Saturday, 21 June 2014

Control a Device with a Broken Screen From the Comfort of Your Windows PC

Occasionally, the situation arises when our cell phone screens die completely. Be it due to a nasty fall, playing a bit too rough with other items in your pocket or backpack, or other device trauma, these things unfortunately happen from time to time. We hope that you never have to experience this rather unpleasant situation, but if it does ever happen, we might have a solution for you that will enable you to control your device in order to extract its data.

If your touchscreen doesn’t respond, some would assume that their data is lost. However, there are various ways to connect to your device and retrieve your data. XDA Forum Member k.janku1 created a handy tool for Windows users that allows you to control your device using a mouse and on-screen buttons. Your device’s screen is shown in a small window, which gives you a way to copy your texts, gallery or anything else that happens to be stored somewhere in phone’s memory. As you would expect, in order to run this tool, your Android-powered phone or tablet needs to have USB debugging turned on. The app then handles the rest.
Do you have a broken screen and do you need to still access your device? If so, all you need to do is head over to the source and give this tool a try.

DBPie Brings Pie Controls to Non-Rooted Users

Here on the XDA-Developers Portal, the vast majority of the modifications, applications, and utilities that we cover require root access on your device. So if you’re a non-rooted user, you’ll quickly notice that there are quite a few things that you can’t enjoy. Luckily, there are also plenty of utilities available for non-rooted users looking to spice up their Android-powered lives.

If you’ve spent any appreciable amount of time with the AOSP web browser, you’ve probably run into its experimental Pie Controls feature. And if you haven’t seen Pie Controls in the AOSP browser, you’ve probably heard of its use in custom ROMs, as the Paranoid Android team used this experimental browser feature as inspiration for its Pie Controls navigation keys. This feature was later incorporated into other ROMs such as CyanogenMod, and with good reason–Pie Controls are quite convenient, especially if you own a large device such as a Galaxy Note, where reaching for the buttons on the bottom of your screen is difficult. But of course, changing your ROM or installing an Xposed-based Pie Controls alternative requires root access.
Luckily, XDA Senior Member aeppacher created DBPie. DBPie is an application-based Pie Controls app that allows non-rooted users to enjoy this UI paradigm on their own device. DBPie brings the core Pie Controls functionality that we’d expect, with navigation keys for back, home, and multitasking. The app also allows you to configure custom colors, whether it launches at start, and the ability to work in both landscape and portrait modes. In the future, the developer is also planning on adding extra features such as docking to the sides of the screen, custom sizing, animations, and Google Now access.
If you’re a fan of Pie Controls but aren’t rooted, head over to the application thread to give DBPie a shot.

Google Search Backend Update Brings Music App Integration

While yesterday was certainly the day of Android 4.4.4 thanks to a rather unexpected security update, a new Android version isn’t all that Google had in store for Android users. Yesterday evening, Google began the rollout of a Google Search backend update that makes it easier than ever before to go from searching for an artist to listening to their music.

With this latest backend update, Google Search now integrates with several Android media player apps. When searching for a particular musical artist, Search now gives you direct links to listen to said artist directly from your search results, as can be seen in the screenshot to your right.
At the moment, this feature is compatible with iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, Rdio, Spotify, TuneIn, and YouTube. But unfortunately, this feature is only enabled in the US at the time being. However, it’s more than likely that this feature, which doesn’t seem to have any particular reason for being US-exclusive, will make its way to other regions soon. In fact, Google even mentions this by saying, “we’ll keep expanding this, so stay tuned.”
It’s nice to see yet another useful Google Search backend update deliver useful functionality without the need for an application update. Being US-exclusive for the time being certainly isn’t ideal and we can’t imagine why such a feature must be regionally locked. Hopefully, however, it is made available in more regions soon.

Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 KitKat Update Rooted

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 line, which was launched in the middle of last year, never had high-end aspirations. Rather, the Tab 3 presented itself as an affordable series that delivers reasonable performance at a great value. There are three variants of the Tab 3: 7″, 8″, and 10.1″. Now, the 8″ variant has received its official KitKat update.
Ever since its initial release, the Tab 3 8.0 has been living in 4.2.2 Jelly Bean land. Despite its relatively young age, the device was seemingly forgotten by the OEM, perhaps in favor of the new Tab S line. Now, however, Samsung has gone ahead and begun updating the Tab 3 8.0 to KitKat in certain regions.
The build number for this update is T310XXUBNE9, and it is currently starting to make its way out to devices. And just like many other Samsung KitKat update, this will bring better performance, revised UI stylings, immersive mode, printing support, and more.
As is normally the case, the update isn’t yet available in every region. In fact, it is currently only rolling out in France. However, it’s expected that other regions will receive the update shortly. Luckily, XDA Recognized Developer faria was kind enough to not only share instructions on how to manually update, but also share a quick guide on how to root the device.
If you’ve got a Tab 3 8.0, you can head over to the original thread to get started. Unfortunately the other two sizes of the Tab 3 have not yet received their updates, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it comes quite soon.

Xtended NavBar Supercharges Your On-Screen Navigation Bar using Xposed

Xtended NavBar Supercharges Your On-Screen Navigation Bar using Xposed

On-screen navigation buttons undoubtedly have their pros and cons. While many don’t care for the lack of true haptic feedback or “wasted” screen real estate, many others favor the sleek lines and versatility only possible with on-screen buttons. For those of us who happen to fall in the latter category, it’s hard to go back to a device with hardware buttons–but that’s not to say that on-screen keys can’t be made even better!
XDA Senior Member fmaster1 recently released a new Xposed module called Xtended NavBar. And as you would expect from its name, it aims to make your software navigation bar even more versatile. With this module enabled, you can swipe from the edges to change to your music player or access quick settings, and you can swipe back to return to the standard navigation keys.
The module itself should work on any Android 4.3 and 4.4 devices with Xposed framework installed, and should even be compatible with some other navigation bar customization modules. You can learn more by heading over to the module thread.

iOS 7.1.2 coming soon with fixes for Mail, Lock Screen and iBeacon issues

Apple is preparing to release iOS 7.1.2 in the coming weeks, according to a new report from MacRumors. Citing sources familiar with the update, the site says Apple plans to use the release to address a handful of long-standing issues.
Perhaps the most prominent issue the firmware will resolve is the ‘email attachment encryption bug’ that surfaced last month. It also includes a fix the just-publicized Lock screen vulnerability, which could allow access to limited apps…
MacRumors has now learned that Apple is indeed nearing a public release of iOS 7.1.2 and has begun seeding carrier partners with a version of it, termed build 11D257.
According to sources, the build of iOS 7.1.2 does indeed address the email attachment encryption issue, as well as a bug in downloading emails. Also included in the update is a fix for a lock screen vulnerability that could allow access to “limited apps”. While we can’t say for certain, Apple may be referring to the ”missed call” lock screen bug publicized earlier this month.
Last month, security researcher Andreas Kurtz published a report claiming that iOS 7 stores email attachments in unencrypted form, making them easily readable in the right conditions. Of course, jailbreakers have had a fix for a while now.
Additionally, Slivka says that iOS 7.1.2 will include improvements to iBeacon connectivity and a bug fix related to data transfer with third-party accessories. Unfortunately, there’s no explicit mention of any kind of iMessage-related bug fix.
There’s no word on when iOS 7.1.2 will be released, but Apple has apparently asked carriers to sign off on the update by Friday, June 27, suggesting that a public release could come the following week. Obviously, jailbreakers will want to stay away.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Android 4.4.4 KTU84P OTA Now Live for the Nexus 5!

[OTA Captured] Android 4.4.4 KTU84P OTA Now Live for the Nexus 5!

Earlier today, Google shocked us all by making the Android 4.4.4 KTU84P factory images available for (most of) the current generation Google Nexus fleet. Not too long after, the fine folks over at FunkyAndroid did what they do best, and they showed us everything that’s changed in this latest update. Now, the OTA updates have begun trickling out to current generation Nexus devices.
Even though Nexus device owners can simply flash the relevant factory images to update to Android 4.4.4 KTU84P manually, this isn’t an ideal option for everyone–namely those who haven’t rooted and unlocked their bootloaders, and would rather apply an incremental OTA. Luckily, the update has now arrived for the Nexus line’s latest flagship smartphone, the Google Nexus 5.
Naturally, today’s OTA comes in at the same KTU84P build number as we saw in the previously released factory images. And as one would reasonably expect, this update brings you to Android 4.4.4 KTU84P from the previously released Android 4.4.3 KTU84M.
This update, as is the case with all Nexus device captured OTAs, can be sideloaded by entering ADB Sideload mode from your stock recovery and executing the command adb sideload [update file name] .
If you haven’t unlocked your bootloader and are looking for an ADB Sideloadable OTA update, head over to El Daddy’s stock OTA help desk thread to get started.

