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iRobot Releases Hackable Roomba — Without The Vacuum

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

We love forward thinking companies that take a risk and do something different. iRobot, the company behind the iconic Roomba, just released the newest version of their Roomba Create — a programmable Roomba (minus the vacuum) that can be hacked and programmed to do all sorts of things.

The company developed the Create with STEM students in mind — a robotics learning platform. It came out originally back in 2007, and we’ve covered many hacks that have made use of it. Many. Like, a lot. One of our favorites has got to be this data center monitoring robot that makes use of the platform!

Anyway, the newest version of the Create features the typical hardware upgrades you’d expect, and with some special emphasis on 3D printing. In fact, the CEO of iRobot [Colin Angle] thinks that 3D printing is going to make a big difference in a few years:

“Your Roomba could be a software file that you print at home,” he says. He says the Create’s new features are a way for the company to get ready for that day, while also providing a platform that educators and hobbyists can use to tinker.

Kudos to you guys, iRobot! We just wish people would stop giving Roomba’s knives…

[Thanks PSUbj21!]

Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Android Hacks, Arduino Hacks

Google releases Android 5.0.2 for Nexus 7 (2012) tablet

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

It’s worth remembering that only weeks ago, Google released its first patch to Android 5.0 (which was 5.0.1) for the Nexus 5 and then the more current Nexus 6. We thought that was going to be it for a while, but just recently Google released its second patch 5.0.2 for the 2012 version of the Nexus 7 tablet, skipping the first patch altogether for a more current build.

Of course, the new patch incorporates all of the improvements from the first one, and includes some new improvements. Most of the new adjustments will be for kernel and startup scripts – these to give a boost to the processor and maintain a higher performance rate. That’s good news for all Nexus 7 users.

There’s also a bugfix for an issue with the tablet’s AlarmManager process, which is the element that wakes your device when apps need to perform their scheduled tasks. Some people have experienced issues with the process since upgrading to Android Lollipop.


The build code is “LRX22G” and is now posted for download at the usual download page for images of Nexus devices — check the source link below. The patch should also be rolling out OTA as well, so you should check your notifications if you own a 2012 Nexus 7 (WiFi only) device. No indications yet if the patch will roll out to the 3G units of the same model.

SOURCE: Google Dev

HiSense Sero 8 Pro Android tablet specs and pics from FCC

Posted by Tom December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

The HiSense Sero 8 Pro Android tablet has shown up at the FCC, so it’ll no doubt be out soon since it was announced in September.

The Sero 8 Pro has a nice 7.85-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel HD display and runs on a Rockchip RK3288 ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core processor.

It packs 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and has a microSD slot for expansion.

It supports 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, has a 5MP back camera and a 2MP front-facer, and a 4400mAh battery.

The Sero 8 is set to debut in Europe at 199 euros, a nice price worth considering.

Via liliputing

Now Gesture Tweaks Replaces Google Now with Custom Action

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Now Gesture Tweaks

On most modern Android devices with software navigation keys, swiping up from the bottom of the screen launches Google Now. And for those devices with hardware navigation buttons, long pressing on the home button accomplishes the same task. With no native settings in Android to change the action to anything else, these convenient gestures remain untouched and unused on many devices. So until Google finally realizes that not everyone cares for or uses Google Now–at least not enough to warrant a dedicated shortcut–it looks like we have to turn to third party apps to remedy the issue. This is where Now Gesture Tweaks comes in.

Developed by XDA Senior Member SpadaBoss, Now Gesture Tweaks is an app that allows you to customize the action activated when swiping up from the navigation bar or long pressing on the hardware home button. Although the app comes as a free version and a paid version, the free version packs the essential functionalities sure to be useful for many people. These free functions include launching a picker which displays all your apps from which you can choose to launch an app from, and launching a custom app. The functions in the paid functions include numerous other shortcuts such as opening a camera and toggling settings.

So, if you own an Android device and would rather see this shortcut be used for something else other than launching Google Now, head over to the Now Gesture Tweaks application thread for more details.

