Monday, 30 May 2011

The Hangover Part 2

In hope of not giving much away about the movie but encouraging those who haven't seen it yet, I will keep this brief.
I saw 'The Hangover Part 2' last night and I can easily say I loved it. It was genuinely funny with some of the gags we enjoyed from the original and some new ones that made you laugh again and again as you left the auditorium.
Once again trying not to give much away, but the basic storyline was similar to the original, obviously a decision to 'not fix what is not already broken' and I believe it definitely paid.

Please go and enjoy it :) and tell me your thoughts

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Aesthetically Pleasing

Hopefully, for those of you who have a Desire HD or even any Android device, have been inspired to be granted Root permissions if possible. Now if done so you should be looking for things to do, I know did and the first things I did was remove bloat ware apps (apps that come pre-installed), then I wanted to try out customs roms and most importantly customize my phone to look different from stock. Basically to look more sophisticated and sexy.
This when I started browsing the Themes & Apps forum over at XDA to find out more. Heres a list of the things I did

1. Theme - If not already using a themed ROM, e.g the Coredroid HD Rom I'm using or equivalent, then search through this forum to find something that suits you, most will have instructions on how to flash. I suggest the honeycomb themes because these are looking really sleek.

2. Small Mods - the Coredroid team offer a couple of flashable mods that I love, circle battery instead of the stock that has percentages, rosie launcher - changes the menu brought up when the bottom right 'Personalize' button next to phone on the home screen is pressed; and transparency on the notification pull down. These can be easily found for devices in general

3. Splash Image - The splash image is the very first image that comes up when you turn on your device. Now I have an unbranded Desire HD meaning it isn't locked to any telcos and I'm not to sure about splash images for branded DHD's, but mine just comes up with the HTC logo.
Anyway the clever guys over at XDA found the way to change that image in order for those who wish, to customize their phone further. Guide found here Flashing a splash image and the Splash image thread gives a grand selection of what others have made and a way to make your own.
I turned this now simple but mediocre splash image into this

Some have also found this knowledge to be handy in order to create a splash image that cleverly states who the owner is in case of a lost or stolen situation. This is very useful because the Splash image cannot be removed unless you flash the old back into place, even  if the phone is factory reset. So if anyone tries to steal your precious device they will forever be reminded it is stolen... unless they are smart enough to find out how to remove it.

4. Bootanimations - This is easily explained. As the device loads or boots up there is an animation that plays on the screen. Once again not sure with branded/unbranded by my DHD has the HTC quietly brilliant the same as the one pictured above and the "quietly brilliant" text fades in and out.
Once again thanks to the clever guys at XDA we have a heap of threads on individual bootanimation designs as well as different threads showing newly created ones.
Going with the theme of windows phone as seen in my splash I discovered a BIOS bootanimation from a bit of an older windows computer, found here XDA Bios Bootanimation, funnily enough I found the sound file to go with it just for some extra laughs but this now conveniently included in the pack. 
Giving us this

Although the bootanimaton isn't as permanent as the splash image, you can still use it to cleverly mock anyone trying to steal your phone

5. Shutdown animations - same concept as the bootanimation but for the DHD they have been found to be a bit more trickier to put together but there is solution here Shutdown Animation Thread. I am still yet to find a nice shut down animation, Was looking at making one similar to that of the old windows 98 shut down process to go along with the 'theme' :P

6. Custom fonts - enough said here by the title, can find different packages once again Coredroid Team provides some. But I haven't used them because I'm pleased with whats on offer

7. 3rd party home launchers - if your getting sick of the stock launcher it is also possible to replace this with quite a few different ones, I believe you can find some in the themes packs. But of the top of my head you can use ADW which is quite a handy one. Of course for this root isn't required though. I don't use them because I am all to happy with HTC Sense

Alright I thought I had some more but can't think of them right now.
If you can, give me a comment and I made add it to the list :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Quick Post

After my essay of a review, I just read that HTC has made a bold but a very praised move to keep their bootloaders unsigned. Making this decision after listening to the cries of many customers stating that they will be ditching the brand because of the restrictions this creates, defeating the purpose of the great open source, highly customizable quality of Android that many of its customers have to come to love.

This has strengthened my loyalty to a wonderful manufacturer because they are willing to listen to their customers.

A Request of my knowledge - The most powerful Android...

So a very friendly follower of mine, Geoffrey, asked me what is the most power android device is on the market on my last post about the new HTC's (sorry I didn't include the Evo 3D for those of you in the U.S. :P).

