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]

ROM Manager Update Brings The Ability To Transfer Nandroid Files To PC Over Wi-Fi

ROM crack flashers, here is some good news for you. ROM Manager, which was once the must have app for every advanced Android user who used to flash custom ROMs on his device on a daily basis, is getting a major makeover.

Koush, the developer of ROM Manager, has been working on a UI and functionality upgrade for the app since the last week. While the new UI update is not yet out, he pushed out a new update for ROM Manager that adds a very nifty option to transfer you nandroid backups to your PC or vice versa.

The whole process is pretty simple, and users just need to enable the download server on their Android device via ROM Manager. Then, users can access this download server from their PC’s web browser and transfer nandroid backups to and fro.

This new feature should it make much easier for ROM Manager users to transfer those gigabytes of nandroid data from their phone to their PC or vice versa. The new update (v5.5.0.8) is already live in the Play Store and can be downloaded from here.

Koush is also working on a major upgrade for the Xperia S that will bring with it an updated UI, OTA ROM updates with delta updates and much more.

 

 

The Problem Of Every Nexus 4 Owner – Severe Battery Drain Thanks To “msm_hsic_wakelock”

I got a Nexus 4 in the first week of December, and have been loving the device since then. It has nearly everything that I would have asked for in the next Nexus. A stunning screen, blazing..and I mean absolutely blazing fast performance, a usable camera and good battery life with a catch. The catch here is that I need to use my Nexus 4 connected to a Wi-Fi network if I want it to last me a day with 3-4 hours of screen-on time.

On 3G/HSPA+, the Nexus 4 suffers from some serious battery drain. The over-night drain on 3G can be as high as up to 20%, which should not happen. After all, the device is just idling for 8-10 hours. Why should there be such a high battery drain?

I am not the only one facing this problem. Each and every Nexus 4 owner has been facing the same issue. For some reason, there is a very high battery drain on the Nexus 4 when it is connected to mobile data. The culprit behind this is the “msm_hsic_wakelock” process. From what I have read on XDA forums, this process is used every time by the OS for any kind of mobile data activity, which causes a wakelock. While this is completely fine, the problem is that the wakelock is not dropped or released after the task is done, causing excessive battery drain. If your Nexus 4 is facing the same issue, you will see a very high % of “Android OS” and “Android System” usage in the Battery stats.

The worst part? In all likelihood, this problem can only be solved by Google and LG/Qualcomm. Flashing a custom ROM or a kernel or formatting your phone is just not going to solve this issue.

The only temporary solution to this problem is to use Wi-Fi on your Nexus 4. For some reason, the “msm_hsic_wakelock” wakelock is greatly reduced when the Nexus 4 is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

There are quite a few Nexus 4 owners out there that face severe battery drain that is not caused by the “msm_hsic_wakelock” process. For them, some random apps or process will create a wakelock and drain their phone’s battery. Sometimes these apps or processes will be some key system processes that cannot be disabled or uninstalled.

We, the Nexus 4 owners, are at the mercy of Google and LG/Qualcomm for now. Until and unless, Google and or LG/Qualcomm release a software update to fix this severe battery drain, there is not much Nexus 4 owners can do. I had hoped that Google would release a software update to fix this issue before the holiday season starts, but that did not happen. Hopefully, Google will roll-out a software update to fix this issue sometime in early January.

P.S. – You can comment/star or up vote on Google’s Android bug tracker.

For more reference, head over to this XDA thread.

Top 10 Smartphones Of 2012

2012 has been a crazy year in the mobile industry. The industry was mainly dominated by Samsung and Apple this year, with the likes of HTC and Sony struggling to stay afloat. Earlier this year, Google shocked everyone buy buying Motorola for 12.5$ billion. Later on, Apple shocked everyone and caused a lot of trouble to its iDevices owners by ditching Google Maps for its own in-house mapping system, Apple Maps. This eventually led to Tim Cook firing Scott Forstall, who was the senior vice-president of iOS software.

In 2012, smartphones were all about big screens with 720p resolution, oodles of RAM, quad-core processors and, thankfully, nearly all day battery life. Like in 2011, Android phones absolutely dominated the sales chart, especially Samsung’s Galaxy S3.

Now, that the year is going to end and the holiday season is fast approaching, we list down our top 10 phones of 2012.

10) Motorola RAZR i – Motorola promotes the RAZR i with an edge-to-edge display, and rightly so. The RAZR i packs in a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED qHD display with dimensions that are the same as the iPhone.

