Monthly Archives: November 2014

History of Nexus devices by Google

Nexus family of smartphones and tablets are the pure Google Android phones as they are developed by Google in partnership with a hardware OEMs viz. Motorola, LG, Samsung, Asus and HTC . Nexus are generally first devices to get any updates from Google and their release is accompanied by a new flavor of Android almost every year. These devices tend to get longer support than the usual Android devices so are more popular among developer community. The latest devices in the lineup are Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 tablet manufactured in partnership with Motorola and HTC respectively. Here is a list of Nexus devices from Google till now:

1. Nexus One:

Nexus One

It was the first smartphone to be officially branded as a Nexus devices and is manufactured by Google. Launch of this device is accompanied by Android 2.1 Eclair and is further upgraded to Gingerbread 2.3.3 but Google ceased its production after mid July 2010 because of limited battery capacity and poor GPU for rendering graphics on new Android Ice Cream Sandwich. It sports a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and a 5 Megapixel rear shooter and is succeeded by Nexus S.

2. Nexus S:

Nexus S

Nexus S was launched in December 2010 with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and became the first Nexus to be manufactured by Samsung. It has updated specs to support future versions of Android like Power VR SGX 540 GPU and Cortex A8 processor coupled with 512 MB of RAM with WiMAX and NFC capabilities but still lacks 4G and HSPA+ support. This devices was updated till Android 4.1 Jellybean and then Google ended its support in July 2012.

3. Motorola Xoom:

Xoom

Though not being branded as a Nexus device Xoom is the first device to offer Android 3.0 Honeycomb which was natively designed for tablets and received continuous support from Google till Android 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. Xoom was well acclaimed for its display which offer 300 ppi which is greater than iPad retina display but there are still issues with the software and device’s video rendering capabilities which led to its discontinuation.

4. Galaxy Nexus:

Galaxy Nexus

Second in line by Samsung, Galaxy Nexus features a major upgrade which is a full Gigabyte of RAM and a dual core CPU bu Texas Instruments, still remains the most recommended device by AOSP developer for development purposes. It was launched alongside Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich and continued to get support till Android 4.3 Jellybean but Google ceased further updates due to revoked support by SoC manufacturer Texas Instruments.

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5. Nexus 7:

Nexus 7

It was the first tablet to be introduced as a Nexus device featuring a 7 inch display in a market dominated by Samsung Galaxy Tab. Partnering with Asus Google manufactured this powerful tablet driven by a 1.2 GHz Quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor bundled with 1 GB of RAM, it is also the first device to introduce Android 4.1 Jellybean and is available in 8 GB and 16 GB versions. Again next year Google introduces 2nd generation of this tablet with Android 4.3 Jellybean with upgraded specifications( 1.5 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM ) and 32 GB option.

6. Nexus 4:

nexus 4

Dubbed as most popular Nexus phone is co-developed by Google with hardware partner LG. This device boasts of a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC backed by 2 GB RAM with Adreno 320 graphics and Android 4.2 out of the box. Its whole front part was covered in Gorilla Glass 2 which makes it susceptable to scratches. Google recently announced that even being out of the 18 month support windoe this device is going to get Android’s latest offering i.e. Lollipop. It has a 8 Megepixel rear and 1.3 front camera with a non-removable battery.

7. Nexus 5:

Nexus-5

First device to be launched with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box featuring a 4.95 inch IPS LCD display  with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution and 441 ppi. It is powered by 2.2 GHz quad core processor on Snapdragon 800 SoC and is currently running on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Nexus 5 was the last Nexus device developed by Google in partnership with LG and is available in 16 GB and 32 GB options in play store and retail market.

