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Make “OK Google” Compatible with Your Phone and Language of Choice

Posted by wicked February - 17 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Geekswipe_Ok_Google_Res_1

Being able to say “OK Google” from the comfort of your home screen was introduced alongside the Nexus 5′s Google Experience Launcher a few months ago. It allows users to control their devices with just their voice, as saying “OK Google” launches the voice command detection mode. With the newest update of Google Search, “OK Google” can finally detect languages other than English, and it works perfectly fine with other devices, but a little “hack” is needed.

XDA Recognized Developer memnoc wrote a handy guide describing how to activate this functionality on a device other than the Nexus 5. The hack isn’t overly complicated, and all you need is root access and a decent file manager.

The method is a chain of copy-paste operations and one simple bin file edit. The described method should work on all devices with Android 4.4.2, and was confirmed on the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and HTC One S—and even non-AOSP ROMs are supported. It’s definitely great that the hot word detection is finally available for other devices and languages, as not everybody can speak English with a perfect accent.

If you have Android 4.4.2 on your device and want to speak to your device, go to the guide thread, follow the steps, and enjoy your device’s newly found abilities.

The Evolution of Android – Part I

Posted by wicked November - 17 - 2013 - Sunday Comments Off

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android-logo-

Android is now 6 years old. Over the years, Android was able to command over 80% of the market, while leaving iOS and Windows Mobile/Phone behind. Thus, this moment is ripe to look back at how the story of the little green robot began.

Android was presented in November 2007, but September 22, 2008 marked the “real” beginning. On that day, the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1) was presented. The beginning wasn’t nice and easy, though. Many critics claimed that the OS would never be able to beat out those made by Apple and Microsoft. At the time, these opinions were quite valid. After all, Android back then greatly differed from the highly customized builds now released by Sony, LG, HTC, and Samsung.

Early versions of Android were meant to call, send and receive text messages, and connect to the Internet. The thing that made Android unique was that it was open source, and users were able to contribute to the code to add in innovative ideas.

htcdream

But let’s go back to the HTC Dream for a bit. The device was presented at one of the very first Android conferences. Its technical specifications were outstanding for the time: Qualcomm MSM 7201A ARM 11 CPU running at 528 MHz, 256 MB of internal memory,  and 192 MB of RAM. Compared to many other devices of the era, this was something beyond imagination. The phone initially packed Android 1.0, upgradeable to Android 1.6 Donut.

Version 1.0 had many unique features such as the Android Market (now known as the Google Play Store), which gave users the option to obtain hundreds of applications to enhance the initial capabilities of the phone. Contacts were stored in the cloud and integrated with Gmail. The OS also had a fully functional Internet browser. At first, Google didn’t use confectionary codenames like Cupcake, Donut, or Eclair. This was just Android 1.0—though Android 1.1 was codenamed Petit Four and there were some other milestone released named Astro Boy and Bender along the way.

Android 1.5 Cupcake offered many improvements. The first big step was a kernel upgrade to version 2.6.27, which made the system more stable. Also, widgets were presented and they are still widely used now 4 years later. For the first time, users were able to install custom keyboards. The last big improvement was implementing copy/paste.

Android 1.6 Donut premiered 4 months later, but it was essentially an upgraded Cupcake build that didn’t bring much user-facing innovation except screenshots in the Android Market and the ability to select multiple photos for removal from the Gallery.

android-evolution

The next big step in Android Development was Android 2.0/2.1 Eclair. The kernel was once again updated, this time to version 2.6.29. The contact synchronization system was revamped, and offered an ability to add Email addresses. Speaking of which, a standalone Email application was introduced, as well as support for Bluetooth 2.1. The camera app in Eclair added support for device flashes, as well as zooming and setting white balance. The UI was also optimized, increasing scrolling speed, and allowing users to select Live Wallpapers as backgrounds. Version 2.1 was also a big update because for the first time, Google decided to release a phone: the HTC-made Google Nexus One. Since then, their branded devices all donned the moniker Nexus. Many believe that the name derived from Philip K. Dick’s Nexus 6.

