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Sony Encouraging SmartWatch 2 Development

Posted by wicked November - 24 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off


Mobile device companies like selling devices–it’s how they make their money and it’s how they fund the next device that’s already in their pipeline. It also makes it very hard to support those same devices in 6 months when the next iteration is out. There’s one thing that can be said though about Sony, and it’s this: They work really hard to encourage development on their devices, no matter how old they might be. They’ve consistently put out AOSP for their devices, given instructions on how to build custom kernels (which no other OEM does by the way), and provided tools to load custom builds on their original SmartWatch. With the recent release of their 3rd-generation SmartWatch 3 (based on Android Wear), it’s high-time they provide people with a guide for developing Android apps for the SmartWatch 2.

Sony’s Developer World a few days ago published a collection of tips for developers wishing to tackle the SmartWatch 2. The tutorials range from how to get started with creating a new SW2 app, to how to limit battery drain, to creating widgets and clocks, and finally how to port your SW1 app to the SW2. They are presented in very concise form with the necessary steps outlined and help put you on the path you need to create great, imaginative, and original apps for the platform.

If you are interested in getting in on the action and develop some apps for a good, solid smartwatch, head on over to Sony’s Developer World and get started.

[Image taken from Sony Developer World.]

The post Sony Encouraging SmartWatch 2 Development appeared first on xda-developers.

Chainfire Releases CF-Auto-Roots For Nexus Line

Posted by wicked November - 15 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off


Benjamin Franklin, the US Statesman from simpler times, gave the famous quote in 1789 that “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I can’t fault him for not having the forethought to identify that there would be a few more certainties in life, and those would be “Chainfire releasing root for Nexus devices and providing analysis of the state of root on a new Google release.”

For those not familiar, XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire has become the preeminent source for information related to root on Android devices as well as analysis of how Google is changing system security on their new Android OS updates. His Google+ posts are often waited on with anticipation rivaling the title of the next Star Wars installment. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of a stretch – there weren’t any Watch Parties for the Star Wars announcement.

With that being said, he recently updated his CF-Auto-Root downloads to include Android 5.0 root for all of the Nexus line: Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 9, and Nexus 10. A few of the key things changed for this release are:

  • The new variants of CFAR have the SuperSU ZIP embedded
  • A second included ZIP (if on Lollipop or newer) patches the current kernel to run SuperSU at boot
  • Current CFARs have SuperSU v2.20 which is not currently available elsewhere and only has CFAR compatibility

For more information, make sure you check out the CFAR thread and his G+ stream to stay current on all Lollipop-related news.

The post Chainfire Releases CF-Auto-Roots For Nexus Line appeared first on xda-developers.

MediaTek Continues Steps Towards Being Developer-Friendly

Posted by wicked September - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

MediaTek Labs

Not too long ago MediaTek was very closed off towards the mobile developer community, especially sites like XDA. They saw no value in working with independent developers who live, breathe and sleep mobile. That has begun to change as of late, and MediaTek is even sponsoring xda:devcon ’14 in Manchester, UK on Sept 26-28. They also recently partnered with Google on the Android One project and are continuing to submit kernel source code to the upstream projects with Google.

One of their recent initiatives has been to embrace the Maker community and plunge headlong into Internet of Things through their MediaTek Labs which is officially launching today. This new program is geared towards developers from across the spectrum to begin to explore IoT and wearables and hopefully integrate them into their daily lives. Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs said of their new initiative:

With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone – from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers – to unleash their creativity and innovation. We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

Their new initiative also features their LinkIt Development Platform, a reference platform based on the MediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. With this new platform, anyone can create wearable and IoT devices easily and with minimal expense. The platform is controlled by LinkIt OS, a new operating system based on Nucleus, and the device functionality itself may be implemented in C/C++ with the variety of APIs provided by MTK for the Aster platform. In addition MediaTek has also provided LinkIt SDK (for Arduino) which allows those familiar with the Arduino platform to integrate their ideas.

With their HW Dev Kit they are making the Hardware Reference Design free to use and alter, and it includes the PCB layout and board schematics, pin-out diagram, Aster GPIO table, and the Aster, Wi-Fi and GPS chipset datasheets. Through a partnership with Seeed Studios, MediaTek is making available their LinkIt ONE device for purchase with all the tools necessary to jumpstart your project.

For more information, and to read the full announcement from MediaTek, visit the MediaTek Labs website. Through a partnership with You can also visit our LinkIt ONE forum to discuss the platform and begin sharing the things you are creating.

We are extremely excited to see MediaTek continue to open up as a company, but we will continue to call on them to honor their usage of the Linux Kernel (and the GPLv2 licensing it requires). We know it doesn’t happen overnight, and so we will be the voice of support for them and engage them in a continual effort to support the community.

The post MediaTek Continues Steps Towards Being Developer-Friendly appeared first on xda-developers.

The XDA Pebble Developer Challenge Voting Has Begun!

