Chromecast is one of those little devices that many of us wonder how we survived without. To be able to control your TV and watch movies from your phone or tablet, is just a nerd haven for excitement. The only thing that can make it better is if you can just display everything that is on your device through your Chromemcast. Sadly we can only achieve that with certain apps that have Chromecast support, but developer Koush is now making that mirroring possible.
Koush unleashed an update for Mirror Beta today, for anyone with a Nexus 5 to mirror their homescreen onto their TVs. I must stress Nexus 5, because that is the only device capable to do this awesome task. Koush claims, “This is because Nexus 5 is the only phone on the market that has a hardware vp8 encoder.” You do have to be rooted as well, which is something I have yet to do on my Nexus 5. Laziness I suppose, but I am going to play the “I’m too busy” card.
So head over to the link provided below to give it a try if you rock a Nexus 5 in your pocket. Let us know if works for you. Also check out his brief demo video.
If you’re a Nexus 5 owner then you’ll know about the bug which causes the phone’s CPU to be maxed out when using the camera, resulting in high battery drain. According to a post by Google on the company’s issues tracker, it seems Google have isolated the issue and will be issuing a fix shortly.
The bug is caused by something called “mm-qcamera-daemon” which causes high battery consumption, and since this process is related to handling camera data, it means that third-party apps can trigger it, so it’s not constrained to an operating system calling function.
According to Google, one particular offender is Skype, which seems to be accessing the camera regularly from the background and by doing so is triggering that bug. We’ll ignore why Skype is trying to access the camera without you knowing…
As mentioned, Google has found a fix for the bug and is bundling it in the next maintenance version of Android, most likely 4.4.3. Until then, the only fix is to reboot the device, and Google are recommending that removing Skype may relieve the issue.
The more significant point is that this bug may not be constrained to Nexus devices, since third-party apps are able to call the camera, so KitKat devices running a Qualcomm chip for camera processing, like the Galaxy Note 3, are also most likely affected. Unfortunately a fix will have to go via the manufacturer for these devices, so may delay the patch being delivered to your non-Nexus device.
If you think you’ve been hit by this bug, drop us a comment below.
[Via Google Issue Tracker]
There are plenty of options when looking to run a custom ROM on your Android device and one of the most popular, besides CyanogenMod, is Paranoid Android.
Official PA ROMs only support Nexus devices, so if you don’t see your device in the downloads, it’s not supported by the main development team, but there may be a port and you just need to search the forums.
Up until recently, the latest PA ROMs based on Android 4.4 KitKat were primarily a stock experience, but today an update was released, PA 4.1 beta, bringing one of the ROM’s killer “flagship” features, PIE controls, its stock navigation replacement.
According to PA, PIE is “a simple, straight-forward replacement of the navigation bar that optimizes the screen space available to the user.”
PIE is basically a fully-customizable replacement for the on-screen navigation buttons and stays hidden off-screen, only seen with a predefined gesture that can come from any of the four sides of the device.
Via Google+, the PA development team said that it faced some problems with the immersive mode introduced in KitKat, and has now released a redesigned version to match the KitKat design philosophy. Instead of porting the feature to its KitKat ROMs, PA completely redesigned the feature for the new version of Android.
PIE controls are now fully-integrated into the core UX with the introduction of “on-the-spot preferences,” so PA users no longer need to sort through endless settings.
Additionally, it gives users status information at a glance when your status bar is hidden in immersive mode, plus the stock Google Now swipe up gesture is now integrated.
If you’ve never tried out Paranoid Android before, be sure to check out 4.1 beta on your rooted, unlocked device, which is now available for the Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi and 4G), Nexus 7 2012 (Wi-Fi and 3G), Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus (GSM, Sprint and Verizon). Be sure to grab the latest Gapps as well.
The post Paranoid Android 4.1 beta released with reworked PIE controls for KitKat appeared first on AndroidGuys.
The Samsung Galaxy S5, introduced at Mobile World Congress 2014, will likely go on to become one of the top-selling Android smartphones of the year. And why not? It’s the latest in Samsung’s flagship line of devices and it’s better than ever. But, how does it fare when you compare it to other top smartphones of the day?
