What You Missed at WWDC

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This is an article from The Next Web. I decided it would be easier to use their article than to write the exact same thing out my way.

No more cats: say hello to OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Apple says it’s sold 28 million copies of OS X Mountain Lion and the Mac install based has doubled in the past five years. So what’s next for Mac? After initially joking that the new version of OS X would be called ‘Sea Lion’, Apple revealed that ‘Mavericks’ is 10.9′s name, indicating a shift from cats to names associated with California.

  • The new version of OS X 10.9 features tabs for Finder, to allow users to more easily navigate multiple windows in the operating system’s file navigation system.
  • A new feature called Tagging works like tags do in WordPress  blog posts, Flickr photos and the like. You can assign tags to documents when you save them, aiding with search. For example, all files relating to your sporting pastimes could use a ‘Sports’ tag to help you find them wherever they are on your local storage or on iCloud.

Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.46.49 520x296 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

  • Meanwhile, there’s better support for multiple displays. Using AirPlay, you can use an Apple TV box to run an extra display.
  • The battery life of your Mac should be much better under Mavericks, with technology designed to better handle transitions between power modes. Apple says that this reduces CPU usage up to 72%. The new OS can also rapidly compress inactive memory in order to make space available to applications. This, Apple says, results in a 1.5x improvement to waking a system from standby.
  • Apple unveiled a new version of its Safari browser, which will come with OS X Mavericks. It has a sidebar with reading list, continuous scroll, and a new Top Sites homepage. There’s a Shared Links section that lists links shared by people who you follow on Twitter and the like, and the Reading List now scrolls smoothly between items and has drag-and-drop re-ordering. Safari also has improved browser memory usage and Javascript handling, while an AppNaps feature will pause the processes in tabs that are running particularly battery-draining websites or Web apps in order to improve battery life.

safari sharedlinks 2x 730x466 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

  • iCloud Keychain is a new password management apps that stores your passwords, credit card numbers, WiFi passwords and account information. It syncs them all to trusted devices and all information is encrypted with 256-bit AES.
  • OS X Notifications are improved with the ability to reply to iMessages right from the notifications, and even start a Facetime call. iOS apps can now send push notifications to your Mac, if you enable the feature.
  • Calendar has a new look, with weather information, location suggestions and links to Apple Maps built in.
  • Apple Maps is built into Mavericks, complete with the 3D flyover feature and the ability to plan turn-by-turn navigation routes and send them to your iPhone.
  • iBooks and iBooks Textbooks will be available in Mavericks.

Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.33.38 730x317 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

  • A developer preview of OS X 10.9 is available today, with the full public release coming in the fall.

New MacBook Air models

  • The new MacBook Air promises “all day battery life,” thanks in no small part to power-efficient Intel Haswell CPUs. The 11-inch model promises 9 hours of battery life, while the 13-inch model promises a whole 12 hours. That’s half a day, rather than ‘all day’, but we get Apple’s point.
  • The new models have 802.11 ac Wifi support for faster connections.
  • The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $999 for 128GB, the 13-inch starts at $1,099 with 128GB. Both ship today. Oh, and there was no word on an Air with a Retina display.

Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.22.52 730x261 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule units

  • The new versions of Apple’s networking devices support 802.11 ac WiFi and have completely new designs.
  • The new Time Capsule is available in 2TB and 3TB versions.

 The new Mac Pro: A black cylinder made in the USA

  • It’s been a long time since the Mac Pro got an overhaul but today we saw what’s on offer when a completely redesigned machine launches later in the year.
  • The new Mac Pro is a small, black, cylindrical machine that will be made in the USA.
  • It’s powered by a new Intel Xeon processor, ECC memory with up to 2x faster performance, PCIe based flash memory with a 1 Gbps write speed. Apple says that it’s 10 times faster than any previous Mac Pro.
  • The device is expandable using external devices over connections using Intel’s new Thunderbolt 2 technology, running at 20 Gbps per port and up to six devices per port.
  • In a play to the professional video production market, the internal graphics processor can handle three 4K displays.
  • It sports six Thunderbolt ports, HDMI out, Gigabit Ethernet. In a cool touch, a motion sensor detects when you turn the Mac Pro around and lights up the inputs for you.

Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.24.31 520x483 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

iCloud growth

  • Tim Cook said that at 300 million accounts, iCloud is now “the fastest growing cloud service ever.”
  • There have been 35 billion downloads from the iTunes in the Cloud music service.
  • Game Center now has 240 million users.
  • There have been a total of 800 billion iMessages sent, and 7.5 trillion push notifications received.

iWork for iCloud: Taking on Google Docs

  • In addition to new versions of iWork for Mac and iOS, iWork is coming to the browser in the form of iWork for iCloud.
  • Pages, Keynote and Numbers will all have Web-based versions.
  • Supported files, including Microsoft Office documents, can be dragged to iCloud on your Mac and then worked on in the browser.
  • Although performance is best in Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer are also both supported.
  • A developer beta of iWork for iCloud is available now, with full release planned for later in the year.

Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.25.53 730x249 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

 iOS by the numbers

  • 600 million iOS devices have now been sold.
  • Over 90% of iOS users are on the latest version of iOS. ”More than a third of Android users are using an operating system that was released in 2010,” chided Tim Cook.

iOS 7

It was no surprise that iOS 7 would be unveiled today and it didn’t disappoint with a completely new design and lots of new features.

The new design:

  • As expected, iOS 7 features a new ‘flat’ design with a wave goodbye to the real-world-aping, ‘skeuomorphic’ approach of the past. A video featuring Sir Jony Ive unveiling the design received a standing ovation in the auditorium.
  • There are completely reworked icons and the default apps all have new looks. There is system-wide use of the Helvetica Neue, and image based backgrounds.
  • Images are the best way to show it off, so here we g, courtesy of Apple’s website:

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Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.28.03 730x469 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

Notifications and mutitasking:

  • Notification Center is now available from the lock screen and features a section that shows appointments and more with ‘today’ at the top.
  • Control Center now offers easy access to many settings like Wifi and Bluetooth, and a flashlight.
  • Better multitasking: iOS 7 detects which apps you use the most and gives those apps more background updates.
  • When an app receives a Push Notification, iOS will update the app in the background so that it’s ready to go when you tap the notification. No more waiting for the app to load and refresh.
  • A new interface for multitasking lets you see the apps live as you switch between them, giving you a view of the content instead of icons.

New Safari:

  • Safari for iOS has a new tabbed browsing view, access to the iCloud keychain, a smart search field and more.
  • The new tab interface is vertical with iCloud tabs at bottom
  • You can navigate the browsing history with a swipe.
  • Shown earlier in the new version of Safari for OS X, the continuous scrolling Reading List and shared links features are coming to mobile Safari.

File sharing with AirDrop:

  • You can share photos (and presumably more) with nearby people. You simply open up AirDrop from a share card and the names of the nearby people you can share with are listed.

Photos and the camera:

  • The camera now has filters built in and the ability to create cropped, square photos. Instagram, you have a lot to answer for.
  • The new Photos app in iOS 7 organizes your photos into ‘Moments’, for easier navigation. These are automatically generated as you shoot.
  • You can navigate through years of photos by way of tiny thumbnails, sorted by year.
  • Shared photo streams allow multiple people to share photos that they can all see in a single feed.
  • The Photos app has a new landscape mode.

Siri gets a new look:

  • Siri has a new interface and a brand new, smoother voice, available in both male and female varieties. The new voice is available in English, French and German with more languages to follow.
  • Siri now has control over iOS settings like voicemail, brightness, bluetooth and more.
  • There are now Web search results from Bing and Wikipedia results inside Siri.
  • Siri now has in-car support. You can dictate messages, use Maps, and more.

App Store updates:

  • The new-look on-device App Store has a kids section and an ‘Apps Near Me’ section.
  • Your apps will now update automatically.

Facetime for Audio:

  • Yes, Facetime now has a VoIP option for audio calls.

Better device security:

  • If a thief tries to turn off Find My iPhone or wipe your iOS device, they won’t be able to reactivate it without your iCloud password.

