The Good Old Wine.

Older the wine, better it tastes. The same is with my blog.

Be afraid not for it’s not a post on wine – but on the latest sweet in the market. Let me be clear (before I lose any reader) – this is a post on L transformation.

L transformation on 4.4
L transformation on 4.4

Lollipop has been around in the news for quite a long period. But, as usual, we, the commoners, have to buy nexus  or wait for an alternative. And I vote for the latter.

Disclaimer: Getting a perfect feel about 5.0 is impossible as there’s no trick to completely get the animations correct. However, the rest is possible.

Follow the steps to taste the never-tasted-before candy!

Google Apps
Google Apps
  • Now, you need to set up Nova Launcher-
  1. Navigate to Drawer settings and check the Cards option. And make sure other settings are in accordance with the ones in the screenshot.
  2. Navigate to Look and feel in Nova settings and chose  Moonshine (Stock ROM users only) as Icon Theme.
Nova Settings
Nova Settings

It’s a dead end for unrooted Stock ROM users. This is the LMAX  for you guys. Sorry folks!


If your phone is rooted, make sure you have Xposed Module and this module installed. Tinted Status Module helps you to set up the color of status bar with every app you have installed on your device.

Tinted Statusbar
Tinted Statusbar

Key to happiness is a Custom ROM 

Those who have identified this mantra only shall proceed.

One requires the following two themes installed: Free Mianogen and IdeaL Theme X.

Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-34-21
Peek-a-boo: Animations!

Proceed to Themes, select IdeaL Theme X and check the following properties.

IdeaL Settings
IdeaL Settings

Now, visit Free Mianogen and just check the Icons option.

Finally, just set up the downloaded wallpapers, sounds and reboot your phone (do not miss the boot screen!) to witness the perfect unwrapping of your candy!

Screenshot_2014-12-02-18-33-14

Screenshot_2014-12-02-18-33-27

Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-33-46

Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-00-37 Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-38-16Screenshot_2014-12-02-20-21-35

 

Download APK directly from Google Play Store.

Some or other time, we do face a situation when the app we need is Not Available in Your Country or Is Incompatible With Your Device. And then, we look for the app from some other site, having a previous version of it.

There’s one tool which simplifies our task to great extent: Evozi APK Downloader.

Just enter the URL of the app you need from the Play Store and it will provide you with latest *.apk . This service helps save lot of time that would have been wasted in searching for APKs and also gets us the latest version.

APK Downloader

Moreover, it isn’t Modified in any sense. Thus, no security threats from the uploader side. The Chrome extension further simplifies the job for people on desktop.

Personal note: Though I decided not to post anything till June 2014, I wrote this because this service shall be beneficial to a lot out there.

Screen Delights.

Personalization is indeed the most powerful feature of Android. Custom ROMs, Custom made devices (Moto X), Custom Skins and so on are the evidences of variety Android can offer. Above all, it’s one of the simplest stuff, which can be done by both – newbies and pros.

Screenshot_2013-09-05-11-25-11_tmvxperiap2013-09-07_14-16-31

As the title suggests, this post is all about screens – my setup and how-to.

Getting your screenshots in the device

Presenting your preparation or screenshots with device frame makes them look awesome. One can do that through 3 ways.

Get yourself an app: There are quite a few apps which provide you with Device frames and generate the required results directly. User needs to just select the image. Two of my favorites are Screen Maker and Device Frame Generator. Since both of these are paid, I would recommend Screen Maker as it provides frames of more devices.

Via PSD: Certain people aren’t comfortable with choosing the easy path and hence, should go with PSDs of their devices.

Web Services: PlaceIt, AAS, DAG and MockUPhone are certain web services which just ask you for screenshots and return the desired

Xperia P Custom

Customizing your Screen, My way

Launcher: Action Launcher Pro

Widgets: Power TogglesTimelyVapor Ice

Wallpaper: Fuzz

Icon Pack: Click UI

After having done this, refer to this post on how to theme your phone like a boss without any Custom ROM.

