Geeknizer http://geeknizer.com iPhone, Android, mobile, Technology news Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:28:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 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)

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Root, Upgrade to Stock 4.4.2 KitKat on Xperia Z1 [C6902, c6903] http://geeknizer.com/root-upgrade-to-stock-4-4-2-kitkat-on-xperia-z1/ http://geeknizer.com/root-upgrade-to-stock-4-4-2-kitkat-on-xperia-z1/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 06:42:18 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13022 Read more »]]> Official 4.4.4 KitKat has rolled to Xperia Z line of devices including Xperia Z1, Z, ZL and Z Ultra.

Upgrading is startightforward as long as you recieve OTAs. However, if you’ve been unlucky to not receive it, you can follow this guide.

Note: This guide doesn’t require you to Unlock Bootloader. So, your warrant is NOT void. But do it at your own risk, don’t brick your device. We recommend you read Xperia Rooting basics if you’re a beginner.

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How to Upgrade to 4.4.2 14.3.A.0.681 on Xperia Z1 (Stock unrooted)

Pre-requisites:

  1. Download 14.3.A.0.681 FTF file for your device model (C6903, C6902, etc) from here.
  2. FlashTool

Warning: This will erase your internal storage and all apps. Take necessary backups.

Step 1. Run FlashTool
Step 2. Switch off your phone, enter flashmode (Volume down as you plug in power cable).
Step 3. Flash FTF via flashtool. (refer: full flashtool guide)

After reboot you’ll have official 4.4.2 Kitkat

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How to Upgrade and Root 4.4.2 [14.3.A.0.681 build] on Xperia Z1 (Full root, C6902, C6903)

Prereqisites:

  1. Download 14.1.G.1.534 FTF file for your device model (C6903, C6902, etc) from here.
  2. Download 14.3.A.0.681 Flashable Zip & Stripped FTF from here.
  3. FlashTool
  4. Working Adb

ETA: 1-2 hours
Warning: This will erase your internal storage and all apps. Take necessary backups.

Step 1. Flash 14.1.G.1.534 Flash Tool. When finished, switch on your phone, it would boot normally.

Step 2. Enable Developer Settings then USB debugging and lastly enable “Security > Unknown sources” in settings.

Step 3. Use VRoot or Root360 to root your device (both are in Chinese but they are easy to use). Checkout Rooting guide

Step 4. Install SuperSU from Play Store and run it.

Step 5. Install DualRecovery using windows installer (bat file) or linux installer. Run the installer, choose SuperSU when prompted and it will root your device and reboot automatically when done.

Note: Step 5 and 6 explains flashing of 4.4.2 KitKat Zip (Official thread on XDA)

Step 5. Flash 4.4.2 Zip through TWRP (don’t reboot, just power off)

Step 6. While in power off state, enter Flashmode (Volume down as you plug in power cable) and flash FTF stripped via flashtool.

on Reboot, you’ll boot into fully Rooted stock 4.4.2 KitKat on Xperia Z1.

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Incoming Call Floating Popout on Android [Multitasking] http://geeknizer.com/incoming-call-floating-popout-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/incoming-call-floating-popout-on-android/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 17:08:52 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13014 Read more »]]> Floating and multitasking apps are trending fashion on Android platform. Floating apps let you use the app without leaving another app, making multitasking a snap.

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When your phone rings, a circle popout pophead arrives on the center/bottom/top of the screen. You can touch and drag the head to answer/reject/silence/quick reply to the caller/enable disable speaker mode.

Among settings, you can set the Head border color, Make ringer silent on touch, Keep popout stay on screen on pickup, filter apps on which call popout will be displayed.

We gave the app a try, it is lightweight and works flawlessly on several android devices. Certain features are pro only but free features should keep your taste buds satisfied.

Download Call Popout

App doesn’t require root.

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Track, Analyze Your Android app Usage http://geeknizer.com/track-analyze-android-app-usage/ http://geeknizer.com/track-analyze-android-app-usage/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 16:28:28 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=13009 Read more »]]> There are battery analyzers that help you catch battery hog app, call trackers that track calling behavior and generate reports. What you might not have seen so far is app usage behavior/patterns.

aptrax

You might want to track most used apps and even the unused apps (which can be uninstalled). Aptrax lets you track app usage habits, having more choices is never a bad thing. You can track down the apps you rarely use or never used. Click on the app in the list and you can uninstall these applications directly from within Aptrax’s  interface.

apptrax

Aptrax tracks:

  1. Total time spent in applications,
  2. how many times each app was launched.

Download Aptrax from Play Store or Aptrax from Xda

Frequency is an alternative app which serves the same purpose.

Aptrax is totally free, with no ads, and has almost zero battery drain.

 

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Project Tango: Indoor Human-scale understanding of 3D Space, Mapping http://geeknizer.com/project-tango-indoor-mapping-3d-space-mobile/ http://geeknizer.com/project-tango-indoor-mapping-3d-space-mobile/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:13:30 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12999 Read more »]]> Google’s ATAP team has achieved a new breakthrough. The Project Tango takes a step closer towards converging real world with the virtual world. A new combination of hardware and software helps interpret and render indoor dynamics — whether its your room, hall or walkway.

google-tango-mapping

Humans use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around. With our eyes, we estimate size, shape and dynamics of the objects around us.  with almost no effort we learn to use these parameters as we interact with the space and objects around us. Unlike our 3-D vision, Mobile devices even with their cameras fail to understand most of this coz they are limited to 2-D. This gap has be narrowed down by a large margin.

Project Tango aims at giving mobile phones human-scale understanding of space and motion and thus help us navigate indoors easily and more smartly than ever.  With Project Tango you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone.

tango-mobile

mobile-3d-mapping

Google had been working with various Research labs, Universities to fulfill this dream of Computer Vision (CV). Their new prototype mobile phones are nothing but standard android smartphones with 2 cameras (3-D). The project is pretty much in early testing phase but field trials seem to be very promising. Tango would be able to solve numerous problems like:

  1. Never again get lost in a building. Coz somebody else had that building mapped, you will be able to get feet by feet walking directions.
  2. Google Maps navigation from your chair to the chair in the department X on Yth floor, in the Z building.
  3. Next generation Virtual Reality games: Play hid-n-seek with your favorite Game character, etc.
  4. Coz you walked with your phone at home, the device can already recommend you furniture sizes next time you go for shopping.
  5. Visaully-impaired can walk and navigate inside any building.

