August 28, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Is your Android device running slow? Is your Android device overheating? Are you a power user who wants to squeeze every morsel of power out of your device and optimize every cycle? Well, one of the best ways to answer these questions is to monitor your CPU and understand what’s using your devices clock cycles. Then you can decide if this action is appropriate or not.
XDA Forum Member cygnus.uvdb offers up a simple application that gives you a window into what items are using your processors power. In this video XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews CPU Monitor. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review.
August 27, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Many members of the XDA community come to learn and begin in the exciting world of software development. Once you’ve gone through the development process and written your software, you need to ensure that maintenance does not cause additional problems and the results are always completely reproducible. This is where a build automation system comes in to play. Jenkins is one such software which allows you to keep a hands-off approach to building and releasing your software.
In this episode of XDA Developer TV, AdamOutler talks about Jenkins. Jenkins is a build automation software which runs on Linux and Mac, as well as Windows with some effort. Jenkins can be triggered by Git or Subversion commit hooks on each commit and will allow a developer or project manager to know the build status of the software in real-time. Jenkins can be used to build Android Apps, Kernels, Android systems, and just about every other type of software out there. But it doesn’t just stop there. AdamOutler shows you his Jenkins system and gives examples of alternate uses such as generating HTML from TODO comments, creating documentation websites, managing complex releases and more. So check this video out.
August 26, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The greatest thing about technology is its ability to keep us connected. However, technology can also impact our sleep, from waking us with notification noise to keeping us watching videos. Well, CyanogenMod has a QuietHours setting that mute notifications automatically. But what if you don’t want to install CyanogenMod or CyanogenMod doesn’t support your device?
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you have quiet hours on almost any device. XDA Forum Member kimifan316 created the XQuietHours module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
August 25, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Google Chromecast has become rootable once again! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement of Android L potentially being called Lemon Meringue Pie and be sure the check out the article talking about the Hotel and conference rates special for this year’s xda:devcon! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Newcomer Tom released a video showing you how to manually factory reset your Samsung Gear Live Android Wear Smartwatch. Then Newcomer Droidmodd3rx showed off CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 9. And if you missed it be sure to check out Jordan’s Review of the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 24, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The past year has been a big year for CyanogenMod. With events from becoming a corporation to deals to ship on phones like the OnePlus One, Cyanogen Inc has been busy. However, the community is still hard at work building CyanogenMod 11 based of Android KitKat 4.4. CyanogenMod gives you loads of customization and many people perfer its approach to mobile device operating over Google’s stock Android offering. Their latest Milestone for version 11 was recently released.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV newcomer droidmodd3rx shows off CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 9 on his HTC One M8. The main fetaures covered and talked about in today’s video are the CyanogenMod 11 Theme engine, which allows for almost unlimited customization, heads up notifications, and a few others. While we are showing the version on the HTC One M8, the features will be similar on any CyanogenMod 11 supported device. Grab your favorite beverage and check out this video.
August 23, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Do you want to Factory Reset your Samsung Gear Live Smartwatch? This can be either because you had a bad flash, you installed an app and now things just aren’t right, or because it’s just slowing down in general. There are many reasons to factory reset your device. The steps are quick and easy, but they are unique. The button combinations are different than most other devices because there really is only one button.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV newcomer and XDA Recognized Contributor RootJunky shows off how to manually boot into the Samsung Gear Live’s bootloaders and factory reset the device. Grab your device and check out this video.
August 22, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.3 lands on the European HTC One M7! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of a Google Glass firmware update and be sure the check out the article talking about XDA members porting KitKat to the Motorola Droid X! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Kids Mode. Then TK reviewed the Samsung Gear Live Smartwatch. And later TK gave us a an Android App Review of Androignito. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 21, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Stop right now, look at your phone, and see how many pictures, videos, and files you have on your Android device. There is a lot of personal information on our phone. If you leave your phone behind somewhere a nefarious person can learn a lot about a person based on what photos and files are on your phone. The best way to protect yourself is to delete those files, but that is now always an option.