Android 2.2 Froyo (a regional abbreviation for frozen yogurt) was presented in May 2010. The main objective of this update was to improve the system speed, as evidenced by the introduction of a JIT (Just-in-Time) compiler into Dalvik. The connectivity was also revamped, allowing for Internet tethering via USB and WiFi. Finally, the browser app was updated to support GIFs and Flash player—something that was later dropped when Chrome replaced the AOSP browser. In Q4 2010, Android was available on 1/3 of American smartphones, finally overtaking iOS. Since then, Android was seen as a major mobile player.

The Google Nexus S was the first smartphone that shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It was also the first Nexus device produced by Samsung. This was a major step, as Samsung has grown to become the biggest smartphone manufacturer today. The device was almost the same as Samsung Galaxy S, a highly regarded legacy device. Gingerbread was a very successful operating system, which in time became the most popular version of the mobile OS. Android 2.3 offered native support for new sensors such as NFC, gyroscope, and barometer. And for the first time, Android was given API support for front and rear cameras rather than device-specific implementations such as what was originally seen on the HTC Evo 4G. The OS was fast and reliable, and it can still be found on various legacy devices.

It is impressive that such a small player became one of the most pervasive operating systems of all times. But for now, let’s pause this story. Next week, we’ll continue with Google’s later releases.

android-comparaison-comparateur-comparatif-google-nexus-one-nexus-s-galaxy-nexus-samsung-htc

 

Display Your HTC Pride with These Forum Sigs

Posted by Will Verduzco September - 19 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

Capture

Do you consider yourself a die hard HTC fan? If so, we can’t blame you. Their latest flagship, the HTC One, has been a great success, combining great build quality, snappy internals, and a remarkable screen.

If you’re a fan, we wouldn’t be surprised if you already have something in your forum signature displaying your patronage to Taiwan’s most prominent smartphone manufacturer. However, having more options is never a bad thing.

XDA Forum Member Sgt-Obst created and shared a collection of HTC-loving banners. Stylish and sleek, these 500 x 100 images are perfectly sized for use in your forum signature. Images for the HTC One, HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC One Mini, and HTC Sensation XE are included, as well as images showing love towards HTC Dev and Sense UI.

Sgt-Obst is also taking requests for future devices to be added to the banner list, so head over to the original thread to show your HTC love.

T-Mobile HTC One S Jelly Bean update begins

Posted by wicked April - 25 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

We have yet to see anything from T-Mobile on the official HTC One S software update page about the Jelly Bean update being ready, however we are seeing reports coming from those with a device in their hands. We still need the official word from the carrier, however if you are carrying a T-Mobile branded HTC One S — you may want to check for an update.

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To do that, navigate to Menu -> Settings -> About phone – Software updates -> Check now to try and get the process started. Otherwise, those with a bit more patience can sit back and wait for the update notification to arrive. Regardless of the route you choose the end result will be the same, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. As such, one of the new features will be the improved notifications.

With Jelly Bean the notifications will be expandable and actionable. Simply put, you will be able to pinch-out to expand to see more as well as take actions such as deleting an email message. These improved notifications also show more detail which will help on items such as text and picture messages — here you will see the entire message and entire image. Jelly Bean will also bring Google Now.

Aside from what Jelly Bean will bring, this update will bump your handset to software version 3.14.531.11. The update measures in at roughly 675MB in size, which according to the system update notification, will need to be downloaded using a Wi-Fi connection. Bottom line here, if you are rocking an HTC One S with T-Mobile you will soon be running Jelly Bean.

[via T-Mobile]

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info

    Device Name : One S
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : T-Mobile
    Announced Date : February 26, 2012
    Release Date : April 25, 2012
    Also Known As :

Display

  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution : 540×960
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight

  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.56 Inch
  • Depth : 0.31 Inch
  • Weight : 120 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1650 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS

Hardware

    CPU : Snapdragon S4
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 1700
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Telus HTC One S receives Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update

Posted by wicked March - 6 - 2013 - Wednesday Comments Off

htc-one-s-jelly-bean

HTC One S owners in Canada, at least those on the Telus network, finally have a reason to rejoice. After pushing back the January 2013 update schedule, the HTC One S will now be receiving the official update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, along with an UI update to HTC Sense 4+.

