Decide what areas of your phone apps can access even without Android M
One of the most exciting upcoming features of Android M is the ability to pick and choose what permissions you allow apps. However, Android users with a rooted device can already do this with the XPrivacy module.
This module allows you to select individual apps and deny them access to various information on your phone, such as your contacts or location. As well as this it will also let you fool your phone. You can manually input a location, new number and a host of other things so an app believes you’re elsewhere or sends the wrong phone number to apps to keep your real details safe from prying eyes.
This tutorial will show you how to install XPrivacy, block apps form mining your data and change your settings to keep your real details a secret.
Struggling to choose between ROMs? You can learn how to dual boot your device
The great thing about Android is that there are so many possibilities for customising your device, but sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing! Maybe you’re struggling to choose between a handful of custom ROMs, and wish there was a way to quickly test them all out without having to go through the laborious process of wiping your device and flashing each ROM in turn. Or maybe you like certain aspects of one ROM and certain aspects of another, and wish there was a way to easily switch between them. If either of these sound like you, then it may be useful for you to give MultiROM a try.
This multi-boot mod enables you to install multiple ROMs on a single Android device, and then switch between them whenever your app boots. We will show you how to install MultiROM and then how to use this app to install multiple ROMs. Finally, you will see how to switch between these ROMs and then how to use MultiROM to test out Ubuntu Touch.
MultiROM works with all the Nexus devices (4, 5, 6 and 7) plus a handful of other devices. You’ll fi nd a complete list of compatible devices over at MultiROM Manager’s Google Play page. This customisation also requires root access before you continue.
The steps to sending the YouTube app to the back but keeping it playing.
One of the most frustrating things about using YouTube on your mobile is the fact that it always has to be the app in the forefront. If you want to do anything else your music grinds to a halt. This had to be rectified and now it has with this Xposed module: YouTube Background Playback. Follow the steps in this tutorial to learn how to push YouTube to the back and use other apps without disturbing your favourite tunes.Get the module
The YouTube app doesn’t let you play in the background. To fix this, go to: tinyurl.com/lh6xxnj
and download the module.
Styluses at the ready, Google Handwriting Input offers an alternative to the default keyboard
Despite the wide range of customisable keyboards available to Android users, typing into your touchscreen using your thumbs is still an imperfect way to send a message. There is help at hand though, as Google has released an app that converts your handwriting into text and can be used for everything from texting to inputting web addresses.
It works with a stylus or your fi nger and can be handy for people who find typing out messages a little bit too fiddly. There have been a fair few apps that have tried this, but Google Handwriting Input stands apart from them due to its recognition of even the worst handwriting. Using the same technology as the recent Android Wear update, this app can also recognise hand-drawn emoji.
Read onto find out how to activate Google Handwriting Input, use it in your everyday life, and deactivate it if you want to switch back to traditional typing for a period of time.
Use Graphic Equalizer to enhance your Android’s lockscreen and notification panel
Graphic Equalizer is a mod that adds a music visualiser to your notification panel and lockscreen. It’s reported to work across CyanogenMod and Android Open Source Project ROMs, running either Android 4.4 KitKat or Android 5.0 Lollipop.
We have carried out this tutorial on a Mac, but the steps are the same for Linux and Windows users – just watch out for the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) commands which may vary.
Before attempting this hack, install ES File Explorer and Xposed Installer on your device, plus Android Studio and Apktool on your computer – place Apktool in a new folder, called ‘Apktools’.
Build your own detailed custom themes for your device using Theme DIY
While there are lots of themes on the Google Play store and the internet in general, at some point you may want to create your own themes so that your Android device looks exactly how you want. With the help of theme-editing apps, it is possible to create themes in just a matter of minutes.
Theme DIY is an app that you can use to create themes – as long as your device is running Android .50 Lollipop and the CyanogenMod 12 theme engine. Using Theme DIY, you can customise your device in impressive detail, right down to the colour of the text that appears on your device’s different notifications and buttons. You can also add custom fonts, wallpapers, backgrounds and boot animations.
Before you start creating a theme, you should gather any additional resources that you want to incorporate into your theme. This includes any images you plan to use as wallpapers or backgrounds for your lock screen or notification header. You should also download any boot animations that you want to use, as well as any TTF fonts. The XDA Developers forum is a good source of boot animations, and you will find lots of free TTF fonts on websites such as Font Squirrel, for example.