Let’s stack the Samsung Galaxy S5 up against another key Android handset, the LG Nexus 5. We’ll take a look at how they match up in terms of hardware, yes, but we’ll also touch on some of the differences in software and user experience.
|Operating System||Android 4.4.2 KitKat (w/ Samsung UI)||Android 4.4 KitKat|
|Display||5.1-inch Super AMOLED (1920×1080)||4.95-inch True HD IPS (1920×1080)|
|Storage||16GB, 32GB||16GB, 32GB|
|Processor||Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801||Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800|
|Connectivity||4G LTE, Wi-Fi, HSPA+, NFC||4G LTE, Wi-Fi, HSPA+, NFC|
|Size (mm)||142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1||137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6|
|Expansion Card||Yes (up to 64GB)||NO|
|Water Resistant||Yes (IP67)||NO|
At first blush, the Samsung Galaxy S5 appears to have a slight edge in the camera, battery, and a few other details. But, dig deeper, and you’ll learn that the Snapdragon 801 processor is more than a slight upgrade of the Snapdragon 800 processor. With that in mind, we shouldn’t be all that upset that the Galaxy S5 does not have 3GB RAM. Internal storage capacities are the same, however the Samsung benefits by having external storage options.
It doesn’t hurt to have an extra 500mAh of juice in your battery, but we’re not yet sure as to how that translates to real world usage.
If you’re looking at just the specs, the 16-megapixel rear camera sounds much better than the 8-megapixel found on the Nexus 5. But, toss in some features like the fastet-yet shutter speeds, HDR, and selective focus, and Samsung pulls away. And, while we might not yet be able to take full advantage of it, the Galaxy S5 can record in video at 4K resolution. Should you have a TV or display capable of displaying that resolution then you’ll definitely be in business.
User Interface and Enhancements
Indeed, its water resistance is a nice touch this time around and helps protect the phone from life’s accidents and spills. It’s not quite ready to go swimming all day but a spilled glass of water is not the end of the world.
We also like that Samsung has opted for the USB 3.0 option in charging as it opens the door to added functionality. No, not every user will take advantage of it, but we like future proofing devices.
Fingerprint scanning is likely to find a place in most of the bleeding-edge smartphones going forward. It’s not a perfect tool, yet, and has limited capabilities. Samsung, for its part, is playing nice with the SDK and letting developers hardness the technology.
You know what else matters to a lot of users? Freebies and value-added bundles. To that end, Samsung is giving upward of $500 worth of apps and services away with each Galaxy S5. Not all stuff that every user will want or need, but it’s pretty darn appealing nonetheless.
If there’s one thing that matters to heavy Android enthusiasts, it’s the software experience. While Samsung has added plenty of wonderful features, apps, and services, the edge still goes to the Nexus 5. That is, of course, if you care a great deal about timely upgrades and no carrier interference.
The Nexus 5 is offered through Google Play Store for $349 (16GB) and $399 (32GB) in three color options. Pricing has yet to be determined for the Galaxy S5 but we’re thinking the $200 range is in order. The key difference, however, is that the Nexus 5 does not require you commit to a two-year service agreement. Yes, you’ll be able to procure an unlocked Galaxy S5 (and likely a Google Play Experience, too), but it will be in the order of hundreds more.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be sold starting in April in 4 color options and should be available through just about any carrier you can imagine. All of the major players are expected to sell the device as are a number prepaid arms.
Which is right for you?
The first question you should ask yourself is whether you are willing to sign a contract. If that answer is yes then you should go with the Samsung Galaxy S5 without pause. For those who don’t want to tie up for two more years, it gets trickier. The Nexus 5 will be about half of the overall cost of the Galaxy S5 and is still a best-in-class experience. It’s ironic to even say this sort of thing, but you could do much worse than to go with a Nexus device.
Something else that you should consider is whether you need to be on the cutting edge of Android updates. Things have slowed on the overall platform front and features are coming at a slower pace. We venture to guess that most smartphone users cannot identify the exact build of their OS. If you don’t know the difference between a Jelly Bean and a KitKat release then it should not bother you to go with a modified UI.
