Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]
Late last month, a thread popped up on XDA forums where many Galaxy S3 owners were complaining about their handset dying suddenly on them. For some strange reasons, many people’s Galaxy S3 died on them overnight while on charge or while it was just lying idle. And it was a total brick. The phone even refused to boot, and the only way to fix the phone was to get the motherboard replaced from a Samsung service center.
After some investigation from Elite XDA developer, Adam Outler, and others, it was found that there was some bug in the eMMC firmware of the Galaxy S3 which suddenly lead to the death of the handset.
Well, Samsung has now officially confirmed the bug and also announced that they are working on a fix. The company has not given a timeframe as to when S3 owners should expect the fix to arrive. There is nothing Galaxy S3 owners can do to prevent their phone from dying suddenly other than perhaps pray. In the meanwhile, if your Galaxy S3 dies suddenly head over to your nearest Samsung’s service center to get the motherboard replaced.
One of the key new features that Apple introduced in iOS6 is ‘Do Not Disturb’. The feature allows iPhone users to silence notifications for a certain specified time of the day including notifications from apps.
By default, stock Android does not have any feature like Do Not Disturb built in. Samsung and Motorola are the only OEMs that include a Do No Disturb like functionality on their devices. Even then, the implementation from these OEMs don’t take the full advantage of Android’s open-ness and leave a lot to be desired.
A new app in the Play Store – Silencify – aims to bring a much superior Do Not Disturb like functionality to Android devices. Along with the ability to silent your phone, the app can also switch off auto syncing, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when a specified schedule is triggered to save battery life.
Below is a list of features of the app -:
1. Silence / Quiet phone according to set schedule.
2. Silence phone for a particular meeting.
3. Turn off Sync when scheduled silence is on – Improves Battery Life.
4. Turn off Bluetooth when scheduled silence is on – Improves Battery Life.
5. Turn off Wi-Fi when scheduled silence is on – Improves Battery Life.
6. Switch in preferences for “Master Silence”.
7. Switch in preferences to immediately silence device.
8. “Always Accept” list of contacts/phone numbers to ring the phone even when its in silence.
9.”Always Reject” list of contacts/phone numbers to always silence the phone from those numbers.
10. Backup of application data.
The biggest advantage of Silencify over Do Not Disturb and other such implementation is that it can switch to silent mode depending on a user’s location. The app also reads your calendar entries and can switch to silent mode based on certain keywords.
Silencefy can be downloaded for free from the Play Store. The developer is working on adding more features to the app including Driving mode, a widget to quickly silence your phone and more.
P.S. – The developer seems to be confused about the name of his app. While the Play Store listing shows the app name as ‘Silencefy’, post installation the app showed up as ‘Silencify’ on my app drawer.
Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for its first Android powered camera – the Galaxy Camera. The update does not really bring any new features except for some bug fixes, and slight improvement in performance and stability.
For the unknown, the Galaxy Camera from Samsung packs in a 4.8-inch Super Clear LCD with 720p HD resolution, a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3G and all the other usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features. The 16MP sensor on the Galaxy Camera is accompanied by a 28-48mm (35mm) optical lens which allows for up 21x optical zoom.
Samsung released the Galaxy Camera with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and its own nature inspired TouchWIZ UI. As of now, Samsung has started rolling out the update only in the United Kingdom. Galaxy Camera owners can update their device either by using Samsung’s KIES software or via OTA.
WebOS never really met with the success it deserved. While Palm’s handsets consistently failed to provide a decent webOS experience, HP killed the mobile OS soon after it acquired Palm. The company did, however, open-source the OS as “Open webOS” for the developer community to tinker with it.
Due to this, “Open WebOS” has been ported to some devices including the Galaxy Nexus albeit in barely working condition. Today, joining that list is the $199 tablet from Google and Asus — the Nexus 7.
Below is a video of the Open WebOS in action on the Nexus 7 -:
It took the developer – Simon – around a week to port Open WebOS to the Nexus 7. Most of the work has been borrowed heavily from the Galaxy Nexus port, which made his job slightly easier. The port is by no means complete with the web browser and Wi-Fi being the only features that barely work. There is also a slight UI lag here and there, but this is a given considering the port is still in alpha stages.
Head over to the source link for more information and the download link.
If you are an Android user and an avid Twitter user, you will clearly know that there is a serious lack of a beautiful yet functional Twitter app for Android. The official Twitter client for Android is nothing but a mess, while Plume, Tweetcaster and other similar Twitter clients look absolutely horrible.
A relatively new Twitter client – Falcon Pro – however, has the potential of becoming the best Twitter app for Android. The app was recently released on the Play Store and has been steadily updated by its developer adding new features and squashing bugs. As a new year gift, the developer released a major updated for Falcon Pro that brings with it some basic features that were missing earlier, bug fixes and some minor new features.
