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#1482 Meet The Staff

Posted by Cory Streater on May 15 '13 @ 8:23 AM

My name is Cory Streater, owner and co-operator of The Android Channel. 

 

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where I love to hike, camp, and spend time with friends & family. 

 

My introduction to the world of Android began in November 2009 with the original Motorola Droid. Since that time, I’ve had an opportunity to experience all the greatness that Android has to offer – granular customization, strong community support, and the benefits of open source development.

 

I previously served as Forums Administrator at Mobile Nation’s – a publishing network that includes five forum communities: Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore, WindowsPhone Central, and webOS Nation.

 

My responsibilities included major forum software upgrades, web development, custom applications development, cross-site moderator training, and overseeing the daily operations and uptime of each of the respective forum communities.

 

I was also Android Central’s Community Manager between November 2009 and November 2012.  During my tenure the forums grew from a few thousand members to over 1.1 million!

 

I’m proud to have implemented and managed Android Central’s volunteer Moderator, Developer, and Adviser groups -- because it is their passion and dedication that resulted in the tremendous growth of the forums. Selfless volunteers of all types contributed hundreds and thousands of hours of their own time for the sake of helping others. I found this both impressive & highly motivating, and I'm honored that several have chosen to join me in launching The Android Channel.

 

Many are surprised to hear that I was a volunteer that burned the midnight and weekend oil at Mobile Nation’s and Android Central. Professionally, I've been a Security Software Sales Engineer dating back to 2001. I have worked at companies such as WatchGuard, Ericsson, and most recently NetMotion Wireless.

 

I resigned from Mobile Nations this past November, and left NetMotion Wireless this past January to assume the roll of primary caregiver of  a mother with cancer and a father with Alzheimer’s disease. My experiences over these last 9 months have been intense, stressful, rewarding, and life changing. Each day is a struggle, but each day is also an opportunity to learn and be grateful for all that I’ve been given. 

 

I have several non-conventional hobbies, many of which are the result of developing The Android Channel. Over the past several months, I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the areas of server deployment, configuration, and management; web design and development; and various coding languages.

 

Thanks for reading, and welcome to the community!




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#8730 Unleash the Beast: General Nexus 5 Hackery

Posted by dmmarck on Nov 4 '13 @ 4:06 PM

The Nexus 5 is not only the most powerful Nexus phone to date, but arguably the first Nexus phone to have top-of-the-line, cutting edge specifications.  So clearly, you're not going to leave it stock, right?  See, the beauty of hacking a Nexus is threefold.  First, it's ridiculously simple if you have a moderate understanding of fastboot, adb, and common hackery terms.  Second, the next person to actually brick a Nexus will be the first.  And finally, the "exit plan" for the Nexus line is unrivaled--just flash stock images and have a drink.  No worries about finding a RUU executable or using some polytheistic downloader.
 
So if you really want to get down and dirty with the Nexus, the absolute first thing you should do before you even sign-in to your Google account is unlock the bootloader.
 

WARNING

Neither myself nor The Android Channel are responsible for your actions, your device, or the combination of the two. While Nexus devices are hard to brick, shit happens. Ultimately, you--and you alone--must accept full responsibility for anything that happens (good or bad), including the potential voiding of your device's warranty. Hacking is fun, but there is always risk. Unfortunately, you assume that risk by continuing down the path elaborated below.

 

Unlocking the Nexus 5's Bootloader

 
The bootloader is the key to flashing "images" on the Nexus.  These images can be recoveries (further used for hackery), kernels (the piece of software that controls hardware/software interaction), radios/basebands (the software that connects you to networks), and other system images.  Unfortunately, unlocking the bootloader completely erases everything on your device--including stuff on the faux "SDcard" partition.  So if you have saved 600 pictures of cats from Reddit, say goodbye to them.  Because of this, I recommend unlocking the bootloader as soon as you have the device in hand.
 
To unlock the bootloader, you generally have two options--use a toolkit or use fastboot.  Fastboot requires having the fastboot.exe (included in the Android SDK) on your machine as well as device drivers so that your phone can communicate with a computer via the USB port.  If you have a Mac, all you need is the fastboot.exe--no drivers necessary.  

 

Once you have the drivers and fastboot.exe, simply boot your Nexus 5 to the bootloader screen (from SCREEN OFF, hold down the POWER BUTTON AND VOLUME DOWN BUTTON SIMULTANEOUSLY), plug it into the computer, open a Command Prompt or Terminal, change the directory to the fastboot.exe location, and enter the following command:

$ fastboot oem unlock

This command will prompt a screen asking if you would like to unlock; use the volume keys to navigate to your option (which should be yes ;)), then use the power button to select.

 

INFO

If you require further assistance with fastboot, please scroll down a bit. If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to ask within this thread!

 
Now, as stated earlier, this will wipe your device.  Everything.  Pictures, accounts, downloaded apps.  The whole nine, so to speak.  So it is best to do this as early as possible.
 

bootloader.jpg

Once unlocked, simply reboot the device and sign-in.  Market Restore should work fairly quickly, and soon enough you will have all of your apps, contacts, and the like.
 

Flashing Images with Fastboot

 

Unlocking your Nexus 5's bootloader gave you the veritable "keys to the kingdom."  Now, you can use your shiny new unlocked bootloader, a USB cable, and Command Prompt/Terminal to make some magic.

 

NOTE

If you need fastboot and do not want to download the Android SDK, please use the following: 

  • If you have a Mac, please go here and download this package.

    • Please make note of the fastboot prefix - ./fastboot - which will replace the ordinary prefix ("fastboot").

  • If you have Windows, please go here and download this package.

 

The most popular use for fastboot, at least for the amateur ROM enthusiast, is arguably the installation of a custom recovery.  Custom recoveries allow you to flash (i.e. install) zip packages (usually in the form of roms, themes, and other goodies).  For the past 2 years or so, two recoveries have dominated the Android scene:  ClockworkMod Recovery ("CWM") and Team Win Recovery Project ("TWRP").
 
