2 years ago

Android 101: Adding your own custom sounds to Android events


The first thing most people do when getting a new phone is change the ringtone. Depending on which Android device you own, your options for different alarms, notifications, and ringtones will vary. Perhaps you aren’t happy with the sounds that came preinstalled on your phone, or you’ve been using the stock sounds and are ready for a change. You’ve got some ringtones on your computer, and want to use them on your phone. How do you get the files from your computer, to your phone? Do you have to put them in any specific place for them to be selectable in the Android menu, and will they be listed in the same place as the sounds that came with your phone? Does it matter what kind of sound files you use? You can find the answers to these questions, and more, after the break.

Read more and comment

2 years ago

From the Android Forums: Importing contacts and Nexus updates


LolUmad asks in the Android Central Forums:


I just sold my Nokia 920 and got a Nexus 4. I have two questions for the aware:

  1. All of my contacts had to be imported in from my microsoft.live account. How do I add them all to my Google account (so that next time I get another android phone I can just have them imported in automatically)?
  2. How do software updates work? Automatically or do I have to do something.

Thanks in advance.

Welcome aboard, and we're glad you asked! Your first question is a pretty common one, and luckily it's also a really easy one thanks to the settings built into Gmail. Since you're coming from a Windows Live account, you can have Google import your contacts automatically via the web. Open your Gmail account in a web browser on a computer, and look for the settings icon in the upper right. Open the settings, choose the "Accounts and Import" tab, and in the list choose "Import mail and contacts". This will copy everything over to your Gmail account, which syncs with any Android device you're signed in to. 

For anyone not using a web-based service like Windows Live, importing contacts is still pretty easy. Just export them from your mail client into a .csv file and you can import that file in your Google Contacts page. Either way sure beats typing them all by hand.

For your second question. the answer is both! Updates will come automatically from Google to your Nexus 4, and you'll know you have one because of the notification icon. Google rolls the updates out pretty slowly at first, and many times we don't like to wait. You can sideload an update pretty easily if you're the type who doesn't like waiting in line. It involves a little work at your computer's command line, but it's not really hard. You can find all the information you would every want to know about sideloading updates in the Nexus 4 forums.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

Read more and comment

2 years ago

Changing Twitter apps? Remember to free the token


It's no secret that Twitter is holding a tight rein over third party developers with their limited number of tokens rule. We've seen clients go under because of it on both Android and Windows Phone, and it certainly was a factor in the development and release issues we've seen with Carbon that has everyone up in arms.

In case you haven't been keeping up with it all, Twitter has placed a limit on the number of users who can connect an application to their Twitter account. Folks writing new apps are allowed just 100,000 "tokens" by default, severely limiting how many users can actually use their application with Twitter. There's plenty more rules, and if you're in a position that needs to know them all be sure to visit the Twitter developers site

There is something we can do to help, though. When you connect an application to your Twitter account, it's listed in the account settings online. From there, you can revoke it if you're not going to use the application, thus freeing the token for someone else to use. It's pretty simple to do once you know it's there, just look in the settings > apps section of your Twitter page on the web. It's a small, but important thing we can do to help the developers who make Android great. Hit the break, and see exactly how it's done.

Read more and comment

2 years ago

Ten basic Android terminal commands you should know


For a lot of us, the fact that we can plug our Android phone or tablet into our computer and interact with it is a big plus. Besides the times when we've broken something and need to fix it, there are plenty of reasons why an advanced Android user would want to talk to his or her device. To do that, you need to have a few tools and know a few commands. That's what we're going to talk about today. Granted, this won't be the end-all be-all discussion of adb commands, but there are 10 basic commands everyone should know if they plan to get down and dirty with the command line. 

The tools are easy. If you're a Mac or Linux user, you'll want to install the SDK as explained at the Android developers site. It's not hard, and you don't have the whole driver mess that Windows users do. Follow the directions and get things set up while I talk to the Windows using folks for a minute. 