Now I'm sure he is definitely considering getting an Android and is just asking for my opinion and I started writing my opinion back in my comments on that last post, but I soon realized it needed its own post on my blog because it can be fairly in-depth.

As you can tell I am huge HTC fan boy and as I have stated here and there, thats because their devices have  a grand number of features that I believe holistically outshine other brands, be it the User Interface (UI), the general aesthetics and build quality, built in apps, enhancements and features. I try not to be as biased as possible :P but it may still look like that and I can give it to the other brands every now and then for out shining the others... yes even HTC haha.

Ok to go straight to the point lets look straight at the specs to determine the most powerful device. This usually takes into account performance from cpu, ram and graphics.
The contestants are my 3 favourite new flagships HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S II and Motorola Atrix.
Of course to start of, the Sensation boasts a dual-core 1.2ghz processor, HTC chose to stick with Qualcomm's Snapdragon but threw in the Adreno 220 graphics processor and 768MB of Ram to make a great combination that packs a punch. 
Now both the Galaxy S2 and the Atrix pack a dual-core 1ghz Nvdidia Tegra 2 processor (which hear shows to be very promising) and the GPU (graphics processor),  Atrix features the brilliant GeForce component whereas the Galaxy S2 has the Adreno 205. Both have 1GB of ram

These devices go very much hand in hand and these may just look like a bunch of figures, but for in my opinion it is pretty much a dead heat between the Sensation and Atrix thanks to Ram and GPU components but the Sensation just sneaks in with the extra hint of CPU power. But don't get me wrong it is very close.

So too come out of the superficial with an answer its the HTC SENSATION.
Though I am not one to leave it down to the specs and benchmark scores because it really comes down to the users impressions as they get to see performance first hand.
Lets also not forget that powerful shouldn't just refer to performance specs wise, but is a holistic reference that metaphorically suggests whether it can pack a punch or not :P
All of these devices have unique features that all make them great and just goes to show the manufacturer is going to lengths to bring us something new. E.g Atrix's fingerprint scanner, Sensation's Mobile High-Definition Link port and 4.3" qHD screen, and Galaxy S2's 8MP camera. Then it always can come down to the UI.

To start the Galaxy S2's using the Touchwiz 4.0 UI which i believe is very iOS-esque layout which hurts me to see that, I have darted to and will stay with Android because it's uniquity from iOS. I feel the general UI is a little bit smoother and still simplistic, but hasn't made much of a transition from that featured in the original Galaxy S.
The Atrix features MotoBlur, all though its is revised it annoys me because it is cartoonish and bulky, although simplistic and I believe can be a bit of an eye sore when compared to the other 'contestants' and is probably the most likely to call for a 3rd party launcher such as ADW. I'm glad a leap feature on the home screen, similar to HTC Sense's, has been included which can help to navigate the home screen. Overall the least impressive.

The one thats the bar time and time again of course is HTC's UI. The Sensation features the new Sense 3.0 UI which is most notable for the 3D carousel effect for navigating the home screen, whilst still including the leap feature either by home capacitative button or by pinch on screen. I believe the UI is this most sophisticated and features very smooth animations and graphics.

From this quick summary of all the wonderful features each device packs, I still can deduce that The HTC Sensation has won this title.

Please read their reviews, critique me on my opinion and suggest some other devices to compare I would love to hear them :D oh and sorry for the essay :P

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New HTC's

Just reading up on updates about HTC's newly released Android devices, the HTC Sensation (top) and Incredible S (bottom).

Sensation CNET Review                        Incredible S CNET Review

Straight out I  can tell you that I prefer the HTC Sensation, mainly because of Sense 3.0 and dual-core.

For a look at Sense 3.0 on the sensation check this out. Just easier to watch then explain :P

The reason I say this is because Incredible S has not made much of a transition from the original HTC Incredible except for removing the track ball, screen got a little bigger, not much difference on rubberized back casing and now features Gingerbread (Android 2.3).

I can even go as to far as to say the Incredible S is much different from my Desire HD. All thats added is the rubberized back case instead of aluminium (which I think I would actually prefer haha), a front facing camera, Gingerbread 2.3 comes stock and capacitative buttons that rotate when you turn the phone to the left. Oh and they removed Dolby Digital Mobile enhancements BUT NO SENSE 3.0.

