Picking a new Android smartphone; has it become too much work?

HTC Okay, so.., OMG, I’m either getting old or things are as complicated as i thought they were getting; i want another android device to add to my collection, replace and use as my main phone  – voice/text/chat – but of course i want ‘the best’, the best just means of right now but also doesn’t cost $4,000 dollars 🙂 You know what I mean.

 

SAMSUNGMy phone right now is the Verizon galaxy S3, rooted with CyanogenMod 11, and I’ve been loving it, while starting the process of picking a new phone, I kinda decided against the S5, i don’t know why, seems too much like what I’ve got but with a bigger screen? -I know; that is way, over-simplifying it.. but I want different features like the speakers on the One, that’s cool -and anyway, I loved HTC way back from the Eris, to the Incredible.

So how come there are so many different versions of [any phone] the HTC One? …and not differently-named but same-versions for whatever specific carrier,. -Verizon has like 3 or 4 variations of the One if I’m not mistaken, and,… here’s the kicker, why i even bothered to write this, is that,… They are all super-vary-similarly spec’ed out, ugh..

Now.. I don’t even know how to word my question, basically, what’s you’re opinion, recommendation, reviews, or comments, or just a quick ‘anything’ response; help me out.. ;]

Please respond, comment, add opinions below, or on Twitter @KevinSeeger, on Google Plus +KevinSeeger, even on Facebook @KevinSeegerChico

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Google (April Fools?) adds to Chrome & Maps apps

In the Android edition of Chrome app you’ll see this in the top of the menu:

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Which will use Google Translate to.. ‘translate’ to:

Before

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After

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And then it gets weirder…

Open the Android Google Maps app and find pokemon? Here…

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Remember ‘Crazy Taxi’ Arcade Game?

So, I remember playing Crazy Taxi- in the mall arcade and in the theater arcade way back when and also on my Sega Genesis, -I think. Anyway, I’m obsessed right now with all the news and newest goodies from Google, Android, etc.. and I have always loved finding time to bring some nostalgia into my life – whichever form that may be. Those two together have just made a little portion of Mr. Famous even more the happy. If you didn’t know, Crazy Taxi has been available in the Google Play Store for awhile but it was like $4.99, -and screw that. But for the next few days, until 3/19/2014, the word ‘Free’ has been added to the game’s title. Why would they kick the price?

Well, first just hurry and grab the now-free Crazy Taxi from the Play Store, and I would suggest downloading and using an app backup utility (App Backup & Restore) so you will have a copy for future android devices and installs after the 100% off sale ends, and second, here’s why they kicked the price for a few days.. !!! 🙂

“Sega’s using this sale to draw attention to an upcoming entry in the franchise, Crazy Taxi: City Rush. That free-to-play title will introduce modern visuals, but it will also come with less desirable innovations, such as social network integration and in-game currency.” –[androidpolice.com]

Crazy Taxi: City Rush Announcement Trailer

SEGA TAKES TO THE STREETS IN CRAZY TAXI: CITY RUSH

Legendary Crazy Taxi Franchise Returns to Mobile Platforms with New Arcade Experience Full of Signature over-the-top Excitement and Action

SAN FRANCISCO – March 14, 2014 – SEGA Networks, Inc. is pleased to announce the newest game in one of the company’s most iconic franchises: Crazy Taxi™: City Rush. From Kenji Kanno, the creator of the original Crazy Taxi arcade smash hit and Hardlight Studios, one of SEGA’s top mobile developers comes a game reimagined for a new generation of mobile gamers. Crazy Taxi™: City Rush captures the spirit of the beloved Crazy Taxi series with one-touch, intuitive controls that make for a fun and frantic ride everyone can enjoy. In Crazy Taxi™: City Rush, there’s no mission too insane, no stunt too dangerous and no passenger too outrageous…nothing is safe!

Free to download and play for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices, Crazy Taxi™: City Rush was designed exclusively for mobile and will release globally later this year.

“I’m very excited to finally be able to share with you the first news of Crazy Taxi™: City Rush,” said Executive Producer and creator of the arcade original, Kenji Kanno. “We are delivering a truly fun game that captures everything our fans love about the original and infusing it with several new features to create an even more fantastic and memorable experience.”

Swipe to quickly change lanes, whip around corners, onto sidewalks and ramps to send your cab soaring through the air. Drive crazy through an all-new big city setting.

Crazy Taxi™: City Rush will launch with a wide variety of adrenaline-fueled missions, wild challenges – and unique areas to unlock, explore, and master as you progress through the campaign. Customize your cab to increase its power and visual appeal with a wide variety of over-the-top upgrades. Take your friends for a ride and blaze a trail through the city, sidewalks, and alleyways for special rewards.

