Modify and Tweak Your Android phone with Android Tweaker App

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You’ve most likely heard of Pimp My Rom, an app offering a variety of mods and tweaks for you to install onto your phone. Now another app has stepped up offering a similar service.

XDA Senior Member iGio90 introduces us to Android Tweaker, an app that provides a wide selection of various tweaks such as noise reduction, force GPU UI rendering (normally accessed through developer options), and a GPS fix. Root access is needed to implement the tweaks. The user interface is very nice and professional, with pages that can be swiped. Pages consist of tweaks and a small description, and check boxes and on/off switches, which the selected tweaks implement once toggled. The developer puts emphasis on the app’s ability to fix GPS issues, with Android Tweaker containing the configuration servers of more than 80 countries of all 5 continents – pretty impressive.

Android Tweaker provides support for all devices and kernels, running on Android versions Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Learn more by visiting the original thread.

Keep to a Budget with Receipt for Android

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Keeping to a budget is difficult, especially when it’s pay-day and there’s that one thing that you just want to get your hands on: be it a new phone, or those headphones, or even a pair of shoes. We also hate calculating simple maths in our head and jotting them down on a budgeting notepad. Well, good news people, because now we can get our Android phones to do all that for us!

An app called Receipt by XDA Forum Member Bogdan-xd allows us to keep to a budget easily, and its concept and functionality are simple and practical. The app consists of 3 main components: a virtual receipt, a history, and statistics.

The virtual receipt allows you to jot down what you need to purchase, the quantity, and the price. It calculates the total amount needed to be spent. The total is compared to a user-set budget of x amount, and alerts you with a pleasant red color when the budget has been exceeded. Items on the list can be crossed out, allowing for real time budget keeping.

The history simply displays all receipts you’ve made, the time and date receipt was made, whether the budget was exceeded or not, and by how much. Statistics displays a graph of your spending, average amount of spending, and all grouped yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily. There’s also an option to turn on notifications for when budget has been exceeded.

Bogdan-xd has done a noteworthy job developing this app, packing a tedious activity into a simple and intuitive app for Android that’s also pleasant to the eye. For more details, visit the original thread.

Launch Your Apps a New Way with AppSpace

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I’m willing to bet that most of you out there have a section of your home screen that contains shortcuts to the applications that you use most frequently. Whether its the traditional eight icons under a giant clock or tucked away on the periphery in an attempt to your main screen neat and tidy, most of us have a patch of icons sitting somewhere that we’d rather swipe across to than open the app drawer.

There are a wealth of options available when it comes to finding a quick and easy way to access your most frequently used apps. Just look at the recently featured Homeflip for a great example. XDA Forum Member KaFrEEkAbOom, however, decided to add a new spin on the  grouping of icons together on the home screen and developed AppSpace.

A simple application in the form of a  widget, AppSpace allows you to replace that irregular looking gaggle of icons in favor of a single image containing numerous clickable areas, each assigned to a specific application. The spaces themselves take the form of locations packed with objects such as phones, calendars, and pictures—all of which are ready to be associated with any application that you choose.

Check out the original application thread for more info on AppSpace. And if anyone happens to know the correct collective noun for a group of icons, then please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise I think I’ll stick with gaggle.

Xperia Jelly Bean Lockscreen Ported to all ICS Xperia Devices

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Want to try something a little bit new on your ICS-based Sony Xperia device? Sony’s lock screen used in their Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update has been ported to all Xperia devices running Ice Cream Sandwich by XDA Forum Member erorcun. Supported devices include the Xperia Arc and Xperia Ray of the 2011 lineup, as well as the Xperia Sola and Xperia S of the 2012 lineup.

Most notably, Sony changed essentially the entire interface seen in it’s Gingerbread and ICS predecessors by allowing users to swipe up or down anywhere to unlock the phone. Upon contact, the screen breaks up into an effect reminiscent of Venetian blinds, which lasts for as long as you hold your finger on the screen. This serves to make unlocking your phone easier than before by freeing your thumbs from awkward motions. There is now also an option to change the background of the lock screen with the default wallpapers or your own pictures through the Album application. Swiping the digital clock to the right allows access to various music shortcuts, and swiping to the left is a ‘quick-capture’ camera feature, where a picture is taken upon swipe. Unfortunately, lock screen notifications such as new text messages and emails have been removed by Sony, justified by the pull-down notification area of the status bar.

