.

Are you excited to see the slow but steady progress being made to bring newer versions of Android to more users, or are you disappointed that only 1.4% of users are running the latest major version of our favorite little green robot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

[Source: Android Developer Dashboard]

Supercharge Android App Switching with Switchr

Posted by wicked October - 11 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

beta_cover

Switching Apps on Android is generally accomplished using Android’s native card-style multitasking solution. We’ve seen some apps that provide quick access to favorite programs with a swipe from the side of the screen with the original Sidebar, Sidebar plus, and Appsi Sidebar.

However, when you are in a program and want to switch to another running, you always had to go to the multitasking button. Depending on your device, that might be pressing and holding the home button for 2 seconds, double tapping home, or pressing the dedicated softkey. Switchr by XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib makes going back to a previous app as simple as swiping your finger. Mohammad_Adib, the same developer who gave us Sidebar and Floating Stickies, brings us a new way to switch between running apps that makes you wonder why this isn’t standard in the OS.

Switchr is a well designed and well polished app with a simple, yet practical function that allows users to access their running apps quickly and conveniently. The app is backed by an active and committed developer. It works with Android versions 4.0 and newer, but the dev intends on bringing support to Gingerbread devices as well. The beta will end on October 20, and will be followed by official release.

If Switchr interests you, head over to the original thread for more details.

Galaxy S 4 / Note 3 Lock Screen on Any ICS+ Device

Posted by egzthunder1 October - 1 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

s4lockscreen

Envy is a very interesting driver for innovation. Ironically, wanting to have something that others enjoy tends to have a somewhat interesting effect on our developers. After all, the will generated by the lack of newer versions of Windows Mobile available on newer devices was the main driving force that pushed XDA to be what it is today. Our “thing” or hobby (whichever way you want to see it) could be easily called envy. But regardless of how envious we may seem, having the opportunity to do what others do on top of what we do is, after all, what we do best. In this case, XDA Forum Member -Aatif- brings us a little something for all (who do not own a recent Samsung device) to enjoy.

S4/Note3 Lockscreen is a copy (not an APK taken out of the TouchWiz build) of the infamous lock screen app included with the aforementioned devices. In case you are not familiar with it, the newest Galaxy devices come equipped with a rather beautiful lock screen capable of giving you a wide array of customizable effects for unlocking the device. The S III family of devices introduced the “ripple effect” (making water ripples on the screen as the finger slides to unlock it) as well as the ink effect (add-on to the ripple effect in which an ink blob dissolves in the water ripple when the screen is touched); and the S 4 introduced the newer effects such as circles of light, lens flare, and more. All that, plus the ability to change fonts, along with everything else is included in this small package.

The app also has a few options in place to make your screen more you, such as giving you the option to hide the notification bar and even adding your own text to your home screen (not simply carrier text). It also has a few safeguards built in to avoid getting multiple lock screens jumping in at the same time. All in all, while it is a work in progress, it is difficult to argue that this lock screen is very complete and smooth. Please leave some feedback for the dev so that more options can be added down the road.

Exellent copy of Samsung Galaxy SIV, Galaxy NoteIII Lockscreen
Now NO need to “ROOT” now 

* Light Effect
* Ripple Effect
Ink Effect (New)

You can find more information in the original thread.

Stay Up-to-Date with The News: UK Edition

Posted by egzthunder1 April - 26 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

TheNewsUK

As of late, we have been covering apps that have surfaced on XDA that perform functions that we are used to seeing on most mobiles. However, the gist of these new/old apps is that they all add a bit of a twist to the already working models, thus breaking the status quo of all the other apps in its category. In the particular case of RSS feeds or other types of news feeds, most apps will deliver vast contents to your screen, from any source capable of relaying information to your particular app. However, the limitation for most if not all apps of this kind is that they will display only a couple of sentences, maybe even a small synopsis of the entire piece, and will link you to the source’s website to read the article. XDA Recognized Developer h4oxer has come up with a rather elegant solution to avoid having to go to yet another site to finish reading interesting stories.

The News: UK Edition is, as stated before, a news feed. It is capable of retrieving information from pretty much any news source in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), so you can stay up-to-date on anything from local news, traffic, to even some of that juicy gossip that revolves famous people. The difference between this app and others is that the app can retrieve the entire article and put it in your screen thanks to what the dev has called EasyRead technology. Because of EasyRead, there is no the need to link to an external website anymore, thus forcing you to read the article in a web browser. The articles are formatted newspaper-style, so they are quite easy to read. You do have the option to go to the website as well in case you are more comfortable reading the pieces that way.

