Tag Archives: Android


Unlock your Nexus device and install 4.4.3 [Tutorial]

Google has published 4.4.3 update for its Nexus devices without telling us anything about it. There is no official announcement or blog about it. The reports are coming in that OTA updates are also being pushed. If you can’t wait for OTA, then you can upgarde your Nexus device manually. Just take back-up of data such as images or downloaded files. Once done, follow these steps (courtesy: Ubuntu Wiki)

First download the appropriate image for your device from this link.

How to update?

If you are using any Ubuntu-based system install fastboot by running this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash

If your Nexus device is unlocked then you can skip this step and move to next one, if not then continue:
1. Boot into the bootloader (power off the device and then power it on by holding the power button + volume up + volume down)
2. When you see the bootloader, connect the device to the PC
3. Open the terminal and run

sudo fastboot oem unlock

Now Nexus screen will show whether you want to unlock or now and also tell you which hardware keys to use to select ‘yes’. Use volume key to select the option you want and power key to select it.

Note: If unlocking fails, you may have to enable the USB debugging. Reboot the Nexus in Android. Enable the developer mode of your device by tapping seven times on the ‘Build number’. Then go to Developer option and select USB debugging. Now repeat the above steps.

Once you have unlocked the device, Nexus will take some time to reboot into unlocked system. In my case I had to once again enable the developer mode, and USB debugging so if that be the case you can checn under settings if the USB debugging is still enabled.

Insatll new Android updates

Now extract the Nexus image that you have downloaded on your PC, cd to the extracted folder and as run the following command:

run adb reboot-bootloader

Once your Nexus boots in to the boot loader, run the following command:

sudo ./flash-all.sh

Wait for it to complete and once done your Nexus will boot into the brand new Android.

Please keep in mind, don’t disconnect the USB during any of the above opearations.


A settlement between Apple and Samsung may be on the horizon

The long and drawn out battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple over the ownership of various intellectual properties may be coming to a close.

According to The Korea Times Samsung and Apple have resumed discussion of settling their patent disputes. Recent developments such as Apple’s deal with Google show that times may be changing on how these types of disputes are handled. There is a different air surrounding these discussions compared to the countless court battles and negotiations that preceded.

With Apple dropping its disputes with Motorola and Google this new settlement with Samsung is looking like a final settling. Samsung as part of the Google Android Alliance will most likely get a similar deal.

Whether Apple is trying to negate the negative publicity of being a patent troll or saving time and money, the optimistic view is that if negotiations go well this may be the beginning of the end of the patent wars that plague the IT world.

Sources: TalkAndroid, The Korea Times


Android X86 4.4 Release Candidate 2 released

Yesterday the Android x86 project released a new RC version of Android 4.4. This second release candidate follows the last release in February and it is based on the KitKat-MR1 release. Since then there have been many fixes including many x86 architecture optimizations that make the system run better on netbooks and tablets.

Some of the most notable new features according to the announcement:

  • Update to stable kernel 3.10.40 with more bugfixes.
  • Automatically mount ntfs/exfat/ext4 in the external storages (usbdisk/sdcard).
  • Enhance the sensors support including Intel sensor-hub and Pegatron Lucid Tablet Accelerometer.
  • Add launcher and file manager from CyanogenMod.
  • Add 5-point touch calibration app from 0xdroid.
  • Improve suspend and resume functions.
  • Add rtl8723au wifi driver.

This version was released as a single experimental universal iso that should work for most x86 platforms( the iso can be downloaded from HERE and HERE ) . The iso file is in hybrid format, meaning you can dump the iso to an USB drive using dd:

dd if=android-x86-4.4-RC2.iso of=/dev/sdX, where /dev/sdX is your usb drive.

Known issues:

  • Suspend and resume may not work on some systems.
  • The installer can’t format ext3 filesystem.

From my personal experience the first RC release was very stable and it ran smoothly on my Intel Celeron 1007u netbook from Acer and many applications from the Play store were compatible. The only problem I encountered was that some application would change the orientation to portrait when launched.


SlateKit, a Qt5 based operating system for tablets

Chen, Ping-Hsun (penk), a software developer from Taiwan is working on an Open Source mobile operating system, called SlateKit, targeted at tablets.

Chen says that “SlateKit Base is a small Linux distribution (binary compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 amd64), with specially configured Qt 5.2.0, Mesa 10.0.1, two web engine/renderer: the default QtWebKit, and Oxide, which based on Chromium/Blink.”

