Category Archives: OS

Whatsapp with Google Drive backup option

I happened to read this from my favorite tech website, http://www.gsmarena.com, about Whatsapp offering backup option via Google Drive. For days I’ve been using this new look, redesigned, Whatsapp (Version 2.12.44) for Android. The material design has been adopted quite well and by the looks of it Whatsapp has become ever more attractive, at least for me.

This new version, 2.12.45, when installed will enable the Google Drive backup option. If you ask me what’s the big deal with it, well it’s indeed some deal because a lot of internal storage space of our mobile device can be saved by using this feature. We all know how much of space the multimedia that is shared with us over Whatsapp, kills the space and thus slow down our mobile devices. You can use that unused space in Google Drive to give some breather to your mobile devices. Iphone users may have to wait for a while for this feature to arrive. I couldn’t find anything for the IOS, Windows or Blackberry operating systems as yet. Android users may go head on and make best use of this feature!

You can go to this link to read more about the new feature. Alternatively if you trust my words, then you may as well go to this link and download the apk file by hitting the Download button.

Have a great day ahead!

Advertisements

Enable Developer Mode on devices running Android 4.0 or newer

  • Settings – About Device
  • Tap the Build Number 7 times and you will get a prompt stating that the developer mode is enabled

Android SDK Manager Failing to Load

Android SDK Manager wont open

It’s always a pain in the <you-know-where> when you lose your hard disk to time. Some must be frowning at this statement asking ‘What’s the big deal in this cloud era?’. Well some or most of the data may be somewhere in the skies but getting everything back and setting up one’s development environment to whereever she was, is a real pain as what happened to me few weeks back when I lost my good old HP laptop.

So, I was setting up my Android developement environment on my new laptop with latest available ADT bundle and JDK. But when trying to launch the SDK Manager it was just failing to load and never left a trace of what went wrong. In my case the problem turned out that ADT was unable to locate the private JDK installation. To diagnose, the first thing you can do is to launch a command window, type set JAVA_HOME there, press return key and see if it prints out any directory locations. If it doesn’t, Bingo, thats the deal.

Now, to fix this issue there are two ways, pick the one that suits your level of hackerdome.

  • Option 1 : Set up your JAVA_HOME environment variable from Control Panel > System  and launch SDK Manager (Refer to screenshot below)

env-config

  • Option 2: Modify<sdk-root>\tools\android.bat to point to the required JDK/JRE location as shown below
    • (Here be dragons: Try this only if you have some clue to on how batch files work)
    • Locate the line that says “set java_exe” , assign the path to java.exe,  comment out the next two lines as shown below, save the file and then try launching SDK Manager

android-bat-update

 

TL;DR: Android SDK Manager fails to start without showing any error messages and with possible one single blink of a black window? The ADT has no clue where to locate JDK/JRE on your PC. Either fix your PATH variable to point to a JDK/JRE location or edit <sdk-root>\sdk\tools\android.bat file in the next line where you see the comment ‘Check we have a valid Java.exe in the path’

Install Cyanogenmod on your Android Device

I have always looked for an answer to this question myself. A few years back, writing on how to have Cyanogenmod installed on your Android device would have been a very difficult thing to do. Be it Samsung or HTC or any other Android device, the first thing that rings alarm bells on every users’ minds would be voiding the warranty of their devices by doing so. Ok, so for all those users (new ones especially) what is Cyanogenmod? According to Wikipedia, “CyanogenMod is an open source replacement distribution for smartphones and tablet computers based on the Android mobile operating system. It is developed as free and open source software based on the official releases of Android by Google, with added original and third-party code”. You can read more about this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanogenmod .

In short, Cyanogenmod is not the normal thing that you see on your Android devices when you purchase it. Cyanogenmod according to me is the original Android with a bit of  tweaks by the developers. What difference does it have with that of the normal phones? Well this is the tricky part. Devices like Samsung, HTC or LG all come pre-loaded with their custom user interfaces and features. For examples features like S-Pen, S-View etc in Samsung and Beats Audio, Blinkfeed with HTC One all are customized by the manufacturers themselves. Howerver Cyanogenmod will be a clean and stripped down version, say Pure Android, but without any of those luxuries provided by the manufacturers. So the question will be why in the hell are we installing Cyanogenmod on these brand new devices. There are some techie freaks who simply love Cyanogenmod and care less about the bloatware that the manufacturers add to their phones which gradually reduces the performance of the devices over time. Cyanogenmod helps particularly for older devices. Devices such as Samsung Galaxy SII or any other device which according to their manufacturers cannot be upgraded to any of the lastest Android versions. This is probably because the hardware of these phones would have gotten outdated and will not run all the extra features that the manufacturer would want to add.

I have a very good example of such an instance. Samsung Galaxy SII , the phone that really changed the way that consumers looked at Samsung phones. I bought this phone when it was the best phone in the world. It was such a hot product in the market. But 2 years after it’s launch, Samsung closed the doors on it saying that it’s hardware couldn’t take any more of the Android updates because of the new features that were being included by Samsung having Galaxy SIII in mind. This really saddened all those hardcorde SII fans, but this was always going to happen. The previous update, Android 4.1.2, had started taking a heavy toll on my SII device. It had started getting painfully slow. This is when I decided to purchase a better phone. An year later, Cyanogenmod announced themselves as a new company with an app in the Play Store to enable installation of Cyanogenmod on devices that it supported. It longer required rooting of your device or any other circus that needed to be performed to have a taste of Cyanogenmod. I downloaded the app successfully installed Android 4.2.2 on my SII and it’s so smooth and fast now.

Cyanogenmod, according to me, fires a new life into the older phones whom their own makers have left to rot. Cyanogenmod too have a  list of devices that they support for which developments are going on. If you have an old warhorse whom you don’t want to or don’t feel like parting with yet,then I would welcome you to the world of Cyanogenmod!

While some may not be of my opinion, I’m not a techie freak or an expert in the world of Android and the devices that it supports, I’m of the opinion that our older devices still have a chance. So let’s breathe a new life into them.

PS: The cyanogenmod is no longer available in the Play Store. You can always go back to http://beta.download.cyanogenmod.org/install and follow the instructions given here.