The post Now Gesture Tweaks Replaces Google Now with Custom Action appeared first on xda-developers.

ZTE LivePro International Giveaway!

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Sprint livePro

Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a cool Android or tech gadget each and every Sunday. Last week’s winner of the Nexus 9 giveaway is Sameer M. (Australia)! Congratulations Sameer, enjoy your brand new Nexus 9 tablet!

This week, we’ve teamed up with ZTE to giveaway a cool, wireless smart projector, the ZTE LivePro!

ZTE LivePro

Part projector, part hotspot, part battery; ZTE packs a ton of utility into one device, and it’s certainly innovative. Check out our full review if you’re interested in more! It’s a unique device that runs Android, can connect to your smartphone or tablet wirelessly to, and project your game, movie or app onto the big screen! It also can charge your devices on the go, too.

Plus, it’s super easy to enter. See below!

To Enter the Giveaway

  • Leave a comment on what you’d do with this Smart Projector if you won it (3 tickets)
  • Subscribe to ZTE on YouTube (2 tickets)
  • Follow @ZTE_USA on Twitter (1 ticket)
  • Refer friends to the giveaway. You will be given a unique URL to share with your friends or social networks. You will receive 1 bonus entry (up to 10 max) for every person who you refer to the giveaway using your unique URL. (Up to 10 tickets)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • You must be age of majority.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.

Full terms & conditions and FAQ | Past giveaway winners [Gallery]

Good luck everyone!

Lionsgate giving The Hunger Games, Catching Fire to select Samsung devices for free

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off


Everyone is in a giving mood this week! With Christmas just days away, we are seeing holiday surprises everywhere. Lionsgate is giving gifting two films from a blockbuster series to owners of select Samsung devices. The company will add The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to your Google Play Movies & TV library. Install The Hunger Games Movie Pack app and then look for the button that has a two in it. Select a film and then the Play Store will take care of the rest.

The following are the official Samsung devices eligible to download the two films at no cost:

  • Galaxy S 5
  • Galaxy S 4
  • Galaxy Note 3
  • Galaxy Tab S
  • Galaxy Tab Pro
  • Galaxy Note Pro

Enjoy the films on your phone, tablet, computer, or Chromecast.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.


qr code

Play Store Download Link

Come comment on this article: Lionsgate giving The Hunger Games, Catching Fire to select Samsung devices for free

ToqAN Fixes Android 5.0 Notification Bug on Qualcomm Toq

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off


The Qualcomm Toq is probably one of the lesser known smartwatches on the market right now. This can probably be attributed to the fact that device was a proof-of-concept device built by Qualcomm that was meant to encourage other OEMs to take up Mirasol displays for their own smartwatches, and that it was available for sale in only limited quantities. Its standout feature, as you may have guessed, is its Mirasol display, which is comparable to e-ink displays on wearables such as the Pebble. If you were lucky enough to snatch one up when they were on sale and have updated to Android 5.0 recently, you may have encountered an issue relating to notifications not being displayed properly. And if this is the case, Toq Alternative Notifications (ToqAN) has got you covered.

Developed by XDA Forum Member alaintxu, ToqAN is an app which seeks to allow Android 5.0 notifications to be sent properly to the Toq. This is necessary as in the wake of the official Toq app not being maintained and updated by Qualcomm anymore, any bugs which arise due to recent Lollipop updates won’t be fixed by Qualcomm. And one of these bugs include all the notification text being sent in the title section. With this app installed, notifications will be received properly on the Toq. It does require you however, to first go through a couple preparatory steps, such as pairing the device and checking a few checkboxes, a process which is explained in the post.

Having just released the version 1.0 of the app, Alaintxu does plan to incorporate more features into ToqAN in the future, including support for different languages, different notifications for specific apps, and a whitelist among others. So, if you own a Qualcomm Toq and have a device running Lollipop, checkout the ToqAN application thread for more details.

The post ToqAN Fixes Android 5.0 Notification Bug on Qualcomm Toq appeared first on xda-developers.