New developer SDKs:

  • Developers now get third-party game controller support, BlueTooth LE support, 60fps video capture, the ability to build AirDrop support into their apps and more.

So, when can we get it?:

  • iOS 7 for iPhone is available today in beta, with iPad and iPod touch betas coming later. A full release will take place in the fall.
  • iOS 7 will work on the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later, the iPad mini and the iPod touch 5th generation.

iTunes Radio

Yes, Apple’s long-rumored ‘Spotify rival’ is here, but it’s more of a Pandora rival really. Here’s what the new iTunes Radio has to offer

  • Billed as “a new way to discover music,” it features songs that are trending on Twitter and collections based on events.
  • You can also create your own stations in iTunes Radio, similar to Pandora. There are staff-curated stations, too.
  • To help tune each station to your tastes, there are ‘Play more like this’ or ‘Don’t play music like this’ buttons.
  • There’s no subscription fee. It’s ad-supported, but if you’re an iTunes Match subscriber, you won’t see them.
  • iRadio will launch in the US and expand to more countries.
  • It supports Mac, PC, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

itunes radio 220x391 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list     Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.29.05 220x391 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

And that’s your lot. Phew! Keep it locked to TNW for much more Apple news as WWDC continues this week.

Header image: Getty Images. All other images, via Apple.com

Source: The Next Web

How-to: Install Facebook Home on Any Android Device

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Screenshot 2013 04 14 22 08 09

In case you missed the news, Facebook recently announced Facebook Home, a home screen replacement for android. In a nutshell, when you hit your Android device’s home button, it will bring you to a home screen where you can scroll through and interact with your friends’ posts.

Facebook announced that it would be available on the Google Play Store for a select few devices including the Galaxy SIII and HTC One X. But what about the rest of us?

Don’t fear! Where there’s a will there’s a way, and thankfully the guy with the will made the way easy enough for even the most basic of simpletons to accomplish.

Here’s how to get Facebook Home on any Android device.

First, open Settings on your android device and go to Security. Check the box that reads “Install applications from unknown sources.”

Second, go into Settings > Applications and find and uninstall any Facebook and Messenger app that you’ve already installed.

Now, go to this blog post on your Android device. To make it a little bit easier, just type in this short link: http://a.swsr.info/YouxEG

GMG TO ANDROID, DO YOU READ ME?! Good.

Now, still on your Android device, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

In your status bar, you should notice a little download icon. Install all three of the files that you just downloaded simply by clicking them and hitting install.

Next, look in your app drawer and you’ll find Facebook home. Open it and log in, and you’re done!

 

The success of this process has varied depending on your device, however I have it working wonderfully on my Nexus 7.

Enjoy!

Credits to Modaco founder Paul O’Brien for this patch.

Apple Says Things at WWDC

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So Apple had some fun at the WWDC Keynote this year.

Siri did stand-up comedy to open.

No really, I’m excited about the new Samsung. Not the phone, the refrigerator.

I must admit, that was pretty funny.

First of all, Apple updated its notebooks. The MacBook Air finally got a speed boost, the MacBook Pro got a speed boost, and the 17″ MacBook Pro bid farewell.

Apple also announced their next generation MagBook Pro, which is almost as thin as an Air, has a retina display, and a new Magsafe Port. Great.

All of these computers have gotten upgrades to USB 3, which is nice for those people who actually have devices that can take advantage of that.

Then, our friend iOS got an update.

Finally, iOS has turn by turn navigation. Siri is available on the new iPad, and has supposedly gotten a bit better. Facebook is now integrated as much as twitter. FaceTime is available on cellular networks. Photo streams can be shared. A new app called Passbook allows you to store tickets for planes, movies, and stores. There’s also a few other things that aren’t worth mentioning.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion didn’t get anything new from what we knew already, except thatdictation will be available in any text field. For many people, this will definitely come in handy.

Some people were unhappy with the absence of an iPhone 5. But I think we should be content with iOS 6, and expect the new iPhone this fall – along with the public release of iOS 6.

I’ve been playing around with iOS 6, and so far it works well. Siri works just as expected, and the Facebook and twitter integration is also very handy.

