Friday, November 25, 2011
Go figure, it seems that Honeycomb is able to run on a PC. An open source project by the name of Android-x86 has been attempting to boot the latest Honeycomb build to netbooks and laptops with some success.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I spent a long time trying to find a valid root guide for my HTC Desire HD on Gingerbread. When I finally did, I ran into a few snags. To help people who wish to root their Desire HD in the future, I’ve written this guide, to try to explain everything clearly so the risk of making a mistake or getting stuck is minimal.
As far as I know, this root procedure works on all Desire HDs worldwide. It also removes carrier locks! This is done through converting your SD card into what’s known as a GoldCard. (No data is ever removed from it in this process, though.)
Another plus to using this method is that no ROM downgrade is needed prior to attempting to root. Many other more complicated methods out there do insist you downgrade your stock ROM first.
I won’t get into what rooting is, or the pros and cons. For a discussion of that, read this article: ‘To Root or Not to Root?‘.
This guide has been written for Linux users, however there is no reason a Windows user can’t pop a Live CD in their machine for twenty minutes. There are instructions in the manual included with the downloaded kit which explains how to run it natively on Windows. If you want to run the root kit on Windows, flick down to the bottom of this page.
I would recommend you read Jonathon Joy’s article on ‘Tools and Tricks to Assist the Avid ROM Flasher‘; it’s very useful if you want to easily back up all of your contacts and applications. (If they aren’t backed up, they will be wiped during the root – in fact, all of the data on your phone’s internal memory will be wiped.)
What You Need
- Any 32 bit computer running Linux (for now, 32 bit is a must or you risk harming your phone), or a Linux LiveCD you can boot off. I used Ubuntu myself.
- Your Desire HD, and its USB cable
- The Advanced Ace Hack Kit: Download Here. This is correct to 5/11/2011; check this thread for updates. The MD5 Checksum is bd852ee94ea3ce660f8d72339e78bbef
- A very basic knowledge of Linux: mostly how to use Terminal, including some basic commands.
- To ensure you have backed up all contacts or applications that you want.
Please read this guide all the way through first. Then start.
If you see ‘Ace’ anywhere whilst rooting, it means Desire HD.
Step 1: Log in to Your Linux Distro as Root
Boot up into your Desktop, open a Terminal through Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Then type in su, press enter, enter your password and press return. If you are using a Live CD you can get a root terminal by entering sudo -i instead of su.
Step 2: Get the Hack Kit and Unpack It
Make sure you downloaded the Android Ace Hack Kit from the link above! Find it in your native file manager, right click the ZIP archive, and extract it.
Step 3: Using the Advanced Ace Hack Kit
Plug your phone into the computer, then type into the terminal cd #path-to-the-unpacked-root-kit and press enter. Double check that you are logged in as root, and that the phone is plugged in, type ./hack-ace.sh, and press enter. This should start up the Ace Advanced Hack Kit.
Now just type 1, and press enter.
If everything went according to plan so far, this should be what you see after running ./hack-ace.sh
This process takes a little time, so be patient and let it chug away. This process took about six minutes for me. Enjoy the jargon flying past while you sip some coffee.
Step 4: Success?
Once it claims the process is complete, and your phone hasn’t done anything new (check the screen) for a good two minutes, take a look. It should have booted into HTC Sense, but with S-OFF, and root!
Step 5: Success!
Enjoy your rooted Desire HD however you like!
Why Not a 64 Bit Computer?
This was never fully answered for me. All I know is that using a 64 bit machine for my initial (and disastrously failed) root attempt left my phone in a state that meant it couldn’t even boot into HTC’s own ROM. It just hung at the white HTC screen. The only way I fixed this was to hunt down a stock gingerbread ROM and luckily I was able to flash that back onto my phone. Using a 64 bit machine the first time round was my personal big mistake.
Two Great ROMs to Get You Started
If you rooted so you could install a custom ROM, here are two great ones you could look into. Using a custom ROM usually means you have no bloatware, needless processes, greater system control, and if you don’t like anything, you can rip it out. You gain total control of your device.
This is my own ROM of choice. CyanogenMod is a fairly small, lightweight ROM, and comes pre-installed with pretty much everything you need.
I found that with CyanogenMod, the battery lasts for so much longer. My phone can do a day and a half on one charge with hard usage, before I was lucky to get half a day.