Before we get to the recovery, let me explain some fastboot concepts:

  • First, fastboot acts as a link between device and computer.  The device, however, must be in "fastboot mode."  For the Nexus, this mode is the bootloader.  Therefore, before you contemplate using fastboot, make sure you reboot your device into the bootloader.
  • Second, make sure you have your fastboot drivers downloaded and ready (if you're on a Windows machine).  While drivers are somewhat outside the scope of this guide, the best way to check is to get to fastboot mode, connect your device to a computer via USB, cd to the fastboot directory, and type: 
    $ fastboot devices
    
    Press enter (as with any and every command in Command Prompt/Terminal).  If a string of numbers shows up, huzzah, you are ready to rock!  If not, you must reinstall (or install) the device drivers.
  • Third, fastboot commands follow a similar structure.  Generally, the structure is as follows: 
    $ fastboot [ <option> ] <command>
    
    Therefore, you always use the fastboot "prefix" when entering a fastboot command.  "Options" like "-w" (wipe) are less frequently used than the commands, so for our purposes, we will only focus on the commands.  Accordingly, the most frequent command is the "flash" command, or: 
    flash <partition> [ <filename> ]
    
    Therefore, putting it all together, the most frequent fastboot command used is this: 
    $ fastboot flash <partition> [ <filename> ]
    
    Here, the "partition" may be, among other things, the "recovery" (for the custom recoveries) or "boot" (the kernel).  Thus, you want to "point" fastboot to where you are installing, and then use the filename (including the .img file extension) to define what you are installing.
  • Fourth, make it easy on yourself and put all fastboot items into the folder in which the fastboot.exe is located.  Therefore, you only need to change directory ("cd") once and everything is neat and organized.

Custom Recoveries

 
Once you understand flashing images with fastboot, you're ready to install a recovery.  As stated above, the two prime recoveries are CWMand TWRP.  While you can install these recoveries through alternate methods (GooManager will install TWRP, ROM Manager will install CWM), fastbooting the images is a piece of cake.

  • Download the recovery image.  Be sure to only download a recovery explicitly for the Nexus 5--which should be "Hammerhead" if purchased through Google Play.
  • Place the recovery image in the folder that contains your fastboot.exe.
  • OPTIONAL:  Some folks rename the recover image's filename.  You can; or, alternatively, you can just use it as is.
  • Reboot the Nexus 5 into the bootloader.
  • Connect the Nexus 5 via USB cable to your computer.
  • Open Command Prompt/Terminal, and then change directory to the fastboot folder.  Use this command: 
    $ cd [ <location> ]
    
    For example, if it's C:\AwesomeAndroidFolder . . . 
    $ cd C:\AwesomeAndroidFolder
  • Make sure your device is recognized by fastboot: 
    $ fastboot devices
  • Enter the fastboot command: 
    $ fastboot flash recovery [ <filename> ]
    
    For example, it should look like this: 
    $ fastboot flash recovery CWMrecoveryfilename.img
  • Now, once installed, you will have full use of the custom recovery.  You can boot into it at this point to look around, or you can reboot your system.  To get to the recovery, go through the bootloader--reboot into it and scroll to "recovery," press power, and the recovery should load.  You may also get there with adb using the following command when your phone is on and USB debugging is enabled
    $ adb reboot recovery

TIP

Sometimes you screw up and you "lose" recovery. If you try rebooting into the recovery and you see an Android with a fearsome red triangle over it, that means the stock recovery remains and the custom recovery is gone. Simply follow the above steps to reflash the custom recovery.

 

Flashing ROMs

 
Flashing a ROM is one of the great joys Apple users will never enjoy.  See, when they want to mess with their phone, they are constrained by the fact that iOS is completely closed source.  They can change some things, like adding settings and changing the look with themes, but in large part, "jailbreaking" only gets you so far.  Because Android is open source, the code is just floating out there in the stars waiting for eager minds to pull it down and bring it to users like you.
 
Generally, a ROM changes your OS.  It may change your Android version, e.g. from Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) to Android 4.4 (KitKat).  But usually, it's built from the latest available Android version and includes custom options, tweaks, and optimizations.  In the Nexus community, there are a few big ROMs/developer groups--Paranoid Android, Android Open Kang Project ("AOKP"), and CyanogenMod ("CM").  Depsite those, there are dozens of custom-built ROMs by smaller groups and individual developers.  On a Nexus, the choice of ROM could literally be endless.
 
ROMs come in two general packages.  The first, and now less common package, is a single zip package containing the ROM and the necessary Google Applications ("GAPPS").  The second and most prominent package is actually two zips, the ROM and the GAPPs.  If you enjoy using Google Play services with your device, you must have GAPPs.
 
ROM installation is ridiculously easy.  Generally, there are two methods.  The first method--which uses a full wipe--is recommended for any ROM that (i) you are unsure of; (ii) is completely new to you, and not just an iterative update of your present ROM (i.e. it is not a "nightly" build of your current ROM); (iii) requires extensive testing; (iv) is a new Android version; and (v) is recommended by the developer to be flashed with a full, clean wipe.  The general rule of thumb for full wiping is this:
 

When in doubt, wipe the entire bloody thing.

