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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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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Greenify : Improve speed and battery life of your Android device

Greenify : Improve speed and battery life of your Android device

Today I’ll talk about an app that will help you to improve the speed and battery life of your Android device when you have a lot of concurrently running apps : Greenify.

One of the most common problem experienced by Android‘s users is probably related to lag when the number of installed apps increase.
This issue is not very common when you start to use your smartphone for the first time, but grows over time.
The source of the problem is seldom caused by lack of optimization in the Android OS. In fact, in most cases, it’s just because some of the apps installed are abusing your smartphone resources while running in background.

How often do you see apps running in background even if you are not using it? How often are they not doing anything important for us?

Task killers are one solution, but that is just a stop-gap measure that won’t fix the real problem in the long run.

Android generally keeps apps in memory to make it faster to reopen them at a later date and it clears the memory only when absolutely required.

A task killer would merely temporarily free a bit of memory, but in many situations Android will reopen the apps again after a while.

The process of opening and closing apps is a terrible waste of battery.

The best way to solve the problem is to tell the Android OS not to open that app in the first place by using the “hybernate” flag. That will keep that app completely closed without wasting precious battery life.

That’s where this great application called Greenify comes in, but unfortunately it requires root permissions on your smartphone in order to run.

There are plenty of guides available on the internet about how to gain root permissions for your smartphone, just give a search by specifying your particular smartphone model.

After you install and run the app you’ll see a very simple UI :

Now you can force your apps to “hibernate” by tapping on the + sign and selecting the option from the list.

As you can see Greenify will try to help you understand which apps can possibly create issues by giving you additional details of what the app is doing in background.

The hibernated app can be used normally, but remember that for some particular type of apps this may compromise its normal usage.

For example apps like Facebook Messenger or Hangouts won’t be able to send you notifications at all while hibernated. Remember to choose carefully what to hibernate.

I tried Greenify on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I can assure you that it improve a lot the performance and reactivity of the smartphone.

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Amaze your friends with Hollywood special effects into your own videos

Amaze your friends with Hollywood special effects into your own videos

Today I’ll talk about an app that give you the possibility to include Hollywood like special effects in your own videos : FxGuru: Movie FX Direct.

Did you ever wish to amaze your friends with some really cool special effects in your own videos?

Until now it was pretty difficult to do that and required a lot of time and effort, but now with this new app it is easy and fast. You have to do just a series of small steps to obtain a nice result.

After you install and run the app you’ll see a very basic user interface. You can start creating a new project using Start button.

You can get some help with the ? symbol and with the other 2 buttons you can see the existing videos or setup your settings.


Now we select Start and we will have the possibility to choose between 7 different special effects. Here’s one about Android! 

At this point we select Start and we will record a new video the same length of the special effect we selected.


As soon as we finish to record the video we need to position the special effect where we want.

The last step is to generate the combined video.

When the video creation is completed we can share it with our friends on Facebook.

The special effects are really realistic and I think using it to enhance your real-world environment is going to make everything look really cool.

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Transform your Android smartphone to look like a Windows Phone 8

Transform your Android smartphone to look like a Windows Phone 8

Do you like Windows Phone 8’s tiles user interface?

Why don’t you try something that look like that on our Android devices?

Here’s the app that let you do it: Launcher 8

Launcher 8 is a very nice launcher that will change completely your main screen with something very different from the standard Android launcher.

Windows Phone 8 has a very intuitive user interface liked by many users.

It’s different from anything you’ve used already in your Android smartphone and it’s nice to try something new, even if I still prefer the standard Android launcher! 

After you install the launcher you have to press Home button and the system will ask you to choose the default launcher. We will choose Launcher8 and then Always.

At this point our default launcher will be the one that looks like the default Windows Phone 8 interface.

Every tile will open an Android app and it’s even possible to customize it so that it will looks exactly like you prefer. The customizations you can do are really advanced.

Here’s some screenshots from the application:

So what are you waiting for? Let’s try it and let us know what do you think!

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Micro CPU Monitor : Keep an eye on CPU usage

Micro CPU Monitor : Keep an eye on CPU usage

Do you want to quickly check your CPU usage? Do you have an app or a game running and you want to see how much CPU is using? Here’s the app that will let you do that very easily : Micro CPU Monitor

Micro CPU Monitor is a very smart utility that will let you easily check the CPU usage without changing app while being unobtrusive.

In fact it’s just a single pixel line (one for each core) that will be displayed on the top right side of the screen (this can be customized).

The main screen will let you configure all the settings:

  • Start and Stop to enable the cpu monitor
  • Foreground, Background, Invert Colors and Transparent Background to customize the colors of the lines
  • Screen edge to position the lines
  • Orientation to give the direction of the lines
  • Width and Height (Only Pro version) to decide the size of the lines
  • Display above status bar
  • Update speed is how much often the line will be updated (Only Pro version)
  • Start on boot
  • Display all CPU cores will display a different line for each core.

This app is very simple, but at the same time is very useful to check our CPU status!

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