Since the release of the Galaxy S5 there has been a petition to allow S5 users to unlock their bootloader at will. The idea behind this is, "The device is ours so we should be able to do with it what we like. If you are worried that we will mess up our very own device then void our warranty once we make the decision to unlock our bootloader." This has been the mantra of Verizon device users for the past several years. OEMs have overwhelming responded by releasing "developer edition" devices and otherwise have NEVER released a method for unlocking the bootloader on a consumer edition device. Pretty much every device since the Motorola Droid X has had a petition and as stated none have seen an official bootloader unlock.
Do these types of petitions make a difference? I don't know ask the RAZR HD users who ended up with an unofficial bootloader unlocking method at the hands of developer Dan Rosenburg aka "DjrBliss". Either way these petitions give consumers an outlet to vent and let their voices be heard whether they make a difference or not. They also serve as an interest gauge to would be Bootloader unlock developers. Head to the link below to sign the petition if you so desire.
Can't make it home for Christmas this year? No worries let Christmas come straight to you. The new Christmas Gyro 3D Wallpaper brings a Parallax Christmas scene to your android home screen. The scene features an HD Christmas tree. You can add decorations at will including a candle, snow, presents, an Android figure, and a decorative Christmas ball. The Parallax affect takes place when your rotate your screen. It gives you the feeling of depth like you are looking into a box, think Nintendo 3Ds. This is one of the coolest live wallpapers i've seen in a while.
Some of you are reporting that Verizon is rolling out an update to your Galaxy S5s. This update will bring your device up to Software version KTU84P.G900VVRU1ANK2. Don't get too excited yet this is still Android 4.4.4 not Lollipop 5.0. This appears to be a minor bug fixer. The fixes included in this update are fixed VPN connectivity issues, fixed an issue where some users saw a memory card error "Blank SD card unsupported file", and replaced ISIS mobile wallet with Softcard. If you like to have a rooted device you will want to skip this update for now as you will loose root, and there is currently no root method. It would seem as though you should be able to flash the NCG kernel, root with towelroot, and then flash the NK2 kernel, but no one has posted the NK2 kernel yet. To update if you wish head to about phone, then check for updates.
While the Nexus 6 has been a huge success there are several of you who have told me you won't be purchasing the device because of the enormous size. Many of you are still loving your Nexus 5 however you may want to grab one of the coolest features from the Nexus 6. The Ambient Display Notifications feature sends notifications to your screen. The notifications come straight to your lockscreen and appear as a black and white screen conserving precious battery. Normally you would consume a bit of extra battery by turning on your screen after seeing an LED notification. With Ambient Display Notifications you don't even have to pick up your phone to see what is going on.
You can have this same feature on your Nexus 5. You will need a rooted N5 with custom recovery installed. If your device is ready to go you will need to download the mod from the link below and flash the zip file in custom recovery. Once the mod is finished flashing boot back into Android and you will see the ambient display option in your Display settings.
Here's another "outside the box" poll to get your brain-box gears turning. Last week we wanted to see which Android smartphones of next year (2015) you thought would be the best. Today's poll asks the opposite question and in reverse too.
Which Android mobile devices, software or topics of 2014 were the biggest flops of the year? We have included several choices, but we know we can't cover the whole gamut of possibilities, so we will cap the options off with the ubiquitous "Other." If you choose "other" as your flop of choice, be sure to sound off in the thread and let us know which mobile tech related topic was the most disappointing to you.
Also, even if you do vote for one of the pre-chosen possibilities, feel free to chime in and let us know why it was the biggest flop of the year. Here's the poll:
What do you think was Android's Biggest Flop of 2014? (in no particular order)
The Amazon Fire Phone
The OnePlus One's limited availability
The Nokia X Android Phone series
The Android One from Motorola
The limited availability of the Google Nexus 6
The larger 6-inch size of the Google Nexus 6
No big improvements in battery life technology for mobile devices
My OG 2013 Nexus 7 runs like crap now
Other (stuff we might have missed)
Thanks for participating and we look forward to seeing your choices!
Google is taking security for Gmail to a new level. They recently updated the up with the capability to block third party add-ons that have the capability of snooping in your emails. They did this by implementing something called Content Security Policy, which stops web extensions from running code that has the potential to bypass security.
It's possible that some useful third-party add-ons will be disabled by this upgrade, but either they are legit and will get an update which restores limited functionality, or they were probably something you don't want to begin with. Here's the full quote below from Google's developer blog:
Third party keyboard app Fleksy received a major update today. Version 5.0 introduces extensions, a new feature that allows you to customize your input options and 14 new themes.
Fleksy’s extensions include: GIF Keyboard, Numbers Row, One-handed Mode, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Pops. The GIFs Extension allows you to discover and send GIFs as easily as emoji. Browse curated categories, or search for your own.
This update will allow users up to three extensions at a time for free, with additional “Slots” available for purchase. To add extensions, users can find this feature under a new settings menu and drag and drop desired shortcuts to the slots up top.
Here's the full list of what's new on this update:
★ Huge redesign - Material is here!
Add or remove the features you enjoy:
- GIF Keyboard
- Numbers Row
- Shortcuts - omw > on my way
- Rainbow Pops
- Invisible Keyboard
★ 14 new themes
- Chameleon: Changes color to match each app!
- Hunger Games
★ Magic Button
Change Emoji to Comma
★ Background cloud syncing
★ New language packs for all languages
★ Keypress vibration
★ Tons of other fixes
Fleksy app is available for free and $1.99 on Google Play.
OnePlus is now banned from selling their devices in India. This was caused by a deal made between Cyanogen and Micromax to exclusively sell devices in that country. Here's a quote with more of the details,
It looks like OnePlus continues to be hounded by various odd issues, from legal trouble to production issues, to licensing hiccups and more. The scrappy company is forging ahead though, and it will be interesting to see how they weather these stumbling blocks.
Apparently, the FCC is putting the hammer down on Sprint for some questionable practices it engaged in during the fall of 2013. According to the FCC's investigation, Sprint sent out unsolicited text messages to a portion of its customers without their consent, and then still charged them (counted these texts against their allotment) for the texts.
The FCC even claims that Sprint intentionally did this to "cram" these customers with extra charges. Here's a quote with more of the details,