Average consumers are going to flock to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Those who are coming out of contract with their Galaxy S3 are looking at this device as a huge step forward. At this point there’s nothing to stop the Galaxy S5 train; others may slow it a bit, but it will be the top-seller of 2014. For great reason(s).
When the Nexus 5 was announced the launcher looked a bit different from what people are used to seeing on a stock Android device.We’re used to seeing the same launcher on basically every Nexus device, so it was a bit of a shocker when Google unveiled the new look.It was running the Google Now Launcher with a few more features than the original “stock” look.
Well, Nexus and Google Play Edition device owners rejoice – the Google Now Launcher is finally official! You can grab it from the Google Play Store today, but only if you have a Nexus or GPE device running Android 4.4.
With the GNL, you can swipe left to access Google Now from your main homescreen. Long press on a blank space to access wallpapers, widgets, and settings. And the app drawer is now only used for apps.
No word yet as to whether or not they will release it to non Nexus/GPE devices, but I couldn’t see that happening.
The post Have a Nexus or GPE device? Download the Google Now Launcher OFFICIALLY from Google Play appeared first on AndroidGuys.
See those two screens up there? Pretty soon the smartphone will have the same resolution as the much bigger panel (a 27-inch Dell U2711 monitor with 2,560 x 1,440 pixels). While the snappiest CPUs, more RAM, better cameras and other frills are a must for the latest handsets, the current marketing pièce de résistance is a higher-resolution screen. In four years, we’ve passed from a norm of 800 x 480 to 960 x 540 and up to 720p, 1080p and soon — likely on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S5 — 2,560 x 1,440 Quad HD (QHD). That works out to a borderline-insane 500-plus pixels per inch (depending on screen size) and manufacturers aren’t stopping there. But is more resolution worth the extra expense if you can’t even see the difference? Well, it’s complicated.
Are higher pixel counts worth the manufacturing cost and effort?
The first smartphone with Quad HD, the 6-inch Vivo Xplay 3S (pictured above), has already been announced. Others that could have that pixel count, like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and the Oppo Find 7 are rumored to be launching at Mobile World Congress next week. As a reality check, that’s the maximum supported by most 27-inch and larger pro monitors, apart from several recently announced 4K models. While such screens pack a pixel density of about 110 ppi, the Vivo Xplay 3S handset clocks in at a whopping 490 ppi, more than four times as much. Most people (according to Apple) hold their phones about 10 inches from their eyes, but sit only a touch more than twice that distance from their monitor — around 24 inches on average.
Are higher pixel counts worth the manufacturing cost and effort? In justifying the Retina display on the original iPhone 4, Apple famously said that the human eye could only resolve about 300 ppi from 10 inches. That seems to have merit considering that most glossy magazines are (effectively) printed at 300 ppi, and no one complains about the resolution of magazines. Others have said that it’s possible to distinguish pixels up to about 480 ppi or even more, but that requires closer viewing distances and perfect, youthful eyesight. Most of us fall somewhere between those extremes, depending on our age and the state of our orbs.
You might be sacrificing a lot of your smartphone’s other capabilities in exchange for pixels that are (arguably) imperceptible.
If you’re willing to allow that 480 ppi or so is the maximum resolution the best of us can see, then guess what? We’re already there, pretty much. LG’s Nexus 5 (above) for example, has 1,920 x 1,080 pixels jammed into its relatively petite 4.95-inch screen. That works out to 445 ppi, far in excess of Apple’s first Retina display and, for this editor, completely artifact-free at eight to 10 inches, even on fine fonts. You could make the case that Vivo’s much larger 6-inch phone is deserving of its 490-ppi Quad HD screen. But then again, six inches is pushing into tablet territory, and you’d probably hold such a phone farther from your eyes — Apple figures on 15 inches for an 8-inch iPad mini with Retina, for example. From that distance your eyes will resolve less (again, assuming you can even see that close), negating the need for more pixels.
At about 3.7 megapixels, a Quad HD screen has nearly twice the resolution of a 1080p model (2.1 megapixels). Those extra pixels aren’t going to push themselves around, meaning you’ll need beefier graphics if you want to keep the whole “butter” thing going. Of course, Samsung’s upcoming flagship will likely be powered by a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 805 or Exynos 6 CPU if the rumors pan out. However, with the extra resolution, you may not get a corresponding performance boost. On top of that, unless the Korean company’s pulled off some coup, battery life may be the same or worse than the current Galaxy S4. All that means you might be sacrificing a lot of your smartphone’s other capabilities in exchange for pixels that are (arguably) imperceptible.
