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Trying to wrap my head around Android (Page 2)
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Clinically Insane
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Aug 22, 2013, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
It's all well and good until someone needs a non-web app to run.
Why is that?
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why is that?
Well, the answer is obvious, no? You run a Chromebook which is all well and good until someone needs something the Chromebook CAN'T run and then you're screwed. At least with a Windows laptop you can run web apps AND Windows apps.

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Aug 22, 2013, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Well, the answer is obvious, no? You run a Chromebook which is all well and good until someone needs something the Chromebook CAN'T run and then you're screwed. At least with a Windows laptop you can run web apps AND Windows apps.

You could run the Windows apps via terminal services.
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 03:52 PM
 
Do you want a spoon, or a spork?

The spork gives more utility, but is suboptimal for common uses like frosted mini-wheats.
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 05:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Well, the answer is obvious, no? You run a Chromebook which is all well and good until someone needs something the Chromebook CAN'T run and then you're screwed. At least with a Windows laptop you can run web apps AND Windows apps.
It's a fair point, but in this instance restricting them from using Windows apps is a good thing, keeping the machines less cluttered.
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Aug 30, 2013, 04:11 PM
 
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Aug 30, 2013, 04:30 PM
 
Damn. That's like the fire sale on the HP TouchPads.

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Aug 30, 2013, 08:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I don't get a phone wondering when the next OS update is. Do you know this when you buy the latest iPhone?
Also, the openness of Android makes it very easy to run the current version on hardware that doesn't officially support it. I have Jelly Bean on both my three-year-old Evo 4G and my HP TouchPad. It's very stable on both, especially considering both releases are community-driven projects (forks of Cyanogenmod).

Meanwhile, my iPhone 3G is still running iOS 3.2.1 or whatever it is. I had enough disgruntled customers come in to the Apple Store I worked at with complaints about iOS 4 on the 3G that I never upgraded.

I like choice : big phone, good camera, micro SD, screen size, interface type, vanilla, hate Samsung/HTC/LG - all these are solvable in the Android world.
All of this, this, this, this. I LOVE having choices for Android phones. The iPhone is a restricted little box you're forced to fit into. I have over a dozen Android tablets (I know, I have a serious problem), and each one is different, but they're all great (except the Archos 101 Gen8, which I will openly admit is a total POS).

Phones, cars, computers, cameras : this is the 21st Century, competition is good. But that S4 wasn't obsolete because the MotoX came out. Being trumped by the competition does not equal being obsolete.
I'd even go so far as to say that the S4 is still pretty top of the line. The CPU and display are out of this world amazing.

Google Music is great : ~60G, took 3 days on my shite connection, never paid a penny for anything, acessable from my phone and 2 tablets. Don't understand the issue.

I've had Samsung, Sony and now an LG (Nexus 4) phones - 3 different suppliers (you have to unlock the phone by law in France after a few months). Never had an issue changing phone make or interacting with my tablets (Asus TF101 and Nexus 7).
Same here - moving between phones and tablets is seamless. I don't have any problem owning and using a number of Android devices, especially with how cloud-oriented a lot of stuff is. I'm not pro-cloud much at all, but the stuff I use it for is pretty rad.

I think that Android was behind iOS for a while, but its caught up (and maybe even surpassed) iOS in some respects. I'm a vanilla Android user, so my judgement may be clouded.
Agree 100% on this, too. Froyo and Gingerbread were pretty acceptable (Cyanogenmod 7 was very good), but Android has really come into its own since Honeycomb.

I think that's evident just from the fact that iOS has adopted features that started with Android (like the fast-access toggles coming with iOS 7).
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
You could run the Windows apps via terminal services.
This is what the government's been working on with the Asus Transformer series, at least in the agency I worked for. Hosted applications can save businesses a shitload of money in hardware and licensing costs.

The reason Windows 8 RT was a flop, IMO, was primarily because of the inability to sideload custom applications. It has a lot of potential, though. I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't released again sometime in the future - ARM-based devices are cheaper and more power-friendly than traditional portable computers. As more commercial software moves to using the Metro framework instead of the traditional desktop, an all-Metro device will be much more viable.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 02:54 AM
 
I just think it needs a few years to bake, still. I can see how it's developing, but I still look at it as how Symbian was years ago - an adopted OS by manufacturers that messed with it as they saw fit.

I think I'd like Android better if HOW it was implemented was better. For example: bloatware. I f'n despise it. If you like the hardware of a manufacturer that uses it, you have to figure out how (if it's even possible) to remove it. Didn't Verizon have a phone that was difficult, if not impossible to remove some bloatware from? And didn't Verizon make one of their phones unrootable? (yes, link) I bought the Galaxy Note because it had the Wacom in it, but I despise its flavor of the Android UI (Touchwiz). These are the "little things" that I know would piss me off if I ever switched.

