Ask Dr. Root: Is it possible to Remap Buttons?

Hello kiddies, hope you had a good holiday!  Since it tis the season to be giving, what better way than to hit you with a new app to help those of you with multiple Android devices. As I was browsing XDA, I came across this handy little app that lets you adjust the function associated with each button on your phone.  Being that I have multiple phones and the hardware keys are different on almost all of them, sometimes you catch yourself hitting the wrong buttons. Well not anymore with an app called Button Re-mapper.  The nice thing about this app is that instead of needing coding experience, it packages it for you in a nice clean interface for you to use, and in case you need to go back to your original layout it will do that also.

Here is a link to the apk:   Button remapper apk

Also, if you enjoy this app please think about grabbing the donate version.

Dr. Root (mrpicolas)

Review: Schlage Home Security Android App

Many of you know the name Schlage and chances are that you see the name everyday as they are an industry leader in home security products. During my time as contractor I had the opportunity  to install many of their products which have always been of the highest quality.  Today, they released their first Android app called Schlage LiNK and have asked that we give it a proper run-through on one of their systems which they were also kind enough to send us.   (more…)

Ask Dr. Root: Recovering Deleted or Missing Pictures

Dr. Root, My phone deleted all my pictures. What can I do?

I ran into this problem myself recently and thought that I was out of luck, but thanks to a wonderful themer WEBST3R, I was able to recover over 4,000 images that had been deleted off my SD card. Webst3r is the author of Sense X theme for the DX as well as a number of other very cool things related to Android which you can check out in our forums.  Him saving the day is an understatement.

Instructions after the break.    (more…)

Ask Dr. Root: Themed App Upgrade Problems, Home Screen Re-Draws

Dr. Root, I am running a custom ROM and can’t upgrade my apps in the market. What gives?

Here’s the deal, all custom ROMs are different and when they are put together some of the apps you want to upgrade are not able to be upgraded because they are pre-installed with the ROM as a system app. This is done for a couple reasons. One reason is for theming purposes, and by doing this it prevents the themed app from being overwritten. This is a good and a bad thing; good because it keeps your app themed and bad because if you want to update to a newer version you have to wait for the themer or ROM developer to update. The second reason is  performance. By tweaking the app and leaving it in the system/app folder it can be .zip aligned leaving it optimized for the ROM.  Now fear not, if you want to update anyway you are not out of luck, but it will take you a few minutes depending on what you need to update.   (more…)

Download: Droid Life Themed LauncherPro

Well thanks to a very nice themer (Signals23) over at XDA, we now have our very own Droid Life version of LauncherPro. We have shown his work here on DL before, but this one deserves some special recognition. Signals23 is responsible for many of the themed versions that you’ve seen of our favorite home replacement app and this will be a great addition to his lineup.

Donate to signals23 here. Please help support him if you can. Without talented people like this, our homescreens would be well, bland.  I also would like to thank ardchoille over at LauncherPro forums for the source image I used to produce this dock. (more…)

Ask Dr. Root: How to Theme Notification Items Using MetaMorph

Dr. Root, I love my theme but if I could change just a couple of notification items it would be perfect. Please help!

*FOR ROOTED USERS ONLY (instructions)

*Please make a backup before proceeding. (As always this comes with risk. Droid Life is not responsible for dead phones, ruined marriages, etc.)

*This should work for most rooted android devices, but be sure to read comments and warnings wherever you get your meta-morph zips from.

Today, I wanted to change a couple of notification items on my Droid X while running  Bgill’s Incognito, which for the most part I love. Seeing as I can’t theme to save my life, I needed a quick and easy way to make changes. Yes, I know I could just flash an but the changes I wanted were one or 2 things and didnt feel like changing the whole theme just for that.

I decided to dig out MetaMorph which is a program that has been around for quite some time and is probably overlooked.   (more…)

Ask Dr. Root: The Top Apps for Rooted Devices

I was gonna dive deep into the world of modding this week, but thought with the growing population of readers rooting  and wondering where to go from there I’d go back to basics. With that being said, let’s cover some essential root apps that will make your life a lot easier.

ROM Manager

Screenshot of ROM Manager Screenshot of ROM Manager

This is your one stop shop for the majority of your rooting needs. You can create backups, flash new ROMs and apply new themes all in one place. We highly recommend grabbing the paid version to unlock some bonus features.


The T-Mobile G2, this is not the (An)Droid you are looking for (Updated)

353870037_photobucket_7457_.jpg 2010-10-01_17-56-29_672.jpg picture by pixolas

Recently, my good friends at T-mobile let me have about an hour and a half to play with the new G2 from HTC, so I wanted to give you the lowdown from a Droid user perspective.

The phone itself has a nice size to it, and the keyboard layout is also very easy to use. The device itself runs pretty well and I did not notice any lag or slowdowns as I put it thru its paces. The screen is nice and crisp and the touchscreen input is on par with some of the best devices out there. It is pretty much standard Android vanilla fare as far as the UI is concerned and as I was out getting 4 kids glasses I was able to text, browse, and email with little trouble while keeping track of my small army.

Sounds good right? Well not all of it was good in my experience. The keyboard while nice has a big caveat as it is hinged and not in a good way. The hinge is made of a non ferrous metal which will keep it from rusting, but for being brand new it had way too much play for my liking. It seemed sturdy but I foresee people snapping this thing in two. Also as others have confirmed, the memory issue bothers me. The 4 gigabyte internal memory is shared between the system and apps with around 2 gigabytes left being pretty much unusable.  The phone itself is expandable to 32 gigabytes thru the sd card so yes there is storage to be had, but in my opinion and having owned another phone with shared internal memory, I am not a huge fan. I also have found that the power button being located on the side is more of a pain, and restricts quick access to turning the screen on. (I am left handed by the way, so you right handers may have better results.)

So to wrap it up, if you are not already on Big Red or have a significant other on T-mobile it may be worth a look. I say this apprehensively because unless you are very careful I see a trip back to your local carrier for a replacement. Please anyone who may decide this an option, I implore you to PURCHASE THE INSURANCE. That being said Once fully rooted (yes I know of the temporary root that has been achieved.) This may be the next cult following for the non-VZW crowd and I enjoyed my time with the phone, but will not be giving this another look. In todays smartphone market ease of use and durability should be much higher than the G2’s current offer.

UPDATE:  Just after MrPicolas posted this, news broke that this phone has a rootkit included which can wipe your phone back to its original state should you tamper with it and put say, a custom ROM or something on it.  Basically any custom or user change made to the source code can be overwritten each time the phone is booted.  I think we all know that the majority of the excitement behind this device was the fact that it ran a pretty vanilla Android, but after hearing this news, I’d say our “locked” bootloader is nothing. (Via:  News America)

Thoughts everyone?