All posts by Rajesh Pandey

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]

Titanium Backup Updated To Version 6 – Brings Minor UI Enhancements And Bug-Fixes

Titanium Backup got an update today that brings with it a redesigned app menu, UI tweaks, enhancements and bug-fixes. While the new UI tweaks do not make Titanium Backup a pretty app by any means, it does make it a bit more bearable to use and was enough of a reason to bump the version number to 6.

The developer has tucked away all the advanced settings under the ‘Menu’ option in the Action Bar. Below is a screenshot of the new ‘Menu’ option -:

The official change-log of the update is as follows -:

• Redesigned app menu & special features menu. Perfect excuse for version number bump!
• Fixed filters screen bug: additional labels could get selected when loading a filter.
• Fixed storage labeling: Android 2.3+ non-remov. storage is Media storage. If internal storage is the same, gauges are merged.
• Fixed SMS/MMS XML backup failure on some SGS3/Note2 ROMs.
• Fixed Apps2SD misdetect on some Android 3.0+ devices that don’t have it.
• Bugfixes, UI tweaks, optimizations.
• Updated translations.

While Titanium Backup still does not look pretty, it is by far the best app for taking backups on rooted Android devices.

 

Sony Releases An Alpha Jelly Bean ROM For Xperia T

The Sony Xperia T is slated to receive the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update sometime in the first quarter of this year. For the impatient and advanced developers, Sony has released an alpha Jelly Bean custom ROM for the Xperia T. Sony had earlier released an alpha Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for its 2011 line-up of Xperia devices.

The Japanese company is also releasing the open source archive along with the Jelly Bean ROM for the Xperia T. Since this ROM is in alpha, it only has limited functionality, and is squarely aimed at advanced developers to taste some of the new Jelly Bean features on the Xperia T.

The custom ROM from Sony does not include the new Jelly Bean UI look and feel, along with all the usual Google apps including Play Store. Wi-Fi, FM Radio, NFC, Bluetooth and even the modem is also turned off. This means that there is no way for users to make any phone calls via their T after they flash this custom ROM on their handset.

To flash the custom ROM, you are required to unlock the bootloader of Xperia T and then use Sony’s official flash tool. Head over to Sony’s developer website for the announcement, steps and the download links.

If you are tired of waiting for the Jelly Bean update for the Xperia T, fret not. Sony says that the update is coming really soon, and there is no need for normal users to unlock their handset and install this Jelly Bean custom ROM.

Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich Natively Ported To Windows 7/8

Up until now, if users wanted to use Android on their Windows based PC, they had to use VirtualBox or any other VM manager.

While the average joe is not interested in running Android on his PC, it definitely comes in handy for developers as it allows them to test their app on the PC instead of switching to their phone or tablet every time.

Now, to make the life of developers easier, some gracious Chinese developers have managed to port Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich to Windows 7/Windows 8. This is a native port of Windows, and does not require any kind of VM environment.

While there is no Play Store yet, the developers are working hard on porting it along with the other Google goodies. Sideloading of APKs is possible, which will make it easier for developers to test their app. The performance is also impressively smooth with hardly any stability issues. Since the port is kernel dependent, it will not work on Windows XP or other versions of Windows.

A video of Android 4.0.3 running on a Windows based PC can be found here. An early release of the port can be downloaded from here.

Via – Reddit

Samsung Galaxy S II Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update Rolling Out

Galaxy S2 owners, here is some Jelly Bean goodness for you. After months of waiting, Samsung has now officially started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for your handset.

The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy S2 barely brought any new features or UI experience. The Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update is an altogether different story though. The update brings not only the latest TouchWIZ Nature UX as seen on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, but some other new features as well like Smart Stay, Direct Call, improved camera features, Samsung’s Cloud services, new lockscreen customizations, two homescreen modes, and new widgets.

The usual Jelly Bean goodness like Project Butter for ultra-smooth UI browsing experience, enhanced notification bar, improved speech-to-text and Google Now are also present. Samsung has also taken this opportunity to load more bloatware on the Galaxy S II.

Samsung had initially stated that installing the Jelly Bean update will re-partition and format the internal SD card. However, the current Jelly Bean firmware rolling out does not wipe or re-partition the internal SD.

The Jelly Bean update is going to breathe a new lease of life on this nearly two-year old flagship phone from Samsung. Considering how other OEMs completely forget their flagship handsets a year after its release, it is refreshing to see Samsung releasing a major update to the Galaxy S2 nearly 2 years after its release.

Via – Sammobile

Latest Tasker For Android Beta Brings A Major UI Revamp

Tasker is one of the most powerful automation tool available for Android devices. It is one of the few apps that truly harnesses the open nature of Android. While the app may have a steep learning curve, it has unlimited potential – With Tasker, the limit is your imagination.

On the flip side, Tasker is undoubtedly one of the ugliest looking app available in the Play Store. The app has been frequently cited as an example among Android haters and bashers for its horrendous UI and how ugly Android apps can be. Tasker was even featured on one of the episodes of Android Design In Action, where Roman and other Googlers showed off re-design of the app with the Holo theme.

The good news is that the Tasker developer finally started working on a UI revamp of the app sometime ago, and has released an early beta of the app for all to try. The developer of the app has definitely incorporated all the UI tweaks that the Googlers suggested to him in the video. Below are a couple of screenshots which show the revamped UI of the app -:

Along with the UI revamp, the developer has also removed all the deprecated APIs from the app. The new version of the app is only meant for Android 4.0 or higher running devices.