XDA Forum Member aritraroy offers up an application that gives you the ability to “hide” your files. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews Androignito. TK shows off the application and talks about his thoughts of the application. Check out this app review.
Recently, Google announced Android Wear to the world. Android Wear is the Android-based initiative from Google to standardize the world of wearable devices. This year at their I/O event, Google showed off two Android Wear devices: the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live.
Today, we will be reviewing the Samsung entry into the Android Wear market. The Samsung Gear Live is Samsung’s third mainstream smartwatch release, after the Galaxy Gear 1 and 2, and the first to sport Android Wear as the others sported Android and Tizen OS. READ ON »
August 19, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The greatest thing about technology is its ability to teach and promote personal growth. No one knows this to be truer than the technology enthusiasts who have procreated and have a little mini-them running around. However, sometimes this little spawn gets ahold of your phone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and they sometimes make changes they should.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you create a kids mode on your phone to protect your device. XDA Senior Member WasseemB created the Kids Mode module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
August 18, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Jcase and crew have rooted the Sprint LG G3! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement of Sony releasing the open source files for the latest Sony Xperia Z1 update and be sure the check out the article talking about jailbreaking your Tizen powered Samsung Gear or Gear 2 Smartwatch! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Newcomer Tom released a video showing you how to Unlock, Unbrick, and Restore Your Samsung Gear Live with Samsung Gear Live Super Tool. Then, newcomer Jared showed off the Top 3 OnePlus One ROMs. And later, Jordan gave us a Review of the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
The OnePlus One has generated a lots of buzz on social media before its release. Using knowledge and staff from Oppo, this device has been said to push the envelop as the whole team at OnePlus wants to “Never Settle.” Here at XDA, we like to “never settle” with a stock device ourselves. While our review of the device shows that it’s pretty good out of the box, there is always more you can do with your OnePlus One
In today’s episode, XDA Developer TV Newcomer Jared shows off the Top 3 OnePlus One ROM. He talks about 3 ROMs, that in no particular order really help expand your OnePlus One’s capabilities. Jared talks about Paranoid Android, MAHDI and CyanHacker. So if you wanted to see what these ROMs offer and get insight into how they run, check out this video!
A little over a year ago, Nvidia decided to change the game–literally. The Nvidia SHIELD Portable was announced, released, and was very well received. Here we are, shortly following the announcement of a new, and epic, generation of mobile device processors, and Nvidia has officially released their next SHIELD installment, the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet.
One of the chief complaints we saw with the original SHIELD Portable was the screen size and resolution. A 5” screen with 720p resolution was usable for most tasks, but could get to be a bit of a strain on the eyes after a while. Nvidia has attempted to address this with an 8”, 1920 x 1200 display (which is, by the way, quite nice).
Check out Jordan’s Video Review:
|Processor||NVIDIA® Tegra® K1 192 core Kepler GPU,2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU|
|Display||8-inch 1920×1200 multi-touch Full HD display|
|Audio||Front facing stereo speakers, dual bass reflex port with built-in microphone|
|Storage||32 GB (WiFi+4G LTE) / 16 GB (WiFi-only)|
|Wireless||802.11n 2×2 Mimo 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-FiBluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS / GLONASS|
|Connectivity||WiFi+4G LTE or WiFi-only, Mini-HDMI, Micro-USB 2.0, MicroSD slot, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with microphone|
|Camera||Front: 5MP HDR;Back: 5MP auto focus HDR|
|Stylus||DirectStylus 2 with 3D Paint (Included)|
|Battery||19.75 Watt Hours|
As you can probably imagine, with the Tegra K1 and 2GB of RAM, this thing eats up games for breakfast.
As this latest SHIELD is a standalone tablet, if you want to interact with your games like you did on the SHIELD portable, you’ll need a controller. With most other devices, this means pairing a Bluetooth controller. This usually introduces a bit of latency, which could mean the difference between getting a headshot and BEING headshot.
With the SHIELD Tablet, Nvidia released the SHIELD controller, a WiFi-direct solution that promises lower latency and easier pairing. In practice, both of these claims appear to be true.