8. Nexus 6 and 9:

Nexus 6

Nexus 9

Launched by Google in October 2014 with latest Android offering 5.0 Lollipop manufactured by hardware partners Motorola and HTC. Nexus 6 sports a 5.96 inch Quad HD AMOLED display with 2.7 GHz Quad core snapdragon 805 SoC, 3220 mAh non-removable battery, 13 Megapixel rear shooter with ring flash, 3 gigs of RAM and Adreno 420 GPU having a close resemblance to Moto X 2nd Generation. While Nexus 9 is a 8.9 inch tablet bridging the gap between Nexus 7 and 10 with 64 bit Nvidia 2.2 GHz Denver CPU coupled with 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM, 192 Kepler graphics and HTC Boomsound stereo speakers. Both devices are available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions.

Blue Whatsapp Ticks Are Here!

Blue Whatsapp Ticks Are Here!

Whatsapp has become a part of our everyday interactions, and how! We are using it rampantly for our personal interactions, official communications and loads more. We are even using the Whatsapp messenger for tracking behavioral patterns, big time! When has my message been responded to? Why is my friend ignoring me and interacting more in other groups of which I am a member too? These are just some of questions plaguing our minds, through the day! And the Whatsapp “ticks” have played an extremely important role in interpreting interactions and communication patters.

The Double Tick and its many Confusions

 The relevance of the double tick system has been argued for years. What do they mean? Does it mean that the message has been read already by the recipient? Or does it represent that the message has been simply received on the individual’s phone? Thankfully, every bit of confusion has been resolved altogether with the introduction of the double tick in blue. We have the clarifications here.

 The Ticks and their Many Meanings

Whatsapp single Grey tickA Single Grey Whatsapp Tick : This simply means that the message has been sent successfully. It does not mean that it has been read or delivered.

Whatsapp double Grey ticksDouble Grey Tick : This means that the message has been successfully delivered to the handset.

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Whatsapp Blue ticksBlue Double Ticks : When the ticks turn blue it means that the message has been read by the recipient.

For those of us who truly believe in tracking the online movement of friends can actually check the time at which the message has been delivered and the time when it was read. You have to press the blue ticked message and hold it for a few seconds. Subsequently, select “info” for learning more about it.

What do you need to do for Availing this Feature?

In order to avail this feature, Android and iOS users would not be required to update software. The facility is being rolled out “over the air” meaning that some people will be able to enjoy it a little ahead of others.

Whatsapp came into effect in 2009 and is currently the most popular messaging app as of data collected on October 2014. More than half billion people around the world are active users and are slated to enjoy a better experience with these brand new features.

Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

utopic unicorn

Ubuntu 14.10, code named Utopic Unicorn, was released recently on 23rd October, 2014 for download from Canonical. According to the developer’s website, this release provide more security for desktop users and more flexibility and scalability in terms of server and cloud applications. All the applications that came bundled with Ubuntu have been updated to provide more stable and faster access to users. It also supports 3.16 kernel, which offers better support for Power8 and ARM 64 architectures along with graphics support for Nvidia and AMD graphics, along with Intel’s Haswell, Broadwell and other upcoming processors. Some of the newly added features include:

  • Ability to watch Netflix with Chrome.
  • New IPP Everywhere support.
  • Includes Ubuntu Developer Tools Centre.
  • Includes Cloud Foundry and other big data solutions.
  • More stability and support for 64 bit architecture based processors.
  • Contains latest release of Docker and offers user-level container support.

Overall, these features are more focused on developers. However the level of stability has been increased drastically as compared to previous versions.

Now before we begin to upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 Utopic Unicorn, you must realize that you will not be able to downgrade back to 14.04. Thus, you might have to install a fresh copy of Ubuntu 14.04 instead. Also you will be forced to upgrade Ubuntu 15.04. once the versions comes out in the market for download.

