The Xposed Framework is by far the easiest most convinient way to customize your phone with only root. Xposed has been in Beta for Lolllipop for nearly a year. When Anrdoid 5.0 came along there was plenty to love, but it also brought some pretty large changes in the inner workings.
After months of developing and testing Xposed for Lollipop, the projects developer has released official stable builds. To install the xposed framework you will need a custom recovery which means my $700 Verizon Note 5 won't be compatible which is a crying shame. Be careful when installing as samsung's changes in ART could casuse the phone to go into a bootloop. This is not yet available for all devices, but is available for many. Head to the link below for the download.
The OnePlus One remains a viable option for a smartphone even though the OnePlus 2 has taken over as the flagship device. OnePlus is making a commitment to keep the OnePlus One up to date and is now rolling out Cyanogen OS 12.1 to the device via OTA update. There are some changes in the latest version of Cyanogen OS including:
-A new LiveDisplay feature
-The Cyanogen Browser has been added (world's greatest cup of coffee)
-Security and other bugs fixed.
CyanogenMod must be getting ready to move on to Android Marshmallow. They just released a Stable build of CyanogenMod 12.1 bringing the stable Android version to 5.1.1. When CM says stable it means that an actual person checked the build. CyanogenMod is known for their self compiling robots that release updates nightly. Most of these updates are incredibly minute and sometimes amount to nothing. Other times the nightlies fix one thing to break another.
Everything that CyangeMod puts out you can assume is in Beta unless it is labeled as Stable. This means that there may be some bugs present. The great thing about running a Stable version of CyanogenMod is you really don't have to worry about the bugs. Head to the link below to see if your cell phone is compatible.
The Viper Rom series is the most customizable rom series there is for HTC devices. These roms are mostly based on Sense, but have thousands of customization options built right in. You can find most of these customizations in the VenomHub. One Sense feature that really stands out is the "Sense Home" feature formerly known as Blinkfeed. This gives you a feed from your favorite news outlets plus all your friends social media updates. The latest Sense Home has been ported to Viper Roms. You can grab the widget in the Venom Hub.
The web is always aware of every move we make. Nothing online is secret. If someone wanted to know what to buy you for Christmas they could just boot up your browser and see what Amazon ads are suggesting. What if you could harness all this creepy data collection for good? Enter the Scout Launcher.
The Scout Launcher is a context aware launcher that learns from your habits. It works with Sound Cloud, Uber, Youtube, and Reddit and uses these services to deliver content directly to your homescreen. The launcher also brings contextual apps and notifications to your home screen. Theoretically it should always have exactly what you want and need right in the front. Grab this app from the link below.
In case it went unnoticed by you, Google changed their logo and introduced it yesterday. You will be forgiven if you didn't realize it, because it hasn't changed a ton. It turns out that the Googlers weren't the only folks who wanted a new look for their logo. Apparently Verizon wants to freshen up theirs as well.
What you see above is obviously a minor change. The check mark is now smaller and on the right side, instead of the left. The first pic is the leaked logo change, and the second is the official one. It looks like Verizon just decided to push it out after it leaked.
Did we need this change? Will this minor aesthetic alteration appeal to a new generation of apathetic end users? Will folks even notice or care? At least it makes the marketing execs happy...
Not only can you pre-order the Moto 360 (2015 2nd Gen Model), but the folks at Motorola are also offering the new Moto X Pure Edition for pre-order as well! The base device will set you back $449.99, but that's a pretty good bargain for the remarkable hardware and software innovations that Motorola has packed into this bad boy. Here's the recap:
Apparently following along in the footsteps of the Moto X naming scheme, the new 360 is simply... the 2015 360. It seems Motorola likes this naming scheme instead of putting a 2 on everything.
The "Collection" as they are calling it, starts out at $299 for the 2 smaller versions (a men's and women's) and a larger one that comes with a $50 bump in price. It's actually available right now on the Moto Maker website for pre-order. The most expensive version with every option checked is $450.
It's a lot more customizable then its predecessor, has improved better battery life and yes, it still has the flat tire which Moto claims doesn't bother most people.
Oh, and did I mention a Sport version coming soon, too, that rounds out the "Motorola Collection"?
If the new Huawei Watch is a bit too rich for your blood, but you are still in the market for an Android Wear smartwatch, then next month Asus might have your solution. You will be able to buy the new Asus ZenWatch 2 for around $170 to $190 (depending on size and model). Here's a spec-list:
New metal crown
Snapdragon 400 processor
Magnetic charger cable
Dust-and water-resistance ratings of IP67
Three colors, silver, gunmetal and rose gold - including an array of rubber, leather and stainless steel straps
To be clear, here at HQ, we weren't impressed with the first Asus ZenWatch, but perhaps they have improved the device since our review. We included a video in the thread below to show off their "improved" design.
Those leaked pricing details for the Huawei Watch were accurate. The Android Wear smartwatch just went up for pre-order starting at a price of $349.99 and going up from there. The watch will ship September 17th in the US. You can snag your preorder at GetHuawei, the Google Store, Amazon and BestBuy.
Here's a full price breakdown:
Stainless Steel watch body & Black Leather band - $349
Stainless Steel watch body & Steel Link bracelet - $399
Stainless Steel watch body & Stainless Steel Mesh - $399
Black DLC-coated Stainless Steel & Black Link Bracelet - $449
Rose Gold-plated Stainless Steel & Alligator-pressed Brown Leather - $699
Rose Gold-plated Stainless Steel & Rose Gold-plated Link Bracelet - $799
Here is a quick spec breakdown:
1.4-inch 400 x 400 resolution display
1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
Android Wear with basic support for Apple’s iOS as well as Android
We have to admit, even with these over-inflated prices, the Moto 360 and new Moto 360 2 has some stiff competition now. What do you folks think?