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mobilekiwi in Android
So you're on Android 4.0+ and it might be a while before you get Android 4.4. The good news is, you can get a taste of KitKat for FREE. You don't need to hack your phone or anything that crazy. There's an app on Google Play that will transform your phone in to an Android 4.4. As close as you can get that is! Here's the feature list:
1. Based on the Android 4.4 launcher, support for Android 4.0+ users
2. Support icon theme, compatible with themes of Nova launcher, ADW, GO, Apex launcher
3. Translucent status bar and navigation bar (Android 4.4 and some devices with native support)
4. Hide app in Drawer
5. Support Counter Badge of unread SMS and missed call
6. Edit icon individually
7. Allow swipe right to enter Google Now (depend on your version of Google Search)
8. Nexus 5 HD wallpapers
9. Highly customizable:
+ Set desktop grid
+ Set drawer grid
+ Set icon size
+ Set icon text size
+ Hide icon text
+ Max rows and columns of a folder
+ Multi Dock pages
+ Number of Dock icons
+ Dock icon size
+ Hide search bar
+ Infinite scrolling option
+ Drawer icon position setting
+ Set default Home Screen to Left, Middle or Right
+ Enable/Disable wallpaper scrolling
+ Background transparent
Get it on Google Play here - https://play.google....com.kk.launcher
mobilekiwi in Android
Thought I'd get up a quick first impressions of the Nexus 5. Bear in mind I've only had it for a few days and have yet to utilise the full features of the phone, camera etc. I'll give this a good going over this weekend.
The phone itself is minimalistic and understated. But yet it's one of the best looking and comfortable phones I've ever held in my hand. I also can't believe how light it is. I was worried that they had left the battery out.
Pure Android 4.4 is gorgeous on the 1080p screen. The colours are vibrant and crisp and the icons really pop off the screen. Android 4.4 does everything well. I noticed immediately that the email app had been given the treatment and is now styled the same as the latest gmail app. Kudos to Google for bringing the same experience. Exchange email is a joy. As much as work email can be of course . I also love the fact that when someone calls, the number is obviously run through the Google search engine. Last night I received a call and I had no idea who it could be from, a number that I didn't recognise. The number was obviously searched in the background on the web and the name of the place calling me showed up. I'm impressed!
I like the fact that Google Now is a swipe to the right away. It sits on a screen to the left of the homescreen. In fact it's probably almost over done as there are also Google Search bars at the top of every homescreen.
The icons and transition effects have been given a makeover. I wouldn't say that it's a huge change or shift from Android 4.3, but it's certainly enough to be noticed.
The phone's speed is phenomenal. Lag is non-existent and the phone speeds through any action that you throw at it. You'd expect it to be fast if you consider the specs, but the vanilla Android really fine tunes this smartphone.
I'm shocked to see that Google have left out the ability to show your battery %. Tht might be a minor annoyance to most folks, but to me it's a major. I want to make sure that there's sufficient charge to see me through the day. With that in mind let's discuss the battery. I've been using the phone today moderate to heavy usage. I'm currently at 36% at 8.30pm and the phone was at 100% at 6am this morning. So it will certainly see most folks through the day. Unless you watch copious amounts of Youtube or you play games till your eyes bleed.
The only other annoyance I can find so far is that I can't select only contacts with phone numbers to be showed in the People (contacts) application. It's a mess with all of my social account contacts from twitter etc. I'm hardly going to call a twitter user tag am I?
I'll do a full review once I've had a chance to test everything. So far so good. The Nexus 5 is definitely a winner (at this stage). Might be worth popping down to a 2Degrees shop or Warehouse Stationary near you...
pjshark in General
A sweet little tweet from the Android twitter account has stated today starts the roll out to Google Flagships. Though as below it begins for the Nexus 7 with the 2012 and 2013 WiFi editions and the Nexus 10.
Users have started to report the success of receiving the OTA so we look forward to hearing more about this in the hours to come.
A further tweet mentions nexus 4 and 7 versions to come.