Two versions of the lock screen are available. The first first features permanent ‘slide-to-unlock’ text in the middle of the screen, whereas the second only displays the text after the third unlock attempt. Sony’s Jelly Bean lock screen is a nice change from the standard ‘left-to-right slide’ lock screen of previous Xperia devices, and hopefully this will tide many Xperia users over till the official Android Jelly Bean update.

For more details, check the original thread here.

Custom DPI without Upsetting Google Play

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If you’ve ever altered the DPI value of your device in an attempt to gain some more valuable screen real estate, you’ve no doubt noticed the most unfortunate side effect of this tweak. It causes some apps to become unavailable from the Play Store, either being labelled and not compatible with your device or simply not showing up at all.

There are a few ways to get around this such as returning to the stock DPI value, side loading applications, or installing a modified Play Store/Google services framework APK. These however, can be tedious to do on a regular basis. XDA Senior Member hamsteyr has come up with an alternative solution, in the form of a Windows based tool that should make correcting this issue just a little bit less of a chore.

Google Play DPI Fix Tool is a straight forward, few-clicks solution that will allow you to simply connect your device to a PC and then specify a custom DPI value for the device itself and the Play Store, thereby ensuring that all apps are available and compatible with your device. The great thing about this tool is that it is not reliant on existing modified files, but it takes the relevant APK files directly from your device and modifies them automatically before pushing them back. Tested on Android versions 2.3 through 4.2.1, this should be compatible with the vast majority of devices in the wild. There are a few prerequisites such as the file names of the Play Store APK and the installation of a few things you probably already have installed such as ADB drivers and JRE.

If you’re a fan of using a custom DPI and would like to try this out, check out the application thread.


Completely Hide Your Status Bar while Retaining Functionality

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While some people are absolutely fine with having the status bar sitting at the top of their screen all day, some of us prefer to hide it for the sake of maintaining a clean and tidy look on our devices home screen. While it’s possible to easily hide the bar temporarily with some launchers or make its background transparent to mitigate its impact on the overall aesthetic, removing it completely is not so easy. There’s also the issue that completely removing the status bar will prevent you from easily accessing your notifications.

So what’s the obvious solution to this problem for anybody wishing to completely remove the bar yet retain the ability to swipe down the notification center?   According to XDA Forum Member enryea123, it’s to drastically reduce the size of the status bar while making it completely transparent, thereby removing it from view while retaining enough on screen to latch onto and bring down the notification center. This is achieved by making some small modifications to the SystemUI.apk and framework-res.apk files. All the necessary steps have been laid out by enryea123 in a comprehensive and easy to follow tutorial.

The guide itself is specifically for CM10/10.1 based ROMs, but using the guide it should be possible to achieve the same result on other ROMs with a little trial and error. If you’re not used to making such modifications but would like to give this a try, rest assured that it seems more difficult than it actually is. Check out the original tutorial thread for more information.

Multitask with Floating Stickies App

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The Android operating system is renowned for its multitasking capabilities and its flexibility to cater to any user’s personal preferences and requirements. Since the introduction of ‘floating’ applications from big names such as Sony and Samsung, users have access to a whole niche of applications that attempt to emulate the same experiences of these apps.

Floating Stickies by XDA Senior Member Mohammed_Adib is a notes application very similar to Sony’s Note small app, allowing users to jot down quick notes on a miniature notepad that hover over other applications. With the function to have multiple colored notepads floating around at the same time, they’re also conveniently dockable on the left side of the screen meaning notes are easily hidden when not in use. Other features include copying written words to clipboard, and pasting copied words onto the notepad. A app notification also appear in the drop-down notification area, which when pressed, saves, and closes all notepads.

Credit must be given to the developer for making this app available for free on the Play store and that Floating Stickies supports Android version 2.3 and above, allowing access to a very wide range of users. Floating Stickies is simple, practical, and fun. It’s great to use when you don’t have pen and paper lying around, or when you realize the impracticality and annoyance of exiting an app just to jot down something quickly. Visit the application thread to learn more.