 
Full Wipe/Clean Flash

  • Download the ROM and GAPPs packages.  Please, please, please make sure these files are for your device--Hammerhead.  Also, be sure to verify the MD5s of the downloads to ensure that you did not inadvertently download a corrupt or inappropriate file.
  • Transfer the ROM and GAPPs packages to your internal storage.  I usually use a folder named "GLORIOUS ROMAGE," because flashing is awesome.
  • Reboot into the recovery.
  • Create a backup of your current ROM or setup, using the options and prompts available to you in recovery.  I highly recommend having one verified working backup (also called a "nandroid") on my device at any given moment, just in case.
  • Perform a "factory reset" wipe.  This means you must wipe the data, cache, system, and dalvik cache.  Please note that most--if not all--ROMs will wipe the system for you.  Do not wipe internal storage.  If you really like wiping (and really, who doesn't?), wipe 3-7 times.  I do it because I'm paranoid and I have anxiety levels that rival many small-time tyrants.
  • Once wiped, locate the "install from SDcard" or "install zip" option in recovery.
  • Find the ROM zip and install the ROM.  Do not install GAPPs first, for the ROMs install script will wipe the system partition, and thus wipe the GAPPs.
  • Find the GAPPs zip and install the GAPPs.  Note that if you use TWRP, you can create an "install queue" where you can stack multiple zips for installation.  Just like the above, make sure you install the ROM first.
  • OPTIONAL:  some people like wiping the cache and dalvik cache after the installation procedure.  Depending on the given levels of caffeine, adrenaline, and anxiety coursing through my veins, I do too.  It is, however, your call.
  • Reboot the system, sign in to Google, and set up your device. 

Now, if you are simply installing an iterative update (nightly), you can get away with a partial wipe or a dirty flash.  This procedure is slightly different, although the warnings  and advice stated above still apply.
 
Partial Wipe/Dirty Flash

  • Download the ROM and GAPPs packages.  Because this is an iterative update, you may already have the latest GAPPs package on your phone.  If that's the case, there's no reason to download another.
  • Transfer the ROM and GAPPs packages to your internal storage.
  • Reboot into the recovery.
  • Create a backup of your current ROM or setup.
  • Perform a partial wipe.  This means you must wipe the cache, system, and dalvik cache.  Do not wipe internal storage
  • Once wiped, locate the "install from SDcard" or "install zip" option in recovery.
  • Find the ROM zip and install the ROM.
  • Find the GAPPs zip and install the GAPPs.
  • OPTIONAL:  post-install cache and dalvik cache wipes.
  • Reboot the system and your data and apps will remain as it was before.

Remember though--if you have any doubt, perform a full wipe.  Usually, if issues or bugs or force closes creep up after a ROM install, such issues are first attributed to not performing a full wipe.  As a matter of general courtesy, do not report minor bugs to developers if such bugs are encountered after a dirty flash.

 

For now, the above tools should help you to customize your Nexus extensively.  The Nexus has--and always will have--incredible ROM and kernel developer support.  Its ease of access and malleability arguably makes it the most customizable phone in existence, and folks the world over take advantage of that.  Be sure to enjoy this experience, but as always, be careful and double check each and every step along the way.  Before you know it, you'll be wiping dalvik and fastbooting with ease and confidence.

 

INFO

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us in this thread.  We're here for you.  This thread will be updated as more information and resources become available, so please check back!


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#7073 [Chatter] One Thread to Rule Them All

Posted by Cyber Warrior on Sep 1 '13 @ 8:56 PM

Posted Image

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 4
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#4336 The Android Channel's Spread The Word Contest

Posted by Cory Streater on Jul 16 '13 @ 1:53 PM

WELCOME TO THE ANDROID CHANNEL SPREAD THE WORD CONTEST!


The Android Channel is excited to celebrate our 3 month anniversary! Join in the celebration for a chance to win one of the following:

  • First Place: $50 Amazon gift card
  • Second Place: 2012 Android Summer BBQ Collectible Figurine Set
  • Third Place: $10 Play Store gift card



HOW TO ENTER

  1. Help us build The Android Channel community by sharing this thread on one or more social networking sites (e.g., Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
  2. Sign in & introduce yourself down below in this thread. Instant access is available through:
    •   Google Plus
    •   Twitter
    •   Facebook
    •   An existing or new forums account.

ABOUT THE ANDROID CHANNEL


The Android Channel was started by 5 passionate Android enthusiasts, known for their volunteer work in the forums at Android Central.

Our goal is to be the biggest BEST Android community in the world, with a focus on quality content, discussion, and collaboration. All operational expenses have been donated by yours truly.

Most importantly, the forums were premised on the fundamentals of an open source community: 

"Our wisdom is not something we own, keep to ourselves, nor profit from. Our purpose is to share our knowledge with others, with the hope that others will benefit, and pass this knowledge along to others."

We welcome those who share in our vision, and wish to participate in the growth of the community.

CONTEST QUALIFICATIONS


  1. You are permitted ONE forum account. Multiple accounts, designed to increase your odds of winning, will null your chances of winning.
  2. Winners must provide a valid U.S. or Canada address.

CHECK OUT A FEW OF OUR FEATURED FORUMS!





CONTEST CLOSED
_______________________________________________
Congratulations! to our 'Spread the Word' Contest Winners:

  • 1st place - Lee Bo   ($50 Amazon Gift Card)
  • 2nd place - lpt2569   (2012 Android Summer BBQ Collectible Figurine Set)
  • 3rd place - Treknologist   ($10 Google Play Gift Card)
    
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#2757 [Chatter] One Thread to Rule Them All

Posted by Christopher Coleman on May 28 '13 @ 11:04 AM

You know the drill.

 

So does your mom.


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#1996 New to Android - need help rooting

Posted by ragnarokx on May 20 '13 @ 9:50 AM

:P

 

Came to show my support. Site looks awesome! Amazing job so far Cory  :D


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#879 Sense 5: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Features

Posted by dmmarck on Apr 25 '13 @ 6:35 AM

For most of my time in the Android community, Android meant software.  It meant an Operating System (“OS”) based on flexibility, malleability, and power.  I viewed all devices—owned and desired—from the software perspective.  My first phone was a Droid Incredible, complete with Sense 1.0.  Surely, you remember Sense 1.0—its home screen weather widget had flashy animations like wiper blades and blinding rays of sunshine depending.  It was colorful, with reds, oranges, yellows, and greens thrown about like a Jackson Pollock acid trip.

