Phandroid » Developers Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:00:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Universal ADB Helper makes it easy for newbies to tinker with their devices Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:59:24 +0000 universal adb-helper

Rooting and tinkering with Android devices become easier and easier thanks to the great tools developers have whipped up, and another of those great tools has arrived. It’s the Universal ADB Helper, an app which helps you issue commonly-used ADB commands to your phone. It’s a simple batch file (which means Windows only, unfortunately) that’ll bring up a command line interface, but the only commands you’ll be issuing are numbers to choose which action you want to perform.

It comes with a fairly long list of functions:

  • Reboot in a certain mode
  • Install Apps
  • Delete PIN or Pattern on CM
  • Show Logcat
  • Show device
  • Backup
  • Restore
  • Factory Reset
  • Flash Recovery
  • Change bootanimation
  • Choose connection
  • Own ADB-Command

And the developer is adding more in each and every update.

ADB — short for Android Debug Bridge — is an interface used by Android developers for testing software on their devices, but the aftermarket development community often uses it to make it easier to push files and flash images. The standard, official installation of ADB alone can be daunting enough for the average user, and the need to remember commands can be even more confusing, so this tool definitely deserves attention.

Of course, even the most experienced users can use this tool if they prefer to let a batch script do the heavy lifting instead of having to issue commands themselves, so don’t overlook this if you don’t consider yourself a “noob.” The download can be had from the source link straight ahead.

[via XDA-Developers]

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Android 5.0.1 factory images now available for Nexus 6 and Nexus 4 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 20:33:38 +0000 Nexus_6_Back

Update Wednesday indeed. Factory images for Android 5.0.1 on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 4 have just gone live on the Google Developers site. Listed as build LRX22C, anyone that doesn’t feel like wiping their entire device to get on the latest Android device should sit tight. We expect an over-the-air update will commence shortly (as it so often does).

UPDATE: Oh, there it is… OTA download links provided here if anyone wants to sideload.

[Google Developers]

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PSA: Android Wear Watch Face developers need to use new APIs by January 31st, or else Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:54:42 +0000

Tucked away inside Google’s blog post for developers detailing the rollout of Android 5.0 and the Android Wear Watch Face APIs (API level 21) was a notice that those who aren’t planning to jump on board with the “new way” will eventually be kicked off the wagon. Google is asking all developers to update their watch face apps to use the new APIs by January 31st, because it’s on that date Google will officially cease supporting watch faces which don’t use the new APIs.

This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for any developer considering the company is now rolling out the Watch Face API to anyone and everyone needing to use it. And why wouldn’t you? It introduces awesome new animation libraries and features that make your watch face behave like it’s meant to be there instead of an app that’s shoehorned its way onto your wrist like an ugly sore. (Not that any of these watch faces are ugly — far from it — but you get the idea.)

android wear watch faces official

Google also mentioned that your apps will only get featured in the new Watch Face category on Google Play if you are using the new APIs. You can ensure your apps are included for consideration by uploading them to Google Play using the new Android Wear apps classification, and making sure to adhere to the distribution guidelines set forth by Google.

More details about developing for watch faces for Android Wear using the latest APIs can all be had by visiting Google’s blog post on the matter, so be sure to jump over there and soak up all the knowledge you need so you can continue to deliver awesome watch faces!

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Devs: Android Studio 1.0 stable release finally arrives Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:41:09 +0000 android studio release

Developers will enjoy this bit of news to start their post-lunch duties: Android Studio 1.0 has finally left “Release Candidate” status and has now been released as a stable version 1.0 release. What does this mean? Not much in terms of new features compared to the release candidate, though a stable release indicates most critical bugs have been knocked out and that Google officially considers Android Studio the one and only development tool you’ll need to create Android apps.

As you know, Eclipse with the ADT plugin was long known as the standard IDE setup for developing Android apps, but Google has stopped supporting that setup as the need for more flexible development tools evolve. Android Studio is loaded with unique features that help you target not only the many different types of phones and tablets, but for televisions, smart watches, cars and whatever else Android might find itself on in the near future.

Developers can head to the Android Developers’ landing site now to get their upgrade, and if you’re still running the old Eclipse kit this is a good excuse to step into the now and try out an experience that many developers have been raving over.

[via Google+]


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Android 5.0 Lollipop is still on less than 0.1% of all Android devices, but how long will that last? Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:35:49 +0000 android platform distribution december

Google has released the latest platform distribution numbers for Android, a periodic report that gives developers an idea of what they should be targeting when developing their apps. The biggest takeaway for the 7-day period ending December 1st? Android 5.0 Lollipop isn’t even represented on the chart. Google doesn’t show platforms which account for less than 0.1% of the total install base, which means Android 5.0 Lollipop hasn’t yet made a meaningful dent in adoption rates.

