Transform your Android smartphone to look like a Xperia Z

Transform your Android smartphone to look like a Xperia Z

Today, I’ll talk about a very nice mod available on XDA to transform your Android smartphone to look like a Xperia Z.

The project give you the possibility, installing some packages, to have an user interface closely resembling the one available on the Xperia Z.

You can find the mod at the following link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2103403

1) Prepare your phone

The first thing we need to do is to enable the installation of applications from Unknown source.

To do that we need to enable Unknown source from the Security sub-menu in the Settings page.

Now we are ready to go.

2) Install the launcher

The launcher is the default application available on our Android smartphone.
It’s the interface that give you the possibility to browse and execute other apps.
The Android operating system give you the possibility to install and use a third part launcher.
In our case we will install a launcher closely resembling the one on the Xperia Z.

Download the following package: Advanced Xperia Z Launcher

After the download you’ll see the apk file in the notifications bar and tapping on it will allow you to install the launcher.
After installed you need to press the home button that will give you a prompt asking you to choose the default launcher.
You need to select Xperia Launcher and tap on Always.


That’s it! Now your launcher is the new Xperia Launcher with an experience very similar to the original Xperia Z.

Here a video review of the launcher in action:

Now you can install some widgets to improve even more the resemblance to the Xperia Z.
I just choose four of them, but you can install all the ones provided by the author if you want.

3) Install widgets

Clock Widget
Weather Widget
Recent Calls

See you soon!

Bye.

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Linear Clock : A different way to display the time on your Android device

Linear Clock : A different way to display the time on your Android device

Are you bored by the standard clock widget? Do you want to see something different on your home screen? Here the right widget for you : Linear Clock

Linear Clock will let you get a very different clock on your home screen.

It’s a widget and you can setup it by a long tap on an empty space of your Home Screen (for Android version before 4.0) or from the list of apps under the tab Widgets (Android 4.0 or above):

After you drag the widget to your home screen (you can choose between Small and Large one), it will show a screen to configure it.

You need to decide if you want 1, 2 or 3 bands (3 bands is available in the pro version) and choose if you want to display hourday of the weekday (pro only)month (pro only).

You can then choose if you want a metal border and the color of the clock (transparent is only in pro version).

Here some nice screenshots:

It’s a really nice widget and if you like it you should really upgrade to the pro version that holds far more features.

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Cool Tool : The best way to monitor system info

Cool Tool : The best way to monitor system info

Do you want to monitor resources usage on your Android device? Here’s a very advanced app to monitor them with a floating window : Cool Tool

Sometime our devices are slow, but we can’t easily figure out why. Is it my CPU, storage I/O, Network? Now you can quickly monitor that.

The app is very advanced and it includes several options. As you can see when you first start the app you have to configure it.

The first step is to tap on Show Panel to make it visible.

Now that it’s visible you can move it where you want by using the pad control at the bottom.

You can choose to include the Labels you like and even change color for each one.

You can do the same for Gauges to customize it the way you want:

If you don’t like to spend too much time to setup your custom style you can choose from one of the existing Themes. You can also save your custom one.

In Sliders tab you can choose the size of the floating window, size of the font and transparencies.

The Advanced tab includes some nice settings you can play with.

The Exclusions tab will let you hide the floating window when you open some specific app like Google Maps. You can use Black List or White List.

Loggings tab is a feature available only on Pro and let you save in a log file of some specific system informations.

It’s a nice floating monitor that will let you customize your home screen and make it special. Checkout how to run Android 4.3 on your PC using VirtualBox by visiting http://techcookies.net/how-to-run-android-4-3-on-your-pc-using-virtualbox/

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Arrow Path : Complete the path in this challenging game

Arrow Path : Complete the path in this challenging game

Do you want to train your mind? Here’s a nice puzzle game where you need to complete a path : Arrow Path

The main screen let you choose to play the game, to enable audio and music (very nice background music) and to access to Google Play Services to check the leaderboards.

If you choose Play you can play several levels, but you need to choose difficulty first.

I suggest to try very easy to learn how to play it. There are over 800 levels available.

The target of the game is to complete the path by dragging the arrows at the bottom over the empty spaces on the board.

If you make a mistake you can move an arrow over another one to switch position.

I think this game is well done and challenging after you complete the first few levels.

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App Dialer : Search apps using T9 dialer

App Dialer : Search apps using T9 dialer

Do you want a super fast way to search an app/game on your Android device? Check out this nice app : App Dialer

The app is very simple. The main screen is the dialer in the screenshot below where you can type the name of the app you want to search.

For instance if you want to search Google+ you can just type 4-6-6. The idea is exactly the same as the T9 prediction when we write a short text.

The app show the first 6 apps distributed into 2 pages. You can change page by swiping from the right to the left in the apps area.

You can also clear everything and start from scratch by using Clear button.