Posted by wicked September - 8 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off


Back in mid-late July (gosh, that seems a long time ago now!), we announced that we had paired up with Pebble to offer developers the opportunity to #MakeAwesomeHappen, and be in with the chance of winning a trip to Mountain View, CA, to meet up with Pebble at their Annual Developer Retreat. XDA and Pebble went through every single one of the proposals sent in by developers – we had a tough time selecting the finalists – but in the end we had to whittle down 95 brilliant entries to 20. Those 20 finalists were selected based on the innovation and originality shown in their proposals.

Now it’s down to you! XDA and Pebble will each be selecting a winner, but the third winner will be selected by a vote of you, the users of XDA. Take a look through the competition entries below, and make your selection wisely. You can only vote once. The voting begins now, September 8, 2014 @ 10a PST, and ends at 1pm September 12, 2014.

Regarding the voting, there is a limit of one vote per person. Any votes by accounts registered after Monday 8th September at 00:00 UTC will not be counted (to prevent the creation of duplicate accounts for voting). Apply common sense here – feel free to share the contest with others, and suggest they vote, but don’t spam, be a nuisance, or break the law, or try to do anything unethical.

The full terms and conditions for the contest are available at Pebble’s website.

Without further ado, here are the competition entrants, in a randomly selected order (thanks,, and yes, we know that this list doesn’t add up to 20. The below are the only ones who met all of the criteria as set forth in the Contest Rules.

Thanks to all who submitted their work, and we look forward to seeing who the Grand Prize winners are!

The post The XDA Pebble Developer Challenge Voting Has Begun! appeared first on xda-developers.

Intel Partners with Unity to Support Android on Intel-Based Devices

Posted by wicked August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Android on Intel Unity

Intel, largely known for their long-standing reputation as the king of processors powering PCs and Macs, has lately been moving into the mobile market. With a number of devices already sporting Intel chips, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 being one of the more recognizable offerings, Intel hopes to make a splash in Android. It’s not as easy as it would seem, seeing as Android was developed natively for ARM processors, though Android does have x86 support. Any serious attempt from Intel to take a piece of the Android device pie will require developers to actually care about developing applications with Intel architecture support–and that has been difficult to come by. Until now.

Today Intel and Unity are announcing that they are collaborating to help bring Android applications, and those familiar with Unity’s development platform, to Intel architecture natively. For those unfamiliar with Unity, it is a high-performance development platform capable of bringing 2D and 3D environments to life on multiple platforms. This added support includes all of Intel’s current (Intel® Core™ and Atom™) and future processors. Says Intel’s corporate vice president Doug Fisher:

“We’ve set a goal to ship 40 million Intel-based tablets this year and expect more than 100 Android tablet designs on Intel in the market by the end of this year,” said Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group. “Our collaboration with Unity will give its nearly 3 million developers the necessary software tools and support to build amazing Android experiences on Intel architecture.”

We look forward to seeing what our talented app developers on XDA are able to create using the power of Intel and Unity together. You can read more about the announcement here, or visit Intel’s Developer Zone.

The post Intel Partners with Unity to Support Android on Intel-Based Devices appeared first on xda-developers.

Motorola Droid X Receives Almost Fully Functional KitKat Port

Posted by wicked August - 19 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Motorola Droid X KitKat

While we are all wondering when Google will decide to officially release Android L and its Material Design-laden goods, those who own significantly older devices are in no way under the false impression that they will receive the update directly. One such device is the Motorola Droid X, which was released way back in July 2010 but is still used by quite a lot of people here on XDA.

This phone originally shipped with Eclair, and now it has received a pretty stable port of CyanogenMod 11, thanks to XDA Senior Members Palmbeach05 for his early work, Aaahh for the initial release, and m.ksy for maintaining the port. Yes, that’s right, a 4-year old device can run KitKat, and run it quite well. Initial ports were released back in March of this year, but recently the Droid X received an almost fully functional KitKat build. This is quite the achievement, considering that this smartphone has just 512 MB of RAM and a relatively slow CPU made by Texas Instruments–and we all remember the issues that the Galaxy Nexus faced as a result.

The only noticeable bug is unexpected camera behavior, which displays colors in blue–but it is probably still daily driver capable for all but the shutterbugs out there. When speaking about this port, we must also mention XDA Recognized Developer Quarx, who created a CM port for Motorola Defy, which was a base for Droid X.

If you still own Motorola Droid X, give it some KitKat love and sweetness. You can find the ROM by visiting the Moto Droid X KitKat development thread.

The post Motorola Droid X Receives Almost Fully Functional KitKat Port appeared first on xda-developers.

First Tizen OS Custom ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Gear

Posted by wicked August - 10 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Galaxy Gear Tizen

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, alongside the premiere of many devices, Samsung introduced its first devices featuring the brand new mobile operating system Tizen OS. To date, it’s mainly been used in various smartwatches and wristbands, and eventually Samsung may use it as a replacement for Android.