Now lets begin with upgrading our Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 14.10

Step 1 : Search and open software and Updates

dash

 

software and updates

Step 2 : Click on the updates tab. Now set the value for the option “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” to “For any new version”. 

change the notify option

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notify option

Once you set the options, the following screen might appear. Wait for a while till the process completes successfully.

update cache

Step 3 : Search and open “Software Updater”

Once it opens, it will check and prompt you for the availability of a newer version.  Click on Upgrade and follow the instructions.

software updater

upgrade notifiy

For more information, you can visit their official site:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes

Gaming Emulator available on Android

If you like retro games then there are plenty of emulators available in the Play Store which can run the good old classic games on your Android device including Tekken 3, Contra and Super Mario. Some of them are available for free while others are paid and can be downloaded for few dollars. Our list includes following emulators:

1. Classic Boy:

ClassicBoy

ClassicBoy is an all in one emulator and supports gestures and sensors. It has ability to run PlayStation 1, GameBoy Advance, Gameboy Classic, GameBoy Color, NES, Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64 games. It allows repositioning of graphic buttons on the screen, external keyboards via mapping, custom game video size and filtering, Audio reverb, game state auto save and many  more features. It is not the best player out there but is the best free emulator with large roaster of supported games.

Download Classic Boy

2. DraStic DS Emulator:

Drastic DS

DraStic DS is a Nintendo DS emulator available for Android and has ability to play almost all the Nintendo DS games in full speed with good graphics. DraStic DS supports custom screen sizes for portrait and landscape modes, full support for add on controllers like Nvidia Shield, savestates can be used to save progress and also save it on cloud using Google Drive, increase emulation speed and many more.

Download DraStic DS

3. FPse for Android:

FPse

 

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Best PlayStation One emulator available out there on play store and has been downloaded by more than 500000 user inspite of being an paid application. It renders PSOne gamed using OpenGL in high resolution which results in excellent graphics. Following are features of this emulator Real time save states, Audio track emulation, force feedback, Analog stick simulation, compatiblity with G-Sensor, Touchscreen and Hardware keys, Exclusive automatic cheats search engine which makes experience really fun.

Download FPse

4. My Boy:

MyBoy

My Boy is a top rated Game Boy Advance emulator on Google Play Store. It has great compatibility with all the GBA games but doesn’t supports GBC games and users have to use My OldBoy for playing GBC games. Emulation speed is fast and flawless so battery drainage is least, supports Gyroscope and Solar sensors and no BIOS file is needed for High-level BIOS emulation.

Download My Boy

5. PPSSPP:

PPSSPP

It is a dedicated PSP emulator and works best in its category, Games are needed to be in ISO and CSO format for being played on this emulator and modern Android devices are recommended because there are still issues with ARMv6 based devices. Games that will work with PPSSPP are Persona 2 & 3 portable, Dragon ball Z, Soul Caliber, GTA, Tekken, Final Fantasy and the list goes on. There is also a gold version of PPSSPP available which is free of advertisements and promises future support.

Download PPSSPP

Install Android apps on Ubuntu

 

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In recent years, Android has become a household name, gaining huge popularity primarily because of the huge range of applications available on it’s market. Coupled with the recent advancements, giving it the ability to run virtually on any device via simple tweaks and modifications, Android is here to stay for a long time. Recently, Google released a list of applications which could be simply installed and executed on Chrome OS. This was a major breakthrough, since running Android apps on a desktop computer will lead to unlimited possibilities.

Now here is the part where Ubuntu comes into the picture. Recently, a developer has figured out a way to install Android apps on Ubuntu using Chrome. You will require to convert the android apps into “Chromified” apks so that they can be used by the chrome script.

NOTE: This is not an official release by Google, and is quite an unstable and buggy process. So proceed at your own risk.

So lets begin with our guide to install Android apps on Ubuntu

Step 1: Install Google Chrome version 37 or higher 

You can do this via the Ubuntu market.

If you wish to install the unstable version, run the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install google-chrome-unstable

Step 2: Download and extract ARChon v1.1 

Click on the following links based on version you currently have:

Click here to download ARChon v1.1 for 32 bit Chrome

Click here to download ARChon v1.1 for 64 bit Chrome 

Once downloaded extract the contents and move them to your ~/Home directory.

Step 3: Install the ARChon extension on your Chrome browser.

Open the Chrome browser and click the customize icon right next to the address bar

Customize icon.

Now Select Tools -> Extensions .

check developer mode

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Check the “Enable developer mode” option near the top.

Load unpacked extension

Now click on “Load unpacked extension” and select the folder you placed into your ~/Home directory.

Step 4: Convert an android app into Chromified APK

Type the following command based on your Ubuntu version (32 bit or 64 bit)

Ubuntu 32 bit

sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy

sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk

Ubuntu 64 bit

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6
sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy

sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk

Now download an APK of an app  of your choice ( All APKs may not work as it is an unstable extension). Place the APK of the  app in the ~/Home folder.

Now type the following command in the terminal replacing the APK name in the command.

chromeos-apk replaceme.apk –archon

run command

Step 5: Run the app

Return to the extensions page of Chrome and click on “Load unpacked extension” and select the folder of the Chromified APK just created.

Now proceed as instructed to install the app. Bear in mind that not all applications are supported as of now as this is not an official release by Google or Chromium.

Once installed successfully open the Chrome App Launcher to launch the app.

Flipboard on Chrome Ubuntu

Devices confirmed for Android 5.0 Lollipop update

Lollipop

Finally Android 5.0 Lollipop is here and Google has officially started rolling out Lollipop upadates for Nexus devices including Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 2012 and 2013 both and Nexus 10. Google has confirmed update for all Google Play Edition devices. Almost all the major smartphone manufacturers are preparing to roll out latest update for their flagship and popular devices and reportedly out of all OEMs Motorola is first amongst all to confirm update for all its major devices followed by HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony.

List of devices confirmed by manufacturers for Lollipop update:

Motorola

1. Moto X 2nd Generation

2. Moto X 1st Generation

3. Moto G 2nd Generation

4. Moto G 1st Generation

5. Moto G LTE

6. Moto E

7. Droid Maxx

8. Droid Ultra

9. Droid Mini

HTC

1. HTC One M8

2. HTC One M7

3. HTC One Mini

Sony

1. Sony Xperia Z

2. Sony Xperia Z1

3. Sony Xperia Z2

4. Sony Xperia Z3

5. Sony Xperia Z Ultra

6. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

7. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

8. Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

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Samsung

1. Samsung Galaxy S5

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

3. Samsung Galaxy S4

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

5. Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

LG

1. LG G3

2. LG G2

Android One

1. Spice Dream Uno

2. Micromax Canvas A1

3. Karbonn Sparkle V

Nvidia

1. Nvidia Shield Tablet

Oneplus

1. Oneplus One

Asus

1. Zenfone 4

2. Zenfone 5

3. Zenfone 6

4. Zenfone 5 LTE

5. PadfoneS

6. Padfone Infinity

 

Productivity enhancement apps

Productivity enhancement apps

The phenomenal success of tablets and Smartphones has made numerous apps available to users. And often, these apps do have a role to play in making your lives a whole lot easier, in many ways. You have apps for banking, grocery shopping and what not! But, are there apps for enhancing productivity as well? Do they actually help you in doing your job better? We look at some of the apps here, which manage to improve upon your productivity in real time.

Wunderlist

If you are looking out for productivity enhancement apps that can improve  productivity in all aspects of life, this one is your pick. Its free and you can use it on your Android or Apple devices. And, the ease of usage is a huge plus. The application allows you create as many lists as you please and ensure that your items remain organized. What’s special about this application is that it allows you to access your lists from any device. All your lists, once made, are saved in the cloud. You can use it for planning serious projects and even for something as basic as retrieving your grocery list on your phone, once you reach the supermarket! It keeps you sorted!

 Download Wunderlist Productivity App from Here

Screenshot Wunderlist

Speek – Free Conference Call

Conference calls are part of any and every business process these days. It helps teams to communicate without having to travel geographic distances. Despite the conveniences it offers, many consider it to be a fiddly process. Thankfully, there is an application for help. It eliminates the fuss and saves precious time for getting on with work. You just need to pick up a personal link which substitutes the traditional phone numbers and PIN. Send this to the callers invited to the call. They will only have to click on the link on their device. Simple! So no third parties here and no dodgy music or waiting tones! And, most importantly, its free!