The RAZR i is also the first handset from a major OEM to pack in an Intel Atom processor clocked at a whopping 2GHz, along with an outdated PowerVR SGX 540 GPU and 1GB of RAM. If you don’t want a phone that does not have a massive 4.7-inch+ display, the RAZR i will be your best option.

Under Google’s keen eye, expect Motorola to come up with a stellar handset in 2013 that will shock and surprise every tech enthusiast out there.

9) HTC One S – The HTC One S is the perfect upper mid-range Android handset out there. It has a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED screen with qHD (960*640) resolution, 16GB of internal storage, absolutely stellar build quality and a decent 8MP camera.

If the One S failed to set the sales on fire, it was because of the lack of its microSD card slot, and HTC swapping the dual-core Snapdragon S4 Krait processor with the older-generation S3 processor in some markets.

8) LG Optimus G – Google’s Nexus 4 is based on the LG Optimus G. Both the devices share the same internal specifications – a 1.5GHz Quad-core Krait processor, 2GB RAM, a 4.7-inch IPS HD 768p display, and an 8MP camera (13MP in some variants). It even has a back that has the same disco-ball effect as on the Nexus 4.

The Optimus G was the first Android smartphone to make use of Qualcomm’s quad-core Krait processor. While the handset is not bad by any means, it is not going to be as successful as LG might have hoped for, all thanks to the Nexus 4, that packs in similar specs for half the price.

7) Nokia Lumia 920 – While the verdict is not yet out if the Lumia 920 is as successful as Nokia might have hoped for, the handset definitely has all the ingredients needed to make it a hit.  The 4.5-inch ClearBlackDisplay comes with PureMotion HD+ technology that gives the screen on the Lumia 920 a higher refresh rate than other competing screen technologies out there.

However, the selling point of the Lumia 920, and the reason why it has made it to this list, is because of its 8.7MP PureView camera, which has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).

With Windows Phone 8 adding some much needed features to the mobile OS from the Redmond based company, the Lumia 920 might just be enough to pull back Nokia into profitability.

6) HTC One X – The One X is nearly 10 months old, but is still one of the most stunning phones available in the market. The handset sports a stunning 4.7-inch 720p S-LCD2 display, 1GB of RAM, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 32GB of storage space, and an 8MP F/2.0 camera with ImageSense. The AT&T version of the One X swapped the Tegra 3 quad-core processor with a dual-core Krait processor from Qualcomm, which is no slow-couch either.

While the One X might not have sold in large numbers as HTC might have hoped for, the handset did prove that HTC is going on the right way. If the DNA is any indication, the HTC One X2 might just bring back HTC in the game.

5) Google Nexus 4 – When rumors started leaking on the Internet that LG is going to make the next Nexus handset, everyone was doubtful about the handset’s quality and its reliability. Ironically, after the Nexus One, the Nexus 4 is the only Nexus branded device from Google to pack in bleeding-edge specifications. Right from the 768p IPS HD display to the quad-core Krait processor to the 2GB of RAM or the build quality of the handset, the Nexus 4 screams of premium/quality. The disco-ball effect at the back of the phone is a nice addition as well, and makes the phone stand out from the crowd.

What, however, is not premium is its pricing. For only $299 for the 8GB version and $349 for the 16GB version, the Nexus 4 is well worth it just because of its stellar price tag. The Nexus branding means that owners will be the first in line to get future Android updates. With Android 4.2 already on-board, the Nexus 4 is already running the latest version of Android, which includes Photosphere, an enhanced keyboard, lock screen widgets, multiple user profiles and more.

4) HTC DROID DNA – The DROID DNA from HTC is only available in the United States under Verizon’s network and as the Butterfly in Japan. The phone was supposed to be launched in Europe but rumors indicate that HTC might have had a change of heart. The DROID DNA/Butterfly is the first Android smartphone to sport a 5-inch screen with a whopping 1080p screen resolution. Apart from the screen, the DNA/Butterfly includes a blazing fast 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP F/2.0 camera and more.

After quite sometime, HTC is struggling to meet the demands of the handset in Japan, which should come as a sigh of relief for the Taiwanese maker. If the DROID DNA is anything to go by, the One X successor from HTC that will be unveiled next year at MWC, is going to set the bar high for the Galaxy S4 and others.