He further explains that “the whole graphical stacks are merely framebuffer (both KMS and uvesafb), EGL surface, and Qt/QtQuick has made rest of the user interface. No X11, Mir nor Wayland are being used.”

SlateKit seems to be an exciting project for enthusiasts as well as those companies who want to enter the tablet space with custom tablet UI. Chen himself admits that “SlateKit is a drop-in replacement of Android UI stack, to help makers building custom tablet UI, by using Qt/QML, JavaScript and Chromium.”


Chen has released a technical preview of SlateKit for Google’s Nexus 7 (2013 edition) tablet. If you want to try the OS Chen has given detailed instructions which you can find below:


Nexus 7 “razor” [2013] (WiFi)
Android 4.4.2 (KOT49H)
rooted and adb shell access


Download the image: slatekit-flo-0423.zip (146.7 MB)
Unzip files to /data, make sure busybox has executable permission
Start the UI by: ./chroot.sh

Technical details

SlateKit Base essentially consists:

a minimal Ubuntu root filesystem (Trusty/armhf)
Qt 5.2.1 and Oxide 1.0 (Chromium content API wrapper)
libhybris for hardware accelerated graphics
hwcomposer QPA from Mer project

Let us know if you managed to install it on your Nexus 7.


Xiaomi launches the MiPad: Android powered Tegra K1 Tablet

Xiaomi, a Chinese company, has just launched a new Android powered tablet, the MiPad to the market. The unique thing about this Android powered tablet is that it is powered by the powerful NVidia Tegra K1 mobile processor, thus making it stand out from the already crowded android powered tablet segment.

The MiPad is a 7.9 inch tablet, powered by the afore mentioned NVidia Tegra K1 mobile processor. The display resolution is said to be at 2048×1536, which is a Retina Display density akin to the 3rd generation iPad. There are two cameras, with the front facing one being a 5MP while the primary one being an 8MP snapper, which is quite brilliant. The tablet is available in both 16GB and 64GB variant with support for microSD cards to further extend the storage. The tablets are said to be capable of 1300 hours of standby time. The specs seem to be really attractive and a very strong & capable gaming device.

No word has been said about the exact release date of the tablet, only that there will be an open Beta in June in China, where select users will be able to get a hands-on with pre-production units. Launch dates for the Western countries has not been revealed, though prices are said to be around $240 & $270 for the 16GB and 64GB variant, which would really make the 64GB seem like a steal!

NVidia’s Tegra K1 mobile processor is touted to employ the same technologies PCs and Next gen consoles uses and NVidia promises that their Tegra processors will be able to deliver PC level realistic graphical goodness on mobile devices without making it a battery hog or burning a hole in your pocket. The Tegra K1 was unveiled earlier this year at the CES. Following the unveiling, NVidia also announced during the GDC that they have partnered with Epic to bring the Unreal Engine to Tegra too.

Source: IGN


Titanfall Companion App released for Android, iOS & Windows 8

As games become more complicated, it becomes harder for developers to pack in all those extra information on the same screen available to the players, so they came up with the concept of companion apps. Now after about two months of its release, the hugely popular multiplayer Mech/Shooter Titanfall has received its own Companion App across all mobile platforms, that is, Android, iOS & Windows Phone 8 along with Windows 8 too.

The companion App is an addition to the gaming franchise that can be freely downloaded from the respective app stores and linked with the player’s Titanfall account. The app allows the player to take their “Titanfall experience on the go,” meaning that players can check out the various stats of their gameplay, like number of kills, favourite guns, favourite Titans, etc. while not in game. In addition, the app also allows you to read up on the various history and background of the game’s universe as well as the Titans, thus serving as a portable encyclopedia. The app also gives details about the various Titans and weapons used in the game, detailing their stats and thus allowing the player to decide on the one that is best for them. Along with all this the app also gives helpful hints, directly from the devs.

Also, Xbox One owners get to unlock a unique feature of the app: A real time companion map. The respective device with the app can be turned into a real time mini map with accurate information about various players, which cannot be found anywhere in the game. The mini-map is fully interactive and you can easily zoom in and zoom out along with using filters to get only the information that you want during the heat of the battle.

You can get the Android version of the Titanfall Companion App from here.

Source: IGN


US based Mortals can now buy Google Glass

After letting gods of the United States to play with its ‘Glass’, Google is now letting mere mortals to buy the device. To test the demand for Glass, Google recently opened a one day sale of the device allowing anyone to buy it. According to Google it was a successful excersise. The device is back on sale, this time there seems to be no time limit on availability.