The MacBooks that were updated are available now, but iOS will be available in fall. Mountain Lion will be available this July.

MacBook Pro

Macbook Air

iOS 6

Mountain Lion

Galaxy Nexus? Lolwut?

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You may know about the long lasting line of Google’s special Google Phone called the Nexus. There was originally the Nexus One, then the Nexus S recently. Both of these were manufactured by Samsung, but Samsung’s name wasn’t really placed on it – just on the very bottom of the product pages.

But Samsung has taken a different approach this time – They’ve released a new Nexus phone that they are calling the Galaxy Nexus, following their popular like of Galaxy S phones.

Other than the new name, the Galaxy Nexus follows Google’s standard path of some great upgrades.

As far as hardware goes, it’s just like the Nexus S – but better. The Galaxy Nexus features a slimmer body, more vibrant screen, and a very nice camera – although specific megapixels are not supplied.

But the real upgrades are in the software. The Galaxy Nexus features the purest of pure Android 4.0 – which is a nice relief considering all other phones in the Galaxy S line are skinned by Samsung, causing them to be painfully slow and unresponsive.

Among Android 4.0′s new features (other than the painfully idiotic name of “Ice Cream Sandwich”) are Face Unlock, which allows you to unlock your phone with face recognition; Android Beam, which uses NFC to send websites, photos, contacts, and more to other phones; and your usual fixing of extra eye candy.

The Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have any pricing or supported networks, however a bit is given away with the following line:

Galaxy Nexus runs at 4G (LTE or HSPA+) speeds

Verizon is the only provider that currently has an LTE network, which means that the Galaxy Nexus will be on Verizon for the first time.

I’m definitely excited for this phone, and anyone in the Android market should definitely look at this phone.

Mac OS X Lion

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Two days ago, I wrote a post saying that Lion was coming the next day.

Right again.

We’ve been waiting to hear the mighty roar for quite a while, and it’s finally audible to all who desire to hear its beautiful outpour (too far?).

Mission Control

Mission Control

Mission control is the real big part of this update. It combines Spaces, Dashboard, and Exposé into one convenient view that you can navigate with different multi-touch gestures.

To access Mission Control, just swipe up with three fingers.

Spaces:

With Mission Control, your spaces show up at the top of the screen. (Tip: To add a new space, hold the option key and click the plus that appears – this one took me a while to figure out.) In addition, applications that you’ve made full screen will show up here. To navigate between the Spaces/Fullscreen apps/Dashboard, you can swipe three fingers left/right at any time to go between them. This is one of my favorite parts; the animations are extremely fluent and smooth.

Dashboard:

You might notice that on the left of your spaces, there’s your dashboard – that’s all there is to it! Other than that, you have the same dashboard that you had before, where you can add and arrange different widgets for your needs.

Exposé:

As you can tell by the picture above, all of your running applications in your current space will group and display with an icon and a label. It’s just like the previous exposé, with a couple of little visual upgrades.

 

As I mentioned, there is now support for full-screen apps. I could make a completely separate section for this, but what is there to say? You can click a little icon in the top right and the app will take up the whole screen. Whoopdidoo!

Launchpad

Launchpad is basically the iOS home screen for mac. You’ll get a little rocket icon in your dock, and clicking it brings up Launchpad which looks a bit like this:

Launchpad

 

You can swipe between the screens with two fingers. If you’ve ever used an iOS device, you know how this works: click and hold to rearrange the icons, or even move them into folders. You can even remove an app by clicking the X. Looks like iOS to me.

Versions, auto-save

I’m not going to cover this in too much detail.

Versions will keep track of all of your changes in your documents, and if you want to revert to an older version or get older elements, you can scroll through different “versions” of your document. Unfortunately, this isn’t available in many applications yet – mostly just the iWork suite – but should become more available as apps are updated to be compatible with Lion.

Auto-save is fairly self-explanatory: Your documents will be automatically saved.

Conclusion

There’s TONS of other features in Lion, and I’ll be posting different tips/tricks as I find them. There’s TONS of other new things in Lion, like a new prettier Mail app and more effects in Photo Booth – however these are small improvements. You can read more about all 250+ little new features over here.