MobileSyrup reports that the Telus website has now been updated with the software upgrade information, along with them also receiving tips from One S owners about the update reaching their phones OTA. If you haven’t got the OTA notification, you can try Settings – About device – Software update to find the download.

telus htc one s jb

According to the Telus Android software update page, the “benefits and enhancements” featured in this update include -

  • Actionable notifications will show up in the notification pane
  • You can now easily share videos and photos using Android Beam
  • Improved device stability

Unlike the Telus HTC One X Jelly Bean update, in this case, there has been no mention of Google Now. I’m not sure if that’s just an oversight, or whether the HTC One S will not be receiving the Google Now feature. If you’ve got the official update, do let us know about this.

Are you excited about finally receiving the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on your HTC One S? If you have received the update, share your experience in the comments section below.

The post Telus HTC One S receives Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update appeared first on Android Authority.

Bell and Virgin HTC One S users get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade

Posted by wicked March - 1 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

htc-one-s-jelly-bean
Last month, we told you about the forthcoming Jelly Bean upgrade for users of the HTC One S under Telus. And a few weeks ago, we published a similar news story, only for users of the same phone under Three UK. Guess who’s going to get their hands on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade software next?

According to information gathered from unnamed tipsters writing to Mobile Syrup, users of the HTC One S under both Bell and Virgin in Canada can now upgrade their handsets to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Apparently, there’s an internal memo floating around that says the official release date of the upgrade software is February 28, and it’s going to bring “an improved and refined user experience” to the HTC One S.

The HTC One S is an Android-powered smartphone that was first released about a year ago with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It features a 4.3-inch qHD touchscreen display, an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 16GB storage, and Beats Audio integration. To upgrade it to the latest software, users simply need to make their way onto the Settings screen, select About Device, choose Software Update, and click on Update.

The post Bell and Virgin HTC One S users get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade appeared first on Android Authority.

Which company did the most for the Android ecosystem in 2012?

Posted by wicked February - 21 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

Android-Army

When it comes to Android manufacturers, as years pass and the ecosystem grows ever larger, it’s also becoming increasingly harder to choose the one OEM that impresses the most.

And indeed, given that the little green robot is present in an abundance of market segments, ranging from top-end Android smartphones to entry level tablets and smartwatches, there are quite a number of companies that would consider themselves worthy of the honorific belt of “Android OEM of the year”.

Despite the fact that profits represent the ultimate objective of all Android OEMs, our title shouldn’t necessarily belong to the Android manufacturer that sold the most units or registered the highest profits. Instead, the best Android OEM of the past year is the company who has contributed the most towards the evolution of the ecosystem.

We want to reward the progress towards diversity, hardware quality, and software improvement, not the best financial results. However, it turns out that the past year has rewarded (financially-wise) the same company that made the most contributions to the Android world.

Samsung: the best Android company in 2012

samsung

I know that most of you were anticipating Samsung’s nomination since the first paragraph. And surely, when you analyze the facts, the title could not go to any other player.

Samsung manufactures components, not just devices

To start off with Samsung’s technological achievements over the past year, I feel obliged to mention that the South Korean manufacturer is one of the few Android OEMs than manufactures most components in their flagship devices.

While other firms turn to Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Texas Instruments for chips, Samsung opted to go with their own Exynos 4 Quad system on a chip in all of its flagship devices, with the exception of the LTE versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3.

On to the displays, Samsung is in complete control of the AMOLED display market, a position they’ve earned thanks to massive capital investments. AMOLED technology has issues when it comes to color reproduction,  but plenty of Samsung customers find that the vivid colors and contrast levels make up for this flaw.