I realize that people see iOS as a "little box", but what I like about the box is that it's a consistent box. It's a clean box. It's a box that I know both as a user and a developer that it'll work on all devices the same way.

I don't trust Verizon, I don't trust Samsung, and HTC isn't doing so well nowadays. Even the Cyanogenmod founder hates TouchWiz. (link).

I see Android as a mess. It can be, and should be cleaned up.

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Aug 31, 2013, 06:46 AM
 
Agreed. Which is why I only ever use Nexus devices.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 10:20 AM
 
You should try CM on your Note. Makes a world of ddifference.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 02:04 PM
 
I feel like an old-fashioned curmudgeon, but I don't do a lot of talking and texting on my phone, I just want something that will work super reliably and not annoy me. My universe revolves around my laptop, that is where I do all of my development from, so I don't feel overly compelled to want something bleeding edge on my phone. The iOS world, of course, has the added benefit of iCloud to make the experience of living in the Mac space a little nicer when coupled with an iPhone or iPad.

Don't get me wrong, I've bitched about iCloud my fair share being limited, but at the end of the day, syncable notes, reminders, calendar items, contacts is pretty nice. I might be able to cobble something together in the Android world, but on the Mac side this is so brain dead simple.

I'm curious to know what else is out there though, maybe you Android users can help?

The only thing that I can't stand about my iPhone, and I don't mean this lightly, is that I have to jailbreak it to enable tethering without paying additional fees. I understand this will be a non-issue once I move to Toronto, so I suspect I'll stick with the iPhone, but if you Android users are able to tempt me with similar solutions to iCloud so that I'm not giving up much, I'd gladly switch to Android if there was a stable solution that wouldn't annoy me.

The other compelling reason I might have to switch to an Android device is the iOS simulator is much better than the Android emulator for developing with.

I'm also concerned about the Android fragmentation issues. I don't think I want to have to upgrade my phone every year or two.

If there were cool ways to integrate the iCloud equivalent in the Android world with the web, I'd be very interested in that.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 03:07 PM
 
Android is super easy to root, mod, and use stable ROMs. Cyanogenmod is a popular third-party ROM that is stable and well-maintained. A lot of phones are also pretty easy to root with the stock firmware. One thing to keep in mind on that front is that it is not the cell phone manufacturer making it so difficult to mod your phone (bootloader locking, patching stock ROMs to prevent rooting, etc.) - that's the carrier doing that. AT&T and Verizon make it exceedingly difficult to do stuff to their more popular phones, while Sprint and T-Mobile are more lax in this regard. My Sprint Galaxy S4 had an unlocked bootloader. It literally took rebooting it into the built-in firmware update mode to reflash it with a custom ROM.

Android syncs with a Google account very easily, of course. It can also sync with any account provider that has Exchange ActiveSync support, and it supports multiple Exchange accounts. If you have an Outlook.com account, Microsoft's Outlook.com Android app handles syncing mail, contacts, and calendars for you. I personally wouldn't use iCloud as my primary mail/contacts/calendar provider - it's not nearly as universal as you want to believe it is. Outlook.com has Exchange ActiveSync (which works flawlessly on Android and is built in to Outlook 2013), and Google has IMAP support for email, CardDAV for contacts, and CalDAV for calendars - all of which are supported by the native productivity applications that come with OS X.

In fact, the only reason to consider Outlook.com over Google's services is if you want well-integrated Outlook support. Microsoft won't add CalDAV and CardDAV to Outlook, so I'm stuck using a third-party tool to keep my Gmail contacts synced in Outlook. As an all-Mac user, that doesn't matter as much for you, and Apple's done a good job of supporting Google services in Apple's own applications.

For notes, I've completely converted to SimpleNote. It's AMAZING for fast, efficient note-taking, and there are client applications for every OS (even OS 9, if i can get this python application I found to work...) and device. I use OneNote for more complex project notes. Google has some notes-type support with both Google Docs and Tasks in Gmail. I just prefer SimpleNote for my own needs.

If you want to try out an Android device as a possible replacement to a laptop for working on-the-go, I would seriously, seriously consider looking at the Asus Transformer series. The keyboard dock will change the way you use a tablet device forever - Teamviewer, VNC, and RDP apps make it incredibly easy to use your tablet as a client to access your servers, desktop computer, and anything else you use for development work. There are also some nice Android apps for code development, if you want to give those a shot, too.

At this point the biggest reason I still use a laptop over my Transformer is for Visual Studio, because I've been working a lot on an ASP.NET project. I also don't travel further than my couch anymore, so a big (by comparison) laptop is less of a problem.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 03:28 PM
 
Android is super easy to root, it's getting around, or through, the bootloaders that's the problem. I quite literally hate out-of-the-box Android, unless it's on a Nexus/Asus device and/or has all the bloatware and manufacturer BS removed. Touchwiz, Sense, and especially Blur can all die a fiery, apocalyptic death, AFAIC. To get rid of them you must root, which voids your warranty and essentially means you have to throw the thing away if there's a hardware problem, which is wasteful.

Anyhow (grrrr...), Jellybean on a Nexus device is sweet, and the best overall smartphone/tablet experience available right now.
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Aug 31, 2013, 03:38 PM
 
T-Mobile and Sprint tend to not muck up the bootloaders on their Android devices. Makes it very easy to install a recovery like TWRP or CWM and root stock FW or flash an AOSP-based FW.

As far as voiding the warranty, that's really not that hard to get around. Make a backup of the stock FW before flashing. Then, if you do have a hardware problem, reflash the stock FW and the guys at your carrier's retail store will be none the wiser. You can even uninstall whatever recovery you use and put it completely back to stock.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 03:57 PM
 
That's still a little shady, I'd rather not. The first thing providers ask now is "has it been rooted or modified", and it's not worth my integrity or reputation to do that.
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Aug 31, 2013, 04:19 PM
 
This is all sounding like the Symbian crap I had to deal with years ago, which is why I don't like Android. It hasn't gotten the carriers to evolve. Why Google doesn't tell the carriers to go f themselves and do what Apple does (no bloatware, or allow users to remove what they don't want) is beyond me. Maybe it's because Apple locks the phone so it's harder to hack so it appeases the carriers, whereas Android's openness makes it harder for carriers to feel better about what users can do.

When the first Nexus came out I almost got it, until I saw what the carriers were doing with it, and I backed off. I see now that I made the right decision. This crap would drive me nuts.

Since ICS, there's no need to "bake in" a UI anymore, but companies still do it, and carriers lock the bootloader. This isn't what I would consider a 21st century solution. Google needs to tell the carriers they can't do that, but can they? Does Android's openness negate that? Then we're back to where Apple is - they lock it down, it WORKS, but you can't customize it.

Ugh. And this is why I have issues with Android.

EDIT: Seems like the whole Android or Apple issue comes down to "all or nothing". You can't have it half-way: an OS that's MOSTLY open, and Google can dictate what's done with it. Maybe that will work better. Google can say "ok, you can't mod these parts, but the rest is up for grabs, but with these rules". That might help.

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Aug 31, 2013, 05:04 PM
 
As I said, that's why you buy a Nexus or Asus device, then you don't have to deal with that.
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Aug 31, 2013, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
As I said, that's why you buy a Nexus or Asus device, then you don't have to deal with that.
Right, but then I don't get the Wacom tech like you do with the Note.

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Aug 31, 2013, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That's still a little shady, I'd rather not. The first thing providers ask now is "has it been rooted or modified", and it's not worth my integrity or reputation to do that.
I don't think it's any more dishonest than the era of Comcast claiming they wouldn't provide tech support if you were using a router (unless it was their router with their added fees for multiple computers - anyone remember that?). It's your hardware. You can do what you want with it. Returning it to stock in order to get warranty service isn't dishonest at all.

Hell, user-serviceable components in computers are the same way. If you upgrade your laptop with third-party RAM, it's your responsibility to ensure that (a) the problem isn't caused by that RAM and thus fixed by the factory-installed OEM RAM, and (b) if the problem ISN'T caused by your third-party components, the laptop is serviced by the OEM in its factory state with the OEM RAM.

The "ur warranty will be void so dun do this" is to scare people more than anything else.

Originally Posted by starman View Post
This is all sounding like the Symbian crap I had to deal with years ago, which is why I don't like Android. It hasn't gotten the carriers to evolve. Why Google doesn't tell the carriers to go f themselves and do what Apple does (no bloatware, or allow users to remove what they don't want) is beyond me. Maybe it's because Apple locks the phone so it's harder to hack so it appeases the carriers, whereas Android's openness makes it harder for carriers to feel better about what users can do.
In both scenarios, the carriers haven't evolved at all. The only reason iPhones don't come with carrier-specific applications and services is because iOS is locked down by Apple. If Verizon were able to come to some kind of agreement with Apple to allow Verizon-specific software and paid a big enough price for that luxury, it'd happen.

