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Monday, 25 August 2014

On 13:16 by Abhijit Pinjan     No comments

10. Motorola Moto G

In what has to be one of the more surprising releases over the last year or so, Motorola’s little phone that could continues to be one of the best valued smartphones available. It’s built well, has a good screen, doesn’t cost too much and runs the latest version of Android. What more could you want for a device like this? If you were looking for a 4G, Motorola released a version with 4G and a microSD card to go along with the 4.5-inch 720p display earlier on in the year. The Moto G is available on pretty much every carrier there is as well.

Available from Flipkart the Moto G is pretty affordable.

09. Motorola Moto X

Specs play a big part when it comes to smartphones these days and sadly, the Moto X doesn’t quite match up against its competitors. There’s a replacement rumored to be coming along soon, but if you’re happy with a 4.7-inch 720p display, decent performance, excellent voice control and up-to-date Android software, then you’ll be happy with the Moto X. I keep on saying that the Moto X is a good device to live with, and if that’s what you’re after, the Moto X won’t disappointment.

You can pick up the Moto X on Flipkart, but the real fun is with the Moto Maker.

08. LG G Flex

Nothing says “different” than a device with a 6-inch display that’s curved from top-to-bottom. What’s perhaps more impressive here is that the G Flex is actually flexible, you can press on the device and it will flex with no issues and there’s even a little self-healing scratch removal voodoo going on around the rear. However, for how cool it is, the G Flex is a device that features a 720p display, a Snapdragon 800 and some interesting software choices on LG’s part. With an update to the G3′s skin, the G Flex would be a much better device, but as it stands it’s still a cool piece of hardware, but perhaps not the device you’d want to live with.

07. LG G2

LG’s G2 might be getting on a bit now, but it can still hold its own. The Snapdragon 800 and 5.2-inch Full HD display are both great here, and the overall performance is excellent. Battery life here is pretty darn impressive as well, and if you can pick one of these up in a good deal, then you’ll be fairly happy with your purchase. Compared to the G3 however, well, the extra money on their latest and greatest really goes a long way. The extra build quality and larger, more dense display are really worth taking a look at.

06. Sony Xperia Z2

Sony keep on trying the Xperia Z format over and over, and the Xperia Z2 is easily the best attempt on their part. It’s got a great-looking 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display, a big improvement over the Z1 and it’s powered by a Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM. With its 20.7-megapixel camera that performs excellently, there’s a lot going for the Xperia Z2. So, where’s the problem? Well, for a 5.2-inch device, the Xperia Z2 is just too big, those big beszels make for a device that’s a little more unwieldy than it should be and then there’s getting your hands on one, which for Sony is not easy in the US.

05. OnePlus One

gnoring the controversy and completely skipping over the hype, the OnePlus One is a good phone. We found out as much in our review of the device, and it’s a great option if you like larger devices thanks to the 5.5-inch 1080p display, even doubly so if you’re a fan of CyanogenMod. Over the last few weeks, the OnePlus One has been given a stock Android ROM from Google (if CyanogenMod isn’t your kind of thing) and in general, the OnePlus One could be that larger Nexus you’ve been looking for, only with a lot more character than say a Nexus device. Still, problems do keep on appearing and the company has yet to prove itself as someone that can take good care of their customers.

04. Google Nexus 5

Right now, the Nexus 5 is the device to own if you’re looking forward to getting your hands on Android L when it releases this Fall. Otherwise, the Nexus 5 is just a great, simple and flexible device. Sure, the camera isn’t great, but as someone that has a vested interest in photography I can really tell you it’s not that bad at all (of course, if you’re really going to take some good photos then you won’t be using your smartphone in the first place). The 5-inch 1080p display is good, the Snapdragon 800 holds up okay and while it’s hardware is uninspiring it doesn’t feel cheap at all. A great device for those that like stock Android and want great value in a smartphone.
You can find the Nexus 5 in Google’s Play Store.

02. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Is the Galaxy Note 3 the perfect large-screen smartphone? Well, we’re sure that Samsung is about to tell us why it no longer is next month, but for right now I’d say so. One of the few devices that makes effective use of its larger display, the 5.7-inch 1080p Galaxy Note 3 works great with the S-Pen and it’s packed with a Snapdragon 800 and 3GB of RAM for multitasking. If you’re looking for a device from a reputable name that has a large display, allows you to get more done and actually looks somewhat classy, then the Galaxy Note 3 will see you right.

02. HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5

Two sides of the same coin, HTC’s One M8 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 are a show of what Android 4.4 KitKat can do with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chip. They’re both 5-inch, 1080p affairs with the same beating heart and it would be a little unfair to call one better than the other. Sure, the M8 is built better and has much better-sounding speakers, but the Galaxy S5 has added features like a fingerprint sensor and if you spill beer on this guy, you’re fine. Both have software that focus on similar things with comparable performance, rather than which is best, this is more a case of which is best for you. 

01. LG G3

LG’s G3 is a technical marvel, it’s packed with a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display and yet the device doesn’t seem that larger than the G2 did a year ago, it’s powered by a Snapdragon 801 and users lasers to focus that 13-megapixel camera. What’s more impressive here however, is that LG have finally managed to match that technical prowess with smart software design. No longer does LG’s touch on Android seem amateurish, instead it’s a professional and easy-to-use approach to make Android more friendly to the everyman. In many aspects, the G3 is the best device to ever roll out from an LG factory, and if you want the absolute best, the G3 is perhaps the best compromise out there.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

On 12:22 by Abhijit Pinjan     No comments

With the recent tidal wave of Apple news - from the arrival of the latest iPhones to the release of iOS 7 - faithful Android users may feel fed-up with the i-Everything hoopla.
Android deserves a little love!
Even though iOS 7 has been reeling in some rave reviews and is undeniably sleeker and better than any previous Apple OS, it still falls short of Android in several areas.
While "once an Android, always an Android" may not ring true for everyone, here are some reasons not to make the switch.   

5. Customization

There’s so much to be said about the classical Android interface. Not that Touchwiz bloatware or any other similar nonesense. AOSP (Android Open Source Project) is where the fun is. Right out of the box, Android 4 gives a load of personalization options to the user. While this guarantees a steep learning curve, it also makes learning the ins and outs of your device fun. For the geeky types mentioned in the opening paragraph, this is a must. Finding a random new status bar option might sound fascinatingly boring to the casual user, but the tinkerer will use it to enhance his phone’s interface.
After you learn everything there is to know about your device, why shouldn’t you install a custom launcher and give yourself some more things to tweak around? In the end, an experienced user is going to have a sleek UI that iOS users can only dream about. True, most Android users keep their stock interface, but the tweakers are going to have wildly different and unique screens. If you look at the iPhone OS, all the devices look basically the same. You can’t even edit the icons, not to mention that all the other options are fairly limited. Another thing missing from iOS are the widgets. Their usefulness (ranging from the “dead cat” all the way to “digital swiss knife”) can be left out of this article, but they are an important customization option nonetheless. And we haven’t even reached the rooting part, which opens Android up even more.
In the end, the average Joe will see complications where the power user sees opportunity, and that’s the main difference between Android and iOS. If you want a relatively boring and static UI, go for the Apple’s product, but for an extremely customizable and versatile application platform, get a goddamn Android phone.

4. Rooting

Rooting (Android) is, by default, a process that brings more power to the user than jailbreaking (iOS) does. When Apple users jailbreak their iDevice, they get the options to, don’t faint now: choose their default web browser, use a file browser, change keyboard and much, much more. Yeah. They get to do stuff Android users can do from the get-go. Rooting, on the other hand, gives you total control over your Android. Overclock your processor, uninstall bloatware, add kernel codes to your ROM… Heck, why not go and flash a whole new OS such as Ubuntu? Err, not practical, sure, but it’s possible! It might sound overwhelming at first, but it really isn’t. Most devices have specific guidelines and software that makes rooting possible, but every procedure is essentially the same as the others.
The whole rooting process takes about 10 to 15 minutes, even if you don’t have any experience with it. Just read a lot of up-to-date guides and be prepared to do what it takes. After this, you’ll get to tweak absolutely everything you can think about, leaving iFans choking in shame. They can have their “simplicity” and “clarity”, while we own their asses in the awesomeness department. Yeah. That sentence sounds badass enough. If you have a friend that has rooted his device, and you want him to do the same to yours, don’t. It’s better to do things like this for yourself simply because it gives you an insight into what you can and can’t do. At the very least, ask your tech-savy pal to root the device when you’re around, so that you can figure it out.

