MOD

Android Open Kang Project reaches Milestone 5

If you're a prolific ROM flasher and you've got a Galaxy Nexus or another recent Android device, odds are pretty good that you've at least tried Android Open Kang Project (AOKP), one of the fastest-growing family of custom ROMs out there. The project has released over 30 builds since its inception late last year, and is now on Milestone 5. This doesn't mean much beyond the fact that they've reached a point where enough new features have been added to justify upgrading for those who don't flash nightlies as a habit. You can see the release notes and downloads for dozens of devices here.

DROID RAZR Smart Actions ported to DROID Bionic

Not all manufacturer pack-in programs are bad - in fact, Motorola's Smart Actions from the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX are downright handy if you're looking to maximize your phone's longevity. Unfortunately, those two phones (and their international counterparts) are the only ones that get the privilege. But with some modding and a little elbow grease, Twitter user Dan Davis managed to modify the app so that it runs on the DROID Bionic as well.

Google Play Store mod removes location-based restrictions

Are you Slovenia's biggest Android fan, but bummed that you can't download apps that aren't available in your country? Then the latest mod from XDA might be right up your alley. XDA member Deeco7 has posted a modified version of the "Vending.apk" Google Play Store app file, with the aim of allowing anyone to download any app, regardless of their own location or the restrictions built into the app. The modified app works with Android 2.2 or later, and you don't even need root to install it.

DROID RAZR locked bootloader gets an early work-around

Hands-down the biggest dissapointment of the Motorola DROID RAZR launch announcement was the fact that despite Moto's commitment to more open bootloaders, the flagship phone would be locked down just like previous Motorola-Verizon devices. Even after considerable customer backlash and unlocking the bootloader on the international GSM RAZR, not to mention the fact that both Samsung and HTC have provided unlocked bootloaders for their own Verizon phones, Motorola has stood frustratingly firm. Now a pair of modders have found away around the locked bootloader, opening up the possibility for true custom ROMs.

HTC One X software mod grants up to 20% better battery

The HTC One X is pretty great, but its 1800mAh battery (not unlike the one on the Galaxy Nexus) is only OK. It turns out that HTC itself made something of an error in judgement when putting together that shiny new software. Due to an errant APK location, the native NVIDIA power control app (you know, the thing that makes that magical "5th core" work to save all that battery life) wasn't working properly. HTC should have a fix out soon enough, but in the meantime, the fellows at XDA have a fix for you.

Pantech Element gets root and custom recovery

What's the use of having a waterproof tablet if you can't get a little dirty... figuratively speaking, anyway. That seems to be the inspiration behind RootzWiki members attn1 and roman220, who gave the gift of root to AT&T's Pantech Element tablet just today and immediately installed ClockworkMod recovery to, as it were, boot. The process is fairly simple as root goes: connect the tablet to your computer with ADB enabled, get into the fastboot interface, send over a custom image, then download a SuperUser app and you're done. Check out the original thread for more precise instructions.

This Geiger counter app readies you for the nuclear apocalypse

Shelters full of canned goods? Stockpiles of weapons for shooting mutant cockroaches? In a post-nuclear fallout scenario, all these considerations are secondary. What you really need is a reliable Geiger counter, a device which allows you to measure the radiation level of areas and substances. And a team of mad scientists at the  Helmholtz Research Center in Munich have provided one for anybody who's got an Android phone handy. All you need is a piece of black tape and either $4.49 or $5.00 for the light and pro versions of the Radioactivity Counter app. Yes, this really works.

AOKP ICS Build 30 ready to download now [UPDATE: Build 31 already!]

As previously noted, we're big fans of the Android Open Kang Project, more colloquially known as AOKP. The much-anticipated Build 30 of the custom Ice Cream Sandwich ROM is available for download now, complete with custom app shortcuts in the navigation bar for Galaxy Nexus users. There are also stable builds for the Samsung Nexus S, Nexus S 4G, Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9, the HTC Sensation, EVO 4G,  Incredible and Incredible 2, the Motorola XOOM, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101, the Acer IConia Tab A500, and the HP TouchPad. AOKP is also, without a doubt, the best pink unicorn-themed ROM available.

Nook Touch hack enables multi-touch on e-ink

The Nook Color and Nook Tablet get the most attention out of Barnes & Noble's e-reader line, at least from an Android modder standpoint, but many forget that all of the Nook devices run Android - and all have been thoroughly modded. Even the humble Nook Touch has been thoroughly rooted with custom apps and ROMs, though the e-ink reader's hardware limitation prevents some of the more basic Android tasks from being completed. One of those can be disregarded now: XDA members wheiltijohnny and Mani100 have devised some custom code that enables multi-touch gestures for the diminutive e-ink reader.
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