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Control all kind of electronics with USB2Go

Posted by wicked March - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

usb2go

USB2Go is small, open source development board that connects external electronics with Android smartphones through micro USB port. The developers’ idea was to create a device, which is connected to the phone without the use of wireless technologies and any additional power source to reduce size, costs and complexity. Both amateur and professional users can create all sorts of gadgets in order to control the electronics in their house or just build tech toys.

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Chromecast SDK open to all

Posted by wicked February - 5 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

chromecast sdk

On Monday Google released the Chromecast development kit to all opening up the device to a plethora of new services. After the initial release when official support was limited to YoutTube, Netflix, Google Play Music and Google Play Movies around another dozen apps/services were added a couple of months ago so choice was still scarce especially for use outside of the US.

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Here’s what Lenovo doesn’t get with their purchase of Motorola

Posted by wicked January - 29 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

As the dust settles on the Lenovo deal for Motorola, we’re left to parse out exactly what’s happening. We know Lenovo gets Motorola as a mobile device company, which encompasses the logo and name. What we are also starting to see is just what Lenovo isn’t getting in the deal, which could end up being more fruitful than Motorola Mobile ever could.


We already know Lenovo isn’t getting any of the patents Motorola held. When purchased by Google in 2012, the deal for Motorola was said to be a patent grab, meant to protect Google from lawsuits aimed in their direction. The most notable was a tiff with Microsoft in which the Motorola patents proved nearly useless.

We’re also now learning that Motorola’s advanced R&D division won’t be headed to Lenovo in the deal, either. That is the branch responsible for all the weird stuff you hear about Motorola, from digital tattoos to pills meant for authentication. Those are (or were, really) Motorola’s own ‘moonshot’ ideas.

Part of that R&D is Project Ara, which will remain with Google. According to Re/Code, the R&D team will now reside within Android, though further plans haven’t been parsed out just yet. We don’t know if they’re being tucked under Google’s Android wing because they’re not sure what to do with them just yet, or if they have some immediate impact on the software. Considerign the headlines they make, their efforts sound a lt more ‘X Labs’ that Android.

regina-dugan

They also don’t get Regina Dugan, who heads up the advanced R&D division. Dugan made her way to Google just before the Motorola acquisition, and was quickly tapped to join Dennis Woodside at the struggling mobile company. Dugan came to Google/Motorola from her post heading up DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. That agency is the R&D arm of the Department of Defense.

This boils down to Lenovo getting the mobile Motorola, and Google keeping the intellectual property. Lenovo misses out on patents (which they’ll license for the purpose of mobile), but they gain a great mobile hardware/software company with a strong team. Google retains the patents, R&D, and special projects. When you consider the scope of what Google and Motorola can do seperately, it’s an appropriate split, and right for everyone involved.

Google Glass has games, and Developers have a blueprint for success

Posted by wicked January - 27 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Google Glass owners are getting their own time wasters! No, not Twitter or other social apps that suck you deep into the time vortex, we’re talking games. The newest MyGlass Glassware update brought with it a few games. Though nothing too in depth, the games are set to showcase just what game designers can do with Glass, and how the hardware can be used to offer a fresh take on seemingly old classics.

Using voice actions, head movements, the accelerometer and gyroscope, the games show off the first steps toward what could be a new era in alternative reality gaming. The games will also recognize hand movements, adding another wrinkle to our gameplay, as well as another consideration for Developers. Though meant specifically as subtle time waster games, Google has done what they always do in giving Developers a stepping stone to greater things.

For some, this will highlight the crudeness of Glass. Though simple, the games really need to be. Craning your vision upward and to the right for long periods of time is uncomfortable. The games are also pretty raw, which speak more to Google’s aim at encouraging development than any hardware limitations.

Via their new Mini Games page in the Glass Developer portal, Google said “we hacked together five simple games that experiment with the unique features of Glass and demonstrate some of the possibilities for gaming”. Though we clamor for Glass to hit retail, these games serve as an important reminder that Glass is still in its infancy. A necessary step in the evolution of Glass, these little time wasters remind us of a time when Snake was the coolest game you could play on a cell phone. Now we play games that approach PC quality, all in a few short years.
VIA: Mobile Syrup
[youtube 9naxeHGIaRY]

How Will Paranoid Android Interpret Multi-Window / Overlay Functionality?

Posted by wicked April - 30 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

multitasking_best_way_screwupmug

Paranoid Android, the popular AOSP based ROM for multiple devices, and multi-window functionality are two things that we have mentioned here on the XDA Portal several times before. It now seems as though the two are about to become quite closely acquainted following news that the Paranoid Android team are in the process of developing their own implementation of this much sought after feature.

Of course this kind of functionality is nothing new, Cornerstone allowed users to do three things at once before Paranoid Android had even seen the light of day and Samsung were still being harassed about updates for the original Galaxy S. It has, however, received a fair amount of recent publicity due to its inclusion as a standard feature on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. We’ve also seen a surge in the popularity of apps such as Floating Stickies and Overlays, which allow users to achieve a kind of “windowed” multitasking experience. Given the amount of user demand for such a feature I guess it was inevitable that some of the most popular custom ROMs out there would begin trying to implement this right out of the box. Well, Cyanogenmod did previously try to integrate Cornerstone into CM9 but that didn’t go so well.

The difference with the news from Paranoid Android is that they will be attempting to create this modification from scratch and presumably avoid the same kind of problems faced by the CM team. In a Google+ post from the PA team, they state that their implementation will outshine the competition. For the moment, though, this is still in a very early stage and a lot more testing and development is still required. The video that accompanies the post shows apps running as standalone windows, almost like with floating widgets, which are triggered from the notification tray and retain the hybrid settings applied by the user. However, this is not how the feature will act in its final form. This is purely for testing, but does already look incredibly promising and only begs us to wonder just what shape will this take in its final and finished form.

