Friday, November 12, 2010

Thumb Keyboard for Android

Thumb Keyboard: a ergonomic keyboard for fast and error free thumb typing on your phone or tablet

Friday, September 24, 2010

New desktop panels for LCD Density Changer

UPDATE (september 28) Version 5.2: added an extra 1x1 desktop widget and possibility to set the action that is performed when tapping on a widget

UPDATE (september 25)  New version (v5.1) with 2x1 destop widget released today 

(previous announcement)
In the next version of LCD Density Changer  (v5.1 released very soon) a desktop widget will be included. This widget is especially useful for people that can't or don't want to change the default system density setting. Clicking on the desktop widget will automatically switch to the saved density setting.

Tip: Not only is this useful in the above described scenario, it is also useful for people who have changed the default system density with the app.
Say you have changed your system's density to 191 by checking the option Save density as system density in the settings menu. You can now save another density value that can be used at "run time" by unchecking the same option in the settings menu and do another save. The system density that you've setted the first time will stay untouched.

This is very useful if you still want to run apps and games with your old system density (for example 240). Save this density with the above method - after you've changed the system density - and the next time you want to run an app or a game with the default density just click on the desktop widget (or if you don't want  the desktop widget on your desktop, just choose Load saved density in the menu of the LCD Density Changer app)

If the above method of switching back to your default density to play games doesn't work for you because the games don't scale well, turn on compatibility mode in  the settings menu of LCD-DC before switching to your old/default density. Turn it off when you swich back to your favorite density.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How to make and restore a Nandroid Backup

Here's a quick little guide about how to make and restore from a Nandroid backup:

  1. Download Rom Manager from the Android Market (Market Link  - Price: free)
  2. Open Rom Manager and choose "Flash Clockwork Recovery". Rom manager will download a recovery image for your device (this recovery image is needed so Rom Manager can restore from a nandroid backup you make).
  3. Once the Recovery image flash is ready choose Backup Current Rom. This will make a complete backup of the system files and your installed programs and data. (The system will reboot itself to make a backup and reboot itself back if it is ready. Don't interrupt this process)
  4. Ready :) That's all.
  1. There are two ways to restore a backup: 1) in the Rom Manager app itself and 2) By going into restore mode. We are going to cover the 2nd option here because that's what you want to do if the device doesn't boot properly after a density change.
  2. Go into recovery mode (Every device has a particular way to boot into the recovery mode. Here are some links to how it is done for some devices: Samsung Galaxy S and variants , Droid X , HTC Evo/Legend/Desire . Another method is to turn on USB Debugging on your device and do it with ADB on you PC with the command adb recovery
  3. Select apply . This will start the ClockworkMod Recovery (the image we flashed in step 2 of the download guide).
  4. In the ClockworkMod Recovery Menu select nandroid
  5. Now you can restore you system by selecting Restore
 ( Extensive guide with pictures and more background info: see this article - info about supported phones is obsolete)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tip #4: a "workaround" for the beautiful widgets clock center problem (updated)

UPDATE (september 28): Beautiful widgets has been updated by the developer. The new version scales perfect with different density settings. (So as of now this post is a bit obsolete  :) However... it contains a nice tip of how to use ADW Launcher colums and rows setting to get more out your screen estate)

A problem when one changes the density is that the Beautiful Widgets Clock doesn't fit well on the desktop anymore. It just doesn't center the way it supposed to do on the default densities.

Here's a little workaround. Maybe not the one that one's hoping for, but at least it's one that works (In fact I like my Beautiful Widgets clock much more with this workaround).
  1.  Get ADW Launcher (IMHO the best launcher for the density hack.)
  2. In the ADW Launcher settings menu choose Screen Preferences and then Desktop Colums. Select 8 number of colums.
  3. Back, back, back to the desktop (or just choose the home button :) ) and select the Beautiful Widgets Home Panel-Widget. Set it up the way you like (I advice a transparant background for the clock)
  4. After setting up the widget choose "save and apply". Now, ADW Launcher will present a window in which one can choose the rows and columns span. Choose a 6 colums x 2 rows span. Click ok, wait for the widget clock to display itself on the desktop and drag it from the first column to the second.
The result will be something like this (with a 191 density value  and a transparant background for the clock):

A side effect is that you got much more colums on your desktop. I just leave a cell of space between two icons or widgets, so my desktop doesn't get cluttered. 

Maybe there are some other settings possible with ADW launcher to get the Beautiful Widgets clock beautiful again, I don't know. I didn't try all possible configurations.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

People with vision problems

One can also increase the density. In that case screen elements will be bigger and text is much larger. See here for some examples (On the left side screenshots are displayed of a display with a density of 240, on the right side the display is setted to a density value of 280 )

FAQ: Apps don't scale well after I uninstalled Density Changer

In case you didn't follow the uninstall guidelines as described in the help file and you have problems with the scalability of your apps and widgets download "Spare Parts" from the Android Market and turn on compatibility mode with this app.
(Android Market Link)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Restore density setting

For first time users who get stuck and didn't make a Nandroid backup

(Note: This method isn't tested thouroughly on all possible Android devices. It should work when a device passes the test implemented in the new versions. Feedback is appreciated)

Some devices/roms don't accept a density change (nothing to do with LCD Density Changer). The result of this can be that your device doesn't boot properly. To get you out of this awkward situation do the following:

Download the file from *here*. Place this file on the root of your sd card. Go into the restore mode of your device and choose "apply".

If you don't have a Nandroid backup and you want to be sure you don't get stuck, copy this file to the root of your sd card before you are going to change the density.

To make sure that you always can copy the to the /sdcard folder of your device turn on usb debugging under Settings->Applications->Development before you are going to apply a density change with LCD Density Changer.


If you are really stuck and the above (general) method doesn't work, here's a method that always will work (provided you have access to your sd card). Basically this method consists of creating a for your own device that will copy a system file, called build.prop to your system directory.

First search the internet (especially forums) for a build.prop file for your particular device/rom/firmware (If you can't find one, ask people on forums with the same device/rom as you to share their build.prop file from the system directory). This build.prop has to be inserted in your own package. To create a with the build.prop I have created a template.
Download the template from here. Unzip the to a directory. In this directory your will see two subdirectories: META-INF and system. Go to the system dir, delete the file build.prop and copy your own build.prop file to this dir. Go back to the dir that contains the subfolders META-INF and system. Make a zipfile say ""  with those two folder as subdirs in the zipfile (basically the same structure as you've downloaded)

Now your just one step away of having a flashable for your particular device. All you have to do is sign the zip file you've created and rename it to Then follow the above steps to flash this file on your device.

I will cover the way how sign a later. For now, search the internet for "sign android". There are plenty tutorials on the internet how to sign a file, so... for now I leave it just here.

I know that this method may seem very technical for the average user. I only described this method as a last resort for those people who didn't make a nandroid backup and don't want to flash a rom or firmware (which will always resolve the problem btw). It's just something your can try. 

If this still doesn't work for you (which I understand if you don't really into this technical booha) just mail me the build.prop you've found and I will create a flashable for you. (Email it to )