It’s good to be back. For a while I have been using a BlackBerry Bold 9700 to see if it could replace my Xperia Ray. The answer is a unanimous yes. So far it has been my music with better control and less volume steps than the Xperia Ray (with the XVolume Xposed module installed). Typing is far easier as I can actually hit the keys I intend to press more often than on the Ray. The extra width and near edge to edge keys are what make this possible. In fact, this entire post was created on the 9700. Only ones that can beat this are the 9000 (not enough RAM) and the 9900 (battery is too small). As for web browsing, Opera Mini covers that very well. Aside from a small bug with Google+, I have no issues. Email will have to be handled using either the Gmail mobile site or via the BIS and the Messages application. The calendar will be handled by the preinstalled calendar application and will be synchronized with Google Calendar using One Media Hub from Funambol Inc. Aside from those niggles and the odd stuck key, everything works well on the Bold 9700.
Earlier today, Anna Aleryd from Sony posted an article and video on the Sony Developer World blog about the just started Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for the Xperia Z. The announcement coming just under a month after the launch of the Xperia Z and approximately five and half months after the start of the AOSP for the Xperia S
(http://developer.sonymobile.com/2012/11/08/sony-takes-lead-on-aosp-on-xperia-s-project-video/), showing that Sony is indeed serious about their open source
initiatives. The blog post is here:
http://developer.sonymobile.com/2013/04/23/aosp-now-available-for-xperia-z-on-sonys-github-open-source-video/ and the github repository is here:
I wrote this post as my reply to a thread created by Action B in the General section of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 forum on the XDA-Developers, titled “Note 10.1 for school”
(http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2222577). I’ve had my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (SGN 10.1 for short) for over a week and I use it for much of my work and leisure. There are several positive and negative points to using the SGN 10.1 in school.
- Wacom active digitizer
- Can properly display regular format PDF and DJVU files
- Excellent repairability
- Can run a native Linux based OS
- Expandable storage
- Front speakers
- IR emitter
- Stylus too thin
- Stylus silo not on same side as buttons
- Glossy plastic back
- No IR receiver
Multi-Window is the software feature that I use the most on the SGN 10.1. When studying for an engineering test, it helps the have a notebook and textbook open at the same time:
One instance of Adobe Reader up top and two instances of Quill (showing different pages in the same notebook) below it.
The Wacom digitizer and Samsung S-Pen are the hardware features that I use the most on the SGN 10.1. Whether I’m drawing in SketchBook Express for Tablets, writing in Quill, or scrolling through a long document (or web page), I almost always use the stylus.
I got my SGN 10.1 for less than 300 CAD thanks to a cracked front glass when a new SGN 10.1 costs approximately 565 CAD. Thanks to the excellent repairability of the SGN 10.1 (according to ifixit (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+Note+10.1+Teardown/10144/1)), I can order a new front glass for less than 30.00 CAD, and replace the cracked front glass.
The SGN 10.1 can run either Arch Linux, Debian or Ubuntu thanks to the efforts of exception13 and X-Stranger from the XDA-Developers forums. The system images released by X-Stranger allow for booting and logging into a fully functional system. While there is still some work to be done on enabling WiFi, Bluetooth, USB-OTG by default, and either preventing filesystem corruption or automatically repairing it, the tablet runs it beautifully.
The last thing that I’ll touch on are the front facing speakers of the SGN 10.1. While they sound they produce isn’t neutral or of great depth, they still produce decent and loud sound for when I just want to listen to some streaming audio or video.
This morning, BitTorrent Inc. announced that their official BitTorrent client, uTorrent has come to Android. The client is currently in Beta form but don’t let that stop you from installing it and putting it to good use. I know I will.
Official press release below:
It’s Here. Announcing the Native uTorrent Application for Android.
A while back we introduced uTorrent Remote for Android which allows users to manage their torrents from their phone. We received a lot of great feedback, but the most popular question was: “When will a fully featured µTorrent Client be available for Android?”
For the past few months our engineers have been hard at work developing a mobile BitTorrent app that is worthy of the name “uTorrent”. In order to live up to our high standards, we knew that the app would need to be fast, lightweight, powerful and better than anything else currently on the market. After months of hard work (and copious amounts of coffee) we are proud to release uTorrent Beta for Android to the Google Play store.
uTorrent Beta for Android offers several features such as:
Fast, easy on-the-go downloading of torrents
No speed or size caps on downloads (mobile data limits still apply) RSS subscriptions
Instant access to our growing library of featured content
We are very excited to add uTorrent for Android to our mobile product arsenal that is already reaching almost 4 million users. If you have any comments, feature requests or bug reports (this is in beta after all), let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
You can find the application in the Google Play Store via the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.utorrent.client
Source: uTorrent Blog
Last week Wednesday, my small, speedy, tough Xperia Ray (aka Urushi aka Varnish) fell into a bowl of water. After plucking the phone quickly out of the water, I removed the back cover and battery and left it to dry for a few hours. When I turned it on next, the phone would not go past the first boot image.
I left for home straightaway and upon arriving, tried disassembling it in order to further evacuate the water from it’s internals. I then found the last remaining drops of water inside the Xperia Ray and removed them with a tissue. When trying to power on the phone however I found out that I had unintentionally killed it. Alas, the Xperia Ray is dead but what I had learned during the time I owned it will stay with me.
These lessons are:
- The camera sensor and software are important
- Big hands can work on a small screen
- The smaller the phone, the denser the hardware inside it (less prone to breakage from a fall)
- Pixels Per Inch matter a lot when reading text
- Big battery plus optimized software = Big battery life
And as for what I will get to replace the Xperia Ray? It will be a Galaxy Nexus, model i9250 (aka Maguro aka Tuna).
One myth floating around the Xperia Ray Android Development sub-forum on the XDA Developers forums is that you can unlock your phone’s bootloader after you have removed the SIM lock. As a deep thinker and tinkerer who constantly strives for pushing hardware to their fullest potential, this myth definitely piqued my interest. It would have allowed me to do something my Xperia Ray that I had never been able to do for the phones I previously owned: Build custom operating systems for the phone. Especially now after the source for ICS was released and now with various projects operating on it (Android Open Source Project, Android Open Kang Project, CyanogenMod, MIUI, etc.), I believe it’s time I tried my hand at it.
The biggest obstacle was of course the locked bootloader or at least trying to get around it. I researched using kexec as a way of booting the another kernel but every solution I found was beyond my abilities at the time. Unfortunately, my abilities on creating a custom kernel module are still lacking as of this posting. Using 2nd init like what was used to create ROMs for original Motorola Milestone (which I also owned), was also an option except that I needed a custom recovery like ClockWorkMod to give me the ability to install new operating systems on the phone.
Enter SIM unlocking.
If this myth is indeed plausible for even confirmed, it would open up all of the phones in the 2011 and 2012 Xperia phone portfolios to excellent support by the community. People without the disposable income can still get a 2012 Sony Xperia phone or 2011 Sony Ericsson Xperia phone, execute a SIM unlock on it, unlock the bootloader and use the phone however they wish. Check back in a few days for future updates on this experiment.
This is just a sneak peek of what topics will be turned into future articles.
Saving Power Under Linux Manually
Tips for Arch Linux Beginners
Creating A Custom keyboard.xml For XBMC Media Center
Keep sixad Running Reliably
Keeping A Wireless Joypad Working With SDL Applications
Before you start getting excited, this list is not in the order in which they will be published. It will take until this weekend or early next week for the first article from this list to be published.
If you have a topic you would like us to write about please don’t hesitate to sent them to gadgeticmusings!