Galaxy Note Edge Review

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Among Samsung’s more ambitious devices, the Galaxy Note Edge is equal parts intrigue and confusion. The Note Edge occupies a space few other than Samsung dare to go in that it brings a new form factor that won’t appeal to the masses. In this niche is where Samsung takes their R&D to new heights, broadening their horizons in search of what’s next. Is the interesting Note Edge screen gimmick, though? Do you need a screen that peels off the edge? We’re about to find out.


I should probably start with a disclaimer, here. In this review, we won’t be concentrating on things that aren’t edgy, so to speak. For all intents and purposes, The Edge is a Galaxy Note 4 with a curved screen. If you need to know how we feel about things in Samsung’s big-phone space, I recommend you give our Note 4 review a read.

The only differences between the two are a slightly smaller screen on the Edge (really, one-tenth of an inch), and a battery that is just a scooch smaller.

Dispensing with that, here are the main specs for the Galaxy Note Edge:

Display: 5.6-inches, 1600 x 2560 Super AMOLED, 524 ppi
Processor: Snapdragon 805
GPU: Adreno 420
Camera: 16mp, OIS, LED Flash (rear), 3.7mp (front)
Memory: 32 or 64 GB, microSD card slot (supports up to 128GB)


There’s just no getting away from it: the screen is curved. At every viewing angle, the bend in the screen is evident.

On a positive note, there isn’t really and distortion to the pixels. They don’t look stretched around the side, and the curve isn’t part of some elaborate re-thinking of what your smartphone should do. Your apps aren’t going to suddenly curve around the side and confuse you.


The curve is there to house favorite apps and quick-launch items. It also gives quick glances at the weather, or other info you might want to see.


Settings specifically for the Edge’s edgy screen attempt to make it a more personal experience throughout, showcasing its true intent as a secondary screen more than a wraparound for apps. In fact, when you’re in an app or webpage, the side goes dormant, displaying a message of your choosing or favorite apps. Keep in mind the curved portion of your screen will show up in screenshots, as you can see throughout this review.



If there’s a rounded screen that isn’t available all the time, what’s it for? You can quick-launch favorite apps there, and even get some contextual info of your choosing. In that vein, the Note Edge is more like a smartphone-plus. I’ll explain.

The curved portion of the screen acts like more of a second screen than an extension of the one you’re going to look at most of the time. It takes things like apps you’d clutter your home screen with and gives them a home. You can still use the Note Edge like a regular phone, and put apps up front and center, but you don’t have to, now.


Samsung has set up a partition for apps and services, which seems downright gimmicky. A quick look around the web at other reviews points to that mindset as well, but I disagree. In fact, I think it’s brilliant — as a concept.

Having the “main” screen available for workhorse stuff or widgets is fantastic, and the ability to work or play but also get to apps you might want to navigate to quickly is awesome. For productivity-minded folks who really like Samsung’s split-screen utility, the app hot-launch functionality of the Edge’s screen is special.


Unfortunately — or wisely, I’m not sure yet — there are no third-party apps specifically targeting the Edge. It’s a niche device in an already niche market, but I can see use cases for the Edge’s “here when you need me” functionality.

Samsung has already tweaked a few of their apps to show why Edge is great. Camera controls bend around the side, and S Note shows why productivity geeks will love it, as tools shift to the edge.



The Edge is cool, but not perfect. We appreciate it for what it is, though, and that’s a beta product. It’s unfortunately pretty bulky, which is a side effect of the curve itself.

The side-screen also displays notifications as side-scrolling text if you look at it in portrait mode, or just goes dark with a feint message of your choosing. I also found the device slow to recognize it was in landscape. It’s a neat device to sit on the desk or nightstand, because the edge-y screen can serve as a clock/notification center, but there were a few times it just didn’t want to realize it was in landscape and on the desk.


Also, I’m left handed; the Note Edge’s curvature is on the right side (in portrait). There’s a “Rotate 180-degrees” mode, but that leaves the home button and static software buttons for recents and back up top. And upside down. Not elegant, Samsung. Luckily, I just don’t consider this a one-handed device, so my left-handedness bothered me much less than it could have.

