Geeknizer http://geeknizer.com iPhone, Android, mobile, Technology news Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:45:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 10 Things Apple is doing right now, Steve Jobs never wanted http://geeknizer.com/10-things-apple-is-doing-steve-jobs-never-wanted/ http://geeknizer.com/10-things-apple-is-doing-steve-jobs-never-wanted/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:47:43 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13270 Read more »]]> Apple has gone through a complete overhaul after Steve Jobs left the throne to what some believe as not so deserving leader Tim Cook.

apple-post-steve

Here’s what has totally changed (for Good or Bad) with Apple in the post Steve J world:

1. Big iPhones

Steve’s Novel idea was to keep iPhone handy always so that fingers could reach corner to corner.

Jobs made quite a few sweeping statements about what Apple would or would not do over time. In 2010, for example, Jobs famously said that Apple would never make a significantly larger iPhone, arguing that no one would want to buy a phone “you can’t get your hand around.”

And look, what they just did with iPhone 6.

iphone6

and they want to Forget what you saw in iPhone 5 ad

2. Trendy colors, Flat UI

Steve Jobs was all about attention to detail, perfection everywhere. iOS 6 has let down many in terms of use of flat graphics which had weird trendy and punchy color scheme, instead of something novel and royal.

ios6-vs-ios7

 

 

3. TV

Steve Jobs believed Apple would only do TV as a hobby, not something they would get serious with.

 

4. 7″ iPad (or iPad mini)

Steve has touted it several times how 10″ iPad was perfect screen size for just about everything and he would never compromise and build a smaller one.

5. Open up iOS

Steve wanted to lock down iOS further, but the reverse is happening. http://www.cnet.com/news/steve-jobs-wanted-to-further-lock-customers-into-apples-ecosystem/

6. Copy Android, shamelessly

Look at the feature list of iOS 7 or 8 – It feels like Android 4.1 brought into new aesthetics.

7. iOS 7 glitches:

Lets anticipate this, iOS 7 when came out had millions of performance issues and bugs. it was until ioS 7.2 or even ios 8 that animations got better, and system apps went bug free.

8. Comparisons:

Apple today compares its products head to head in its keynote sessions, Steve never would.

Apple-WWDC-2013-keynote-Android

9. Too many Announcements at one event

Steve would never announce 5 new products on a single keynote to dilute attention. He always said human visualization and memory retention is restricted to 3.

10. 2 iPads in 6 months

3rd , 4th generation iPads came within 6months of the release, i.e. 3 models in a single year.

11. No Event Livestreams

Apple since 2013 has started stream the event live. Steve believed the keynote is best done in the closed walls of is Moscone center.

iphone-2014-event

12. NFC for Payments

Steve hated idea of using NFC for payments. Why? Google had adopted it first and it was too much of an ego think for Apple to adapt to. And now Apple has announced Apple Pay that uses NFC for payments.

apple-pay

Apple isn’t what it used to be. Some believe it has lost its charm, while others believe it changed for good. What are your thoughts?

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/10-things-apple-is-doing-steve-jobs-never-wanted/feed/ 4
Sony QX1 brings dSLR Sensor, Lenses to Smartphones http://geeknizer.com/sony-qx1-brings-dslr-sensor-lenses-to-smartphones/ http://geeknizer.com/sony-qx1-brings-dslr-sensor-lenses-to-smartphones/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:42:31 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13284 Read more »]]> There are Android powered dSLRs, point n shoots, and few smartphones that can matchup point and shoot. But what’s truly missing is an Android smartphone with dSLR capabilities. Meet the note worthy Sony QX1 camera that takes the first step to unify dSLR and smartphones, sort of.

QX1 carries a APS-C sensor from Mirrorless cameras (dSLR equivalents). This sensor is exactly like what you find in low-end to midrange dSLRs like NEX 5s, Nikon D5100, Canon 50D, etc. Same size sensor with good Megapixel count and decent ISO performance.

sony-qx1-dslr-android

This portable camera can be paired with Sony’s E-mount lenses, found on Sony’s mirrorless range: NEX series. Hence, this E-mount adapter can be paired with almost any NEX lenses (10+ professional lenses to choose from). Furthermore, E to A adapter can be used to adapt to ANY Sony Alpha-mount lenses which takes the lens availability to 50+. Since it’s an interchangeable camera, you can snap on pretty much any Wide angle (10-20mm), tele zoom (100-200 mm), macro, anything. Virtually, every lens ever designed for Sony Alpha dSLRs can be used with QX1.

QX1 operation is simple, intuitive and fun. QX1 pairs with your smartphone (over NFC or manually) and uses Wifi P2P for Live View, taking pictures, videos. Your phone screen becomes the Wireless Viewfinder that you can use to click in the way you want.
How’s the wireless experience? Its mostly seamless with few connectivity quirks. The viewfinder runs easily at 30fps (read smooth) as long as QX1 and smartphone are decently placed (~10ft). All the photos are streamed and stored on your phone. You’ve lots of shooting modes to choose from and camera isn’t shy of shooting RAW photos either.

ILCE-QX1 is pretty impressive on specs. It can operate healthily in ISO 100 – 16,000 range giving you enough low light capturing abilities. Pair this to any fast wide aperture lens like F1.4 or F1.8 and you can shoot like any other dSLR. The APS-C sensor is capable of streaming 20.1 Megapixels. The video mode does 1080p @30FPS with support for AVCHD. QX1 also has a popup flash.

The sensor doesn’t do any image stabilization, and lens will have to take ownership. But that’s nothing new for Sony alpha photographers. All NEX alpha series cameras have Image stabilization built-into the lens. Why? Sony believes its more effective, and downside is of course raise in price of each lens.

smartphone-dslr-lens

Yes it looks weird when one snaps on a humongous 70-200 F2.8 G lens on this small sensor camera body tethered to a smartphone – a total imbalance of weight ratios, but it works without any hiccups. Is it a good idea? We believe yes, its a good idea and the step in the right direction.

QX1 will cost you $399 and is available at Sony’s official store.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/sony-qx1-brings-dslr-sensor-lenses-to-smartphones/feed/ 0
5 ways Xperia Z3 is Better than Any Smartphone http://geeknizer.com/5-ways-xperia-z3-better-any-smartphone/ http://geeknizer.com/5-ways-xperia-z3-better-any-smartphone/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:16:20 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13272 Read more »]]> Sony announced Xperia Z3, its latest Android Flagship, becoming 3rd flagship within span of one year.
Look at the specs and you’ll see just another top of the line android smartphone: 5.2-inch 1080p display, 3GB RAM, a 20.7-megapixel camera and waterproofing, rounded aluminum frame, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, expandable sdcard.

But Xperia Z3 is really shines at few things, lets go over them:

6. Amazing design & colors

Xperia Z series is all about Glass and aluminium: high quality build which feels premium.
Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3s will come in amazing colors, good quality materials, and yet only 7.3mm thick.

xperia_z3c

xperia-z3-colors

5. Power saving, yet Brightest Display

Sony has improved its existing TRILUMINOUS technology using a blue LED backlight and larger red and green subpixels to dramatically boost the colour gamut and energy efficiency of the smartphone’s display.

Also, Sony claims to have adapted the display refresh rate to increase battery life further.

Xperia Z line of phones have the brightest displays in the market, giving them the highest visibility outdoors and in sunlight.

4. Two Days of practical Battery life

I own Xperia Z1 with 3000mAh battery and consistently lasts 1.5 days with typical usage, Z2 upped it to 3100mAh, Z3 is 3200mAh with specs and display that consume less power than older generations, it would easily give you 2 days of normal operation.

3. High Resolution Audio

That claim might have come from various smartphone manufacturers like LG (with Optimus 2x onwards, and Galaxy Note 3). But truth be told they’ve been dissapointing. Sony had already been using a good quality DAC and Amp for its outgoing Xperia Z1, Z2 and with Z3 they are taking it to the next level.

Android audiophiles rejoice:

i. DSEE HX audio upscaling technology to improve the quality of compressed music i.e. MP3

ii. Digital noise cancelling that cuts out nearly all ambient sound

iii. High quality 24bit 96khz DAC – True to life DAC that will deliver pure sound.

2. PS4 Remote Play

Your PS4 console will detect your Z3 device over WiFi and unlock it, letting you play games on a Dualshock4 wireless controller just like PS Vita does today. But form Z3 devices you’ll need the new GCM10 Game Control Mount. On top of playing games, you’ll also be able to use a Z3 device as a second screen device to watch game streams or chat over the Playstation Network.

dock-ps4-z3

Sony kept it exclusive to Xperia Z3 devices (phone, tablet) but who knows if someone ports it to other Xperias or even Androids.

ps4-xperiaz3-remote-play

1. A Super smartphone Camera

Xperia Z1 and Z2 already had the best smartphone camera on Android. The 20.8MP camera with F2.0 aperature could take brilliant shorts in low light without flash. They’re making it even better:

i. Wide-angle 25mm lens – You can now click wider shots, bringing more into field of view.
ii. Higher ISO: ISO (camera sensitivity to lowest light) has been increased from ISO 3200 (on Z1, Z2) to  12,800 on Z3. That’s 4x times more light sensitivity. No other smartphone comes even close.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/5-ways-xperia-z3-better-any-smartphone/feed/ 0
Drones to Deliver Amazon orders in India http://geeknizer.com/drones-to-deliver-amazon-orders-in-india/ http://geeknizer.com/drones-to-deliver-amazon-orders-in-india/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:48:08 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13251 Read more »]]> Last year, couple of companies including Dominos, Amazon declared they were all set to deliver orders to home using drones (UAVs). They fanfared the promotional videos delivering orders to home until FAA woke up and asked “who gave you the right to fly drones for commercial purposes”?

amazon-drones

FAA, since 2007, declared that the commercial operation of drones is illegal. If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose, and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose.