Either way, the carriers still want to maintain an unnecessary level of control over the devices their customers use. With the iPhone, Apple wants to maintain the same godlike control, so it's a nonissue. With Android phones, the handset manufacturers care far less about lockdown than the carriers do, so the carriers are responsible for the locked down bullshit that happens.

With that in mind, it's up to you as the consumer to educate yourself about your options. I specifically chose the Galaxy S4 because I knew that it had an unlocked bootloader and would be extremely easy to flash with whatever ROM I wanted to use. I haven't regretted my choice. The iPhone looks like a backwards, archaic piece of obsolete technology compared to my S4. That, however, is just my preference.

Since ICS, there's no need to "bake in" a UI anymore, but companies still do it, and carriers lock the bootloader. This isn't what I would consider a 21st century solution.
Handset manufacturers put their own layer on top of Android because that was originally necessary when Android was still in its infancy. Unfortunately, now consumers are used to Sense or Blur or TouchWiz and expect it on the devices that have historically offered those interfaces.

I agree that the UI extras are really pretty annoying. They add extra drag on the phone's resources (CPU, GPU, RAM) that aren't necessary for Android to work well. What I would like to see is handset manufacturers offer a completely generic AOSP ROM for their hardware that customers can use if they so choose.

At the very least, manufacturers should make the source for the various hardware drivers available to developers, so that custom kernels can more easily be created for these devices. That's the biggest hiccup with third-party ROMs. At the moment, some drivers must be reverse-engineered (particularly when it comes to front-facing cameras and WIMAX or LTE radios) if that hardware is to work with a version of Android not officially supported by the manufacturer for that device.

It's getting better, though. The Android world is continually evolving, largely because it's not locked down. Personally I love it, but it's not for everyone.

Google needs to tell the carriers they can't do that, but can they? Does Android's openness negate that? Then we're back to where Apple is - they lock it down, it WORKS, but you can't customize it.
No, it's not the openness of Android, it's that Google doesn't make the hardware. Google doesn't want to be a totalitarian dictator over the manufacturers of handsets and other devices that run Android. I mean, Google tried to enforce a rule back in the Froyo days that prohibited device manufacturers from including the Android Market on a device that didn't have a cellular radio. It didn't last long, and for awhile now you can put the Google Play app on whatever Android device you want.

EDIT: Seems like the whole Android or Apple issue comes down to "all or nothing". You can't have it half-way: an OS that's MOSTLY open, and Google can dictate what's done with it. Maybe that will work better. Google can say "ok, you can't mod these parts, but the rest is up for grabs, but with these rules". That might help.
I'd like to see more openness in a device's bootloader. It's a problem even more with devices that are abandoned by their manufacturers, like the Vizio VTAB1008 tablets my boyfriend and I have. They're pretty great entry-level tablets, but they only run Honeycomb, the bootloader is completely locked down, and Vizio has made it clear that they stopped supporting the device a long time ago (we got them dirt cheap on Woot). If Vizio would just release a bootloader unlocker (which isn't hard for them to do) with an explicit agreement that there is no support for the tool, it would make those tablets a hell of a lot more useful, since they could then be upgraded to a new version of Android.

I think that's the direction things are going to go, even if it's not happening the way we'd like to see it right now. Mobile devices have moved from being a personal computer complement to a personal computer replacement. As that use case grows in popularity, I think we're going to see more openness in these devices - much like my earlier Comcast example, where Comcast realized that because of how popular home routers were, enforcing fees and draconian rules on their customers wasn't really benefiting them at all, so they gave up and let people do what they wanted with their home networks.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Right, but then I don't get the Wacom tech like you do with the Note.
I don't know about the Note 8, just the Note II (I was considering getting that instead of the S4), but it's not too difficult to install a custom recovery and subsequently flash a different ROM.

The Note's a good Android device to have, IMO - Samsung is most certainly the Apple of the Android world, and their popularity means that community-driven development efforts are most likely to target Samsung products.

You really should give Cyanogenmod a try. It's a really great AOSP-based ROM that goes out of its way to stay lean.

If you have the non-LTE Note 8, it looks like CM 10.2 (based on Jelly Bean 4.3) is out for it, and the bootloader is already unlocked:

How to Upgrade Your Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110 with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Firmware - International Business Times
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 05:30 PM
 
Err, sorry, but I don't personally play ethical relativism, especially not with companies like Comcast, AT&T, et al. My lines in the sand are mine, and where other entities and people stand doesn't alter my position. If you want to do that, it's your prerogative, it's a pretty common perspective and not outside the realm of the cultural norm.
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Aug 31, 2013, 05:32 PM
 
You sound really judgmental about this.

It's not a moral crusade, bro. It's just flashing an electronic toy.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 05:46 PM
 
Question - if I get a Nexus device (say, an N7), and some future version of Android comes out like 4.4, what's the upgrade path like? With Apple or MS, it comes to your phone automatically, but does it come to your Nexus on Day One? When you go to android.com, there's no "download Android for your device". So how easy is it to upgrade?

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Aug 31, 2013, 05:51 PM
 
That depends on the device manufacturer.

For instance, when Jelly Bean came out, Asus released an OTA update for my Transformer TF300, and it pushed automatically.

For third-party ROMs, the good ones (like Cyanogenmod) actually have built-in updaters that will notify you of updates and download and install them for you. It's gotten a lot smoother and polished than it used to be, that's for sure.

It depends on a few factors - what device you have, what ROM you use, etc. Cyanogenmod is highly community-driven and supported, and official versions are updated pretty quickly (there are nightlies available as well as stable builds, which aren't as frequent). On the other hand, unofficial ports might take awhile longer to get updated, especially if it's a single person doing all the development on the port. It's definitely a reason to go with a very popular Android device - you know there will be updates on a fairly regular basis.

My HP TouchPad is beyond obsolete at this point, and there's still active Cyanogenmod development work going on for it - I just updated it yesterday for the first time since I bought it two years ago and now it's running Jelly Bean.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 06:00 PM
 
I looked up the Note 8 on CM's site. It's not officially supported

Is there any major difference between the Asus and Google N7? I tried searching for it but 4 pages in and nothing.

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Aug 31, 2013, 06:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Question - if I get a Nexus device (say, an N7), and some future version of Android comes out like 4.4, what's the upgrade path like? With Apple or MS, it comes to your phone automatically, but does it come to your Nexus on Day One? When you go to android.com, there's no "download Android for your device". So how easy is it to upgrade?
If you connect your Nexus 4 or 7 to the internet, it will automatically download the latest update and prompt you to install it. If you don't connect one Day One, you won't get it. Both my Nexus 4 and 7 are runing 4.3 now.

My carrier does not decide when I get an Android update. Is that what happens in the US? How can (for example) AT&T stop you from updating your phone? Surely its a hardware manufacturers choice.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 06:05 PM
 
mattyb,
In the US, if you have Verizon, you have to wait for Verizon to muck with the OS and THEN they send it to you. It could take weeks or months. That's one of my main gripes with Android.

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Aug 31, 2013, 06:13 PM
 
Heh - that's more a problem with Verizon than Android. I know it sounds like nitpicking, but non-carrier Android devices just don't have this problem. Verizon and AT&T are particularly bad about this, and it's a major reason why I refuse to use either carrier (that and they don't have unlimited data anymore).

The Note 8 isn't officially supported by the CM project yet, but there is a ROM being maintained for it, from what I saw in my quick search on the subject. Some of the community-maintained ROMs exist simply because the official CM team doesn't want to focus on too many devices at once. The more that people use a community ROM, the more likely the CM team will officially support a device, too, so that's something to keep in mind.

Flashing custom ROMs is definitely a geeky hobbyist sort of thing - it's not for everyone. That being said, it's not difficult to do, and it's very easy to go back to stock if you run into problems, using custom recovery (TWRP or CWM). Custom recoveries let you take a complete image of your device (called a NAND or nandroid backup), so that if your flash goes awry or you simply want to return to stock (or other) FW, all you have to do is restore your backup, and you're ready to go.

IMO it's worth trying a third-party ROM to see how mature it is. You might be pleasantly surprised.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 06:18 PM
 
I"m looking at the N7. I see it has HDMI out. Intriguing, since there isn't a stable build of VLC for the Note 8.

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Aug 31, 2013, 06:29 PM
 
HDMI out will be less and less important now that we have Chromecast.

But, seriously. Chromecast is FREAKING AMAZING and negates the need for HDMI out to watch Netflix and the like.

What do you want VLC for, btw? Watching content on a media server at home or something different?
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 06:49 PM
 
Chromecast is a piece of sh*t. Sorry, it really is. Compared to AppleTV, it crushes Chromecast like a bug. I understand why people like it, but it's too little, too late for me. I love AppleTV's organization of my music and movies. Chromecast can't do that.

And yes, because I'm experimenting with keeping videos in MKV format and using Plex as a server. This way I won't have to transcode them. VLC works on the iPad.

