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Keep Track of Everything Your Device Does with Event Logger

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 20 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

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Regardless of their OS choice, computing power users generally share one common thread: They all like to know what their computing devices are doing at any given time. Because of this, there are plenty of event logger options on practically every platform. Android is no exception.

We’ve talked about taking a logcat quite a few times in the past, with the intention of helping you help your developers in the debugging process, but these were never meant to be convenient or easily readable by end users. What about an end user-readable option that tells you in simple language what your device is up to? Now thanks to Event Logger by XDA Recognized Developer pedja1, such an option exists.

Event Logger, as its name implies, keeps track of what your device does at any given time and displays it in a very simple and understandable format.  Currently, the tool can keep tabs on your WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, charging status, location, display power, screen lock state, received SMS messages, application launches, call events, headphone events, media scanner events, time settings, airplane mode, battery level, wallpaper, volume, and when you restart or power off your phone. Those running Xposed Framework can also keep track of media playback events. In the future, various other events will be  added such as NFC state, HDMI state, application installation and removal, mobile network state, and SD card state. Furthermore, event filtering will be added some time in the future.

If you’ve been looking for a simple and user friendly logging option for Android, Event Logger is a great solution. Head over to the application thread to give it a try.

A More Competitive Spin on the Addictive 2048 Puzzle

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 20 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

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You may recall that a few weeks ago, we talked about a rather interesting take on everyone’s favorite number game addiction, 2048. But while the previously covered version offered great game play thanks to its selectable grid sizes, it was admittedly a bit lacking on the UI front. Now, XDA Senior Member sylsau has published his own take on the number-based puzzler, offering quite a bit of polish that is lacking in most of the other 2048 variants available.

Sylsau’s 2048 Puzzle plays much like any other 2048 variant. You’re presented with a 4×4 grid, and your goal is to combine the numbers into a 2048 tile. But unlike other 2048 variants, you are given a few tools to keep the game exciting time after time. For starters, the game keeps track of how long it takes you to win. It also keeps track of all sorts of stats for its achievements system. Thanks to its use of Google Play Games leaderboards, you can show all your friends who’s truly best. And if you find the game a bit too difficult, it even gives you the ability to cheat a few times by removing certain tile types. Finally, the game’s UI is both clean and quite smooth on practically any hardware.

If you’re looking for an aesthetically appealing 2048 variant that will keep you playing in order to beat all of your friends, this 2048 version is for you. Make your way over to the game thread to get started. Just don’t blame me when you’re addicted.

Say Goodbye to Holo Blue Once and for All

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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When Google released Android 4.4 KitKat back in October of last year, they changed quite a bit under the hood to improve the OS’s performance. But in addition to cleaning up various bits and pieces of code to make things more efficient as part of Project Svelte, Google also got rid of the dynamic status bar indicators that would change colors to indicate network connectivity.

In doing so, Google replaced the dynamic blue and white signal and connectivity indicators in the Android status bar with static white icons. Not only did this improve UI performance by reducing rendering overhead and UI overdraw, but it also cleaned up the overall look of Android’s UI. Unfortunately though, there are still quite a few places in Android where you can still find the Tron-esque Holo Blue. But now thanks to XDA Recognized Themer rush25, you can finish what Google started.

Rush25′s theme subtly transforms quite  few common Google applications to the KitKat-friendly white UI. The themed applications include the Dialer, messaging app, Calendar, Desk Clock, Gallery, Camera, Settings, Google Ears, Gmail, and more. The theme was built following a previously covered guide by XDA Senior Member enricocid, and I installs through the popular T-Mobile/CyanogenMod Theme Engine. And those running other ROMs can get in on the action using XDA Senior Member hdbk1986‘s HKThemeManager Xposed Module.

To get started, simply head over to the original thread.

Update: Since choice is never a bad thing, feel free to check out XDA Senior Member hemantv‘s version as well!

[Thanks to enricocid for the tip!]

Easily Configure Xposed Module Projects in Eclipse

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s innovative and versatile Xposed Framework allows developers to change virtually any aspect of a device’s software at runtime. And by virtue of these changes being made at runtime, users don’t have to permanently modify system files in order to achieve the desired result. Because of this, very many developers choose to create their development projects for use with Xposed rather pursuing other means.

In order to help make Xposed Module development just a few steps more streamlined, XDA Senior Member hamzahrmalik created a simple tool that automatically sets up an Xposed Module project in Eclipse. When activated, the tool automatically adds the Xposed API to the build path. It also adds the Xposed meta tags to the Manifest file, creates the appropriate packages and classes, and creates the required xposed_init file.

The tool comes in the form of a JAR file, so you can use this auto setup utility on any computer that is compatible with the Eclipse IDE. If you wish to get started creating an Xposed module, head over to the original thread and give this a try!

Android Control Center Becomes Quick Control Panel, Brings Host of New Features

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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You may recall that back in August of last year, we talked about Android Control Center by XDA Senior Member Dr.Alexander_Breen. For those who have forgotten, Android Control Center gave Android users something quite similar to iOS 7′s Control Center, but with an Android-centric spin. But in the time since then, Android Control Center has been renamed to Quick Control Panel, and it was essentially rewritten in the process.