Now HTC says there older devices even their flagship DHD could not support Sense 3.0 because they say the devices cant support it (even though XDA Dev Capychimp made a pretty neat port of sense 3.0 for DHD) It makes me also assume there is much difference between the DHD and the Incredible S, because the Incredible S doesn't have the required specs to run it either.

Another annoying thing as I stated in my Xoom post, HTC has started signing (locking) their bootloaders ensuring root is difficult meaning at the moment the Desire HD is pretty much on par with both of these new phones.

Except for maybe the Sensation which is HTC's first dual core phone. Even though my DHD can be overclocked to 1.8ghz it still wouldn't be as smooth as the Sensation in multi-tasking and general performance, and I could expect shorter phone life

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

What I've got running under the hood

My bad, I forgot to give the details on what stuff I'm running on my Desire HD

So it is true I am a coredroid addict I'm currently running their Coredroid HD 6.6 ROM on 2.36.405.8 Base
Kernel = Running 2 1.5ghz OnDemand with Leedroid's v3.1.2 that includes the new video drivers from Aurora
Radio = - latest for the 2.36.405.8 Base
RIL = Included in Coredroid 6.6 ROM for the 12.54... Radio
Android Version = 2.3.3
Sense = 2.1 with bits and pieces from 3.0

This is a themed Rom that has been balanced with performance by different tweaks by the Coredroid Theme 
That is based on the latest release version of Android

Giving you this :D

If it’s not for you always check out LINKSLOVESANDROID's Everything Desire HD Index for more info on the ROMS on offer

Surviving the Rapture

Just to give insight to how off topic I can be ;) haha I was reading this on a blog about Howard Camping's persistence and all the wasteful money that Howard Camping has put into advertising the rapture... which not only he consequently got the date wrong, he didnt put this money to better use.

Anyway, the stupid idea of calculating the rapture sparked the ingenuity of one of person and a group of friends whereby he created a website allowing people to register their pets to be picked up and taken care of by this business genius and his friends after the rapture. Evidently taking advantage of the gullible which may have some ethical questioning but it paid off in excess of $20,000.

So there you go Howard Camping gave us a new date, October 21, 2011 I wonder if any new genuine business ideas will come out of it

Android Market Movies a No go for Root

Now 'Rooting'* your device (hopefully a DHD :p ) has many many advantages and hopefully you have started to discover these or already have. And well, the disadvantages... there aren't really any except for the whole very very slight chance of a brick or 'voiding' warranty, which from I hear isn't that well enforced.

After reading this article on Engadget Google blocks Android market movies on rooted devices, turns out there might actually be a disadvantage to add to the list.

Now what ticks me off a little is at the moment these movies are only available on Google's Honeycomb 3.0 flagship device, the Motorola Xoom.

If your not update to the Motorola root and dev scene, motorola have been completely locking out their devices' bootloaders (The part of the device fundamental for allowing root) but it seems they did a U-turn on the Xoom and for once Motorola and the Xoom is metaphorically screaming 'ROOT ME!!' :p.

This plan of action is most likely because of Google's pressure to make this their flagship. But WHY!!!!!! do they 'light up the runway' for the android dev community and then take this feature away from a big chunk of their customers.

Of course its in a move to fight piracy, most likely pressured by the MPAA. But everyone knows this would never be prioritized as means of piracy, its more of a convenience especially when there is a much easier, versatile means of piracy.

* Root/Rooting - simply put gaining administrative permissions on system files of your Android device, similar to root on linux or administrative rights on windows

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Where to start...

First of all I have found the xda developers community in the past couple of months to be an absolute Godsend when it came to everything to do with my android device - HTC Desire HD... and more.
There comes a price to pay with this godsend though. Have to search through this endless supply of brilliant information to get you from a stock device to a device running so many customized features that provide endless fun, tailor your device to represent who you are and on the slight occasion give you a headache ;)

I started off doing some research on xda after a couple of Google searches, along the lines of 'what can I do with my Desire HD', and discovered the world of custom Roms or firmware.

I had the goal of a custom ROM, but didn't know how to get there and quite a few hours of searching and I was set.
The main thing that I had to do was give myself information to ensure that I either would ruin (A.K.A 'Bricking') my new DHD or that there would be a very minimal risk.
I then found a few guides on several different aspects of the processes required to get to my goal of 'flashing' my custom ROM.

More to the point the research was the annoying part because there were not really a guide that targeted the 'noobish' end user on the ways to accomplish this but know I have noticed a few popping up in the past and In my opinion I think I have found the best one thus far:

LINKSLOVESANDROIDS' Everything Desire HD Index

To be continued...