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.
August 16, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Gear Live is Samsung’s latest foray into the wearable smartwatch market. Recently, XDA Developer TV Producer AdamOutler unboxed the device the XDA way. But lets be honest, as cool as it is to see the insides of a minitaure smartdevice, when your Gear Live is bricked, you want it fixed. Here at XDA Developer TV we want to help you recover from such a tradegy, and additionally expand the capabilites of your device.
In today’s videos, XDA Developer TV newcomer and XDA Recognized Contributor, Tomsgt, or Tom, shows off his Samsung Gear Live Super Tool! This tool can be found on the XDA Forums and combines and simplifies many operations you may want to do on your Samsung Gear Live. Tom shows you how to unlock your Samsung Gear Live, how to unbrick your Samsung Gear Live, how to install TWRP custom recovery on your Samsung Gear Live and how to restore your Samsung Gear Live to stock. Grab your device and check out this video.
August 15, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The “secure” Blackphone has been rooted! 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 Qualcomm Security Exploit being demonstrated at Blackhat Conference and the article talking about Code Syntax Highlighting being enabled on the XDA Forums! 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 YourTube. Then Jordan showed off how to root the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. And later TK gave us a an Android App Review of HandyCall. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Our smartphones are multimedia gifts from above. They do everything; they can play games, watch videos, take pictures, surf the Internet, and even answer phones. However, sometimes answering the phone will interrupt your gaming or video watching experience. Well, this is acceptable no more!
XDA Forum Member xsmile711 offers up an application that gives you the ability to answer calls without leaving your game or videos. In this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews HandyCall. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts of the application. Check out this app review.
August 13, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan shows you how to root your Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Jordan has covered the Nvidia SHIELD evolution closely and Nvidia just released the SHIELD Tablet. So as is usual at XDA, we must root all the things, and the SHIELD tablet is no exception!
Jordan presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your SHIELD Tablet using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. The process is painless and straight forward, you use TowelRoot and are on your way. So if you wanted to root your SHIELD Tablet, take a moment and check this video out.
August 12, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Here on XDA Developer TV, we talk about helpful Xposed Modules on our weekly show, XDA Xposed Tuesday. We’ve covered some modules that have everything and the kitchen sink, and those are great, but sometimes the simplest module catches our attention because it solves a singular major annoyance.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you change the starting screen in the YouTube application. XDA Recognized Developer GermainZ created the YourTube module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
August 11, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Samsung Galaxy Gear gets it first Custom ROM based on Tizen OS! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the article talking about creating your own custom Android Wear watch face. Also, be sure the check out the article talking about the closing for round one of our Pebble Developer Challenge! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other video released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. Producer TK released a video reviewing the new Lepow ADD Magnetic Expandable External Battery. Jordan also talks about the addition of Ubuntu, Spur, and Epson as sponsors for xda:devcon14. So pull up a chair and check out this video.
August 9, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Here on XDA Developer TV, we’ve covered a few external batteries to help extend the use of your device when the on-board battery starts to deplete. The items we have covered have been everything from a standard battery from Lepow, to a battery plus a plethora of options like an SD Card reader from RAVPower and a huge 14000mAh Power Bank from RAVPower.
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer TK takes some time to talk about a unique smartphone accessory, the Lepow ADD. This device is marketed as a backup external battery charger, but it has an twist, it has two parts, so you can have a huge battery, or separate it to charge one and carry a light stinger for your short trips. Does this one stand out? Check out this video to find out.
August 8, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Android L developer preview images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 have been updated!! 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 CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 9 being available for supported devices and be sure the check out the article talking about bringing Android Aut- like functionality to your device with Digital Car! 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 Statusbar Gestures. Then, TK showed off some mods for the Sony Xperia Z2. And later, TK gave us a an Android App Review of Pro Reader for Reddit. Pull up a chair and check out this video.