The beta version of Tasker with the revamped UI can be found here. The full change-log for the upcoming Play Store update and changes between betas can be found here.

Via – Reddit

LG Optimus G Pro Officially Unveiled In Japan; Full HD Screen, 13MP Camera, Quad-Core Processor And More!

Just a few days that the Optimus G Pro specs leaked online, LG has gone ahead and unveiled the handset in Japan under the NTT Docomo network. The major upgrade the Optimus G Pro has over its predecessor is the new 5-inch 1080p IPS display.

Internally, the Optimus G Pro packs in a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, NFC, GPS, Wi-Fi and the usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features including LTE. The Pro is around 1.5mm thicker than the Optimus G, thanks largely due to the beefy 3000mAh battery inside it. There is a 13MP sensor at the back of the handset which is capable of recording videos in Full HD (1080p) resolution.

LG has also dumped the glass black found on the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G in favor of plastic for improved reliability. The Korean company has also replaced the capacitive home button in the front with a physical Home like on the Samsung Galaxy series.

On the software side, the Optimus G Pro runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with LG’s own custom skin on top of it. One of the software tweaks that LG is offering on the Optimus G Pro is dubbed as ‘Slide Apps’, which are floating mini apps that can be kept on top of an existing application and used.

LG and NTT Docomo did not mention anything about the pricing of the handset. The handset is expected to be available in Japan sometime in April only. LG is also expected to announce a global version of the Optimus G Pro at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Unveiled; Sports A Quad-Core Processor, 10.1-inch 1920*1200 Screen Inside A 6.9mm Body

Sony today announced its next-generation tablet in Japan, the Xperia Tablet Z, that has made some appearances on the Internet over the last one month. The 10.1-inch screen of the Tablet Z has a resolution of 1920*1200 and is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC clocked at 1.5GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU.

Other key specs of the Xperia Tablet Z include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage space, a microSD card slot, GPS with A-GPS, Mobile Bravia Engine 2, 8.1MP Exmor R camera at the back, 1.9MP front-facing camera, NFC, 3G/LTE connectivity, GPS, Wi-Fi, and a bunch of sensors all inside an amazingly thin 6.9mm body.

While the specs of the Xperia Tablet Z are definitely impressive, the measly 6000mAh battery is something to be worried about. Hopefully, Sony has tweaked the Z to squeeze the maximum potential from the 6000mAh battery. The Xperia Tablet Z borrows similar design cues and build materials from its smartphone sibling, the Xperia Z. The device will be running on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean when released, but will be updated to Android 4.2 soon after.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Jelly Bean Premium Suite Update Now Available In The United States

After rolling out the Premium Suite upgrade for the International Galaxy S III, Samsung has turned its attention to the United States. The Korean company has started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy Note 10.1 in the U.S. The update also brings with it the Premium Suite upgrade that contains a lot of new features seen on the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S3.

The Premium Suite upgrade will bring with it Multi-Window multitasking, Air View, enhanced S-Pen functionality, Paper Artist, updated Gallery, Easy Clip and much more. The usual Jelly Bean goodness like Project Butter, enhanced notification bar, improved speech-to-text and Google Now are also present.

At the moment, the update is only available for the Wi-Fi variant of the Galaxy Note 10.1. The update is available via OTA or Samsung’s KIES software. Galaxy Note 10.1 owners in the United States can find more information and the list of features over at Samsung’s website.

Via – GSMArena

Xperia S Jelly Bean Firmware Update Details And Screenshots Leak

The Xperia S was Sony’s first half flagship for 2012. The handset launched with Gingerbread on-board, and was later on updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. While the handset was not particularly stellar, it did find its fair share of fanboys and lovers. Sony aims to update the Xperia S to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean sometime in April-May of 2013.

While the company has not announced as to what all changes the Jelly Bean update will bring for the handset, an XDA developer – DooMLoRD – has revealed some information as to what the update will bring along with some screenshots.

Firstly, the update will bring in a linux kernel v3.4.xx which should bring with it some low-level performance and security enhancements. Visually, the lock screen will be updated to the one currently seen on the Xperia T running Jelly Bean. Other enhancements include one-touch screen mirroring over HDMI, Find My Xperia, Power Management and much more.

The usual Jelly Bean goodness like Project Butter, enhanced notification bar, Google Now and others should also help in breathing a new life to the Xperia S when the update lands.

Via – Xperia S

LG Optimus G Pro Specs Leak; Confirms Its Existence

The LG Optimus G was among the first Android phones to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.5GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU. The Nexus 4 from Google and LG is also based on the Optimus G and sports similar specs as the Optimus G.

Even though the Optimus G is not yet widely available, rumors of LG working on the Optimus G successor has been floating around for quite sometime. Today, Blog Of Mobile have managed to get their hands on some leaked pictures that suggest that LG will soon be releasing the Optimus G Pro in Japan.

The Optimus G Pro is more of an iterative upgrade over the Optimus G. It packs in a 5-inch 1080p HD display and a Krait CPU from Qualcomm clocked at 1.7GHz. Other specs of the handset remain more or less the same – 13MP camera, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 2GB of RAM, 32GB storage space, LTE, GPS with A-GPS, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, NFC and a bunch of sensors. LG has also beefed up the battery of the Pro to 3000mAh to take into account the increase in screen size and a power hungry processor.

In all probability, LG will announce the handset at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that is just a month away from now.

Via – Engadget