“Creating a new game for our Crazy Taxi fans is extremely rewarding,” said Chris Olson, Senior Vice President of SEGA Networks. “City Rush embodies the spirit of Crazy Taxi with its signature frantic arcade action and crazy stunts and also delivers a new mobile experience with easy one touch controls and social features.”

Crazy Taxi™: City Rush has soft launched in limited global regions, with plans for a full global release later this year. More information will be released leading up to the game’s official launch.

As a special ‘thank you’ to longtime fans, SEGA is also pleased to announce that the first game, Crazy Taxi, is now free to download on the App Store and Google Play for a limited time.

For more information on Crazy Taxi™: City Rush, please visit the official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube page.

Odexed vs. Deodexed – Difference Between..

..The Two Android ROMs Explained:

Seeing as how Android is fast becoming one of the fastest growing smartphone and tablet platforms out there, it’s surprising to note how little clear information is available for the uninitiated towards the platform that would actually explain what certain terms – those that experienced users are so familiar with that it seems second nature to them – mean.

XDA-Developers is one of the largest and most useful sources for learning Android, but let’s face it; the forum has all the information within it without a stellar search engine, and the user community, while being helpful, would mostly advise you to ‘use the search feature’ instead of answering all the beginner question that you may have. Thus, users are often found looking for those answers in places other than the forum. Well, I cannot promise answers to everything, but if you’re trying to comprehend the difference between a odexed and deodexedROM, you’ve come to the right place!

deodexed-odexed-android-roms

Explaining Odexed vs. Deodexed Android ROMs

You’re bound to have come across the term ‘deodexed’ if you’ve ever installed a custom firmware on your device, since almost all ROM developers choose to deodex their offerings. What this means for the average user, however, is a different story. To understand the concept, you’ll first need to grasp what odex files are, and why are the present in the OS in the first place.

Android (being based on Linux) uses application packages, or APKs, as they’re normally called, to tell the operating system what app to load and execute. If you’re at all familiar with Android, you’ll know that the OS works on the basis of partitions, out of which those apps that are contained in the /system partition are system apps (and cannot be changed or modified without having root level access, since they’re a part of the OS itself), while those contained within the /data partition are user apps and can be freely modified. The /system partition is the first one to load when the operating system boots up, hence giving priority to the apps contained within. It is with these apps that odex and deodex deal with.

What Are The Two Possibilities

Coming back to Android applications, there are two possible routes to follow, based on the fact that each app is comprised of an APK and a cache part that tells the Android Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM) what components does the app come with.

  • The cache for each APK is contained separately in a .odex file, which loads into the virtual machine at the time of boot, thus speeding up boot times. (Odexed)
  • The cache for each APK is contained within the APK itself as a classes.dex file, making the boot times slower as Dalvik VM is built up. (Deodexed)

Now, ideally, most OEMs choose to opt for the first route, for two major reasons. First, it makes modifying the system apps more difficult (thus making the OS more stable and secure), and two, faster load times for the OS itself, since the cache is built as part of the virtual machine itself. Confused? Allow me to explain.

Clearing Up the Confusion

In normal cases, where an Android firmware is odexed, the .odex files for each /system APK (which are stored outside of the APKs themselves) are written into the Dalvik Virtual Machine when the OS boots up. Since these .odex files contain preliminary load information about each system app, the OS knows what to expect when it’s booting up, and consequently, loads all these apps faster. Ultimately, for the user, it means that boot times are significantly sped up, and you can put your device to use much sooner.

As opposed to the above, in a deodexed (custom) ROM, there is no cache information within the Dalvik Virtual Machine at the time of boot, so when the system status up, it only gets to know which apps to load once the /system partition APKs are actively accessed. This, in effect, will result in a much longer boot time, since each APK will be processed one by one, and you will be able to use your device long after you’ve powered it up.

Deodex is Slower, Then Why Bother?

In real life, that’s not the case. With deodexed ROMs, only the first ever boot after clearing Dalvik cache is slower, and all subsequent ones will be the same as any odexed ROM. This is owing to the fact that during the first boot, all cache information is written to the virtual machine anyway, and hence, it will behave as any other firmware (until you clear the Dalvik cache once again).

Why ROM developers do it is because of the modification possibilities that it entails, especially theming. Since in a deodexed scenario, all the application code is contained within one single APK, the developer can simply modify the APKs values to apply any custom look and feel to the app itself, without breaking any functionality. This also opens up possibilities for changing different parameters of the app without affecting how others will operate. Since a dodexed package has no external dependencies, it gives more freedom to modify what they wish. On the other hand, with an odexed ROM, theming is absolutely impossible, since the .odex part of the application will always be in conflict.

android

The Bottom Line

It all boils down to this: while an odexed firmware is faster and more secure, a deodexed one gives more modification freedom, and is the only way possible to change the look and feel of system apps. In actual terms, deodexed ROMs are only slower in the first ever boot, after which they are the same speed as the former ones. Also, deodex doesn’t entail any serious security risks to your device, either, and you can rest assured that the millions of users opting for these aren’t suffering.

original article

Google Voice for Verizon Wireless (Official – finally)

Set up or remove Google voicemail

Set up Google voicemail for your phone

With Google Voicemail you’ll have all your voicemail in one place, with transcriptions, access to your past voicemails, and voicemail sharing options.