Despite our reservations, pixel progress marches on.
Despite our reservations, pixel progress marches on. Japan Display announced 5.4- and 6.2-inch Quad HD panels; LG has at least a 5.5-inch screen incoming (above); and Qualcomm showed off a 5.1-inch 2,560 x 1,440 model. Along with Vivo’s 6-inch display, that covers a wide gamut of screen sizes, most of which are bound to show up in new models this year. And if the rumors are true about Samsung’s Galaxy S5, it’ll be QHD with a 5.2-inch screen size — that’s 560 ppi, if you’re keeping score at home.
It seems that’s not enough, because Samsung has already said that it’ll have 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) screens out by 2015 with 700 to 800 ppi, depending on screen size. Even the most ardent pixel-lovers would have to agree that’s crazy, passing the limits of human acuity and matching 110-inch 4K home theater panels pixel-for-pixel. Naturally, we want our tech dripping from the bleeding edge and we love us some 4K. But after Quad HD becomes the gold standard later this year, manufacturers should focus on more important things like battery life, user experience and design. Don’t hold your breath, though, because smartphone marketers love bigger numbers — even if, like the emperor’s clothes, you can’t actually see the extra pixels.
As a smartphone user who is admittedly not fond of using cases, it takes a lot to impress me, and even more to convince me to use your product for more than a week or two. I’m very selective and particular in what I look for. Unlike most case users, protection of my device is the last thing I worry about. I look for something sleek, unobtrusive, functional, and, above all, minimal. I took the SEIDIO SURFACE for the Nexus 5 in Gold for a spin, to see if they could convince me to become a case user again.
The first thing that struck me about the SURFACE case was the similar feel in material to the actual back of the Nexus 5. The soft touch matte back was very reminiscent of holding the phone bare, and that was how SEIDIO gained their first point from me. Not only did I feel like I was just holding my phone, but SEIDIO’s choice to go with a matte case also minimized the appearance of fingerprints, and resulted in a firm, non-slippery grip that made you sure of your handling. The inside of the case is lined with a velvety felt, protecting the back of your Nexus 5 from an scratches from the case itself. A very important touch, here, given the snugness of the SURFACE case. It slides on as two separate pieces that snap together. And boy, was that a feat. Pushing it together took a moment or two, during which I tried to loosen up the case by snapping it together and apart several times. Taking off the case is a bit of a challenge, and requires tugging quite hard on either end, making me worry whether my phone would go flying when it finally came apart.
The SURFACE case doesn’t add too much bulk to the phone, as seen in the comparison photo above. A small lip goes around to the front display, providing a bit of a buffer between your display and a flat surface. Be warned – if you happen to have a skin or decal on the front and/or back of your Nexus 5, the SURFACE may be a little more snug than your liking. Another heads up as well: white Nexus 5 owners may run into a problem similar to mine, in that my white decal was smudged with some sort of residue from the inside of the case, which I have still not been able to remove after cleaning it several times. This could just be bad luck, or could be because of the carbon fiber nature of my decal, which collects dirt and grime more easily than a flat surface, but I felt it worth the acknowledgment.
This is a tight fit, and even the smallest amount of added bulk to your Nexus 5 may cause some issues getting the case on and off. I had a Spigen tempered glass screen protector that began to lift along the edges and bottom when the case was on, and eventually cracked due to the prolonged pressure, so this won’t be the phone case for you if you have or are considering something along those lines. Surprisingly, Seidio claims that it’s own VITREO tempered glass screen protector is compatible with the SURFACE case. I’m not sure if this is something I’m inclined to believe, given it lifted and broke my Spigen GLAS.tR which is 0.23 mm thick, pulled up my Anker, which is measured at 0.38 mm, and the VITREO itself sits at 0.55 mm, over double that of the Spigen. It could be that the VITREO doesn’t extend to the very edge of the phone, or more gradually rounds off, giving it more room for a case, but I can’t speak on its performance in conjunction with the SURFACE case. I imagine normal PET-type screen protectors would behave just fine, however.
