Android These Days…

Well, any regular visitors have likely noticed a distinct lack of RandomROM production here. I’ll simply say that there are two (2) reasons for that:

  1. Between life and work, I’ve found my interests branching into different directions. Rooting and Android ROM developing have fallen by the wayside for me (clearly), as I’ve been learning program development instead (Windows Visual Basic, Excel and Excel VBA, and Android App Development). As I am an Engineer, but not a programmer/developer by trade, I’ve been learning as I go via internet resources.
  2. I’m more satisfied with my¬† (STOCK) Android phone than ever before. Features I once collaborated with other XDA developers to add to my phone are generally standard on most phones now.

So that’s where I’m at, my programming hobbies have changed, and I hope to share some of that work here soon. But on the Android front, I no longer feel needed.

-RandomKing

Recommended Controller

As will always remain true on my site, I will only review something I myself have used.

Today I’d like to bring attention to a product I’ve bought from my favorite overseas distributor, DealExtreme (as clearly seen in the watermarks). I purchased this controller for a number of reasons:

  1. My toddler son wants to be just like me when I play my PS3, and INSISTS on holding a controller as I play. I bought this for him to hold, drag around the house.
  2. I bought it as an additional PS3 controller, much cheaper than the official remotes.
  3. Using the Sixaxis Controller app, I intended to use this as my Android tablet game controller.

Pros:

  • Astonishingly, it remains fully functional and relatively unscathed despite my sons regular manhandling. It’s very durable, and has taken multiple drops without issue.
  • It connects to my Playstation 3 and functions flawlessly, I have no complaints on that front.
  • In between abuse from my son, I’ve connected it to my Galaxy Note 10.1 through the Sixaxis Controller app. The app takes some configuration, but the remote works perfectly with it as if it were an official PS3 remote.
  • Decent battery life, I don’t find myself charging it very often.

Cons:

  • None that I’ve found. I am beyond impressed.

Pictures:

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There’s not much else I could say about this controller. A little larger than the stock PS3 controller, but still comfortable in the hand. The R2 and L2 buttons are not trigger style, but they seem to work well for me. Overall It’s solid, has a decent battery life, responds as expected, and is very comfortable to hold. I’m very happy with my purchase and the price couldn’t be better. Head on over here to check it out.

-RandomKing

Sprint Releases LG G2 Lollipop Update at Last!

So LG and Sprint finally came through with the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. With the exception of my missing lockscreen weather widget…. there seems to be a lot to love about the update. Seamless integration with all of the Material design changes being made out there to my favorite apps is quite appealing to the eye. I truly love the simplified look in that regard.

So the first question with a new OTA update for me is what do I do with my KitKat rooted and debloated G2? I certainly can’t take the update like this!

Well, the first step I had to take was to flash my phone. Using the hacked LG Flash tool readily available across XDA, I was able to flash the latest TOT file I could find, Sprint ZVE to my phone. All I had to do after that was wait for ZVG to download (or you can download the OTA), and I pushed the update through.

The next step was to get the LG One Click Root Tool graciously made available by Ascertion. This tool did a fantastic job of rooting my phone. You can find the link to the download and detailed instructions here.

The final step may not be necessary for everyone out there. The last thing I did was to flash TWRP recovery onto my phone, freeing me up to be able to flash anything I want. If you’re happy with just a rooted G2, then you don’t need to do this. If you want to go flash happy, then head on over here.

If you’re looking for some debloated stock roms, check out this and this.

-RandomKing

Glympse Location Sharing

So this is an app I’ve been newly introduced to, Glympse.

I was dubious of it’s intended purpose at first, as it’s a location sharing program. But after giving it a shot, personally, I’m a fan. Using this app, you can share your live location on your way to a set destination with your friends or family. To put this in better context, I’ll relate my latest use of it:

My best friend, unfortunately, lives several states and about 6 hours away. On his most recent visit, he shared Glympse, his latest discovery with me. Installed on both of our phones, he simply shared access with me via a text message, and I was instantly viewing his trip as a point on a map. Without so much as a distracting call or text, I could know his current position and ETA just by opening Glympse on my phone. This both allowed me knowledge of his safe travel, as well as time to prepare for his arrival. And for those of you(like me) that fear constant location tracking, Glympse will ask you to set a window of time during which your position can be viewed. After this time elapses, you will have to reset the timer.

This is a great find for traveling friends and family, especially around the holidays.

Check it out here: Glympse

-Randomking

Recommended Android Apps Part 2

As I mentioned previously, I am putting together a page of Android apps that I personally use daily and recommend. Going forward, I will also be compiling similar pages for Windows and likely Linux.

There’s too much conflicting information out there on the web. So instead of reviewing everything, comparing everything, praising and criticizing EVERYTHING… I will simply be sharing the software that I have chosen. Rest assured, everything I do use I have already carefully compared and tested before fully adopting. If you would like to compare any of my suggestions with popular alternatives, there are many many comparison articles available through a Google search.

If you would simply like an unabashed recommendation of everything Android (and in the future, Windows) based solely on my own use, then this will be the place for you. Simple and to the point.

One hub for download links.

Check out the page here: Recommended Android Apps

-RandomKing

Recommended Android Apps

I’m working on a new page where I can recommend apps that I personally use on a regular basis, how I use them, as well as direct links to the aforementioned apps. Going forward, I’ll be explaining why or how I use certain apps, and in some cases, why I’ve elected to use a particular app in lieu of another readily available and comparable app. Hopefully this page will serve to answer questions anyone might have in this regard. My goal is to share the combination of programs that works the best for me on my Android devices so that you may achieve similar experiences.

Check out the page here: Recommended Android Apps

-RandomKing

Hangouts, Voice & Dialing!

So Google has at last merged it’s antiquated Voice app with it’s Hangouts app. Seamlessly utilize Voice and Hangout messages in one conversation (as many of you have been doing with your SMS). This is welcome news, as it also brings a refreshing interface change to the Hangouts app.

That said, the real change was the inclusion of the Hangouts Dialer! Not that surprising in itself if you’ve been aware of Google’s persecution of all apps utilizing the Voice service to deliver free phone calls. With a mandate that all 3rd party apps cease this usage several months ago, it’s nice to have an official interface at last. That said, the call service itself appears to be spotty when using Hangouts Dialer, at least for me. I, myself have retained one of the aforementioned blacklisted apps in its unmodified form, and it still delivers flawless digital voice calls. Unfortunately, the Dialer functionality is virtually unusable at the moment, hopefully Google will improve this shortly!

Hangouts-dialer-android-RandomKing