 
Sense 1.0 was also a bloated, sluggish, and gaudy mess.  My Incredible ran Sense 1.0 for barely a week before I discovered the wondrous rabbit hole that was CyanogenMod.
 
From that point forward, I was a “Nexus man.”  I was a "hacker."  I flashed roms and kernels more often than I checked the mail.  Eventually, I traded the Incredible for a Verizon Galaxy Nexus (the “fake” Nexus for some), and I constantly fawned over its gorgeous Ice Cream Sandwich (“ICS”) and Jelly Bean (“JB”) operating system.  I created my Nexus in my image, a pattern continuing with the Nexus 7.
 
But now I own an HTC One.  I traded unlimited data on Verizon, arguably the most reliable network in the Union, for a mobile share plan on AT&T.  That is how radically my Android focus changed from software to device quality.  For those who owned a Galaxy Nexus, you have lived with several constants over the past year or so: poor build quality; poorer radio hardware and reception; grainy, blotchy, tinted, and burned-in AMOLED screens; and a carrier that abandoned the phone almost immediately after its launch.  The One symbolized all that the Nexus was not, and I have embraced it wholeheartedly.
 
Significantly, I have embraced Sense 5.  The purpose of this post is to go through common moments of despair and confusion that folks, who like me, take the plunge and trade in a Nexus device for Sense.  Those moments, initially, will not be few and far between.  It took me the better part of a week to get used to the application drawer.  It took me days to make Blink Feed work to my needs and desires.  I ripped off the Band-Aid so that you, The Android Channel user, can get a head start.  So if you are reading this, sit back, grab your One, and stop worrying about the constant flurry of updated images in your feed or the “creative” placement of the settings/menu button.  It is time to enjoy your device, which I might add, is the best Android device one could own this very minute.

 

BuhyuWHl.jpg

 
Wait, where the hell are my soft keys?
 
The most alarming change from AOSP to Sense 5 will be the basic keys—back, home, recent applications, and settings/menu.  Since ICS, the set up has been fairly straightforward:  Back – Home – Recent Applications, with the settings/menu button popping up to the right of Recent Applications 90% of the time, application dependent. 

With the One and Sense 5, your world has turned completely on its head.

 
The One places the keys in the traditional “bottom of the screen” position.  However, unlike the Nexus devices, these keys are not on screen “soft” keys.  “Back” is a capacitive key, and has largely the same functionality as it does with AOSP, although I have been finding new and creative ways to befuddle myself (like trying to get out of the application drawer).
 
In the middle, you have an HTC logo.  Because Android is beautiful, this can be “mapped” (once unlocked/rooted) to have functionality.  Past that, it is useless and simply serves to remind the user that they did not purchase an iPhone, GS4, or a heinous DROID-branded unit.
 
Finally, the “home” key, like the back key, is capacitive.  It largely functions like the home soft key in AOSP, except a double tap will reveal your recent applications.  Unlike AOSP, the One and Sense 5 does not have a dedicated button for this function, and the feature is simply “hidden” within the home button.
 
For those who fell in love with the “3 dot” settings/menu key, great news!  The 3 dots have persisted.  Bad news!  They persist within an additional black bar placed immediately above the back/home keys, unfortunately taking up precious screen space.  This is probably the only “feature” that I hate about the One and Sense 5, and it will take some time for you (and me) to get used to.  Hopefully an update cleans this up, but I would not hold my breath.
 
Personally, I suggest you use your device a lot when you first receive it.  You will hit that HTC logo more often than not, and the only way to get used to it is to build up some muscle memory and eye-hand coordination.  After a week of ownership, I am just about there, and you will be too.  Once you adjust, using your One will be much less frustrating and much more rewarding.
     
This is not your mother's Android home screen.
 
For AOSP users, the One’s default home screen will drive you insane.  It has a new feature called Blink Feed, comprising of static blobs that create a stream of readily available and updatable information.

Think Windows Live Tiles, but more . . . Android-esque.

 
At first, I was hesitant to try Blink Feed.  See, I was an early supporter of the Chameleon Launcher, which promised a very similar concept of constantly updating “windows” of information.  Unfortunately, for pretty much anyone who preordered the beta for a whopping $10 (like me), Chameleon was cumbersome, slow, resource draining, and often crashed or needed manual tweaking to get the windows to function appropriately.  Undaunted, I gave Chameleon a solid two week tryout on my Nexus 7 before enough was enough.  Stupidly, I gave it another try on my Galaxy Nexus not a month or so ago, but alas, if a quad-core tablet could not handle Chameleon, neither could a phone with 2011 specifications.
 
So for me, the Chameleon experience scarred me.  Thankfully, Blink Feed is a welcome step in the right direction.  It updates upon a simple pull-down, and comes complete with a robust list of customizable topics, individual websites, and sources of information including Facebook, Twitter, and HTC Sync.  It loads without lag, and the pictorial interface is rather beautiful when you casually scroll through it.  Unfortunately, opening Facebook status updates is a cumbersome exercise because Blink Feed opens the actual Facebook application, an application horrifyingly bad at almost every possible measure.

 

h4zT5Lol.jpg

 

iPJ1pOKl.jpg  mr9js90l.jpg

 
Sitting below Blink Feed is your standard Android dock, complete with application drawer.  At first, the drawer is a small, 3-column grid.  Luckily, you can change that to a 4-column grid, change the order of icons, and move items into folders on or off the dock.  Or, you can eliminate everything and go with a third-party launcher such as Nova, Apex, and Action.

 

uKabzUsl.png

 
I plan on using the stock Sense launcher for as long as I can stand it.  Will I end up replacing it?  Possibly.  But it is Blink Feed—a nice feature to some and a gimmick to others—that keeps me from installing Nova Prime or Action.  Give it a chance.  If you like it and use it, awesome.  If you hate it, it takes about 34 seconds to rid it from your phone. 
Media, Media, Media.
 
