Project Ara is quickly becoming one of the most interesting Google tech projects of the year. As everyone is extremely excited, everything we learn is very important.
Thanks to a new application designed and coded by TeamAndIRC, a loyal member of the XDA Developer forums, Android users can now automatically unlock the bootloader on a bunch of Motorola and HTC branded smartphones from 2013.
Getting started is super easy. All you have to do is visit the download thread over on XDA, pay the service registration fee of $25 (which will be refunded if it does not work), install the Sunshine Bootloader Unlock on your device, and open it up. Then hit the start button and watch your bootloader unlock right in front of your eyes.
Amazon has packed a lot of cool new features into their Fire Phone, but apparently this has come at the cost of repairability. The fine folks over at iFixit have done their traditional teardown of Amazon’s first foray into smartphones and its not looking good, earning a repairability score of 3 out of 10 (with 10 being the easiest to repair). Everything starts out simple enough with the use of standard screws and the lack of adhesive holding the casing together, but once you get inside, things get a bit more tricky.
When you inevitably drop your precious LG G3 and break its screen the week after you get it, don’t fret.
According to the folks at UBreakIFix, it isn’t the end of the world.
The team completed a tear-down of the Korean variant of the device and found that the LG G3 is incredibly simple to take apart and repair. You only need to take out 14 screws after prying off the plastic casing, and all the components are attached to a single board.
For more details, hit the source link after the break.
Home automation is still a hot topic amongst mobile enthusiasts and this year’s CES 2014 has no shortage of such technologies. The latest startup to flag the industry’s radar is Flyover Innovations, a small group of gents from Lenexa Kansas looking to bring the world its flavor of home theater and streaming control. At CES 2014 the company has introduced their latest product dubbed “Blumoo”. Blumoo is a small hardware platform offering the ability to connect any home theater system allowing you to stream your media from your mobile device. The company and their product aim to rid of the traditional “dock” believing that mobile devices should be just that, mobile. Blumoo offers an open source API so the company is hoping other developers will get on board as well. What’s nice about Blumoo is the limited amount of hardware required. You’re in essence using your existing audio equipment.
I can hear it already, GIMMICK! Well, call it what you will, we still give LG some credit for the innovation. And if you’re anything like me and can’t stand to see a single scratch on your device (mostly because I know I’m going to resell it and get a new one) then this just might be your thing. At CES 2014 LG unveiled the G Flex’s back cover self healing capabilities thanks to its special coating which expands the material again after applying a little heat. Check out the video below of the demonstrator applying a little heat from the palms of his hands completely healing the deliberately applied scratches. Head here to check out the rest of our coverage of CES 2014 and feel free to let us know what your new favorite gadget is.
Hey, who doesn’t love a good discount nowadays? Well, you’re in luck. The MotoMaker Moto X has now dropped to a mere $479.99 for a no-contract version of the handset. If you want to own your device right out, we think this is a pretty fair price to go the hassle-free route of not being locked into a carrier. The original drop to $99 for the on-contract device is still available should you want to go the subsidized route. However, at this time the offer for the non-contract device only extends to the AT&T version through the MotoMaker site. The off-contract price is good for the 16GB model while the 32GB will run you $529.99. Stay tuned as we’ll keep an eye out should the offer extend to T-Mobile customers which would be ideal since the device is currently a whopping $599.99 for a 16GB (Dev Edition $649.99/32GB). It would probably be in Magenta’s best interest to get the ball rolling on a price drop to take advantage of the upcoming holidays. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.
The second you get your beloved Google Glass, the first thing you do is tear it apart and see what’s inside, right? Well, not really of course, but the guys over at catwig did just that for all of us to see. They literally took the whole thing apart all the way down to the optics. If you’re curious to see what’s inside Glass then you don’t want to miss this. Be sure to hit up the source link below for more pictures and a detailed write up on what they discovered.
When we heard Fulton Innovations was demoing a tablet that could actually charge your smartphone, we had to take a look. Come to find out, that’s not the only thing the company is showing off at CES 2013. Rather, Fulton Innovations has big plans in store for wireless charging, and especially the Qi standard found on devices like the Droid DNA and LG Nexus 4.
The company envisions a future where manufacturers can release cheap, electron-infused sheets of paper with things like speakers or buttons that can be powered by your smartphone or tablet. Who would have thought we could utilize the same standard we use to charge our device to actually power other objects. Pretty darn cool.
Check out our official hands-on after the break.