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Aug 31, 2013, 07:19 PM
 
Gotcha. We mostly watch stuff through Plex and Netflix now, so I can't speak one way or the other about what alternatives you might have for MKV.

As far as Chromecast is concerned, it really just depends on what you need. I am PUMPED about being able to use it when traveling to watch Netflix in a hotel room without having to hook a tablet or computer up to the TV. BF uses it in his office to watch stuff on the TV in there while he works.

For being $35, it's pretty cool - and it has the potential to replace something like the AppleTV, because it's just serving as a conduit for content, rather than hosting applications to serve content. Cyanogenmod is already talking about integrating OS-level Chromecast support into its ROMs.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 07:54 PM
 
As far as Plex goes, I'm trying to get rid of the large number of discs in the house (movies and music). Plex allows me to stream to my Oppo Blu-Ray player. This way I don't have to transcode anything unless I want it on the AppleTV.

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Aug 31, 2013, 09:10 PM
 
Did a little research.

The Nexus 7 and 10 don't have an external card slot? That's....stupid. I don't care about the cloud when I don't have wifi. Like when I had my iPod, there are some things (movies, music) I want to keep on the device so I don't have to stream. This is a ridiculous oversight.

I thought the whole POINT of Android tablets was the microSD card slot. Fail.

N10 seems to have a lot of rebooting problems. Updates haven't fixed them.

N7 has a lot of multitouch bugs.

The lock screen applets are pretty nice.

But in watching these videos and reading articles, nothing jumped out at me and said "THIS IS WHY THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER". It's....a tablet. It's a phone. Not one web site shows why Android is so amazinglysuperduperawesometime. Not. One.

And some tech "journalists" really need to get their head out of their ass (or Google's ass). "Apple does not offer a cloud-based music service" /facepalm

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Aug 31, 2013, 09:36 PM
 
It's cheap?
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
As far as Chromecast is concerned, it really just depends on what you need. I am PUMPED about being able to use it when traveling to watch Netflix in a hotel room without having to hook a tablet or computer up to the TV. BF uses it in his office to watch stuff on the TV in there while he works.
Since I've been doing this with the AppleTV for years now, I understand the appeal.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Did a little research.

The Nexus 7 and 10 don't have an external card slot? That's....stupid. I don't care about the cloud when I don't have wifi. Like when I had my iPod, there are some things (movies, music) I want to keep on the device so I don't have to stream. This is a ridiculous oversight.

I thought the whole POINT of Android tablets was the microSD card slot. Fail.

N10 seems to have a lot of rebooting problems. Updates haven't fixed them.

N7 has a lot of multitouch bugs.

The lock screen applets are pretty nice.

But in watching these videos and reading articles, nothing jumped out at me and said "THIS IS WHY THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER". It's....a tablet. It's a phone. Not one web site shows why Android is so amazinglysuperduperawesometime. Not. One.

And some tech "journalists" really need to get their head out of their ass (or Google's ass). "Apple does not offer a cloud-based music service" /facepalm
The Nexus is kind of like the Surface IMO - it's this device that does the basics, but it's sold at a premium price to appeal to people who want something sexy and from the OS manufacturer.

I'd personally stay away from it. There are much better tablets out there.

I'm serious about taking a look at the TF300 and the TF700 - the TF700 has a 1080p display and gorilla glass, if you can afford the price premium.

The Transformer series includes a MicroSD slot on the tablet, Micro-HDMI output, and the basic hardware you'd expect out of a $300 tablet. The keyboard dock adds an extra battery, a full-sized USB host port, and a full-sized SD slot. It's there when you need it and undocked when you don't. It's pretty much the sexiest tablet I've seen and used.

Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Since I've been doing this with the AppleTV for years now, I understand the appeal.
Troll fail. I can already do this with devices I already have. The point is that you don't need a power supply or cables or a box to sit on the hotel TV console that has to be unplugged and locked when you leave the room for the day. The Chromecast is a thumbdrive-sized device that I can throw in my purse and take with me if I need to.

Try harder, bro.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 11:40 PM
 
Chromecast still needs power, even if it does come from USB.

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Aug 31, 2013, 11:44 PM
 
I found this article:

Top 10 Awesome Android Features that the iPhone Doesn't Have

Taking a look at these items, I'll say this:

Custom keyboards are cool.
Automation is wicked. Symbian had that and I really miss it. This is the kind of thing that make me go 'hmmm'.
Home launchers look cool, but when I did some reading on them, most of them are complete crap.
Custom ROMs. *shrug* Will it wash windows for me?
Flash. Meh. This article was written two years ago.

One thing I forgot to mention - Emoji. I can't find an Emoji addon that works with Android seamlessly. I'm surprised this hasn't happened yet.