Just like before, Quick Control Panel is conceptually similar to iOS 7′s Control Center. Accordingly, it still allows you to switch various settings on the fly such as power toggles and music playback control–all of which is done with an Android-friendly Holo UI look. Now, however, the application has gained many more functions such as the ability to launch from the lock screen, even more customization, and quick access to the related settings page by long-pressing the toggles. Finally, while the old application was nothing painful to look at, the new revision is even nicer looking, as it features both a Holo UI-like color scheme, along with a cards-style control interface.

As was the case with the previous version, Quick Control Panel is available in both premium and lite/free versions. However, the developer has been kind enough to include the full version for free in his thread. However, if you find yourself loving the app, be sure to support the dev with either a donation or by purchasing the paid version. Head over to the application thread to get started.

Polish Your Custom Themes with Theme Debugger

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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Creating a custom Android theme from scratch can be quite the laborious task. In addition to designing, creating, and editing all the elements yourself, a testing phase is also essential to make sure that your theme is bug-free and working as it should. And unless you’re an absolute master at theming, chances are that you’ll need to rely on community feedback or an Android emulator in order to polish out those bugs.

XDA Forum Member steel89 offers an alternative approach to testing your custom themes. The solution comes in the form of an app called Theme Debugger. As its name suggests, the main function of this app is to expose any hidden bugs and other visual issues that may be present in your theme. It does this by presenting all the theme-able elements of the Android interface, ranging from buttons, radio and check buttons, to alert dialogs, toasts and notifications. Everything is then put in one place for you to test.

The app presents all the theme-able elements in a smooth and logical UI, with horizontally scrolling panels so you can quickly check for any visual discrepancies. And if you want to test another theme, you can do so at the navigation drawer which slides out from the left of the screen.

Both rookie and experienced themers alike will definitely find Theme Debugger to be a very useful app to have in their theming toolbox. If you would like to give this a go, visit the application thread for more information and download.

Clean Up Your Logcat Code with Lib Cleaner

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

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Some of you may think that writing code is the hardest part of development. It’s not, as the real fun starts when you have to debug an application or function. That’s why Android Debug Bridge is so important, and you can find images like this in many threads. And obviously, digging through thousands of logcat lines is every developer’s “favorite” activity.

Logcat likes to bombard users with more or less relevant information regarding various issues. To free yourself from mpdecision, thermal-engine and sensors.msm8960.so warnings, you should try out a script written by XDA Recognized Developer and Contributor broodplank1337. Lib Cleaner removes the specific lines of code from proprietary files with the Swiss File Knife tool, which replaces HEX strings and makes the code more readable. Those three files are not the only one that can be modified. It’s possible to add your own scripts and clean even more unnecessary code. The script is designed for Ubuntu-based destroys, and needs some editing to be used with Arch, Fedora, or other Linux branches.

If you are a developer or advanced user trying to find out what’s wrong with an application or newly added code, make your way to the original thread and give Lib Cleaner a try. Just keep in mind that Google added these lines forma purpose and removing them may result in unexpected behavior.

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Android KitKat for Google Glass has been rolled out! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Android 4.4.3 is being rolled out to the Google Nexus 5 (sort of) and that HTC Sense 6 has been ported to the Nexus 5! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!

Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Call Blocker. Then, AdamOutler told you how to hack an Android App. Later, TK gave us an Android App Review of Lockdown Pro. Pull up a chair and check out this video.

Links to stories mentioned:

Check out Jordan’s YouTube Channel and Jordan’s Gaming YouTube Channel

Add Swipe Utilities to Your App with SimpleFingerGestures Library

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

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Gestures have become an increasingly important element in smartphone UI navigation. With every swipe, pinch, and drag, we’ve seen the Android user experience grow into something incredibly user friendly and intuitive. Some OEMs have implemented their own UI-specific gestures to activate various features. But despite their prevalence, there aren’t very many developer libraries to help new devs make use of them.

XDA Recognized Developer championswimmer hopes to make it easier for other developers to get started with gesture-based input thanks to his SimpleFingerGestures library. With it, devs can add gesture functionality such as two-finger swipe up, pinch, one-finger swipe left, and much more. Developers can use these gestures as triggers to launch activities or perform other tasks.

The open source SimpleFingerGestures library is available as a Github repository. And with the sample code prepared by championswimmer, you can easily create a simple application to get familiar with the library. The developer also provides extensive documentation, which should help new users understand the code better.

You can find the ready-to-implement library in the original thread. So if you are looking for some brand new UI concepts for your application, head over there to give it a shot.

Android App Review: Lock it Down with Lockdown Pro – XDA Developer TV

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

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Our smartphones are our lives. They store our contacts, emails, texts, bookmarks, and many other pieces of important information. So when your friend asks, “Hey my batteries dead can I use your phone,” you may constantly hover over them to make sure they don’t access your private data. There has to be a better way

XDA Forum Member appmobileplus offers up an application that allows you to lock others out of certain apps with a PIN. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Lockdown Pro. TK shows off the application, its uses, and functionality. He then shares his thoughts, so check out this app review.


Be sure to check out other great XDA Developer TV Videos