Where can I get it?!

Unlike previous versions of OS X, this update won’t come on a disc. Instead, just go to the Mac App Store and Lion will be in there for $30. You can download and install instantly (time may vary, depending on your internet speed of course). Click here to open Lion in the Mac App Store.

Enjoy the roar of the lion.

RAWR!

 

 

 

Mac OS X Lion is Right Around the Corner!

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Mac OS X Lion was announced a while ago and brings new features like Launchpad, an iOS like App Launcher; Mission Control, which combines Spaces and Exposé into one, easy to view panel; and plenty of other new features.

The announcement stated that the update would be released in July 2011, and would be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store for $30.

Well would you like at the time, it’s July!

The Mac OS X Lion update is estimated to be released to the public in the next couple of weeks, according to my reliable sources.

There’s a few things you should probably do to make sure your computer is ready

  1.  Make sure you have some disk space available!

If you don’t, you’ll download the Lion update and your computer won’t be able to easily boot. Make sure you have at least 6 gigs of disk space free. If you don’t, you’re in trouble whether you’re installing Lion or not! Try an app called GrandPerspective (reviewed here) and delete the biggest files.

2. Say goodbye to PowerPC

Over the years, Intel machines have been compatible with PowerPC Apps through a bridge called Rosetta. Now, with Lion, Rosetta is no longer compatible. If you have any apps that run on Rosetta, it’s time to find Intel compatible alternatives.

3. Install all available updates

Go to the Apple Menu > Software Update… and install any available updates. After you’ve installed the updates, re-check for updates in case there are updates for the other updates.

As I said, OS X Lion should be available from the Mac App Store in the next couple of weeks for only $30.

HTC Officially Announces Bootloader Unlock

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Extreme android power-users often have to use different software that voids the warranty on the phone to unlock the bootloader. If you don’t know, the bootloader basically determines where to boot the phone: the main operating system, recovery, or sometimes to a restoration file.

Well now, HTC has announced from a very high-up place (their facebook page) that they are unlocking the bootloaders! Yay!

There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.

Awesome!

I think it’s really nice that instead of fighting off developers and hackers, HTC is actually taking a side with the hackers to try and make them happy. HTC’s devices have always been favorites for porting android versions and hacking the bootloader, and the fact that HTC is embracing it instead of fighting it really makes me happy. It shows the real selling aspect of android,  open source, now being implemented in the OEM’s hardware. I wish more companies could follow in HTC’s footsteps.

 

CyanogenMod 7

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Of all of the ROMs floating around out there, Cyanogen is by far the most established custom after-market ROM available.

CyanogenMod 6 brought froyo features to 2.1, and was later updated to 2.2 It was then very similar to a basic 2.2 ROM, so it became outdated. But CyanogenMod 7 brought us a loaf of gingerbread this time around. This has put it much higher up.

In addition to the new faster and cleaner base operating system, CyanogenMod brought some new interesting features to the table.

Lockscreen Gestures

The name says it all. On the lockscreen, you are able to perform gestures that will do different actions, including enabling the flashlight, unlocking the phone, opening a shortcut, or opening an application.

DSPManager

I have really found no use for this quite yet, but others might. It allows you to modify your sound outputs. You can modify headset, speaker, and bluetooth separately, and in each pane you get options for a bass booster, and you also get a nice equalizer that is quite easy to modify. I don’t exactly know why you might need this, but I guess some audiophiles on a higher degree than me might appreciate it.

Themes Support

The operating system comes with a built in theme chooser and three themes. You can download new themes online on many different forum sites (such as xda-developers) and easily install them. One package includes the theming for the WHOLE operating system, including home screen, highlights, menubar tweaks, etc.

Incognito Mode

This feature is rarely used, but I guess could come in handy. Identical to the incognito mode in Google Chrome, this will prevent your phone from saving cookies, history, cache, or anything.

Installation

Installing this ROM was fairly simple, however it doesn’t come with Google Apps built in.