Xperia P Custom

Run Android Apps on Ubuntu.

Run Android Apps on any Linux Distro without any Virtual Workaround

The popular technique of creating Virtual Device and using Android SDK doesn’t appeal to many. So here’s a workaround which might not be as geeky as the former.

Update: A lot of people have been successful at first attempt, some at second and some have been unsuccessful throughout. No reason known. Also, BlueStacks has been dubbed as “trash” by Wine Req.

Prerequisites: Wine.

Just as mentioned earlier, you need to have Wine installed on your Ubuntu. Open the Ubuntu Software Centre and search for Wine and install it.

Step 1: Download BlueStacks for Windows which is an .exe file. Proceed to the properties of the downloaded file and check the Allow executing file as Program .

Step 2: Proceed to Configure Wine from Unity Search. By default, wine will act like Windows XP, but users can change this to all or almost any Windows version. The next tab over is used for configuring DLL files. The “Graphics” tab controls the look of the Windows applications. The “Desktop Integration” tab allows users to change the theme of Windows applications. The controls under this tab also allow users to configure folder locations. This means when Windows applications need to place data in the documents folder, users can choose what folder will be the Windows document folder. Next, the “Drives” tab contains options for the Windows drives. Users can control what directory will behave like drive C.The “Audio” is for audio. Finally, the last tab, “About”, contains the license and version information for wine. At the bottom of the window, users can type the owner and company of wine like they would for a Windows system. Once all of the settings have been configured, press “Apply” and exit the program

Step 3: Return to the .exe file and right click and choose to install using Wine. Proceed to the installation step and keep in mind that now you are installing something on Windows. After the installation is completed you must see BlueStacks in Unity Dash.

Step 4: Download your required APK and open BlueStacks. Set up the app player as per your needs and then install the APK.
Voila, now you can install and run any Android App on Ubuntu. And this technique is universal, i.e. it will work for any other Linux Distribution.

This technique, thus saves you a lot of time and is probably the best for those who just want to install apps like Whatsapp, though users can install games too. Personally, I found games like Jetpack Joyride more enjoyable on this set up.

App Showdown: PushBullet.

Push anything to your Android device.

At the recently held Google Event, where the new Nexus 7 was unveiled, Google announced that the Play Store was now the officially biggest App market. That being said, it’s not a surprise to find innovative and better sharing Apps, like Bump! or SuperBeam. Just like them, PushBullet is one of the most productive and innovative App that I’ve ever come across.

PushBullet

PushBullet: Notifications.

It pushes anything from any device, that supports web browsing, to your Android Device. You can push any file, image, video or even a list to your Android device. The biggest plus one goes to it’s ability to save the user’s time. It’s pretty quick and appears as a notification on your device. I’ve seen people emailing themselves the required link, and open the mail in their phone. But now, PushBullet can take care of that. No need to send useless mails to yourself.

And of course the Chrome extension makes it incredibly easy to push webpages and Google Maps addresses right to your phone. Found a restaurant you want to try out? Push the address to your phone and get to navigation in a snap from the notification. This service pushes YouTube videos, or Notes as desired, and thus it’s a Chromecast-like feature for your Android device.

For accessing the service in a non-Chrome browser, just visit PushBullet.com and register yourself, using your Google account. Thus, you can push anything from iPad, Kindle and even from one Android phone to another. This service is quite useful who use Android Ecosystem only.

Want to transfer data from iDevice to an Android device? Check out my previous post.

Pulse: An RSS Reader.

Add any website to Pulse: The Ultimate News App.

Pulse needs no introduction. It’s one of the finest and best news app available for any OS, be it Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and as a web app.  It streams all the content you want, from all sources at a single place. That is why, it’s a favorite of many, including me.