Annotate any Screen with Floating Draw

Floating Draw for Android

Do you often find yourself taking screenshots on your Android device? Have you ever wished you could easily draw on your Android screen in any app, and then take screenshots of that? While you can achieve the same by taking a screenshot first and then editing it using any of the countless photo editors available for Android, that adds a cumbersome additional step to the mix. Furthermore, if you need to add the exact same annotations over multiple screenshots, you’ll likely have to repeat the steps for each. XDA Forum Member ejezisek comes to the rescue with a handy app that simplifies it all for you.

Floating Draw is a small Android app that provides you with basic on-screen drawing tools that work anywhere in Android, regardless of what screen you’re on. Be it the home screen, the app drawer or any app’s screen, you can draw freehand, straight lines, and basic geometric shapes with this tool, and then save the resulting image(s). The app offers a bunch of colors to choose from, a paint bucket tool to fill the shapes you’ve drawn, and also an eraser to undo those strokes you made by mistake.

Not satisfied with the results at all? Simply hit the clear button and start over. Need to move to another screen? Hit the back button so that only the tiny pencil icon shows in the bottom-left corner, and navigate across the OS and between apps freely just the way you would normally. You can always get back to drawing mode by hitting the pencil icon again.

More information can be found in the forum thread.

HTC will follow M7 with M4 and G2, rumor suggests

HTC will announce a mid-range and entry-level Android smartphone in the weeks following the M7, reports Unwired View (@evleaks). Just as they have in previous years, the handset maker will produce devices aimed at demographics outside of high-end hardware lovers. Think HTC One X, One S, and One V and you’ll understand just fine.

After the HTC M7, an M4 and a G2: wp.me/peL1j-m5P

— @evleaks (@evleaks) February 1, 2013

 

Stepping down one notch from the flagship M7, an M4 will be an Android 4.2  Jelly Bean experience but with a little less under the hood. Moving down one more, the G2 will come running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and will be aimed at new smartphone buyers. It is unclear as to when the two models will be released however the source suggests “Spring”.

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Rumored details for the M4:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
  • Android 4.2 Jellybean with HTC Sense 5.0
  • 4.3-inch, 720p display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 1-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4G LTE support

Rumored details for the G2:

  • 1GHz processor
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 3.5-inch HVGA display
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • 5-megapixel rear camera

 


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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 gets CyanogenMod 10.1 Nightlies, TWRP 2.4 Released – XDA Developer TV

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A change to the DMCA law has forsaken the cell phone market. This and more is covered in this episode, as Jordan reviews all the important stories from this week.  Jordan also talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV: XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviewed SPenBoard Switcher, and XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler had fun tearing down the Oppo Find 5.

Jordan talks about CyanogenMod 10.1 being official on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Additionally, this week Jordan talks about the 2.4 release of TWRP. Pull up a chair and check out this video. Finally, be sure to check out all the other news from XDA-Developers.com

Links to stories mentioned:

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

HD Widgets 3.8 arrives with Colourform theme pack

A new version of HD Widgets has been released into Google Play, however the developers “are not making a big deal” of the update.  That’s okay, we’ll make it a big deal.  Why? Because it features Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean aesthetics, tons of color options, and support for the new Colourform theme pack.

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We’ve been patiently waiting for some new skins or themes from Cloud.tv and we’re only too excited to refresh our home screens all over again. The final version of Colorfourm will have “many more widgets” and should be ready to roll by the end of the month. While the preview version is free, the final release will be $.99 . Looking ahead, the 4.0 release is expected by the end of February and is reportedly much smoother than the 3.0 stuff.