Watch Project Tango in Action

Sounds interesting? You can checkout more at http://www.google.com/atap/projecttango/

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Get Multiwindow SplitScreen Apps on Any Android http://geeknizer.com/get-multiwindow-splitscreen-apps-on-any-android/ http://geeknizer.com/get-multiwindow-splitscreen-apps-on-any-android/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:32:18 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12994 Read more »]]> Samsung was the first to make it possible to run two applications in SplitScreen. They call it MultiWindow. The SplitView sure comes handy for the large screen smartphone/Tablet user who is trying to multitask on his device.

Samsung’s implementation has its own limitations but there is absolutely no love for SplitScreen apps on other Android smartphones. Thankfully, rooted Android devices have the privilege of access to this feature through the Xposed framework module.

xmultiwindow-splitscreen xmultiwindow

XMultiWindow allows you to pick and drop apps from sidebar to the main area to create a SplitScreen / MultiWindow apps experience. What’s more is that you can resize individual application windows with no problem at all, something which even Samsung’s implementation is lacking.

Key Features of XMultiWindow:

  • Split any app to run in parallel with any other app.
  • Resize the window dimensions, individually
  • Launch MultiWindow app chooser sidebar anytime with gesture.
  • Full support for Orientation changes.
  • 2 Workspaces.

How to Install XMultiWindow

Step 1. Make sure Android phone is rooted, Install Xposed framework.

Step 2. Install XMultiWindow Apk

Step 3. Once module is installed, you need to go to the Xposed app and activate the module and Reboot.

Step 4. Once phone reboots, go to the Xposed app > modules > XMultiWindow and configure your preferences. Ideally, you can set Sidebar window position according to your needs. Then, slide-out apps bar from left to right.

Step 5. Use the slide gesture to open up the sidebar and click apps to launch them in MultiWindow mode.

Enjoy the MultiWindow SplitScreen apps.

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Auto Expo 2014: Honda Concept XS-1, NSX, City, Mobilio http://geeknizer.com/auto-expo-2014-honda-concept-xs-1-nsx-city-mobilio/ http://geeknizer.com/auto-expo-2014-honda-concept-xs-1-nsx-city-mobilio/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:27:55 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12918 Read more »]]> Auto Expo happens to be biannual (once in two years) Automotive show in India, in its capital New Delhi.
With over 50 Car, bikes and other automotive manufacturers, It was a delightful sight for Indian consumers where they can see the latest in automotives.

Honda had been campaigning big for

High res photos at Geek Photography

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The event was anchored by Nikhil Channapa, the popular VJ on MTV India.

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Honda Mobilio is a newly unveiled 7-seater MUV for Indian market. The exteriors feel much safer than Maruti Suzuki’s Ertiga. The mileage claim is kept better than competition, but we will have to see how it performs in real world.

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Honda XS-1 Concept

is a state of the art concept Family vehicle which aims to make rides fun. Its designed to be chromeless- more space and less of interiors that usually come in the way. Among entertainment options, it has PlayStation on-board along with full AV system.

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High res photos at Geek Photography

Honda NSX Concept

NSX is a super sports, super luxury compact car

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Honda City 2014

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Best of CES 2014 – The Self-Drifting car – BMW M235i http://geeknizer.com/best-of-ces-2014-the-self-drifting-car-bmw-m235i/ http://geeknizer.com/best-of-ces-2014-the-self-drifting-car-bmw-m235i/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 17:00:40 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12901 Read more »]]> This year’s CES is all about wearable tech, 4k, 8k large TVs, innovative startups and self-driven Autonomous cars.

Audi has come up with a new self-driven car called the A7 that can make your journey comfortable as soon as you hit the highway. This is just like what we saw with Google self-driven cars minus the giant ugly-ass radar, camera and sensors mounted all over the place. Audi with its A7 has managed to pack all of them under the hood, making it look like a normal sedan.

Normally when we think of Self-driven cars, we think of comfort and pleasant drive but BMW is taking to whole new level, they are adding fun and spicing it up. BMW has taken a giant-leap ahead by bringing a revolution in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML) and Neural networks. With their new algorithms and engineering in place, they can make an autonomous do most racing men cannot.

bmw-autonomous-drift

BMW’s new M235i coupe is capable of drifting across the racing track at high speeds maintaining the dynamics of the car in perfection as it turns through the curvy roads of a track. Its unlike anything we’ve seen so far. The M5 can not only complete a hurdle race faster than any human, it does it a level of perfection un-achievable by experts.

The verge had a chance to go handson with this autonomous racing monster and they were amazed:

With new ultra-sonic radar and 360-degree stereo camera technology, BMW’s autonomous driving assistant is also intelligent enough to change lanes to overtake slower vehicles and then pull back. This is something competition still finds hard to tackle with. This coupe is also capable of showing the optimal line around a race track, accelerating hard down straights and lining up corner apexes perfectly.

BMW has estimated to mass produce this car by 2020 at an affordable price of $75,000. Meanwhile, they would keep releasing cars with subset of M235i’s features.

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Mirror Android display to Any PC, Mac, Apple TV [AirPlay] http://geeknizer.com/mirror-android-display-to-any-pc-mac-apple-tv/ http://geeknizer.com/mirror-android-display-to-any-pc-mac-apple-tv/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:01:10 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12890 Read more »]]> iOS devices let you AirPlay the display to OS X or to an Apple TV. Android does similar thing with Miracast, but only the latest Android devices, and latest HDTVs support Miracast. Older devices were out of luck, till recent.

android-mirror-airplay

What you need to Mirror wireless display:

  • Any post-2012 Android device (it might work on 2011 devices too, but not guaranteed)
  • Any Rooted Android 1.6 – 4.4 ROM (stock or custom)
  • Wireless router

Cyangonmod’s lead developer Koushik Dutta has made it possible to be able to wirelessly stream your Android display on to another PC, Mac, Linux, Apple TV, (and even another android device). This is an ideal thing to do when you wish to watch videos, photos, on the big display, without having to use any HDMI cable.

The best use case is of course gaming on the large HDTV, wirelessly. At present experience is far from perfect but its mostly smooth with frame-rates around 20fps for Full HD 1920×1080 resolutions. (720p phones might even achieve 30fps+, I haven’t tested it).