EDIT: Also, I did some reading/viewing about the GS4. Some people love it, some reviewers say that it's well made but a lot of the software you'll never use. Everyone said the camera is awesome.

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Aug 31, 2013, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Troll fail. I can already do this with devices I already have. The point is that you don't need a power supply or cables or a box to sit on the hotel TV console that has to be unplugged and locked when you leave the room for the day. The Chromecast is a thumbdrive-sized device that I can throw in my purse and take with me if I need to.

Try harder, bro.
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Chromecast still needs power, even if it does come from USB.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 11:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
You sound really judgmental about this.

It's not a moral crusade, bro. It's just flashing an electronic toy.
That's your choice, makes no nevermind to me. An "electronic toy" isn't worth compromising my integrity over, sis.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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Aug 31, 2013, 11:57 PM
 
The Chromecast does require power, but most modern LCD TVs have a USB port. If not, a cell phone power adapter works just fine.

The biggest thing for me is when I'm traveling, I don't have to keep a 12' HDMI cable with me just to hook a laptop up to the TV to watch Netflix.

It's a pretty rad device, not gonna lie. I'm happy with it.

As far as Android features:

SwiftKey beats the living pants off the iPhone keyboard. I'm so used to SwiftKey now that I suck at inputting stuff with the iOS keyboard. Google has a new keyboard (optional; not the built in Android keyboard) that's pretty great, but still rough around the edges. SwiftKey is where it's at - and the tablet version is awesome, too.

I'm a big fan of GO Launcher. A lot of people bash it because it's slow, but now that I have a shiny new Galaxy S4, it's plenty fast. The tablet version is also really polished. There's another interesting one I've tried that's pretty lightweight, called Atom. It's not too bad. As of now all my Android devices run GO Launcher.

Custom ROMs are the shit, no lie. You can even go so far as to replace the basic stock applications with better ones (like Alarm Clock Plus in place of the system clock application). Cyanogenmod had notification bar power toggles way before stock Android, so that was a pretty nice feature. My big thing with custom ROMs is the ability to (a) remove bloat from the carrier or manufacturer ROM and (b) use a newer version of Android on a device than what's officially supported. I don't have a custom ROM on my TF300, because the stock ROM is pretty much straight AOSP with some added features to support the keyboard dock and different CPU power profiles. It's just rooted.

Flash is a moot point. It's no longer supported in Android.

As far as the S4: all the fancy features that you see in ads - the face and gesture controls in particular - are crap. They only work with applications written to support them, and as of now only a handful of non-Samsung applications support those features. I was all excited when I first went through the little device intro that ran the first time I powered on my phone, but soon realized that those are gimmicks more than anything else. The one S4-exclusive feature that I LOVE is the IR blaster. There's an Android remote application that pretty much does what the Logitech Harmony series can do, so I don't have to fumble with three remotes anymore to watch stuff in bed.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 12:06 AM
 
I'd like the Chromecast more if it integrated with the library on my local network. Like what Plex can do. If it connected with Plex that would be amazing.

I saw the IR blaster. I tried that with my GN8 and it didn't talk to my TV which I thought was strange. I never went back to try again. I'll have to do that.

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Sep 1, 2013, 03:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
The Chromecast does require power, but most modern LCD TVs have a USB port. If not, a cell phone power adapter works just fine.

The biggest thing for me is when I'm traveling, I don't have to keep a 12' HDMI cable with me just to hook a laptop up to the TV to watch Netflix.

It's a pretty rad device, not gonna lie. I'm happy with it.
I just don't see why you'd be happy stuck in such a walled garden with so many hardware and software restrictions.

SwiftKey beats the living pants off the iPhone keyboard. I'm so used to SwiftKey now that I suck at inputting stuff with the iOS keyboard.
Meh. I've had an Android device longer than I've had my iPhone, and I use my Android device more than I use my iPhone, but I still prefer the iPhone's intelligent prediction and autocorrect and its not-useless cursor and selection. The Android has a bad habit of covering up what I'm typing with suggestions, not suggesting what I want, resulting in deleting the entire word and starting over, and making it needlessly difficult to add a letter or two onto the end of auto-completed words. iPhone all the way for me.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 04:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Android syncs with a Google account very easily, of course. It can also sync with any account provider that has Exchange ActiveSync support, and it supports multiple Exchange accounts. If you have an Outlook.com account, Microsoft's Outlook.com Android app handles syncing mail, contacts, and calendars for you. I personally wouldn't use iCloud as my primary mail/contacts/calendar provider - it's not nearly as universal as you want to believe it is. Outlook.com has Exchange ActiveSync (which works flawlessly on Android and is built in to Outlook 2013), and Google has IMAP support for email, CardDAV for contacts, and CalDAV for calendars - all of which are supported by the native productivity applications that come with OS X.
What about an iCloud alternative for Notes and Reminders, or a similar OS X app with cloud syncing?