The new apk includes 7 widgets:

  • (1) 1×1 :  Settings (aka Switch)
  • (3) 4×1 : Settings (aka Switches), Weather Left, and Clock Date Split
  • (1) 4×2 : Header Date
  • (2) 6×2 : Header Settings and Header Weather

New features include:

  • ICS / JB style
  • custom colors w/ full color range (i.e. black text on white)
  • lots of color options: text, icons, clock parts, switch active state
  • background settings: color, opacity, tile, & texture
  • dynamic 4.2 style settings
  • Roboto clocks (including the 4.2 hipster clock)

Download HD Widgets (.99)


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Motorola X-Phone may include 4.8-inch display, Kevlar body

Let’s have some Motorola X-Phone rumors to get the weekend going, shall we? New details passed to Phone Arena suggest that the rumored-and-seemingly-confirmed smartphone will employ hardware from current Motorola devices, including a 3000mAh battery and Kevlar back.

Expected at Google I/O 2013, the handset could also offer users a larger display size, fast and powerful processor, a lot of internal storage, and Sony camera sensor. Allegedly there are folks already testing early prototypes of the smartphone; we’d expect nothing less for a phone due in less than four months.

Besides running stock Android at the moment, the phone is apparently outfitted with a much better camera than the crappy units Motorola currently uses, and the source said it could be a Sony sensor, as Apple’s exclusivity with the Japanese has drawn to an end.

New, unconfirmed details for Motorola X-Phone

  • Android 5.0/Key Lime Pie (stock)
  • 4.8″ – 5.0″ display
  • Kevlar back
  • 300mAh+ battery
  • up to 128GB internal storage
  • Sony camera sensor

PhoneArena


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HTC M7 will launch in U.S. with AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile

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Here’s a bit of news that might come as a bummer for some of you guys and gals. Apparently, Verizon’s version of the HTC M7 will come after it launches with the other three big carriers. A source close to HTCSource advises that  the nation’s largest carrier will release its model some time later. One possible reason for the delay? Perhaps Verizon wants to put a bit of breathing room between the Droid DNA and the M7.

As for the other carriers, Sprint, AT&T, and (now) T-Mobile will each offer their take on the M7 in the weeks following the February 19 press event. Previously, HTCSource listed the retail availability of the phone as March 8 however that may simply be the international release.

HTCSource


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In Brief: 19 other Android-related things worth knowing (February 1)

In Brief is a compilation of notifications, rumors, photos, videos, infographics, and Android-related news tidbits which, for whatever reason, did not end up with a post of its own on AndroidGuys.  These are things that we still feel are worth knowing, even if in a passing manner.  Consider it a grab-bag of Android goodies.  If you have something that you think is worth a mention on AndroidGuys, be sure to reach out to us via our contact page. 

This week features app-enabled batteries, a pink Droid Razr M, G5 games on sale, news from Ouya, SugarSync, the XOLO X500, and much, much more!</strong

Continue reading: In Brief: 19 other Android-related things worth knowing (February 1)


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Show Embedded Video Who’s Boss with Airvidplay

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Remember when browsing the web via a mobile device was an arduous and painfully slow experience? Thankfully, the days of squinting at a tiny screen and waiting for what felt like an eternity to view a horribly formatted and nonfunctional mobile site are over—unless you’re unlucky enough to own an a certain competing device (trololol). Nowadays, our devices are big enough and powerful enough to make browsing the web almost as quick and comfortable as on a traditional desktop browser. One thing that does still tend to cause issues for some, though, are embedded videos. Whether it’s because of a lack of robust Flash support or simply just not playing nicely with a mobile browser, embedded videos are (in my opinion, anyway) the one remaining item that quite often gives me the urge to throw my device at the wall.

XDA Forum Member kotipelto put together an application called Airvidplay, which might help to alleviate some of that frustration by allowing you to do more with embedded content. It is capable of extracting embedded videos from any page processed by your browser, even if that browser does not have support for Flash. It also provides you with various alternative ways of viewing them. The application will so far allow you to”

  • Download the video for viewing offline
  • Watch the video in either the native Android player or third party player of your choice
  • Share a direct link to the video via email
  • Stream the video to a DLNA/UPNP renderer

Check out the original application thread for more information on this if you’d like to be able to make embedded content a little more flexible.

While I have your attention, if you intend on using this in conjunction with a DLNA/UPnP renderer, you might want to check out this recent Information Week post detailing some recently discovered vulnerabilities with the UPnP protocol and how to find out if you are affected. Thanks to JimmyMcGee for pointing this out.