But that’s not to sound doom and gloomy — Lollipop is still relatively new, with most folks only getting a taste if they have a Nexus or Google Play Edition phone. That, or be one of the happy campers who bought Motorola’s latest phones. New platforms always take a few months to get off the ground and into many of the popular handsets so this shouldn’t be alarming anyone at the current juncture. KitKat didn’t have a hot start either, but it went on to command a 33.9% of the share as of yesterday.

All of that is to say that the lack of Lollipop isn’t something to be worried about. It will come, and it will be a glorious time when it does. For now, just sit tight and enjoy KitKat (it’s always getting new features at a frequent pace thanks to Google Play Services).

The rest of the numbers lay out as you’d expect them to. Alongside the aforementioned KitKat and Lollipop percentages, Jelly Bean combines for a whopping 48.7% of the share, Ice Cream Sandwich is still alive and well at 7.8%, and Gingerbread unfortunately still lingers around with a pretty good chunk at 9.1%.

[via Google]

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Starting next year, Google will automatically deduct as much as 25% tax from apps sold in Europe Tue, 02 Dec 2014 01:50:13 +0000 Google Play icon bag new

Changes coming soon to Google Play’s Terms of Service could leave some app developers with a little less money in their pockets. Well, the ones who weren’t already paying Value-Added Tax for apps sold in the European Union.

Starting January 1st, Google will make things “easier” on developers by automatically deducting VAT (which can be as much as 25%) for any and all applications sold to the EU. Previously left up to app developers to pay on their own, this is, in addition to the 30% “transaction fee” Google already takes for purchases in the Google Play Store. The changes will be reflected in the Google Play Developer Console, with Google recommending developers head there to adjust pricing accordingly.

This post was more of a PSA than anything, so developers aren’t blindsided when they see smaller revenues from apps sold to their European customers. It’s just part of doing business internationally, we suppose.

[Google Play Support]

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Leaked Android Lollipop firmware for Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives in flashable form Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:42:09 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S5  back DSC05786

Folks with Nexus devices aren’t the only ones who can begin playing around with Android 5.0 Lollipop. A recognized developer has leaked a test build of the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5’s Android Lollipop firmware. The goods are flashable via ODIN if you’re brave enough to try it out, though the firmware is not final and does wipe all your data. The developer noted that calling, SMS and other typical functions work just fine, though he hasn’t fully tested all of the device’s sensors.

It sounds like it’d be decent enough to play around with and maybe even as a daily driver, but nothing is guaranteed to work and you obviously take sole responsibility for your phone as a result of anything you do with it.

There’s no word on how far into the retooling process Samsung currently is so what you see here might not be indicative of what we’re to expect once the official rollout begins, but if you want a quick sample then this is as good as it gets. Sprint folks daring enough to give it a go can head to XDA for the download links and instructions.

.[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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Cyanogen Inc. launches Themes Studio with Design Challenge contest Tue, 25 Nov 2014 03:41:52 +0000 Cyanogen Theme Design Challenge

Cyanogen Inc. wants themers to take notice of a new way to design themes for Cyanogen OS (formerly known as CM 11S on the OnePlus One), and they’re willing to give away a few phones to do so. They announced their new Themes Studio beta Monday and opened the Themes Design Challenge to encourage themers to make use of their new tool.

It’s important to understand this is unrelated to the popular Theme Engine featured in the open-source CyanogenMod community builds. “Themes” is the proprietary counterpart featured in the commercial Cyanogen OS that comes preinstalled in the OnePlus One and the Oppo N1. Themes submitted for the contest will only work in the commercial build, though they’ll continue to be a part of the upcoming Lollipop version of Cyanogen OS according to Cyanogen Inc. Product Evangelist Leigh Momii.

A panel of Cyanogen team members will select three winners, each of whom will receive their choice of a phone from between two options to be determined later. The winners will also get a Cyanogen “swag pack” including T-shirts, etc. You can enter as soon as right now but you’ll have to submit your entry by December 14. If you win you’ll know about it on the 18th of the month. You can find more details here and if you have any more questions you can join their Google+ community. You can find out more about Cyanogen OS’ new Themes feature by watching the video below:

[Via Cyanogen Inc.]

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Here’s how to restore LTE to your Nexus 4 following Android 5.0 Lollipop update Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:46:31 +0000 Nexus 4

Those who upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop on their Nexus 4 ran into a bit of trouble with its LTE radios. If you don’t remember, the Nexus 4 shipped with LTE radios inside, but the device was not approved for LTE use by the FCC here in the United States. As such, Google ended up having to disable the radios via a software patch.

