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Android Featured HowTo

How To Take Screenshots in Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.x)

To take a screenshot in Android 4.1.x (Jelly Bean) the same button combination from Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) works:

Hold Volume Down & Power buttons for roughly a second.

You should know when the screenshot has been taken, the screen will flash white and a translation effect of the screen will take place. The screenshot should be saved in a folder /Pictures/Screenshots on your phones internal SD card, it’ll show up in the Gallery app under a “Screenshots” folder.

Taking a screenshot will also causes a notification (similar to in ICS), which display slightly different to those found in ICS,  they now show a cropped preview of the screenshot you’ve just taken.

 

This process works in Cyanongenmod 10, running on my Samsung Galaxy S (I9000) and should translate to all other phones and ROM’s. If it doesn’t be sure to leave a comment below.

 

 

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Android Blog

The 5 Best Features of ICS

Data Usage & Data Limit:

Forget 3Gwatchdog, Google have built in a data monitoring tool which is also capable of cutting you off when you’ve eaten too much data (if you want it to). It gives you information on how much you’ve used, what apps have been using it and how much and a handy chart which tries to predict from your previous usage how much you’ll be using over the next coming days.

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Static Search Bar:

Some people seem to be in two minds about the new location of the search bar on the home screens, however you can’t hate it too much since it keeps the old 4×4 grid of icons and widgets but squeezes into the top so you can have all those short-cuts you had before, and more if you were wasting 1×4 grid cells with the old search widget!

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Face Unlock:

Face unlock isn’t really a feature many people are going to use, in all fairness, but you will impress your friends with it a few times that’s for sure. That is until they realise they can just hold up a picture of you to the camera and get in to your facebook and frape you. It’d be nice to see a more sophisticated face unlock screen but more times than not you’ll be falling back to the pattern unlock because it can’t detect your face. Despite these issue, it’s a cool option to have and could be useful when you need to unlock your phone while concentrating on something else.

Dock Folders:

The dock bar at the bottom of the home screen can now handle folder, drag an icon over one that’s already docked and you’ll create a folder which can be clicked on to view both. While some people may wish to keep their dock bar for quick access of apps and prefer only to require a single click, for others, such as myself it’s an easy way of keeping the home screen looking clean and minimalistic.

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Updated Multi-tasking Control:

The new multi-tasking screen or app switching screen is insanely useful, just holding down the home button for a couple of seconds brings up the overlay screen. Here you can see all the apps that are running on your phone, clicking on one will bring it in to focus and alternatively you can slide the app to the left or right to shut it down completely. Google have really given a lot more control over running apps than they have before and in a simple and efficient way.

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Android Posts

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) First Look / Impressions

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the first batch of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) loaded phones were released, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but already custom ROMs are being updated to allow users of other phones to use ICS.

Luckily for me, a Samsung Galaxy S (I9000) owner, development for this widely popular phone has been going strong for a while. Custom ROMs from Darkys ROM to CyanogenMod allow for quicker Android updates with much better features and a lack of Samsung’s bloat-ware.

So it seems the next version of CyanogenMod (CM9) will be ICS based and keeping up with the SGS development “Teamhacksung” have started porting over the new version which will soon become the latest version CM9. It’s still in its early stages and there are a few known bugs which need to be sorted but they’ve released a ROM for public testing.

After a day or so of testing, everything feels smooth and finished, it seems to be much more user friendly in comparison to previous iterations of Android. It’s kind of like they’ve realised it’s not just linux geeks using Android any more and it actually has a pretty large market share and they had to re-design it to be for everyone.

New Features:
Home Screen:

The home screen hasn’t changed dramatically and still follows the 4×5 grid of icons and widgets.

The biggest and in my opinion most needed change here though is the relocation of the search bar, no longer is the search bar a widget but it now sits directly under the notification bar and remains constant on all home screens. This clears up an extra row for other icons and widgets but doesn’t over crowd the place.

When editing the home screen icons and widgets (long pressing on one of them), the Remove section replaces the static search bar at the top of the screen. Additionally while editing some widgets, such as the Calendar, allow for resizing, by framing the widget with a blue border with dots in the centre of each which can be dragged to change the length or width of the object. It’d be good to see this as a standard across all widgets even if setting limits was also done.

Folders are still here and they are a bit more awesome, to make a folder you simply drag one icon on to another and they bunch up. Clicking on the bunch opens up a pop up with all the icons in.