If you're using Windows, things are easier and harder at the same time. The tools themselves are the easy part. Download this file. Open the zip file and you'll see a folder named android-tools. Drag that folder somewhere easy to get to. Next, visit the manufacturers page for your device and install the adb and fastboot drivers for Windows. You'll need this so that your computer can talk to your Android device. If you hit a snag, visit the forums and somebody is bound to be able to help you through it. 

Now that we're all on the same page, enable USB debugging on your device (see your devices manual if you need help finding it, and remember it was hidden in Android 4.2), and plug it in to your computer. Now skip past the break and let's begin!

Read more and comment

2 years ago

How to tag Wifi access points as mobile hotspots on your Android device


There are many reasons why you might want to use a mobile hotspot with an Android device. Maybe you're using a tablet without a mobile data connection of its own. Perhaps you're traveling overseas and hoping to avoid data roaming charges. Either way, Android 4.1 comes with well-hidden option that lets you properly mark mobile access points -- we're talking something other than your home router or the AP in Starbucks -- as mobile hotspots, allowing you to better control your use of mobile data.

Take a look after the break.

Read more and comment

2 years ago

How to enable system sounds on your Android device


Part of having a modern smartphone is the media experience. Today's Android phones rival about any desktop system when it comes to audio and visual cues for the way you interact with them. Case in point -- audible alerts for system UI actions.

Making your Android phone or tablet give you an affirming "tick" when you press a button or unlock your screen is easy. Open your settings, and find the "Sound" entry in the menu list. You'll see something like the above, where you can set the standard ringtone and notification. If you scroll down a bit you'll see where you can enable or disable the audible prompt when doing things like dialing a number, or unlocking your phone. What's really cool is that you can set these sounds individually, so your phone only makes the noises you want it to make.

Once you have things set up the way you like, just press the back button and leave the settings menu. Now you're set!

Read more and comment

2 years ago

How to share Photo Sphere pics on Google Maps


Deep links and even embedding panoramas can be done, but it takes a few steps

I might have mentioned once or twice how Photo Sphere is one of my favorite features of Android 4.2 on the Nexus 4. And I might have slightly bemoaned how the only real ways to view someone's Photo Sphere pictures are on Google+, either in a desktop browser or Android's Google+ app. (And I might have mentioned all that in a single post, yesterday.)

Google Maps also got a nod, and I think it's going to be my go-to method for sharing Photo Sphere pics for a couple reasons.

Read more and comment

2 years ago

From the mail bag: Is Android affected by the recent Java security issues?


Russ8611 writes, 

Hello Androidcentral! I was just curious if any of you guys feel like reporting on the Java vulnerability and let us know how it affects Android as a platform. I know most people say they don't need Java on their computers, but isn't Java needed by Android, especially by developers? Thanks!!!

That's a nasty mess, isn't it?

Read more and comment

2 years ago

Weekend project: Customize your home screen with UCCW, the ultimate custom widget


Anytime you see folks discussing the virtues of Android, you hear the word custom being thrown around in one form or another. We're not talking about ROMs or kernels or anything like that, we mean the built in options to make your Android phone look like no other phone -- widgets. Specifically UCCW, the ultimate custom widget.

Ultimate is a pretty bold claim for any developer to make, especially when you're talking something as personal as the way our phones look. UCCW works it though, and is a way to change the look and feel of your home screen in a way only limited by your imagination. It's a "master" widget, which is simply a blank canvas that's painted the way you decide, either through your own talent or from themes (called uzips) that other talented folks have created.  Hit the jump, have a look, and get customized.

Read more and comment

2 years ago

Want to learn basic Android programming? The Linux Foundation wants to help


The fine people at the Linux Foundation have started a little project that deserves some attention -- some tutorials teaching beginning Android programming. So far things are pretty basic, but the beginning is always the best place to start. They have the basics of setting up a development environment covered, and will get you on your way to writing your first Android app.

Android is Linux after all, and it's great to see the traditional desktop users excited about Android and jumping in to make it better. While you won't learn how to build the next Angry Birds game, you will get some pointers and basic information that leads you on the road to building something of your very own. Remember, everyone started at the beginning. If you've got the inclination, hit the source link to get started.