Starting today, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) and Nexus 10 will be getting a tasty update to Android 4.4, KitKat
Soo looking forward to getting 4.4 on my N4. Hope to see it by weeks end, but then you never know. Regardless I am going to start the check for updates madness, how about you?
Via Android Police
mobilekiwi in General
I've been getting in to smart watches of late, having already reviewed the Sony Smart Watch 2. Next up on my list is the Pebble smart watch that I acquired for US$150 from getpebble.com. I've used the Pebble with a Galaxy S4 and also an iPhone 5 and I've been thoroughly enjoying it. Both platforms provide different experiences and it looks like Android might provide better freedom for developers to offer a greater level of functionality. Apps like Glance and Pebble notifier offer far more possibilities than what Pebble will do by default. But that's what the folks over at Pebble were hoping for. It's certainly a different experience than what you'll get from Sony or Samsung with their respective smart watches.
The Pebble watch screen for a start is an e-paper display, the same as the Kindle e-readers. There's no colour, and to be fair it doesn't really need it. With this display it ensures that the battery life will go for 5-7 days on a single charge. That's very impressive!
Let me make a point very clear. This is a companion device. You will not be using it to make calls and it certainly does not have a camera. My biggest use is for glancing at texts and other messages as they come in. Do I need to take out my phone when it beeps or vibrates? A quick glance at the Pebble and I've made up my mind. Same goes for calls, do I want to answer that call. In fact I can reject it from the watch.
I'm terrible for missing calls and texts and have noticed that this is now a thing of the past with Pebble. My watch will vibrate to alert me to a notification or call. This is the same for all of the current smart watches on the market and it's the reason I fell in love with them.
Not only is the Pebble functional, I find it extremely stylish. You can download numerous watch faces and display types. You could have a different watch face for each day of the week.
Bottom line, the Pebble has a place in my life. Could it be in yours?
Here's a great head to head video with the Samsung Galaxy Gear to put it in perspective.
mobilekiwi in Android
As you go about your lives, a man waits for his Nexus 5 . Let me tell you what your options are for getting your hands on a Nexus 5. There's no cheaper place to get the Nexus 5 from than the US Google Play store. At US$349 it's the bargain of the century considering the current exchange rate. So I decided to get one from the US. Could I buy one on the US Google Play store? The simple answer is no. But I certainly tried anyway spoofing (changing) my ip to make it seem like I was in the US. And it worked! I was able to see the Nexus 5 and order the quantity of the model that I wanted, in my case a 16GB Black one. And then I hit the proverbial brick wall. Google asked for my Google account so I could buy it. My NZ account got rejected, fair call. So what to do? Why not create a US account using my US shipping address. But Google are smarter than that. Although I'm not sure smarter is the right word. To verify a Google account in the US you must have a phone number to get a text or receive a call. Enter the hard basket stage. Off to Ebay to buy the phone and with the US pony express delivering it I'll see it in 2 weeks!
So what other options are out there? If you have family or friends in the US, AUS, or UK you could get them to order it for you. The US is obviously the preferred less expensive option. You'll pay way above RRP on Ebay. The other option is Mobicity, but I was shocked to find the phone was $749 plus by the time they added GST. 2Degrees are offering the phone at $699 which some might say is a tad expensive. But is it? 2Degrees had this to say (thanks Aim):
2DegreesCare: Hi all
We appreciate your views regarding the launch of the Nexus 5.
We’re very proud to be making this Android flagship device available to our customers and believe it still represents very good value at $699 with a 24 month warranty. This is $100 less than the Nexus 4 launch price last year.
If people would like to purchase it directly from Google, please make sure you factor in the cost of shipping and relevant taxes and the fact that it will not come with a New Zealand warranty.
Obviously Google has significant buying power given the volume of handsets they purchase globally which we, as a much smaller retailer, unfortunately can’t match and we have provided feedback to both Google and LG regarding this. However we think it is important that this handset is easily available in the local market so people have a choice. Please be assured this is the best price we have been able to achieve and there is no significant mark-up on this product. People also have the opportunity to get a discount off this price if they take it on a plan.