Let us be honest: Nexus devices, with marginal exceptions of the Asus/Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung/Google Nexus 10, are terrible media devices.  Sure, you can watch Netflix or listen to music with a Nexus device, so long as you have headphones and enjoy less than stunning clarity (Nexus 4 aside, maybe, hopefully).  Nexus devices do many things well and many things marginally well.  Media consumption falls in that latter category.
 
Of course, part of that criticism turns on what Nexus device you use.  The Galaxy Nexus, upon debut in the fall of 2011, had a very nice AMOLED screen with oversaturated colors bursting out of the glass.  It also had putrid low-light banding on gray-toned backgrounds, image burn in, pink/yellow/blue tinting, black blotching, and the status bar area eventually turned blue from the constant use of Holo/ICS blue.  In sum, Samsung’s AMOLED technology in the Galaxy Nexus had its ups and its downs.
 
The Nexus 7 did not have such qualms with its LCD panel, but unfortunately, its resolution and overall image quality leaves a lot to be desired.  Personally, I use my “grouper” daily, as it is perfect for bedside reading and browsing.  But how is it with video playback?  Not ideal, but that might be due to the abundance of HD panels currently proliferating mobile gadgetry.  Moreover, its washed out black and dark colors do nothing to help its case.  The Nexus 7’s speaker is also mediocre at best, although some cases (i.e. Portenzo’s book case) help “direct” the sound towards the user.

 

Safe to say, compared to a Nexus device, the One is a font of entertainment.

 
With the Galaxy Nexus, I avoided 3 activities like the plague:  video playback, gaming, and anything requiring use of the hole Samsung passed off as a speaker.
 
Since I acquired the One, I have discovered a newfound obsession in finding 4K-resolution video.  It is not that the One could handle such a native resolution, but seeing it in the One’s 1080p HD makes you behold just how far and glorious screen technology has come in 2 short years.  Heck, I sometimes watch with the sound muted, gazing at the stunning clarity of the image and wondering how in the hell such a screen could fit in my pocket.  It becomes even more bewildering when I look up and realize that my 47” LG LED/LCD TV has the same resolution.

 

7RdKOJSl.jpg  xe7VtcGl.jpg

 

(The still is from this amazing video.)
 
The sound, like the video, is remarkable.  Front-facing speakers are not necessarily a new invention (the Nexus 10 has the same setup).  Even so, most phone manufacturers have made a conscious decision to hide the speaker on the back of the device, almost begging the user to inadvertently muffle it with their hands.  The One’s “BoomSound” setup presents audio up front and with unexpected clarity.  “Beats” helps, I suppose, but that may cause distortion if some applications cannot properly utilize it (e.g. YouTube).  Clarity aside, the One at even half volume is louder than any device in recent memory.  For those that will use the One as an alarm clock, if you sleep through an alarm be rest assured, for you are in Elysium and you are already dead. 
(And even then, the One will probably wake you up eventually.)
 

QNSMuLnl.png

 
As for gaming, I have not really bothered.  I have found serious gaming on a device smaller than a 7” tablet to be a fruitless endeavor.  Some may trudge ahead unfazed by the size, but I have pudgy, calloused fingers, and precision is everything these days with virtual D-pads and the like.  I have played solitaire on the One, and that was a pleasant experience, for what it is worth.


  • Cory Streater, Cyber Warrior, Nexusisneecesary and 4 others like this


#6086 New YouTube update adds beauty, speed, and better functionality.

Posted by Christopher Coleman on Aug 19 '13 @ 2:03 PM

YouTube version 5.0 is now available on the Play Store, bringing an awesome new look and feature set.
 
On the app's Google Play description, it lists the changes simply:
 

What’s new:
* Watch a video while searching for the next one
* Search for playlists and use the “play all” button for endless entertainment
* Enjoy a new cleaner design


The app's biggest improvements from a quick observation is a huge speed increase and a "watch while browsing" feature.  Quick finger gestures allow you to exit the fullscreen mode as well as minimize the video to the lower right corner of the screen, allowing you to browse through other videos while still watching your previous selection.

 

It's such a simple new feature but it dramatically improves the experience.

 

Have you tried it yet?  Sound off below!


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#3144 An Exercise in Pointlessness: Google Edition

Posted by Cory Streater on Jun 1 '13 @ 11:00 AM

Here's my perspective:

 

It might appear an exercise in pointlessness to us, but perhaps it's a purposely thought out strategic decision by HTC in an effort to be aquired by Google?

 

As odd as that seems -- especially if you don't fully understand the Google/Moto relationship -- it's actually a very plausible possibility.

 

It's a CEO's job to make themselves and their shareholders as filthy rich as possible. Depending on the state of the company, they are always looking at one or more of these options:

  1. Maintain steady upward momentum on the stock market.
  2. Raise additional funding to enhance/grow the companies product line.
  3. Merge with a competitor or a company that can enhance/bring more products to their portfolio.
  4. Hope that their intellectual property is compelling enough to get aqurired.

When Google aquired Motorola, a lot of people scratched their heads and wondered why in the world they would do such a thing. There was and continues to be a lot of confusion as to how the Google/Motorola relationship works.

 

At the D conference, Walt Gossberg asked Motorola's CEO Dennis Woodside for more specifics:
 

Dennis: We are owned by Google & we are funded by Google with support from finance and legal.

 

this paragraph is key to me --> However, Android is completely different. We have no access to Android code which is what you want. We are managed by their partner managers, and when we have meetings with Google, their respective partner managers are in the same room with us, and there has been no advantage that's been conferred to us.