So basically if you’re flying a drone as a hobbyist, its perfectly fine, crash and burn and you shall be responsible. But you just can’t use drones for commercial purposes. So its pretty clear that there’s no way Amazon, dominos or any other retailer is going to be able to use drones in near future. U.S. airspace won’t allow that to happen until those rules are re-written. That’s supposed to be in 2015, but many experts agree that the FAA won’t actually get its act together before 2020 or so. So Amazon thought, why not enter the emerging markets and get hold before the competition does.

Amazon Prime Air and Drones

The drone delivery will be part of Amazon’s Prime Air package. The drone used is essentially an Octacopter (eight rotors, fans). These octacopters would weigh 2.5kg to 5Kg (not 25kg as reported by other news agencies) and can fly at speeds exceeding 80km/h.  These drones would be able to carry a max payload of 2.26 kg, which covers 86% of products sold on Amazon.

Amazon India would be launchpad for the Drone program. India is a hot market for online-retailers and Amazon is trying hard to beat India’s amazon i.e. Flipkart. The drone delivery service will debuts in Mumbai and Bangalore, cities where it has warehouses, said the anonymous sources. Sources also claim “It could be as early as Diwali”, however, Amazon has denied any comments on the statement.

amazon-uav

This priority delivery system will be applicable on all Top-selling products including smartphones,  gadgets and books and will deliver in 90 minutes to 3 hours time span to the Amazon Prime Air members. Amazon claims that these drones have enough redundancy to keep them going in case of any failures in few rotors.


60 minutes on CBS with Amazon’s CEO discussing drones

Flipkart, the indigenous online retail service, is already doing quiet well in the country. It is currently valued at $5 billion and expected to double by 2016. Company has nearly 7000 employees, of which several had become millionaires overnight, thanks to the recent boon in online-retail. The seattle based company plans to launch the service before the festive season which starts with diwali in October end.

 

Indian Aviation rules don’t prohibit drones, yet

India uses various drones for various military applications, security including guarding it’s borders, and keeping eye on poachers. Yet, the largest democracy doesn’t have any set of rules in place for restricting drones from be flown for hobby or commercial purposes. When reuters approached the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, he said he wasn’t aware of any such plan by Amazon. Drone operators in India mentioned that they don’t obtain permits from DGCA for purposes such as aerial photography, surveying sites and wild life protection.

In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation allows a limited bandwidth of radio frequency for recreational flying by civilians, but has nothing in response to UAVs so far. “We don’t have any regulations for drones right now, but are in the process of preparing some rules,” said Prabhat Kumar, the director general of the DGCA. “We are looking at regulations being developed in other countries for reference.” As of now, he said, we do not even have any specific restriction on how high UAVs can be flown.

amazon-octacopter

In India, small UAVs are now easily available in the market, both online as well as in shops in places like Delhi’s Khan Market or Chandni Chowk. They cost mostly cheaper than a smartphone. And in a country where smartphones savvy country, you can only imagine.

Certain companies, such as Delhi-based Quidich, are already using quadcopters and octacopters to shoot aerial videos and photographs for clients that include filmmakers and television news channels. You can even rent a drone for marriage or a family event video.

Challenges

Flying drones to deliver products have huge set of challenges, especially in a country like India where streets can be shallow, and crowded. Many companies in India have thought about this. But all are worried about the safety aspect. Flying within cities is a challenge as many fear of losing RF communication with the drone. Its very much possible that it can crash into a building, or might attract unwanted attention. The concept might even fly and probably gets shut down soon after when most drones go missing due to theft and natural calamities. Who knows, it might not turn out to be worth.

Drone experts believe that the regulatory reactions to the technology may be fickle and can change with any untoward event. Amazon should be watch for any upcoming regulatory compliance. There’s a good chance that regulatory authorities passes a bill to immediately put a hold/ban on drones. For now we will just have to wait and watch.

amazon-air

Subscribe to us @geeknizerFacebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/drones-to-deliver-amazon-orders-in-india/feed/ 0
Top 5 Digital Wallets to liberate from Payment Hassles http://geeknizer.com/top-5-digital-wallets-to-liberate-payment-hassles/ http://geeknizer.com/top-5-digital-wallets-to-liberate-payment-hassles/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:41:49 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13234 Read more »]]> Currency and payments has gone through a large number of changes. If you’re still carrying a load of cards meant for payment transaction, you’re doing it wrong. Probably among those who still not aware that digital wallet has lifted this burden from us. And unlike credit cards, smartcards, these are secure, reliable, more trackable, and yet easier.

wallet

Digital wallets mostly revolve around smartphones apps using various modes for transaction from NFC to Bluetooth.

 

Google Wallet

This digital payment allows you to tap your smartphone at the checkout counter to make payment. Google Wallet uses Near Field Communication technology that is available in most smartphones and tablet. Google wallet is accepted at large number of places in US and European countries.

giftcards

Most attractive part of the Google wallet:

  • Free to send money directly from your bank account or using the balance in your Google Wallet to your friends, using google accounts.
  • Fee of 2.9% per transaction (min. of $0.30) to send money using a credit or debit card.
  • Receiving money and transferring to your bank account is always free
  • Lots of Loyalty benefits, Gift cards and Offers available via the Google wallet app itself.

PayPal

If you want to send money to friends online. PayPal app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones. If you are playing in mobile bingo offering PayPal bingo, you don’t need to go to PayPal site to make deposits or withdraw money from your funds. You can do the payment transaction right there on your phone.

paypal

You can bump your phone against friends to transfer money.

 

Lemon Wallet

This app is available for smartphones with iOS, Android and Window operating systems. This digital payment allows you to store your cards’ information and use the information that has turned into a barcode to make payment. The merchants scanned this barcode and payment is charged.

Pros:

  • Strong security!
  • Ability to simply scan cards and receipts for easy upload!
  • Lets you categorize and monitor your spending habits!

Cons:

  • Expensive for subscription.
  • Limited functionality.
  • Can struggle to scan items.

Isis

This digital payment has its own cash card that has been preloaded with $10 as start-up cash for payment. However, Isis is only for Android smartphone. The good thing is this wallet is PIN-protected to ensure your cash protection at all times.

isis

Dwola

This is only available in iOS and Android phones. To use this digital payment you need to register in Dwola website and create an account. Your account is connected directly to your bank account and you can use Dwola on many merchants that accept Dowla. It works exactly the same with PayPal where user has to create account on their website and the account is connected with bank account. If you are familiar with PayPal and using this for your online bingo games, you can easily adapt to how Dwola works.

 

Venmo

If you are a fan of Blackberry phones, you can avail Venmo app and send or transfer money to friend’s account. It works similar to PayPal however; Venmo only allows transaction between two parties with Venmo account. Once you transfer or send money with Venmo, you can share the transaction on social networks like Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. While Venmo is available for Blackberry, it’s now available for iOS and Android.

Square Wallet

This is one cool digital payment that allows you to a hand-free checkout. With Square Wallet in your iOS or Android phones, you link your credit card to the app and you get a merchant card listed in the merchant’s list. When you buy from any of these merchants, the merchant charges the card linked to your credit card. Your favorite merchant will also list you as “loyal” patron and each time you buy from it, all you have to do is say your name at the checkout and payment is directly linked to your credit card.

Personally, I’ve used Google Wallet and Paypal, both are very reliable and easy to use. If I’ve to pick one, I`ll pick Google Wallet for its simplicity, widespread usage, and Google integration.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/top-5-digital-wallets-to-liberate-payment-hassles/feed/ 0
Record, Replay TouchEvents on Android http://geeknizer.com/record-replay-touchevents-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/record-replay-touchevents-on-android/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:47:58 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13230 Read more »]]> Whether you’re android application developer or a regular user performing regular tasks on your Android device, you’ve definitely felt need of automating certain repetitive tasks.

touchevents

Tasks like going through settings and changing a setting can be time consuming. Similarly, for an android developer, its hard to re-test the same features again and again manually. RepetiTouch app lets you automate TouchEvents by Recording and letting you replay any TouchEvents including touch, swipe, multitouch, any gesture of any length.

repetitouch

You need to be rooted and on Android 2.3 or later in order to use RepetiTouch. Its easy to use.

Key Features:

  • System-wide panel with record/replay buttons
  • Simple one-click record & replay
  • Loop replay (long click on the replay button to start)
  • Save and load multiple TouchEvents (incl. autosave/autoload last recording)
  • Record all touchscreen input

Download RepetiTouch from Play store

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/record-replay-touchevents-on-android/feed/ 0
Wirelessly Hack unlock Car without Key Fob http://geeknizer.com/wirelessly-hack-unlock-car-without-key-fob/ http://geeknizer.com/wirelessly-hack-unlock-car-without-key-fob/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:28:59 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13220 Read more »]]> Its time for revelation of various hacks from your home security system to cars which rely on wireless key locks, as the BlackHat 2014 conference kicks-off.