Below is the massive change-log for the update -:
– Added YouTube api integration
– Added option to Enable double tap on tweets
– Added logout button
– Added hide keyboard on RT
– Added report for SPAM
– Added mute mangement from settings
– Added hashtag auto fill when searching for tweets
– Added slider for refresh rates
– New “More Actions” dialog design
– Removed retweets from search results
– Set back mentions of followers in timeline
– Enhanced conversation view with private accounts
– Changed reply icon in profile view
– Faster user profile loading
– Fixed the rotation problem on tweet writer with pics
– Fixed orientation change on main view
+ other fixes
Falcon Pro is among the first few apps in the Play Store that take advantage of the new YouTube API integration from Google. The new API integration will allow Falcon Pro users to directly watch YouTube videos when they come across a YouTube video link on their timeline without the need of opening the YouTube app.
While this update in no way adds all the missing features that Falcon Pro has compared to Plume or Twicca, they still help in improving the overall usability and experience of the app.
Third party launchers have always been one of Android’s strength. Back in the Ginerbread days, ADW LauncherEx and Launcher Pro offered unmatched customisability and features including themes support, multiple docks and more. With Android 4.0, a new bunch of launchers took over the Play Store. Nova Launcher has stood apart from the rest, thanks to a very long list of features, stability, performance and a very responsive developer.
The launcher got an update go v2.0 last night that contains a lot of new features. I guess the developer wanted to give a gift to all Nova users with such a massive update.
The massive change-log of all the new features and changes introduced in the latest version can be found below -:
Custom Icon Size (Prime)
Swipe actions on any desktop icon (Prime)
Custom wallpaper cropping
Increase maximum desktop grid size
Infinite Scroll Drawer Setting
Alphabetical list drawer style
Small Icons Dock Setting
Force wallpaper scrolling on USA SGS2
Aggressive Desktop Setting (Keep in memory)*
Lower memory usage
Improve scrolling performance
Fixes, optimizations and tuning
*”Retrieve Running Apps” used for Aggressive Desktop and warning when multiple launchers are running
If you have not already, go ahead and give Nova Launcher a try on your Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.
iOS users who pirate apps, here is some bad news for you. Hackulous is shutting down! Hackulous has acted as a gateway for all jailbroken iOS devices to install pirated apps on their devices using Installous or AppSync.
The reason behind the shut down according to the Hackulous team is the lack of activity on their forums. Below is their official statement -:
Goodnight, sweet prince.
We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.
With lots of love,
While the death of Hackulous does not mean that iOS piracy is dead, it will definitely help in reducing piracy. Keep in mind that Hackulous itself did not host pirated iOS apps. Instead, it had in its repos two of the most popular and easiest way of installing pirated apps on iOS – Installous and AppSync. Since Hackulous repo is already down, there is no way to install Installous or AppSync for now.
It is just a matter of time and some work from developers before Installous or AppSync once again make an appearance on jailbroken iOS devices.
Black has been synonymous in the gadget world. It is generally taken for granted that a company will usually launch its latest technological marvel in black, which depending on the demand, is followed by a white colored variant. However, in the last couple of years, the trend has changed with companies and consumers preferring white or other colored variant of their smartphone or tablet.
Samsung launched its iconic Galaxy S III in Grey and White colors, and followed it with a few more colors including red and black a few months later. The Korean company seems to be following a similar strategy with the Galaxy Note II as pictures of a black colored variant of the Note II has surfaced online. all thanks to Android Slash.
Samsung is expected to release some new color variants of the Galaxy Note II at MWC in Barcelona in late-February.
The HTC HD2 may be old and outdated by today’s standard, but the phone even after 3 full years after its release, just refuses to die. Up until now, the HTC HD2 has managed to run Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows Phone 8, Android 2.3, Android 4.0, MeeGo, WebOS and Ubuntu.
Joining this list today is Windows RT. Windows RT is the ARM version of Windows 8 that launched with Microsoft’s first tablet – Surface RT. Obviously, don’t expect the HD2 to run Windows RT in its full glory though. The Surface RT with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor sometimes struggles to run Windows RT properly, and the HD2 only has a single core clocked at 1GHz and half the RAM.
The above hack was made possible by Cotulla who managed to get UEFI working on the HD2, which is important for Windows RT to boot. The steps and process has not been made public by the developer, but that should happen sometime soon after he works out all the kinks.
After T-Mobile started rolling out the multi-view multitasking update for the Galaxy Note 2, it is now time for the AT&T Note 2 owners to enjoy the update. AT&T is the only major carrier that has not yet rolled out the multi-view update for the Galaxy Note 2 in the United States. Verizon’s Note 2 shipped with the feature out of the box, while Sprint and T-Mobile rolled out a software update to enable the feature.
