Now that the Note 5 has been rooted there are all sorts of mods and hacks we can apply. The fact that the Note 5 has a bottom speaker instead of a front speaker was a bummer to some of you. I like the front speaker too, but am glad that they decided to not go with a back speaker. There is now a "surround sound" mod for the Note 5. There are a few ways to install this mod, but the easiest way is probably to flash the mod via custom recovery. Grab the proper file from the link below.
The LG G4 has some killer hardware. It is super fast the only thing really holding it back is the software. It seems to be optimized well enough, but it leaves the eyes wanting more. If you are more of a fan of vanilla AOSP android then you are probably ready to flash Cyanogenmod 12.1 to your G4.
There is now an early alpha build available for the LG G4. This is for the T-mobile and international variants only. So far there are some major bugs. The list of working items is pretty short. It boots, sensors are working, media is questionable, wifi and gps both work. Bugs include no bluetooth or ir blaster, nfc is questionable, and no camera. If you can live without these things long enough to give the rom a try grab it from the link below.
Xposed framework allows you to get most of the customizations you would want from a rom with only root. Now that the Note 5 has been rooted Xposed developers have been able to make Xposed compatible with the device. The Xposed framework was built and tested on a Galaxy S6, but should work the exact same on the Note 5. In order for this to work you will need to be running stock touchwiz and be on a deodexed version of the 5.1.1 rom. You will need CWM recovery installed. Installation is pretty simple. This is unofficial and may have a few bugs. All xposed modules may not be working. Grab the download and full install guide below.
Many of you will remember MIUI as the Android rom which most resembles iOS. This was a pretty popular rom back in the days of the Droid X and then later on the Droid Bionic. It's popularity in the Rom community is still there, but it is not as big of a deal as it once was. Today MIUI is the operating system for phones built by Xiaomi. Xiaomi is a big deal. They are one of the largest budget smartphone makers around, beating out Samsung in some markets.
The latest version of MIUI 7 has already been ported in Rom form to 69 devices which are not Xiaomi. Some of those devices include the Note 4, Note 3, Nexus 4 and 5, S4, LG G Pro, G2, and G3 among several others. The roms are all based on the Chinese version of MIUI 7. These builds are pretty early so there may be some bugs. Grab the rom for your device at the link below.
If you can't purchase every new smartphone that comes out its always nice to pick up bits and pieces of the software from those devices to try out on your own devices. Its always great when some one grabs the exclusive apks and uploads them for mass consumption. One of the easiest ways to get a small taste of a new and upcoming device is to at least grab the wallpaper or wallpapers that are unique to it.
If you would like to try out the official default Moto X Style wallpaper just grab it from the link below and apply it as your wallpaper. Pretty simple stuff.
The above video shows off a new problem that a few owners of the new OnePlus Two are experiencing. From what is demoed the phone's home button can sometimes become unresponsive when you grip the device. Obviously folks are calling foul as the last time we had a #gripgate problem it was with an iPhone, and the late Steve Jobs complained that customers were "holding it wrong."
Technically that PR mess was called #antennagate, but even though the symptom may be different, the cause of the problem is the same. In the video the demonstrator shows that the phone works perfectly fine when it is laying on a flat surface. It's only when held in his hand that we see the unresponsiveness start to rear its ugly head.
We don't yet know how widespread the issue is, but reports indicate it is definitely more than a few people. We will let you know if this ends up anything more than an anomaly.
We are still some distance in time away from having fully functional bendable retail market smartphones, but they took a big step forward toward reality recently. AUO is a smartphone OEM in China, and they just showed off an animated gif of their new prototype bendable smartphone in action. [Please check out the animated gif in the thread below]
The device is actually able to use the bending of the phone as a control mechanism for the app running on it. We aren't sure how useful this particular "feature" will be in the real world, but it's intriguing to see functioning regardless. Here's a quote with a few more details,
What year do you predict we will see the first truly flexible (in functionality as well as form) smartphone hit the market?
A few images have leaked of what is probably the Sony Xperia Z5 (we have one above, and the rest are in the thread below). It looks like the images show off the improved camera lens, the phone's water resistant properties and it's slender design aesthetics.
One of these images backs up the rumors we have heard that Sony is "upping the ante" in the smartphone camera department with this device. Supposedly the Xperia Z5's new camera lens will be a new 1/2.3-inch 23MP Exmor RS with a 6 lens system. Fancy!
Although these images look like legitimate company renders, we don't really know for sure. Luckily, IFA is coming on next week, so we will find out all the facts then.
Here's a head-scratcher for your Friday morning. The Huawei Watch just showed up for pre-order on Amazon, but it's crazy expensive compared to other smartwatches. The sale price of Huawei's foray into the world of wearables actually starts at the same overly expensive level as the Apple Watch: $349.99. The price only gets worse from there and eventually balloons to $799.99 for the most expensive version.
We aren't sure what to make of these crazy prices. In fact, we have a sidebar story to share that Huawei and the other smartwatch OEMs might want to pay attention to. New market research indicates that consumer interest in wearable computing devices is already waning. The study found that fitness bands had the biggest drop in popularity.
The study concluded that consumers simply want more features out of their wearables than just fancy fitness capabilities. That means that if the smartwatch makers can actually start building even more functionality into their devices, they might be able to get broader appeal, but for now, it doesn't look like a smart market to be in. ~ ArgusInsights
For clarity, here's Amazon's description of the Huawei Watch:
1.4" Full Circle AMOLED display with scratch resistant sapphire glass and stainless steel body
Compatible with most devices with an iOS 8.2 or Android 4.3 or later operating system