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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wind Mobile and Mobilicity Release Samsung Nexus S - Wind Opens up WindTAB for Existing Customers!!!

The first great piece of news is that Wind Mobile and Mobilicity have released their first GOOD android phone. The official google developers phone (i.e. gets new releases of google android first, and no lengthy waits experienced by other phones) the Nexus S is now available for $500 from Mobilicity, and $525 from Wind. This news was pretty disappointing considering that Koodo Mobile (owned by Telus) is selling the exact same phone for $425 (different frequencies folks, so not compatible with Mobi/Wind).

The Nexus S is a great phone that is sure to give you a stream-lined and problem-free vanilla android experience (no customizations or overlaps like HTC's sense UI), but some people are already looking to the new generation of dual core phones coming out. Unfortunately the hardware in the Nexus S is already dated (single core last generation CPU), making a lot of people hesitant to purchase.

One way that I could personally justify getting a Nexus S, in light of all of these new dual core phones coming out for the same price as the Nexus S ($525 or less), would be to get the phone on a WindTAB. Wind has just opened up it's WindTAB program to existing customers on credit approval, which means that you don't have to be a new customer to get this deal anymore. Now existing customers can upgrade their phone for $150 off, making the Nexus S $375. I'd really like to see Wind drop the Nexus S down to $500 and match Mobilicity, but the WindTab makes it bearable.

Rumour has it that the new WindTAB for existing customers will start May 1st, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Updates Coming Soon - Cyanogen Mod 7 (Android 2.3 Gingerbread) for LG Optimus Phones

Sorry for the lack of updates and responses to the blog/tutorials. I've had many comments on here and on youtube that have gone unanswered over the last couple of months. I am doing a PhD and have very little free time at the moment, and so i've been leaving it up to other people to answer most questions. Also, i'm really not an expert and the XDA developers forums where all of these ROMs are made is the best place for technical advice. I find the instructions given on the XDA forums are generally very brief and hard to understand/follow, and result in many hours of frustration and question asking. I thought it would be a good idea to combine all of the different resources needed for rooting and installing customs ROMs, and then write a comprehensive tutorial with a video so that people can more easily understand and follow. Having said that, these things are NOT for beginners and there are risks of 'breaking' your phone while doing it. I'm not an expert at phone hacking, but i'm a bit of a nerd and quite proficient with computers, and so after lots of reading and struggling I was able to work my way though it.

There have been many release candidates (RC, like beta versions) of android 2.3 gingerbread being released by the Cyanogenmod community, and i've been using android 2.3 gingerbread on my LG Optimus T for over a month now that incorporates the CM7 rom and tweaks it so that it works with the LG Optimus phone (CM is not releasing it specially for the Optimus phones). All this time the ROM i've been using has been in the beta stages, and now with the final release of CM7 there should be a 'final' release in the next couple of weeks. When this happens I will put up a new tutorial and video, and try to be more comprehensive and answer some of the lingering questions on youtube and on this blog. I may install a new recovery program as well, so I will show myself doing this from scratch so that people can see how it's done.

Till then, hit up the XDA developers forums if you have more specific problems!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Updated iPad 2 Rumours - No Retina Display, Beefy Internals

There has been controversy ever since the original rumours of a 'retina' display coming for the iPad 2 were released (double the resolution of the iPad 1). These rumours have been extremely exciting because a high resolution display would make reading text much easier, and make images much more clear. Many users find that after using the high resolution 'retina' display of the iPhone 4, they have a hard time going back to the iPad due to it looking fuzzy and unclear in comparison. The general consensus of amateur analysts has been that Apple WILL release a 'retina' display for the iPad eventually, but that due to costs and manufacturing constraints it will most likely not appear in the iPad 2.

The rumour released today suggests this very thing, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities releasing a full list of specs for the upcoming iPad 2. The internal components are inline with previous rumours: A dual core A9 based CPU (although this rumour suggests it will clock in at 1.2 gHz, unlike previous rumours at 1 gHz), a dual core SGX 543 GPU, 512 megs of ram (many were hoping for 1 gig, but knowing Apple this always seemed unlikely), and dual cameras.

There are said to be some improvements coming to the display, "The improvement of iPad 2 display," the report notes, "focuses on thickness and anti-reflection, not resolution. iPad 2 display module is 30~35% thinner than iPad 1 and it’s helpful for better form factor. "

Keep in mind these are still just rumours, like all previous reports, and there is no guarantee what Apple will end up releasing until it's in our hands. I personally would have loved a 'retina' display, as it would have made it a much better book/PDF reader. I would much rather have used some of the iPad 2's new processing muscle to drive a high res display, rather than playing angry birds or Rage HD at a few extra frames per second. I suppose if they release a full featured iPhoto/iMovie suite with an SD card slot, as well as a file management system for storing data, the lack of a 'retina' display could be forgiven this time. A few highlight quotes from the release are as follows.

"iPad 2 will use [ARM] Cortex-A9 dual core processor running at 1.2GHz. Increasing 1~2% single core processor clock results in a 3~5% power increase and dual core could get a better balance between computing power and power consumption. That's the reason why Apple will use dual core for iPad 2."

