Category Archives: Android

Get latest info and geeks on Android SmartPhones. Featuring the DO’s and DON’Ts of Android!

Download Android 5.0 Lollipop Gapps

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Since the day the Android 5.0 Lollipop source code was uploaded. Many  Android 5.0 based ROMs are surfacing through out the developer forums . Since these are built from pure AOSP source code, they come without the Google services and you have to get a Gapps package to fill this abyss. But the haunting thing is there is no proper Gapps package for the 5.0 ROMs which takes the fun out of these builds.

However, with time there comes a workaround for everything and this time it comes from drewwalton19216801 of XDA forums. A complete Gapps package would usually be around 200-300 MB depending on the number of Google apps and services included in the package. Looking at the size of drewwalton19216801’s Gapps package which is roughly around 117 MB, we can say that it is just a pack of bare bones. You can take a look at the services included from the list below:

Google Now
Setup Wizard
Gmail
Cloud Print
Google Calendar
Google Now Home
Play Store
Google Plus
Base required Google Services

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Leaving aside the small number of apps included in the package, we can say that this is the only Gapps that was successfully installed on Android 5.0 AOSP builds as of now. Anyway, it’s no crime in getting our hands dirty in the world of Android tinkering. So buckle up and download the Gapps package from the link provided below.

Download Gapps for Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop: What’s New and Updated

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Android Lollipop

Google previewed ‘Android L’ at its Google I/O developer event in June, and since then, developers and consumers have awaited the final version, which was finally announced on Wednesday as Android 5.0 Lollipop ‘L’.
The company also launched the platform
lead devices for Android 5.0 Lollipop, namely the Nexus 6 ,Nexus 9, and Nexus Player.
Since the Android L preview earlier this year, Google has added several new features to the final release of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
While some changes are extensions of the themes introduced in Android L, some are relatively new, and other previously known features have now been detailed by the search giant.

Here are some of the biggest changes that Google brought to its widely-popular mobile and tablet platform with Android 5.0 Lollipop:

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Material Design
First up is the ambitious Material Design. Remember when Google had introduced Android L saying that this next version will receive a complete visual overhaul for a consistent experience across devices? Well, here it is. Android 5.0 Lollipop features a cleaner, flatter design with a more fluid interface and animations.
We saw the revamped navigation and status bar in the Android L preview, and Google has stuck to the design but now the status bar can be coloured or kept transparent (depending on the
app) and features refreshed status icons. The ‘Quick settings’ menu has also been revamped, and includes new controls like
flashlight, hotspot, cast screen controls and more. Also new is the toggle for location services. The recent apps menu or task switcher now appears like a stack of cards instead of a list of screenshots of recently open apps which is cool.
Google explains the new Material Design for Android 5.0 Lollipop as “A bold, colorful, and responsive UI design for consistent, intuitive experiences across all your devices.
Responsive, natural motion, realistic lighting and shadows, and familiar visual elements make it easier to navigate your device.

Vivid new colors, typography, and edge-to-edge imagery help to focus your attention.”

Improved Notifications/ Lock Screen
Android 5.0 Lollipop’s lock screen displays richer notifications, and users can view and respond to messages directly from the
lock screen. In fact, Google has further gone ahead with notifications and included rich floating descriptive notifications on top of your activity. Users will be able to view or dismiss any
notifications without moving away from an activity.
Essentially, Google has provided better overall control for Notifications.

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Users will be able to control notifications triggered by their apps, and choose to hide sensitive content, apart from prioritising or turning off an app’s notifications completely. Android 5.0 Lollipop users can also turn on ‘Priority mode’ via the device’s volume button and allow notifications from only certain people or apps to be shown – users can schedule when Priority mode turns on as
well. The feature also works as a Do Not Disturb mode as seen in Apple’s iOS, and allows users to also selectively silence notifications and calls on the Android device.
Importantly, Google has also now downgraded the priority that incoming phone calls are given, and users can now choose to answer the call, cancel it, or just continue to do what they were doing without waiting for the call to end.

Kill Switch and Improved Security
Android 5.0 Lollipop will come with an opt-in kill switch dubbed ‘Factory Reset Protection’, which will allow users to wipe out the device’s data on will. If a user activates this feature, they will be
required to enter their Google login to factory reset the device and it will only work when the phone passcode is enabled. Google
also says that new devices come with encryption automatically turned on to help protect data on lost or stolen devices. Google
had announced the feature last month, after Apple revealed its own version . Not much is known about this feature yet rest assured we will update you as it comes…
Users will also get an Android Smart Lock feature to secure their device by pairing it with a trusted device like a wearable or even their car, says Google.

New Messenger App
There is a new Messenger app that will be shipping with the Nexus 6 as part of Android 5.0 Lollipop It is said to be a more simplified of Hangouts, and is not a replacement for it, says a Google spokesperson, “Messenger and Hangouts offer users choice, each have their own benefits. Hangouts work great for cross platform (web, iOS, Android) and cross medium communications (video, voice,messaging, SMS).  Messenger will be specially designed to be a quick and easy way to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android Nexus 6 will come with both apps.

Device Sharing
Google has finally brought device sharing features that will help users share their Android 5.0 Lollipop device with members of their family and friends without worrying about access to sensitive content. Android 5.0 Lollipop features a guest user mode with custom options for access, as well as screen pinning that lets users fix in place the screen that’s displayed without allowing guests to go further. Interestingly, it has also introduced a new feature in Android L that lets users log in to another Android phone to access synced messages and content in case they forget their phone at home.
Battery Saver
Google has also added a new battery saver feature to Android 5.0 Lollipop, claiming to extend device battery life by up to 90 minutes. Android 5.0 Lollipop will also display the estimated time left to fully charge the device when plugged in, as well as the estimated time left on the device before the user needs to charge again.

Quick Device Set Up
Google has introduced new ways for users to set up their devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Users can instantly set up their new Android phone or tablet by simply tapping it on their old device – though this requires NFC support. All apps from Google Play are also carried over on the new device, as long as the same Google account is being used.
Other new features in Android 5.0 Lollipop include the new ART Android runtime for improved application performance and responsiveness; support for 64-bit devices and SoCs; native 64-bit apps; improved hardware keyboard accessory support (including support for multilingual, emoji input, search key, and improved app and system key chords), support for 15 new languages (including Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu); improved accessibility features (such as text contrast boost, colour inversion, and enhanced colour differentiation); improved audio, video, and camera capabilities, and improved Internet connectivity everywhere and with more powerful Bluetooth low energy

Keyboard
The keyboard app for Android L is stylish and colourful than it predecessor. Awesome swiping, improved personalized typing, improved dictionary and material design .  Good thing developers on XDA already ported it and it can work on devices running Android 4.1+ .Get yours here

Lenovo Super Camera and Gallery For Android

Tired of the picture quality of your default camera? Today we bring to you A super camera »»» Lenovo Super Camera and I must say
it’s the most advanced/optional camera I’ve encountered.

As a pleasant bonus, the camera app also comes with an awesome gallery app called Super Gallery.
The Super Camera and Gallery app from Lenovo can be installed on any Android device with Android 4.1 and above. While testing it on my device, I noticed some minor issues with burst and panorama modes. (Now fixed in the updade below) Download the app from our link below and install as any normal APK.
Dowload Lenovo Super Camera and Gallery V.3.6.7Lenovo Super Camera and Gallery

‘Silver’ enables developers to use Swift to write Android and Windows Phone apps

RemObjects is using its experience with compilers to allow developers to use Apple’s Swift coding language for Android development. Previously, the company did something similar for C# and now the company is tackling Swift.

Silver allows app makers to write in the Swift language (which is still in its infancy, really) but code against the API’s and frameworks of non-Apple platforms.

Read more at9to5mac

How to Run Android apps on your Windows PC

If you’re looking to get some apps and games up and running on your computer with the minimum of effort, BlueStacks is your friend.

The BlueStacks App Player presents itself as just a way to get apps running, but it actually runs a full(heavily modified) version of Android behind the scenes. Not only that,
but it has the Play Store built-in so you have instant access to all of your purchased content. It actually adds an entry to your Google Play device list,
masquerading as a Galaxy Note II.
The BlueStacks client will load up in a desktop window with different app categories like games, social, and so on. Clicking on an app or searching
does something unexpected — it brings up the full Play Store client as rendered on tablets. You can actually navigate around in this interface just as you would on a real Android device, which makes it clear there’s a lot more to BlueStacks than the “AppPlayer” front end. In fact, you can install third-party launcher like Nova or Apex from the Play Store and set it as the default. The main screen in BlueStacks
with the app categories is just a custom homescreen, so replacing it makes BlueStacks feel almost like a
regular Android device.

BlueStacks App Player, in the Play Store Having full Play Store access means you won’t be messing around with sideloading apps, and BlueStacks manages to run everything impressively. Most games are playable, but keep in mind you’ll have trouble operating many of them with a mouse. If your PC has a touchscreen, you can still use apps and games that rely on more than one touch input.

BlueStacks can essentially make a Windows 8 tablet PC into a part-time Android tablet. BlueStacks calls the technology that makes this possible “LayerCake” because Android apps run in a layer on top of Windows.

The only real issue with BlueStacks is that it’s not running a standard Android build. All the alterations the company made to get apps working on a PC can cause issues — some apps simply fail to run or crash unexpectedly. This customized environment is also of little value as a development tool because there’s no guarantee things will render the same on BlueStacks as they might on a real Android device without all the back end modifications. It’s also a freemium service with a $2 pro subscription, or you can install a few sponsored apps.

So what’s the best way?
If you’re interested in getting apps running on your PC so you can actually use and enjoy them,
BlueStacks App Player is the best solution. It’s fast, has Play Store access, and works on multitouch Windows devices. If you need to test something with the intention of
putting it on other Android devices, the emulator is still the best way to give builds a quick once-over on
a PC before loading them on to Android phones or tablets. It’s slow but standardized, and you’ll be able
to see how things will work on the real deal. The Android PC ports are definitely fun to play with, and performance is solid when you get apps running, but they can be finicky. If you just want to play Clash of Clans on your Windows machine, get BlueStacks. More at ExtremeTech.

TegraZone app now available on Google Play Store for non Tegra devices

Screen shot of tegra zone on play storeNVIDIA has updated its TegraZone app, which means that the app is now fully compatible with non-Tegra devices. Previously it was available for the mobile devices, which came powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2, Tegra 3, and Tegra 4 mobile processors, as well as Nvidia Shield.

The TegraZone app, now available to download from the Google Play store, comes in version 2.9.0. On the Play Store, Nvidia says “TegraZone is not intended to replace the purchase, download, or functionality of Google Play, but rather to compliment it by providing a selection of premium games that developers believe will offer an exceptional experience for users of Tegra-powered phones and tablets.”

Nvidia also announced the wide-compatibility on the official website, saying “TegraZone is now enabled for users of non-Tegra devices so they can learn about Tegra and great Android games.”

Other features included in the latest TegraZone update include shortcut sharing icons; highlighting special interest groups of games by publisher, feature and genre; support for Nvidia Shield and Android HID controllers for set-top boxes and microconsoles; and archived news items.

Recently at CES 2014 event, Nvidia introduced the “GameStream-Ready” ecosystem of PCs and Wi-Fi routers, which offers the gamers smooth and low-latency gaming from their Nvidia-powered PC or the Nvidia Grid cloud.

This streaming technology would only work in those PCs which feature a compatible Nvidia GeForce GTX card and have Nvidia GeForce Experience installed, a PC optimization tool for gamers. For streaming the games in a swift manner, Nvidia, besides PCs, have been also working with some router manufacturers.

The GameStream technology was released less than a year ago, and enables gamers to stream games from their Nvidia PCs or from the Nvidia Grid cloud to their Shield portable gaming consoles.

Watch out SnapChat Instagram to add private messaging

Watch out!!, Snapchat.  Rumors are quickly surfacing that Instagram is looking to add private messaging as one of the app’s newest features. Om Malik of GigaOM writes that “well-placed sources” at Instagram leaked details about the new update that should be available to users before the end of this year. Since the app’s inception in 2010, it has generated more than 200 million users. If it’s true that private messaging is a main feature among those updates, that could be a game changer.

Users currently can comment and tag others in posts, but it’s all up for the public to see. That might deter some action on the app for users who don’t necessarily want their families to see what they show their friends … or vice versa.

Private picture and video messaging is a concept that Snapchat has embraced and, so far, thrived on. The company reportedly just turned down a $4 billion buyout offer from Google and a $3 billion offer from Facebook.

The new feature is similar to a move Instagram made in June of this year when the app added videos to its content repertoire. Many speculated that would mean the downfall of the popular video app Vine, but it appears to still be going strong. That could allay some of the concerns for Snapchat executives.

Private messaging, along with the video addition, show just how much the app has evolved over the years. Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom once said the app would be the future of photography with its filtering feature. But the social aspect has played a more prominent role in how the app has developed.

The next Instagram update should be coming in December of this year. The company has so far declined to comment on the rumors.  What to you think of this purported move by Instagram?

 

APPLE and SAMSUNG again in court

The latest round in Apple and Samsung’s bitter global battle for supremacy in the more than $300bn smartphone market begins Tuesday in a courtroom a few miles from Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

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In courts, government tribunals and regulatory agencies around the world, Apple has argued that Samsung’s Android-based phones copy vital iPhone features. Samsung is fighting back with its own complaints that some key Apple patents are invalid and Apple has also copied Samsung’s technology.

The two have each won and lost legal skirmishes over the last couple of years, and the companies appear oceans apart in settling their differences. Analysts predict continued litigation for months to come.

On Tuesday, the latest chapter opens in a federal courtroom in San Jose, California, where lawyers from the two companies and US District Judge Lucy Koh will begin picking a jury to calculate how much South Korea-based Samsung owes Apple for infringing Apple’s patents on 13 older Samsung smartphones and computer tablets.

Representatives of both companies declined to comment.

With Apple’s Cupertino headquarters about a 10-minute drive from the courthouse, potential jurors will be asked if any family members work for Apple and whether the company’s proximity will have any effect on their views of the case.

A different jury in August found that Samsung infringed six Apple patents to create and market 26 smartphones and computer tablets. The panel ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05bn.

Koh then tossed out $450m (£281m) of that amount after deciding the jury wrongly calculated damages for 14 products. Amid an avalanche of legal filings afterward, Koh reduced the damages at issue to $400m and the products to 13, then ordered a new jury to recalculate damages for those products.

Some four dozen people are listed on the trial’s witness list, many of them experts hired by Apple and Samsung to deliver damage estimates, which range from zero to more than the original $400m.

Despite the amount of money involved, the current proceedings are somewhat of a warm-up for a much larger trial scheduled for March. That trial will focus on newer products still on the market, while the current trial is a battle over products that are several years old and no longer sold in the US. More money is at stake, and Apple is asking that Samsung be barred from selling some of its current devices in the U.S.

In both cases, jurors will hear from experts opining on the global market and offering dramatically differing views on damages. In the current case, the jury will determine damages by deciding – among other issues – whether Samsung’s behavior actually cost Apple sales.

Whatever the outcome, appeals are expected.

“This trial is just about money. Though several hundred million dollars are at stake, that isn’t going to make or break either of the companies involved,” said Mark Lemley a Stanford University law school professor who specializes in technology issues. “But the trial is also the last step in getting this case ready for the inevitable appeal. … That appeal will have broader ramifications.”

Apple transformed the mobile phone industry when it started selling the iPhone in 2007, but its success was quickly imitated and Samsung’s smartphone shipments surpassed Apple’s iPhone sales in 2011.

According to research group IDC, Samsung shipped 81m devices in the July-to-September quarter for a market share of 31%, making it the world’s top seller. Apple is a distant second, having shipped 34m iPhones, for a market share of 1% over the same period.

Sony Xperia L gets Android 4.2 Update

The last thing  we heard about the Sony Xperia L update was that it would get Android 4.3 in November, the device shipped with Android 4.1, and the Sony Xperia L Android 4.2 update has now been released for the device.

The Sony Xperia L Android 4.2 update comes in the form of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and it brings a number of new features to the Sony Xperia L.

Sony Xperia L

The update brings a revamped  homescreen to the Xperia L, for widgets, apps and shortcuts, it also comes with an updated UI and improved functions in a number of the Sony Media apps.

The camera on the Xperia L has also had an update, there is now a burst mode and a number of performance improvements to the camera.

The Sony Xperia L features a 4.3 inch display that has a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, the device is powered by a dual core 1GHz Snapdragon processor and also comes with 1gB of RAM.

Other specifications on the Sony Xperia L include 8GB of built in storage, plus a microSD card slot that offers support for up to 32GB cards.

The Sony Xperial L Android 4.2 update should be available for your handset as of now, you can check to see if it is available by going to the settings menu on your handset.

Source Sony

Google Smartwatch is in final stages

Hurray!! Google’s smartwatch is in late-stage development and the company is in talks with Asian suppliers to begin mass production of the device, people familiar with the matter said.

The new device, which will run on Android, will be integrated with Google Now, the company’s intelligent personal assistant that can answer questions, make recommendations and predict what information users need based on what they are doing, a person familiar with the situation said. Google has also been working to reduce power consumption on the smartwatch so it won’t require frequent battery charges, the person said.

The smartwatch will be able to communicate with other devices such as a smartphone, and draw information such as travel schedules from a user’s email through Google Now, the person said. The device could be ready for mass production within months, the person said.

With its wristwatch, Google is aiming to address two criticisms of smartwatches that skeptics have long made: usefulness and battery life. While several smartwatches are on the market already, including one from Samsung, they have yet to gain a widespread following as they still have limited functions and a relatively high price. However, analysts say that with the development of improved applications, wearable devices will become increasingly mainstream and a growing battleground for tech industry heavyweights like Google and Apple. Annual sales of wearable devices are projected to reach 485 million units by 2018, according to market-research firm ABI Research.

For Google, the launch of a wristwatch would be an effort to secure a leading position in the growing wearable devices sector following its development of Google Glass. It would also be a play to keep users in its Android ecosystem and out of competing systems from Apple and Microsoft.