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Multiboot in Progress for the Sony Xperia Z1

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 20 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

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As we’ve mentioned quite a few times in the past, multiboot is quite the interesting feature. Not only is it cool due to novelty, but it is also useful in case you need or want two separate instances of Android on your device.

In the past, we’ve seen XDA Recognized Developer munjeni bestow the gift of multiboot to devices like the Xperia P, as well as bringing it to the Xperia U, Sola and Go. Now, munjeni is back at work. And this time, his goal is bringing multiboot to the Sony Xperia Z1.

Currently, the multiboot boot menu works, but this is quite far from a plug-and-play affair. Rather, it’s only meant for experienced flashers and tinkerers, as you not only have to create the appropriate partitions, but you also need to update your recovery’s ramdisk, ROM’s ramdisk, and ROM’s updater_script. And once that’s all done manually, you then have to create the appropriate menu entries in the multiboot menu.

As you can tell by reading the above, the procedure is neither quick nor painless. Luckily every step is described in complete detail, but as we mentioned earlier, this is currently for experienced users only. If you feel like you’re up to the task, grab a cup of coffee and head over to the original thread. Multiboot awaits you.

Is Google working on a sub-$100 Nexus smartphone?

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

nexus devices line

The rumor mill is piping up this afternoon with word of a possible sub-$100 Nexus device. There are no specifications to speak of just yet, but unnamed sources and rampant speculation lead to the idea of a low-mid range phone with a MediaTek chipset, 1GB of RAM and 2G/3G connectivity.

The rumored Nexus device is not expected to be Google’s next flagship smartphone, that has been reserved for what is dubbed the Nexus 6 which is speculated to be built by LG. It is not in Google’s typical naming scheme, but this new sub-$100 phone is starting to feel like what other manufacturers call a ‘mini’ version – Nexus 6 Mini, perhaps? As for the pricing, we’re already seeing Lenovo launch their A-series tablets for a little over $100 equipped with MediaTek chipsets, speaking to how the chipmaker could have Qualcomm and others worried.

Is it inexpensive, or just cheap?

This is a valid concern for Android device shoppers. We have seen more than a few cheap Android tablets creep onto the market in the last couple years. However, some prominent device makers have also created exceptional equipment at affordable pricing. Take the Moto G for example, the Moto G is a sub-$200 phone that was released in January. It is a solid device that also packs 1GB of RAM and does not have a 4G radio, we’ve taken the Moto G for a full review, read all about it here, and checkout the video below.

Looking a little higher end than the Moto G, set to be officially announced in the next week, the OnePlus One is looking to possibly hit the market as the most powerful smartphone to date. The young company lives by the motto “never settle,” and is expected to have their ‘flagship killer’ smartphone launch for as little as half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S5. Google themselves have already shaken the 7-inch range tablet market, launching the Nexus 7 tablet back in 2012, with a redux in 2013. Built by ASUS, the Nexus 7 still feels very much like a premium device, but it too sells in the $200 price range.

We’ll compare the Moto G with pricier phones, because its price tag casts a new light on all of its features. – Joshua Vergara, Android Authority

motorola moto g (3)These devices have set in motion a trend and a realization for smartphone manufacturers, there is a huge global market for quality, yet affordable equipment. Motorola is rumored to be bringing a new low-cost smartphone to Mexico – called the Moto E, the rumor has it as a very similar unit to the Moto G, capitalizing on a phone model that has already been a top seller for the company.

Is there a market for a sub-$100 Nexus device?

A sub-$100 Nexus device is an intriguing prospect. On the one hand, we hold the idea that Nexus devices are for those that are in the know when it comes to Android – specifically built for developers to have access to all of the OS features and hardware sensors that Google has put into their pure Android. On the other hand, Nexus devices have proven to be excellent phones at an affordable price. The Nexus 5 has been a favorite for many, starting at $350, it has been the best answer for many new-to-Android users that ask “what phone should I get?” Check out our review of the Nexus 5 to see why.

The success of a sub-$100 Nexus device may come down to two main factors. First, who is Google building this device for? If the phone is built as an extremely affordable developers test phone, normal consumers may be put off by a lack of features, such as external SD card support. Second, in one word, marketing. The Nexus 5 may be made to capture the moments that matter, but I have never met it in any ads outside of Google’s own websites, or seen people dancing with it to Michael Jackson. Whether Google’s purpose is to make a number one selling phone or not, a sub-$100 phone removes the barrier to entry to the Android ecosystem, which may prove crucial to gaining new users, especially in emerging markets around the globe.