There are ports cut out of the case for the power button, volume rocker, headphone jack camera and flash, charger and speakers, as well as the noise cancellation mic at the top of the phone, but not for the SIM card tray. However, the top portion of the SIM card tray can be seen from the cutout for the power button, which was a cosmetic overlook that bothered me just a bit. It does make the power button easier to press, though, which is likely more important to most users. I will say that I greatly appreciated the fact that the case protected the camera lens from any direct contact with a surface.
I tested both NFC and wireless charging while using the case, and didn’t have a problem. Pictures and files beamed to other devices without hesitation, and placing the phone on my Tylt wireless charger didn’t require any fiddling or moving it about. Given that the SURFACE isn’t a very thick case, this shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s nice knowing it’s not a concern. The kickstand on the back of the case, probably the biggest selling point, reclines the phone at a very comfortable viewing angle from every table and surface I rested it on. It’s also very sturdy, and even while shaking a table, it remains upright. The kickstand is held in place by a magnet, meaning there aren’t any clips that you need to worry about breaking or wearing out. It’s easy to pop out, but also not prone to opening when you don’t actually want it to. Unfortunately, you are limited to landscape orientation for viewing, which is great of course for videos, games, and other media. However, I read books quite often on my phone, and would have loved a kickstand that could function in portrait orientation as well.
In closing, I’d say that the SEIDIO SURFACE case is one of the few that I would consider using on a daily basis, except for the fact that it negates the use of a tempered glass screen protector. Unfortunately, the most important feature of a case for myself – a snug, slim fit – is exactly what stops me from enjoying it. However, the snug fit will be great for the vast majority of users, the feel of the case in the hand is wonderful, and the kickstand is the most excellent executed on the market. SEIDIO has spent the last few years perfecting the SURFACE line of cases, and I think the Nexus 5 case is an amazing example of this. The SURFACE case used in this review is the Gold version, but it is also available in Black, Glossed White, Garnet Red, Amethyst, Royal Blue, and Turquoise for $34.95. If you’re prefer something a little more rugged to protect your Nexus 5, SEIDIO also offers the DILEX and CONVERT cases, as well as a wallet flip cover-style case, LEDGER. You can find the SURFACE and all of Seidio’s other offerings on their website for the Nexus 5, and various other popular smartphones. As usual, you can save some money on all other colors of the SURFACE if you purchase through Amazon vs directly. The links to some of the various colors are down below.
— — —
SEIDIO Product Description
The SURFACE™ with Metal Kickstand is the right case for those who want a slim case with functional features, such as a metal kickstand. Familiar features, such as our soft-touch coating and slide-in design, enhance the look and protect your LG Google Nexus 5.
The built-in metal kickstand can be used in landscape orientation for a hands free experience when viewing multimedia, managing photo slideshows, and displaying clocks and calendars. The SURFACE™ with Metal Kickstand does not support the device in portrait orientation.
- Sleek and slim case that provides scratch protection
- Case raises the camera away from a flat surface in order to protect your lens
- Magnetic kickstand provides convenience by easily snapping back in when not in use
- Precision cut-outs for access to the controls, ports, speakers, and camera
- Unique slide-in design makes putting on and removing your case easy
- Compatible with SURFACE™ Holster (not included)
This product does not interfere with NFC. It is compatible with most wireless chargers, including the Nexus Wireless Charger (2013).
For those that read this far, be on the look out for a upcoming giveaway for the gold version of the SURFACE. We will be giving some away for the Nexus 5, Galaxy S4 or Note 3. Also, the SEIDIO Dilex Gold case will be in that mix too. :O)
The Nexus 5. Google’s new offspring flagship that came out, well…4 months ago, but I finally jumped the HTC ship. The ship I’ve been riding on since the Android adventure began. This seemed like the right choice to make with a new phone, because I would always inject those HTC phones with pure android. Never was a fan of Sense.
Making the decision to walk away from the HTC One was no easy decision to make. The gorgeous piece of mobile technology that was deemed the best smartphone ever designed by many top tech sites, made me think I was making the wrong choice in going with a new phone. But I did it, and I am glad I did.
