Google locked down GMail

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

I received some mails today and found a post on techcrunch and the launcherpro blog that Google has locked down GMail so that my app email widget (and also many other apps) stopped working with it. You can find a technical explanation here.

That’s really sad news because it means that we have to wait for Google adding support for third party apps to access gmails  :-(


I just noticed that GMail has set the access permission to “signature”, so also rooting and installing my app as system app won’t work!!

You can find a modified Gmail.apk which has the permission restriction removed here:

Email Widget: Skin installation troubleshooting

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Some users reported having problems installing the skins from my skin-site for my app email widget. Here is a detailed describtion on how to install them:

  1. Go the the android market and install the app AndExplorer (its free)
  2. Open a browser and go to my skin site or to the email-widget site and hit the “skin-site” link
  3. Push one of the download links for a skin on the left
  4. Now your browser should either download the file or it asks you which app to use to open the link, choose your browser
  5. Your browser should download the file now
  6. Start the AndExplorer and hit the “SDCARD” button on top
  7. Go to the directory “download” or “downloads”. There you should find your downloaded skin file.
  8. Long-press the file until it get’s checked
  9. Now hit menu->copy/paste->cut.
  10. Hit SDCARD again and go to the folder .de.foobarsoft.emailwidget (mind the leading dot!)
  11. Then hit menu->copy/paste->paste

Now the file should be moved to the right spot. Open your widget configuration and go to the skin-settings. You should be able to choose the installed skin now.

Please mind: If you have downloaded skin files successfully please make sure to not unzip/unpack them.

Android Email Widget now in AndroidPit

Friday, January 21st, 2011

You now can get my app email widget and of course calendar event reminder as well on the AndroidPit market as well. The good thing about it is that you can now also pay with paypal and click n’ buy.

Android Email Widget Skins

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

This page contains information on skins for my app android email widget. Here is a list of available skins for free download. Below are instructions on installing, updating or creating skins. If you’ve created a skin and want to share it, please get in contact with me or post a link to it in the comments down below so i can add it to this list.

If you have troubles installing skin files please read this detailed trouble shooting guide!


android development – tools for productivity

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

I recently worked on some apps for my new android mobile Samsung Galaxy S and published them on the market a few weeks ago. They are focusing on two key features, which to my surprise are not part of the android core functionality:

  • An Email Widget, which shows your recent emails (Exchange, POP3, IMAP) and allowes you to open them from your homescreen
  • A calendar event reminder which allows you to set a vibration pattern for nagging event alerts

The first one was really a tough nut to crack, because the android core surprisingly doesn’t provide easy access to emails stored on the phone. You have to use a private api, which unfortunately isn’t documented at all. Also this api is secured on the latest android release, so it is impossible to get the app working without rooting the phone. Additionally the mail app seems not yet technically mature enough, so many device manufacturer like HTC are providing their own implementation of it. This made it even more difficult to build the app.

Thanks to the feedback of several users i was able to improve the apps and make them more feature rich. I also created a twitter account for publishing news on recent development for the apps. You are welcome to follow me there.

Android App: Email Widget

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Use this Android Application to put a widget with your recent emails of a certain email folder on your homescreen. You can use it with every synced email folder for an Exchange, POP3, IMAP or GMail Account.  You can find many custom skins on my Skin Site. The following environments are supported by this app/widget:

Enhanced Email
Android 2.1 / 2.2 / 2.3
K9 Mail AppGMail App until V2.3.4.1
GMail App  >=V2.3.5

Desire HD / Desire Z / Droid Incredible 2 / EVU 3D  ONLY WITH ROOT


For “only with root” please see the description (Installing as system app) below!

By touching the widget you can open emails (GMail only with internal viewer) or the email app. Additionally it displays a small icon to indicate wether a mail is read / unread (K9 does not support this feature). You can use it as 3x(1-4) or 4x(1-4) widget. Different widget configurations are supporte.

Update Version 5.4:

  • Added support for Enhanced Email
  • Messages can now be opened from widget for K9 provider (PLEASE UPDATE TO LATEST K9 mail!)
  • Added internal viewer for GMail provider
  • Resizing of widget now supported (depends on launcher)
  • For GMail provider the widget now displays messages instead of conversations
  • Fixed: GMail provider now displays messages from inbox only if “only unread” is selected

Follow me on Twitter @invalidobject_ to get infos on recent develeopment.

ATTENTION: The App doesn’t work on Android 2.2 / Froyo (except for HTC) for the build in mail app out of the box, because of the strict permission system (technical details here). You can bypass this by installing the app as a system app. For this root access is required, explanation below. You can also use K9 or Enhanced Email.

GMail support only works out of the box until GMail V2.3.4.1. On the current version c.2.3.5 Google locked down GMail. Please see this post.

Please feel free to contact me for any feature-requests, bugs, ideas, questions or other feedback through the comments below. If you have any problems, send me a mail with the detailed logfile (option in the app menu, file is located under /sdcard/emailwidget_log.txt) for support.


Which Feature for the next version? (select 2)

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If it's working, which device manufacturer do you use?

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Installing app as a system app

PLEASE NOTE: The following is at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any damage or malfunction of your device! Please also mind, that rooting might void your warranty.

You only need to do this, if my app tells you that android has blocked access to your mails (see screenshot below). If this does not appear but you cannot choose a mail folder, then your phone stores mails in a non standard and non compatible mode.


Option 1 (via File Manager):


  1. Install the app emailWidget from the market
  2. Be sure not to put a widget of the app on a homescreen
  3. Start Super Manager
  4. Go to Settings and activate root support (Enable ROOT functions)
  5. Go back and open the File Explorer
  6. Move to directory /data/app
  7. Find my app Email Widget (look out for the app icon) and select it
  8. Use the “cut”-symbol from the commands below (the scissors)
  9. Now hit Menu->Switch System R/W->R/W (this makes System folder writeable)
  10. Go to /system/app and paste my app in it (the command icon which looks like a sketch sheet)
  11. Now reboot

Option 2 (via shell):


  1. Install the app emailWidget from the market
  2. Be sure not to put a widget of the app on a homescreen
  3. Start Better Terminal Emulator
  4. Type in the following commands (without the content in brackets)
  5. su (get root)
  6. mount -oremount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system (remount the system-filesystem read/write)
  7. cd /data/app (go to the directory /data/app)
  8. busybox mv de.foobarsoft.emailwidget.apk /sdcard (move app to your sdcard, app gets uninstalled)
  9. cd /sdcard (go to the directory /sdcard)
  10. busybox mv de.foobarsoft.emailwidget.apk /system/app (move app to system-folder, app gets installed as system app)
  11. Maybe you have to restart your phone.

Now you should see the app in you app-folder again. Select a mail folder now and add the widget to your homescreen. It should work now. For Froyo Users: Please see the comment below.

Note: Some devices require to enable modifying the system-directory by putting the device to a mode called S-OFF. This is the case if you start your device after the steps above and the directory /system/app does not contain the emailwidget-apk. You can find information on putting your device to S-OFF here.

- Fixed: Sometimes Widget caused the system to lag and the Launcher to be unresponsive or crash
- Refactored autoupdate to be less ressource intensive
- Optimized performence for querying provider
- Updated Korean language translation