Below is the full statement from AT&T regarding the software update -:
AT&T plans to begin rolling out a software update for Samsung Galaxy Note II customers that includes the Multi-Window feature, which allows the user to divide the screen into two active “windows” creating a split screen that enables fluid multitasking between applications. The update will be available for download over the air beginning Dec. 27.
AT&T confirmed the news about the roll-out in an email to none other than Engadget themselves. The update will be rolled out via OTA and in batches so don’t get impatient if you don’t get the update tomorrow.
ZTE today officially announced its much leaked handset – the Nubia. With the Nubia, ZTE joins the race of bringing 1080p resolution touting screens on Android smartphones. Like the DROID DNA and the HTC Butterfly, the Nubia packs in a 5-inch 1080p display made by Sharp, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM.
At the back of the handset is a 13MP of camera with an LED flash and accompanied by a 2MP camera in the front. Other specs of the handset include 32GB of storage space, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with a skin that inspired the popular MIUI ROM, a 2300mAh battery and the usual connectivity features like Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC inside an impressively thin 7.6mm body.
As of now, ZTE plans on bringing the Nubia only to its homeland, China at a competitive price of around US $550. Rumors do suggest that ZTE will announce the global variant of the Nubia at the upcoming CES 2013.
Galaxy S3 owners, here is some good news for you. Elite Recognized developers – Adam Outler and Rebellos – have managed to come up with a “totally revolutionary SDCard” based bootloader for Samsung’s Exynos based devices.
The ‘Open Galaxy Bootloader’ is an alternative to Samsung’s closed source bootloader, and will allow Exynos based Samsung devices to boot from a SD card. As of now, the “Open Galaxy Bootloader” will works only on the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Camera.
The open-sourced bootloader will also allow advanced users to recover bricked Galaxy S3 devices. After some more development, it will be possible for Galaxy S3 owners to directly boot into other OSes such as Ubuntu, Chrome OS or WebOS.
As of now, Adam is waiting to get his hands on a ‘dead’ Galaxy S3. Until someone loans or donates his ‘dead’ Galaxy S3 to him, not much progress can be made in the project. So, if you own a Galaxy S3 that died overnight while charging and is refusing to boot now and are interested in donating the device to Adam, head over to this XDA thread.
One S owners are not the only one receiving a Christmas gift from HTC. Motorola also has surprisingly started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX.
The 320MB+ update automatically started rolling out for some DROID RAZR owners since yesterday. The Jelly Bean update for the DROID RAZR/RAZR MAXX brings with it the usual Jelly Bean goodness including Project Butter for a super-smooth Android experience, enhanced speech-to-text, enhanced notification bar along with an improvement in stability and battery life. Motorola’s own OEM skin is pretty light and does not really interfere much with the stock Holo theme so
Motorola only recently updated DROID RAZR HD, RAZR HD MAXX and RAZR M to Jelly Bean. Even DROID RAZR owners are going to be surprised that the Jelly Bean update has landed so quickly for their handset. With the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update rolling out to RAZR/MAXX owners, the device is now officially two Android OS updates ahead compared to a Nexus handset – the Verizon branded Galaxy Nexus.
HTC One S owners, here is a nice Christmas gift for you. HTC has finally started rolling out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for your handset. While the Taiwanese maker had originally announced that it will roll-out the update back in October, it took its own sweet time to begin the roll-out.
The Jelly Bean update for the One S will bring with it Project Butter for a lag-free UI navigation, Google Now, slight UI tweaks, improved voice search, offline speech-to-text and more. HTC has also updated Sense’s version to 4.1 that brings with it some new software goodies including an enhanced camera app, along with some major performance boost by reducing the number of unneeded transitions.
As of now, HTC is rolling out the Android 4.1.1/Sense 4.1 Jelly Bean update only for a limited CID variants of the One S. Also, the update is only being rolled out for the One S that use the Qualcomm S4 Krait processor, and not the older-generation Qualcomm S3 SoC.
Sony Xperia T owners, if any, want a sneak peek for the Jelly Bean update that is coming sometime next year for your device? Sony Viet has managed to get their hands on a video that shows a development Android 4.1.2 firmware from Sony running on the Xperia T.
The Android 4.1.2 update for Xperia T will bring with it quite a lot of new changes including all the features that Google added in Jelly Bean. This includes Project Butter for a buttery-smooth UI experience, expandable notifications in the notification bar, minor UI updates and more. Sony has also added some of its own customizations including a new launcher, enhanced lock screen, a ‘ClearAudio+’ mode for better audio quality, a new Albums app, improved Camera app, improved battery life and other minor software goodies.
Below is the video showing Android 4.1.2 in action on the Xperia T -:
One of the most important under-the-hood changes is that the kernel version gets bumped to v3.4 with the Jelly Bean update. Only the Nexus 4 runs on the latest version of linux kernel for mobile devices.
Sony should start rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Xperia T sometime in January next year. Until then, Xperia T owners need to satisfy their hunger for Jelly Bean with the above YouTube video.