One of the tools that helps with improving battery life is RenderFX, a neat tool that lets you change the colour mixture of the display. If you turn the device to Red, then all of the display and everything you see is different shades of red. Very good if you are using the phone for a long period of time. Why? Because there are three primary colours that make up all other colours, red, blue and green. By not using blue and green at all, the screen is using around a third of the power it normally does. Therefore the battery loss due to the display is a third of what it usually is.
The battery statistics on HTC Sense said that 70% of my battery usage was the display, with 10% being idle background checks. Now it is pretty much the reverse, even without using RenderFX.
If you fancy it, CyanogeMod also lets you overclock your CPU from the standard 1Ghz up to around 1.5Ghz. I have never needed to clock mine up for anything, but it is there if you need it.
Altogether it is a popular, stable ROM which is easy to enjoy – Check out Rita El Khoury’s article on why you should try CyanogenMod and stick with it.
Follow the instructions here (ignoring the Rooting part; we just did that) and enjoy!
Android Revolution HD
Android Revolution HD is a ROM made specifically for the Desire HD. I haven’t tried it personally, but it advertises many improvements to the Sense UI, and many performance upgrades overall. Have a look at their XDA page to see a list of everything it can do. It looks very promising!
Keep an eye on our ROMs review category for more suggestions.
The reason I didn’t make a guide for Windows is that I didn’t use it to root my phone. There may be one or two hiccups I would overlook which could leave Windows users upset with unbootable phones, so I didn’t risk it.
If you don’t like the idea of using a Linux LiveCD to follow this guide, then download the Ace Advanced Hack Kit, and open up ‘effen-manual.html’. There are some Windows instructions in there for you.
With any luck, you have succeeded in rooting your phone. If not, take a look at Support below. Otherwise, well done and enjoy!
- Inside the ZIP you unpacked is an HTML page called ‘effen-manual.html’. If you do not read this manual then people on XDA will not be inclined to help you.
- Please use the XDA Forums thread to look for other people reporting problems, and then their solutions. If you find nothing, try #liberatedAria on irc.freenode.net. Please consider the IRC as a last resort.
Linkbacks and Thanks
attn1 – The man who packaged loads of different tools into one, and made the executables in Ace Advanced Hack Kit. Full credits are in his manual page, and this is his XDA Thread
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Photo-sharing is a booming market on mobile platforms, with all manner of services popping up almost on a weekly basis. Many such apps, especially on Android, are perhaps the ripples from the splash created by the iPhone photo-sharing titan Instagram. The good news is that Instagram plan an Android release in the future. However, until we see what they have to offer us Android users, there is still a huge interest in sharing pictures effectively.
This round-up aims to present an overview of arguably the best photo-sharing platforms available on Android. Now, this includes apps that focus most heavily on pictures, rather than the far larger social networks such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter which serve a wider purpose. These apps are more dedicated to sharing pictures, and make it as easy as possible to do so from your mobile phone. This round-up also doesn’t include purely photo-editing apps; apps like Pixlr-o-matic and BeFunky are very cool, but there is less focus on sharing and do not provide the same kind of platform to share pictures on.
Here you’ll see some big names, some new names, and some names you might not have heard of… until now. Read on for some truly excellent photo-sharing apps you’ll want to check out!
Lightbox is a relatively new photo sharing platform from former Google and YouTube product manager Thai Tran. Lightbox is a service with extremely rich UI and comes with a built-in camera. The app includes a host of cool filters and lets users post, not only to your Lightbox profile, but also Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and FourSquare.
The main draw for Lightbox is the UI. It’s rich, buttery, responsive and beautiful to use. A great stand-out feature lets you view users pictures from other social networks within the Lightbox app. Oddly you cannot yet share your Lightbox wall externally, but the app’s still in development so I expect the service to improve over time.
EyeEm is a rather cute photo-sharing platform with phenomenally beautiful UI. It’s light, smooth and simple to use. You can also take photos from within the app itself and add cool filters. You can view live feeds, see what pictures have been taken around your location and share with other social networks.
The UI looks gorgeous in EyeEm but it needs some tweaking for it to be a finished product in my opinion. It virtually insists you put a title and location on your pictures which can be a bit annoying when you want to upload something on the go. It has bags of potential though so definitely worth a look.