3) Apple iPhone 5 – With even budget oriented phones coming with a 4-inch+ display, Apple had to increase the size of the display on the iPhone, and it did with the iPhone 5. Instead of making the display wider and taller, the Cupertino company only made it taller so as to facilitate one-hand usage.

Apart from the bigger screen, the iPhone 5 also packed in LTE in a much slimmer (7.6mm) body. The usual generational updates were also present including a blazing fast custom-core A6 SoC from Apple, improved GPU performance, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP camera with improved low-light performance.

However, the iPhone 5 along with iOS 6 lacked any kind of innovation or the ‘new’ factor. The new version of iOS only brought about minor enhancements and nothing else. Even then, the lack of innovation did not stop Apple from selling more than 5 million units of the handset in its first weekend in the United States. The iPhone 5 might have lacked innovation, but it can beat the combined sales figure of the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2 in just a month.

2) Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Samsung has been on a roll with its Galaxy series. If the Galaxy S series is aimed at smartphones lovers, the Korean company has successfully managed to please people out there who want a ‘phablet’ with its Note series. When Samsung initially unveiled the Galaxy Note, it was ridiculed for releasing a device with such a big screen. The Galaxy Note, then, went on to sell in excess of 10 million units. The Galaxy Note 2 has gone a level further and reached the 5 million sales mark within 2 months of its release.

For a phablet, the Galaxy Note 2 packs in everything that once can imagine including a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch HD Super-AMOLED screen, an 8MP camera, oodles of storage, a bunch of sensors and a beefy 3100mAh battery for an all-day battery life even with heavy usage.

1) Samsung Galaxy S3 – If the Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 made Samsung popular, the Galaxy S3 confirmed Samsung’s prowess in the mobile industry. Not only is the Galaxy S3 loaded to the brim specs wise with a quad-core Exynos processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 1GB of RAM, a 720p HD Super-AMOLED screen, 16GB of storage and a microSD card slot, it can also last nearly a day of moderate to heavy usage thanks to its beefy 2100mAh battery and 32nm-HKMG fabrication process based SoC.

If the hardware of the phone is impressive, the list of all the features that Samsung has included in this phone is exhaustive. While the nature inspired version of TouchWIZ in Galaxy S3 is still ugly and not to everyone’s liking, Samsung has added so many features to it, that it is tough to not use it. These features include Pop-up play, pop-up browser, multi-view multitasking, Smart stay, Smart rotation and much more.

While the phone does look ugly and is still made of plastic, it has been selling like hot cakes all over the world. No wonder Samsung managed to sell more than 30 million Galaxy S3s within 5 months of its launch.

Don’t agree with our list? Feel free to drop in a comment and let us know which are your top 10 smartphones of 2012.

Motorola and Google Working On The “X Phone”

Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is working with Motorola on their first big device, known internally as the “X Phone”.

WSJ reports that Motorola and Google is looking at using flexible displays with a ceramic body so that the phone can be more stress-resistant. However, the companies are running into some supply-management issues, which might lead them to re-think their strategy.

Reports also suggest that Google and Motorola are focusing on making the camera top-notch, hardware wise as well as software wise.

While Motorola has consistently failed to come-up with a remarkable handset in the last couple of years, the push from Google might just be it all needs.

Don’t expect this new handset from Google-Motorola to come out anytime soon. With the Nexus 4 just being released, this new handset won’t hit the shelves until late next-year.

[Holiday Season Sale] List Of Apps And Games On Sale In The Play Store

Christmas/New Year are fast approaching and so is the Holiday season in the United States. The Holiday season is a pretty lucrative quarter for the mobile companies in terms of sales. Most app developers try to rake in moolah by putting their apps on sale in the spirit of the holiday season and to lure new users.

The Holiday season sale has already kick-started in the Play Store, with most developers discounting their apps or games to  a mere $0.99. If you have been a miser throughout the year, rarely spending money on apps, this is perhaps your best chance to grab some of the most popular apps and games in the Play Store at a very low price.

Below is a list of apps and (mostly) games that have gone on sale in the Play Store. I will update the list as and when I find more apps -:

If there are any other apps or games that are up for sale and not in the list above, do drop in a comment and let us know!

SwiftKey Update Brings New Theme, Support For Hindi And Hinglish Languages; Price Reduced As Well

SwiftKey users in India, here is some good news for you. Yesterday, a new update was rolled out to SwiftKey that brought with it support for 9 new languages, a new theme and some bug-fixes.