First, go to http://cyanogenmod.com and select your phone, then download the ZIP for your phone and put it on your SD card. Open up ROM Manager and select “Install zip from SD card.” Select the zip of CyanogenMod, then check the box that says “Wipe Data” and the box that says “Backup current ROM.” Continue with your installation and you will be greeted with CyanogenMod. You may notice, however, that there is no Market, YouTube, Gmail, etc. To install those, download the zip for your phone here and then flash it. To do this, transfer the Gapps zip onto your SD card and boot into recovery by booting while holding the down volume button. In the menu that comes up, select Recovery, and wait for it to boot. In the next menu, select “Install ROM from SD card,” select the Gapps ROM, and let it install. Then, reboot your phone, and you will be greeting with a Gapps enhanced CyanogenMod. Enjoy!

[For more info on installing ROMs and rooting, read my full guide here.]

Better alternative to OMGB-6! HELLO FUSION!

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OMGB-6 is great. It’s a simple, well made Gingerbread build for the droid incredible that worked really well.

But it had a couple problems.

First of all, it didn’t support google voice.

Also, many apps didn’t work. Twitter didn’t work, and the app I am doing testing for didn’t even work. Also, the version of the market was outdated.

Well, if you want a fuller and better and more supported phone, then say hello to the fusion rom.

Fusion is built on CM7, and has a base of 2.3.2. This gingerbread is tasting FRESH.

It boasts a newer version of the android market, FULL app support, and it also supports google voice.

If you don’t know how to install ROMS, then you have a bit of reading to do.

First, click here to learn what all of this means and do your background reading.

Then, do steps 1-4 on this page.

Downloads

BASE

GAPPS

Installation

Put both of those on your SD Card.

Then, reboot into recovery and BACK IT UP. BACK IT UP. BACK IT UP… STEADY….. BACK IT UP…. STOP! Don’t do this with ROM manager. Why, I don’t know. But apparently bad things happen and black wholes open into other dimensions when you use the ROM manager to install this. O.o

Once you’ve backed up hit Wipe data/factory reset in the recovery.

Done?

Ok.

Now, hit “install zip from sd card”, select “choose zip from sd card”.

And in the list that appears, select fusionbase.zip.

Then hit yes out of the large groups of nos.

(tic toc tic toc)

Done yet?

No?

Ok…

(tictoctictoctictoc)

Done now?

Good.

Now, go through the same screens, but when you select the zip select the gapps zip and install it.

While that’s installing, I’ll explain why there are two separate zips for this ROM.

Android is a base operating system. It doesn’t include the android market. It doesn’t include gmail. It just includes the base operating system.

So the base zip is the 2.3.2 base operating system without the android market or gmail or anything like that.

So you could just install the base and nothing else. But I don’t think you would be too happy when you can’t download any apps.

Done yet?

Ok good.

Now, select “Wipe cache partition.”

Done?

That didn’t take long.

Now, hit reboot, and wait a LONG time. It will probably be 5 minutes or so of the flashing android logo before it actually boots.

But once it does, you’re in business! Enjoy the new market, full app support, and using your Google Voice account, all without sacrificing the magnificent dimension-opening speed (and bragging rights) of Gingerbread 2.3.2.

Rooting, Recovery, and ROMs: What it’s all about.

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So you’ve got an android phone.

And you can use the stock operating system with all of the manufacturer’s skinning and apps and versions and keyboard and everything.

Congratulations.

But if you are feeling a bit ballsy, then you can really take your phone to a true mobile computing level.

Here’s the steps to this.

  • Root
  • Install a recovery
  • Find ROMS
  • Make backups
  • Install ROMS
  • Use Wireless Tether

Lets explain what all of this is.

Rooting

Rooting means that you can create a way for apps to get superuser access. This is handy for getting to wifi, modifying files, or installing ROMs.

Recovery

For the Recovery, that will usually be installed when you root the phone. The recovery is where you can make and recover backups of the phone, install ROMs, and a slew of other stuff that might come in handy (but could also kill your phone).

Backup

Once you have the recovery installed (you can’t have the recovery without the root FYI) then the first thing you need to do is make a backup of your phone.