How to Wirelessly Mirror, Screencast Android Display to TV, PC, OS X

At the time of writing Mirror app is experimental, and available through beta signup. If you’re using CM11 nightlies, you should already have Mirror under Settings > Display > wireless displays.

Step 1. Join Cyanogenmod community, then join the beta.

Step 2. Once signed-up, go to Play store and install it.

Step 3. After installation, run the app, it will confirm installation to system partition, this needs root.

Step 4. Next time you launch app, you’ll have list of AirPlay devices nearby, and even record screencasts. Connect to any and start streaming screen.

mirror-android-screen

Note: For viewing AirPlay stream on Windows, you can use any app that supports AirPlay rendering e.g. XBMC.

Android Screen mirroring in action:

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Xperia Z1 Review Verdict: Good, bad http://geeknizer.com/xperia-z1-verdict-good-bad/ http://geeknizer.com/xperia-z1-verdict-good-bad/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 14:07:48 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12869 Read more »]]> Sony’s flagship device Xperia Z1 improves on original Z and makes it a lot better than before. Sony has done some marvellous job while making this waterproof phone sturdy and attractive on paper. But is it right for you? Read on to find out.

xperia-z1-screen

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Pros: What’s Good

1. Amazing Build Quality:
Attention to detail and materials used on Z1 and extremely marvellous. Its on par with HTC One and iPhones. Its designed to stun every user. Once you hold this device, you know its like no other. It feels sturdy and rock solid in hand. With solid aluminium tapering the device and glass on front and rear, this is the most premium feel phone money can buy.

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Checkout High quality Z1 close-up photos.

2. Specs to impress:
Z1 sports top of the line Snapdragon 800 2.24Ghz processor, Adreno 330, 5″ 1080p display, 2GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE, etc.

3. Battery life:
Sony offers a sealed 3000mAh. This battery gives you 3hours of screen time plus 1.5 days of standby. Even a heavy user like my very own would not run out of juice in under 24 hours. Light users can juice out 2 days of usage. (All this battery life and sony charges the phone only upto 90-95% for extended life, which means you will not deteriorate battery in 3 years or so.)

Sony offers good options for battery saving. Enabling them significantly reduces battery usage by restricting background apps to consume data/processing when screen is off. You can choose what apps can still connect to the internet. Among other tweaks, you can optionally switch off mobile data, gps, etc when required parameters are met.

Z1 battery life

4. External SD Card: 
Upto 128gb external + 16gb internal. Good transfer speeds.

5. Accurate, clear Display:
Despite marketing misnomers like Trilumnios technology and X-Reality, Xperia Z1 has one of the most accurate display on market. Its produces the right colors, and makes them look closest to the natural colors on any smartphone. Samsung’s AMOLEDs are known to be over saturated, it may be appealing to the most, but its never accurate. Xperia Z1′s display is crisp and easier to read in bright lights vs. AMOLEDs.

z1-front

z1-back-rear

6. Camera:
Camera is pretty good on paper with 20.7MP, F2.0 Aperture and 1/2.3″ sensor size. That’s the best we’ve seen in Android phones at least on paper. In reality it does a pretty good job too. For day shots, its slightly below Note 3, Optimus G2, but in low-light night shots, its miles ahead. It is not as good as Lumia 1020 but better than Lumia 920, HTC One in low light, otherwise. All-in-all Camera is 2nd best to Lumia 1020, making it best Android camera smartphone.

Two-state Camera hardware button is a great add.

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7. Waterproof (up to 1 meter), dust proof – A great add for adventurous folks.

8. Shatter-proof screen guard - The front and rear have a stock Shatter-proof screen guard which will hold the gorilla glass intact in case of any impact.

9. Super fast and Zero lag:
Z1 with its Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 and blot-free Sony minimal customizations, is among the fastest smartphones. In our speed test Z1 on 4.2.2 is second fastest among android phones falling right behind Nexus 5  on 4.4.1.

10. Clean, Bloat-free OS with usable apps:
Being a Samsung user for long, I’ve always complained about low-quality apps and bloatware in TouchWhiz. For instance, Note 3 idle RAM usage is 1.6GB with 60+ processes running when on idle. Sony has done it right, not only it has few bloat apps, most of the apps are really well designed.

Walkman app is beautiful and featureful. It can play all music formats from MP3, Aac, to lossless audio like FLAC. Sony has OS wide support for DLNA and miracast streaming standards that makes music and video streaming from network a breeze. e.g. You can view, play and control music playback on your XBMC (or any DLNA enabled TV, mediabox, PC) from the walkman app. For music, photos and videos, it acts as DLNA renderer, DLNA server, DLNA client. i.e. you can control music on other devices, stream from other to local, and stream to other devices on the network. This is the cleanest and most seamless implementation of DLNA ever seen on Android phones, just like AirPlay on iOS.

Gallery app, Camera app, etc all have an easy and usable interface.

Cons: Whats Bad

1. Bad viewing angles:
This could be blessing for few and nightmare for others. Screen is perfectly colorful, rich in contrast when looked head-on. Flip the screen more than 20 degrees and colors, luminosity,  contrasts start to fade drastically. But how many times do you view your phone like that? For others, it provides additional privacy not offered by other displays. The reason behind poor viewing angles is Sony has used TN display technology rather than IPS.

2. Camera processing:
The camera hardware is pretty capable but Sony has software issues. The software suffers from focus-hunting, back focus (rare), over-sharpened images and high noise (with detail preserved). In general Xperia Z1 vs. Note 3, one can see sharper pictures from Z1, but they are noisier. Sony has history of screwing up software initially, and then improving it over time. The trend has been seen in Xperia smartphones, and alpha camera lineup. It would get better with time.

The camera app also tends to overexpose images by 1-2 stops. Work-around right now is to use manual mode and use -0.7 exposure compensation for taking shots.

It is said that coz Sony had software issues with camera, they removed 4K video support prior to release. If they manage to fix noise issues, 4K should be coming soon.

If Sony is listening, I would like to see more manual controls on camera: Manual focus, manual shutter speed, ISO and aperture.

3. Heavy:
Phone is significantly heavier than any other phones in market. At 170g, its heavier than HTC One, Note 3 and any other android phone. Yet, phone is comfortable.