The list of nine new supported languages include Hindi and Hinglish, along with Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Irish, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America), and Tagalog. Adding support for Hindi and Hinglish languages has been one of the most requested feature in SwiftKey’s user voice, so it is nice to finally see the developers adding support for these languages.

If you still don’t own SwiftKey, now might just be the time to do so. With this update, and to celebrate the holiday season, the developers have reduced the price of SwiftKey from its usual $1.99 to only $0.99 for the phone as well as the tablet version. With SwiftKey Flow coming as an upgrade to Swiftkey 3 sometime in the future, it might just be a good option to buy the app now at its reduced price.

Verizon Unveils The “Developer Edition” Galaxy Note 2

Put this under the ‘No one gives a damn category’. Samsung and Verizon today have unveiled the developer edition of the Galaxy Note 2 for the big Red network. Compared to the normal Galaxy Note 2 that is already selling on the big red’s network for the last few weeks, the “Developer Edition” only features an unlocked bootloader.

Apart from this, the “Developer Edition” packs the same specs as the normal version, which means that potential buyers would still get the same quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, S-Pen, a mammoth 5.5-inch 720p Super-AMOLED HD screen, and Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

The “Developer Edition” is aimed at..well..developers who are interested in tinkering around with their devices. The normal Galaxy Note 2 comes with a locked down bootloader that makes it tough for developers to tinker around with. The “Developer Edition” Galaxy Note 2 needs to be purchased at its full retail price directly from Verizon without any contract and it does not come with any warranty, which does not really make it that much more attractive, especially considering that the Galaxy Note 2 bootloader was just unlocked last week.

Via – Samsung

 

One XL Jelly Bean Update Ported To AT&T One X

HTC One XL a.k.a AT&T and Telstra One X owners, here is some good news for you. While AT&T still has not approved the Jelly Bean update for your phone, HTC started rolling out the update for the handset in other regions of the world. The update has effectively been ported to the AT&T and Telstra One XL without any issues.

For the lesser known, the One XL is same as the International One X except that it is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Krait processor instead of a quad-core Tegra 3 processor.

The Jelly Bean update for the One X/XL brings with it Project Butter, an enhanced Notification bar, improved speech-to-text and more. HTC has also updated the Sense version to 4+ that brings with it major performance improvements and an enhanced Camera app.

If you own an AT&T or Telstra One XL, head over to this thread on XDA forums to download the ported ROM.

Via – Reddit

Samsung Unveils The Galaxy Grand – Comes With a 5-Inch WVGA Display And Dual-SIM Support

Samsung has just announced a new Galaxy branded smartphone – the Galaxy Grand. The handset comes with a massive 5-inch TFT LCD display with a disappointingly low WVGA resolution. Don’t be fool by the big size of the screen though. The Grand is nothing but a mid-range handset that looks like the Galaxy S3/Note 2.

Internally, the Galaxy Grand is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and packs 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage space. Other features of the Galaxy Grand include a microSD card slot, GPS with GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and a 21oomAh battery, all inside a 9.6mm thin body. At the back of the Grand is an 8MP camera aided by an LED flash, with a 2MP camera in the front.

On the software side, the Grand will come with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s nature inspired TouchWIZ UI on top of it for some extra bells and whistles.

The Galaxy Grand will be available in two version – Dual SIM (I9082) and a single SIM version (I9080). The Dual-SIM variant will be released first followed by the single SIM version. The press release from Samsung does not mention anything about the release date or pricing of the handset.

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 Software Update Brings Multi-View And Bug-Fixes

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 owners, here is some good news for you. Beginning from tomorrow, Samsung and T-Mobile will start rolling out a new software update for your device that will bring with it some multi-view multi-tasking goodness.

For the lesser known, the multi-view feature will allow Note 2 owners to simultaneously use two apps at once on their screen. Samsung recently rolled out the same feature to the international Galaxy S3 with the Android 4.1.2 update. Below is a video of the multi-view feature in action -:

In addition to the multi-window feature, the update will also fix some Exchange related bugs and other issues with Google Apps. The update will be available to all T-Mobile Note 2 owners via OTA as well as via KIES from 19th December.

If the Android 4.1.2 update for the international Galaxy Note 2 is anything to go by, the U.S variants of the Note 2 should also get a lot of new features whenever the update arrives for them.

Via – T-Mobile