If you’d like to set up Google voicemail for your mobile number, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the gear icon link at the top right corner of the page. gear icon
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Add another phone
  4. Enter a name and the number for your phone and then select the “Phone Type”.
  5. Click Save.
  6. You will be prompted to verify your phone number. Click Connect and Google Voice will call your phone. Verify your phone by entering the code that appears in the ‘Verify your Phone’ pop-up window.
  7. Click Activate Google voicemail on this phone.
  8. Follow the directions on the next screen and enter the code provided as if you were calling someone. Press the ‘Call’ button on your phone to finish setting up Google voicemail for your mobile phone.

If you’re a Verizon Wireless user:

If you are having trouble configuring Google Voice as your voicemail service on Verizon you can make the switch manually by dialing these three activation codes:

 

  • *71[Your Google Voice number]
  • *90[Your Google Voice number]
  • *92[Your Google Voice number]

Deactivate Google voicemail on your phone

Deleting your phone from Google Voice will not actually prevent your voicemail calls from going to Google voicemail. In order to switch back to your carrier’s voicemail and deactivate your Google voicemail on your phone:

  1. Click the gear icon at the top right of the Google Voice page
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Edit under your forwarding phone number.
  4. Select Deactivate and follow the prompts.
If you’ve deleted your Google account and are unable to deactivate Google Voicemail, please contact your carrier and ask them to remove “conditional call forwarding” from your account.

Samsung Galaxy S III showing SPB Shell 3D v.1.6.4

Just Rooted my Samsung Galaxy S III, threw the newest version of SPB Shell 3D home replacement, it’s not super functional for me, but i love that smooth 3D animations that go on when idle.

AdBlock & Adblock Plus: Chrome extensions

Chrome Extensions are small programs that modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. The two most popular extensions listed in the Webstore are “AdBlock” and “Adblock Plus” – but which one of the two is the better one? This post will explore the differences between the two ad blocking extensions.

AdBlock was created by an independent developer for Chrome and Safari when Adblock Plus was still only available for Firefox. He claims to have been inspired by the Adblock Plus movement but is not related to it. Instead he is working on AdBlock for profits from donations as well as paid clones users can purchase voluntarily to support him. Both adblock extensions provide exactly the functionality you expect from them, all ads are reliably blocked on every website. The extensions themselves don’t block anything – the unwanted elements such as advertisements are defined by filter lists.
AdBlock from getadblock.com

AdBlock from getadblock.com – The most popular Chrome extension, with over 15 million users! Blocks ads all over the web.

Adblock Plus from adblockplus.org - The free adblock tool for Chrome: Blocks annoying video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, banners and much more.

Adblock Plus from adblockplus.org

Adblock Plus for Google Chrome was created by the Adblock Plus community, an open-source movement that is supported by many voluntary contributors who aim to make the internet better for everyone by eliminating bad advertisements. It was originally created for Firefox and was only recently ported as a beta version to Google Chrome. With more than 125 million downloads it is themost popular browser addon in the world.

Both AdBlock and Adblock Plus use the same filter lists that were created for Firefox Adblock Plus.While this works fine on banners and layer-ads, blocking ads embedded in videos is not possible due to a limitation in the blocking capability of the Chrome browser. Adblock Plus has implemented a workaround to that limitation which, unfortunately, only works on Youtube.com and not on other video sites or embedded videos.

While both extensions work almost on a same level, a more detailed analysis is needed in order to find out which one of them is the better adblocker:


Adblock

Adblock Plus
Installation process 8 10 Small deduction of points for AdBlock due to the fact that an intrusive window is opened during the installation that asks for a donation to the developer
User interface 9 7 Adblock Plus is still in beta and so far only has a rather minimalistic interface
Speed 8 10 AdBlock slows down the browser when multiple tabs are opened
Blocking banner ads 10 10 Both are using the same filter lists and hardly miss any ad
Blocking video ads 4 7 Video ads often cannot be blocked due to a limitation in the WebKit engine Chrome is based on. Adblock Plus performs significantly better on youtube.com
Creating own filters 9 7 Both provide the functionality to easily create own blocking rules;AdBlock makes it slightly more convenient to select unwanted elements on a website
Total 48 51

Conclusion: In conclusion, both extensions are efficient adblockers, although not as good as the Firefox one. Adblock Plus is based on the same code as the Firefox version and therefore is little bit more sophisticated as it doesn’t negatively impact the performance of the browser and works more reliably on youtube.com. You can install the Adblock Plus extension here.

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