4. Prone to scratches:
The stock shatter-proof screen guard has its demerits: Its prone to scratches. You’ll have to put screen guard on front and rear in order to avoid ruining the anti-shatter guard. Removing it also removes the Sony logo from front, and your warranty. Make sure you get a good oleophobic, anti-scratch protector.

5. Not a modder’s paradise (yet):
Sony has screwed up bootloader on Xperia Z1. Developers still cant get access to Camera hardware on custom ROMs. As a result, there are not many custom ROMs on Z1. But its a matter of time. Sony would fix the issue with upcoming Android 4.4 update early next year, if not any sooner.
with android 4.3 rollout to Xperia Z1, problem is solved.

6. Underwhelming loudspeaker:
From a Sony phone one expects brilliant loudspeaker (like on good old walkman series), but sadly enough water proofing muffles up the speaker, and quality from the loudspeaker is slightly worse than Samsung Galaxy phones, but its quiet loud for most users. This shouldn’t bother many users. However, 3.5mm audio output is on par with other Snapdragon 800 phones.

Checkout High quality Z1 close-up photos

VERDICT

Xperia Z1 is a phenomenal Sony smartphone. But it may not be right for everyone. After using Note 3, Nexus 5, Optimus G2, I settled with Xperia Z1.

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Fix Android Media server scanner SDcard CPU, Battery drain http://geeknizer.com/fix-android-media-server-scanner-sdcard-cpu-battery-drain/ http://geeknizer.com/fix-android-media-server-scanner-sdcard-cpu-battery-drain/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:16:05 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12858 Read more »]]> What is Mediaserver?

Mediaserver or Media scanner on Android is designed to scan and index every media file: Images, Videos, Music and make the list available to all Android apps, so that they don’t have to do the repetitive tasks. But it isn’t perfect.

Media server can have strange behaviors and tends to be buggy. Very often you can end-up shedding 50% of your battery on Media scans. Not only does media scanner go wrong on custom ROMs but many of the official stock ROMs too. So out of the blue, one day the media scanner would run crazy and drain your battery.

mediaserver-battery

How to Fix Mediaserver / scanner Battery drain

One quick way to get around is to stop Media scanner service altogether (using apps on Play store) but that way your songs, photos, videos would vanish from your gallery, music player.

The situation is more frequent once your sdcard (internal or external) gets old and you’ve lots of files.

mediaserver-battery-drain

I had been digging out how to fix it, and here are my solutions. Perhaps try al of them, it would definitely relieve your cpu and battery usage by large. Solution works on any Android version:

Solution 1. Clear media storage data

The simplest solution is to clear media storage database and let it restart the process from scratch. Chances are this will fix most of the issues with Mediascanner/Mediaserver. Do the following, and it should help ease-out the pain:

Settings > applications > Media Storage > clear data, force stop and reboot.

Solution 2. Remove unwanted media files

Mediaserver really does a hard job while analyzing each media file it encounters, reading metadata, generating thumbnails, inserting into Android mediastore database. You can ease-out its processing by removing unwanted, trash files.

Navigate to /sdcard/DCIM/.thumbnails and delete all files. Repeat for external sd card. On AOSP ROMs, Android gallery creates too many of thumbnails that later becomes problematic for media scanner. Deleting them once in few months is a good idea.

Note: If this is a very slow process, use adb commandline to delete these

adb shell
cd /sdcard/DCIM/.thumbnails
rm *

Solution 3. Analyze and Delete excessive media files

As we discussed in solution 2 that mediaserver can be doing heavy lifting due to excessive media files on sdcards. In this step we find-out what files are causing media scanner to go mad.

You can use any sdcard analyst from Play Store (I use ES file manager > menu > Sd card analyst) to determine which directory has lots of files/subdirectories. Any directory having >1000 files/folders is an alarmingly high number. Get rid of them (if you can). However, do not delete any apps/system files in the process.

Solution 4. Probe and Delete bad/damaged media

If you’re sure you’ve tried above solutions and still encountering battery drain, its time to dig deeper with the help of Android developer tools.

Pre-requisites:

  1. You must be rooted,
  2. Android developer tools setup with ADB being able to detect devices connected to USB (Windows, OS X, or Linux)

With ADB tools installed, enter shell and acquire SuperUser permissions:

adb shell
su

Note: You might be prompted on phone to authorize superuser access. You must Grant it

Then run “top” (linux process manager) to see which process is eating your phone’s CPU. The command below filters top results related with media scanner:

top -grep media

Running the above command would respond something like:

130|root@n7000:/ # top | grep media
1905 0 15% S 7 23080K 6168K bg media /system/bin/mediaserver
2808 0 42% S 3 3524K 740K media_rw /system/bin/sdcard
2825 0 11% S 19 255832K 43936K bg u0_a5 android.process.media

%age cpu shows media server is eating cpu and needs to be fixed. Run the following command to determine which file is it currently reading.

lsof | grep media_rw

root@n7000:/ # lsof | grep media_rw
sdcard 2808 media_rw exe ??? ??? ??? ??? /system/bin/sdcard
sdcard 2808 media_rw 0 ??? ??? ??? ??? /dev/null
sdcard 2808 media_rw 1 ??? ??? ??? ??? /dev/null
sdcard 2808 media_rw 2 ??? ??? ??? ??? /dev/null
sdcard 2808 media_rw 3 ??? ??? ??? ??? /dev/fuse
sdcard 2808 media_rw 4 ??? ??? ??? ??? anon_inode:inotify
sdcard 2808 media_rw 5 ??? ??? ??? ??? /mnt/media_rw/sdcard1
sdcard 2808 media_rw 6 ??? ??? ??? ??? /mnt/media_rw/sdcard1/audiobooks
sdcard 2808 media_rw 7 ??? ??? ??? ??? /mnt/media_rw/sdcard1/audiobooks/2-14 Einstein CD 02- Track 14.mp3

If the media service is stuck at a directory/file for a long time, you know it’s a damaged media file, you should probably get rid of it.

Once you get rid of all such files/directories, its guaranteed media server would finish scanning soon enough.

Solution 5: Format SD cards

If nothing works (or you’re noob enough to try solution 4): Take backup and format Internal, external SD card and copy only selective files/folders that you need. Problems would go away for sure.

