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Android Ireland

D.A.W.G fundraising in Blarney

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D.A.W.G are fundraising in Blarney this afternoon. Please support them if you’re passing this way!

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Android

The amazing self charging Android phone

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Some things never change. Both Android phones I’ve owned (Samsung Galaxy S 1 & 2) have this weird bug where the phone turns itself off and when reset by removing the battery the charge level has gone way down.

I woke early this morning to discover the PIN unlock screen so I guessed the phone had rebooted. When I checked the battery levels I saw this. The battery suddenly lost a huge chunk of charge sometime during the night but over the next few hours seemed to recharge itself.

I’d say it’s magic.

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Android

Will swap voice and texts for data

I hardly ever use up the monthly voice minutes and texts on my phone. Apparently carriers make more and more of their revenue from their customer’s data usage. Glad I’m near wifi most of the day!

What about you?

Categories
Android

Ice cream Sandwich on my Samsung Galaxy S 2

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 is a great phone, the best phone I’ve ever owned (and I presume I’ll say that about each newer phone I buy too, it’s becoming a familiar mantra) but it’s taken a while for Samsung to release the new Android, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) upgrade for it. I’m a Meteor Mobile user and ICS was released by them late last week.

Unfortunately when I tried to upgrade my rooted Gingerbread phone through KIES it simply upgraded to the latest Gingerbread release (2.3.5) and not ICS. It may have been because my phone was rooted but I had read that it was possible to upgrade rooted phones. I was disappointed but then my phone kept half-reseting. The bootup tune would play every 5 minutes or so and the phone would appear to have reset. It happened too fast for a reboot so I didn’t know what was happening. Quite frustrating though.

So, I backed up my sms texts, backed up aCar and my Podkicker subscriptions and with the help of this page I installed a generic European ICS firmware on to my SGS2. It was painful unfortunately. KIES, the Samsung desktop sync software, is fairly rubbish. I had to plug my phone in and out of my computer, using different USB ports, resetting my phone in between, just so the software would recognise my phone. I eventually had to use ODIN and the same switching USB ports trick again. I think the Samsung USB drivers conflict with the generic Windows drivers which causes the problems but this is a long standing problem with Samsung phones.

The instructions on the page above are fairly straight forward. Just keep trying to get your phone recognised if you have problems. It will work eventually. When your phone is in download mode and ODIN is squirting the firmware over it should only take a few minutes to work. I had to stop the download twice before it worked which got me worried that I might have bricked the phone!

Was it worth upgrading? The new Roboto font in ICS is gorgeous. It’s a huge step up from the default in Gingerbread. I immediately replaced the Samsung TwLauncher with ADWLauncher EX. The phone looks much the same as it was in Gingerbread, the settings page is better, the fonts are better and it does feel snappier. Unfortunately Kids Place doesn’t work but I found another kid’s sandbox app, Famigo that does.

I’m happy I upgraded but wish it had been easier. The upgrade works a lot better for most people, don’t worry if you see the upgrade notice. Just make sure your contacts and other data are backed up before you go down this path! If you upgrade through KIES it won’t delete everything on your phone and the upgrade is a lot less painful.

Oh yeah, in ICS the screenshot function is now Volume Down+Power buttons.

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Android

I bought an app: Podkicker Pro


I use the free version of Podkicker, a free podcast player for Android every day so when I saw there was a pro version I immediately bought it.

It has a vastly different UI and it somehow detected my original Podkicker subscriptions (I presume from the cloud?) but did not detect my already downloaded podcasts so it looks like I’ll be using the free version for a while. The UI will take some getting used to too as it’s so different but I wanted to support the author as I like the free version so much. Here’s a great review of the pro version if you’re interested.

Related: I don’t buy apps (some great comments in that thread too)

Categories
Android Games

I draw something


Ah, so I draw something along with another 34,999,999 people apparently. On the day that the game’s developer, OMGPOP was sold to Zynga.

It seems to be everywhere today. Ryan twittered about it and I downloaded it to see what it was all about, then a few games later I saw a few more people mention it, this time on Facebook. Feels like the rush when Google Plus launched. Hope it doesn’t fizzle out like, errr, Google Plus…

I wonder why it is that I manage to get 10 words in a row right with one opponent while I struggle to get 2-3 with everyone else? Luck of the draw I suppose.

Categories
Android Games

Humbly going Android

The last Humble Bundle added support for Android games and the latest bundle does the same with even more games!

I already had a number of the games on pc and to be honest this bundle isn’t the strongest line up of games ever but I bought it for Swords and Soldiers as it’s a fun game. The others were a nice bonus for me.

Also released recently is their own app for managing downloads. It works well enough but downloads using your phone’s browser and uses the system installer in the same way that the Amazon Appstore does. Unfortunately apk files are left in your download directory after install so clear that out if you need the space.

While on that topic, go into Settings->Applications->Manage Applications and move some of those games to the SD card. Swords and Soldiers and Cogs were both around 150MB each!

Happy gaming!

Categories
Android

Killer Bean on Android

Remember Killer Bean? He now features in an 85 minute long film but I remember watching his hilarious and entertaining online shorts years ago so I was excited to see a Killer Bean game on Android. It’s free too!

I suspect it’s got in-app purchases and I’ve only played a few minutes of it. So far it’s a slick looking 2D platform shooter and controls aren’t too bad. (via)

Categories
Android Linux

Install Ubuntu on your Android Phone

With this app you can install Ubuntu on your Android phone. It has to be rooted obviously and it’s definitely not this.

It looks like this installs Ubuntu in the same way as in the video above. It’s an app that runs in the background and you use a VNC client to connect to it. You could of course use VNC on a local desktop machine to connect to it too making it more useful but I think this is more a curiosity for those who like to tinker with their phones …

Pity he couldn’t get WordPress running on that Ubuntu install. That would have been fun to see!

Categories
Android Games

Humble Bundle on Android

The latest Humble Bundle is out and features Android as well as Windows/Linux and Mac versions of the following games: World of Goo, EDGE, Osmos and Anomaly Warzone Earth.