Walt: What about the rest of Google that's separate from Android. Can you draw from them? Suppose you wanted to do something with Search? Every manufacture tries to throw something on top of Android. There are parts of Google that do those things. Can you draw and help from them?

Dennis: the way the Android agreement is structured -- with all the partners -- is that Google agrees it will give access to all of its partners to their services at the same time. For example, if Google wants to update YoutTube, it can't give a special version just to any single OEM -- so there's no way we could work with a particular service to gain an advantage.

 

We have indeed brought over engineers from Google. However, those Engineers leave google, give up their badge, and are no longer Google employees.

 

 

 

HTC believes their IP is worth a lot. The perception is that they manufacture great hardware, and have done some really interesting things on the software side. However, they are finding themselves in the same position as Motorola was in. Google has been doing things on the user interface and performance side that has started making UI's like Sense and Touchwiz unnecessary. In fact, I personally feel these custom UI's are becoming less user friendly than Android was a few releases back. Feature rich, yes, but stock Android releases are much easier to use, and the user can have any interface they want via launchers and other apps available in the market.

 

Google could acquire HTC and run it the same way they do Motorola, or they could acquire them + their Engineers and merge the two together. The Googlized version of the One could make a strong case (from HTC to Google) that this type of relationship could indeed work.

Regardless, I think there's a much larger vision at play here than a Googlized version of the One.


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#2214 Lets see those Camera Shots

Posted by C Sab on May 21 '13 @ 5:29 PM

IMAG0299.jpg

 


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#1509 Meet The Staff

Posted by creccaj on May 15 '13 @ 12:20 PM

Jon has been an Android enthusiast as well as an overall technology enthusiast for the better part of 5 years now. Ever since the days of building his first computer he has had an obsession with anything to do with technology, computing, gaming and electronics. Android has been the cornerstone with this passion and has been since he purchased his original Android device, the original Motorola Droid.

Since then he has gone through the ranks of Verizon Android phones and most recently switched to AT&T to acquire the HTC One. While this all may be a hobby, he is accountant by profession. He has been working at one of the largest accounting firms outside the “big four” since November of 2012. Jon is a recent college graduate with a double major in Accounting and Management Information Systems. Accounting was his profession of choice for following in his parents footsteps as well as his love of problem solving.

While he has been a tech lover for years, the past 2 years have really been the cornerstone for his love of Android; mainly with the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus was and still is considered his overall favorite phone. While the HTC Ones comes in on a very close second, Jon can’t deny that the Galaxy Nexus has changed the way he viewed Android and smartphones as a whole. Jon is not a programmer, hacker or developer. He is an everyday guy who has a love for everything Android. He considers them his toys, albeit expense, but toys none the less.
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#1508 Meet The Staff

Posted by dmmarck on May 15 '13 @ 12:18 PM

Dylan is an obsessed Android fanatic, largely focused on Android software and hacking. Dylan’s obsession grew from his history as a gearhead and lover of all things automobile. While he often breaks everything he touches, he finds value and peace in fixing and tweaking all manner of things to his satisfaction, including his phone and its software.

 

Dylan’s Android history began with an HTC Droid Incredible, which he rooted and flashed within mere weeks of ownership. The Incredible gave way to the Galaxy Nexus, a device that allowed him to fully realize his love of the Android Operating System, flashing, ROMs, kernels, and the like. Naturally, a Nexus 7 followed, a device he currently uses (and tinkers with) daily. Recently, Dylan traded his Verizon Galaxy Nexus for an AT&T HTC One, a device so antithetical to his Nexii that it could only signify a radical departure in his preferences (and, perhaps, sanity).  
 

When Dylan is not posting at The Android Channel, he is spending time with his fiancée or indulging other hobbies, like reading and traditional wet shaving. In addition, Dylan has an infatuation with his current car, a 2013 Mustang GT; a healthy level of distrust of the government; and a belief in the existence of extraterrestrial biological entities.

 

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#1506 Meet The Staff

Posted by Cyber Warrior on May 15 '13 @ 12:18 PM

Some say that he seems to have been born pre-programmed to run Photoshop and his skills top the chart.. it turns out.. they were right.

 
An innovator, creative, focused, intuitive, perfectionist-  some words to describe Eric, a graphic designer in the New York area who is fuelled by his passion for art and is driven to make it to the top and be his best. Eric, or as others call him 'Cyber'.. specializes in all subjects of design, ranging from but not limited to: print design, logo design, web design, branding, typography and advertising with the majority of his time spent designing and implementing marketing promotions for businesses such as logos, websites, letterhead, business cards, packaging and more.
 
Eric's journey into the smartphone world started with the Nextel Blackberry 7520 but his real obsession started when Verizon released the Blackberry Storm.. the first touchscreen device that was destined to compete against the ever so popular iPhone. His obsession continued onto the Blackberry Storm 2 while at the same time Android was making its name known in the smartphone market. Frustrated with Blackberrys lack of innovation, Eric couldn't resist the temptation and the hype of Verizon's flagship device- the Droid X. Before RIM had the chance to completely self destruct themselves in the touchscreen business with the Storm 2.5, Eric jumped ship and purchased his first Android.. the Droid X and has never looked back since.
 
While overly impressed by Androids responsiveness and options for customization, he felt lost being on a whole new operating system but he was determined to learn because he knew of its potential, so he spent hours, days and months researching various online forums. Before he knew it, he was now an Android guru and felt compelled to return the favor of those who helped him get started and began giving back to the Android community himself helping other members by answering their technical troubles and overall questions. As his knowledge grew, so did his obsession and before he knew it, he was doing things to his devices that he never could have dreamed of like hacking, rooting, modding and every other kind of customization he could get his hands on. 
 
Last but not least, when Eric's not in front of a computer or one of his Android devices, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 year old daughter whom which he loves and adores.

