With Android L rolling out in the autumn, here are top tips for preparing your hacked phone for the OTA upgrade
With Android L rolling out in the autumn, here are top tips for preparing your hacked phone for the OTA upgrade.
When you root and hack your phone, you deviate from the device manufacturer’s intended software setup, and in doing so, you invariably compromise your ability to install the OTA (over the air) updates that manufacturers push to keep devices bang up to date. Whether you physically break installation of the updates (perhaps with a custom recovery) or not, installing OTAs on a modified device is fraught with danger and generally not recommended.
As your device is not in the state that the manufacturer intended, trying to install could leave you with a non-booting system. For this reason, some manufacturers will even prevent updates being downloaded if they detect that your system has been modified for your own protection.
Well they do say mimicry is the best form of flattery.
Many of Apple’s leading pioneers scoffed at the idea that Android would ever be a serious threat in the smartphone industry. Android was very much treated as the dorky kid in the playground, shunned to the side and left twiddling their thumbs. But lets fast forward to 2014 and where does Android now stand? It now holds 70% of all smartphone sales around the world and is making strong in-roads in the likes of India and China, predominantly down to the initial success of the OnePlus One and similar devices.
Thanks to Google, Android is constantly evolving, adapting to user demands and pioneering exciting new projects. Glass, driverless cars and WiFi balloons are just a few things we are excited about. It’s without doubt more than just a simple smartphone operating system. Where some manufacturers have fallen by the wayside, sorry Blackberry, others have looked to Android for inspiration for a bit of a creative push. Case in point, Apple.
At their recent WWDC event, Apple CEO, Tim Cook took to the stage to rip Android to shreds. He pulled numerous slides highlighting the poor state of Android’s fragmentation, the increased vulnerabilities in Android devices and even got a few chuckles when discussing the people transferring over from Android to iPhone. “Many of our new customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone, by mistake, and then sought a better experience. And a better life.”
Source: Apple WWDC
Shoot kaleidoscopic photos and videos with Kscope
Developed by Arts University Bournemouth, this intriguing camera software lets you create spaced-out shots on your smartphone using its kaleidoscopic filters. Just point the camera – front or rear – at your surroundings and choose one of the five filters. Depending on which filter you use, and how you adjust its intensity with the slider, you can concoct everything from wallpaper-like patterns to distorted views of the subject.
You are then able to add them to one of kscope’s public galleries and share via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Also intent on fostering their own community of users, you can also view a map of other kscope images from all the over the world. If you prefer privacy, there’s also an option hidden in the settings to save the ‘kscopes’ to your device.
You have to sign in to use the app, but it’s good fun to play around with to produce some arty effects. Recently updated, Kscope also now also allows you to record short video sequences, same as the iOS version.
With the help of a few apps, Linux’s tiny Raspberry Pi computer is more Android friendly than you might think
With the help of a few apps, Linux’s tiny Raspberry Pi computer is more Android friendly than you might think.
For those not familiar with it, the Raspberry Pi is a small computer that can be plugged in to your TV or a variety of other objects. Despite its small size, it can be used for most projects you would perform on a desktop computer, including word-processing, gaming and playing HD videos.
But what makes it truly appetising for Android users is just how hackable the Pi is. With just a few tweaks it can be linked to your device in a variety of ways and used to perform plenty of functions that can help not only expand the usability of your device, but also distribute the Android operating system onto different platforms. Best of all, these functions can be performed with some help from a handful of apps from the Google Play store.
As the Fire Phone goes on sale this week, we ask the experts whether it’s primed to take over the smartphone world, or is Amazon set to be yet another company to get its fingers burned
As the Fire Phone goes on sale this week, we ask the experts whether it’s primed to take over the smartphone world, or is Amazon set to be yet another company to get its fingers burned?
Nearly three years after Amazon kick-started the Android tablet market with the Kindle Fire, it has launched its first smartphone. The Fire Phone runs on Fire OS, the company’s forked version of Android based – presumably, but not confirmed – on KitKat. The phone is available from 25 July, in the US only at first, and exclusive to AT&T.
The smartphone market is notoriously difficult for newcomers to make any kind of impact, with even a company as large as Facebook suffering a high profile and embarrassing failure with its first handset last year. Amazon has equipped its device with a few attention-grabbing features, including an innovative ‘Dynamic Perspective’ function that combines a 3D-like effect with gesture controls, and the Firefly software that provides users with an even quicker way to shop online, but will it be enough to convert to sales?
Delete data and unwanted apps to keep your Android device from slowing to a crawl
Android devices are a lot like cars (bear with us on this one). Although they require effectively zero user maintenance aside from putting fuel (power) in them, using a little bit of technical knowledge can help keep them in tip-top condition and running smoothly. You look after your car, er, phone, and your phone will look after you, as the saying goes.
After months of use, there are a number of things that can impact the performance of your device. Whether it’s apps that sit in memory or take up space on the device, data from long uninstalled apps or just an outdated ROM, there are a number of things you can do to give your device that brand new feeling again. Not only that, there are almost certainly some new tips and tricks you can use to help eke the most out of your smartphone or tablet.
Follow our spring-cleaning steps to make your device feel as fresh as – nay fresher – than the day you walked out of the store! Most of our tips are pretty self explanatory, but some are more in-depth so it’s a good idea to take a full backup (and store it off your device) before you break out that virtual feather duster.