In fact, the only reason to consider Outlook.com over Google's services is if you want well-integrated Outlook support. Microsoft won't add CalDAV and CardDAV to Outlook, so I'm stuck using a third-party tool to keep my Gmail contacts synced in Outlook. As an all-Mac user, that doesn't matter as much for you, and Apple's done a good job of supporting Google services in Apple's own applications.
Does Google provide a CardDAV server?

For notes, I've completely converted to SimpleNote. It's AMAZING for fast, efficient note-taking, and there are client applications for every OS (even OS 9, if i can get this python application I found to work...) and device. I use OneNote for more complex project notes. Google has some notes-type support with both Google Docs and Tasks in Gmail. I just prefer SimpleNote for my own needs.
Does it cloud sync?

If you want to try out an Android device as a possible replacement to a laptop for working on-the-go, I would seriously, seriously consider looking at the Asus Transformer series. The keyboard dock will change the way you use a tablet device forever - Teamviewer, VNC, and RDP apps make it incredibly easy to use your tablet as a client to access your servers, desktop computer, and anything else you use for development work. There are also some nice Android apps for code development, if you want to give those a shot, too.
I don't think I do, I type too fast on a regular keyboard and I can't envision being happy with a keyboard + tablet in my lap.

At this point the biggest reason I still use a laptop over my Transformer is for Visual Studio, because I've been working a lot on an ASP.NET project. I also don't travel further than my couch anymore, so a big (by comparison) laptop is less of a problem.
What kind of project are you working on, if you don't mind me asking while we are geeking out?
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 04:36 AM
 
I took a look at Tasker. It's NICE. That definitely raised an eyebrow.

The latest nightly of VLC now plays some files for me, but not others.

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Sep 1, 2013, 10:04 AM
 
USB OTG if you need to store lots of stuff that won't fit on you tablet.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That's your choice, makes no nevermind to me. An "electronic toy" isn't worth compromising my integrity over, sis.
Well, we've all got to feel high-and-mighty about something now, don't we?

Originally Posted by starman View Post
I'd like the Chromecast more if it integrated with the library on my local network. Like what Plex can do. If it connected with Plex that would be amazing.
That's the beauty of the Chromecast - developers don't have to write a new application for it, like with traditional media streaming devices (Roku, AppleTV, GoogleTV, etc.). They just have to add support for it to their existing Android and iOS applications.

I expect we'll be seeing more Chromecast support in apps like Plex in the coming months.

In the meantime, keep in mind that anything you can do in Chrome, you can do on Chromecast. This guy provides some detailed information on how he used the Plex web interface to play Plex content through Chromecast:

http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/...ew-plex-heavy/

I saw the IR blaster. I tried that with my GN8 and it didn't talk to my TV which I thought was strange. I never went back to try again. I'll have to do that.
Try "Smart IR Remote". It's not on Google Play anymore, but you can find it elsewhere if you look. It's what I'm using, and it's pretty rad.

Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I just don't see why you'd be happy stuck in such a walled garden with so many hardware and software restrictions....
Sweetie, go back into your hovel of bitterness and despair. Nobody cares.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What about an iCloud alternative for Notes and Reminders, or a similar OS X app with cloud syncing?
Simplenote is what I use.

Does Google provide a CardDAV server?
They do, but the only documentation they have for using it is with the Contacts app in iOS and OS X. The Google API also provides access to their CardDAV server, so you can write your own web-based or client-side app to access contacts in a Google account.

Does it cloud sync?
Yes. I don't actually use a client app for it on my actual computers; I use this Chrome extension that provides a really nice interface for it:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...mllnhhbj?hl=en

For Android, I use an app called Flicknotes. There's a slick app for OS X called Notational Velocity that's free and open source, too:

Notational Velocity

I don't think I do, I type too fast on a regular keyboard and I can't envision being happy with a keyboard + tablet in my lap.
I have tiny hands for an adult, so I can touch-type very quickly on a keyboard that's like 90% full size. The Transformer's keyboard is about 95% full size, I think. If you see one on display in a store while you're out, give it a try.

What kind of project are you working on, if you don't mind me asking while we are geeking out?
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. In all seriousness, we're keeping it under wraps to prevent anyone else from copying us.
     
 
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