Here’s how to cast to Chromecast without being on the same network, and enable mirroring on devices that aren’t currently supported
Chromecast is a media streaming adapter from Google that lets you directly stream content to any HDMI-equipped TV, by pairing it with a tablet, smartphone or computer. The only sticking point here is that the controlling device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as Chromecast for it to work. This is fine when you’re using it on your own, but having to hand out your Wi-Fi password to visitors is an unncessary hassle.
Google has a guest mode planned that will make this easier, but they’ve yet to implement it. You can enable this guest mode feature early, thanks to the #Configurator for Root app. This app can enable hidden features or settings in certain Google apps, by modifying the overrides table in the gservices.db database. This method requires a rooted Android, but not a rooted Chromecast.
This tutorial will show you also how to enable a second hidden feature: mirroring. Mirroring lets you view the contents of your device onto a big screen by casting your Android screen to a connected TV.
The Nexus 9 gets warm during use – this optimised kernel can help reduce the temperature
The Nexus 9 has a very powerful processor – a 64-bit Nvidia K1 with 192 graphics cores. This power makes for great experiences, especially gaming, but the device does get warm in the top-left corner. The source code for the Nexus 6 kernel source is available from the AOSP repository, and a number of respected community developers have already released custom kernels which tweak settings to let the system run cooler without affecting performance. They also offer a number of other enhancements controlled by kernel companion apps. The kernel is flashed to a device as part of the boot image.
This tutorial is taken from Android Magazine issue 46’s ‘Hack Your Nexus’ guide, on sale 24 December 2014. To ensure you never miss a copy of Android Magazine, buy it here or subscribe now.
Build your own custom app icon pack, using Eclipse and the ADT plug-in
When it comes to customising your Android device’s look and feel, launchers like Apex and Nova are a quick and easy option. You can even replace the default app icons with new graphics, by using your launcher alongside additional app icon packs. When you select a new app icon, this graphic represents the app in both the app drawer, and on the homescreen.
While there’s no shortage of icon packs already available, if you want to truly customise your device, then why not create your own? You can create icon packs entirely from your own graphics, or you can modify the default icons. You could even find icon packs designed by other developers, and then use these graphics as the starting point for your own pack – however, if you’re planning on distributing your work, make sure you have the original developer’s permission to do so!
This tutorial shows you how to create your own app icon pack, which can be used with Nova Launcher. You’ll need Nova Launcher installed on your device, and on your computer you’ll need to have the Android SDK, plus the Eclipse IDE with the ADT plug-in, which you can download this trio of software in one handy bundle. Finally, you’ll need the set of graphics you want to use in your pack.
Access your SD Card from your desktop computer’s Wi-Fi with Samba Firesharing
Rather than messing around with wires or copying files across cloud servers, access your Android device over Wi-Fi as a Windows shared folder with Samba.
In nine simple steps, we’ll show how to make your Android phone or tablet appear as a Window shared folder, secure and customise it, and transfer files.
Please note, as with all tutorials in the Hacker Zone section of Little Green Robot, you’ll phone will need to be rooted to make this work.
Use the clever ChromePIE Xposed module to add quick swipe controls to Chrome
It’s always fun to have a play around with new things, and if you’re confident enough to root your Android device, you get an almost infinite number of new things to play around with. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how you can add some pretty cool extra controls to your Chrome browser using an Xposed Framework module called ChromePIE. It’s pretty easy to do, but you will need to make sure of a few things before we get started.
First and foremost you’ll need a rooted device. We performed the hack on a Nexus 7 rooted using WugFresh (wugfresh.com). You’ll also need to have the Xposed Framework installed on that device. You can grab that by heading to this link right here (tinyurl.com/nm4eups). You’ll want to download it on to your device, and make sure your settings enable you to install apps from unknown sources. When you’ve done all of that it’s just a case of downloading and installing the ChromePIE module and setting everything up just the way you’d like it. We’ve added a few hints and tricks into the tutorial as well to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ChromePIE experience.
You’ll need a few minutes set aside to do this one, as there’s at least one reboot necessary, but when you’re ready head on over to the first step and we’ll get started.
Learn how to compile any ROM from source on Mac, Windows or Linux
Although you can download most Android ROMs in ready-to-flash form, there are some benefits to learning how to build ROMs from their source code. The major benefit is that you’ll always be able to access the very latest version of the ROM before it’s packaged ready for ‘general release’ – although be warned that the most up-to-date version of a ROM’s code isn’t always going to be the most stable. You can also make significant changes to a ROM’s code before compiling it, and the experience of compiling a ROM will give you a deeper insight into how Android works ‘under the hood.’
This tutorial shows you how to build your chosen ROM from source, using the Architekt virtual machine (VM). Architekt is a handy, single download that includes many of the tools and packages you’ll need to start compiling ROMs. This tutorial is based on Mac, although Architekt works on Windows and Linux, too.
This tutorial concentrates on setting up the Architekt virtual machine and downloading the source for your chosen ROM, but it also provides a brief overview of how to prepare your ROM ready for flashing to a device. Because of the variety of Android ROMs and devices available, this is only a general outline – always check the instructions for your particular ROM and device, especially if you’re planning to flash the ROM after you’ve built it.