Download Speek – Free Conference Call from Here

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Screenshot Speek

Keeper Password Manager

What if you forget your system password once you reach your work desk early in the morning? You would have to wait through for your IT department to become operational and salvage matters for you! The end result is a humungous wastage of time! This is where an application like Keeper will come in handy. It has the capacity to synch your devices so that you can do away with the frustration of entering the wrong password and ending up locking your accounts. There is a single password which protects your secrets! It is safe and easy to remember!

Download Keeper Password Manager App from here

Screenshot Keeper

Whereas these surely qualify as some of the smart choices for productivity enhancing apps, there are several others too that promise to be of great help! An in-depth research is essential before making your  choice.

 

Windows 10 Tech Preview

windows 10 logo

There was a recent joke on the internet about Bill Gates teaching us to count to 10. It went on like 1, 2, 3, 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. Anyone with some basic knowledge about Windows and Microsoft would understand it pretty well that all these are versions for Windows over the years since its inception. Now the reason I mentioned it here is because Windows had finally come back to the usual naming conventions for 7, 8, etc. and with Microsoft working on the newer version of the Windows knows as Threshold internally, should have had been named Windows 9, but no. Microsoft has gone ahead and named it Windows 10; why? That is something only for them to know apparently.

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Now it is not just the new name, Microsoft has actually been working hard to make the new Windows an amalgamation of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to bring out something better that can work for the entire Internet of things as Microsoft likes to call it. This means, Windows 10 will not only be for the touch, but also will be suitable for the usual mouse and keyboard users as well. Now with the Technical Preview released by Microsoft a couple of weeks ago, here are some great new features that Microsoft has brought us.

  1. There are two versions of Windows, the usual single user one, and the enterprise version. Microsoft is testing the enterprise version much more extensively with tie ups with companies to test out its performance and suitability to create a better environment. As for the single users, the tech preview is the one. Do not that the tech preview for both user and enterprise are different.
  1. New Start Screen: Unlike Windows 8’s live tiles in start screen, Microsoft has changed the layout now with a combination of flow menu of the most used apps like Windows 7 on the left and the most used live tiles like Windows 8 on the right. This brings the best of both worlds for the user, especially with a mouse and keyboard.
  1. Windows Store Apps: Windows had an RT version which only had the store to get apps and it could not download and use other Win32 apps from the internet. But now Microsoft is looking to make a unified app store for all the RT apps, Win32 apps as well as the Windows Phone apps under the universal apps section, so that should be great.
  1. Snap on App Window: This is one feature which will be of great help for simple multitasking users. The issue with current windows version is that the app windows don’t quite align properly when you want two or more at the same time. Hence with this feature, when you drag a window towards one end of the screen, it automatically adjusts and takes us one half of the screen while you can go ahead and attach multiple windows this way and they properly align in the screen allowed, symmetrically.
  1. Multiple Workstations: For the heavy multitaskers, this new function will come really handy. Just like on Linux, one can create multiple sessions of windows with separate workstations. This way you can divide your personal stuff with work and keep them both in separate sessions so that it does not gets mixed. This can also help divide your session from other members if you happen to be sharing your system.
  1. Command Prompt Improvements: This is actually a very minor yet important update to the command prompt as unlike earlier, now all the keyboard shortcuts that are available for the full windows, work for the command prompt as well making life a lot easier for the command prompt users.
  1. Keyboard Detection: This is a feature that Microsoft is planning to bring up in the final build of Windows and is not quite available in the tech preview but has been announced. This is mainly for all the tablet PCs which have detachable keyboards. So when Windows detects a keyboard attached, it boots up to the desktop mode and when there is no keyboard detected, Windows boots up to the tablet start screen by default to work on touch. Also when a keyboard is attached or detached, Windows gives a pop up to change the mode of the Windows to suit the input type.

So this is what the tech preview has in store for us. There is the enterprise feature as well, which Microsoft is working on, and the security and licensing should be similar to the current Windows 8.1 model, but it will bring many interesting features to the OS. Anyone interested in getting the Tech Preview to try out and know how it works as of yet, you can get it on the official Microsoft site.