That didn’t hold the community back from bringing support in an unofficial capacity, of course, but those who upgraded to the official Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware recently have found themselves in the same pickle. And, well, today’s development proves history repeats itself quite a bit: you can now get an updated hybrid modem to enable LTE on your Lollipop-equipped Nexus 4. You’ll have to be rooted, though that should be no big task with Chainfire’s latest goods.

Once you’ve taken care of root then it’s as simple as this:

  1. Flash to “enable” LTE in the build.prop
  2. Flash this hybrid modem (in fastboot or recovery)
  3. Perform a full data wipe, or use these instructions if you’re knowledgeable on ADB to get the settings to stick
  4. Reboot

And that’s it. Not the most elegant solution out there, but if you’re not ready to loosen the grip on your Nexus 4 in favor of one of the newer devices then this is what you’ll have to work with. Be sure to back everything up before attempting this, and remember that anything you do on your phone is at your own discretion.

[via XDA, thanks Carl!]

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Android Studio nears 1.0 with Release Candidate 1 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:02:18 +0000 tmp_15201--1203866297

If you’re an app developer who’s switched (or is considering switching) to Android Studio, you’ll no doubt be glad to learn that the popular IDE is nearing its first whole-integer release. Although based on IntelliJ Studio, the Android-focused spinoff hasn’t yet been considered worthy of a 1.0 version number, but Thursday’s announcement of Release Candidate 1 for the Canary channel indicates that day is fast approaching.

The Android Developer’s blog provided the following changelog beyond the standard bugfixes:

We’ve also updated the splash screen and branding graphics to include our new logo, and the settings directories for the IDE have been updated from AndroidStudioBeta to just AndroidStudio. When you run this version for the first time, it should offer to import your settings from the beta settings directory.

Finally, we are now bundling a local Maven repository containing the Android Gradle plugin and all its dependencies, which should allow you to create new projects without a network connection. (This is also why this patch is fairly large).

Did I mention “Canary channel”? If you want to take this release candidate for a spin, you’ll need to make sure your updates are set to Canary as opposed to Stable, Beta or Dev. Remember, your input will determine when Android Studio attains to 1.0 status in the Stable channel, so don’t be shy about reporting any issues you encounter.

[via Android Developers]

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Thank you to all of Phandroid’s great sponsors! Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:37:18 +0000 It’s one week from Thanksgiving but we want to give some thanks early: thanks to all of Phandroid’s great sponsors, especially the first developers who signed up for our Apps & Games section! Last month we launched a new initiative to help independent developers get exposure in a very crowded scene without having to break the bank.

As part of our Apps & Games spotlight widget – which shows up throughout our website on desktop and mobile – we’re taking a moment to share each of their unique offerings from the Google Play Store. Check out what Phandroid readers our contributing to the Android ecosystem and if you feel inclined to get in on the action, take a look at what we’re offering or hit our contact box if it’s something a bit out-of-the-box.

Without further ado, thank you to the awesome developers of the following apps:

 Debt Payoff Planner by Adonis Apps

debt payoff planner

Wondering how much time and money it’ll take to pay off any debts you still owe? This app helps you lay it all out and create an effective plan based on your income and expenditures.

Up Plus One Live Wallpaper by gridRED

up plus one live wallpaper

This live wallpaper lets you use whatever text, numbers or emojis you want and animate them for use on your home-screen. Nothing like deep customization to make your phone feel your own.

Fur and Furious by MiniGamesPlus

Like dogs? Play as a dog. Like cats? Do that, too. Your goal is to use your dog or cat powers to chase a red dot around, collect chicken and fish, and be awesome. This unique take on the endless runner genre could be a nice solution to a boring wait in line.

FX File Explorer by NextApp

FX File Explorer equips users with a long list of tools that you might not even find in desktop computer operating systems’ file managers. From FTP, SMB and WebDAV support to cloud storage integration, root functions and a gesture-based UI, this app is pretty much all you need for handling all your files.

Weather Timeline by Sam Ruston

What do you get when you combine up-to-date weather information by Forecast, material design and a timeline-based layout that shows you up to a week’s worth of forecasts in an easy-to-digest way? Weather Timeline. If all you need are simple forecasts then this wouldn’t be a bad app to look at every day.

Link Bubble Browser Pro by Chris Lacy

Link Bubble Browser is one of the most useful apps we’ve ever used. Clicking a link in apps tend to kick you to the browser in order to wait for a lengthy load, but Link Bubble will load the page in the background and let you know when it’s ready. Other great uses include loading embedded YouTube videos inside the native YouTube app, skipping the browser step when clicking a link to open a profile or post in an app like Twitter or Foursquare and more.