At this year’s BlackHat conference, various hacks in security systems have been unveiled. The most shocking being an eavesdropper unlocking your car, without having any prior knowledge about your car or you.

car-lock-hack

Silvio Cesare, an Australian wireless researcher, has developed a way to spoof a wireless key fob that works well with popular cars. With off-the-shelf wireless radio tools costing $1000, he can hack wireless security system of cars. So what this means is that your keyless car entry is going to have a big toll on you. He has said to have tested the hack against his own 10-year old car, which he claims is among the best selling cars in his country. But he claims that car makers tend to source keyfobs from common manufacturers (like Amtel, TRW), making most make/model vulnerable to this kind of security attack.

Cesare uses a Software-defined radio, a software controlled radio device that can be programmed to work with wide set of frequency bands from Mhz (FM, GSM) to Ghz (Bluetooth, Wifi, etc). This mini radio setup is capable of operating as FM transmitter, GSM cell tower, or even bluetooth sender, and Wifi AP/client.

Step 1. Acquisition

With the hardware attached to his laptop, he can capture the frequency range in which keyfob operates and analyze the frequency modulation it uses for communication. With his tests he found most of these keyfobs operating in mhz bands using FM (frequency modulation).

Car security lock keyfobs generate different frequencies on each press. This is a time variant function, a set of frequency will only be used once and it will generate an entirely random set of frequencies next time to unlock the car. All these random generation of keys is based on a seed value (often known as private key) which is unique and embedded into key fob.

Step 2. Brute force

The very next step after knowing about frequency bands is to start the attack with a good old Brute-force method. To get started, you of course need a laptop with the right algorithms programmed (the secret sauce). This  when connected to the Software-radio hardware along with antenna and cheap antenna amplifier, is ready to hack any wireless system.

hackrf

Brute-force attack involves cycling millions of code guesses at a rate of two to three a second until he found the one which successfully unlocked the car. Usually, it only takes less than 2 hours, but it varies from car to car.

Step 3. Optimize the bruteforce attacks (optional)

One doesn’t always have all the available time, and Brute force attacks can be filtered from millions to thousands, accelerating the whole process. However, this optimization requires pre-access to key fob.

Cesare created a hardware automation device to emulate large number of button presses at several key-presses per second and listened to the radio codes it transmitted. The solenoid based robot helped him assemble enough data to find patterns in the seemingly-random numbers, cutting the number of possible unlock codes from around 43 million to around 12,500.

Step 4. Discovering Backdoors

Like described earlier, the frequency codes are unique each time. But there are exceptions to this. There are service codes, intentionally designed by the manufacturer, to help unlock car in case they lost access to original key, or for other maintenance/emergency cases. This is essentially a backdoor a hacker can exploit. During brute-force, there are chances that you find such frequency codes which can be used repeatedly, without trouble. These codes provide a permanent backdoor to the hacker.

With hacker’s testing, the backdoor code worked as much as dozen times before it seized to work. There’s one more pre-requisite to making backdoor codes to work — The attacker must first identify a portion of the unlocking code that’s different for every vehicle. That means the hacker would need to eavesdrop on one lock or unlock command sent from the victim’s key fob, which is already described in step 3.

What it means for You and Your Car

Do you get to know if you got Hacked?

Of course, you probably lost your car or belongings. In case you’re lucky enough to not lose those, your key fob doesn’t work on the next use, and takes two or three button presses to again synch up with the car’s locking system.

What is the scale of the Car unlock Hack?

Imagine cars parked in a parking area where a hacker plans to run a full brute-force attack on the available wireless spectrum. With the calculated attack, hacker can create a unlock mania, unlocking several hours every few minutes. Imagine the possibilities and the scale. We’re not trying to scare you or anything but criminals could hire researchers to replicate the attack. And if that happens, the scale is too large to imagine.

The Hacker used sophisticate hardware which costed him over a grand but with newer hardware like HackRF, one can build similar hardware for under $200, making it more accessible to everyone.

Is your car vulnerable?

Honestly, no one, other than Cesare knows what makes and models are vulnerable. Even though researcher believes newer key fobs are way less vulnerable coz they use better algorithms. But there’s no guarantee you’re safe. Someone somewhere could develop algorithm to break it, some day.

Hacker has already reported the incident to CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team), which is working to alert the manufacturers of potential victims.

This is not the first time wireless unlocking systems have been hacked. They have become better with time and with HackRF, its only about to get worse.

Subscribe to us @geeknizerFacebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/wirelessly-hack-unlock-car-without-key-fob/feed/ 0
MythBuster: Do you need Antivirus on Android? http://geeknizer.com/mythbuster-do-you-need-antivirus-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/mythbuster-do-you-need-antivirus-on-android/#comments Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:47:48 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13202 Read more »]]> If you’ve been reading the web or browsing through news articles about Android, chances are you’ve come across a number of articles that claim Android is vulnerable to X attack, Y Malware, and Z Virus. Such articles would also claim that you should fear coz that vulnerability impacts 90% blah Android users.

android-antivirus

Not all of that is true! Anti-viruses are for those who don’t understand Android’s architecture.
So are these articles misleading? Mostly. Such reports are often exaggerated by various security firms and/or sponsored/promoted by various Antivirus companies who have nothing better to do than slowing down your priceless phones.

How secure is Android?

To understand this you’ll really have to dig deep into Android’s architecture and design principles.
Android, inherently, is fairly secure. With versions Android 4.2+, the security is pretty robust thanks to SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux, SEAndroid), contributed by NSA to Android open source project (AOSP).

android-layers-security

Android (since inception) uses something called Sandboxing. Its like building virtual walls across territories of apps. One app cannot cross that wall, no matter what. Cross sandbox communication can only happen through system-controlled media (IPC, Broadcasts, ContentProviders, etc). All of these are totally secure, and there’s no way an app can affect another one on the Android system.

The Android platform takes advantage of the Linux user-based protection as a means of identifying and isolating application resources. The Android system assigns a unique user ID (UID) to each Android application and runs it as that user in a separate process. This approach is different from other operating systems (including the traditional Linux configuration), where multiple applications run with the same user permissions.

This sets up a kernel-level Application Sandbox. The kernel enforces security between applications and the system at the process level through standard Linux facilities, such as user and group IDs that are assigned to applications. By default, applications cannot interact with each other and applications have limited access to the operating system. If application A tries to do something malicious like read application B’s data or dial the phone without permission (which is a separate application), then the operating system protects against this because application A does not have the appropriate user privileges. The sandbox is simple, auditable, and based on decades-old UNIX-style user separation of processes and file permissions.

So Android OS is always this secure? Yes, the system cannot be compromised but your data can, when you install malware apps from source other than Play Store.

What are these malicious apps? These are apps that do more than they pretend. It could be as simple as a third party App store (e.g. App genie) which demands way too many App Permissions than it should. An app like App store should never need access to your contacts, fine location, calls, read sms, or Google accounts. Coz you installed the app agreeing to those permissions, Android assumes you’re fine by the app using all those permissions, and those apps will use your private data in the way they intend to, without you ever knowing it.

permissions

android-permissions

What should you do?

Don’t install apps that use permissions they shouldn’t. Google scans all apps published to Play store for any malware signatures, but if you find some app using more permissions than it should, don’t install it, use an alternative instead.

99.8% of malware came from outside the Google Play Store. So when you sideload apps or install apps from unknown sources take utmost care whom you trust.

apps-install-graph

What AntiViruses on Android do?

On a Windows PC, Antivirus looks for various signatures, behaviors to find malicious activity. However, its not possible to scan apps on android since Antivirus itself cannot cross app’s boundaries to read other apps. All it can check for is what apps are installed or are being installed. It can then alert users if any of those apps have been previously found to be malicious. Where PC antiviruses can detect potential new threats, antiviruses on Android are very handicapped. Unless and until an app has been identified as malicious by the antivirus company, the antivirus would let go any misbehaving app undetected.

Antivirus software on your smartphone works just about the same way as Google’s verification software. According to Google, “if you attempt to install an app from any source while app verification is turned on, your device may send information identifying the app to Google”.
This verification will walk through the whole process in the background, all without getting in the way (unless there’s a major red flag). Google’s anti-malware detector, Bouncer, also regularly scans for any app misbehavior or any activity that should be brought to your attention.

Having both antivirus software and the Play Services app installed is like having two of the same app on your phone. Both essentially doing redundant tasks. 

So Antiviruses are totally useless? Not always. They do have number of other security features like lost phone location detection, reporting malicious websites, block call/sms, firewall (rooted inly) etc. But all of these are mostly done by Android and various other app. Android device manager locates your lost Android phone, lets you erase it and more. Similarly, Chrome (default browser) can detect malicious sites. And there are other dedicated app which can do other tasks better than these feature-rich antiviruses.

Antivirus companies try hard to make their app look attractive by giving away bulk of feature list to impress you. You really don’t need those as long as you’ve other apps to get those done.

Google’s take on Android Security

Google’s Android Security chief Adrian Ludwig reported data showing that less than an estimated 0.001% of app installations on Android are able to evade the system’s multi-layered defenses and cause harm to users. Android, built on an open innovation model, has quietly resisted the locked down, total control model spawned by decades of Windows malware. Ludwig spoke today at the Virus Bulletin conference in Berlin because he has the data to dispute the claims of pervasive Android malware threats.

android-defense
Ludwig sees security in biological terms:

“A walled garden systems approach blocking predators and disease breaks down when rapid growth and evolution creates too much complexity. Android’s innovation from inside and outside Google are continuous, making it impossible to create such a walled garden by locking down Android at the device level.”

Google makes use of Center for Disease Control (CDC) than the PC security industry’s antiviruses. “The CDC knows that it’s not realistic to try to eradicate all disease. Rather, it monitors disease with scientific rigor, providing preventative guidance and effective responses to harmful outbreaks.”

The problem Google wants to solve is that most independent security researchers don’t have access to a platform such as Google’s to measure how many times a malware app has been installed. They are analogous to human disease researchers without a CDC to measure the size of a disease outbreak and coordinate a response. Security researchers are very good at finding and fixing malware, but in the absence of reliable data that indicate how frequently a malware app has been installed, the threat level can become exaggerated. Reports that reach publication are often extremely exaggerated. To emphasize this point, Ludwig revealed in his analysis that some of the most publicized recent malware discoveries are installed in less than one per million installations.

Google had introduced a new feature in 2012 called “Verify Apps”. Verify Apps intervenes when an app is downloaded, compares it to a large database of malware information curated by Google and warns the user if the app is potentially harmful. Verify Apps is also distributed to older Android versions by including it in updates to the Google Play app that is used to download apps from Google’s app store. Checking and blocking apps is enabled by default requiring a user to choose to disable it in order to circumvent its protection.

Using Verify Apps, Google collected this data outside of the protected perimeter of the Google Play app store from installations “in the wild” where the incidence of malware is higher.

Almost 40% are “fraudware” apps that drain the users smartphone account by making premium telephone calls or sending premium SMS messages.

Another 40% classified as “rooting” apps are labeled as potentially harmful applications by Verify Apps, but they are not considered malicious. Smartphone hobbyists and developers frequently root their devices for many benign reasons such as installing custom Android versions like CyanogenMod or to remove carrier installed apps.

About 15% are commercial spyware, a diverse set of monitoring apps that range from tracking internet behavior to improve advertising to the very malicious keyloggers that collect personal information entered by the user and report it to the malware creator. The 6% balance is a diverse set of mainly malicious apps.

Verdict

If you install all your apps only from Play Store, you’re safe for 99.5% of the cases. You can raise it to 99.9% by spending time on assessing permissions each application uses at the time of install.

If you occasionally install apps from other sources make sure you’ve Verify apps enabled (Settings  > Security > Verify apps) and thoroughly check permissions app requires.

android-red

An antivirus will not give you additional security, what it will take away from your device is speed and battery life. You don’t need it if you’re little careful while installing apps. Live free, android is most secure OS out there, it won’t let you down till you drunkard install.

Subscribe to us @geeknizerFacebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/mythbuster-do-you-need-antivirus-on-android/feed/ 0
Xiaomi Mi3 India LongTerm Review http://geeknizer.com/xiaomi-mi3-india-review/ http://geeknizer.com/xiaomi-mi3-india-review/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:55:16 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13184 Read more »]]> Xiaomi is bringing premium phones to the masses by setting super low prices for their current generation Snapdragon 800 device Mi3.

mi3-outdoors-display-visibility

xiaomi-mi3-india

Spec wise, Mi3 is among the top league of Android smartphones like Nexus 5, Xperia Z1 only slightly shy of phones like Xperia Z2, Galaxy S5, Htc One (M8) and yet costs 1/3rd the price. Mi3 retails at around $240 or Rs. 14,000 in India through Flipkart. Even though bigger and better Mi4 is out with Snapdragon 801, its not a much of an improvement on Mi3.

So what do you get in MI3?

Mi 3 Tech Specs

  • Snapdragon 800 Quad-core 2.3Ghz CPU (same as Xperia Z1, Nexus 5, others)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2MP front, 13MP rear F2.2 Sony camera ~ quality matches that of Galaxy S4
  • 16GB internal storage (non-expandable), supports OTG cable for pen drives.
  • 5″ 1080p IPS display, with Gorilla glass 3 protection.
  • 3050mAh battery, lasts 2 days of usage.
  • 3.5G HSDPA, Wifi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

We had been playing with Mi3 for over a month now and we can’t believe how it achieves such a low price mark.

Design

Design is great. Its a typical wedge design that you originally saw with LG cookie, then later with Sony Xperias and Nokia Lumias. Sides are curved and champhered to remind you of Lumia, the form factor is square enough to not forget Xperias.

mi3-back

mi3speaker

mi3-vs-xperia-z1-vs-vita

The back is all premium plastic that you would easily confuse with metal. Overall, device is well built yet thin and lighter than most smartphones out there.

Update: Even though the device feels delicate in hands, it could handled 2 falls straight to the cemented floor without any significant scratches on the front glass or hybrid plastic on the back. Still, we recommend getting a good case for the phone.

Screen

No surprises here, it bright and neutrally natural. Its not as contrasty as Nexus 5 or Samsung OLEDs but more natural. 441pi makes this device crisp and joy to read from. Viewing angles are great. Screen doesn’t have too much of visibility in direct sunlight but is not bad, its perfectly readable.

xiaomi-mi3-outdoors

Camera & picture quality

Camera clicks fair photos in good light with its Sony 13 Megapixel sensor, better than Nexus 5 any day. However, you cannot compare it with other flagships like Xperia Z1, Z2, or S5. Even though it has decent F2.2 aperture, low light performance is average, it won’t impress you much in that department. But the Dual LED does a fair job in getting good photos in low light.

xperia-z1-vs-mi3-lowlight-camera

mi3-camera-vs-z1

 

Compare the camera to S5 or Z1 and you’ll be embarrassed, but compare it to Note 2, HTC One, or Xperia Z, this phone is a stunner. Macro performance of the F2.2 aperture camera is decent, at ISO 800, there was tolerable noise, which becomes horrible at ISO 1600.

mi3-camera-shot

Here is another one shot with ISO 200 and details are well-preserved.

mi3-outdoor-shot

It shoots video at 1080p at 30FPS, no 60fps or 4k support, but you can’t really ask for them at this price. The video is stabilized to some extent using software to reduce shakes, but its not as good as competition.

Audio Quality

Audio quality from 3.5mm audio jack

Where other Snapdragon phones like Galaxy S5 sport Wolfson DAC, which produces amazing sound for a portable, Mi3 uses Cirrus Logic CS42L73 DAC, same as one used in iPhone 5. But we found audio to be not even near to that iPhones. May be they didn’t use a good preamp, or the audio driver is screwed, its not on par with competition.

We would rate the audio quality below all 2013, 2014 Android flagships. But its still better than other chinese based smartphones like Gionee. Its a no go for Android Audiophiles.

Loudspeaker

The audio from loudspeaker is decent enough to meet anyone’s needs. It’s as loud as S4, not as good as S5 or HTC One.

Interface & User experience

MIUI is one of the most powerful and customizable ROMs on android ever. Enthusiasts will have fun with themes and gazillion settings to play with. e.g. MIUI has million features from avoiding accidental pocket touches, to active real-time network usage.

Had it been typical samsung loaded with features, you would have seen lags all around. On Xiaomi, all of that doesn’t affect performance of this device, its always slick, we didn’t find any lags whatsoever during our prolonged usage.

xiaomi-mi3

Mi3 runs latest iteration of MIUI based on 4.4.2 Kitkat and MIUI v5. Its more like iOS mingled with the best of Android.

mi3-display-outdoors

Battery Life

Battery is rated at 3050mAh, with power save mode ON, it can easily last 1-2 days depending on your usage. With heavy browsing and calling, the phone lasts 4.5 hours of screen, 3 hours calling and more and still it lasts slightly over a day.

battery-mi3

The built-in charger is rated at 2Amps, which means it should charge the device pretty quickly. Mi3 charges from zero to 80% in under an hour, which is quiet nifty.

 

Mi3 is exclusively available on Flipkart in India and is worth every penny. Checkout the complete Mi3 Photo Gallery.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/xiaomi-mi3-india-review/feed/ 0
Mirror Any Android Device’s Screen to Chromecast [MirrorEnabler] http://geeknizer.com/mirror-any-android-screen-to-chromecast/ http://geeknizer.com/mirror-any-android-screen-to-chromecast/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:40:32 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13176 Read more »]]> Google has pushed update for the Chromecast app (v1.7.4+) using which you can cast entire Android screen on your HDTV using Chromecast USB dongle. But Google made the app compatible with limited set of Phones including Nexus 4, NExus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, HTC One M7, Galaxy S4, S5.

mirror-android-tv-chromecast

However, a new mod for Rooted android phones enables you to cast/mirror your entire Android screen onto chromecast TV with ease.

Supported devices

In general, any Android phone released in year 2012 or later works.

  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 5
  • Nexus 7 (2013)
  • Nexus 10
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (2014)
  • HTC One M7
  • LG G Pro2
  • LG G2
  • LG G3
  • ASUS PadFone 2
  • Droid RAZR MAXX HD
  • Sony Xperia Z1
  • Sony Xperia Z2
  • Sony Xperia ZL
  • Sony Z Ultra
  • HTC One M8 (Including GPE)
  • Motorola Moto X
  • Motorola Moto G
  • Samsung Note 8 Tab
  • Samsung Note Pro 12.2 Tab
  • Nexus 7 2012
  • Oppo Find 7
  • Oppo Find 7a
  • LG GPad 8.3
  • NVIDIA SHIELD
  • Galaxy S3
  • Galaxy Note 2

and couple of other phones not listed above.

cast_screen

How to Enable Chromecast Mirroring on ANY Android Device

Step 1. Make sure your device is Rooted.

Step 2. Install the mod from Xda thread.

Step 3. Run the #MirrorEnabler app and click “Disabled” to make it “Enabled”.

Step 4. Run the chromecast  app [make sure its updated to v1.7.4+] and Mirror/ Screencast feature would show up in Navigation sidebar. Click and start casting to TV.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/mirror-any-android-screen-to-chromecast/feed/ 0
Force Deep Sleep on Android to Extend Battery http://geeknizer.com/force-deep-sleep-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/force-deep-sleep-on-android/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:17:03 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13156 Read more »]]> Our phones have become pixel sharp, as fast as a 5 year laptop, bundled with plethora of sensors. All of these come at the cost of Battery life. Battery technology and capacity has increased over the years, but it still sometimes can’t cope up with fullday use. Easy way around is to carry Battery packs like Anker 3000mAh (1-2 full charges), PowerAdd Pilot 10,000mAh (upto 6 full charges).

deepsleep-xposed-app

Not everyone likes to carry portable chargers everywhere, and why even buy them if you could extend battery life of your phone?

A new Xposed framework module allows you to do exactly that by saving upto 20 – 30% battery by forcing “Deep sleep” on your phone when screen is off. Ideally, Android applications can run and sync in the background (when in standby) and reduce the standby time by large. Depending on the kind of applications you’ve installed, you can easily extend battery life by 20% with Deep sleep.

battery-deepsleep

With Deepsleep, it turns off everything when screen is off i.e. Wifi, 3G background apps are stopped/paused. All apps like Facebook, Google Service, Hangouts, whatsapp etc, will be paused. However, in order to stay in touch with the world, it periodically wakesup data connection and apps so that you recieve your whatsapp messages, emails. You can configure this to suit your needs including day/night settings, active period, screen timeout, sync strategy, ignored apps, etc.

If you like to keep things simple, you can choose from pre-defined profiles: Gentle, Balance, Strong, Aggressive, Slumberer. Gentle being least disruptive, but save less battery and so on. You can create your own custom profiles but you cannot change default ones.

deepsleep-xposed

How Profile settings work
You can set profiles for each Weekdays vs Weekends based on following:

Frequency: How often device wakesup
Duration: How long device stays awake.
Wireless & Network: Whether to turn off radio or not.
Sync: Control sync strategy
Apps: Whitelist/blacklist apps
CPU: Process twist – root only
Night period

How to Install:
Pre-requisites:
1. Rooted phone
2. Xposed Framework

You can Install the Xposed module for Deep sleep from Play store. Make sure you enable it after installation in Xposed Installer app.

More: 20 Best Must have Xposed Modules for Android

 

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+.

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/force-deep-sleep-on-android/feed/ 0
Audio Improvements in Android 5.0 L [Audiophile] http://geeknizer.com/audio-improvements-in-android-5-0-l-audiophile/ http://geeknizer.com/audio-improvements-in-android-5-0-l-audiophile/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 16:20:53 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13141 Read more »]]> Android 5.0 (L-Release) is set to improve Audio and Video experience by huge margin.

Not only does Android 5.0 enables Pro Photography, it will be welcomed by audio processing applications including composition, production and karaoke for the first time.

android-dac-audiophile

Audio on Android had sucked big time. There was not just output delay (which was fixed by a good margin in KitKat); there is significant input delay as well. The delay is sometimes as large as 600ms, thereby making it a deal breaker for Audio processing enthusiasts. With recent changes to L release, its all changing for good.

Let’s go over all the Audio improvements in Android 5.0 aka L release:

1. Low latency (Input / Output) - Audio patch-panel

Kitkat introduced OpenSL based accelerated audio to reduce output audio delay, but it was still high enough to be usable for Audio processing apps.

With Android 5.0 comes Audio patch-panel that ensure significantly lower input-latency (~20ms) which is not perfect but very usable. Output latency and whole audio processing is also accelerated to reduce significantly, to enable Real-time audio for the first time.

2. 24bits per sample

Sample resolution is up from 16bit PCM to 24bit for better precision. In Kitkat and older releases, Android was 16bit per sample throughout the processing system. Even though several 2013 and newer phones supported24bit 96khz DAC, Android core never really made use of it. Some OEMs like LG did make alter the Android AudioFlinger and kernel to leverage 24bit but it was never contributed back to Android community.

3. 96khz sampling rate

Yes, up from 44khz/48khz, now Android supports 96khz sampling rate.

4. Floating point for Sampling

Floating point is a scary word for every programmer coz not only its costly (double the memory), its painfully slow. Google is trying to change the impression Floating points have. They have made the whole Audio system floating point compatible, arguing that FPs are as fast as Integers on modern SIMD processors, and the advantages are significant. Immediate advantages of using FPs are:

  • No audio clipping
  • Better precision – Better quality
  • Better dynamic range
  • greater headroom

Floating-point arithmetic is especially useful during intermediate calculations. Playback end-points use integer format for audio data, and with lower bit-depth. (In the L Developer Preview, portions of the internal pipeline are not yet floating-point.)

audio-input-output-android5

For developers: Use android.media.AudioFormat.ENCODING_PCM_FLOAT

5. Better Resampling

Android 5.0 improves on the Linear interpolator used to resample audio streams. Most audio files have either 44khz or 48khz or 96khz sampling. In order to play jitter free, it needs to be resampled if it doesn’t match the phone’s DAC supported sampling rate. e.g. Nexus 5 supports 48khz sampling rate. So in order to play a 44khz Mp3, it must be resampled to 48khz. Resampling is a mess in pre-5.0 Androids coz the linear interpolator adds lots of aliasing and artifacts.

audio-resampler-android5

5.0 Resampler is written ground up for minimal resampling aliasing by increasing sampling to twice.

audio-aliasing-android

6. Improved AV sync

Android had Audio and Video sync problems (of the order of 10 – 100ms) since a very long time now. Finally it has been addressed with new synchronized methods that ensure audio track matches with video keyframes, at all times.

7. USB audio

Yes, USB audio is now officially supported. Out of the box, you should be able to use external Soundcards (or DAC) and route all audio through it. This is a big news for Android Audiophiles who use USB DACs like Fiio E7, Meridian Explorer, Audioquest DragonFly DAC checkout this thread for USB DAC compatibility list.

8. API improvements (For developers)

  • Your app can now supply audio data as a ByteBuffer, in the same format as provided by MediaCodec.
  • New NDK Media APIs
  • The WRITE_NON_BLOCKING option can simplify buffering and multithreading for some apps.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/audio-improvements-in-android-5-0-l-audiophile/feed/ 4
Android 5.0 L enables Pro Photography http://geeknizer.com/android-5-0-l-supports-pro-photography/ http://geeknizer.com/android-5-0-l-supports-pro-photography/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 05:52:19 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13136 Read more »]]> Android 5.0 (L release) is set to change standards for Android Media(Audio & Video). Photographers & Audiophiles will rejoice the improvements.

Android 5.0 adds a huge list of features to the API that will enable developers build richer applications than before. The improvements in Camera API allow developers to achieve full Manual control over each camera parameter.

android-5-photography

Lets go over what’s new with Camera2 API in Android 5.0:

1. DNG ( Digital Negative Image) aka RAW Image:

This is huge. Android would now support DNG (or RAW) images out of the box. What this means is upcoming Android camera apps would be able to create RAW image along with PNG, JPEG for each shot. Photographers can import this RAW file into Photoshop or Lightroom to bypass smartphone’s poor Noise correction, white-balance algorithms.
What is DNG?
DNG images have very minimal processing applied and exhibit basically the same compression as RAW files, meaning you’re getting all of the data the sensor captures instead of letting the image processor do the work of trimming things down and adjusting the image to what it perceives as a desirable result.

From the Android’s Camera API documentation:

The DngCreator class provides functions to write raw pixel data as a DNG file.

This class is designed to be used with the RAW_SENSOR buffers available fromCameraDevice, or with Bayer-type raw pixel data that is otherwise generated by an application. The DNG metadata tags will be generated from a CaptureResultobject or set directly.
The DNG file format is a cross-platform file format that is used to store pixel data from camera sensors with minimal pre-processing applied. DNG files allow for pixel data to be defined in a user-defined colorspace, and have associated metadata that allow for this pixel data to be converted to the standard CIE XYZ colorspace during post-processing.
For more information on the DNG file format and associated metadata, please refer to the Adobe DNG 1.4.0.0 specification

2. Faster, limited only by hardware

The Camera 2 API  delivers full resolution images in Realtime (i.e. same line speed of the camera), enabled by a fully synchronized pipeline. In layman’s terms, it can take the best out of the camera hardware, despite what OEM might set limits for in software. e.g.  Nexus 5 can capture photos at 30 FPS, at it’s hardware maximum resolution of 8 megapixels.

3. Burst Mode

Like mentioned above, API now enables App developers to burst capture photos with minimal delay. You can set target FPS rate you want to capture at, and Android will do its best.

4. Full Manual control

New Camera 2 API lets you take control over:

  • Exposure (duration in seconds)
  • Exposure compensation (+- 3)
  • ISO sensitivity (supported by hardware)
  • Manual focus / AF Trigger
  • Flash Trigger
  • AE / AF / AWB mode  (Auto-exposure / Auto Focus / Auto white balance mode)
  • AE / AWB lock (Auto-exposure / Auto white balance lock)
  • Precapture AE
  • Hardware enabled Video stabilization
  • Metering regions
  • Tonemap curve
  • Color correction matrix
  • Frame duration

We can only imagine what kind of Photography apps for Android would arrive in future.

