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Greenify app gets update, boosts usage on non-rooted devices

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

If you haven’t discovered the Greenify app yet, then you still might be suffering from envy of those phones which never seem to lag or slow down, something that you think can’t be done on your Android phone. This article is probably good news for you then, as an introduction to Greenify and the new updates that come with it.

Greenify works on a very simple premise – it identifies battery and memory hogging apps, those that cause your device to lag and slow down, especially the ones that run in the background that you don’t know of. The app then allows you to put these resource hogs into hibernation – which is simply, that they do not run AT ALL when you are not using them, no background services, no secret apps in the background, no nothing. But they will work perfectly fine when you tap on their icons to intentionally open these apps up. This frees up more memory for faster performance and longer battery life. Sounds cool, right?

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For some time now, Greenify was only usable on rooted devices, which is probably why some of you might not have heard of it yet, given some people’s aversion to rooting. Also, given what the app does to your phone, it logically needs root access. This year, Greenify was made available for non-rooted devices — a breakthrough. This recent update to Greenify now allows the auto hibernation feature in non-root mode, although the developers are cautious in saying that this is still being improved.

Still, full Greenify features on a non-rooted device sounds sweet. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it may be time for you to do so right now. The app is a free download via the source link. If you need more information about the app, check out the official XDA thread here.

SOURCE: Google Play Store

IR 2.0 turns your phone into a universal TV remote

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

We feel for TV remote controllers, you know. Apart from being one of the most misplaced house implements, it is one of those that take so much beating. How many times have you dropped your TV remote on the concrete floor? “A lot,” was our answer. Because of those drops, malfunctioning and totally destroyed TV remotes abound, leaving you without the ability to change channels from your couch – such a stressful thought! Well, not anymore. Welcome, the “IR 2.0” app.

There is an immediate caveat that you have to know before you go downloading the app and blaming us for the frustration after – the app will ONLY work on tablets and smartphones that have an IR blaster, notably the HTC ONE M8 and M7, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, the Galaxy Note 3 among others. For the younger generation, IR is “infra-red”, or the thing that makes your TV remote work remotely. Please be clear on that before downloading the app.

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IR 2.0 is a free download via the Google Play Store, but we suggest that you pony up the few dollars for the whole shebang. What does the app do? Well, it lets you control your TV from the smartphone app. We’ll let you simmer on how wonderful that is for a while… nice, right? The app has a database of brands that you can choose from, and will even let you “save” remotes for convenient usage later.

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Staying in a hotel room where the remote is non-functional? IR 2.0 will save your day. It will even control certain set-top devices, Blu-ray players, satellite TV recievers, and even airconditioning units. And you can be sure you won’t be careless about dropping this “remote”, because hey, it’s your phone as well. Grab it at the source link.

SOURCE: Google Play Store

Clearer Lenovo Vibe X2 images leak, see gradient design up close

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

A few days back, we got our first good look at the Lenovo Vibe X2 – taking in that metal back plate and that unusual gradient design on the sides of the phone. We get to see that up close as clearer images leak for the phone that is due to be launched by Lenovo at IFA 2014 in Berlin.

The phone is purportedly coming out in 2 variants, and one with at least flagship-level specs – a MediaTek MT6596M octa-core processor (quad 2.0Ghz, quad 1.5Ghz), a 5-inch IPS 1080×1920 display, 2GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. The lower variant is supposedly coming out with a 2.2Ghz Intel SoC.

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There are a couple of small details from these group of pics, especially the image of the back (as shown above). There are what looks like three contact points on the back, possibly for an accessory or for charging – all of these are assumptions as of now. Also, the gradient design looks interesting – it looks like slabs of metal one over the other to form the body of the device.

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There will be a lot of gadgets coming out of Berlin in a few days’ time, and those first few days will be a certain measure if this new gadget from Lenovo catches the eye of those who will be there. Judging from all the new devices coming out of that trade show, it’s going to be a monster holiday season for gadgets.

VIA: G for Games

Samsung partners with Nike for running app on Gear S

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Coinciding with the unveiling of Samsung’s new Tizen wearablethe Samsung Gear S – is its partnership with global athletic apparel brand Nike for a collaborative version of the latter’s patented running app “Nike+ Running”. The two have come together to bring the app directly to the Gear S, a smart wearable device that can be worn untethered to a smartphone because of its own 3G connectivity.