Solution 6: Disable Media scanner

If your Droid is against you and it just won’t tame, its time to disable the media scanner. You can do this from adb shell

adb shell
su
pm disable com.android.providers.media/com.android.providers.media.MediaScannerReceiver

You can re-enable it later with:

pm enable com.android.providers.media/com.android.providers.media.MediaScannerReceiver

Say goodbye to mediascanner problems, forever.

Still got problems? Leave your logs in the comments section, we will get back to you as early as possible.

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Easily Manage Tabs on Chrome: Find, Switch, Preview Tab http://geeknizer.com/easily-manage-tabs-on-chrome-find-switch-preview-tab/ http://geeknizer.com/easily-manage-tabs-on-chrome-find-switch-preview-tab/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 16:55:23 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12850 Read more »]]> Analytics have found that users use their web browser 50% of the time while they are connected to the internet. And when they do so, they have several browser tabs/windows open. If you’re like me, you have 20+ Tabs open at any moment, and Tab discovery is a mess.

too many chrome tabs

too many chrome tabs

Once you open 15+ tabs, discoverability and switching among them becomes tedious. What if you could easily Manage tabs on your favorite browser, Chrome Easily?

Lets go over some apps that help you make Tab management easier than ever.

1. Fruumo Tab

Fruumo Tab lets you Manage Tabs on chrome with single click (or keyboard shortcut) to switch, Find, preview a Tab on the fly. You can Pin, close, search, open a new tab from bookmarks, history, recently closed, and more.

fruumo-tab-chrome

You can access Fruumo Tab manager from icon which is placed on right side of the address bar. When opened, it displays complete list of your tabs, with their favicons and site titles. Along side every Tab item is the option to close, pin, refresh, move to separate window. There is a search bar at the top that lets you quickly juggle among tabs if you’re having too many of them open.

Install Fruumo Tab [Chrome webstore]

2. Chrome Expose

If you are more driven by previews (thumbnails) of the Chrome Tabs, try Chrome Expose extension.

Chrome Expose shows all tabs as Thumbnails.

tabexpose-chrome

Install Chrome Expose

3. Tabbr

Another App that offers Chrome Tabs details and search filter is Tabbr

tabbr

Install Tabbr

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Sony Alpha 7, 7R vs dSLR D800e, 5D Mark3 http://geeknizer.com/sony-alpha-7-7r-vs-dslr/ http://geeknizer.com/sony-alpha-7-7r-vs-dslr/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 10:10:54 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12833 Read more »]]> Sony has always been the most innovative product company when it comes to Photography. They were among the first to introduce a compact mirrorless camera that could challenge any entry-level DSLR.

Sony alpha NEX series (NEX 5, NEX 5N, NEX 5R, NEX 6, NEX 7) had superb image quality for the price. Not only are these compact, they are easier and offer better bang for the buck vs. any DSLR in the segment.

alpha7r

The new line of Alpha cameras have ditched the NEX branding for just “Alpha”. Alpha 7, Alpha 7R are two new full frame (35mm sensor size) cameras. These cameras are way cheaper than Nikon D800e and Canon 5D Mark III, and also come at fraction of size and weight.

The Alpha 7 is priced at $1699 (body only) and $1999 (with kit lens) and sports 24.4 Megapixels sensor. It has better focussing system than 7R, featuring Hybrid Phase-detect and Contrast-detect based fast focussing system. This is the fastest focussing system in Mirrorless cameras, yet.

The Alpha 7R is priced at $2299 and sports 36.3 Megapixels sensor. It ditches Low-pass anti-aliasing filter to produce sharper images overall but lacks in focussing speed, idealistic for Landscapes.

Alpha 7, 7R vs. DSLR Nikon D800e, Canon 5D Mark III

Sony alpha 7R vs. 5D Mark3 vs.D800e

1. Image quality, ISO performance

Alpha 7R, the camera with better imaging sensor of the both, can produce images on par with high-end Nikon D800e and Canon Mark III (samples coming soon). According to sources, its the same Sony sensor that Nikon uses in D800e, designed and manufactured by Sony itself. So its obvious ISO performance is very similar, if we consider RAW-only images.

Alpha 7 goes upto 25,600 ISO and produces 14bit RAW images, which are very comparable to usable ranges of high-end Canons and Nikons.

alpha7-sensor

2. Speed (FPS)

Alpha 7, 7R can do 5FPS continuos shooting at full resolution, which is quiet comparable to D800e, 5d Mark3 for the resolution.

3. Video

Alpha 7, 7R does 1080p video at 60FPS, which is better than D800e and 5D mark III which only do 30fps.

4. Focussing System

Alpha 7 has hybrid focussing system involving both Phase-detect and Contrast-detect focussing system which is almost as fast as mid-level DSLRs like Canon 60D or Nikon D3100. However its way more slower (and occasionally inaccurate) when compared to high-end professional cameras like Nikon D800e or Canon 5D MarkIII.

Alpha 7R is contrast-based focussing only, which makes it way more slower than any DSLR on market, only faster than other mirrorless cameras.

5. Metering system

Nikon and Canon offer better metering system in their cameras, but it is yet to be seen how Sony has performed in the new Mirrorless cameras.

6. Performance / Image processor

Sony is known to process RAW images to JPEGs quiet well, but it remains yet to be seen how well the new image processor BIONZ X processor stands against the competition.

7. Lenses

Sony has inadequate lens lineup to convince professionals. Sony now has 3 types of mount for lenses. This is bad for consumers and existing Sony alpha shooters.

alpha7r-lenses

Sony uses A-mount for its alpha DSLRs, and E-mont for mirrorless NEX cameras. Alpha 7, 7R adopt a new E-mount Full-frame, which means you need to buy new lenses. You can use A-mount Full-frame lenses but you need to buy a $350 LA-EA3 adaptor which makes lens slightly slower to focus, bulkier in use. The existing NEX’s E-mount can be used but they will work in crop mode only.

Buying a new lens for upgrading to this camera is a deal breaker for any serious professional with couple of existing lenses.

Among lens choices, a 24-70mm f/4 will be available for $1,200 in early February, a 35mm f/2.8 will ship in December for $800 and a 55mm f/1.8 will be available later that month for $1,000. There’s also a 70-200mm f/4 in the works. Sony plans to offer a total of 10 full-frame lenses by the end of 2014, with that figure expected to jump to 15 come 2015.