The Note Edge is priced a bit higher than the Note 4. At roughly $120 more, the Note Edge sneaks too close to $1,000 for me. You’ll pay about $850, here, and that’s a bit much.


The Note Edge is a great phone. It’s based on another great phone, the Note 4, so that’s not a hard call.

To say the Edge’s screen is a “gimmick” is doing it a disservice. A gimmick implies trickery simply to get attention. The Edge’s screen has some unique aspects that may have you enjoying it more than you thought you would.

The quick-launching of apps is cool, and having it on the desk as a notification/clock display is neat. Shoving camera settings to the bottom curve isn’t really all that good, but it shows what the Edge can do for you. While I didn’t enjoy the settings being on this odd curve, I really did like having the entire main screen as a viewfinder.


The Note Edge is forward-thinking, but also hedges a bet for you. While you get a screen that’s more unique than any you’ve seen before, you sacrifice nothing. Anything you do with the Edge’s side-screen is additional, and only adds to the experience.

As I said at the jump, the Edge’s screen isn’t a re-imagining of the smartphone. It’s just the next step.

The Note Edge is also reminiscent of the original Note from Samsung. When it launched, we collectively said “really, Samsung? Really?” in response to their big screen. Now, everyone is following suit (even Google!), and websites everywhere are considering the Note 4 for their year-end “device of the year” articles.

Though the Note Edge is weird, it’s probably the future. Will we be considering the Note Edge 4 for device of the year someday? As strange as it sounds, I can see it happening. The Note Edge needs refining, but Samsung might really be onto something, here.

The only question now is if you’re an early adopter. If you are, give the Note Edge a good, hard look when you want a new phone. I think you’ll be impressed by all the subtle, cool things it can do. I know I was.

VPN One Click your privacy online

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off
VPN One Click your privacy online

VPN One Click your privacy online, unlocks all blocked services like Twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc. by connecting to a Virtual Private Network Server. Your public IP address will be different from the real one and the connection will appear as coming from a different country to full protect your privacy. Furthermore, your internet connection will be… View Article

VPN One Click your privacy online is a post from: AndroidTapp

The post VPN One Click your privacy online appeared first on AndroidTapp.

Project Steal – Indie app of the day

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

What is Project Steal?

Project Steal is a 2D action platformer with some 3D graphics. You play as a robber who wants to steal from a bunch of vaults but first you’ll have to make it through the puzzles, traps, and guards. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store with in app purchases.

The premise of the game is very simple. You are a robber and the level is essentially you making it passed security to get through, and then rob from, the vault. The mechanics are classic 2D action platformer but the graphics are actually 3D which gives the game a good look which works surprisingly well with its simple game play. On top of the platformer stuff, you’ll have an assortment of weapons to use against the guards and, of course, some puzzles and deadly obstacles to overcome.

The controls come in the form of four buttons that adorn the bottom of the screen. On the left side is your left and right buttons and on the right side is fire and jump. The developers made them slightly transparent so you can still see behind them and they’re also themed well with the rest of the information posted on the screen.

Project Steal screenshot

Simple and stylish.

  • 45 ‘vaults’ to play through which is a good amount for a freemium game.
  • 2D game play mixed with 3D graphics gives the game a sophisticated feel over all-2D platformers.
  • Weapons, guards, obstacles, and traps work together to make the game challenging in a fun way.
  • The game mechanics and control scheme are easy to figure out and use.
  • The story line is weak. You’re a robber trying to rob vaults and that’s really all you need to know.
  • We felt like there could’ve been ‘more’ here. More action and more stuff to do.
  • No Google Play Games services.

Overall, this is a solid little platformer. There are 45 “vaults” (levels) to play through which isn’t bad considering the game is free to play. The in app purchase is nothing more than a single purchase to remove advertising which isn’t bad at all. Click the button below if you want to try it for yourself.

google play

Check out the previous indie app of the day: Krypton Anonymous Browser
Join us in the Apps and Games section of the Android Authority forums! Just don’t forget to read the rules first!

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