This new Tizen version of the Nike+ Running app comes preloaded on the Gear S, with the app giving standalone run tracking and music playback to the user. Run tracking apps usually rely on the host device’s GPS capabalities, and that is not a problem as the Gear S has its own A-GPS receiver. Pretty nifty. Usually, the GPS is a battery hog, but Samsung was brave enough to include one in the Gear S.

Aside from tracking your runs, the app also allows you to share all the data you generate on social networks – again, thanks to the Gear S and its standalone 3G connection. Data will show up on the Gear S’ curved Super AMOLED screen – including distance, pace, heart rate, NikeFuel earned, and run time. The included music player is standard to running enthusiasts and needs no explanation.

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The new Gear S wearable drops to the shelves in October, with Samsung yet to give any information about pricing. Another question is how mobile carriers will match data plans for the device’s onboard 2G/3G modem. Watch this space.

SOURCE: Samsung Mobile

ORA-1 is a potential Google Glass killer, runs on Android

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

As wearable technologies continue to find their time more and more in the spotlight, outfits like Optinvent find more and more reasons to be bullish about their products. This specific thingamabob is the ORA-1 wearable “smart glass” gadget, done in the tradition of what Google started with Google Glass – only, this one is more scalable as it runs mostly on Android OS.

Think of an Android tablet that you wear as eyeglasses – that’s how Optinvent wants us to think about the ORA-1 smart glass product. The ORA-1 is optimized for AR (that is, “augmented reality”) applications – allowing users a clear view while displaying a virtual image on the glass itself. In terms of physical specs, the gadget has its own dual-core processor that runs processes for the included the camera, microphone, inertial sensors, ambient light sensor, photochromic lenses, and a high capacity rechargeable battery. Not bad right?

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As can be expected, the ORA-1 is fully configured for connectivity with WiFi, Blootooth, and GPS. The gadget runs Android 4.2.2 at the moment, but their Kickstarter page says that they are currently upgrading to Android 4.4 KitKat. Optinvent says that Android apps can run locally on the device – but in truth, it only makes sense to run AR-oriented applications on the gadget. That said, AR app developers can now have more freedom by scaling from Android than from any other proprietary platform.

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While still far from their Kickstarter target funding, we can see the ORA-1 as being a very capable device for Android augmented reality apps. Optinvent claims that the device is the most robust smart glass platform available today. To their defense, we haven’t really seen anything to compete with Google Glass at this point, so they may have a point to prove. We’ll have to see how the platform matures and develops, but at this point in time, we can totally see the AR industry ready to boom.

SOURCE: Optinvent ORA-1 Kickstarter

Samsung Galaxy Tab S goes to the street, compared with iPad Air

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Samsung released a video yesterday that took its premier tablet – the Samsung Galaxy Tab S – to the streets of New York and asked seemingly random people to compare it with Apple’s current gen iPad Air. We say “seemingly” because, all things aside, it’s still a Samsung-produced video. Then again, we’ll give them half the benefit of doubt.

When the Samsung Galaxy Tab S launched, the South Korean gadget giant hyped a lot on the tablet’s fab looks – it’s sexy thin to ridiculous proportions. And it has a vibrant display, which it claimed was better than what most high-end tablets out in the market had. Now it was a matter of taking the Galaxy Tab S and have the people of New York compare it with Apple’s premium tablet.

It’s a marketing video, for all it worth. And of course, they showed the people who gave their tablet glowing reviews. But a couple of things are factual, though – the Galaxy Tab S is visible thinner than the iPad Air. More than that, it is comparably lighter, and this is a real-world variable that people consider from using tablet devices. Lastly, out in the New York sunshine, the Galaxy Tab S showed a better display – most likely by virtue of its higher pixel count.

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Overheating rumors aside, we can grant that most people would probably choose the Galaxy Tab S if on looks and display alone. When seen beside the iPad Air, the Galaxy Tab S looks undeniably fab – razor thin and that much lighter. Actual usage would take into consideration apps, processor performance, operating system and all that – that is when you can really say which the better tablet is. But for now, let’s allow Samsung this – they made a good looking tablet, that’s for sure.