3. Restrictions

Whether you like it or not, restrictions are a huge part of the iOS ecosystem. The end user is, essentially, stuck inside a heavily controlled environment that isn’t prone to change of any kind. It’s basically the same as it was on the older, “normal” phones; you could change the wallpaper and (if the manufacturer allowed it) change the icon layout. Android goes over and beyond this issue. While new users really are introduced to a relatively lenghty (a couple of weeks) learning process, it does pay off after a while.
The thing is, people appreciate their freedom. This is extended onto the devices and software they use. As time passes, they’re getting more and more used to the fact that virtually everything they own is subject to their will, so the systems that Apple is offering are redundant and aged. Don’t get me wrong, now. It’s a known fact that they are rock solid and extremely reliable (in most cases), but it’s also a fact that they are a relic of a different time. True, there should always be *some* restrictions in place, but these constraints most certainly shouldn’t completely handicap user creativity.

2. Applications, File And Media Managment

Obviously, Google is going to support Android much more than iPhone. Apple’s AppStore still leads in quality and number of available apps, but Google’s Play Store doesn’t fall much behind, not anymore. We’ve mentioned how Android is a much more versatile and flexible platform, but this becomes clear when browsing available apps. File managers, keyboards, launchers… AppStore can only dream about such applications. Altough most developers still prefer to begin on iOS and port to Android afterwards, this trend is expected to die out after some time. See, even though iOS is generally more stable and reliable, it doesn’t have all the possibilities Android has by default.
Versatility is important to fandroids not only because it gives them an edge over iFans, but also because they can change absolutely everything they don’t like about their OS. Want an additional display option? Oh, sure, install it. The pre-installed file manager sucks and/or is ugly? Well, get a completely different one. It’s all fascinatingly easy to do. Not to mention that it’s either free or cheap. You don’t even need to root the phone to get most of these options. Hell, you can even install an iOS7 launcher and see how much more it sucks in comparison to Trebutchet or Apex.
One area where newer iDevices blow regular Android phones out of the water is gaming (sadly). Since there’s only a single current model of iPhone, it’s infinitely easier to optimise your software for it than for a couple of hundred modern Android phones. So, even though Android generally has better hardware, it remains unused (if you don’t root your device and optimise it yourself).
To summarize; iDevices don’t have a singular file manager, copying music to iPhone without using iTunes is relatively hard and the applications are quite limited (ways in which they can modify your UI, to be precise). Doesn’t sound all that enticing, right?

1. Potential

All the comparisons between Android and iOS end up favouring one side over the other, and this one is clearly not different. Apple’s phone has amassed a huge amount of followers because it was (presumably) the first and original touchscreeen device for the masses. It should be noted that Android was actually operable before iOS, but in an alpha state. By the time Android caught up with iOS in terms of quality and effectiveness, Apple already had much better infrastructure and app support.
Sure, this is all true, but it’s also evident that Google is getting better at developing an OS. Latest versions of Android look sleek and operate efficiently, while retaining the customizability of earlier versions – and upgrading it. The main problem that Android is facing isn’t even about the software. You’re guessing, it’s the fragmentation. Once Google manages to get around this issue, Android will have everything iOS has, and more. Until then, fandroids are stuck with limitless customization potential and fancy UI.
Even though iPhones, iPads, iToilets and all other iStuff will stay faster and snappier by default (yeah, think about what I just wrote), Android devices will always have more potential. Potential that will eventually break out. In the end, the platform that is more open will win this “war”. Apple isn’t going to change their policy anytime soon, so it’s clear what OS will remain favoured by the Power Users.
If you feel we’ve been biased towards Android, you’re very right. In the next article we’ll talk about why iOS is better for the casual user, so there’s that. Stay frosty.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

On 14:11 by Abhijit Pinjan in     No comments

Android is one of the most open, versatile, and customizable mobile operating systems out there. You may think you don't need to root your phone, but you'd be surprised at how much more you can accomplish with a little work. Here are 10 reasons rooting your phone is worth the hassle.