8. Features

In-camera features are not always what attract Professionals but they are always good to have.
Features like touchscreen, Wifi, NFC connectivity, in camera downloadable apps, in camera-effects, HDR, etc are way better in Sony Alphas than competition.

alpha7r-rear

EVF vs. OVF is a never ending discussion. EVF gives you a preview of what the frame looks like through the sensor, an approximate reflection of your final image with additional HUD and OVF reflects more of actual thing. Both have there pros and cons.

There are two-dial controls on new Alphas, but they may still not be enough as per professionals, but adequate for prosumers.

9. Price, Size

Again, Sony alpha wins here. A $2,299 Alpha 7R has the image quality of a $3,400 Nikon D800e, at a much smaller form-factor.
These new alphas weigh around 450grams vs. 900grams of D800e, with almost fraction of the size.
If you’re tired of carrying heavy equipment with you all the time, Alpha 7, 7R are for you.
A smaller camera can often go where a bigger cannot. Bigger cameras aren’t allowed everywhere, that’s where Alphas have the upperhand over dSLRs.

alpha7r-top

Verdict

Sony has been working really hard to create innovative products. So far they have been very successful at that. They are the reason why people back at Nikon and Canons have sleepless nights.

NEX line of cameras were already making a great technology affordable. With 7, 7R they are getting two step closer to high-end professional DSLRs.

Alpha 7, 7R are perfect for anyone who is starting with Photography or willing to shell out extra buck for re-buying all lenses. But I still don’t see mass adoption by professionals. Sony needs to improve on focussing, metering and their lens lineup in order to attract more professionals to their innovative products.

Hopefully, Sony would address these concerns and soon enough we will see a true dSLR killer.

For more checkout detailed Review of new alphas at Dpreview.

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Get iOS 7 Theme, Launcher on Android [Control Center, Notification Center, Lockscreen] http://geeknizer.com/get-ios-7-theme-launcher-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/get-ios-7-theme-launcher-on-android/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 13:24:04 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12822 Read more »]]> iOS 7: You either hate it or love the notion of Flat UI and vibrant colors. iOS 7 UI aesthetics have been less than overwhelming but they did get mass adoption.

ios7-homescreen-android

You can now mock iOS 7 Theme completely on Android with features including:

  1. iOS 7 Launcher with animations
  2. iOS 7 Icons and theme elements
  3. iOS 7 Lockscreen
  4. iOS 7 Active Wallpaper
  5. iOS 7 like Notifications
  6. iOS 7 like Notification Center, Control Center

Espier, an android app developer company, has come up with suite of applications, widgets, themes and launchers to 100% mock of iOS 7.

ios7-lockscreen-android

Download them all from Play Store:

  1. iOS 7Launcher
  2. iOS 7 Theme for Espier Launcher v2.0
  3. iOS 7 Lockscreen
  4. Dialer
  5. iOS 7 Notification Center

ios7-android-notificationcenterios7-controlcenter-android

 

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Stream Music, Video from Android to PC [Windows, Mac OSX, Linux] http://geeknizer.com/stream-music-video-from-android-to-pc-tv/ http://geeknizer.com/stream-music-video-from-android-to-pc-tv/#comments Sat, 05 Oct 2013 14:50:21 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12814 Read more »]]> Chromecast dongle lets you stream music, video, chrome tabs from Android, PC to an HDTV with HDMI input. But it isn’t a system wide streaming, it rather works only with apps that choose to support it e.g. YouTube, Hulu, Play Music.

With simple suite of apps and mods, you can Stream ANY Music, Video from your Android device on to another Android (OUYA, Any Android TV dongle, Google TV) or PC (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) without hassles.

chromecast-stream

So there are two sides where you need apps installed:

  1. Source host (Android) – The device which has the Music, Video content.
  2. Destination host – ChromeCast server (Android or PC) – The device to which Music, video content will be streamed and played.

Source Host:

Option 0: If you’re on Stock OEM ROM, you can still use apps like NetFlix, YouTube, Hulu, Google Play Music, Movies, etc to stream to ChromeCast server.

Note: If you wish to have it work with all apps, proceed to Option 1, 2.

Option 1:  AirCast (Update: No longer works) – Install this app on your Android phone and any Media file (Audio, Video) when shared from standard Android share Intent, is compatible.

Option 2: Cyanogenmod 10.2 – The latest Cyanogenmod nightlies has a feature of letting you stream any content to ChromeCast device.

Destination Host – ChromeCast Server:

Android: Install CheapCast. Follow instructions here.

PC (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): Install LeapCast

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Combine WiFi, 3G 4G Networks: Multipath TCP on iOS 7, Android http://geeknizer.com/combine-wifi-3g-4g-networks-multipath-tcp-on-ios-7-android/ http://geeknizer.com/combine-wifi-3g-4g-networks-multipath-tcp-on-ios-7-android/#comments Sat, 21 Sep 2013 10:16:53 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12806 Read more »]]> Back in the days when Internet was dialup and was slow, several proprietary technologies were developed. One such technologies was to combine two dial-up modems to boost connection speed by sending packets across both networks for the same download request.

Eventually, the need to combine multiple network connections was meant to be standardized across industry and that’s when Multipath TCP came into being.

4g+wifi-mptcp

Android had ability to combine 3G, 4G with Wifi speeds to boost download speeds since a while, with limited ROM support, and only available to ROOTed users. All this is made possible by Multipath TCP.

As its name implies, Multipath TCP allows for a connected device, such as a PC, Android, iOS device to transmit data over multiple pathways simultaneously. For example, the technology allows for compatible devices to transfer data over both 4G and Wi-Fi networks. One of Multipath TCP’s benefits over traditional TCP extensions is the protocol’s ability to push data through the most efficient network, which leads to fewer dropouts. If one channel fails, another will take over in matter of milliseconds, unnoticeable to the user.

Some of the source code for MP-TCP for Android are available here.

iOS 7 is taking MPTCP to the next level by integrating it into the system core. iOS 7, by default, makes MPTCP connections to supported Apple servers for applications like Facetime, Push notifications, iTunes streaming, Siri. However, Apple has limited it pretty much to its own services. It won’t work with Safari or 3rd party apps. When you use Facetime, SIRI, iCloud. Its evident that Apple didn’t wanted to boost network speeds but only reduce the network latency if you happen to have one Flaky network.

ios7-Multipath_TCP

Even though Multipath TCP standard was specced in 2008, it hasn’t been shipped in a consumer device. iOS 7 could be the first of its kind. Of course Android had it available for years, but never shipped in AOSP.