SOURCE: Samsung

Alone Android game lets you run riot in space

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

If it’s your dream to travel through space and fly endlessly across the different galaxies, you are one step closer to checking that off your bucket list. Well, virtually at least if you have an Android gadget that is. The developer of that simple but difficult game PUK has come up with another doozy with ALONE…, where you get to pilot a space capsule at light speed in another endless runner game, but this time with a galactic twist.

Instead of controlling your spaceship by tapping, you slide your finger in the direction that you want it to go, whether it’s up or down, as you evade asteroids, space rocks, debris, etc. It will take some getting used to, especially as the game is very touch sensitive, and you might find yourself screaming because you didn’t actually want the ship to go that way. And did we mention that this game is played at lightning speed and that your space ship is super duper fast?

The graphics are not that complicated and all you need to know is that you have to avoid all those debris flying through space from destroying your ship, all while trying to manoeuvre one of the twitchiest game controls ever. Good thing is that there are only three unlockable difficulty levels and two bonus modes that will be unlocked when you reach certain milestones. And while you’re playing the game, you have a great soundtrack to back you up.

You can download ALONE… from the Google Play Store for only $2.47. The single player game does not have any in-app purchase and should work with mid-level and above Android smartphones and tablets.

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IDC stats show smartphone shipments are increasing in 2014

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

IDC is always looking at the smartphone and other markets around the world to determine if the market is growing or shrinking. IDC has released the latest data for the smartphone market around the world in 2014. According to IDC, the market is growing and demand for smartphones remains strong despite slowing growth in mature markets.

IDC predicts that over 1.25 billon smartphones will be shipped around the world this year. That number is an increase of 23.8% compared to the previous year when 1.10 billion units shipped. IDC is predicting continued growth in the smartphone world with 1.8 billion units shipped in 2018.

While growth is slowing in mature markets, emerging markets have begun to account for over 50% of annual smartphone shipments. Mature markets have delivered double-digit growth year over year until 2014 when the growth rate in those markets is predicted to slow to 4.9%.

Emerging market smartphone volume is expected to reach 920.8 million units in 2014 making up 73.5% of all volume shipped. Android devices continue to account for the most volume in the smartphone market with 88.4% of shipments in 2014 expected to be Android units.

SOURCE: IDC

Galaxy Note 4 rendering leaks confirming previous leaks

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Many smartphone users out there are looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 landing so they can get their hands on the latest Sammy phablet. Earlier this month we talked about some leaked images of the Galaxy Note 4 that showed a metal frame, rounded corners, and thin design. A new rendering of the smartphone has leaked this week.

This new rendering seems to confirm the leaked images from earlier this month. Exactly where the rendering came from is unknown and there is no way to confirm that this is a legitimate rendering of the device. Samsung is expected to unveil the Note 4 at IFA 2014 next month.

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Along with the leaked rendering of the smartphone comes a leaked video of a disguised Galaxy Note 4 in use. The video shows the screen, believed to be 5.7-inches with 1440 x 2560 resolution packing 515ppi. Since we can’t see the phone design, we certainly can’t confirm that this is a Note 4 and not some hoax.

The video really shows nothing but a user repeatedly tapping the screen of a phone claimed to be the Note 4. You get to see nothing but a splash screen with what appears to be some sort writing on the screen.

SOURCE: Android Authority and PhoneArena

Moto G 4G CyanogenMod 11 nightly builds now available

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

If you are looking for a budget smartphone, the Moto G 4G is one of the devices you may want to put on your shortlist of options. If you like the hardware but prefer to use something other than the standard operating system, the other good thing about the Moto G is that it is typically unlocked and easy to mod.

With that in mind, Moto G 4G users can now get CyanogenMod 11 nightly builds for the smartphone. A CM installer is available for the smartphone making it easy to install. The ROM can be downloaded at this link, and is only for the Moto G with LTE.

A version of CyanogenMod 11 for the Moto G without LTE is available here. If you are unfamiliar with the Moto G handset, we have a full review on the non-LTE version of the Moto G for you to check out.

The smartphone has a 4.5-inch screen with 720p resolution, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, and 1GB of RAM. The rear camera has 5MP resolution and power comes from a 2070 mAh battery.

SOURCE: Android Police