Additionally, a magnetic tablet cover is available that makes it simple to stand the tablet up on a flat surface so you can keep right on gaming with the wireless controller.
As with the SHIELD Portable, the tablet comes with a version of Android KitKat (specifically, version 4.4.2) that is only minimally customized, adding in pieces and parts to make the controller and stylus work appropriately, as well as whatever’s necessary for game streaming and recording. This means that updates can, and should, come frequently, as they have with the original SHIELD.
This also means that rooting the device is quite painless, as you can see in the following video:
Sound is one place where the SHIELD Tablet really shines. With most Android devices, and especially most tablets, speakers come in the form of one or two small, tinny speakers at the bottom, or the back, of the device.
The SHIELD Tablet has front facing stereo speakers as well as bass reflex ports on the side, which makes for some truly decent sound quality. I rarely found myself bumping the volume over about 50%, because the speakers were just that loud, clear, and crisp sounding.
This is another area where the SHIELD Tablet shines. It’s easy to throw around numbers like 8” and 1920×1200, but it doesn’t do it justice. The colors are vivid, and the viewing angles are excellent.
One new feature introduced with the SHIELD Tablet is the ability to record screencasts directly from the device, including the built-in camera and microphone. This really makes this device a unique experience, as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve only tested this functionality a few times, and it seems to be a bit hit-or-miss. It records at a strange resolution, 1728×1080, presumably because the native screen resolution is 1920×1200 instead of 1920×1080. Additionally, the audio can sometimes go wildly out of sync from the video. Rebooting the device seems to take care of that issue, but you don’t know about it until after the recording, so it’s safest to just reboot before you’re going to record anything.
The built-in microphone really isn’t all that bad. My initial tests made me think it might be, but as it turns out, if you’re using the wireless controller, it attempts to use the microphone in it instead, which IS a pretty rough microphone.
Built-in streaming to Twitch.tv is also supported, which is absolutely awesome. You have to turn the quality down before attempting it, but still, it’s an all-in-one game streaming solution.
The downside of all of this, as I hinted earlier, is some glitchiness in the software. I attempted to record gameplay of games like Half-Life 2, but if I tried to leave the camera turned on while doing so, the game would immediately crash. I believe most of these things will be fixed, in due time, with software upgrades.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This is a tablet. Please don’t use it as a camera.
That said, the pictures I took with the rear-facing camera were… well, not great. 5MP doesn’t go quite as far as it used to, so they were blurry and grainy. However, for the front-facing camera, while it’s still a bit grainy, it’s leaps and bounds better than a lot of other front-facing cameras, and given that its primary intention is to be used while streaming or recording games, it works extremely well for that!
A stylus is not something you’d normally talk about with a tablet, but this is a bit of an exception. The stylus of the original Tegra Note has been revamped a bit for the SHIELD tablet, with excellent results. I’m no artist, but the stylus has been extremely easy to use and feels very sturdy and solid in the hand, allowing for fine-grained control.
Unfortunately, the stylus doesn’t appear to work with all other devices, though it DID work with the HP Slate 7 Extreme, which also uses Nvidia DirectStylus technology.
According to Nvidia, the battery in the tablet is 19.75 Watt hours. That should equate to about 5200 mAh, which is just above average for a tablet of this size. In practice, I usually don’t find myself sitting down with a device like this for more than a couple of hours at a time, so I regularly saw several days of battery life, but my gaming was probably lighter than average. With heavier usage, of course you’d be able to drain the battery in just a few hours, but that can be said of just about any device with any battery size.
As a “next step” in the SHIELD family, the new SHIELD tablet is definitely a very worthwhile addition. Excellent performance, interesting software additions, amazing sound quality make it a powerful combo, not just for gaming, but for everyday tasks, media consumption, and even a bit of artistry. With a price tag of $299/$399 (and even more if you want the wireless controller and magnetic device cover) it’s a bit on the steep side, but if you’re looking for a good all-around tablet, and an especially good gaming tablet, this is the one.