It’s worth mentioning that Samsung also manufactures a wide range of LCD displays, such as those on the Galaxy Tab line or its mid-range and entry-level smartphones. It’s interesting interesting to note that the LCD displays used by Samsung in their own devices don’t go beyond a resolution of 1280 by 800, although they are clearly capable of delivering LCD displays of much higher densities: they manufacture the Retina display inside the iPad, as well as the 2560 by 1600 display that goes in the Nexus 10.

But what about market penetration?

Samsung is the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world, with a worldwide market share that rests at roughly 25%. Samsung is also the manufacturer of the best selling Android device to ever reach the market, the Samsung Galaxy S3 (the S3 won our “Android smartphone of the Year” award for 2012). Samsung is a mammoth!

The diversity factor

Besides making the best selling Android smartphone ever, Samsung also manufactures the Galaxy Note line of Android phones (a market basically created by Samsung from scratch), as well as the Nexus 10 (currently regarded as the best Android tablet out there). However, Samsung’s reach goes beyond the high-end market as they have an impressively diversified offering when it comes to mid-range Android smartphones such as the Galaxy S3 Mini, the Galaxy Grand, and the Galaxy Premier.

Software

Although I’m not going to discuss Samsung’s TouchWiz Android UI, Samsung is the one Android OEM who didn’t just modified the vanilla Android UI and called it a day. Instead, in 2012, Samsung has made impressive progress when it comes to the software functions and tweaks that they include in their devices.

Starting off with the Samsung Smart Functions (first introduced on the Galaxy S3 and then rolled out to the Galaxy Note line) and continuing with the amazing S-Pen enabled functions on the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung is the one Android manufacturer that actually improved on the overall Android experience. This is important not only because they’ve made their own devices better, but also because they’ve inspired other manufacturers to develop genuinely useful software functions and tweaks.

Meet the runner ups

HTC: the most underrated Android manufacturer

htc-logo

HTC is currently going through financial trouble, but the Taiwan-based company does manufacture some incredible smartphones.

For one, their HTC One line featured an awesome design, without sacrificing raw processing power. The HTC One S was a pleasantly odd smartphone, with blazing fast internal specs alongside a mid-tier display, thus placing itself in a no man’s land of sorts: somewhere between the mid-range sector and the flagship device category. A great device for plenty of people that did not afford shopping for the very best.

Another fact that you should bear in mind is that, for a good part of 2012, the HTC One X was considered to be the very best Android smartphone.

Following the positive feedback from critics and customers, but low sales figures (considering the quality of the HTC One line), HTC really went the extra mile late last year, by becoming the first smartphone manufacturer to release a Full HD smartphone, the HTC Butterfly / Droid DNA.

ASUS: quietly innovating

asus logo 2 Gtorelly/Flickr

Asus wins the last spot on the Top Android OEMs of 2012 podium in great part thanks to the manufacturing of the most popular Android tablet ever released, the Google Nexus 7.

The Nexus 7 made Asus a force in the Android ecosystem. But the Taiwanese have also made great progress towards winning the hearts of Android fans with the Transformer line of high-end tablets. Add the unique concept of the Asus Padfone line, and it becomes obvious that Asus is probably the most unique Android OEM out there, a manufacturer that is not afraid of breaking the barriers of conventional Android devices.

That completes our podium of top Android OEMs in 2012. Do you agree with these rankings?

FacePalm S-Off for HTC One S, One XL, and Droid DNA

Posted by egzthunder1 February - 20 - 2013 - Wednesday Comments Off

DNASoff

One of the biggest possible hacks for most current Android devices is the ability to completely remove security flags from the bootloader. Most companies these days will give you some way to unlock your device’s bootloaders, but many are simply partial unlocks, while others are entirely not unlockable. HTC is one such company that offers what is known as a “developer unlock” through the htcdev service. However, as stated already this is but a partial unlock, which allows you to do a few fun things like flashing custom recoveries and using them to flash new ROMs. This is good, but it is quite limited, and you must have access to a PC to use fastboot commands in order to do more. This is normally overcome by disabling the HBOOT security flags, which is not an easy task. Every time HTC releases a new HBOOT, it comes loaded with patches to try and keep people from achieving a complete unlock (S-OFF). If you have either an One S, One XL, and Droid DNA your luck has just changed, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developers beaups and XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase.

