Tagged: custom

CyanogenMod 9 Music App

From Seeingpixels.org, via Andrew Neal, and, Cyanogenmod:

CyanogenMod 9 Music

Last October I started playing around with the old, stock Music app. I was making small UI changes and, like anything, they were far from amazing at first. I’ve been teaching myself Java for a little over a year and starting to seeing the Music app progress has been a nice reward for time spent learning and using Java. The more I started playing around, the more exciting it became to experiment with what I could do. Eventually, I reached a point where the app could go places, and today I’m happy to announce where that is. 

Introducing the new CyanogenMod Music app.

      
Fling up to control your music. Long press for Party Shuffle. Long press for queue.


The app comes with a degree of customization that you won’t find in any other Music app, or possibly, in any app. You can shop the Android Market for the currently playing song at the push of a button, share what track you’re listening to with all your social outlets, set your favorite song as ring tones, delete unwanted tracks, and search your music from anywhere in the app. 
Rich and custom notifications. Drag & Drop queue and playlist. Custom lockscreen.

The Music app is all about customization. Recently, I’ve been in the process of integrating a theme engine into the app. The theme engine is thoroughly customizable, allowing designers to touch every UI element in the app. Every drawable (images, backgrounds, etc), all text views, and each seek bars can be themed using the theme engine. I’ve had a lot fun using it and I’m excited to see what everyone will bring to the table. That being said, I’m also releasing the Music Theme Template for everyone to download today. You can use this to create the themes, and below is an example of what you can do with the theme engine.This is a “Google Music” theme, based on the latest version of the Google Music app. It also doubles as the theme template for the app.

The Music app also comes with native Shake and Flip actions. Quickly play and pause your music by flipping your phone face down, then back up again. You can customize the Shake Action to control you music in more detail. Both of these actions run in the background and can be used no matter where you are in your phone. There are also several other customizations and features that I’m sure you’ll find fun and useful. Here are a couple screen shots of the Music app on the new Galaxy Nexus and one of all the new widgets. 









Keep an eye out in the Music app in the Market over the next couple of weeks (I’m still looking for a name, suggestions are welcome), and watch for it in CyanogenMod 9. 

Music app – http://goo.gl/CckWp
Google Music Theme – http://goo.gl/DQC5u
Music Theme Template – http://goo.gl/eYx7F

(From OldAndroid – Looks very cool. giving it a whirl right now.  Click the links at the top and follow them on Google+!)
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Cyanogenmod Hits 1 Million Unique Active Users

It looks like our friends that make the customer ROM Cyanogenmod have hit a major milestone overnight. They have had 1,000,000 UNIQUE active users. This meaning that they aren’t counting redownloads, or reinstalls. Congrats!

Source Twitter:
CyanogenMod just passed 1 million active users. http://t.co/24UpkKx1 – koush (@koush)

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Make Your Phone Look Like an iPhone or Windows Phone 7

Love the ability to change up the look of your phone?  Have a friend with an Apple iPhone or Microsoft Windows Phone 7 device that likes to brag about how incredible the interface is?  Well that’s one of the great things about Android.  You have the ability to change up your home menu to make it look like another type of phones.

Today I am going to show you a couple of great home replacement apps that will make your phone look like an iPhone or a Windows Phone 7 phone.  


Starting off with the iPhone we have an app called EspierLauncher.  It provides a nearly identical home screen to the iPhone. If you are familiar with the MUIU custom rom, it gives you the same sort of interface without having to reflash your whole phone. It gives you a bunch of iPhone features:

1. The ability to have the universal search as a screen to the left of the home screen.
2. Pressing and holding an app allows you to either put it into a folder, move them around, or uninstall them.
3. No app tray.
4. It auto loads all of your icons into the home screen pages.
5. Plus a bunch more iPhone looking coolness.

Next up is the Windows Phone 7 interface, which I will affectionately refer to as WP7. For that we will turn our attention over to an app appropriately called Launcher7.  Launcher7 gives you the start screen look of WP7 along with the ability to customize your tiles, and pin an app to the start screen.  it also allows you to swipe to the right screen and get a full list of all your apps. The colors are customizable and you can even create custom tiles using your own images.
So that is a couple of examples of ways you can change up your Android phone to make it look more like and iPhone or a Windows Phone 7 phone.  
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WidgetLocker Lockscreen – Paid app of the week

(As a new feature of the site we will be discussing the paid app of the week.  Here you will find a hand-tested personally recommended paid app every app.)

