Tom's Blog

My weird and wonderful blog…



We’ll be back right after this short break


Greetings humans, I’ve been quite occupied with my current job however I should start writing the article that will be the death of me soon (My Samsung Galaxy S3/Android switcharoo).

In the meantime, keep breaking the rules.

PS: Thought I’d add the kitten photo because nobody can stay mad at a kitten…


Google snaps up the Seed


Google has taken another step to rivalling Facebook feature wise (though UI wise they’re miles ahead) with the proposed acquisition of Nik Software, a German developer known for the popular photography app Snapseed.  Snapseed won Apple’s iPad App of the Year in 2011 and has amassed more than 9 million users during its first year of existence.

This should come as good news to Android users as Nik Software showcased a running version of Snapseed on Android at the beginning of the year but we’ve yet to see the apps release on Android. The acquisition would put Google in line with Facebook’s purchase of Instagram which prompted the Social Network giant to release its own Camera app on iOS just a few days after the announcement. The camera app features filters made famous on Instagram, allowing you to upload these filtered photos directly to Facebook.

So should we hope to see something similar to pop up in the not too distant future on the Google+ app? Let’s!

The switcharoo… For better or worse


So for those few of you in the know will be aware that I’ve decided to make a switch to the Android OS for my new Smartphone contract for the next 2 years.

After coming to this decision the next choice was which phone to pick. I eventually went with the Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s probably the most fully featured Smartphone available on the market at the moment (Providing Apple pulls out a hail mary device this evening with it’s iPhone 5 announcement).

CyanogenMod 10 releases ‘M1’ builds


So for those of you that like to keep your CM ROM’s up to date but don’t want to run the risk of loading nightly builds and bricking your devices, look no further… unless you’re standing too far.

CyanogenMod will now be releasing a monthly build at the start of each month for select devices meaning you’ll have a more stable release than the nightly build but won’t be as polished as a beta release.

So if you’re looking to spice up your sad life slightly head to the link below to see if you qualify for this Android goodness.

CyanogenMod Blog

OTA Update Center service allows devs to push updates to custom Android ROMs


Once in a while a nice service comes along that helps those technically challenged individuals that want to run custom ROMs on their phones but are too afraid to update to a newer version or just don’t bother checking for updates.

OTA Update center allows registered devs to upload their custom ROMs, and with a few small code changes they can publish their ROM updates OTA. Devices that run the OTA Update Center app will be notified as soon as there is a new update for their ROM and allow them to download the update. Some features include:

  • Add and remove OTA Updates in a centralised database.
  • Check for updates on boot of devices.
  • Check for updates manually when the person wants to.
  • Download the rom and flash it directly.
  • Download the rom without flashing.
  • Wipe data and or cache/dalvik before flashing the update.

Best of all, this service is free to use! Check out the link at the bottom:

OTA Update Center

Galaxy-philes, prepare to get your lips wet…


So according to SamMobile, Samsung has started rolling out it’s Android 4.0 ICS firmware to Galaxy Tab 7.7 owners. According to Samsung’s timeline, the rest of the older line-up will be receiving the update sometime in August still (This includes the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the original Galaxy Tab 10.1).

On the Galaxy S3 side, Samsung has apparently finished developing an internal test version of Android 4.1 and is now working on a public release version which means the S3 could possibly get Jelly Bean at the end of Q3, but more probably beginning of Q4. Check out more info at the awesome sauces:

Galaxy S3 Android 4.1
Galaxy Tab 7.7 ICS

FNB’s Banking app now includes GEO Payments, making it even easier to transact

A couple of weeks ago my bank released an update for their already popular mobile app that allows payment by finding other people by using location based services. The app tries to find other users in your vicinity and allows you to transfer money to and from each other (Depending on whether you have an account with FNB) easily without knowing each others banking details. Below are the steps required (Using the iOS version):

1.) Open the FNB app on your device (Make sure that the app is allowed to use Location Based Services)


2.) Select the Geo Payments option. Then hit the settings button to choose your default account if you haven’t already:


3.) Choose either to Pay or Receive payment, the app will now try to find either the payee or recipient:


4.) Once a valid user has been found you can select them and continue with the rest of the transaction:


FNB has been pushing awesome innovations with regards to mobile banking and I have yet to see one of the other banks making any impact in this space in the near future.

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