With Android L rolling out in the autumn, here are top tips for preparing your hacked phone for the OTA upgrade
With Android L rolling out in the autumn, here are top tips for preparing your hacked phone for the OTA upgrade.
When you root and hack your phone, you deviate from the device manufacturer’s intended software setup, and in doing so, you invariably compromise your ability to install the OTA (over the air) updates that manufacturers push to keep devices bang up to date. Whether you physically break installation of the updates (perhaps with a custom recovery) or not, installing OTAs on a modified device is fraught with danger and generally not recommended.
As your device is not in the state that the manufacturer intended, trying to install could leave you with a non-booting system. For this reason, some manufacturers will even prevent updates being downloaded if they detect that your system has been modified for your own protection.
With the help of a few apps, Linux’s tiny Raspberry Pi computer is more Android friendly than you might think
With the help of a few apps, Linux’s tiny Raspberry Pi computer is more Android friendly than you might think.
For those not familiar with it, the Raspberry Pi is a small computer that can be plugged in to your TV or a variety of other objects. Despite its small size, it can be used for most projects you would perform on a desktop computer, including word-processing, gaming and playing HD videos.
But what makes it truly appetising for Android users is just how hackable the Pi is. With just a few tweaks it can be linked to your device in a variety of ways and used to perform plenty of functions that can help not only expand the usability of your device, but also distribute the Android operating system onto different platforms. Best of all, these functions can be performed with some help from a handful of apps from the Google Play store.
Delete data and unwanted apps to keep your Android device from slowing to a crawl
Android devices are a lot like cars (bear with us on this one). Although they require effectively zero user maintenance aside from putting fuel (power) in them, using a little bit of technical knowledge can help keep them in tip-top condition and running smoothly. You look after your car, er, phone, and your phone will look after you, as the saying goes.
After months of use, there are a number of things that can impact the performance of your device. Whether it’s apps that sit in memory or take up space on the device, data from long uninstalled apps or just an outdated ROM, there are a number of things you can do to give your device that brand new feeling again. Not only that, there are almost certainly some new tips and tricks you can use to help eke the most out of your smartphone or tablet.
Follow our spring-cleaning steps to make your device feel as fresh as – nay fresher – than the day you walked out of the store! Most of our tips are pretty self explanatory, but some are more in-depth so it’s a good idea to take a full backup (and store it off your device) before you break out that virtual feather duster.
Hbernate background apps so they don’t waste your battery
One of the realities for Android ownership is that when you have a lot of applications installed on your device, it can adversely affect both battery life and overall device performance. The simple reason for this is that even when you are not using an app in the foreground, there may be background services running or the app and itssoftware may be active in the background.
If you have a rooted phone, Greenify can be used to cleverly resolves this issue by completely hibernating background apps so that they no longer consume any resources. Here’s how to use it:
App Override for Android allows you to configure a number of system settings on a per-app basis
App Override by Runaway Fridge (currently in Beta testing and free to download from the Play Store) is an application that allows you to configure a growing number of system settings including Screen Orientation, Font Size, Input Method, Screen Timeout, Minimum CPU Speed, Maximum CPU Speed, Sound Mode, WiFi settings for individual applications.
Rather than configuring these settings system wide, App Override will automatically set them as the chosen application is launched and restore them back to the system default when you leave the app. There are often times when you might want to have, for example, a larger font size, but not want it to take effect right across your device – and App Override makes that possible.
Root access is required for some of the options (currently only Input method, Minimum CPU speed and Maximum CPU speed), but if you don’t have root access you can still use the application – however your choice of controls will be more limited. App Override is compatible with all versions of Android from 2.3 Gingerbread onwards and can be switched on / off with a main ‘toggle button’.
App Settings is a powerful Xposed module that enables you to override the settings on any of the apps on your Android phone. Here’s how it works.
App Settings will unlock the power of your apps. It might appear a little primitive but that’s it’s charm, because it takes you right to the core of all your apps’ settings and lets you override any of them, on a per app basis.
You can customise the display to hide or reveal more of what you want to see, so if you want to have more map on-screen when you’re using the turn-by-turn then you can hide your status bar and the app’s title bar.
You can disable large, distracting notifications from apps (such as Any.do, which slides an alarm panel up over a third of your screen), and if you want to give certain apps a priority status then you can give them insistent notifications with endlessly looping sounds.