One can add the sources from which data should be retrieved but there’s a limitation. Only popular websites are available as options. What about other blogs or sites? Pulse developers seem to have considered this. Yes, you can use Pulse as an RSS Reader and add any site or blog you desire. You can also add YouTube Channels.

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 02:34:59

A GeekSpecs Article in Pulse.

Just follow the two steps and make Pulse your complete knowledge hub.

Step 1: Go to Add Content tab, which should be with the current pages menu. Proceed to Add New Content to Pulse and type the website’s name in the search bar, that you want to add. Refering to the screenshot below, I have searched for GeekSpecs Meet Vora  or  GeekSpecs WordPress, which successfully shows my blog. And do not worry about the page it shows. Just add any search result you see.

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 02:36:06

Pulse:Web App

IMG_20130714_133223

Pulse:Android App

Step 2: Add any YouTube Channel you desire. I’ve demoed the feature with ERB.

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 02:48:35

So, there you are, having Pulse transformed into an all-option service.

For those who haven’t tried out this awesome service, here are the links.

Android

iOS

Windows

Web App

Transfer Data across Android and iOS Devices.

Every single person on the planet knows how good iOS and Android co-ordinate, in terms of data transfer between the two. Pairing your iDevice with Android Device via Bluetooth can be a pain in the neck. So people go with the other obvious solutions: Email the files to themselves, upload it to cloud, Bump! it or some other methods I am unaware of. But these are very inefficient, time consuming and waste your limited data plan.

Fast File Transfer is the probably the best application I’ve ever come across for this purpose. The only thing bad about it is, that it’s available only in the Google Play Store. Thus, one can only send files from Android to iOS.

It works on principle of WiFi Tethering, It creates a WiFi HotSpot and allows you to connect other devices, including other Android devices and iDevices. When the Recipient Device is connected to its WiFi Network, the user can access the files on the Sending Android Device.

Note: It doesn’t require Internet.

Features:
Up to 20x speed of Bluetooth.
No need for a common WiFi connection.
The receiver does not have to have the app installed.
Send single or multiple files.
Displays QR codes for faster receiving.
Use NFC for pairing (in beta stage).

For Android to Android Transfer, there’s another app: SuperBeam, which works flawlessly. I don’t know why, but I prefer to use SuperBeam for A-A Data Transfer, though Fast File Transfer works fine.

App Showdown: Game Booster

Android smartphones are the hottest selling phones in the market. But most of them belong either to low-end or mid range category , i.e. with decent or below par performance. Thus, gaming experience is laggy. Sometimes, the frame-rates also drop significantly.

There’s an awesome solution for that. No, not buying a high end phone, but simply getting an app installed. This is the Game Booster.

20130712-224351.jpg

It makes your games run faster by freeing up the memory before launching any game. Actually, you can add any app you want, not only games. It organizes the games together as a launcher does. You can also refer the boosted games to your home screen.

My personal experience with the app has been good till now, though I use a high end device.

If you face RAM Management issues with your phone, do not forget to check my post.

Tweak Android without Custom ROM.

I had earlier notified the readers that I will be disclosing the 2nd most important Android configuration soon. This post deals with the same.

Almost all Android users except the Vanilla Stock Android users hate the looks and few tweaks crafted in their smartphones by the manufactures. And the popular solution: flashing a custom ROM.

But there’s something special which isn’t as popular as the above method. It’s called Xposed Framework, by rovo89. This framework allows you to modify your ROM without changing apks or flashing. ROOT is required.

Advantages: No need to modify any APKs. This means:
1) No need to decompile, change things in smali, compile, sign.
2) It will work for odexed and deodexed ROMs.
3) Your mod is not bound to a specific version of the ROM. Unless there is a major change in the methods called for a certain functionality, your mod will continue to work even when you upgrade your ROM. Hell, it will probably even work with different ROMs.
4) Multiple mods can be installed at the same time, even if they change the same package. So you can use these battery icons and those quick toggles. Even hooking the same method twice is possible. Of course, this only works properly if the mods are not trying to do incompatible things.
5) It does its magic at runtime. That means you can implement options to let the user decide if they prefer the bikeshed to be painted in red or blue. Or you can have some extra logic for certain ROMs without building different mod versions.
6) It can be disabled easily without having to reflash.
7) It’s open source.