The app’s interface can be fully customized by letting you change the order of all pieces, sources, and news type. On top of that, the app offers integration of some of the most commonly known media tools. This way you can share your favorite stories with the rest of the world via Facebook, G+, e-mail, and much more. The dev is looking for good feedback, whether it is bugs or suggestions. So, please leave your thoughts in the thread.

The News: UK Newspaper Edition (Free) is the ultimate App for getting the latest UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales) news from all the UK’s top newspapers, from broadsheets to tabloids. With our EasyRead technology you can decide to view the full articles in perfect newspaper format right from the App!

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

[Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer h4oxer for the tip!]

Theme ALL the (Rooted) Phones with XThemeEngine

Posted by egzthunder1 April - 26 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

allthephones

You may or may not recall sometime last year, when a member by the name of XDA Recognized Developer rovo89 introduced a brand new concept to this world, named Xposed Framework. This essentially enables the user to hack any ROM and change virtually anything without coding, cracking the ROM open with a kitchen, or even flashing a zip through recovery. Possibilities with such a tool are virtually endless, and it is nearly risk free. Some people have released a few things here and there, but as with most novel concepts, things take time to take a foothold in people’s minds. The good news is that more and more people are beginning to see the wonders of this framework and have begun using it to add functionality that would otherwise require a brand new ROM (as what you want may not be available for your favorite ROM). XDA Forum Member ruqqq is among those people, and he has released something quite interesting based on Xposed.

XThemeEngine is similar to TMobile theme engine found in CyanogenMod and derivatives. Essentially, choose a theme, download it, and apply it via the engine. There’s no flashing, and there’s no mess. The only difference is that the CM engine is only available for AOSP ROMs (there are some engines analogous to this like VR Theme Engine, but this one is completely built on Xposed as the platform). The dev states that this will work if two conditions are met: The device needs to be rooted, AND Xposed framework needs to be installed. It has been tested on a wide range of devices already without issues. The dev also states that it is possible (and in fact quite simple) to make new themes from scratch (template provided as well), so you can literally let your imagination fly. If your imagination pool is somewhat dried up and you feel like using an existing theme,  porting can also be easily accomplished by following a few steps.

Please take it for a spin and share your creations with the rest of the world. Do keep in mind that this is still under beta phase and as such, there are some bugs. So, please read the entire opening post for all the details.

XThemeEngine allows you to theme your device similar to how T-Mobile/CM10 Theme Engine. Install theme apk, activate theme from XThemeEngine app. Voila!

You can find more information in the original thread and you can read more about Xposed Framework in this thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Never Forget to Charge Your Phone Again with AC Socket

Posted by egzthunder1 April - 25 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

ACSocket

Ever since the days of Windows Mobile, we have had features available on our devices that we pretty much have taken for granted. This includes things like applications for taking down notes, setting calendar events, alarms, and many others are things that we have lived with for many years. Because of this, not too many improvements are done to said features as they essentially do everything we expect of them—and they do it well. We have some developers out there who apparently can take these 100% working, reliable concepts and squeeze an extra 5-10% more out of them, making them effectively even better than the original tools. In this particular case, the concept in question is ensuring that you can use your devices when you wake up the following morning.

XDA Forum Member shadrmg has developed an application called AC Socket. The concept of this app is quite simple: It is a reminder to charge your device every night. Stock Android (well, not just Android but pretty much any device out there with a battery) will normally start complaining about lack of juice somewhere around the 10-20% battery charge remaining mark. While this app does not actually mess with that, it provides the device with a dedicated app to ensure that you remember to plug in your phone at a specific time, regardless of the charge level present in your phone. While you could potentially accomplish the same by setting up an alarm on your phone, this app also goes a step further and provides you with an average for your daily battery usage. The app also gives the user the opportunity to either disable this notification for a single day or completely.

Again, while this may not be the most novel concept out there, it takes an existing one and adds a bit more functionality. After all, lets face it. How many times have you gone to sleep after a stressful day only to find out that your phone died halfway through the night because you forgot to plug it in? Please take this for a spin and provide any feedback you may have to the dev.

AC Socket is an easy tool to help You not to forget dock-in Your smartphone at night every evening to have fully charged battery each morning.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.