The process involves flashing a file through fastboot, which essentially removes eMMC write protection. After that, a second file is pushed into /data/local/temp, which removes all the S-OFF flags on the device. The only real requirement to perform this procedure (aside from having a PC with adb and fastboot) is that you are SuperCID. The latter (which stands for Super Country ID  in case you are not familiar) is a protection to prevent you from flashing a RUU meant for a different region. This is a protection that has been around since the days of the HTC Wizard, and it is still present to this day. The flashing of the original zip requires you to have SuperCID off (rooting and custom recovery are not required for this to work). Luckily, this has already been achieved for all three devices, but it seems to have been blocked yet again after a recent OTA update. So, if you have not SuperCID’ed your device yet, do not attempt to do this! Having said that, stay tuned; a fix is on its way.

Please read the procedure carefully and thoroughly. Achieving S-OFF does involve some risk, and as such, there is a chance of bricking. That being said, rewards await you once the device is fully S-OFF, so make haste! Oh and just as your momma told you… don’t accept candies from strangers or OTAs from manufacturers. Have fun and happy unlocking!

Welcome to Facepalm S-Off for modern HTC phones

You can visit the original threads in the One S, One XL, and DNA sections for more information.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer

[Thanks xHausx and E.Cadro for the tip!]

HTC One S and Rezound updates rolling out today

Posted by wicked February - 19 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

While we’ve had tons of news today regarding HTC’s newest smartphone, simply named the One, now we’re getting additional details regarding a few of their already available and popular smartphones. Both the HTC One S from T-Mobile, and Verizon’s HTC Rezound have updates rolling out today. Sadly neither are Jelly Bean, but we have the details below.

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Yesterday we learned that Verizon was preparing to release updates for both the Rezound and the Incredible 2, and now today we’re getting scattered reports that the Rezound was first on the list. The update isn’t Android 4.1 Jelly Bean like many were hoping for, but it’s stated to be bringing some “device enhancements” to the aging smartphone.

Rezound-Update-429x650

The image above, provided by Droid-Life shows the small 6MB update that’s arriving this afternoon for the Rezound. There hasn’t been any reports of the DROID Incredible 2 update arriving, but it should be following shortly. Start checking for updates on that Rezound and let us know once it arrives if you notice any changes.

htconesupdate

Then, according to multiple tips and reports from TMoNews HTC has also issued and started rolling out a very minor update to the T-Mobile One S. While most One S phones have received Jelly Bean, the Tmo version is still waiting for the tasty treat. Sadly this update is still Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and appears to only be a bug fixing update. T-Mobile’s support page doesn’t reveal too much either, but for now it’s safe to say Jelly Bean is still at least a few weeks or more away.

For those rocking either of these phones, now might be a good time to head into settings and check for updates. Drop us a comment if you have issues or notice any changes. Enjoy!

htc-one-s-jelly-bean

Did you heart skip a beat when you read yesterday that the HTC One X on Telus is finally getting its Android 4.1 update, hoping that the same Jelly Bean goodness will come to your device? If you’re sporting any of the three smartphones listed below, it looks like the wait is almost over.

According to the latest software updates schedule that Telus has posted online, the HTC One S, the Samsung Galaxy S2 X 4G and the Samsung Galaxy Note will all get the software package soon.

Telus-Jelly-Bean-schedule

HTC One S owners can expect their phone to get JB and the accompanying HTC Sense 4+ this January. As for folks who have the Samsung Galaxy S2 X 4G and Galaxy Note, the updates will only come to the two handsets next month.

If we’re not mistaken, only Fido’s One S has been upgraded to Jelly Bean in Canada, even though the update has been rolled out in other regions since last December. With only less than two weeks left in the month, we’ll see whether Telus will deliver the JB goods or not.

Looking forward to the Jelly Bean update? Hoping that Telus won’t push back the date? Let us know in the comments below.

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