Ubuntu Phone , a new contender or overhyped flop ?

6 01 2013

devices-home-hero-432x252

Ubuntu, em… what ?

To most people, this means nothing. But to a small percentage of like-minded computer geeks like myself ! Ubuntu, is another Operating System. Similar to Windows or Mac. Ubuntu is a Linux based OS, some people may have heard of Linux, Ubuntu is based on the Debian Linux Distrubution and like Android, is free and open sourced. There are many more Linux operating softwares but Ubuntu is the most common, giving the user more control of their computer, similar to rooting a phone. Ubuntu also claims to be Virus-Free, and has great in built Virus protection. Ubuntu is free to download, install and updates are also free for life.

Ubuntu can be installed alongside an OS like Windows, this is what I have running on my computer. Ubuntu alongside W8. This means that upon boot, I can choose what OS I want to run, with a section of my Hard Drive partitioned to this OS and this OS alone. Ubuntu can currently be installed on an Android phone, with the phone still running Android, but when docked and plugged into a monitor and keyboard, becoming a fully fledged PC.

Ubuntu phone is going to bedifferent to this. This will be a standalone phone OS, i.e your phone will run Ubuntu instead of Android.

app-launcher

The video above gives an idea as to the UI and operating of this and will be available before February as a patch for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. As soon as this is released I’ll post another thread on this, to give an idea of how it runs and functions with day to day use.

welcome-screen

Many think Ubuntu have taken a step too far with trying to implement this OS onto a mobile platform, and single handedly trying to Unify all of their Operating Software Platforms. They claim to be the first to be able to do this, but many would argue Windows got their first with the unification aspect.

This looks really interesting and the UI looks really fresh and different, I’m intrigued to see how it goes !!

http://www.viddler.com/v/ac8413f3

The Video above is from Engadget and also gives a slightly different, but great look at the OS in action and is well worth a watch.





Paranoid Android 1.6.9 Alpha Galaxy Nexus Hybrid Jelly Bean ROM

5 08 2012

Ok, apologies for the massively long title, but I feel its all required !

Since Rooting my Galaxy Nexus GSM a few months ago I’ve experimented with a number of ROM’s, and found that the AOKP Builds were by far my favourite, having the right balance of optimisations, tweaks and UI changes.

When Jelly Bean was issued on I/O Nexus Devices, I was at the front of the queue to get the Jelly Bean stock ROM flashed. Since AOKP hasn’t released a Jelly Bean ROM (discounting the very beginning stages Alpha build) I felt it was time to play the field, and was not let down in the slightest by Paranoid Android !

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1619582

All information relating to the ROM can be accessed via the above thread, this will also give far more images and information in comparison with what I can give in a singular blog post, as well as links to download.

This ROM is touted as being the first true ‘hybrid’. This means that you can have the phone set up with a phone interface, a phablet interface, a tablet interface as well as having a great combined ‘hybrid’ version. This is something that is executed really well within the build, with no other ROM’s as far as im aware pulling this off to such great success.

The ROM is based on CyanogenMod 10 so it also incorporates all of the great Cyanogen features (AOKP was mostly built upon CM) and also includes the much loved ‘ Theme Chooser’. This means that standard tweaks such as changing the number of lock-screen icons, changing performance based attributes, as well as possible alterations to the Notification bar, battery icons etc.

  

Above are a few screenshots showing the ‘Hybrid’ Layout using the settings app as an example. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show a great walk-through of each of the Layouts and their individual features.

I’ve found this ROM to be pretty reasonable on battery, as well as being very stable. As the name suggests these are Alpha builds and are updated very frequently with new fixes and optimisations but using as an average user, I’ve tried a number of builds and have found them to be very stable.

This ROM also includes a few more Apps to standard. It includes the Apollo music app in place of Play Music, a Terminal Emulator app, DSPManager and Dev Tools. The DSP Manager and Apollo are aimed at the audiophiles amongst us giving a better music interface and the ability to apply various custom equalizers to the speaker output. The Dev Tools and Terminal Emulator are as the name suggests, these are Apps used primarily by Developers and are a useful addition if this is what you enjoy doing.

I try to stay impartial on most reviews, but this is a great ROM and I’d recommend it if your looking for a great overall performing ROM, or something different to what your running currently.





Clockwork Mod Recovery CWM 6.0.0.5

18 07 2012

http://www.clockworkmod.com/rommanager/

Most people know that if your into flashing your Android device a decent recovery is essential.

Clockworkmod is by far one of the most widely used recoveries, and with a recent update its easy to see why.

A recovery, to anybody who is non technical or familiar to flashing is the program that can be used to install, back up and restore files, or your entire phone. You can make Nandroids using this program, a Nandroid is a complete back up of the entire phone, effectively meaning that if the ‘you know what’ hits the fan and you mess up your phone, you can boot to Clockworkmod Recovery and restore your Nandroid, bringing your phone back to the state it was in at the time of the backup.

I’m currently running version 6.0.0.5 . In comparison with versions <6.0 the differences are night and day. The new recovery backs up files in a different way so that it uses less space, and takes less time.. the 2 improvements you would like out of any recovery.

The decrease in the both of these go hand in hand. Each backup folder is of a smaller size, but this only makes up part of the backup as with the new version of CWM their are 2 folders which contribute to the backup. Essentially when backing up, the system makes a back up file, then makes a secondary file with different aspects of the backup in it. These are parts which are unlikely to change, system files, APK’s etc so that when the recovery tries another incremental backup, it does not need to re-do the backup for these parts and simply backs up the other section meaning it takes far less time and uses far less space.

The downfall of this method is that if you are running a completely different ROM e.g Jelly Bean stock or AOKP Ice Crem Sandwich then some of these overlapping files may have to be backed up again making the backup process slightly longer than incremental backups and again using more space.

The UI was also updated in this build, it is far more clean and a lot more pleasant to look at .. in comparison with the black screen/green writing Matrix effect, some geeks may love that look but to be honest, it just gives me a sore head.

The older version is shown on the left below, with the newer screen on the right.

                

All in all, a great Recovery by Koush who is an unbelievable developer. If your rooted and don’t have CWM installed, I’d highly recommend doing so, easy to use, great features and with increased speed it makes flashing so simple and quick.








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