App Drawer:

The app drawer is now 4×5 screens which can be switched left and right between, still organised alpabetically. Now however going past the last page of apps brings you to a list of widgets which can be held down on to drag to a home screen. The app drawer also has a quick link in the top left to the market place.

It’d be great to see more customisation here, allow for constant flow of apps from left to right rather than in pages or alternatively up and down scrolling.

Multi-tasking:

Multi-tasking is made much simpler in this iteration of Android, holding down the home button brings up a vertical list of running applications. Clicking on one will take you back to the app at its last used screen and also gives you a preview of the screen you’ll be heading back to. Sliding the appliaction left or right however will close it. This is a much simpler way for non-power users to understand what’s going on and might help them control over the occasional lag which can come about when you have too many applications open. It also really makes switching between two applications a breeze.

Settings:

The settings menu have been cleaned up dramatically and now provide a lot of the useful settings at a much easier level. Things are grouped rather than a huge list of things and are generally much easier to understand.

Face Unlock:

One of the biggest new features to this version is the addition of Face-recognition to unlock your phone. unfortunately because the current ROM used to review this doesn’t have a very stable front facing camera driver it wasn’t really working in my tests.

Essentially you hold the camera in front of your face for a few seconds while it calibrates to your data and then when you unlock your screen the camera will start up and it should only take a second to detect your face and unlock, if it fails it has a fail safe which allows you to also enter a pin or pattern to unlock.

Two main issues arise, firstly as pointed out by the setup, the fact that people with similar faces will be able to unlock your screen, so don’t expect that your siblings can’t frape you. Also a picture of your face would also work, since it’s not 3D detection a photograph will also work for unlocking your phone.

Screenshots:

Screenshots are built in to this verison of android (it really made this review easier ;)) Just hold down the Volume Down button and Power button at the same time, a second or so and the screen will flash and it’ll save a screenshot in a folder on your phone.

Browser:

The browser has had a few tweaks including the way tabs are handled.

Overall it’s a nice clean update, I can’t say the difference between honeycomb since I don’t own a tablet but I’m sure this will be a welcome change to both phone and tablet users.

Gallery after the jump..

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Android Posts

How To Take Screenshots in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.x)

Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) finally brings screenshots natively to the mobile platform, to a lot of users of custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod or Darkys ROM it may seem like this has been a feature for a while but that isn’t the case.

To take a screenshot:
  • Simply hold down the Volume Down button and Power button for about a second.

 

You’ll see a flash and the screen will be framed which shows the screenshot was taken (I’ve tried grabbing a screenshot of this screen, but it’s pretty tricky and no luck yet!). The screenshot will be saved in a folder /Pictures/Screenshots on your phones internal SD card.

You’ll also get a new notification in the notification bar saying “Saving Screenshot…” and once it’s done there’ll be a “Screenshot captured.” notification in the pull down menu which will take you directly the screenshot in the Gallery.

For more screenshots, check out my first look and impressions post about ICS!
 HERE
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Android Linux Posts Ubuntu

Flashing Samsung Galaxy S (I9000) ROMs with Heimdall

This Tutorial is just a documentation of how I flashed my Samsung Galaxy S (I9000) using heimdall with Darky’s Rom v10.1, follow the steps at your own risk. I am in no way liable for any damage caused to your phone following these steps. I would advise reading up on flashing before proceeding along with pre-reading the guide first.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you should probably not do it.

For more information, help and most anything check out xdadevelopers forum and DarkysRom.com

This guide is using a fresh install of Ubuntu 11.04 on a memory stick, I was unable to get heimdall installed on Fedora 15 or Ubuntu 10.04.
For this guide I will use Darkys Rom v10.1, however it should work for all ROMs that come with the correct files, as shown below.

Installing Heimdall

First install the Qt Gui libraries:

 sudo apt-get install libqtgui4

Once that’s installed head over to the heimdall website and download heimdall and the frontend for it, here I went for version 1.1.1 as the latest version (as of writing this guide 1.2.0 does not have a frontend).

Here simply download the .deb file and run it once it’s downloaded, you should be able to install them no problem.

(direct links for the version used in this guide)
Heimdall – https://github.com/downloads/Benjamin-Dobell/Heimdall/heimdall_1.1.1-1_i386.deb
Heimdall-frontend – https://github.com/downloads/Benjamin-Dobell/Heimdall/heimdall-frontend_1.1.1-1_i386.deb

Getting The Files

Download the ROM you wish to flash your phone with, for example download Darky’s Ressurection v10.1.