 

 
"It gives me such great happiness volunteering my time to something that I'm so passionate about and the satisfaction of knowing that I've helped someone is like no other" - Eric 
 

cybt.jpg


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#8731 Unleash the Beast: General Nexus 5 Hackery

Posted by creccaj on Nov 4 '13 @ 4:07 PM

WARNING

Neither myself nor The Android Channel are responsible for your actions, your device, or the combination of the two. While Nexus devices are hard to brick, shit happens. Ultimately, you--and you alone--must accept full responsibility for anything that happens (good or bad), including the potential voiding of your device's warranty. Hacking is fun, but there is always risk. Unfortunately, you assume that risk by continuing down the path elaborated below.

 

 

Rooting vs. Unlocking

 

So now that you are unlocked thank's to the help of Dmmarck what's next?  Naturally, rooting would be the next thing that comes to mind.  If you plan to keep stock, rooting your device could be a good way to further customize your shiny new Nexus without flashing ROMs.  That being said, there is a big misconception between unlocking and rooting.  Lets fix that right now with a short explanation of both...

 

Unlocking:  Unlocking essentially unlocks your entire device to do almost anything that you want.  If you don't unlock your device you can't flash ROMs/Kernels/Radios or anything that alters the boot procedures of your device.  Please see the original post for more information regarding unlocking.

 

Rooting:  Rooting basically gives you admin access to your phone's OS and entire file system, allowing you to tweak settings while operating within the OS.  What does this mean?  Well this means you can tweak kernel settings (with apps like SetCPU), block ads, delete/freeze system applications, and apply themes.  Items like this don't require you to be unlocked because it does not alter the boot procedures of your phone since nothing is active from root until your device is loaded up to the OS.  

 

Think of it in terms of a computer OS.  When you first boot your phone up out of the box and get to your home screen, you are basically using the phone as a "Guest Account."  That means you can access all necessary functions but have restrictions to what you can modify, add or delete.  If you root your device, this will give you "Admin access" (a/k/a "superuser" permissions), meaning you will be able to modify, add or delete OS process, application or items at will.  Going along with the compute analogy, unlocking your bootloader can be compared to going into your system's BIOS and altering how the computer loads from the second you hit the power button.

 

Rooting the Nexus 5

 

"Yea, yea enough with the talk, just tell me how to root the damn thing already!"  That is why you came here I assume right?  Well lucky for you all, before the Nexus 5 was even out for sale, XDA Senior Moderator Chainfire posted a root method.  Fast, huh?  Before I continue on, I do have to put a disclaimer here:

 

NOTE

I did not help, contribute or work on this root method that Chainfire has released.  I am simply posting the process here for the purpose of this guide.  All credit should be given to Chainfire over on XDA.

 

Thankfully, Chainfire posted 3 ways to root your phone--Windows, Max OS and Linux.  So no matter what OS you have, you are covered.  Below you can find Chainfire post on XDA that instructs you how to root your device.  Take note that if you DID NOT unlock your device, this process will wipe you phone.  As of right now, there is no way around that.  My suggestion to you is unlock your phone anyway even if you plan to never flash a ROM or Kernel.  Unlocking your device will not negatively affect your phone in any way, it just leaves the option open to you if you ever decide to flash something in the future without having to wipe you phone and start over.  

 

 

Download

CF-Auto-Root-hammerhead-hammerhead-nexus5.zip

 

What's installed
- SuperSU binary and APK
- Nothing else, that's it.

Installation and usage

- Download the ZIP file (see post below for link)
- Extract the ZIP file
- Boot your device in bootloader/fastboot mode. Usually this can be done by turning your device off, then holding VolUp+VolDown+Power to turn it on.
- Connect your device to your computer using USB

- Windows:
--- Run root-windows.bat

- Linux
--- chmod +x root-linux.sh
--- Run root-linux.sh

- Mac OS X
--- chmod +x root-mac.sh
--- Run root-mac.sh

- Follow the on-screen instructions - watch both the computer and the device !

Note that if your device had not been unlocked before, this procedure will wipe all your data !

Are you having fastboot driver issues? You can find fastboot drivers in many places, but the easiest way is probably just installing the Android SDK.

Did you see the red Android logo during rooting, but SuperSU does not appear? This may sometimes occur due to left-over files and settings, however, you can usually install SuperSU from Google Play at this stage and it'll just work.

Not included - adbd Insecure
As this CF-Root does not include a custom kernel, adb shell does not have root access by default (you can still get it by typing su inside the shell), nor is adb remount supported, nor will adb push and adb pull work on system files. adbd Insecure can be used to remedy this situation. (No idea what this is about ? Don't worry about it !)

CF-Auto-Root homepage
http://autoroot.chainfire.eu/

CF-Auto-Root main thread
[CENTRAL] CF-Auto-Root
For requests for new roots and generic discussion - please keep device specific discussion in the thread you are viewing now.

 

Now, you should have yourself a nice shiny rooted Nexus 5.  Rooting a Nexus device is always pretty straight forward, and this one is no different.  Now that you are rooted... be aware of what you can do to your phone and take precautions every step of the way.  Disabling system applications can cause force close loops that will only be solved by a full restore (using factory images).  This is just one of the issues that an inexperienced root user could encounter.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.  You don't want to brick your brand new Nexus do you?  :).  


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#3897 [Chatter] One Thread to Rule Them All

Posted by 2defmouze on Jun 28 '13 @ 6:15 PM

Made a sweet dinner tonight.. salmon filet marinated in bbq sauce with garlic, garlic salt, pepper, lemon juice.. onions and asparagus cooked in a little butter and cooking wine. Came out much better than I hoped, first time cooking salmon :)

 

Wuzzup Chatterz?

 

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#2783 [Chatter] One Thread to Rule Them All

Posted by zero neck on May 28 '13 @ 11:37 AM

 

 

 

 


Hate this time of day. Need moar coffee.


 

On my third cup for the day.


 


Currently brewing my 6th.

Ugh.

