It's a regular rite of passage for new Android phones: most flagships get the root treatment within a day or two of being released, allowing power users access to tools and apps that most people aren't all that interested in. But there are some exceptions, namely those draconian carriers who insist upon locking the bootloader of their Android devices. Their reasons for doing so could charitably be described as "bull hockey," but they're pretty effective: it's sometimes months or years before these phones get rooted, if they do get rooted at all.
There are a lot of Android users out there, and many of them probably use the same apps you do. AppChat is a clever app that lets you talk to them in a series of live chat rooms. This app was just released as an alpha on XDA, but it has tons of potential.
The Team Win Recovery Project is a great custom recovery, but it isn't pretty. Back in the Ice Cream Sandwich days, it kind of blended in. Nowadays, it's just that outdated screen you largely don't care about while you flash .zips.
But what if TWRP could look just as sleek as the rest of Android 5.0? Thanks to the work of XDA developer z31s1g, it can get close. He has released a Materialized TWRP theme that changes the appearance of every screen, including when you're wiping partitions or running scripts. It comes in either a light or dark variant, and you can choose any of 15 colors.
The T-Mobile version of the LG G3 isn't bootloader locked, but all the others are. That's par for the course, but now you can finally do something about it. Bump! is a new bootloader unlock tool that will allow you to run a full version of TWRP and flash anything that has been "Bump'd."
Just yesterday, HTC announced that it would bring its new Eye Experience to existing One devices via a future update, and some people in Europe are already seeing the enhancements come to their devices. The goods are bundled up with Android 4.4.4, and they're bumping users up from version 2.22.401.5 to 3.28.401.6.
A full download is available over at the XDA Developers forum for anyone who wants to rush in and get their hands dirty.
Microsoft. Google. OnePlus. HTC. Fitbit. Ubuntu. The BBC. NPR. Jet Li. There are too many things called One. Add one (sorry) more thing to the list: the new official forum app for XDA-Developers. An alpha build of XDA One, the site's first in-house app, is available in APK form on this forum thread. The previous apps, XDA-Developers and XDA-Premium, will continue to be supported on the Play Store for the foreseeable future.
When Sony announced that the PlayStation 4's Remote Play feature would be available to Android phones and tablets in November, gamers got excited... right up to the point where they found out that the feature would be exclusive to the new Xperia Z3 line. While the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact look like fine machines, that isn't much consolation if you can't afford them or can't even find them in your country.
AT&T and Verizon, with their insistence on locked bootloaders for Android devices, are the scourge of the Android customization scene. Unfortunately they're also the largest carriers in the United States, which leaves a lot of Android power users in a pickle. If you're on either carrier and rocking a branded Galaxy S5, today is your lucky day: someone's gone and made a near-universal and amazingly simple root method that should work for the S5 (and more) on both carriers.
Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
A lot of Android devices have dedicated buttons to bring up the multitasking list, but Switchr may offer an even faster way to jump between running apps. This utility debuted on XDA recently as a beta, but now it has come to Google Play in both free and paid forms.
Switchr, like some similar apps, creates an active swipe zone on the edge of the screen. Swipe in through that area, and you trigger the app switching interface.