Touchscreens, by their very nature, receive instructions by sensing touch. But what if you could add another “sense” to your smartphone’s touchscreen capabilities? Say, hearing? That’s what the good folks over at Qeexo have cooked up with their new technology called “FingerSense”. FingerSense uses a small acoustic sensor to pick up vibrations as you touch, swipe, and tap your phone, essentially allowing your smartphone to “hear” how you are interacting with your touchscreen and make adjustments as needed. For example, tapping an icon with your finger would open an app, but if you tap the same icon with your knuckle, it could open a contextual menu. The possibilities are endless. So far FingerSense is able to differentiate between finger, knuckle, fingernail, stylus, eraser, and more. Catch a glimpse of it in action in the video after the break.
So you own a brand-spankin’ new Nexus 4, but are wondering how the innards of the device look exactly? Well you are going to be in for a pleasant surprise at the gang from the iFixit team has already gone ahead and stripped the smartphone bare for our viewing pleasure. The gang gave a comprehensive walkthrough and thoroughly described everything we need to know about the internals of the device and show in plain view the noteworthy features such as the battery terminal for the 2,100mAh battery, a linear-oscillating vibrator motor and the motherboard of the device featuring the processor and RAM among other things. While it appears to be incredibly complicated what the team had done, they argue most of work was fairly straightforward and in some respects, a piece of cake.
As the device is fairly simple to take apart, one would think the Nexus 4 would have a great Repairability Score and sure enough it does. The device garnered an impressive 7 out of 10, which indicates that aside from a handful of little niggles and issues, owners of the device should be able to fiddle and tinker with no major issues.
I’m sure you’re all itching to see more, so head on down to the source link for the complete Nexus 4 teardown.
It’s no secret that that new Samsung Chromebook is one sweet little toy, especially since it features that awesome Chrome OS. But don’t you get the idea that the awesome Chrome OS would be even more awesome on our tablets instead of Jelly Bean? Well that’s what a crafty indie developer Hexxeh believed and took it upon himself to create a fully functional port of Chrome OS onto his Nexus 7 tablet. Now while the port has its fair share of bugs and is incomplete at this time, you can clearly see in the video below that it does in fact work— and pretty well at that with the Nexus 7 and connected keyboard.
Naturally the port isn’t ready for anyone yet, but the fact that it’s in the wild makes way for big optimism for the cool OS appearing on not just Nexus 7 owners, but tablet owners everywhere. You can check out the video in its entirety below.
One of the great things about Android phones is the ability to well… tinker with them. While most of the mod attention goes to the software side of things (i.e. rooting, ROMs, etc.), Android owners forget there is also the ability to tinker with a device’s hardware as well. With that in mind, a crafty Galaxy Nexus owner named Fenris_Ulf took some time to tinker with his device’s battery charging ability. Like most other devices, the Galaxy Nexus features a micro-USB output— which is susceptible to some wear, rendering charging of the device virtually useless and exactly what happened to Fenris_Ulf’s G-Nex.
Fenris_Ulf loved his Galaxy Nexus so much, that he bought another one— but this time, he took some precautionary measures in order to ensure his new Galaxy Nexus would charge… with or without the micro-USB out. He went ahead and ordered the extended battery and cover, a few Palm Touchstones, and a Palm Pixi touchstone cover. Using some geek wizardry (and some added luck), he managed to successfully mod the extended cover in order to all the device to charge inductively. OK in plain English: he hardwired some cables directly from the G-Nex’s innards onto the special cover, allowing for the full ability for him to simply place the modded G-Nex onto the specialized terminal and allow for inductive charging, (almost) no cables needed to charge the phone. Pretty cool isn’t it?
I’m sure you’re interested in all the deets, so hit the source link for the full details and instructions.
source: Hard Forum
We’ve seen Android serve as the basis for so many innovative ventures, but NASA’s latest project could top them all. A team from NASA’s Ames Research center in California has began construction on a group of miniature satellites composed entirely of Nexus smartphones. The project, properly titled “PhoneSat” is just a small part of the larger Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP) that aims to build nanosatellites by using small consumer electronics.
NASA has confirmed that the team has already built two nanosatellite prototype models. PhoneSat 1.0 is the first of the two, and offers limited functionality. The goal for this model is to simply observe and determine if a mini-satellite with a consumer smartphone can survive a short period of time in space. However, one of the most important aspects in determining success is if the satellite can actually send back actual health and picture data from space. In addition to sporting a Nexus One, the body of the satellite will include an array of batteries, a watchdog circuit to monitor the system (and reboot the phone, if necessary) and an external radio beacon.
Lets face it, gaming on an Android device (no matter how big the screen is) can be quite challenging, especially if you’re playing first-person-shooters or even games from an emulator. Wouldn’t it be a dream to use a console’s controller to play these games with, perhaps a PlayStation 3 controller? A Reddit user by the name of TheRealBigLou has done just that by creating his own homemade PS3 controller dock for his
TheRealBigLou was also kind enough to give a description of how he made this: