Last month we posted an article examining some very significant changes to the way SD cards could be accessed and how Google's partner OEMs had begun enforcing these restrictions with Android 4.4. There can be no doubt, a lot of people were displeased to see their expandable storage crippled. While some have vowed to never update to KitKat, and others have turned to custom ROMs that don't enforce the same rules, there are still many people that still want to have the best of both worlds.
Ever since the Chromecast came out, we've been wondering when an official screen mirroring feature would show up. Rather than wait, Koush is already working on that with the Mirror beta app. The functionality is limited right now, and of course, is still only accessible to those in the beta program. You might want to check it out, because Koush has pushed a new version with preliminary support for Chromecast mirroring.
Saving power while using your phone then bragging about it on the internet is all the rage these days – it's like hypermiling for smartphones. If you're not into flashing custom kernels to get the job done, there's now Per-App Modes from the developer behind Franco's Kernel.
Per-App Modes lets you automatically set a CPU frequency, temperature threshold, GPU clock, and more that will be activated when you're using specific apps.
The Xposed Framework provides incredible, fine-grained control over the features and functionality of Android. You can do almost anything, but sometimes you just need an extra button – it's good for that too. ViewInPlay is a new module that handily creates links to the Play Store.
When activated, this module adds a button to the app info screen that links out to the app's Play Store page. Cool, but there's another module that does this.
The impending release of the Google Now Launcher (GNL) presents a bit of a dilemma. The cool Google Now integration isn't possible with third-party launchers, but GNL doesn't have many customization options. If you're rooted, there is at least one way to get around that – the new Xposed GEL Settings, which as you can tell from the name, requires the Xposed Framework.
Root users get all the fun. Case in point: there's a debug menu built into the Play Store APK, and only those with access to root can sneak a look at it. This isn't exactly a secret - the debug menu has been there for quite a while - but one of our readers brought an easy method for displaying it to our attention. You'll need root, the flexible Xposed Installer, and the "All Apps In Play Store" Xposed module.
Much of Android's development is done out in the open, which is how several Android developers noticed that a recent commit to the Android Open Source Project master tree would break many of your favorite root apps. This is the result of a newly implemented security feature, rather than an active effort to lock things down on Google's part. Nevertheless, it could result in some inconvenience, so developer Chainfire has taken to his Google+ page to detail what will happen if the change is not reverted before the release of a future version of Android.
Not every Android device gets rooted, but it's always nice when one does. So it is with MOJO, Mad Catz' Android-powered alternative to the OUYA game console and similar fare. Noted developer and modder Paul "MoDaCo" O'Brien released the MoDaCo Mod for MOJO on Sunday, giving adventurous owners access to root-enabled apps. His method requires a Windows, OSX, or Linux computer, and a standard male-to-male USB cable.
As far as root methods go, this one is pretty simple: MoDaCo Mod loads up a custom boot image on the device that automatically installs the SuperUser app when you next turn on the device, instantly giving users access to the superuser permission request dialog.
For a root user, there's nothing more frustrating than being denied access to an app simply because they've rooted their own phone or tablet. Of course, since it's rooted, there's probably a root app for that. RootCloak has been a reliable way to get around these content and functionality blocks, and now developer DevAdvance has posted a new version that should work with even more applications.
RootCloak Plus uses Cydia Substrate instead of the Xposed Framework that the original tool was based on.
OTA updates are usually a good thing, but first impressions can be misleading. The just leaked Android 4.4 KitKat build for the Galaxy S4 seems good, but some behind-the-scenes changes broke SuperSU, making root access difficult. Ever the go-getter, Chainfire already has it sorted out.
The new flashable ZIP file is available from Chainfire's site – version number 1.89. CF-Auto-Root has also been updated to include the new SuperSU. This has been successfully tested with the leaked ROM on the GT-i9505, but should also be fine on other devices you need to get root on.