This is pretty easy. Just boot into Recovery (just hold down volume on boot and select recovery when given the option), Select backups, and select make a backup now. Your screen will flash many random things, and no matter how long it takes, don’t force shut it down or take out the battery. It will almost always finish.

ROMs

Once you have a backup of your normal operating system, you can go crazy with other ROMs.

ROM stands for Read Only Memory. In android poweruser terms, it is an operating system that can be installed on the phone using the recovery mode.

You can find many roms on the internet all over the place. XDA-developers is a great place to get ROMs. Sometimes a ROM will even be for the next Android version that htc hasn’t released yet.

When you download a ROM, it will come as an easy to handle zip file. And from here it’s simple.

Plug in your phone to your computer and mount it as a disk drive/USB Mass Storage. Then, just click and drag the ROM from your computer onto the root of the SD card. Eject and unplug the phone, then reboot into recovery.

Select install zip from sdcard and select the name of the file that you moved over. Then, choose the yes among the long list of nos to confirm you really want to install it and whabam, you will be installing a new operating system.

Then, reboot your phone, and you will be with your brand new OS that you yourself downloaded from the internet and installed on your phone.

Unfortunately, this process is different for every android phone. Sometimes there is a one-click root. Sometimes you have to use a command line application to open a port on the phone and install the root like that. But once you have gotten the phone rooted, installing zips is a piece of cake.

Wireless Tether

Aside from installing ROMs, another thing you can do is install and use apps that usually wouldn’t be possible if you weren’t rooted.

The one example I am going to use here is called Wireless Tether. And basically, it’s just that.

You can make your phone into a wi-fi hotspot with no hassle, just using verizon’s mobile hotspot plan. But that will cost you an extra $20 a month and you have a 5 GB limit before you start getting overage fees. Ouch.

With Wireless tether, you can connect unlimited devices, the data comes out of your data plan for your phone, and that also means there’s no overage fees.

Once you are rooted, just search for Wireless Tether in the android market and you will be able to install it on your phone and use it. You can change the SSID of the WiFi network, and you can even enable encryption and a password on your network. In addition, it allows you to use access control, where you can disable a device’s access to the network. Very handy sometimes.

Do it yourself

So that is the whole concept of rooting, recovery, and roms. You can find roms for things using google: Just do a search for “[your phone] 2.3 ROMS” or “[your phone] Cyanogenmod” and you should have plenty of luck. If you want to find out how to root your phone, just do a google search for “[your phone] root” and that should turn up some helpful results.

If you have a rooted droid incredible, click here to learn about the stable and functional gingerbread rom by WeDoDroid.

Android vs. iPhone

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Android and iPhone have always been one of the biggest disputes in the technology world ever since Mac vs. PC (which still isn’t decided). There are many factors to which makes one better, and with the iPhone soon on verizon, network coverage and carrier subscriptions are no longer some of them.

Why iPhone is better than Android

Lets start out with the iPhone.

The iPhone is made by one vendor, Apple. Apple does everything that has to do with the device: sells it, supports it, updates it, designs it, authorizes apps, etc.

And this allows for a kind of unity that is not found on android devices.

On iPhones, almost 80% of the users are updated to the latest version. Which means that if you develop and app that requires the latest verson of iOS, then 80% of all iPhone users can download it. Also, the updating system is flawless. All of your media, apps, mail, etc. can be synced over a single app on your Mac or PC that you can download for free. In addition to all that, you can also install software updates with the click of a button when prompted. And because apple all works as one system, when the update is available to one iPhone, it’s available to the rest.

With android, things are different. Very very VERY few are updated to the latest version, mostly because there are so many different android phones on so many different vendors that only some of the vendors update some of the phones some of the time. So if you develop an app for only one of the versions of android, few people are going to be able to use it. Some people are still on android 1.5! And if you develop an app for the newest version, same thing. There’s always going to be many users that aren’t able to use your freshly developed application.

In addition, androids have a much  bigger learning curve. To do advanced things like install new unofficial OSes, you have to root your phone and know how to install roms and things along those lines.

Another thing would be apps. The applications for iPhone are coded in objective C, which has a lot more possibility then Java. Many people say that when coding for android, they feel very confined in what they can allow their applications to do. Also, apple has to approve all apps submitted. These combined result in very high quality apps, which are easy to use and have a lot of functionality.

Why Android is better than iPhone

Android also has some nice benefits. First of all, it’s open source. This means that any developer can legally take the software and customize it and install drivers for different devices and do whatever they want with it, all legally.

This also means that if you do the right things to your android, you can install different versions of the operating system that have been modified by people ranging from people in office buildings to hobos living on the streets that happen to have coding skills and an internet connection. Having the ability to customize even the core operating system on the device is a big benefit with androids. And even though the manufacturers may take a year to come out with the new version of the OS officially for your phone, there is almost always someone porting the OS to the device early so you can get it before any of your friends.

Android is also not restricted to the Android Market. On iPhones, to install apps that aren’t in the app store you have to jailbreak. But with android, it’s as easy as checking a box in your application settings. Once that box is checked, you can download APK files from anywhere online and install them without a problem. This is good if an app maker doesn’t feel like putting their app in the market or just wants to keep a closed beta of it. Either way, having this feature is definitely a big plus for android.

And yet another benfit would be the huge variety. There are hundreds of android phones (all of which you can find on android.com) and as many vendors as you can imagine. This gives you a wide variety of different software, skins, hardware, power, price, coverage, and many different plans with different prices and different speeds and different features. Because of the wide variety of phones available, Android is now taking up a bigger market share than iPhone.

Conclusion

Androids and iPhones both have their ups and downs. But I think that I might admit to getting an iPhone when my upgrade is available. Even though I like the availability of open source on androids, I still feel like there is a wider variety of higher quality apps on the App Store that I could use.

Top 3 Trends at CES 2011

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CES 2011 was awesome. It was my first CES and I had a blast (but my feet didn’t). I befriended everyone at Eye-fi, met Altec Angel, got a free headset, took 1000 pictures, played a 3D racing game, and became an exhibitor for a booth for a few hours (more on that in the next post). Here are the things I saw that were extremely trending.

Number 3: Mobile
Mobile was as expected,a huge trend at CES. There were new phones announced by different makers, 4G technology, high res displays, and more.

A subtrend of this area would be accessories. There were headphones, mobile speakers, docking stations, backup batteries, a LOT of stands, and a lot of cases.

Number 2: Tablets
Tablets tablets and more tablets!

I got a chance to play with the Galaxy Tab (which I personally didn’t like) the BlackBerry PlayBook (which I loved, more on that later), and I played around with a lot of crappy android tablets.

Many companies all around the world are trying and failing to enter the tablet market. They all use android which is good for apps, but the devices themselves are TERRIBLE! The biggest mistake I saw was the use of resistive touch screens. Basically, instead of electrical content triggering a touch point (which takes the lightest touch) you have to “touch” hard enough to press two plastic sheets together that are over the screen. When I picked one up that had been made in china and tried to use it like I could my phone, iPad, iPod touch, or any other touch device I had, I thought it was broken. After PRESSING on the screen I could get a result.

Another problem is that the creators of these things were making them powerless. They had android 1.6, a 400 mhz processor, a terrible touch screen, poor design, bad graphics, terrible cameras, it was all just terrible.

I think that the tablet situation will be similar to the one with the iPod, where one vendor will rule over all others (in this case Apple).

AND NOW… FOR THE NUMBER ONE TREND AT CES….

NUMBER ONE:

There was so much 3d it was crazy.

Optoma had their whole booth all about 3d. All about 3d projectors and technologies.
Intel’s whole booth (which is quite large let me have you know) was all about their 3d processors which could drive 3d graphics to a 3d tv.

There were 3d cameras, 3d tvs, 3d camcorders, 3d monitors, 3d phones, 3d that you didn’t need glasses for, 3d that made you confused, and 3d that didn’t work. There was a LOT of 3d!

CES was an extremely cool event, but there wasn’t much eye-popping stuff. Everything was mostly just improvement on other things. 3D was big last year too, but here it’s being moved to more devices and more applications.