This weeks paid app is WidgetLocker. WidgetLocker is a cool app that allows you to change up your lock screen and add a ton of functionality to your phone.  The main feature is that it gives you the ability to add home screen widgets and shortcuts to your lock screen, therefore you aren’t wasting all that phone screen.

WidgetLocker (on left), Waaaaay cooler.

It also gives you the option to change the look of the lockscreen so that it can look like stock, HTC Sense, Samsung Touchwiz, or even the iPhone…

From the Developer:

Customize your lock screen!
WidgetLocker is a lock screen replacement that puts you in control of the look, feel and layout of your lock screen.
– Drag and Drop placement of Sliders, Android Widgets and App Shortcuts
– Sliders look selectable from built-in styles (Android, Sense, Motorola 2.2, iPhone, and Android 2.0 Rotary) or from user-themes.
– Slider Actions can be customized, for example Slide-to-launch-Camera or Slide-to-call-your-Girlfriend.
– Resizable widgets and custom grid size
– Notification badges on apps/sliders via ADWNotifier ( http://t.co/LDKMQii )
– Customize which widgets/buttons are allowed or blocked at the lock screen
– Optional Easy Wake Mode, allows all hardware buttons to wake, rather than just the power button (Does not work on all phones)
Portions of WidgetLocker are based on the excellent ADW.Launcher ( http://t.co/YvVMkGc ) by Ander Webb and friends.
Official Gingerbread 2.3.3+ breaks trackball wake: http://goo.gl/NaSwN
CM7 widget disappearing fix has been accepted by the CM team, expect it in a nightly soon: http://goo.gl/9xkex

It is available from multiple app stores:
Android Market: $1.99
App Brain: $1.99
Amazon: $1.99

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Wallpapers – Live and Not Live.

So you may be wondering about all this talk about live wallpapers – what they are and how to install them. Well the install part is a piece of cake, but what do you do with them once they are installed. How do you open them? So you see a cool live wallpaper (like this cool Thunderstorm Live Wallpaper one), but once you install it the “Open” button is greyed out (disabled) and you are not sure where to go from here.

Let me start out by explaining what a live wallpaper is for all of you out there that are unsure. A live wallpaper is a wallpaper that contains an animation, which may or may not use the sensors and buttons on the device to interact with it. Check out the below youtube video for an example:

To set a live wallpaper as the wallpaper on your phone, you can’t just run it, although some newer live wallpapers are coming out that have an icon and take you to a direction page, telling you how to install them. What you have to do is go into the wallpaper setting on the phone. On most phones you just have to press the menu button, then choose wallpaper. If you have an HTC phone there is a paintbrush (or plus symbol) to the right side of the main menu, and you can press that too, It will give you a list of places to get an image file from:
-Gallery – Allows you to pick a picture taken from your camera and set it as a wallpaper (cropped or not).
-Wallpaper Gallery – Takes you to the list of preloaded (non-live/static) wallpapers.
-Live Wallpapers – Shows you a list of all the installed Live Wallpapers.

Once you select the Live Wallpapers menu you can change settings, and customize the wallpaper based on the predefined settings that the particular wallpaper offers. this just means that if the developer didn’t add a setting to change a certian color then the option is not going to be available. you can also preview the wallpaper, and if satisfied save it as your default.

A couple of things to remember with live wallpapers: They are always running, so they can negatively effect the performance of your phone and the battery life. Also depending on how advanced the live wallpaper is it can take up application storage memory, especially because live wallpapers have to be saved to the phone, and can’t run off the memory card.

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Custom Rom – “Why Root?” Part 4

For this part of the conversation about Root we will talk about Custom Roms.

All of the internets are a buzz talking about Custom Roms. You may be asking yourself, “What is a Custom Rom?”  Well (put simply) it is an alternate build of the operating system for your android device.  So let’s describe it this way. Android is an Open Source operating system.  This means that the source code is all accessible to the common man.  So someone (or a group.corporation) can take the source code and make various changes/improvements.  So once installed it could have a different look, removed bloatware, added apps and features.