Flickr is arguably the biggest and best known of the photo-sharing platforms and its internet tenure totals nearly 7 years. Owned by Yahoo, the service has only quite recently released an official Android client. The app includes an alternative camera with filters and useful tagging functions. Flickr is both smooth and responsive and allows for a speedy turnaround from taking the picture to uploading.
I’m always quite impressed with the UI and functionality of Yahoo apps – their email client is also superb – and the Flickr app complements this. For someone who uses Flickr a great deal this would be an essential download, allowing access to pictures, albums and contacts in one easy-to-use app. For new users it offers the stability and support of an internet behemoth, although it still lacks a variety of features contained in other services.
LiveShare by Cooliris is another photo sharing network that has both a mobile and web service. Cooliris is well known for its rich web interfaces and while this is transferred to the LiveShare web service, the mobile offering is unfortunately quite basic. You can upload pictures quite easily, add friends, view streams etc but the app feels a little unfinished and lacks a genuine community feel. The app works quite well, but the UI is quite simplistic and feels veritably archaic compared to their web suite.
Being a creation of Cooliris, LiveShare should have lots of potential and will potentially pick up a lot of users, so on that basis it might be worth checking out if you’re thinking about engaging with a new photo-sharing service. However, as it stands, there are better apps out there.
Path should have been the ‘next big thing’. Lauded as such, the service was blogged about extensively and there was a genuine excitement about its release. The app lets you share photos with family and friends and interact around those pictures. This gives the pictures more meaning and interest and it’s a great way of securely sharing apps with the people you want to share with. However Path initially held off the release and then along came Google+. Path was launched two days after the search giant’s new social offering, and sadly it practically became irrelevant before it was released. If only they had released it a few weeks earlier!
The app still works fine, and for users who aren’t fussed with joining the Google+ revolution, the app is still a great way to share pictures with the people you care about. The UI and options are quite simple but work well and the app is stable, it just might feel like a bit of a let-down if you use Google+ for this purpose.
Photobucket is another significant internet photo-sharing site who have released a Android client. The app allows you to upload pictures to the site or download pictures from it, as well as sharing them to the likes of Twitter and Facebook. The Photobucket Corporation have additionally released a separate application, called Snapbucket, which lets you edit and add filters and frames to your photos.
It’s perhaps natural for existing Photobucket users to migrate to the Android client. New users will note the rich UI the app offers and the ability to tag photos, which is superb if you have a lot of images. Viewing pictures is a genuinely pleasant experience on the app and there is an auto-upload feature – similar to that which is offered by the Google+ app. On that basis, if a user is looking for a no-fuss solution for storing and sharing apps, Photobucket has a stable web presence and functions well, making it well worth consideration.
Picplz is a very popular Android photo-sharing service, and while it’s probably not the best I found far more of my friends using the service than others. With permissions, the app lets you see which of your Twitter followers already use the picplz, so you can quickly generate a number of people to share with who will already be familiar to you.
The app is simple to use, but lacks the kind of UI and editing options you see in other apps. However, it would seem you are more likely to find friends already subscribed to the service so it might be worth checking out if you aren’t keen on building a new set of followers/friends to share your pictures with.
Snapr is a photosharing app with a strong community feel. You can upload pictures and share them across various social networks as well as the Snapr website itself. There is much emphasis on geographical location and sharing images from specific places. The website presents a rich geographical map of images which looks superb, it has a real next-gen feel about it.
With the popularity of services like FourSquare and Gowalla, services like Snapr seem to be another logical step. The UI is nice and the app is simple to use, and provides cool editing tools to finish your pictures off. The size of the Snapr community is relatively small as it is a newish service, but should grow with time.
Streamzoo has a busy photo-sharing community which lets you ‘Like’ other users photos. Each like you receive wins you a point and they have daily, weekly and monthly leaderboards. On top of this the app lets you add filters, effects, frames and tilt-shifts to your pictures. All this is complimented by a great UI and the ability to share your creations with other social networks.
Of all these photo-sharing apps, I found Streamzoo to have probably the strongest community feel to it, and some genuinely brilliant photos too. Add the effects and filters, multi-platform support, leaderboards and UI, it’s a powerful way to share pictures on Android. The service is still relatively new, but if it maintains the momentum it has, I can see it growing to become a huge contender in the photo-sharing arena.