MCTCP is a TCP extension that enables the simultaneous use of several IP addresses or interfaces. Existing applications – completely unmodified — see what appears to be a standard TCP interface. But under the covers, MPTCP is spreading the connection’s data across several subflows, sending it over the least congested paths.

The benefits of this include improved network utilization, higher throughput, and greater resiliency by letting the network automatically and smoothly react to path failures. The Linux MCTCP implementers posted a video of the protocol in action, running over Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and 3G.

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Galaxy Note 3 Full Specs, Features http://geeknizer.com/galaxy-note-3-full-specs/ http://geeknizer.com/galaxy-note-3-full-specs/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:13:49 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12784 Read more »]]> Samsung announces new Galaxy Note 3, a flagship powerful descendent for the Phablet Note family.

Note 3 learns from Galaxy S4′s design and improves on it. Note 3 is a lot lighter and thinner than Note 2, yet, it has bigger screen at 5.7″ instead of 5.5″ of Note 2. Samsung has already upped every single spec of the device including battery life.

note3-front

Let’s go over the complete specs in detail:

Galaxy Note 3 Full Specs

  • Display: 5.7″ FullHD (1920×1080) Super AMOLED+, 384dpi
  • CPU: 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 800 (US) or 1.9Ghz Exynos 5 Octacore (International)
  • GPU: Adreno 330 (US) or Mali 450 (8-core GPU) (International)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Camera: Rear – 13MP for still, 1080p at 60FPS slow motion & 4K video @ 30fps, 3.1MP front
  • Battery: 3200 mAh
  • Connectivity: Dual band Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE, NFC
  • Storage: 32gb, 64gb
  • OS: Android 4.3

 Note 3 Features:

  • All new Improved S-Pen
  • Improved, faster Multitasking
  • Action Memo allows users to handwrite a note and automatically execute a function or convert that handwritten information into formatted content. Action Memo can instantly initiate a call, add to contacts, look up an address on a map, search the web, save a task to a to-do list, and more
  • Scrapbook enables users to organize or track down content and information from various sources including the web, YouTube and Gallery in one place so that users can easily look back at collected content all at once.
  • S Finder allows users to expansively search for content on their device regardless of the type. Search documents, events, communication threads, and even the Help page – all in one place. Also searches hand written content.
  • Screen write
  • Pen Window

Note 3 Features on Video:

Design

There are big improvements to the design. Samsung’s attention to detail has certainly raised, though its not even close to HTC. The back cover is now made up of faux leather but has the same plastic inside. Like S4′s design, the sides of the Note 3 have been given a metallic look, though they are plastic.

The Note 3 gains screen size without gaining increase in form factor. Its still comfortable to hold in hands, it only feels better than Note 2 when held.

note3-back note3-back-covers note3-thickness

 

Note 3 Price & Availability

Note 3 would be available in October in US and September end for rest of the world. Note 3 is priced at $699 unlocked.

 

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How Microsoft planted Trojan Horse into Nokia http://geeknizer.com/how-microsoft-planted-trojan-horse-into-nokia/ http://geeknizer.com/how-microsoft-planted-trojan-horse-into-nokia/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 12:02:28 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12765 Read more »]]> Today Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring Nokia for a sum of $7.2 Billion in cash, buying Nokia’s devices, service business and all of Patent portfolio. This was a much cheaper deal than Google’s acquisition of Telecom giant Motorola, in pursuit of building Patent portfolio and saving Android platform.

3 years ago, Microsoft planned to acquire Nokia to complete its smartphone portfolio. Buying Nokia was not only unaffordable, none of the board of directors in Nokia were in favor of that. Microsoft desperately needed a hardware platform and they couldn’t eye any among HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, which were all Android oriented. Nokia, among the best hardware manufacturers, was on Microsoft’s vicious targets. So someone smart enough at Microsoft had a strategy that could pay-off well in the future. Instead of going for M&A talk with Nokia, they planted a trojan horse named Stephen Elop.

From January 2008 to September 2010, Elop worked for Microsoft as the head of the Business Division, responsible for the Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics line of products. He was among the most senior people in the company. In September 2010, Elop took Nokia’s CEO position, replacing Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, and becoming the first non-Finnish director in Nokia’s history.

Soon after Elop became the man in charge, he declared Nokia was being hit hard by competition and called it a “Burning Platform“. He had a plan. A plan very different from the competition. Where everyone else was adopting Android to survive, he insisted on doing the reverse and said “using Android is like pissing in own pants for warmth”. These words of course outraged anger among Android lovers, but nonetheless, man had a strategy in mind. He declared that company would stop developing Symbian and other Open source mobile OS called MeeGo (in partnership with Intel) and would bet the company on one single OS: Microsoft’s Windows Phone. This was a very risky deal. Windows Phone 7 (at that time) was new and had no user base or apps. Which CEO bets his company on an immature, unproven platform? The downfall was evident.

microsoft-trojan-horse

Years after, company has run out of cash flow and holds it place at the verge of falling. Microsoft can afford it now, Microsoft buys Nokia for less than 8billion, for which market value was more than double before Elop joined. Thats how business is done.

nokia-market-value-elop-microsoft

Disclaimer: These are purely our own analysis.

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How to Post Animated GIF on Facebook http://geeknizer.com/how-to-post-animated-gif-on-facebook/ http://geeknizer.com/how-to-post-animated-gif-on-facebook/#comments Mon, 02 Sep 2013 16:35:34 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12757 Read more »]]> Google+ has be the addictive destination for sharing hilarious Animated GIFs, which led Facebook users asking for more.

Facebook had been quick to learn and copy from facebook but GIF is one thing they just won’t give to the users for unknown reasons. For years, it was not possible to post and share animated GIFs on Facebook, but its up for a change now.

Gif on facebook

GIPHY lets you share animated GIFs on Facebook right into the Timeline/ news feed stream. GIPHY is a huge GIF repository that allows users to browse and share interesting GIFs There are lot of GIFs to chose from. There’s a lot to chose from by genre, category.