Raise the Bar Goal Tracker by afewguys Apps

You have to do many things in life. Whether you like them or not, why not make a game out of it? This unique to-do list and organizer app uses gamification to encourage you to complete your goals and “level up.” See if it can’t help you get motivated to check everything off in your day-to-day musings.

Unclouded by Christian Göllner


Any cloud-guzzling tech-obsessed person knows how crazy it can be to keep track of all your files across the many different cloud storage services out there. Unclouded helps you consolidate all of it into one nice view. Aside from being a one-stop browser for files from multiple popular services, it’ll help you clean things up by showing where you have duplicates and which files take up the most space. Dropbox and Google Drive are supported, with Box and OneDrive coming soon!

CallMask Disposable Numbers by Slashbox

Need to call someone or list your phone number but don’t want people to get a hold of your real contact details? Call them with a disposable one using CallMask. The first disposable number is free, and you can ditch it whenever you want. CallMask supports incoming and outgoing calls, voice mail, full SMS, incoming MMS and more.

Finger Gesture Launcher by Carlos Morera de la Chica

finger gesture launcher

Gestures make almost anything better, and multi-tasking is no exception. This app lets you switch between apps, open web browsers, place calls, toggle settings and more using simple customizable gestures. It also has a mouth watering design thanks to the advent of Material Design.

Franco.Kernel Updater by Francisco Franco

If you use the Franco Kernel on your rooted Android device, then the official updater for said kernel should be your next best friend. This utility will keep your phone loaded with the latest and greatest version of Francisco Franco’s popular kernel, and allows you to do so in a very efficient way.

NotiWidget Notifications by Christian Göllner

notiwidget tablet

Hate reaching to the top of your phone or tablet to access notifications? Now you can have your notifications in a handy widget that can be placed on a home screen or even your lock screen.

Action Launcher Pro by Chris Lacy

This neat launcher makes its donuts from one very unique feature: shutters. Swipe down on an app icon with a “shutter” and it’ll show the widget for that app in a neat popup. You can even customize which widgets show up for each individual icons, even if that widget doesn’t belong to that app.

Another great feature is Quickpages, a pane accessible by a simple swipe to put folders, widgets and more. The pro version adds QuickDrawer and QuickPage launcher access from within any app so you can access your entire apps list without stopping whatever you’re doing.

BeeKeeper by Umbral Games


It’s Minesweeper, but with bees. Yep. You’re sucking up honey instead of sweeping up bombs, and you’re doing so in over 60 levels across 3 different gameplay modes.

Anything Texter by Technology Discovery

If there’s anything you need to type but not exactly sure where to type it, Anything Texter hopes to solve that problem for you. a quick swipe from the bottom left corner of your device opens up a text interface that allows you to type anything you need at a moment’s notice, and then gives you the tools to take the text to the app you want. Type first, think later.

TyphonRT Video Suite by TyphonRT Media

TyphonRT’s Video Suite is one app you’ll want to see succeed on Kickstarter. It proposes a comprehensive suite of video editing and effects tools that’ll let you make as little as enhanced home movies to something that could qualify for an independent film festival. Folks have been clamoring for something like this on Android for years so be sure to support it if you want to help make it a reality.

Movement Detection by Kanetik

movement tracker

Tasker and Locale are great automation apps that let you automate actions based on location, time of day and other conditions, but if you want to make the location aspect of all that even more precise then you’ll want Movement Detection. This universal plugin for both apps will detect whether you’re moving or coming to a standstill, and will allow you to specify whether you want actions to trigger only when you come to a complete stop or when you begin moving again.

No Girls Allowed by Trick-Bow Productions

If you’re still in your elementary phase and believe boys rule, girls drool, No Girls Allowed will allow you to practice your girl keep away skills. It’s a simple tower defense game: you and your army of dudes protect the ever-so-awesome tree house from a horde of girls using slingshots, water balloons and even dirty diapers.

Chrome Reader by Technology Discovery

Free your eyes from having to read text and let your phone do the work. Simply highlight some text (whether that’s in Chrome or any other app that allows you to select text) and you can have it read out to you.

Get in on the fun next time!

Whew, that was a lot of apps. Want your app featured the next time we extend a big thank you to our sponsors? Park it right here and consider our sponsorship packages, and don’t forget to give us a buzz if you have any questions about becoming a sponsor or any suggestions about things we can do to help your Android app find its way onto more Android devices.