A couple of great examples of high quality custom roms are Cyanogenmod and MIUI. Both of these are available for a long list of devices and give you some very cool (and very different from each other) features. Cyanogenmod gives you a more Android stock look, preloaded with ADW Launcher and a bunch of preloaded features like tethering and different settings. On the other hand, with MIUI you get a totally redesigned launcher and menu system.  The software doesn’t have a menu tray, it preloads all of your apps into the expandable number of screens. You can sort them however you want, and add widgets too.
Check out these youtube videos.The MIUI videos are all in Japanese, but the software is available in English.

There are a couple ways to install either of these 2 custom roms to your phone, but today I will be covering the easy way, because if there is an easy way to do something why would you do it the hard way? So what is this easy way, you might be asking?  Well it is through an app called Rom Manager.

Rom Manager is a pretty simple looking app that gives you a few cool options. First off, to make it work you have to choose the first option at the top of the app, “Flash ClockworkMod  Recovery”.  What this does is overwrites the phones boot menu.  The manufacturer puts together a bootloader menu to give a few simple options if the phone’s software gets corrupt.  This overwrites it with a different menu that just adds a few options there.  This allows the phone to be easily flashed with non manufacturer software.

Once this is complete you can install a file downloaded from the developer’s website, or browse compatible roms right through the “Download ROM” menu.  Depending on what model phone you have it will give you a list of compatible roms, complete with screenshots, ratings and comments.

Once you choose the ROM it will download it and alert you when finished. Then it will give you the option to backup your current setup, and wipe your data (which I usually do).  Once you hitok it will reboot itself into the bootloader screen and do the options you have specified.  Then it will reboot into your new setup.  Try it out, see what you think, and if you don’t like what you see (provided you chose the Backup option) all you have to do is choose the “Manage and Restore Backups” option (Not shown in screenshots, scroll down on main menu to see it) and it will let you restore to your previous state.

So go out and try it!  Just make sure you are completely backup up before starting.  The cool thing about the recovery is that once flashed onto your phone (through the app) you have an extra step of protection on your phone for backups.  Also remember that we are not responsible for any damage or data loss.

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Keyboard Options

Typing on an all touch keyboard can be a chore to learn, especially if you have a phone that is all touch. Every manufacturer has their own keyboard they use so it can even be confusing if you upgrade phones.  Most phones also have the stock android keyboard installed, so if you decide to try that you can easily switch to it and try it out. But how?
To switch keyboards all you have to do is go into an app that has a spot to type, for example I will use the “Messaging” app. Simply press and hold on the area where you would be typing and look for a popup that says “input method”. When you choose that it will give you a list of installed keyboards.

So what if it doesn’t show any keyboard installed? First double check in your settings menu under “language and keyboard” and see what is listed there. If there isn’t a check mark next to an option, it won’t show up in the “input method” list.

So now you are probably asking yourself, “Where can I try out more keyboards?”. And the answer to that lies in the rest of this post.  Here are a few keyboard apps to try out and see what you think.  (Plus a bonus Amazon Appstore free keyboard of the day for 7/21/11.)

Name: SwiftKey X
Description:
SwiftKey X is a next-generation AI keyboard, now with unrivaled prediction and personalization.

SwiftKey X for smartphones builds on TouchType’s SwiftKey keyboard to offer cloud personalization, a new prediction engine, and a host of new UI improvements.

Using artificial intelligence breakthroughs, the SwiftKey X keyboard accurately predicts your most likely next word based on what you’ve already written. It can also scan your sent messages, and learn as you use it to make predictions even more accurately over time. The more you get to know your SwiftKey keyboard, the more it will get to know you.