This app is really smart and reuse an old idea into a new context like app search on smartphones.

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Ailer : Find the hidden figure in this nice logic game

Ailer : Find the hidden figure in this nice logic game

Today we’ll talk about a very simple game where you have to find a figure composed by squares : Ailer

The main screen give you the possibility to continue an existing game, start a new one, get help to understand how to play or show the leaderboards.

The target of the game is to find a figure visible on the right side of the screen in the board. To do it you have to tap on each square that compose the figure. Learn more a rapid antigen tests patients for specific antigens that indicate they can transmit COVID-19.

There are some numbers on the rows and columns that show how many cells are available for that column or row. That will help you to understand where the figure is.

If you tap on the wrong square you’ll lose a life. You have a limited number of lives.

The figure can be rotated as well and that will make everything a bit more complicated.

Here’s the how it looks when we complete the first level.

I think this game is simple and challenging at the same time and can be played by both adults and children.

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3D Zombie Ant Smasher Ball Run : Smash the zombie ants

3D Zombie Ant Smasher Ball Run : Smash the zombie ants

Today I’ll talk about a strange, but nice 3D game where you are a sphere and you need to smash zombie ants : 3D Zombie Ant Smasher Ball Run

This game is a nice exception because with the accelerometer and a simple game play let you enjoy a 3d game on a phone.

The main screen start immediately with a 3D scene.

You can choose to change volume for sound and music effect (bottom right button), buy upgrades (bottom left button) or to tap to start to play.

Here’s how the sliders to change volume for sound and music looks.

If you tap to start to play you’ll see some zombie ants running and you’ll be a sphere to smash them.

To control the sphere you’ll use the accelerometer and to jump you just swipe upward.

You need to take most of the green gems to be able to buy upgrade your sphere. You have limited time and you get bonus time every time you kill a zombie ant.

You need to avoid obstacles like cars or you’ll lose the game.

This game have some nice and funny effect when you smash a zombie ant.

I think you can enjoy this game because it’s simple and easy to play.

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Shake : Run any action with a shake

Shake : Run any action with a shake

Have you ever thought executing an action with just a shake? Would you just like to turn on your screen and your wifi network with a simple shake. Here’s a nice app to do that : Shake

Shake is a nice utility app that allows you to use a shake of your Android device as a mean to execute an action.

The main screen allows you to configure a couple of settings.

  • Action when shaken to configure which actions to run for each shake
  • Sensor sensitivity to adjust the sensitivity of the shake
  • Service state to keep the service running.
  • Start at the phone startup to run the service when you boot the device
  • Active when screen is off to keep the service running even where screen is off. It could consume more battery. Use it carefully.
  • Vibrate when shaken to have a vibration feedback when a shake has been detected
  • Notify when shaken to show you a message when a shake has been detected

If you choose Action when shaken you’ll see 3 different tab :

  • Simple if you just to want to run one action for any shake
  • Advance if you want 2 different action for horizontal and vertical shake
  • Pro if you want 3 different actions for horizontal, vertical and forward shake

This app is really neat and you can speed up some very frequent actions with just a shake.

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Notify Me : Notifications on lockscreen

Notify Me : Notifications on lockscreen

Do you want to receive notifications directly on your lockscreen? Here’s a nice Open Source app to do that : Notify Me

The first time you open the app you have to enable it through Accessibility Service. Once enabled you can configure which app notifications you’d like to see on the lockscreen.

You just tap on Add an app.

You can now choose the app and setup few settings. You can explore the several options available. Now tap on Save and you have done!

There are few additional preferences available from the main menu (icon with 3 dots at top right side of the screen). You can configure screen timeout, lock orientation, if you want to use sliders instead of buttons and the background color.

You’ll now see all notifications for the apps you configured on your lockscreen.

It’s a nice new way to receive notifications without have to unlock your device! 

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Minesweeper : Old style logic game

Minesweeper : Old style logic game

Do you remember the old Windows game called Minesweeper? Here’s a nice reproduction for Android : Minesweeper

The main screen bring you immediately into the game. You can choose the level by selecting it on the menu.

There are 4 levels (Noob, Beginner, Intermediate and Expert) and the possibility to create a custom one.

Depending on the level you’ll see more or less squares and mines. In the custom one you’ll choose the exact numbers.

The target of the game is to identify the mines without letting them explode. If you tap on a square you’ll see an empty space and some numbers.

The meaning of the number is how many mines are around that position. For instance when you see 2 it means there are two mines around that position.

You should try to guess where are the mines based on that.

When you identify a mine you can sign it by long press on it. You’ll see a red flag over it. You need to identify all the mines before the time is over.

If you tap on a square where is hidden a mine you’ll lose the game. 

This game remind me the first time I used Windows and the only game available on my computer was this one.

At the beginning it is not easy, but after a bit you can become a master on this game!

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