We look forward to learning more about this sub-$100 Nexus device. Until then, what are your thoughts on a Nexus branded sub-$100 phone – will Google make a knockout product for an amazing price, or just a decent entry level unit that anyone can afford?








Samsung EFS Tool Updated to V5, Brings Universal Device Support

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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You may recall that we’ve talked about XDA Recognized Contributor ricky310711‘s Samsung Tool a couple of times throughout the app’s lifespan. For those who don’t remember the name, this simple tool allows users to perform several simple but handy tasks such as backing up and restoring EFS, hot rebooting for a quick refresh, and full rebooting to recovery, download mode, or the Android OS.

Now, Samsung Tool has received a rather significant update to version 5. Chief among the new features is universal support for any Samsung device, as long as BusyBox is installed thanks to its new automatic block detection. In addition, v5 also brings md5sum checking for backups and restores for better flashing safety, improved logging, and an improved device properties menu. There is also native support for three new devices, which can be used without BusyBox.

To get started, simply head over to the original thread and store your EFS safe and sound.

Say Goodbye to Holo Blue Once and for All

Posted by Will Verduzco April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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When Google released Android 4.4 KitKat back in October of last year, they changed quite a bit under the hood to improve the OS’s performance. But in addition to cleaning up various bits and pieces of code to make things more efficient as part of Project Svelte, Google also got rid of the dynamic status bar indicators that would change colors to indicate network connectivity.

In doing so, Google replaced the dynamic blue and white signal and connectivity indicators in the Android status bar with static white icons. Not only did this improve UI performance by reducing rendering overhead and UI overdraw, but it also cleaned up the overall look of Android’s UI. Unfortunately though, there are still quite a few places in Android where you can still find the Tron-esque Holo Blue. But now thanks to XDA Recognized Themer rush25, you can finish what Google started.

Rush25′s theme subtly transforms quite  few common Google applications to the KitKat-friendly white UI. The themed applications include the Dialer, messaging app, Calendar, Desk Clock, Gallery, Camera, Settings, Google Ears, Gmail, and more. The theme was built following a previously covered guide by XDA Senior Member enricocid, and I installs through the popular T-Mobile/CyanogenMod Theme Engine. And those running other ROMs can get in on the action using XDA Senior Member hdbk1986‘s HKThemeManager Xposed Module.

To get started, simply head over to the original thread.

[Thanks to enricocid for the tip!]

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumored to feature a three sided Youm flexible display

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has already been rumored to include a 4K display and a possible Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset however, a latest report hints that it might also feature a remarkable flexible display.

Shortly after a Samsung representative stated that the Galaxy Note 4 will feature a “new form factor”, the Korean Media reported that the device will be the first smartphone to feature the “Youm” flexible display by Samsung. To add more to the flame, the same source, citing industry insiders, said that the screen will be three sided. But what is the use of a three sided screen? Well, it could be used to display various notifications such as messages, reminders or even the time.

Source: ZDNet
Via: G 4 Games

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Moto E is Motorola’s ultra-thin smartphone for Mexico

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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Remember the Motorola device that leaked yesterday in with three variants? Those variants belong to the Moto E name. It has leaked again. The device, which is seemingly heading to Mexico (for now), is similar to the affordable Moto G; however, the specifications are slightly better and the price tag reflects that.

For roughly 2999 pesos (or $230) without a contract, the Moto E brings a 4.3-inch 720p display with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM powered by a 1900mAh battery. Internal memory integrated is sized at 4GB and a microSD card slot looks like it will be included. Also, a 5MP camera sits on the rear of the device.

But, as the headline says, the Moto E is very thin. It is just 6mm thin. That is the real star of the show here. Expect the Moto E to be released in Mexico within the next few weeks. This is part of Motorola’s plan to target Latin America with affordable devices, especially due to the success of the Moto G globally.

Source: Xataka Mexico (translated)
Via: Phone Arena

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Images of the upcoming OnePlus One leak along with the StyleSwap covers

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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With a few days left to the announcement of the upcoming OnePlus One smartphone, the company revealed a part of the CyanogenMod 11S interface earlier today and now, the press render of the device is finally available for everyone to see. 