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Developers can now start using Android Auto APIs to create apps for smart cars Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:18:02 +0000

Google has just announced availability of the API for Android Auto, their platform for in-car dashes featuring the lovely operating system. Android Auto won’t be home to mind-blowing smart car goodness for the early going. Auto is a very delicate industry to create smart products for, and they want to keep things simple while they look to nurture it. As such, Google’s APIs are limited to two key functions:

  • Being able to play and control audio
  • Being able to receive messages via audio, and send them via voice

There isn’t much else for a developer to do for Android Auto right now, but if you have an app that could benefit your users while they’re in an Android Auto-equipped vehicle you can get started today (though Google notes you won’t be able to publish apps with features that extend to Auto just yet). We also get the promise that more APIs are sure to come down the line, but this should be more than enough for most developers to get their feet wet with. Check out Google’s Getting Started guide to, well, get started.

Android Auto smartphone connect

[via Google]

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TeamWin’s Recovery Project (TWRP) now available for the Nexus 9 Volantis Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:27:20 +0000 Nexus 9 DSC07273

Rooters and developers who prefer to use TeamWin Recovery Project (affectionately known as TWRP), listen up — you can now get it on your Nexus 9. The alternative recovery will give you a full touch interface if you aren’t a fan of using volume rockers and power buttons to do your bidding. Its XML-based GUI makes this themeable, though we’re not sure many will care too much about the theme of a utility like this one where it’s all about getting straight down to business.

This release also brings TWRP up to version, and it brings with it the following changes:

-Pull in all changes from Android 5.0 lollipop into TWRP
-Add decrypt support for Android 5.0 lollipop encrypted partitions including automatic decrypt when the default_password is in use
-Revert some changes to exFAT that were breaking exFAT support on some devices
-Other minor fixes and updates

Remember that you will need an unlocked bootloader and root (check out our guide here) in order for TWRP to install, but as long as you take care of that it’s as simple as downloading TWRP Manager from Google Play and choosing to install the advanced recovery. Be sure to grab it as soon as you can!

[via XDA-Developers]

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Google will screen all Android TV apps before allowing them into Google Play Mon, 17 Nov 2014 19:13:25 +0000 android-tv-pic

In a move that goes completely against what Google has ever done with Android, Google’s developer policy for Android TV spells out Google’s intentions to screen every app that is submitted before they allow it into Google Play. This is quite unlike the open and less stringent “upload first, ask questions later” method Google has used for Android phones and tablets, as well as for Android Wear. Here’s the policy as written under the Android TV section of Google’s apps distribution page:

Before distributing apps to the Play Store on Android TV devices, our team reviews apps for usability with a DPAD (apps) and Gamepad (games only) and other quality guidelines.

This doesn’t sound too bad. If anything, it sounds like Google just wants to make sure any app that can be downloaded from their official store is fully usable with the included remote and, in the case of games, the optional game pad. Unfortunately Google’s “other quality guidelines” don’t seem to be available for public view, but we imagine they’ll want to make sure your apps don’t crash or blow the moon up and whatnot.

It’s always a little unsettling when Google goes off the tracks and implements policies that make the barrier of entry for developers harder, but as Android continues to evolve and find its way on new platforms and in new industries Google will have to work carefully to groom it and make sure things don’t get too wild in the early going.

Creating an apps marketplace for something like a television or smart glasses is much more different than your average phone or tablet, so we can’t exactly cry foul without knowing whether this policy hurts the development process more than it helps. In any case, we’re sure folks who end up buying Android TV products will appreciate the fact that Google isn’t willing to let anything and everything onto the big screen (especially considering how buggy many of Google TV’s apps were).

[Google via Android Police]

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Chainfire brings Auto-root tool to 6 more Nexus devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop Mon, 17 Nov 2014 14:11:59 +0000 Lollipops

Chainfire began the root train for Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Nexus 9, and now that the upgrades are out for most other Nexus devices you will be happy to know that more have joined in on the fun. Six devices in all can now enjoy rooted Lollipop goodness thanks to Chainfire’s auto-root tool. Here’s the quick list:

We imagine the Nexus 6 and some Google Play Edition devices will be added to that list as images and firmware for those devices become available. Chainfire notes that he is still using a multiple file distribution for auto-root as he continues to work on making his tool compatible with more Android 5.0+ devices.

As such,  you’re still going to need to manually boot your device into fastboot mode to allow the script to flash SuperSU into the system. The script will also require an unlocked bootloader and will attempt to unlock your device if you haven’t already, so be sure to back any files up just in case (as the unlock process forces a data wipe). Be sure to head to Chainfire’s site here for the downloads for your specific device, and jump through to the source link if you’re interested in the notes straight from Chainfire himself.

[via +Chainfire]

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