And yes, don’t forget Nikon and others are building army of next generation dSLRs based on Android. Sky is the limit.

android-photography

 

( image source: geekPhotography.in)

Related: Audio Improvements in Android 5.0 L [Audiophile]

Developers, leverage it!

If you’re a developer, checkout the video below that discusses improvements in Camera 2 API. These are also included in platform samples in Camera2Basic, Camera2Video java files.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/android-5-0-l-supports-pro-photography/feed/ 7
Android 5.0 L Release Features – Everything you need to Know http://geeknizer.com/android-5-0-l-release-features/ http://geeknizer.com/android-5-0-l-release-features/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:59:20 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13118 Read more »]]> Google announced the next version of Android i.e. L release aka Android 5.0

android-l-5

Lets quickly walk you through what’s new and what you should expect from next version of Android:

1. New Design – Material Design

Google has refreshed the whole design philosophy behind Android OS and apps along with web applications. The new design, which they call as “Material design” takes inspiration from real world objects like pen and paper.

Everything from contacts, dialer, Gmail have more real-life like animations and transitions. No longer do 2-screens in application look disconnected.

Material design is all about 3D UI elements, as well as shadow effects and new 60fps animations that show movement, ripples and quicker touch feedback (the amount of time it takes to tell you that what you just touched is actually producing the expected result). This new design language features hierarchy, it’s responsive colorful and is meant to unify all Android-based platforms.

material-design

All UI elements get depth, which is in-contrast to Apple’s iOS 7 Flat-design.

gmail-material-design

2. Notifications & Lockscreen

Notifications are getting overhauled. They now popout of notification bar for increased visibility, they’re called “heads up notification” — They are actually helpful when you’re in fullscreen playing a game.

Quick settings have also been integrated into the notifications panel. These settings are hidden by default but can be made visible from view when you pull down the notification bar, but they’ll appear if you keep pulling (or if you tap the bar on the top).

android5-notification

Notifications are now also displayed on Lockscreen. You can scroll through them, single tap to expand and double tap to launch right from lockscreen.

android5-notifications

With wearables, your device is automatically unlocked (no security pattern) when your wearable is in vicinity of the android device.

3. Performance

Dalvik runtime has been replaced with ART (Android Runtime). A new runtime VM that has 2x times the performance of Dalvik VM under all circumstances.

The performance is not just for computational logics but also for graphics. Android 5.0 will have huge boost in graphics with Google assuring DirectX11 level graphics on decent hardware smartphones. Android L release includes Android expansion packs with things like shaders and tessellations.

Android is now 64-bit across all hardware platforms: ARM, x86, MIPS.

4. Battery life

On an average, ART runtime alone improves battery by 30% over Dalvik. Among other improvements, a new project called Project Volta, that aims to reduce battery consumption by scheduling network calls only when device is awake (or at regular schedules) so that device can enter deep-sleep for longer durations.

android5-battery

Android now offers a Battery saver mode (finally). Battery saver mode limits CPU cores/clock, and even disable background data for extended usage. In-addition it switches-off animations, reduces refresh-rate to improve battery life further.

On Nexus 5, if your (screen on) usage is 4hours, it will extend by 90minutes with battery saver mode.

5. Security & Enterprise support

Android is way more secure than before. It inherits some features from Samsung knox to support data sandboxing between Office (corporate) and personal apps. This enable users have single device for work and fun.

6. Deeper integration with web

Google is making Android native apps work seamlessly with the cloud. Most Google webapps would like just like native apps (with Material design) with similar experience across Web, tablets, phones.

Chrome Tabs will also appear in the recent applications, blurring the difference between webapps and native apps.

android-chrome-recent-apps

Google search results can now open directly inside app.

7. New APIs

Developers will have 5,000 new APIs to play with. Animations, transitions are way more powerful and easier to do that ever before.

Few new API support: Full 64-bit support across all platforms: ARM, x86, MIPS, Improved AV-sync, hardware assisted Hot-word detection, NDK media APIs, burst-mode Camera APIs, TV input framework, path animations, CardView, RecycledView, color space correction, lock to app apis, Document-centric multitasking, and several others.

android-l-features

Android L HandsOn Video (Early Preview)

 

Availability:

Android L Release (Android 5.0) developer preview is now available to developers for getting ready. The final release will be made available by late October – November 2014.

What would L Release be called?
Most probably it will be called Android Lollipop. But there are several other predictions like Ladoo, LimePie etc.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/android-5-0-l-release-features/feed/ 0
20 Best Must have Xposed Modules for Android http://geeknizer.com/20-best-must-have-xposed-modules-for-android/ http://geeknizer.com/20-best-must-have-xposed-modules-for-android/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 17:42:56 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13095 Read more »]]> Xposed framework allows your Rooted Android phone to fly high. Xposed can change the behavior of the system and apps without touching any APKs. As all changes are in-memory, its easy to undo. You can easily disable or remove them without any hassle.

With Xposed modules, you can pretty much do anything with the phone. The good thing about xposed module is you can have Xposed modules running on Any stock or custom ROM with no direct dependencies. This is a blessing for Android modders.

xposed-framework

Lets walk you through some Amazing & Must have Modules for Xposed framework.

Pre-requisites:

  1. Rooted Android
  2. Xposed Framework

 

20 Best & Awesome Must have Xposed Modules

1. Network Speed Indicator

Displays network upload and download activity in Kbps. Perfect to know how well your network (Wifi, 3G, 4G) is working. A handy indicator to know when your phone is downloading/uploading something.

networkspeedindicator

2. Physical Button Music control

Do you wish to change music tracks by using volume buttons? Hold down up/down key for next/previous music track. Must have for music lovers.

pbmc

3. Tinted status bar

Navigation bar and status bar on Android has static black color and tends to be boring. Tinted status bar intends to make to more jazzy with colors based on applications Action bar color. e.g. In Play store, your status bar and navigation bar would turn green.

tinted-status-bar

4. Native Clipboard

Ever wished you could have a clipboard history with all the previously copied text? Native clipboard module lets you have huge clipboard history. Now you can copy as many texts as you wish without losing any of them.

native-clipboard

5. Gravity Box - All in one Tweakbox

Gravity box is most extensive customization tool. It supports humongous set of features from statusbar, QuickSettings tile management, Lockscreen targets, Statusbar icon coloring, Toggles, Center clock in statusbar, Battery indicator style, Navigation bar tweaks, Advanced power-off menu (reboot, recovery), Volume key cursor control, Skip tracks by volume key long-press while screen off , Autobrightness levels adjustment, Lockscreen tweaks, launcher tweaks, list goes on.

gravitybox

6. Bootmanager

Control what apps are allowed to run during boot. You can add, remove and disable apps from start while Android phone boots to home screen.

bootmanager

7. Unicon

Unicon is a great mod for themers. Unicon lets you add Icon pack to almost any launcher including Google now Launcher, Nova, Apex, Buzz, you name it.

unicon-icon-themer

8. Android Phone Vibrator

Customize what events vibrate your phone. e.g. When outgoing call is connected, minute reminder, call waiting, call ended, etc.

phonevibartor

9. App Ops 

Android Jellybean had introduced a new permission manager that allows you to control what permission an app has to your phone’s resources. Sadly, it was removed. For privacy freaks, its back with Xposed.

app-ops

10. YouTube Adaway

Block all youtube ads with this simple xposed.

youtube-adaway

11. XHalo Floating Window

Make any Android app float around as independent window for true multitasking.

xhalo-floating-window

12. XuiMod

You can change animations and make your android really funky with Xui based animations.

xuimod

13. Dynamic Notifications

A new approach to notifications, when your phone is locked. Notifications don’t light up when your phone is in your pocket, purse, or face down to avoid accidental unlocks, filter which apps light up screen, change appearance, change brightness, timeout, lockscreen replacement, Auto-awake when pulled out of pocket, etc.

dynamicnotifications

14. App Settings

Set per-app settings like per-app DPI, rotation, Font, screen dimensions, keep screen on, language, xlarge, resident in memory, revoke permissions etc.

appsettings

15. Bubble uPnP

Bubble UPnP is a DLNA client that lets you stream and control music on/from other DLNA devices on your network. This xposed module extends the native app’s feature by allowing you to stream ANY android audio to a DLNA compatible device like XBMC, Chromecast, etc. Very handy module if you wish to play your music on a AV player on your network streamed right from your Android tablet/phone.

16. Burnt Toast

Android apps can display random toasts that you’ve no idea where they originate from. Burnt toast embeds App icon into the Toast.

burnt-toast

17. ClockColorChanger

Prior to Android 4.2, stock android used to indicate network connectivity by changing color scheme of clock, and network indicators. You can bring back that with this xposed module.

clockcolorchanger

18. Root Cloak

There are a number of apps on Play store, other corporate apps that use some sort of Root checkers to disable access to app if the device is rooted. Root cloak lets you bypass that check by faking the environment info with no effort.

19. Intelli 3G

All in one Rule based 2G, 3G, 4G switcher to save battery. You can now take control over when your phone/tablet makes switch to 2G only mode or when it does switch to faster 3G or 4G. You can set triggers like screen off time to switch to 2G and back to 3G/4G when screen is powered ON. There are several rules related to threshold data transfers that you can play with to save battery.

intelli3g

20. Xtended NavBar

Extend the functionality of Nav bar (soft keys) and swipe left or right to access Music controls, quick launch apps, Toggles, all from Navigation bar.

xtended-navbar

UPDATE:

21. Deep Sleep – Extend Battery

Extend you phone’s battery life by forcing deep sleep with Deep Sleep Xposed module.

And more…

There are endless number of Xposed modules available you can check them out here.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/20-best-must-have-xposed-modules-for-android/feed/ 3
Install Nokia Z Launcher on Rooted Android http://geeknizer.com/install-nokia-z-launcher-on-rooted-android/ http://geeknizer.com/install-nokia-z-launcher-on-rooted-android/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 08:52:20 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13087 Read more »]]> Nokia has announced a new Launcher for Android phones with which they plan to acquire some love from Android users.

Nokia CEO, Elop, said in September 2010 “Using Android is like peeing in your own pants for warmth”. And in 2014 they announce Android Based Nokia X platform phones, and now Android based Launcher. Silly. Nokia is so much like Microsoft, never sticking to their words.

nokia-android

Nokia Z Launcher uses single desktop screen from which you can nearly do anything from launching apps, finding contacts, and performing a Google search. All of these are simple gesture based. e.g. drawing “e” will search for all apps and contacts starting with letter e. you can go on to complete the word or choose from the list that appears.

Your frequently used apps, contact list appears by default, first time you launch the Launcher.

Here’s what Nokia Z Launcher looks like in-practice.

z-launcher

Introducing Z Launcher from Nokia Z Launcher on Vimeo.

How to Install Z Launcher on Rooted Android Phones.

Nokia doesn’t allow Z Launcher to be run on Rooted phones, here’s a quick workaround.

Step 1. Install Xposed framework, if you don’t have it already.

Step 2. Install RootCloak module. Open the module and add Z Launcher (com.nokia…) from “Add/Remove apps”.

Step 3. Activate the module and reboot.

Step 4. Download and install Z Launcher APK. Open normally, voila! it should work.

 

 
We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/install-nokia-z-launcher-on-rooted-android/feed/ 1
Install Stock AOSP Android Browser [Without Root] http://geeknizer.com/install-stock-aosp-android-browser-without-root/ http://geeknizer.com/install-stock-aosp-android-browser-without-root/#comments Sun, 08 Jun 2014 20:04:33 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13081 Read more »]]> Android starting 4.3 ditched the Stock AOSP browser in favor of Chrome for unknown reasons. The stock browser was fast and smooth, but chrome has an ever increasing set of features.

android-browser-aosp

Though Chrome browser runs smooth on most modern Android devices, it struggles and drops frames on older ARM v7 devices.
But there are handful of things Chrome doesn’t do which stock browser used to. Chrome doesn’t support the wonderful Pie Controls, which were initially seen in the AOSP browser. Chrome consumes more RAM and CPU than AOSP browser.

Stock AOSP browser cannot be installed easily unless you’re rooted. This guide, however, helps you install Stock AOSP browser without root.

How to Install Stock AOSP browser on Any Android [No root required]

  1. Download “signedbrowser.apk” from XDA thread.
  2. Go to general settings / security / check mark ‘Unknown sources’
  3. Use any file manager (with no root permissions) and navigate to system / apps / and install Browser ProviderProxy.apk. It will fail, this is fine.
  4. Reboot your phone.
  5. Open file manager and install “signedbrowser.apk” from the location it was downloaded to.
  6. Uncheck unknown sources from your settings / security.

Bingo! And you’ve AOSP browser installed.

aosp-browser

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/install-stock-aosp-android-browser-without-root/feed/ 0
E3 PS4 2014 Live Announcements [Video Stream, Predictions] http://geeknizer.com/e3-ps4-2014-live-announcements/ http://geeknizer.com/e3-ps4-2014-live-announcements/#comments Sun, 01 Jun 2014 09:37:03 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13069 Read more »]]> The yearly game developer conference would be live on 9PM EST, on 9th June 2014. The event would be broadcasted live to all the states in United states and also can be watched online.

ps4-e3

New Games announcements / rumors for PS4 at E3 2014

  1.  Uncharted 4
  2. Project Morpheus: VR headset from sony
  3. PS Vita TV
  4. PS Plus for EU and more
  5. Many new Indie games.
  6. Last of us remastered for PS4
  7. Driveclub demo, release in october
  8. Gran Turismo 7 – a remastered Gran Turismo 6 with 1080p @60FPS
  9. God of War Ascension
  10. Bungie’s FPS Destiny
  11. A new game in Wipeout series.
  12. Return of Syphon Filter
  13. The last Guardian
  14. GTA 5
  15. Resident Evil 7
  16. EA’s Mass Effect 4
  17. Assasins Creed Unity
  18. Battlefield Hardline
  19. Project beast –  a game from The Dark Souls creator.
  20. Mirror’s Edge 2
  21. The order 1886
  22. Mortal Kombat 8
  23. Kingdom Hearts 3
  24. Dishonoured - Arkane Studio’s stealth action-adventure
  25. Deus Ex Human Revolution 2 (or Deus Ex 4)

How to Watch E3 Live Video Stream

1. You can watch All of E3 2014 Live Video Stream here.

2. PS4 Exclusive announcements here.

More links would be updated here

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/e3-ps4-2014-live-announcements/feed/ 0
Fix, Decode Play Store Error Codes on Android http://geeknizer.com/fix-decode-play-store-error-codes-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/fix-decode-play-store-error-codes-on-android/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 18:32:59 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13059 Read more »]]> Google Play store is home for all kinds of Android apps, games, Books, Music, Magazines but often Play store acquires a bad taste and results in error codes that we don’t really like.

With this guide, we make sure you’ll be able to Read, understand Fix those Play Store errors on your Android device.

Note: This guide is replicated from xda thread.

Play-Store-errors

Disclaimer: Try the solutions at your own risk. although they cause no harm, but they might not even cause good in some rare cases.

Decode and Fix Play Store Error codes on Android Device

Error 491: Downloads and updates impossible.
Solution: Remove your account. Reboot your Android and add the account once again. Next, in the settings, go to Apps (Applications) and swipe and select ‘All’ of your apps. Scroll down to Google Services, then click clear data and finally force stop.

Error 498: Interruption of downloads from the Google Play Store
Solution: Cache of your device is full. Delete unneeded applications and files. If you’re rooted, and have CWM recovery installed, restart your smartphone in recovery mode by pressing the volume down, power and home buttons (for Samsung devices) or volume down and power (for most other devices). This mode provides a few more options. Select wipe cache partition by navigating between options with the volume rocker. Confirm using the power button.

Error 919: Downloading the app works but it does not open once downloaded.
Solution: Your device is seriously low on memory. Get rid of unwanted apps, data.

Error 413: Downloading applications or updates is impossible. If you use a proxy, remember that it may cause problems with the operation of the Google Play Store.
Solution: In Settings -> All, look for Google Services and clear data and then force stop. Repeat same for Google Play Store app and clear the cache from your browser.

Error 923: The download is impossible: error while syncing your Google account or insufficient cache memory.
Solution: Remove your Google account and delete any useless applications that are just taking up space. Next, reboot your device in recovery mode. Select wipe cache partition and start your device as usual. Set up your Google account once again.

Error 921:  You can’t download a particular app.
Solution: Clear cache for Google Play Store application. If this doesn’t work, delete all the Play Store application data. If none of that works, remove your Google account, restart the device and enter it again.

Error 403: The download is impossible. This usually happens when two Google accounts are used to buy applications on one device.
Solution: Go the Google Play Store with the correct Google account. Uninstall the application in question. Next, try to get the app from Google Play again and click the purchase button.

Error 492: It’s impossible to install an application due to the Dalvik cache.
Solution: Settings > apps > all > Google Services. Click clear data and then force stop. Do the same on the Google Play Store app.

Note: If the problem is not solved, try deleting the Dalvik cache in recovery. If it still doesn’t work, you might be out of luck and have to data wipe/ factory reset. Be sure to make backups.

Error 927: The download is impossible because an update of the Play Store is in progress.
Solution: Wait a few minutes until the Google Play Store is completely upgraded. If the problem persists, go to settings, then Apps, swipe to All and locate the Google Services. Tap on clear data and then force stop. Do the same with the Google Play Store application.

Error 101: You cant download anything because you have many apps installed
Solution: Uninstall any useless apps
or
Clear play store data and remove Google account and re-login.

Error 481: Error in your google account
Solution: Remove your account and use other one.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/fix-decode-play-store-error-codes-on-android/feed/ 0
Andy: Run Android apps, Games on OS X, Windows PC http://geeknizer.com/andy-run-android-apps-games-on-os-x-windows-pc/ http://geeknizer.com/andy-run-android-apps-games-on-os-x-windows-pc/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 12:43:57 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13051 Read more »]]> We’ve seen number of emulators and dual boot options for running Android apps and games on PC, Mac. Bluestacks, by far had been the best solution available.

andy-windows-ox-android

Existing Android Emulators don’t provide full Android look n feel and performance. Andy aka Andyroid is here to change that.

Andy is a full solution to Android on PC: Windows, Mac OSX without compromises. You can easily run and install Android apps and even demanding games.

Here are the Features of Andy that sets it above Bluestacks and competition:

  1. Use your phone as remote control while playing games on Mac, Windows PC.
  2. Run all your Android apps including WhatsApp, Viber, Line from PC.
  3. Seamless transition of apps from PC to mobile, supports cloudsave.
  4. x86 Native apps, Full ARM supported with a high performance emulator.
  5. Runs all demanding graphics hungry Android games on PC.
  6. Full Android Look and feel.
  7. Run apps from Desktop.
  8. Full android filesystem access.
  9. Full Push notifications support to Desktop.

 

android-apps-on-pc android-games-on-pc android-native-onpc-comparison-andy-vs-bluestacks

Get started with Android apps on Windows, Mac OS X with Andy.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/andy-run-android-apps-games-on-os-x-windows-pc/feed/ 8
Shoot 3D Parallax Photos on Android with Google Camera http://geeknizer.com/shoot-3d-parallax-photos-on-android-with-google-camera/ http://geeknizer.com/shoot-3d-parallax-photos-on-android-with-google-camera/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:25:29 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13044 Read more »]]> Google Camera recently announced an upgrade to Google Camera, which is now available to all Android devices via Play Store.

The upgraded Google camera offers UI uplift along with handful of features. Among the best of the features is the “Lens blur” that lets you create DSL-like defocus (bokeh) effect on any Android phone. In order to shoot such blurred photo, Google camera senses the depth of field as it instructs you to move the camera firmly up from the subject. Under the hood, it does depth analysis by generating depth map using complex CVS (computer vision) algorithms.

depthy-android

What’s even better is, using this depth information from the photos you’ve taken using Google camera’s Lens Blur, you can create 3D Parallax photos instantly as demoed below:

How to Shoot 3D Parallax photos on Android

Step 1. Shoot a photo with Lens blur mode on Google Camera.

Step 2. Head to Depthy [web app] and upload your photo. [requires webgl on your browser]

Step 3. Within seconds, it will generate 3D parallax photo in either of the mode: Blur, Hypnotize (3D parallax), Dramatize (slow animating 3d parallax) .

Step 4. Use GifCam if you wish to save it as GIF.

You can also checkout the related XDA thread.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/shoot-3d-parallax-photos-on-android-with-google-camera/feed/ 0
Try Official MIUI Launcher Desktop, Dialer, Contacts on Any Android http://geeknizer.com/try-official-miui-launcher-desktop-dialer-contacts-on-any-android/ http://geeknizer.com/try-official-miui-launcher-desktop-dialer-contacts-on-any-android/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 05:07:52 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13036 Read more »]]> MIUI, the chinese Xiaomi’s subsidiary has been known for its innovative MIUI ROM. MIUI is rich in customizations, mods, versatile settings.

Miui on android

MIUI now has officially made MIUI Desktop Launcher, Dial, Contacts app, MIUI SMS, Cloud, Millet system available for All non-rooted Android devices. The app is in beta test stages but works flawlessly. The app suite works on any Android 4.0+ without root.

Download MIUI apps APK from http://xitong.xiaomi.com/index (~27mb)

 

miui-android-apps

Installing a custom ROM is simply beyond most Android users. MIUI understands that now and they would like to increase the spread of their customers. The look and feel, features, everything has been made available as-is for non-rooted android phones, may it be stock ROM of Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, Nexus, Motorola. It works on every single Stock Android 4.0+ smartphone.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/try-official-miui-launcher-desktop-dialer-contacts-on-any-android/feed/ 0
Enable, Disable ART Runtime on Any Stock 4.4 KitKat ROM from Recovery http://geeknizer.com/enable-art-runtime-on-any-stock-4-4-kitkat-rom/ http://geeknizer.com/enable-art-runtime-on-any-stock-4-4-kitkat-rom/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:04:08 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13030 Read more »]]> ART Runtime is replacing the aging dalvik runtime for good: performance and extended battery.

What is ART Runtime

Dalvik Runtime is being replaced with next generation ART (android runtime) in Android 5.x or later. Google has introduced it now so that developers can start testing their apps with it in KitKat 4.4.x

The older Dalvik uses what is called JIT runtime compiler which basically compiles java dex code to optimized native code (C binary) at the runtime.
The next gen ART uses AOT (Ahead of time) compiler which optimizes and converts java/dex code to Native during installation (ahead of time).

art-runtime

How is ART better
Both have their pros and cons, but overall AOT is faster than JIT. AOT is better at doing fast things really fast e.g. Scrolling a page in app (list, images, webview, etc) would be faster with AOT (used by ART), less often it would need to reclaim memory (GC -> garbage collector) vs. JIT.
JIT used by Dalvik has added advantages of being able to optimize java/dex code to native better, but it takes time to do so.

Overall ART should give faster launch times, smoother scrolling and better battery. Its still in alpha stage, we probably will see ART in Android 5.0 L-release doing wonders.

How to Enable ART on any Stock or AOSP ROM

Simplest way to enable ART on an AOSP ROM is through “Developer options > select runtime”. But sadly, the option is not even available in most stock ROMs may it be HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola etc. The work around is following the steps mentioned below:

Pre-requisites:
1. Rooted 4.4.x ROM (Stock or Custom) with some custom recovery (CWM or TWRP)
2. Xposed framework is not compatible with ART runtime. You must uninstall Xposed framework before continuing.
3. To Check If You Are Using ART Or Dalvik, goto
Open data/property/persist.sys.dalvik.vm.lib in Text Editor, if it shows ‘libart.so’, you’re already on ART, else it would say ‘libdvm.so’.
4. Full list of apps that don’t work with ART.
Note: If libart.so and libart-compiler.so is Not Present in lib folder. Your ROM Doesn’t Support ART.

Update: There are essentionally two Methods: 1. Independent flashable Zips 2. AROMA based installer.
Follow any method.

Step 1.
Method 1. Download Enable ART, Enable Dalvik flashable Zips from xda thread.
Method 2 (AROMA): Download AROM ART/Dalvik switcher from XDA thread.

Step 2.
Method 1. Flash the Enable ART zip in recovery and clear Dalvik cache.
Method 2. In recovery, choose zip and AROMA installer will help you through rest of the process.

Reboot, your ROM would boot and create ART cache for the first boot.

Troubleshooting: If you’ve any bootloops or problems, you can revert the change at anytime by flashing enable dalvik zip if you’re following Method 1. If you’re following Method 2, use AROMA again to switch back to Dalvik.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer OR on Facebook FanpageGoogle+

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/enable-art-runtime-on-any-stock-4-4-kitkat-rom/feed/ 0
How Google Maps Traffic Works? http://geeknizer.com/how-google-maps-traffic-works/ http://geeknizer.com/how-google-maps-traffic-works/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:47:02 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=11085 Read more »]]> If you live in one of the popular cities around the world, Google Maps display Live Traffic on the Roads, for the area you are viewing on the map.

Not just the Live data, Google Maps can even predict the Future Traffic that would be on a particular Road/Route, for a particular, day/date/time combo. This prediction is made based upon the data that was available on same day, last week, last month or last year, based upon if it was a public holiday, a working day or just a normal weekend.

How Google Maps show Traffic on Roads, Routes?

The data is aggregated from several sources, including road sensors, as well as car and taxi fleets.

The traffic data comes from multiple sources in order for it to be considered reliable. It is relatively easy to put in road sensors, say every mile on major highways, that detect the speed of vehicles going by. But they are expensive. So a company or municipality pays for the sensors, and then it sells the data. There are many different buyers for the data, including TV and radio news programs, Google and other mapping companies, GPS companies (which now include traffic data monitoring), cell phone services, government agencies, etc.

So, the traffic data comes from a variety of sources, including government departments of transportation, private data providers, and users of Google Maps for mobile who contribute anonymous speed information through Google’s traffic crowdsourcing feature. This data comes from your Android, iOS, Palm WebOS, Blackberry, Symbian S60, Windows Phone and other smartphones using Google Maps on it.

Though the traffic data is updated every few minutes, the actual accuracy varies based upon number of sources of the data. So if in a city, lots of users use smartphones for directions, Google Maps would be able to predict better traffic estimates. If there isn’t enough data to create minimum threshold accuracy, Google Maps would not show Traffic conditions at all.

Anonymous Location collection from Smartphones

On your smartphone, most of us use Google Maps (with or without GPS enabled), your phone sends anonymous bits of data back to Google describing how fast you’re moving. This information is compared against the data coming in from other smartphones within the same area. USing some complex algorithms, it would average out speeds of the actual moving cars and smartly ignore road-side walkers or slow drivers. This data comes from thousands of phones from around the city, and data is enough for Google Maps to start showing Traffic conditions. Of course, more data comes from users, more accurate it gets.

Is Google Maps Traffic available in My city?

Like we said, if you live in a popular city with good amount of smartphones, you will probably have Live Traffic conditions in maps.google.com and in mobile apps. For the U.S., its available in more than 70 cities, UK, Europe are also well covered including various major cities in Asia like China, India, Japan, Russia, thailand bringing the total number of cities to 1000s worldwide.

You can check if your city is covered by following this link on Google Maps.

Privacy: Is it Safe for Google to know My Location? Can I disable it?

As per Google, they have built this service (like others) with privacy protections in from the start. All data is anonymized before speed and location information is fed to Google Servers to calculate traffic conditions. And if you disable to share your location, Google will totally opt-you out.

Privacy measures go further. When a lot of people are reporting data from the same area, Google combines their data together to make it hard to distinguish at the very source. Google takes privacy concerns related to user location data seriously, by all means its supposed to be protected.  But if you’re very picky and would like to opt-out, follow instructions here.

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us @geeknizer on Twitter OR Google+ or on Facebook Fanpage

]]>
http://geeknizer.com/how-google-maps-traffic-works/feed/ 1