Just to reiterate we will be selling the 16GB, international version with 24 month warranty, available in black and white for $699 from mid November.
Would you pay $699 for a flagship device? I certainly would if I hadn't sourced it already.
mobilekiwi in Android
Awesome! The Galaxy S4 Zoom is coming to NZ!
Samsung Electronics New Zealand today announces the launch of the Samsung GALAXY S4 Zoom, an innovative device that combines features of the GALAXY S4 smartphone with advanced photographic capabilities.
The inventive combo-device features a 10x Optical Zoom, 16 Mega Pixel CMOS Sensor, OIS and Xenon Flash.
Samsung’s IT and Mobile Sales Director Josh Delgado says the GALAXY S4 Zoom is a classic example of how Samsung is working to meet consumer demands.
“People want to capture and share their special moments in the highest quality possible but they don’t often have space or inclination to carry both a dedicated camera and their smart phone. That’s why we have created the GALAXY S4 Zoom - it offers the best of both worlds, without compromise,” says Delgado.
Revolutionary new interface
Do it all and miss nothing thanks to the revolutionary new Zoom Ring, a simple and intuitive way to access the GALAXY S4 Zoom’s key features. When you’re in the middle of a phone call and you see something you absolutely have to share, a quick twist of the Zoom Ring will activate the In-Call Photo Share feature, enabling you to capture and send an image directly via MMS to whoever you are talking to.
For easy camera navigation, the Zoom Ring can be used to activate the Quick Launch and Shortcut features providing instant access with a simple twist to multiple camera modes including Auto, Gallery and Smart Mode.
The Zoom Ring also changes conventional camera zoom controls. Optical zoom control replaces traditional dials and buttons with smooth, easy-to-operate digital controls. Professional-quality accuracy and unprecedented ease of use are just a twist away, making it easy to compose a scene and capture wide-angle shots or tight close-ups.
Capture the best images
When it comes to high quality photography, bigger isn’t always better. The compact GALAXY S4 Zoom’s best-in-class 10x Optical Zoom and 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor enables you to capture beautiful images from far away or up close and personal in all light conditions without having to carry heavy camera gear around with you.
Furthermore, the built-in Optical Image Stabiliser (OIS) helps keep the camera perfectly still reducing blur and stabilising the image while zoomed in for high-quality photos and video.
Photo Suggest instantly connects you to huge libraries of images taken by fellow photographers, to help you find and compose your best shots anywhere in the world. Photo Suggest can even direct you to the ideal nearby location which will give you the vantage point you need for that perfect photo.
The GALAXY S4 Zoom also features Samsung’s popular Smart Mode. Simply choose from a series of pre-set modes and the camera will automatically adjust to ensure you capture the best photo possible. For example, use Drama Shot to merge continuous shots of moving objects into a single composed image, or Action Freeze to instantly capture high-speed action. If you aren’t sure which Smart Mode to select, the Smart Mode Suggest feature can assess the scene and provide a short list of the best options for your consideration based on surrounding factors such as light levels, focal length and face detection ensuring you always get the best shot you want.
Unlimited entertainment in the palm of your hand
The GALAXY S4 Zoom's heritage is evident throughout, from its sleek and stylish design to the powerful, yet intuitive user interface. Running on Android Jelly Bean 4.2, the GALAXY S4 Zoom delivers many of the same features as the recently launched GALAXY S4 including Touchwiz which enables you to fully customise various aspects of your device, including the lock screen and notification bar, for a truly personal mobile experience.
When you return from your travel adventures, Story Album enables you to arrange all your treasured images and videos into one timeline to share with friends and loved ones. You can also edit images and even order prints directly from the device through a partnership with blurb*. If you’d rather transfer your images to your laptop or tablet for safe keeping, Samsung Link enables you to do so quickly and easily with just the touch of a button.
The GALAXY S4 Zoom also features the new Samsung Hub, a one-stop destination where you can search, download and enjoy videos, books and games. When you find that amazing new game you can’t wait to share with friends, Group Play enables you to connect directly with their Samsung devices so you can all play together without the need for a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is available from 2 degrees and selected retailers nationwide.