10. Unlock Hidden Features and Install "Incompatible" Apps

Sometimes, even Android isn't open enough to give you some of the features you want. Either an app is blocked by carriers, hacks into Android's system files, or otherwise isn't available. Luckily, rooting can help with that: you can install carrier-blocked appsget features from the latest version of Androidmake incompatible apps compatiblepower up your hardwareget features like Beats Audio from other phones, or emulate exclusive features like those on the Moto X. Whatever you want, rooting gives you the power to do a lot more.

9. Automate Everything

You've probably heard of Tasker, the awesome app that automates just about anything on your phone. You don't need to root your phone to use it, but if you're rooted, it can do a whole lot more. Certain tasks, like toggling 3G, GPS, changing CPU speed, turning the screen on, and others require root access. So, if you want to get the full benefit of an app like Tasker, you'll definitely want to root your phone. For more automation inspiration, check out your best Tasker actions, as well as our most recently featured Tasker tricks.

8. Boost Your Phone's Speed and Battery Life

You can do a lot of things to speed up your phone and boost its battery life without rooting, but with root—as always—you have even more power. For example, with an app like SetCPU you can overclock your phone for better performance, or underclock it for better battery life. You can also use an app like Greenify to automatically hibernate apps you aren't using—perfect for those apps that always want to run in the background when you're not looking.

7. Block Ads in Any App

Look, we of all people understand the need for occasional ads—it's how we make money. But ads can also get in the way and use up data. If you want to block ads in certain apps or on certain devices, rooting is by far the best way to do soAdFreeAdBlock Plus, and Ad Away are all great options. Of course, if you aren't rooted, going into airplane mode works in a pinch too.

6. Back Up Your Phone for Seamless Transitions

When you move to a new Android device—or restore your device to stock for any reason—you can make your life a lot easier by backing up your apps and settings first. That way, you can get your entire setup back in just a few taps. If you aren't rooted, you can back up a few things like apps and data, but you won't necessarily be able to backup system apps and their data, or automate the entire process as well as Titanium Backup can.

5. Remove Preinstalled Crapware

Titanium Backup is good for more than just backups, too. It can also uninstall that annoying, battery-draining, space-wasting crapware that comes preinstalled on so many phones these days—and, sadly, this feature is root-only. Freeze them first to make sure your phone operates normally without them, then delete them completely to free up that space. You'll be glad you did.

4. Tweak the Dark Corners of Android

If you're the kind of person that likes to fiddle with every little feature—both on the surface and under the hood—rooting is for you. Whether you want to customize your keyboard layout with something like Keyboard Manager or give yourself faster scrolling, improved multitasking, and extra themes with Pimp My ROM, rooting gives you the power to tweak just about any corner you can think of. If you want to do it, chances are someone over on a forum like XDA has created a mini-app or tweak that will help.

3. Flash a Custom Kernel

Some of Android's most under-the-hood tweaks require a custom kernel, which you can only flash with a rooted device. The kernel is responsible for helping your apps communicate with the hardware of your phone, which means a custom kernel can give you better performance, battery life, and even extra features like Wi-Fi tethering (on unsupported phones), faster battery charging, and lots more. You can flash kernels manually or simplify the process with something like Kernel Manager.

2. Flash a Custom ROM

Okay, so you probably already know about this one—but it's one of the best benefits of rooting. A custom ROM is basically a custom version of Android, and it truly changes how you use your phone. Some merely bring a stock version of Android to non-stock phones, or later versions of Android to phones that don't have it yet. Some add a few handy featuressome add lots of really unique features, and some change your operating system from head to toe. No matter what phone you have—even if it's a Nexus—we highly recommend checking out the custom ROMs out there. You won't be disappointed. Note: As some of you have noted, you don't actually need root access to flash a custom ROM—though you will need to unlock your bootloader (a process that sometimes comes bundled with root access). Still, it requires freeing your device from manufacturer lockdowns, so we've kept it in the list despite this technicality!

HERE are some custom roms.

1. Truly Own Your Device

In the end, all of this boils down to one thing: you own your device, and you should be able to do with it as you please. Certain manufacturers and carriers try to keep that from happening, but with root access, you truly own your device and open yourself up to all the possibilities other parties try to block. Sure, there's some risk involved, and we don't usually recommend rooting other people's phones, but in the end, you can't put a price on true openness and control.

HERE are top 10 rooting softwares.