Friday, 27 April 2012

HTC One S

Sorry for the long absence. I was in London for a week, and returned for revision and exams at University.

While I was in London my contract was due an upgrade, so chose the HTC One S. I did look at the One X, but the size was a bit too large for my liking.

I instantly fell in love with it. I was contemplating keeping my HTC Desire for a while longer and maybe switching to a SIM only contract to save money, as I figured if I get a new Android phone it will just do everything the same, just faster, but my girlfriend persuaded me to get a new phone. As soon as I started playing with it I knew I made the right choice in getting it.

The feel of the phone is so much nicer than my Desire, and the really slim design of it made my Desire instantly look bulky and old. The Super AMOLED screen is much brighter and much easier to use in sunlight, and it comes with BeatsAudio, which is a great plus for me as I use my phone a lot for music.

It comes with Ice Cream Sandwich, and with Sense 4.0. Previously I despised Sense for being bloated and slow, hence I kept my phone rooted with custom ROMs for the majority of it's life, but Sense 4.0 is different. It has a lot of stock ICS, and Sense really isn't as intrusive as it has been previously.

There are a few downsides - the microSD isn't accessible, and neither is the battery. The battery being inaccessible could be problematic with flashing ROMs etc as if there's a problem I'm not sure how you can reset the phone without pulling the battery, but I'm not too fussed for rooting it at the moment as I'm happy with how it's currently running.

Just a short insight in to my new phone, and now I need to work on changing the banner for the blog itself.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Skyvi and absence

Skyvi is basically Siri for Android. It works in the same way as Siri does, just ask it to do something for you. I've been having a play around and it's actually quite good. A lot better than Google Voice. I wouldn't say the voice is as good as in Siri though, but it still works really well.

Key features are:

  • Voice Texting
  • Find and Call Places
  • Get Directions
  • Call Contacts
  • Location Reminders
  • Local Weather and Time
  • Access Facebook with voice
  • Access Twitter with voice
  • Text by voice
  • Tweet or update Facebook status with voice
  • Ask questions with voice
  • Fun chat and witty remarks.
Best of all as well it's free for a limited time at the moment, so it's worth grabbing for free while you can. 

I also will be absent from tomorrow. I'm off to London for a week or so, and won't get chance to post on here really, but I shall continue when I do return.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Steam App for Android

Valve released a Steam app for smartphones, that people have been asking to be released for a while.

The app's a pretty simple app. It gives users access to their friends list to chat, access to the Steam store and Steam news as well as account settings, too.

The layout is pretty nice. It's kind of like the Facebook app layout. With the menu on the left hand side, and the friend's list looks quite similar to the Facebook Messenger app layout.

As Valve are wanting to focus on gaming in the smartphone market, this app will most likely expand for access to smartphone games in the future, but it's useful now for people who want access to their Steam account to purchase games on-the-go, especially during the Steam sales.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Supercharger V6 Script

The Supercharger V6 Script is a complete memory management fix. It promises to solve lag and launcher redraw problems on devices.

It solves lag by editing the default minfree values. Minfree being the minimum amount of RAM before Android starts closing apps itself. Android comes with good memory management, but in Gingerbread it's quite aggressive. The minfree values are relative to the respective OOM (Out Of Memory) group. The groups are FOREGROUND_APP, VISIBLE_APP, SECONDARY_SERVER, HIDDEN_APP, CONTENT_PROVIDER and EMPTY_APP. The minfree values, could be for example, 6, 8, 16, 20, 22 and 24MB. When the amount of free RAM reaches 24MB, then any apps in the EMPTY_APP group are closed, then it reaches 22MB then CONTENT_PROVIDER apps are closed, and so on.

The script allows these values to be increased, so apps are closed sooner to prevent any lag.

The launcher redraw problem is fixed by moving the launcher process to a higher priority OOM group, such as the FOREGROUND_APP group. If you use a Cyanogenmod ROM, then this is similar to their "Lock Home in Memory" option.

The thread with all information on how to download and run the script can be found here. Ice Cream Sandwich users need to do an extra step and mod their services.jar file before running the script. All information about this is in the second post of the linked thread, and it's simple as there's an automated website that does it all for you. All you need to do is upload your services.jar file from the ROM you use and it'll modify it and let you download a flashable .zip file with the modded file.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Draw Something

Draw Something is probably the current most popular game app on the iOS and Google Play Store. It's more or less an online pictionary game, where people can login via their Facebook account and invite friends to play.

The aim is to pick a word and draw something relating to that word for your friends to guess. If they guess correctly then you both win a certain amount of coins based upon the difficulty of the word, and these coins can be spent on buying additional colours to draw with, or bombs, which can be used to eliminate letters if you're stuck trying to guess what word it is. As you guess more words correctly with a friend, the words get harder and harder.

The game is cross platform, meaning people on Android can play with their iOS friends and vice versa. The game comes in to flavours - a free version, and a paid for version that has 2,000 more words than the free version. For Android the full version is only £0.62.