The appeal of the Nexus 5 for me was the fact that it was Android at its purest. Running the current version of KitKat with a 2.26 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor under its hood, I’ve never had a phone run this fast and silky smooth. Navigating through apps is without a hitch, and I think we have finally reached the level iPhones have (or had) when it comes to creamy smoothness.
The design of the Nexus 5 is something that made all of our mouths water when the first official press render hit the interwebs. I went with the Darth Vader version instead of the storm trooper, because the matte black just looks prettier in my eyes. The phone is made of plastic which is a step down from the HTC One’s metal body, but I actually considered that a good thing. When using my HTC One naked, it felt delicate, and it was, in a sense. I dropped the One off my desk one night and it landed right on my printer giving it a nice little scar in its butt. The fall wasn’t that drastic at all, yet as tough as the phone is built, you will see more battle scars than you will see on the Nexus 5. The weight of the Nexus 5 was another aspect I had to get used to, because at first, and coming off the One’s “good weight”, I feared maybe the phone would launch out of my hands when pulling out of my pocket. I got used to it right away though, and now when I hold it, it was like my hand was meant to hold it. That being said, talking on the phone felt comfortable when placed against my face.
The display is another downgrade from the One, and it is noticeable. Although the Nexus 5’s 445 ppi screen looks beautiful, the One’s 468 ppi display was noticeably sharper. The speakers of course bring another check in the win column for the HTC One, because that BoomSound is fantastic. Who needs a Bluetooth speaker when you have BoomSound? This was probably the main reason I was hesitant in breaking up with the One. At first, I did have a brain fart moment and thought, “there’s two speakers on this thing, sweet!” I immediately smacked myself in the head and knew there was only one. This is probably my biggest grievance when it comes to the Nexus 5 though, because the way I tend to hold my phone at times, I end up covering that speaker. Laying in bed with the phone standing up on my chest completely blocks the sound, so it has been quite an adjustment coming from two blaring front-facing speakers.
Then we come to the camera, and I have heard many complaints about the 8 MP shooter. You won’t hear that from this guy, simply because a phone’s camera has never been my favorite attribute, so as long as it takes relatively quick, and sharp pictures, than I am happy Android camper. The Nexus 5 takes great pictures, as well as video when I do my random vlogs of me talking about absolute nonsense.
So was it a good choice to jump from the HTC One to the Nexus 5? I am going to say yes on that, because I needed to personally own a phone that wasn’t from the HTC factory. I needed to wash the stamp of HTC fanboy that had been branded on me by audience members and Android colleagues. I love the pure Android experience and it doesn’t get anymore pure than a Nexus device. Unless the HTC M8 really brings on the WOW factor, I can’t really see myself getting off this Nexus 5 magic carpet ride until we start hearing about the Nexus 6.
Do you ever have trouble finding numbers in your address book? Why not just ask Google Now to place the call for you?
If you’re not in the know, today Google dropped a little tip that can help you save time while keeping in touch with loved ones or help when you have your hands full.
Instead of desperately searching your contact list for that number, use the new functionality in the Google search app to pull up the contact information. While on the home screen (if you have a Nexus 5 or are running the Google Experience Launcher) or are in Google Now, simply say “Ok Google, call mom.” You can also send a text the same way such as by saying, “Ok Google, text mom” or “Ok Google, text Marissa.”
One last thing, if you don’t have mom or your wife setup in your phone, Google Now will help you with that as well so it works the next time.
The post Tip: Call mom (or your wife) quicker with Google Search appeared first on AndroidGuys.
The Nexus line. What can we say about it? It is truly the core of the Android Community. Pure stock Android on a sleek, sexy designed phone, that top OEMs have a shot at creating. With rumors that the Nexus line ending in 2015, let’s look back at the 5 Nexus phones that have graced their presence to us.
The infographic below is a very detailed description of each Nexus phone, and then it ends with comparing each one of them when it comes to size and design. It is pretty great to se the evolution of the Nexus phone, and just like any Android enthusiast; you got to wonder what the next one will look like. Enjoy the infographic.
Source: Android Me