 


On my first now :( .. had no time this morning.. running late as usual.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

I do 1 before shower, a Starbucks energy thing during the commute, and then constantly during the day.  I'll probably be dead in 4 years.

 

I like to start the morning with some coke, then switch to crystal for my commute, speed ball while getting educated, and unwind with a bottle of whiskey and zanex before bed.  

 

um haha 


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#2260 Whatchya Drinking?

Posted by Cory Streater on May 21 '13 @ 10:43 PM

Mmmmm... life is good as long as I have one of these around.

 

cidre.png


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#1801 <insert witty introduction title>

Posted by Pat on May 19 '13 @ 11:37 AM

How's it going?  My name's Pat; Patrick Schroedl if you want to be all formal about it.  ;)

 

Where to start, where to start... I'm a twenty-year-old UI/UX designer living and working in Seattle, Washington.  My work is an even split between Android/Windows Phone development and modern web design (HTML5, CSS3, responsive layout design, etc.).  I previously spent two-ish years as a graphic designer doing branding, logo, and website work for various companies.  My smartphone history really begins with the original Droid on Verizon.  My list of personal devices continues with the HTC Thunderbolt, Motorola XOOM, Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Verizon variant), Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and now the Nexus 4, 7, and 10.  The list of devices I have around for development purposes is much longer, and changes frequently.. which is often very entertaining.  Quite a few of you will recognize me from AC, where I'm a moderator.  I can't resist new communities, so when I saw this site up on Google+ and heard from Kevin and Chris about it, I went straight for the 'register' link.

 

I have a deep love for the Pacific Northwest (looking at you here, Cory!), good food, good music, and quality drinks.  But who doesn't?  Nothing better than a summer in the Northwest.

 

This should be fun.  I'll be as active as my free time (what little I have) permits.  :P


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#1782 Is this thing on

Posted by 2defmouze on May 19 '13 @ 9:02 AM

Is this thing on?

 

What's up old friends?  :)


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#1451 The Samsung GS4 is Decadent and Depraved

Posted by dmmarck on May 14 '13 @ 7:28 PM

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (“GS4”) will probably end up as one of the best selling phones, Android or otherwise, to date. In basic terms, it represents an iterative, evolutionary update of the GS3, a phone that debuted nearly a year ago and propelled Samsung to its current position of pre-eminent Android manufacturer.

Significantly, the GS4 packs significant technical prowess, added features, and improved hardware into a design that closely mimics, yet does not necessarily copy, the GS3.

But those updates are irrelevant. Samsung’s biggest features have steadily evolved since the GS2—its megalithic marketing and a patent ability to not give a shit.

Now, do not misunderstand me—the GS4 should be a fantastic phone (on paper). Its specifications rival anything presently on the market, and its design is solid and refined. However, much like Apple, Samsung could sell pre-formed cubes of feces at this point and have it be a financial success. They no longer rely on innovation, creation, and risk; rather, they cater to a built-in user base that slavishly waits to upgrade older Notes, GS2s, and GS3s with the "Next Big Thing."

Personally, part of me is happy that Android has a manufacturer that steps up and rivals Apple. But another part of me believes Samsung to be a detriment to future development. Instead of advancing Android, Samsung advances Samsung. While that makes great business sense, what does it do for the OS or innovation amongst manufacturers? Not a goddamned thing.

See, TouchWiz represents the metaphorical rape of Android and all that Google has created until now. But to some, TouchWiz is the only Android experience they have ever had. They know nothing else, so why should TouchWiz’s faults or impacts upon Android affect their usage?

Well, the answer is simple: if the most prominent and popular example of Android is a bloated, lag-riddled, and obese amalgamation of all that is unholy, then some users will get the “wrong idea” about Android. They will think that this is Android. They will think that this soulless, beastly mess of code is Apple iOS’ primary competitor, and not Google or any of the other multitudes of Android flavors.

On the other end, you have those, who like me, detest TouchWiz. Some TouchWiz detractors hate it so much that the mere mention of its name inspires an angry, primal reaction. In fact, some who loathe TouchWiz wish for nothing more than the chance to plunge a new $700 Samsung device into a fiery hell pit, hoping to forever vanquish its demonic systems for all eternity.

While the above may seem hyperbolic, it is indicative of how many have come to view Samsung’s attempts at software domination. Recently, Samsung has taken the route opposite to Google, HTC, Sony, and others. Instead of conforming the software’s design to stock Android and Holo guidelines, Samsung uses dated and cartoonish design, emphasizing a “fresh,” “creative” appeal that it so desperately wants its devices to engender in the consumer. In fact, TouchWiz’s design takes me back to simpler times—the times of Froyo and Gingerbread.

Almost to the point of insult, Samsung layers feature upon feature into TouchWiz, hoping that users find new and unique ways to justify using their devices. Samsung hopes for a world in which a traveler walks around a foreign land confidently, translating bits of conversation here and there in order to ask a local fisherman where to take a shit or how to score detergent-free narcotics. Samsung hopes for a world where people use anything but touch to control their devices, as if physical movement was an activity exclusively reserved for the poor.

Unfortunately, Samsung’s world is much more real once you cut through my bluster. Samsung has left Google and Android behind, creating mobile devices in its image and its image alone. Samsung’s position is not necessarily inexcusable—they are a wildly successful business, after all. Rather, Samsung’s position has done nothing to advance Android and everything to inhibit it, and for that reason, and that reason alone, Android enthusiasts should be worried about the GS4. If it sells as it should, we may see more manufacturers follow Samsung and not Google, much to the dismay of your humble author and legions of Android enthusiasts worldwide.

But in the end, Android is open. So long as Samsung complies with the requisite licenses, it can do whatever it damn well pleases. And believe me, it will continue its violent Android death march until someone gets the gumption and billions of dollars to stop them.

Sadly, that time is probably far, far away.


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