Out now: iOS 8 Beta 2, Yosemite Developer Preview 2, new Xcode and Apple TV software

iOS 8 Beta 2 in Dev Center
Two weeks after releasing the first beta of iOS 8, Apple today seeded it developers with the second beta of both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.
The Yosemite Developer Preview 2 (Build 14A261i) for Macs and a pre-release version of iOS 8 Beta 2 (build 12A4297e) for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices are available for download through Apple’s Dev Center.
The betas are available standalone or as over-the-air downloads via the Software Update mechanism…
As speculated, iOS 8 Beta 2 can now be downloaded through the Software Update section of the stock Settings app. The second beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite is available to download from Dev Center, weighing in at 1.16 gigabytes, or as a Mac App Store update.
iOS 8 Beta 2 (OTA prompt)
Likewise, the Apple TV set-top box has received a new beta firmware that brings iCloud Family Sharing to the big screen and allows developers to test new AirPlay features with their apps.
Interestingly, the 2010 Apple TV hardware is not supported. Finally, Xcode 6 Beta 2 (build 6A216f) with the included iOS 8 SDK Beta 2 and OS X 10.10 SDK can be found in Dev Center as well.
iOS 8 Beta 2 highlights:
  • Accessibility: the AssistiveTouch feature has added two new icons for Notification Center and Control Center.
  • App Store: you can now leave reviews and show Family Purchases. Also, Purchased items now sorted by purchase date rather than alphabetically.
  • Camera/Photos: Camera puts photo thumbnails to correct photos. New photos and videos taken with Burst, Slo-Mo and Timelapse modes now go into their separate albums. Photos puts up a splash page offering to enable iCloud Photos, replacing your existing Photo Stream settings. There’re also related new Last Synced and Pause options under Settings > iCloud > Photos.
  • iBooks: iBooks has a new interface to display books as series and automatically groups your purchased books based on series. You can tap the new “All in Series” button to complete your collection.
  • Messages: Camera and Voice buttons in Messages are no longer blue, the ability to mark all messages as read, new Raise to Listen option in Settings > Messages to let you “quickly listen and reply to incoming audio messages by raising the phone to your ear”.
  • Notifications: a new per-app Allow Notifications switch inside Settings > Notifications allows you to disable all notifications for a given app with one switch instead of multiple toggles.
  • Privacy: a new Home Data section in Settings > Privacy for apps that have requested access to home data via Apple’s new HomeKit platform.
  • QuickType keyboard: Apple’s new soft-keyboard with predictive suggestions is now available on iPad, though not on the iPad 2. Note that you must have Auto-Correct turned on to use QuickType.
  • Safari: a new feature called Quick Website Search, now blocks ads from automatically redirecting to the App Store without user content, pinch to tab view on the iPad.
  • Settings: Brightness control under Wallpaper and Brightness now works as expected, the Settings app remembers previous position when swiping back, Battery Usage by App in General > Usage > Battery Usage has a new No Cell Coverage label denoting how much juice your iPhone used when no coverage was available.
  • Various tidbits: Clock app remembers your last used tab; Double-pressing the Home button now shows both Favorites and Recents, not just Favorites; Handoff works between iOS 8 and Yosemite and is more functional though still not fully baked; AirDrop between iOS and Yosemite no longer requires having a Finder window open to receive a file; Apple’s Podcasts app comes preinstalled and can’t be deleted. Pulling down on the Home screen to bring up Spotlight now selects all text from the previous search so you can delete it with a single keystroke. There’s a new slide-to-unlock text in certain languages.
iOS 8 Beta 2 (iCloud Photos welcome page)iOS 8 Beta 2 (iCloud Photos settings 001)
The new iCloud Photos splash page and related options in iCloud settings.
iOS 8 Beta 2 (Notifications, Allow Notiifcaations)iOS 8 Beta 2 (Messages 001)
Left: mute all notifications for a given app with a single switch. Right: gray Camera/Voice buttons in Messages (blue previously).
Yosemite Developer Preview 2 highlights:
  • Photo Booth: the app has returned with a Yosemite-style new icon.
  • Screen Sharing: now at version 6.0, Screen Sharing allows you to block others from sharing their screen with you.
  • Time Machine: say good-bye to the stars background because Apple has revamped Time Machine’s interface for translucent appearance.
  • Various tidbits:Handoff works between iOS 8 and Yosemite and is more functional though still not fully baked; AirDrop between iOS and Yosemite no longer requires having a Finder window open to receive a file; a new prompt to enable FileVault storage encryption appears on reboot.
OS X Yosemite Beta 2 (Time Machine 001)
Screenshot via Mark Gurman.
OS X Yosemite Beta 2 (Screen Sharing icon, full size)OS X Yosemite Beta 2 (Photo Booth icon, full size)
The new Screen Sharing (left) and Photo Booth (right) icons in Yosemite.
We continue to investigate the new betas and will update this article with any additional findings in terms of new features, enhancements and under-the-hood changes.
Note that even though Apple cautions that devices updated to iOS 8 Beta 2 can’t be restored to earlier versions of iOS, our own Joe Rossignol showed you how to downgrade from iOS 8 Beta 1 to iOS 7.1.1.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