Trover is another photo-sharing app with emphasis on location. The app offers a rich UI and is multi-platform, so expect a fair few iPhone users on there too. The app feels incredibly polished and intuitive to use. The service lets you ‘visually explore’ the areas around you which has a very localised and very real feel about it, making for an engaging user experience.
Trover might not be the kind of app you share or store personal family pictures from, but if you’re keen on travel and taking cool pictures on the go, this is a great way to share snaps and memories while you do so.
There is a veritable smorgasbord of cool and useful photo-sharing apps in the Android Market; this is just a selection of the better ones available. Whether you want to share your pictures with the public or with a private group of friends, communicate your location, or store large number of your pics in the cloud, there are a number of apps worthy of your consideration. If you’re looking for a new photo-sharing service that is stable, fun and easy to use, you should definitely check these out. Happy snapping!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Today, we’re announcing a partnership with Startup Weekend—a global organization committed to promoting real entrepreneurship in local communities. In more than 200 cities and across six continents, Startup Weekend holds 54-hour startup creation events, bringing together entrepreneurs from engineering, product, design, marketing and business backgrounds. Participants gather on Friday, and by Sunday afternoon, they launch a product.
This partnership will help Startup Weekend expand to dozens of additional cities around the world and launch new vertical competitions focused on specific themes such as education, health or gaming.
In addition, we’ll be working to bring in Google’s developer community in the form of Google Technology User Groups as an additional resource to Startup Weekend participants. Started in early 2008, there are now more than 280 GTUGs in 86 countries that bring tech enthusiasts together via hundreds of events each month. GTUG members will receive discounted registration for Startup Weekend events and will help run pre-weekend local bootcamps on Google’s developer platforms and tools (e.g., App Engine, Android, Chrome).
We’ll start rolling out our product training and community events at Startup Weekends in the coming weeks and months. To learn more or find the next event happening in your city, visit startupweekend.org/google. Hope to see you at a weekend event soon!
Posted by Mary Himinkool, Head of Global Entrepreneurship Outreach
Sunday, November 6, 2011
How To Install OS X Lion On Your Hackintosh PC With UniBeast All-In-One Bootable USB Drive [The Easy Way]
If you’ve ever attempted to install OS X Lion onto your PC (a process known as hackintosh), you will be aware that although the result is pretty good, the effort required to get you there is quite high in what is a rather tedious process.
You have to install Snow Leopard, and follow an upgrade process in order to enjoy Apple’s famed operating system on an ordinarily Windows-based PC. Hardware wiz tonymacx86 is renowned for developing the hackintosh project, and has now made the process a whole lot simpler by introducing UniBeast all-in-one bootable USB drive.
The new utility enables you to create a bootable Lion flash-based drive for hackintosh, and also eradicates the necessity of using an iBoot CD to boot. So unlike the previous method, no optical drive is needed for you to create your own hackintosh.
We’re going to demonstrate how you can install OS X Lion on your hackintosh, following these recent advances.
Additionally, you will need UniBeast, which can be downloaded from here.
Step 1: Firstly, you’ll need to create a bootable USB drive using UniBeast. Open /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility and highlight your USB drive on your Mac.
Step 2: Next, click the Partition tab, then Current and opt for 1 Partition. Then, click Options and select Master Boot Record.
Step 3: Change Name to ‘USB’ (can use any name, but we’ll use USB for the benefit of this tut), and select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as your format. Once you’re done, select Apply followed by Partition.
NOTE: If you’re using the Install Mac OS X Lion Application, be sure to check that it’s been placed in the /Applications folder. If you’re instead using the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive, plug it in.
Step 4: Download and run UniBeast. Continue through the first few steps.
Step 5: At Destination Select, click USB and then Continue.
Step 6: Select the package name of the method you’ll be using to install as depicted below. Laptop users will need to select the Laptop Support in addition. Once that’s done, hit Continue.
Step 7: Enter password and click Install. Depending on the speed of your system and the flash drive, it could take up to 15 minutes.
Step 8: Boot from your freshly prepared USB flash drive and install.
If you get stuck at any point along the way, head over to tonymac86′s forums and sign up there, where you’ll find a bunch of like-minded techies on hand to help you through your trials and tribulations!