Extract Darky_Resurrection_10.1_i9000.zip
Inside also extract Darky_Resurrection_10.1.tar

You should have the following files:

Darky_Resurrection_10.1_i9000 (folder)

  • Darky_Resurrection_10.1 (folder)
    • boot.bin
    • cache.rfs
    • dbdata.rfs
    • factoryfs.rfs
    • modem.bin
    • param.lfs
    • Sbl.bin
    • zImage
  • Odin3 v1.3,exe
  • Odin3 v1.7.exe
  • s1_odin_20100512.pit

Preparing Your Phone

Make sure you have full battery and disabled all lagfixes.

Flashing The Phone

Press Alt+F2 and then type “heimdall-frontend” and hit enter.

Add the files to the correct heidmall options as so:

Repartition

PIT : s1_odin_20100512.pit

PDA/Code

FactoryFS : factoryfs.rfs
Kernel(zImage) : zImage
Param.lfs : param.lfs
Primary BootLoader : boot.bin
Secondary Bootloader : Sbl.bin

CSC

Cache : cache.rfs
Database Data : dbdata.rfs

Other

Modem : modem.bin
Recovery :

Finally put your phone into download mode.

Once your phone is in downloadd mode, make sure it’s connected via USB and then press start on Heimdall.

After a few minutes your Heimdall will say Finished. Boom you’re done. Just wait for your phone to finish doing whatever it’s doing and you should end up back at the home screen soon enough.

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Android HowTo Posts

HowTo: Take Untethered Screenshots in Froyo

With the latest update of Android “Froyo”, it’s now possible to take screenshots/screen captures without the need to be plugged into a computer, mess around with the Android SDK or Root your phone. You are easily able to take screenshots of the home screen and while in any app. I have only been able to test this with a Samsung Galaxy S (I9000-GT) running

Froyo so comment on your results.

Here’s how to take a screenshot in Froyo:

Hold down Back and then press the Home button.

You should now see a pop-up near the bottom saying “Screen captured. Saved as image file” as in the following image. The files will be saved to a folder named ScreenCapture in your home directory as a .PNG.

By holding down the Back button it doesn’t actually go back if held down, it waits for you to press Home. After a few seconds of holding it down however(I can’t quite figure it out) pressing Home will continue the “going back” operation as if the Back button was tapped.

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Android Posts Windows

Samsung Galaxy S – “The device is in use. Stop using the device then try again”

Samsung Kies, another error but at least this one isn’t really it’s fault. This error seems to be caused by the Galaxy S ‘One Click Lag Fix’ (OCLF) so it’s pretty easy to get around. Just unmount your phone if you haven’t already done it and then boot up the OCLF app and then hit ‘Undo OneClickLagFix V2+’ it takes a while but once you’re done you are done.

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Android Posts Windows

Samsung Galaxy S – Samsung Kies Connection Error

Okay so I went to check if I could get the SGS Froyo update which seems to be getting rolled out across the UK a little earlier than expected. I booted my laptop into Windows 7 64-bit, loaded Kies and was prompted to update it and once it was done I tried connected my SGS via USB and putting it in to Kies mode. Here’s where the error came about, it’d just sit there “connecting” on the Kies software on my laptop but just switching between MTP Application and the home screen on my phone.

Browsing the net I found a few “fixes” which involved deleting applications on my phone such as Soundhound (which I have never had) or more extreme and formatting the internal SD card only to have everything wiped.

The problem here though is actually just the drivers for 64-bit Win7 cannot handle corrupt data or bad files which are pretty common (say an app is loading an image from the net and you close it half way through BAM, broken file.)

So in order to fix this most annoying of errors you’re going to have to find those corrupt files on your phones memory.

  1. Close Samsung Kies
  2. Connect your phone and select ‘Mass Storage’ mode
  3. Mount USB via the notification bar
  4. Remove any corrupt files from the phones SD cards
    1. You can use this FileSearcherforKiesFix.zip to locate corrupt files
    2. Once found, navigate to the directory and remove them
    3. Research until none are found.
  5. Unmount, disconnect and reconnect the phone
  6. Open Kies and select the Kies option, it should now boot connect without any issues.

Source: (Post #50)  http://android.modaco.com/content-page/311526/samsung-galaxy-s-problems/page/40/