"iPad 2 will also have a GPU using Imagination’s SGX543 dual core graphics technology which is 200~300% powerful than iPhone 4."

"For making full use of GPU upgrading advantage, iPad 2 needs bigger memory bandwidth. So iPad 2 has 512MB RAM, same as iPhone 4 and twice as much as iPad 1, but running at higher clock 1,066 MHz for getting bigger memory bandwidth (iPhone 4 memory clock is 800 MHz)."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

LG Optimus T / One Touchscreen Bug Fixed - No More Game Lag!!!

So a clever user "mik_os" over at the XDA developers forums have gone and fixed that pesky touchscreen bug with the LG Optimus T / One that has been driving everyone crazy. I touched on this in my previous posts/videos, but what happens is when there is an input event on the touchscreen (you touch it) the CPU usages spikes to 100% and causes games to lag horrible when touching the screen. Now with this new kernal games run great and I don't get any slowdown!

I will post up a video shortly comparing both phones (one without  the kernal, one with the kernal) running the same games for comparison.

You follow the same instructions as for the previous kernal installation. Make sure you do a full titanium backup first, then boot into recovery, do a full NAND backup (which doesn't appear to fully work on my phone, and seems to be a common bug everyone is having. Just make sure to have enough SD card memory space and hopefully it works regardless of the error), then go to flash from zip, flash the kernal, and boom you should be rolling.

I had a problem with my phone when I installed this kernal. I did everything I said above, but then got stuck into a boot-loop and couldn't get my phone to start. I had to go back into recovery, do a full wipe, re-flash the megatron zip-file, THEN flash the kernal, then boot up the phone and restore my settings/apps from titanium backup. Most people don't have this same problem I had, but like all of these 'hacks' just beware.

Monday, January 24, 2011

HP / Palm Topaz Tablet Leaked - 9.7", 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8660, Adreno 220 GPU

Images and a specifications sheet have leaked of the upcoming HP / Palm tablet, now being called 'Topaz'. This new tablet will be running webOS, and looks to have some pretty beefy specs with a dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8660, and a fast Adreno 220 GPU. This was supposed to be revealed at a February 7th event, but it looks like the internet stole HP / Palms thunder. Further specs leaked at Engadget suggest "512MB of DDR2 memory, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and dual-band 802.11b/g/n WiFi. We're told to expect an oleophobic Gorilla Glass screen with a standard XGA (1024 x 768) resolution, options for 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, optional WWAN, an accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, microphone and a battery that'll last for around eight hours in ideal circumstances."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Video Tutorial - How to Root, Install Recovery, and Install Custom ROMs on LG Optimus T / One

In order to supplement my previous blog post where I provided general information and links on how to root, install a custom recovery, install a custom ROM, and overclock your LG Optimus T / One, I have created two new videos. Please use this video in conjunction with my previous blog post ( Please do this at your own risk as there is the possibility of bricking your phone (damaging it). I am NOT an expert or a developer, just someone who struggled through this process and thought people could really benefit from a more clear and concise guide on how to do this (instead of random information from different sources that is hard to follow). If you have problems or comments PLEASE post them in this blog and go to the XDA developers forum and search/post there!

Part 1:

Part 2:

WIND Mobile Offer Free Sim-Card to ANY Unsatisfied Mobilicity Customer

It seems that WIND has been really trying to keep ahead of Mobilicity. First they released their 'Holiday Miracle' plan that was essentially everything unlimited (including data) for only $40 per month (competing with Mobilicities similar unlimited promotional plan). Following this, Mobilicity continually extended this promotion, and each time WIND countered by also extending their promo. Now, WIND is really trying to bring you over from Mobilicity by offering a free SIM card. This means if you own a Mobilicity phone (they are all compatible with WIND) all you need to do is buy an unlock code online and you're set. WIND charges $25 for a SIM card without a phone (they are free with the purchase of a phone), so this will essentially cover your unlocking fee for your Mobilicity phone (usually around $10-25 depending on the phone and the unlocking website used).

Is this enough to make you switch from Mobilicity to WIND?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Motorola Xoom Launching February 17th for $699 - Best Buy

A leaked internal best buy memo has revealed that the Motorla Xoom tablet (Android 3.0 Honeycomb, is launching on February 17th. This news falls only a day after another leaked internal memo suggested a retail price of $800 for the Motorola Xoom. I will personally wait until some competing tablets from LG and HTC are launched, as well as the new iPad 2, before I go buying one.

UPDATE: A new rumour has suggested the price will be $699, which is a tad bit cheaper than the previously leaded Verizon pricing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Teaser - Real or Fake Video?

This teaser video included in the comments some rather beefy specs that have been said to be fake.  "Samsung will be introduce the new Galaxy-Tab-2 Tablet at MWC-2011 (Mobile World Congress Conference on Mobile Phones) and it features Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread (upgrade 3.0 Honeycomb), 3D Display (after upgrade to 3.0 Honeycomb), NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and rumors says a 7 inch Super-Amoled Display. We don´t think that this is real because SMD can not mass produce a 7 inch AMOLED yet. " More likely it will wait for Android 3.0 Honeycomb (hopefully) have a Tegra 2 processor, 1 gig of Ram, and the same resolution screen (but perhaps an upgraded version).

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