For most of its life span, the Samsung Galaxy Gear was powered by Android. But since Samsung decide to replace the OS with Tizen, users have had no real choice and were forced to migrate to the new OS or stay on Android and eventually get left behind with regards to new features and apps. Additionally, there were no custom Tizen ROMs available for quite some time. Now the situation has changed, thanks to XDA Recognized Developer Skin1980, who created a first custom Tizen-based ROM for Samsung Galaxy Gear.

TizenMod is based on the last XXUCNF1 stock ROM, which has been rooted and prepared to replace the stock ROM. TizenMod should be more battery friendly, and it has also been themed to look a little like Android L.

To try this device on your device, you need to use the newest Odin and flash it as a regular update. TizenMod is considered as stable, so you should not be worried about its stability.

If you own the original Samsung Galaxy Gear and have decided to switch to Tizen, you may want to give TizenMod a try. You can find it by visiting the TizenMod development thread.

The post First Tizen OS Custom ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Gear appeared first on xda-developers.

Efficiently Shrink ROM Update Zips with DeltaJen Tool

Posted by wicked August - 9 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

DeltaJen Delta Updates

Ever since the early days of Android, back when it had a reputation of being bug-riddled and lacking in performance, custom ROMs were always the solution. In those days, they were focused on providing performance optimization, lag removal, and bug fixes. But with each Android iteration, the operating system got better, and ROM developers saw their roles gradually change. Nowadays, custom ROMs focus on providing new features, user experience enhancement and interface tweaks in addition to just fixing bugs. Despite the change, the end user still clamours for the same thing, the latest update–however small or insignificant it may be.

Downloading an entire ROM zip just to get a small update does seem rather pointless, and somewhere down the line, a new solution in the form of Delta updates surfaced which only required you to download a small zip containing the required files. XDA Recognized Developer cybojenix has developed a nifty tool, DeltaJen, that works similarly by allowing you to make an incremental update for the ROM by comparing two ROM zips and promises extremely small updates.

Head over to the DeltaJen thread to get started with the tool. For now, DeltaJen does not fully support Windows, and Linux is the recommended choice. However, the zips it produces are compatible with any recovery. Happy flashing!

The post Efficiently Shrink ROM Update Zips with DeltaJen Tool appeared first on xda-developers.

Easily Add Google Keep-Like Picker with ReminderDatePicker Library

Posted by wicked August - 8 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

ReminderDatePicker Library

For some time, Google has placed a relatively heavy emphasis on design. This trend is resoundingly obvious in their minimalist homepage, as well as in the recently updated Android L Developer Preview. Design trends and guidelines, however, do not remain stagnant, but rather evolve and change every few years or so. New components, foundations, patterns and, even languages are constantly being released. And in keeping with the trend of change, Google does its fair share of design innovation. Although this became even more evident with the introduction of Material Design, various Google UI patterns have been emerging and establishing themselves.

One such pattern is the date and time picker introduced in Google Keep and later carried over other apps such as Google Now. This picker, in order to simplify the user experience, replaces times and dates with more natural terms such as “in one hour” or “tomorrow.” However, unlike the Google I/O app which is open sourced every year, Google Keep is closed source. How then, does one go about including this picker in one’s own app? Worry not, for XDA Senior Member SimplicityApks has the solution in the form of the ReminderDatePicker library. Besides being relatively easy to implement, the library manages to replicate the Google Keep experience perfectly. And since it’s open source under the Apache license, you are free to include this in your app in progress.

Head over to the ReminderDatePicker library thread to get started with implementing it in your own app, or if you want to go through the source code.

The post Easily Add Google Keep-Like Picker with ReminderDatePicker Library appeared first on xda-developers.

Learn How to Run a ROM Off Your External SD Card

Posted by wicked August - 7 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Run ROM off your internal SD

Aftermarket modding has been around since practically the beginning of the modern day smartphone, but its build-up on Android has been pretty explosive. Since the early days of the HTC Dream right up to the current generation of devices, almost every device has received its fair share of third party modifications. These can come in the form of ROMs, kernels, scripts and more, but ROM development has taken front and center stage. Obviously, the word ROM stands for Read Only Memory. And for our modern devices, that’s the NAND-based Flash ROM that makes up their internal storage. However, in the development community, the term has come to mean a custom operating system image that you install (or flash) onto the internal storage of your device.

So what are you supposed to do if this internal memory gets corrupted somehow? Expensive paperweight? Not yet, as XDA Member lexelby was faced with this exact dilemma and detailed a solution. Lexelby’s method involves running a ROM off your external SD card, which requires you to partition your SD card into a format that will allow you to boot the ROM, such as the EXT4 format.

Head over to the dead mmc thread to get started, where lexelby posted the problem and subsequently, the solution, which states with a fair amount of confidence that it should be compatible with any device, given that the kernel supports kexec.

The post Learn How to Run a ROM Off Your External SD Card appeared first on xda-developers.