If you liked this, then you may also like to check out:
- How to Install Chrome OS in Windows 7
- Chromium OS For MacBook Air Available, Here’s How You Can Install It Now! [Tutorial]
- How To Install Windows 8 In a VMware Virtual Machine On PC & Mac
- Install Windows 8 DP In VirtualBox Virtual Machine On Mac & Windows 7 [How-To Tutorial]
- How to Install OS X Snow Leopard in VMware Windows 7
- How to Install Mac OS X Snow Leopard in VirtualBox on Windows 7
- Download OS X Lion 10.7.2 Final Version With iCloud Support
- How To Change Background Of Mission Control And Dashboard In OS X Lion
- Parallels Desktop 7 For OS X Lion Unveiled, Includes Enhanced Look-And-Feel, Can Also Run Lion As Guest Operating System [VIDEO]
- How To Downgrade OS X Lion To Snow Leopard: The Complete Tutorial
- OS X Lion Recovery Flash Drives Start Shipping Out [PHOTOS]
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Online payment giant PayPal has opened a Southeast Asia operations centre in Malaysia, reported the Business Times. With a 200-strong staff already on-site, they plan to hire 300 more by 2013.
The office will provide customer support to PayPal’s growing user base in Southeast Asia. Their services will be provided in English, with local Asian languages to be added soon.
PayPal senior vice president of global operations, John McCabe, said: “People are the most important asset and we are making a significant investment here in terms of hiring local talent, and providing them extensive training to better serve our customers around the world.”
The new center is located near PayPal’s international office in Singapore. The company also has another operations center in Shanghai. Their increased presence in Asia signals a growth in the mobile e-commerce sector in the region.
It also indicates that Malaysia is becoming a popular destination for tech companies as well, given that Google has also quite recently set up an office in the country.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
"I've been using this new Google Reader for a full hour now and here are a few observations.
Note that my background with Google Reader is that I read 312 feeds through it and do end my day with 0 unreads. This means that, on most month, I consume about 30,000 stories, seldom clicking away from the reader itself as I read mostly full feeds.
The first thing that struck me is how much slower this reader is. There seems to be a refresh on every new move forward, which was less noticeable on the previous version, if at all. There also seems to be a substantially slower response time, on the order of a couple of seconds. This is particularly noticeable if you read the HN firehose feed and try to "N" through the entries.The left column is mostly OK and it does seem cleaner than the previous version.
The top is dreadful, with a new line taking about 20% of the screen real-estate. While this gives a more "airy" feeling to the Reader, this is at the cost of displaying less content on the page. This is the first glaring UI problem but it's not the worse.
For some odd reason, they seem to have decided to limit the flexibility of the content in the feeds, with text stopping at about 800 pixels and the left of the space on the right being left blank. This creates a substantial imbalance on the screen and makes the whole look feel incomplete. Furthermore, it reduces information density per entry displayed.Starred is now a sharper edged icons, which is substantially less rounded than the previous version. The presence of 2 stars (one next to the title and one in the toolbar) makes one wonder which one should be used. That's confusing.
The absence of share is a major bummer. In my previous workflow, I would click share (1 click) when I found something interesting and move on. I had setup an RSS reader that would pick up my shared items and pass them on to Twitter, Facebook, and others. This meant that 1 click allowed me to share to social networks without leaving Google Reader. In order to reproduce the same process, I can now "Send to" a service. To do so, I first click "Send to" and then click on the appropriate service, which opens another window. In that service, I can then press a button and share things through that service. I then close that service window and click on the Google Reader tab to get back to my Reader workflow. This is a total of 5 clicks where there once was 1. Doesn't strike me as much of an improvement. (same situation ! ndr)
All and all, I have to say, Google Reader may be a fine upgrade for people who don't use RSS readers. But for anyone who's serious about consuming content over RSS, Google has done a substantial disservice by taking what was once a great service for power users and driving it into the ditch.
The net-net of all this is that Google Reader, a service where I spent most of my online reading time will soon end up being replaced by another RSS reader (at least one more suited to my usage) and Google will lose a substantial amount of my online time in the process. I'm sure they won't mind (or even notice) but I suspect they will be surprised when a Google Reader replacement service arises away from them and finds a dedicated following."