GIFs on facebook

How to Post/ Share GIF on Facebook

Head over to Giphy.com and copy the link of GIF you would like to share. Next go to Facebook and paste the copied link in a status update. On pasting the link, Facebook will automatically generate a preview for it, its preview has a play button on it similar to that found on videos shared on Facebook.

Clicking the button will enlarge the GIF file and GIF will start animating. Anyone can play this animation, no restrictions as such, but play button has to be pressed.

GIFs on facebook timeline

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4 Tips for Smartphone Security http://geeknizer.com/4-tips-for-smartphone-security/ http://geeknizer.com/4-tips-for-smartphone-security/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:01:54 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12743 Read more »]]> When it comes to our mobile phones, most of the news tend to be about advancements. A major new mobile phone comes out every few months, new software updates seem constant, and of course app stores are generating fresh content at a rate we can’t even keep track of. Lost in the shuffle of all this improvement, however, is often the thing that should be one of the biggest concerns for mobile smartphone users: Security.

ios-Android-Security

Why do we need security on smartphones? For a lot of us, this falls under the “it’ll never happen to me” thought process, but the fact is, our phones are capable of exposing a great deal of personal information and sensitive data. Your smartphones store a great deal of information about you and your friends, family. You may have addresses and contact information stored in your phone; you may be permanently logged into sites with payment information, such as a Wells Fargo account or even an online retailer; you may even have a Betfair casino app, or a similar entertainment device that involves real money and personal information. Each day, 100s of smartphone vulnerabilities are exposed, that can gain access to your personal data anytime, anywhere. But here are 4 essential tips for securing your mobile phone – be it an iPhone, or Android based Samsung Galaxy, etc. – to prevent consequences.

1. Use A Passcode, Pattern

Yes, yes. It’s a huge pain in the neck to have to type in a code or swipe a design every single time you want to access your phone. But this tiny little security measure that costs you a couple of seconds here and there can actually provide great security against an amateur thief. If someone simply happens to pick up your phone (with no hacking expertise, etc.) and tries to log in to find something useful, a simple passcode can be the difference between securing your data and forfeiting valuable information. Though there are hacks on iPhone to bypass passcode, if you keep your iOS version latest, you can mitigate attacks in most of the cases.

2. Avoid Storing Passwords

When you log into an app, a payment site, etc. from your mobile phone, try to avoid the option of saving passwords and information. Like Tip #1, this is a bit of an inconvenience, but it’s also a huge security boost. Simply put, when you avoid storing this information, it makes it much harder for a thief or hacker to use personal data against you. Even though these passwords are encrypted before being stored to smartphone’s browser or app, the risk is very much there if hackers breaks that particular service’s security.

3. Use Security Apps

This is a bit of a vague suggestion, only because there are so many out there. Even though Android and iOS don’t recommend these apps, using them is no harm. From simple anti-virus and anti-malware protection, to password protection, to securing your outgoing WiFi data, there are mobile apps of all kinds that greatly enhance your device’s security. Check out a few at e-Week.

4. Use A Phone Finder

This is another step that many people ignore simply because it seems tedious. On iPhones, the “Find My iPhone” app is included, and on Android, the Device manager. But there are a number of independent apps for other smartphones that perform the same task. Basically, these apps can locate your phone if lost or stolen, and some can even perform a full “wipe” – erasing all of the sensitive data on your phone remotely if you give it up for lost. Among other features you can ring your phone and find it’s location if its in the close vicinity.

Among other steps, you can Encrypt data on your phone (on Android Settings > Security > Encrypt), iOS (Preferences > Data protection) and keep all of your data secure even if it goes into the wrong hands.

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Transform Android into Chromecast Receiver Dongle [Android AirPlay] http://geeknizer.com/transform-android-into-chromecast-receiver-dongle/ http://geeknizer.com/transform-android-into-chromecast-receiver-dongle/#comments Tue, 20 Aug 2013 12:09:47 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12735 Read more »]]> Chromecast is the new $35 streaming device from Google that turns your HDTV into a stream receiver from various devices including Android, iOS and PCs.

Ever since it was released, developers like Koush had been hacking around to let more android apps use Chromcast protocol. With the latest developments, you can now turn your Android phone/tablet/OUYA/Google TV into Chromecast Receiver/Server/Streamer.

chromecast-android

CheapCast transforms your Android phone into Chromecast receiver. Once installed, you can stream videos and music from Google Play Music, YouTube, Netflix and any other Chromecast-enabled app from Google Chrome on your PC to your Android device or from one Android device to another.

To get started, simply hit the play button in the actionbar and CheapCast service is enabled, ready to stream. Now when you share to Chromecast from another Android, iOS, PC, your android device with CheapCast would show up in the list.

cheapcast

CheapCast is the ultimate solution for Any device to Android streaming: Music, Videos, and more.

Download: Free CheapCast on Play store

For streaming any content from another Andorid phone, try app called Aircast via Koush

Using AirCast to acheive Android AirPlay:

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Customize, Auto-Hide Navigation Bar [Soft buttons] on Android http://geeknizer.com/customize-auto-hide-navigation-bar-soft-buttons-on-android/ http://geeknizer.com/customize-auto-hide-navigation-bar-soft-buttons-on-android/#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 16:57:34 +0000 http://geeknizer.com/?p=12728 Read more »]]> Nexus line of devices sports buttonless interface, giving user more power. Slowly, more and more android OEMs are adopting Soft buttons (Navigation bar), realizing importance of buttonless interface.

But Navigation bar is lacking on features. Its not customizable, you cannot Auto-hide it or add new buttons/shortcuts to it. Thanks to the work of XDA developer MrBIMC, the app called Ultimate Dynamic Navbar lets you do all that and more.

ultimate-dynamic-navbar

The Ultimate Dynamic Navbar can also add Navigation bar to phones which have physical buttons including all Samsungs, HTCs, and what not.

To summarize, with UDN you can:

  • Auto-hide Navigation bar
  • Method to activate Navbar using Gestures. (e.g. swipe from edge)
  • Add shortcuts, buttons to other apps/actions: Menu, Search, toggle panel, Volume, sleep, etc.
  • Theme the navigation bar
  • change behavior, like long press action, normal click action and more. Also change icons.
  • customize haptic feedback.
  • change height, transparency

The app requires root.

ultimate-dynamic-navbar-android

nav-bar

Download ultimate Dynamic Navbar [XDA]

Paid app on Play Store

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