Download Link: http://goo.gl/VwvNj (Amazon)

Name: Keyboard from Android 2.3
Description:
If your phone isn’t updated to gingerbread yet you can get the keyboard from 2.3 and load it right on your phone.
Features:
1. Multitouch keyboard
2. User dictionary, built-in dictionary
3. Auto correction
4. Redesigned and optimized keyboard layout and style
5. Speech to text
6. Split main keyboard app and dictionaries.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/ms99g

Name: Better keyboard 8
Description:
Better keyboard is the best and the most popular keyboard on the android market
Supports many languages:
Arabic, Czech, Danish, Deutsch, English, Espanol, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Hebrew, Italiano, Korean, Netherlands, Norwegian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Swedish
Download Link: http://goo.gl/gbEBT

Name: Perfect keyboard
Description:
Take command of your Android device’s touchpad keypad with a Perfect and smart Keyboard for android. You can customize the look of the keyboard with eight different themes and add additional functionality to your device. Perfect Keyboard lets you use custom dictionaries, control background and text colors, and adjust the keyboard’s vibration density. In short, Perfect Keyboard allows you to setup your Android phone or tablet’s touchpad keyboard so that it works best for you.
Note: Perfect Keyboard works only on Android 2.2 and up
Download Link: http://goo.gl/W9BSX

Name: Swype Beta
Description:
-Swype v3 introduces two major new features: Tap Correction and Horizontal Word Choice List
-Our Tap Correction engine utilizes many of the concepts that make swyping so accurate. Seamlessly go from typing to swyping and back without missing a beat!
-The Horizontal Word Choice List replaces our popup word choice window, giving users an experience more in-line with evolving Android standards. It also makes dictionary control and word selection faster and easier.
-Swype v3 is available for devices with HVGA, WVGA, FWVGA, QVGA, WQVGA, WSVGA, qHD screen sizes
-Introducing a special Honeycomb-only WXGA version for Android tablets, with features like “moveable keyboard” that you won’t find anywhere else!
-To see which languages are supported on your device, check the language and resolution table
-Improved licensing: Swype will no longer be disabled after a reboot on some devices; added support for devices that don’t have a cellular radio (wifi-only tablets); no more license failures for CDMA devices in airplane mode.
-Simplified registration by allowing users to authenticate their email address directly through the installer
-Too many other improvements to list! Download Swype v3 NOW to explore everything the next generation of Swype has to offer!
-Limited End User Support – mostly via our forum
-If your phone came pre-installed with Swype
-DO NOT download this beta (it won’t work)
Download Link: http://goo.gl/1yfdg

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Top 10 Home Replacements (Bottom 5) – Easy Android Facelift

So you are sick of the main menu of your phone, you want to change it up a little but fear the idea of rooting your phone.  There is a great option for Android phones that will allow you to change the menu system that loads when you press your home screen.  There are a countless Home Replacement options, so I will just give you a Top 10 list here – in the form of a countdown to make it dramatic.

Name: 10. Claystone Launcher
Description: What sets Claystone apart from the others is that it has a really cool icon stacking capability that has a neat 3D look. Aside from this the features look pretty standard, but I recomend it if you are looking for something a little different. Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/fNMW18_aPmE
Download Link: http://goo.gl/OsIeU
Name: 9. Slidescreen
Description: Slidescreen is a completely different home screen. It presents you with your information first. You will see your Facebook information, RSS feeds, Twitter, Etc on the home page. You have the ability to slide the center clock bar up and down to see more of one or the other. To access your apps you simply have to press the menu button. It also has a cool option for your top 8 apps at the top of the app list.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/IdF0q
Name: 8. Launcher 7
Description: Launcher 7 is an Android launcher that gives your Google powered phone the look and feel of a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 phone. It has the ability to scroll up and down through the main menu, and access your app list by swiping to the right. It’s very true to the original and even comparing the 2 side by side shows very few differences. The developer is really good about keeping it updated too.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/D7LHE

Name: 7. Regina 3D Launcher
Description: Regina 3D is a launcher that at a glance looks a lot like all the other launchers, until you go to switch between the different screens and you will find that it has a 3D cube effect, much like a desktop computer can have. Looks really cool to show off to your friends, but it does get a little old after a while.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/egA0Y
Name: 6. vLauncher
Description: vLauncher has a clean look to it that reminds a lot of people of the iPhone interface. One of the main pros to this launcher is that all of your icons are on your home screen, you don’t have to open a tray to see them, plus without all the widgets and extras it runs very fast, even on an older device, like me…
Download Link: http://goo.gl/yqMKO

So if you like these and want to try them, follow the links and download them to you phone.  After they are installed the next time you press the home key it will ask you if you want to load the current launcher or the new one.   You can also set one as a default by checking the check box.  So check them out and stay tuned for the top 5…

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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