Friday, 30 March 2012

Remove Bloatware From International Galaxy Note GT-N7000 With Lite ROM Creator Script

Despite all the criticism regarding its one-size-fits-none form factor, Samsung has sold over 5 million units of the phone-plus-tablet Galaxy Note. Almost everything about the device has controversy surrounding it, whether it’s the huge 5.3” 720p Super AMOLED HD display or the inclusion of a capacitive stylus; it’s really a love it or hate it kind of thing.
Anyhow, after 5 months in the market, the Galaxy Note is seeing a lot of support from the Android developer community. After being rooted, there’s work being done on bringing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to it and cooking new ROMs with unique features.
Now, a developer by the name of goddamnit over on XDA-Developers has created a script that allows users to selectively remove pre-included apps and other bloatware from the International Version of the Galaxy Note. Removing bloatware is something all enthusiasts like to do for improved performance, so if you are one of those types, check a basic list of instructions after the jump!

The news comes straight from a thread posted by goddamnit on XDA-Developers’ Galaxy Note forum in which he discusses his script and how to get it working on your device.
The list of instructions given by the developer are a little confusing which makes things look complicated, but the method is still, of course, easier than having to manually remove each piece of bloatware yourself.
The gist of it is this: you run a lite-rom_creator.exe, select apps to remove, export the customized script in the form of a .txt file, place it on your device’s SD card, launch a terminal app on your device and then select the .txt file from there. The script will then run and remove selected bloatware. You can then enjoy a better-performing Galaxy Note (due to less bloatware) after a reboot.

Lite ROM Creator script works only on Windows, so those of you on other operating systems will either have to wait for someone to port it to your OS or you can always use virtualization software such as VirtualBox!
Bloatware on any device is a huge turn off for anyone, even me. In fact, the first thing we tend to do before we get our hands on a brand new device is remove all the unnecessary apps which we believe are either useless or are just eating away those precious megabytes from our device in hand.
For the list of the instructions and any queries, check out the official thread over on XDA-Developers.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Google Maps 6.5 For Android: Support For HD Graphics, ICS Optimized UI, Better Navigation And More

Google Maps is – unsurprisingly – a stock feature of the Big G’s mobile operating system, and has today been served a pretty significant update.
If you’re running one of the premier devices on the market (Galaxy Nexus etc.), then there’s High Definition support which is not only easier to read, but nicer to look at in general. We live in an age where our digital devices are all marketed as facilitating groundbreaking/wonderful/beautifully crisp/(insert adjective) high definition, so you could say the Maps update is not before time.

As well as the HD visuals, the interface has been tweaked for those running Ice Cream Sandwich, and the app now includes preferred public transit mode as well as route options.
Although Ice Cream Sandwich has struggled to reach the masses, but has been widely praised for its new look. The new Google Maps certainly fits in nicely with ICS from an aesthetic point of view, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be as pleased with the updates as we are.

With the voice dictation shown in the video, the ad could easily be mistaken for one of the many Siri videos we’ve been bombarded with since October – but for the tasteful guitar sounds in the background!The feature allowing users to select and prioritize transit mode has been in the pipeline for a while, and includes a handy ‘Recommended Route’.

To conclude, you may also want to hit up the YouTube page of Google Maps, where you’ll find a dozen videos outlining the awesomeness of the updated app, explaining users the benefits of Maps on their Android devices.Should you prefer to simply cut to the chase and crack on with the app, however, check out the download link
below.Download Google Maps For Android [Google Play Link]

Google has been bullishly dominant on the maps front over the past few years, and as well as being on every Android device, Google Maps is also pre-loaded on each and every iOS device. If Apple has its way, that won’t be the case for much longer, since the Cupertino company has reportedly been preparing an alternative of its own.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Run Over 400,000 Android Apps On Your Windows PC Right Now Using BlueStacks Beta

A plethora of apps, programs and devices were showcased at this year’s CES – many of which are unlikely to ever see the light of day in the actual consumer market.
There were some weird and wonderful sights, that’s for sure, and one in particular caught the eye of many on looking tech-enthusiasts. Recipient of the prestigious Best Software award at CES 2012,BlueStacks allows Android apps and games to be enjoyed full-screen on a desktop PC.
It initially launched in Alpha last October, and was downloaded over a million times during that initial three-month stint. Launched today, the very first Beta version uses the company’s Layercake technology, allowing Android apps to run on x86-based PCs.
BlueStacks put the initial Alpha on hold in order to properly prepare the public Beta, so I thought I would give it a little test out in order to see how far it has come since CES.

Firstly, I downloaded the installer from the BlueStacks site. Once downloaded, I ran it, and was left to mull over the million downloads milestone and the CES award once more, as the remainder of the necessary files were obtained. If you opt to install BlueStacks and, like me, you’re on a relatively slow connection, this is probably the time to hit the kettle and grab yourself a coffee. Note also, there’s no download progress bar, so you may feel like you’ve been abandoned in blind wait. I know I did.
Nonetheless, after a little thumb twiddling, the app installed smoothly, leaving me with a dilemma regarding which app I was going to test out. Being the tightwad that I am, I wasn’t willing to pay for an app, so I did a little hunting. In order to really test the pedigree of BlueStacks, I went for a fairly resource-intensive game as opposed to, say, a passive social app, and came up with the modern classic that is Cut The Rope (Free).
While my PC doesn’t burst at the seams in terms of hardware, it runs all my PC games without a flaw, so, I presumed, should be more than adept to cope with a miserly Android title.
As it fired up, I was rather apprehensive. I’d never tried a touch-only port to a PC of this kind before, although since Rovio managed to release Angry Birds on virtually every platform without sapping most of the fun, I tried to focus on the positives.
BlueStacks automatically gives you a 

very intrusive
 toolbar at the top of your screen, which protrudes like OS X’s dock when you hover over its icons. It’s easy enough to remove, and you’re left with the main application pane.