iWatch to launch in October with wireless charging, pulse sensor and more

iWAtch C (three-up, Martin Hajek 001)Reuters is out with a new report this afternoon regarding the iWatch. Citing sources familiar with the project, the outlet says that Apple’s long-rumored smartwatch is set to go into mass production next month at Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc, ahead of a likely October launch.
The report also offers up some details about the so-called iWatch—most of which we’ve heard rumored before—including that the device will feature a 2.5-inch display and wireless charging capabilities, and will have a built-in sensor that’ll be capable of monitoring a user’s pulse…
Here’s more from Reuters’ Michael Gold:
Apple will introduce a smartwatch with a display that likely measures 2.5 inches diagonally and is slightly rectangular, one of the sources said. The source added that the watch face will protrude slightly from the band, creating an arched shape, and will feature a touch interface and wireless charging capabilities.
The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units within the first year of the product’s release, although these types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final assembly, the source said.
While the watch is widely expected, the start date of its mass production and the extent of Quanta’s involvement were not known until now. Mass production will start in July and the commercial launch will come as early as October, according to the source and another person familiar with the matter. 
Again, several of the details in Gold’s report match up with previous chatter, but the description varies a bit. We’re not sure if the device is going to be round, curved—or if it’s even going to look like a watch at all. Some have speculated that it could look more like aNike FuelBand.
It’s also interesting that the Reuters report lists the pulse reader as the only built-in sensor, as we’ve heard that the watch will feature multiple sensors for tracking various health and fitness data. Apple has spent the last 2 years hiring experts from various fitness and medical fields.
But tiny details aside, it certainly sounds like Apple is working on a wearable and plans to launch it in or around October. The company is also said to be working on not one, but two new smartphones with larger displays, refreshed iPad Air and mini tablets and a new Apple TV.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


If the release date of the Galaxy Note 4 is not expected before September after a presentation at the IFA in Berlin, rumors and information about the next phablette Samsung accumulate and last to date concerns one of the main sensors of the machine as it is the fingerprint reader that can unlock the device and make payments online through PayPal.
Just like the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note 4 will likely be equipped with a digital fingerprint reader , however, it does not rest on the same technology as shipped by the last Korean jewel on the market since April.
fingerprint reader Galaxy Note 4
New fingerprint reader for Galaxy Note 4;
While biometric sensor Galaxy S5 recognizes a fingerprint of the user via the sliding operated the Home button, the fingerprint reader Galaxy Note 4 is called a drive "zone." In other words, to identify you, you will not have to drag your finger but simply put it on the sensor area. A mode of operation would be the same as the ID reader Touch 5S iPhone .
Designed by Synaptics, the fingerprint reader waited aboard the Galaxy Note 4 would not only be more convenient to use the sensor "sliding" of the Galaxy S5 but also more accurate. Which is not a bad thing when you see the ease with which the S5 Galaxy fingerprint reader is easy to hack.
According to the latest rumors to date, the specifications of Galaxy Note 4 should offer:
  • Screen  : AMOLED 2K resolution 2560 x 1440 pixels (flat or curved depending on market)
  • Processor  : Samsung Exynos 5433 or Snapdragon 805 by market
  • Multimedia  : Sony 16 megapixel camera sensor with optical image OIS and front camera 2 Megapixels
  • Fingerprint Reader  : Yes
  • Certification  : IP67