On its Google+ page, the Glass team wrote, “In the last six months, we’ve been amazed and inspired by our Explorers and the individual perspectives you bring. A few weeks ago, we opened up our site for a single day. The response was overwhelming – we almost ran out of inventory and had to close things down early. We’ve since built our inventory back up and plan to continue to accelerate new ways to expand the program in the weeks and months ahead. Our hope is to bring Glass to new Explorers, like optometrists, sports lovers, online retailers, cooks and travelers, who (like you!) can get in early and help make Glass better as part of our open beta, ahead of a wider consumer launch. These are exciting times and we’re glad to have you along for the ride – keep the feedback coming!”

This moves quenches all criticism raised by bloggers like Robert Schobble who almost declared the ‘demise’ of the device.

However, how popular will this device become among average people with $1500 price tag is uncertain. It contrasts Google’s approach of reducing the cost of hardware in those segments (smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks) where there is heavy competition however Google devices – Chrome Pixel and Glass – targetted at high-end markets are in the same slab as are Apple’s prime devices.

The cost of Glass has alwasys been the biggest criticism of the device as it creates a barrier for adoption of the device. The questions is, would you buy the device for that price tag?

Google Glass 2

Samsung may announce Glass in September, powered by Tizen?

Samsung is one of those companies who want to be in as many markets possible. Samsung comprises over 80 companies and has a very diversified business profile. Electronics is no exception; the company is in almost all possible segment and actually ‘dominates’ the smartphone market with its Android offering. There is one segment where the company doesn’t have any presense – smart glass.

According to reports Samsung may announce it’s own Glass Gear at IFA 2014 which will be organised in September. The report also say that it would be powered by Tizen instead of Google’s Android Wear OS. Why would Samsung choose it’s own Tizen over a fully baked Android Wear is uncertain.

Well, it’s only a rumor at the moment so let’s wait for the watch.


Motorola announces Moto E for $129, gives LTE to Moto G

Moto E has become the first phone coming out or Motorola barn after Google decided to sell the company to Chinese Lenovo. With this phone Motorola has just made the ‘unlock’ smartphones more affordable by average users, and also challenged the ‘two-year-contract’ model which allows cellular companies to over charge customers.

Motorola will be selling Moto E for mere $129. Of course, the company has made some compromises with hardware to make the phone more affordable.

Hardware specs of Moto E:

  • 4.3” display with 256pp
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor with dual-core CPU and 1GB RAM, all the power you need to multi-task without slowing down.
  • 5MP rear-facing camera with Motorola’s streamlined camera interface; touch anywhere on the screen to take a shot, capture panoramic pictures or record video.
  • microSD slot for up to 32GB of expandable memory to save photos, videos, music, movies and apps.
  • Built-in FM radio — just tune in to listen to your favorite stations or pick up a new signal.
  • The phone is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and a water-resistant splash guard
  • The phone comes with 1980 mAh battery, which the company said you can go all day without charging.

Moto G gets LTE capability

Motorola has good and bad news for Moto G users. It’s bad for those who already bought as the company just added the LTE capabilities to the device. The company is selling Moto G for $179 on Motorola.com without a contract and through local carriers in more than 40 countries worldwide.


Half Life 2, Portal 2 finally available for Android

Half Life 2 and Portal 2, two of the latest entrant to Valve’s most iconic series, have just been brought over to Android, giving portable gamers and fans alike a reason to rejoice. Available for a standard and cheaper than other platform $10 price tag each, the games are ready to be downloaded from the Play Store. But the only catch is that they are only available for the NVidia Shield.

The games were ported by NVidia, which is perhaps why the games are only compatible with the Android powered portable gaming console from NVidia. The port was done with Valve’s complete support and thus promises gamers the full experience of the game on the hand held device as it was on the PC.

This port not only brings two of PCs most beloved and famous games to a handheld portable, but also put NVidia as a definitive player in the micro console race. With its growing library of games and support for multiple online stores and not being tied to any proprietary store front, the Shield is well on its way to set Android as a true mobile console.

Another unique capability of the Shield is that it can make any of the touch based games on Android use its own buttons, by emulating the touch controls through the buttons. Shield even achieves this on the fly without the user having to fiddle through long setting screens, just drag and drop and you’re ready to go. In addition there’s the capability of being able to stream games from a PC akin to PlayStation 4’s remote play on the Vita, just adds to the charm of the console. Couple all this with the recent price cut to $199 and it sure seems to be on the right path to becoming a plausible force in the mobile Android powered console segment.

Source: The Verge