Installation:
First step for everything you do:
Create a nandroid backup and make sure you know how to restore it!
There is also the risk to soft-brick your device. In such a case, restoring a backup is the easiest way to get rid of it (other possibilities mentioned below).

For the framework:
1) Download XposedInstaller.apk and install it
2) Launch the Xposed Installer and click on “Install/Update”
3) Reboot
4)Done!

For any modifications/modules you want to install:
1) Download .apk and install it
2) Launch the Xposed Installer and go to the “Modules” tab (you will also get there if you click on the notification warning you that the module is not enabled yet)
3) Enable the module by checking the checkbox
4)Reboot
5)Done!

In case you get into a boot loop:
You can flash the attached Xposed-Disabler-CWM.zip by Tungstwenty. It will be copied to your (external) SD card when you install Xposed as well. The only thing it does is copying /system/bin/app_process.orig back to /system/bin/app_process, which you can also do yourself (e.g. with adb shell in recovery mode).
You could also create a file /data/xposed/disabled, which causes Xposed to be bypassed as well.

Download:
1)Xposed Bridge
2) Xposed Disabler
3) Xposed Installer

I use following modules extensively:
1)Modaco: A set of all tweaks designed by Modaco together.
2) Icon Themer: Let’s you change the icons of apps through out your system.
3) Tweakbox: A collection of awesome tweaks.
4) Multiwindow Manager: Grants and manages Multiwindow on all Samsung Phones.
5) Theme Manager: Theme your phone the way you want!
6) Greenify

I have been using this for a while and my rooted phone just feels awesome. I have all the good parts of default ROM, eliminated the bad parts and added a few good ones on the same ROM.

Final Conclusion: Just go for it.

App Showdown: Greenify

Never should your phone or tablet become slower and battery hungrier after lots of apps installed. With Greenify, your device can run almost as smoothly and lastingly as it did the first day you had it!
Greenify help you identify and put the bad behaving apps into hibernation when you are not using them, to stop them from lagging your device and leeching the battery, in an unique way! They can do nothing without explicit launch by you or other apps, while still preserving full functionality when running in foreground, similar to iOS apps!

ROOT is required.

Greenifying an app implies that you are aware that all the background functionality of this app will become out of service during the hibernation except when you are using this app:
1) Persistent background services
2) Broadcast receivers, which respond to global device events, such as network state change, SMS reception.
3) Alarms, which activate background task at specific time or interval.
4) Widget update. Widget should display but may or may not update because periodic update sometimes involves background task.
5) Push message. Push is also disabled since it would activate background task on Android, unlike iOS which just shows up messages to user.

Compared to other popular tools aimed for the similar purpose, Greenify offers the following advantages:

Unlike the “Freeze” feature in “TitaniumBackup Pro” that totally disable the app, you can still use your app as usual, share content with it. No need to freeze & defrozen it.

Unlike “App Quarantine”, you can launch greenified apps in any way as usual. No more crafted app-launch widgets, no more manual disabling.

Unlike “Autostarts”, you can benefit from almost all of its advantages, without needing to deal with the complexity and risk of obscure app components, and never lose functionality when app is actively running.

Unlike any “XXX Task Killer”, your device will never fall into the cat-mouse-game of stealthy-running and aggressive killing, which unnecessarily consumes much battery juice.

Note: Greenify do need a background persistent “Cleaner” service to put the greenified apps back into hibernation when you are not actively using them. It is designed and implemented in extremely lightweight, with an average RAM footprint at 3M in total, and nearly zero CPU and battery consumption.

Download here