Source: The Linux Foundation

Read more and comment

2 years ago

Ask AC: How to tell when HDR is enabled in Android 4.2


D3lit3 writes in our Nexus 4 forums,

I was taking pictures with my baby and I realized that the HDR mode does not show a tick when you enable it. Thus I am left in confusion because I never know if my pics have HDR. Am I missing something? Thanks.

Don't be left in confusion, D3lit3! While this only applies to the stock camera app in Android 4.2, it is a change, and a little easy to overlook. When you're in HDR mode -- or any other scene mode, you'll see it listed in the circle in the corner. That circle may move around a little bit, depending on which way you're holding the phone. (Also, tap that circle to pull up the settings buttons.) But that's where you'll see it.

Read more and comment

2 years ago

Take full advantage of your new 4.2 ROM [From the Forums]


Now that Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the new cool thing, lots of different developers (and weekend warriors) out there have started tinkering around with the code to make something great of it. One of our forum members, Waza_Be, has put up a couple small apps in the forums that he made to add things to the lockscreen and daydream functions of your new Android 4.2 ROMs. They're simple but useful, and should be a good jumping-off point for other developers that are excited to start creating apps with the new functionality.

When you go to the Play Store to check them out, you may recognize the developer's name. Christophe talked to us just a couple days ago as part of our feature on developing for multiple screen sizes. Head to the forums and check out his work at the source link below.

Source: Android Applications Forum

Read more and comment

3 years ago

How to set up the right APN on your Nexus 4


For many people, buying the Nexus 4 will be their first time stepping into several different arenas. First GSM device, first unlocked device, first time using a prepaid carrier. Once everything is setup there's not a whole lot of difference in using an unlocked GSM phone, but unfortunately it's not always 100 percent frictionless. One of the only things that the user is likely to have to change on their devices when putting a SIM in is the APN (Access Point Name) settings.

Each carrier has distinct APN settings that let the phone operate on the network. It works in conjunction with the SIM to get you setup and registered on the network for full-speed data as well as texts and MMS. We're going to give you a quick run-down of the most popular U.S. carrier's APN settings and just how to set them up on the Nexus 4. Join us after the break.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Ask AC: Is Android Linux?


While trawling through the Internet today I came across the Linux Foundation's page, and my eyes were pulled to their top story. Now this is nothing new, I often find plenty of great articles and news to read there, but this was different. This was a post that was about Android. 

It got me thinking (sometimes I do that) -- is Android Linux? The folks at the Linux Foundation seem to think so (and seem awfully happy about it), and I'm going to have to agree with them. Now before you purists come to West Virginia to beat some sense into me, I'm not saying that Android is unadulterated GNU Linux. Clearly it's not, there's far too many differences and psudeo-open source licensing at play to call it pure. But for all intents and purposes, it's close enough.

Android now runs on top of a standard Linux kernel, and uses many of the same kernelspace utilities and code that my desktop does. Essentially, that's what Linux is -- the heart of many different systems. Google, and the Android partners like Samsung, HTC, and CyanogenMod, then build things out to present the user with an interface to interact with the kernel. The kernel does stuff, all our taps and swipes and presses are telling it the stuff we want it to do. Just like any of the popular Linux distributions that you can install on your computer at home or work.

Android looks and acts a little different because it needs to look and act a little different to be useful on a small touch screen device. Of course, this is the simplified version of things, but if you're the type who understands how the kernelspace and userspace interact, you see where I'm coming from. Too much nerd is often too much.

So the next time you grab your Android-powered phone or tablet, just remember that you're part of the long standing tradition that is Linux. It's a good place to be.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Inside Android 4.2: Notifications and quick settings


Finally, Google has added quick settings to the notification pulldown in Android 4.2. That's a feature many have wanted in stock Android since, well, forever. Enthusiast ROMs have added them. The manufacturers have added them. You can download apps that add them. And now, Google's added them in the latest version of Jelly Bean.

Only, Google did it different. Whereas quick settings generally serve as toggles in the notification pulldown, Google's gone a different route. Crazy, or crazy like a fox? Let's take a look.

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines