mods

Asus releases Transformer Prime bootloader unlock tool

It's finally time, Eee Pad Transformer Prime owners: Asus has graced you with its promised bootloader unlock tool. If you don't want to waste precious seconds reading, click this here link to get to the download page. Select "Android" in the OS pull-down menu, then click "Utilities", then click the download link under "Unlock Device App: Unlock boot loader". The bootloader unlock tool will only work if you've updated your Transformer Prime to the official Ice Cream Sandwich ROM, and like all bootloader unlocks, it will wipe your personal information completely.

Sony’s Google TV gets root and unsigned kernels

Now that Logitech's out of the game and Google's new partners seem more interested in promoting their own Smart TV regimes, Sony remains one of the few Google TV promoters left. And considering that the Revue still has a locked bootloader, Sony's set-top box and/or integrated TV remains the ony one that you can root, mod and generally get your hack on. The GTV Hacker (real name unknown) has released a patch and method for getting the Sony Google TV rooted and running unsigned, modified kernels.

Aura Slate is a mod-friendly Android tablet on the cheap

Between the hubbub over the Eee Pad Transformer Prime's locked bootloader and the continuing fervor surrounding Motorola's locked down models, the ability for end users to access the hardware and software that they've purchased is becoming a major theme in the Android world. The level of access is, for some users at least, one of the most important factors in their buying decision for a new smartphone or tablet. A tiny startup called Aura Design aims to shake up the market with a new series of Aura Slate tablets, which not only open up the software, but the hardware as well: in addition to an open bootlader and easily modded Android build, the source code for Android and the hardware dirvers is ade easily available.

ICS mod gives Galaxy Nexus true full screen, disables virtual nav buttons

Android's virtual navigation buttons, introduced in Honeycomb and expanded in Ice Cream Sandwich, have been something of a polarizing subject. While plenty of users appreciate the flexibility and aesthetic options they provide, others miss the physical feedback of real buttons, or would rather use the full size of the massive displays on current high-end phones. If you're a Galaxy Nexus owner who falls into the latter camp, you're in luck: XDA member "mrx8836350" (catchy!) has developed a method for banishing the navigation buttons altogether.

Onskreen Cornerstone brings windowed apps to Android tablets

Tablets are big. Smartphone apps are small. This would seem to present an obvious answer to the many, many Android apps that scale up to massive resolutions instead of adjusting their total user interface Ice Cream Sandwich-style. But no, apps form unconcerned or merely oblivious developers continue to scale up, as if someone ran over an Android smartphone with a steamroller. Enter Cornerstone, a method for managing windows of apps on Android, jut like on Linux, OS X and, uh, Windows.

Nokia N9 Ice Cream Sandwich port in progress

Much as we begrudge Nokia their wring (not to mention stubborn, deluded and more than a little incestuous) decision to go with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform for their current generation of smartpohnes, it's hard to deny that their hardware and industrial design is top-notch. Home Android developer Alexey Roslykov seems to agree, as he's been instrumental in porting Android to Nokia's underground favorite the N900. Now he's on to something a little more modern, in terms of both hardware and software: getting a full-fledged Ice Cream Sandwich port running on Nokia's drool-worthy N9. The developer tweeted out the phot below with the simple desciption, "Progress".

Change DPI and Market settings easily with build.prop Editor

If you're a dedicated Android modder, you're probably aware of the myriad tweaks you can apply via the build.prop file, located in the /system folder. It's a popular method of changing your phone or tablet's screen density (as in our Galaxy Nexus Tablet experiment) or fooling the Android Market into thinking you've got a different phone than the one you have. But Android's built-in text editor leaves something to be desired, and the only alternative to a root-enabled file browser has been the tedious ADB method of backing up and swapping in modified build.prop files.

Devs, start your compilers: Peek offers free/cheap devices to hackers

If there's one thing the Android development community can't resist, it's a cheap mod platform. The Nook Color and (eventually) the HP TouchPad both owe their legacies to budget-conscious Android users looking for something to mod. The latest platform for cheap hacking might just be the Peek, a single-function device built for SMS on the cheap. The company is going out of business, but The Verge reports that CEO Amol Sarva wants to give the thousands of unsold units to hackers, hoping that "maybe somebody can build something great". At least one member of the Reddit Android section has the idea of porting Android to the device - a familiar rallying cry.

ClockworkMod Recovery Touch expands to more devices

One of the more exciting developments in the Android mod scene in the last week or so has been ClockworkMod Recovery Touch, a new version of Koushik Dutta's ubiquitous custom recovery software. Initially offered earlier this week, the touchscreen enabled pre-boot environment is now available on more Samsung, HTC and Motorola devices. Initially developed for only the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. But a recovery system takes a lot less time to modify than a full ROM, so we're seeing the updated software spread out quickly.

New “Dark Google Apps” mod saves battery on OLED phones

Screens that use organic light-emitting diodes, better known as OLED and AMOLED, have a unique method of image production. When instructed to display a "black" color, the individual pixel cells are physically turned off, providing the stunning blacks seen on OLED-equipped devices like the Galaxy S II, DROID RAZR and the original Nexus One. Interestingly, this also means that displaying a mostly black image on an OLED screen also draws less power than a white or full-color image. To take advantage of this technological quirk, an intrepid modder on XDA has set about modifying all of Google's core Android apps to save the maximum amount of battery on OLED phones, via the simple expediency of reversing the color scheme.
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