Check out the G+ post above or the video below for more information and let us know your opinions in the comments.

AT&T Galaxy S4 ships with a locked bootloader, CyanogenMod founder reveals

Posted by wicked April - 30 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

samsung galaxy s4 camera drama aa

An U.S. Galaxy S4 variant has been found to ship with a locked bootloader, potentially making the lives of developers and/or Android fans that love to customize their Android devices by running different ROMs all the more difficult.

The news comes from CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik who took to Google+ to reveal his surprise at finding that the AT&T Galaxy S4 comes with a locked bootloader. Kondik went on to reveal that “MILLIONS [sic] of people run custom firmware” according to “STATS [sic]” and recommended users to stay away from AT&T’s Galaxy S4 version, especially developers and those buyers that want to run CyanogenMod or any other custom ROM on their new handset.

You can check his Google+ post in its entirety below:

Yep, it’s confirmed. The AT&T S4 authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them.

I can’t see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this. GSM and LTE aren’t magical, tethering is controllable on the server side, and theft-of-services is not possible from the application processor side (or even from the modem side as far as I know). The same device is available on every carrier, so it’s not an exclusivity issue either. The modem processor has always been locked, and the casual user doesn’t want to mess with that part anyway. Samsung has always been developer-friendly, so I am guessing their hand was forced.

The only outcome I see here is stacks of bricked devices being sent back for warranty replacement due to the ease of causing a permanent boot failure, especially since the device is trivially rootable.

The arms race continues. News flash: MILLIONS of people run custom firmware (and I have the STATS to prove it). This is just a stupid move that will cost you customers and money.

I would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work with or debug the lower layers.

Are you going to ignore Galaxy S4 versions that will pack a locked bootloader (Verizon’s upcoming version is also believed to offer the same “feature”)? Or will you use the device as-is, without going for custom ROMs?

App Development: Become a Mono for Android Ninja – XDA Developer TV

Posted by wicked April - 28 - 2013 - Sunday Comments Off

Become a Mono Ninja

In an effort to help support XDA‘s recently added forums focusing solely on App Development, we have been providing information to support developers in their quest.  Yesterday, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce interviewed XDA Recognized Developer rovo89 about his Xposed Framework..

In today’s episode XDA Developer TV, Jayce interviews Miguel De Icaza, Co-Founder and CTO at Xamarin, about Mono for Android. Miguel talks about open source development and the value of open sourcing software and his compiler. Check out this video.


Check out Jayce’s Careers in Android Series.

Be sure to check out other great XDA Developer TV Videos.

Check out Jayce’s HowToBecomeTV YouTube Channel

How to Sign and Zipalign Your APK Files

Posted by wicked April - 28 - 2013 - Sunday Comments Off

sign-zip-align-apk

When you get done coding and testing your shiny new app, you’ll still have a couple of steps left to make it ready for prime time. There are plenty of ways to learn about signing APK files, but I found XDA Senior Member Nikwen‘s guide to give just enough of an overview without getting bogged down in the details.

You can drill down to the gritty details of the process by reading the manual. There are two big developer references put out by Google, one on signing your application and the other on using the zip align tool. Signing an app is a requirement for release. Zip aligning is not, but it does help to optimize the APK file, so it’s highly recommended. Just make sure that you do the aligning after the file is compiled and signed.

Those not wanting to spend an hour reading can watch Nikwen walk through the process in ten easy and illustrated steps in the original forum thread. He uses Eclipse for the task. The guide gets down to business with steps six and seven, which create the new key. This is also where you put your makers mark on the product by assigning your name, company, address, and how long the signed package will be able to be installed (in years) to the finalized file.

Find People to Help Translate Labels in Your App

Posted by wicked April - 27 - 2013 - Saturday Comments Off

xda-hello-world-translations

I used machine translation to make the image for this post, but anything more complicated that ‘hello world’ would probably have come out with an awkward syntax and lost meaning for many languages. That’s why when it comes time to localize your app for many different languages, there’s no substitute for having a real person do the translations. Luckily, there are many forum members willing to help out, and XDA Senior Member Benkxda will introduce you to them.

You may remember Benkxda as the person maintaining the list of app testers. This time around, he’s working in much the same way to join translators with developers. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, I hope you’ll consider throwing your hat into the ring. It’s one way to ensure new apps will support your language. All you need to do is private message Benkxda to let him know you’re interested, and then subscribe to the original thread.

Developers can start their own public thread about the translation project, sharing the link to it in the translator’s thread. Please read the rules in the first post. You’ll find that you should only submit if your app is nearly complete. This prevents confusion caused by having to request subsequent translations if features are added or changed.

App Development: Xposed Framework for Android – XDA Developer TV

Posted by wicked April - 27 - 2013 - Saturday Comments Off

xposed

Recently, XDA has added a set of forums focusing solely on App Development. Last week, XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce asked you want topics you wanted to hear regarding App Development.  Well, Jayce listened and has cooked up an interesting video for you.

In this episode, XDA Developer TV Jayce interviews XDA Recognized Developer rovo89 about his Xposed Framework. Rob’s open source development tool gives you great power over your device. Check out this video.


Check out Jayce’s Careers in Android Series.

Be sure to check out other great XDA Developer TV Videos.

Check out Jayce’s HowToBecomeTV YouTube Channel