Unfortunately, after trying lucklessly to run Cut The Rope, I opted for the Facebook app just to get things going. I had already spend a considerable amount of time downloading and installing, so went with the old faithful. After three erroneous attempts, I was logged in to Facebook for Android.

Despite the toil in actually getting an app running, it ran extremely well. Scrolling was nice and smooth, there were no dodgy pixelated areas where the orientation had got a tad messed up; and in what was, for me, a rare visit to the social network that is Facebook, it felt as though I was using a rather well-polished desktop app.
With my hopes somewhat restored, I wanted to have one last stab at an Android game. I went for Jump Ball Extreme (nope, never heard of it, either), and after a short download period, fired her up. A basic concept – much like that of the popular Doodle Jump, involves keeping a soccer ball in the air by means of clicking the mouse (or tapping, on mobile devices).

It worked smoothly, with crisp sound (and, unfortunately, ads), and while not the same experience as playing on an S II or Desire HD, it’s still a very fulfilling experience for those with much time and little stimulation – like myself, arguably.
Having tested BlueStacks, I can definitely see how the possibility of undercutting PC games is very real predicament. Mobile versions of apps are notoriously cheaper than their desktop counterparts – usually around one-fifth of the price. Thus, the tidy little premium being made by Rovio etc may be in serious jeopardy. As HandyGames CEO Markus Kassulke rightly points out:
As well as searching within the app for Android titles, one can sync with an Android device, allowing those apps already purchased to be transferred to a PC.
Taking into consideration desktop apps cost $30 compared to an average $6 for mobile, it’s hardly any wonder BlueStacks has been awarded its title, and we highly recommend you try out the beta version.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Fortune Names Steve Jobs As The Greatest Entrepreneur Of Our Time

Through his incredible vision and drive, Steve Jobs forged together what is today the most valuable company in the world, and, along the way, he revolutionized many industries and facets of how we live. And, for his many accomplishments, his name is often synonymous with the words "entrepreneur" and "visionary". So, it should come as no surprise that he was rightfully named the #1 entrepreneur of our time in a list put together by Fortune.
Fortune noted that, though occasionally abusive and mean-spirited, he is "our generation’s quintessential entrepreneur." They went on to describe his hatred for market research and focus groups, as he felt that they restricted one’s ability to innovate. Jobs disregarded conventional R&D practices and followed his own intuition; which, as it would turn out, was far more accurate. He had a knack for "connecting the dots" and timing that has proven to be much more valuable than conventional market research.

Fortune recalled a time when a Popular Science reporter asked Jobs what studies Apple conducted to identify a market for the computer when they launched the Macintosh. He retorted, "Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?" There were quite a few other instances of this occurring as well; Jobs served up a witty retort to a reporter questioning Apple’s methods of market research (or lack thereof).
Consisting of 12 entrepreneurs, the people on the list were selected based on a number of factors: The success of their companies, their vision, and the social and economical impact of their work. Along with Jobs, the other 11 entrepreneurs on the list are Bill Gates (Microsoft), Fred Smith (FedEx), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Howard Shultz (Starbucks), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines), Narayana Murthy (Infosys), Sam Walton (Wal-Mart), and Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank), respectively.

As you can see, there are five other guys on the list who are infamous in the technology world. Bill Gates, often touted as Jobs’ nemesis ranks #2 on the list, right beneath him. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is #4, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google are both #5 on the list, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is #7 on the list. As Fortune describes it, there are also ‘surprises’ on the list – people who aren’t as popular as the "given" guys who we’d expect to find – such as Narayana Murthy of Infosys, a successful IT consulting company in India.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Developer Finds A Way To Downgrade iOS 5.1 To iOS 5.0.1 On iPad 2 And iPhone 4S

iH8sn0w, the well known iOS developer and researcher who is responsible for the production of Sn0wbreeze, iFaith, iReb and f0recast has been hard at work again trying to resolve an issue that has been tainting the experience of owners of the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The said two Apple devices are powered by the A5 processor, and as any jailbreak fan will know, it hasn’t previously been possible to perform firmware downgrades on those two units. When Apple releases a new version of iOS, they promptly stop signing the older firmware, meaning that any official restores result in the user installing the latest official iOS version onto their device.
In normal circumstances, going to the latest version of iOS isn’t really a big issue for standard users. However, the problem occurs when iDevice owners who wish to perform a jailbreak update their software, leaving them having to sit and wait patiently until the Dev-Teams produce a working, distributable jailbreak for that new iOS version. On older devices, users can benefit from a firmware downgrade to versions of iOS that Apple no longer signs as long as they have the relevant SHSH blobs saved for that firmware. In most cases, Cydia automatically captures any available blobs and update the users’ Cydia app with the blobs that have been saved. Jailbreak fans also use the very popular and powerful TinyUmbrella tool to quickly and efficiently capture available SHSH blobs and save them locally on their machines for use at a later date.

 The news basically means that owners of the iPad 2, the new iPad and the iPhone 4S have finally been invited to the downgrade party and will be able to restore their devices to any firmware of their choice, providing that they have the relevant SHSH blobs saved. Other than a tweet from iH8sn0w about the APTicket system loophole, we have no additional information from the developer, but as it filters through we will be sure to bring it to you.