As you can see, the front design of the device is very much similar to the Oppo Find 7, not to forget that OnePlus is founded by one of the former Oppo staff. The design looks beautiful and is pretty much the same as the one shown on the packaging and retail materials leaked earlier.

Don’t get too excited though and take it with a pinch of a salt as we can’t guarantee that the renders are quite accurate and real although it looks similar to what we’ve expected. But that’s not all as the StypleSwap covers have been leaked also which will be available in textures such as bamboo, denim, sandstone, kevlar and silk.

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Via: Android Authority

 

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Pokemon Online – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Pokemon Online review

What is Pokemon Online?

indie app of the day
Pokemon Online is one of the few Pokemon experiences you can get on Android without going through the hassle of downloading an emulator and the games. The idea behind the app is simple. It strips away all the RPG and story elements and lets battle your Pokemon team online against other players. The purpose is to hone your battle strategies, see which teams do the best, and figure out strategies for beating harder opponents.

Despite the lack of story elements and RPG mechanics, the game manages to offer quite a bit of content. You can either have a team selected for you at random or you can carefully craft your own. By craft your own, I mean you get to pick which Pokemon you want, their abilities, and their level. This means you can go with your favorites or experiment with ones you’ve never used before. Given the number of Pokemon available, the number of permutations are quite large.

Once in battle, you play as though it were a typical Pokemon battle by selecting moves and abilities against a live opponent. This means connecting to a server which means you’ll need to have an internet connection in order to play. Aside from choosing your Pokemon team and moves, you can also play by various rule sets. If you want to play by the old school Pokemon Red or Blue rules, you can choose those or if you want to play by a newer rule set, you can. Playing by different rule sets can cause different effects depending on what attacks you use. That adds a fun layer of complexity on top of an already decently fun battle system.

Along with battling people, you can also participate in chat rooms and private messages if you so choose. It’s also worth nothing that there is a desktop version of this for the big three desktop operating systems which allows you to transport teams and face people cross platform. There is also a fairly active community of players complete with forums if you decide you want to get even further into the community.

What is wrong with this app?

The worst that’s been reported are server connection issues. Every now and then people will not be able to connect in order to play against other people. Another bug that has been frequently reported is the in-game menu button not working for some people. It seems to be pretty random so it’s a roll of the dice. If you don’t get those issues, it seems to be a fairly stable and solid application. Of course, like any online community populated by hardcore fans, there may be a little animosity but those are the risks we all take when joining new communities.


Pokemon Online review

Final thoughts

Overall, this is a fun little game. It’s not the classic Pokemon that everyone knows and loves, but if you’ve always been into the battling part of Pokemon then this is an app you can’t miss. There are the occasional server issues and a few bugs, but nothing too bad. It is important to remember that this is the battle part of Pokemon only. If you’re more of a fan of the story and didn’t enjoy the battling part so much, you probably will not enjoy this app. If you want to check it out, use the button below.
Get it on Google Play

Check out the last indie app of the day: FarFaria








Sony Xperia Z2 gets minor OTA update

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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The Xperia Z2, Sony’s flagship smartphone for this half of 2014, is receiving a small over-the-air update. It is still Android 4.4.2 KitKat, but the build has gone from 17.1.A.2.55 to 17.1.A.2.69 with this OTA update. There are some reports that Sony has shipped this build with some Xperia Z2 handsets and those without it will be getting it now. There are not major changes made with this update. It seems like Sony is just using it for bug fixes and performance improvements.

Source: Xperia Blog

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LG Isai FL in pink leaks alongside some specifications

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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The upcoming LG Isai FL that is bound for Japan has leaked once again. This time, @evleaks has given us a look at it in pink. But the image is not the only piece provided with his tweet. Also included were some specifications. The LCD display, which pushes the bezel-less boundary, is 5.5 inches. Inside will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz paired with 2GB of RAM. In addition to 32GB of internal storage, LG is including a microSD card slot.

While this handset is clearly covered with a skin produced by LG, Android 4.4 KitKat is at its core. And the outside of this device will actually be water-resistant to a degree. As I noted in the last leak for this device, it could be indicative of the LG G3 or even the Nexus 5 successor. The design language resembles both last year’s LG G2 and Nexus 5. In fact, it looks like a cross of the two.

 

Source: @evleaks

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