Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Real Galaxy S4

I was so pumped when I first heard that the Samsung Galaxy S4 was going to have a 5 inch screen. As you guys know, I go through a lot of cell phones looking for the one that fits all my needs and preferences. My daily driver at the time was a Galaxy Note 2 and it was just a little too big. So I went out and got the S4 the day it launched. I loved the feel of the phone in my hand and the screen was the perfect size for me. Then I started playing with it and loading my apps on it. I became disappointed very quickly; the phone lagged and stuttered and sometimes even just force closed apps out of the blue. Needless to say I was frustrated. I wondered if I was I putting too much work load on the phone? I did load over a 100 apps on it. So I uninstalled some of my apps that were not must haves and uninstalled as much bloatware as I could. I turned off all the Samsung gimmick features like it scrolling for me while reading or answering the phone with the wave of a hand. It did little good, the Galaxy S4 seemed very overwhelmed and I just grew more and more frustrated. So I went out and bought a LG G2. The G2 is an amazing phone and I do recommend it to some people. I really liked the phone even with the heavy UI it has. So now that I had the G2 as my daily driver it wasn't underpowered, it wasn't slow at all, the screen was a whopping 5.2 inch screen, and the colors were gorgeous.

I use my phone a lot. I have four separate email accounts running on it using four different mail apps. I use it to manage two business I have and I want to be able to be disconnected from the computer and get what I need done using my phone. So I have the G2 and it was great until I got into the heavy work. I, at times, have to respond to emails with lengthy answers or descriptions. The issue that I had with the G2 (This is my issue not the phones) was that when I started typing fast for a long email I would hit the home soft key and the email application would close. I tried changing the keyboard and the keyboard soft key shortcut location. Nothing worked and it was very frustrating trying to answer a time sensitive email when I kept closing the email apps. So I decided to root my Galaxy S4. For those of you that do not know what rooting an Android phone is, it is simply a process to gain administrative access to the phone. So I rooted the S4 and uninstalled everything on it, I mean anything that I would not use, including all the Verizon and some of the Samsung add ons. The phone performed much better I tested it in this manner for a week. Then cruising through XDA Developers I found a ROM (A custom configured operating system) that I wanted to load on my phone. It was built on the original Galaxy S4 operating system without the bloatware and with a lot of tweaks and optimizations for performance.

Hello Hyperdrive..

 So I did a little bit of research because I knew that Verizon/Samsung had locked the bootloader on the Verizon Galaxy S4. Meaning that only approved by the carrier and manufacturer operating systems would load on the S4. If you would like to know more about bootloaders you can scroll the bottom of the post for a full definition.

So I did some research and found they had a workaround called Safestrap. I am not going to go into the whole flashing process in this post I will in future posts. So I installed the Hyperdrive ROM on my Galaxy S4. I was immediately in awe what great work Sbreen94 had done. The phone was lighting fast, everything responded right away there was no lag or issues using any of my apps. It truly felt like a different phone. Hyperdrive not only made the S4 it should have been but it also had a large number of utilities to customize the phone to how you would like. Needless to say after testing Hyperdrive for a few days with all my apps loaded I started using the S4 as my daily driver. Since installing Hyperdrive there have been several upgrades to Hyperdrive and every upgrade was smooth and I continue to be impressed. If only Samsung would look at what developers are doing with their products maybe we would have gotten this beast of a phone from Samsung and our carriers. I know rooting and flashing a new operating system isn't for everyone but if you are up for it Hyperdrive has transformed the Galaxy S4 into a superstar.

I have included the links below if you are interested in checking out Hyperdrive and the flashing process.

Hyperdrive by carrier:
Sprint (Didn't find a S4 hyperdrive ROM for Sprint still looking)

Bootloader Definition and information on locked bootloader:

If you have questions about customizing or modifying your phone please let me know I would be glad to answer any questions.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4

Alright here we go head to head HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4. This will be a head to head challenge to first see which of the two phones I like better, but also to see if either of them can replace my Galaxy Note 2.

My review to come soon. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What is Project Glass

Project Glass is a project currently underway by Google to bring augmented reality with hands-free smartphone like features to a pair of glasses. These are not just any glasses these glasses have a small screen, they have sound and they take voice commands. Just remember the "context" it will be big in the future. 

Have a look for yourself:

Project Glass:

How it feels:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Updated Swiftkey Flow Beta

Swiftkey Flow Beta, the new Swiftkey keyboard that is being tested in a public beta was upgraded today. The link below will get you to the Swiftkey update page where you can grab the latest version. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Instagram's new privacy policy

Due to the new Instagram updated privacy policy effective January 16th Instagram will now have the right to sell or use your pics how they wish per CNET. The only method to not have this happen is to delete your account.  Below is the link with the method to remove you account from the Instagram site.

Instagram Removal Link

Friday, December 14, 2012

Google+ for Android gets a big update

This morning Google released a big update for the Android Google+ App. Lots of big features including support for Android 4.2. For me a big feature that I was looking for was that I could use communities from my Android phone and Google did not disappoint.

Here is a list of whats new in the latest release:

New feature: Google+ Communities
- Support for full resolution photo uploads via Instant Upload
- Subscribe to any circle for notifications
- Support for time zones in Events
- Basic profile editing
- Integration with Google Now to send birthday wishes to friends
- Support for animated GIFs
- Express your mood via animated images in posts
- View and explore Photo Sphere images (Android 4.2+)- Add the Google+ widget to your device’s lock screen (Android 4.2+) 

Google Play Link