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…




During today’s acquisition announcement of Nik Software, Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior VP for Engineering let slip that Google+ has crossed the 400 million member mark and has over 100 million active users each month. This is a staggering number considering the fact that they had just over 250 million users in June. It is also an impressive number considering the fact that Google+ was only opened to the public just under a year ago (20 Sept 2011).

Google’s social network has been giving Facebook a hard time in recent months by refreshing it’s UI to make it more intuitive, leaving the daddy struggling to keep up.

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!

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

Sparrow+Google = Gmail babies


Anybody that uses Google’s iOS Gmail client app would agree that it was a pretty pathetic attempt at optimized coding. And while there were a lot of people that were hoping that Google would do something to lessen the burden, a lot of us chose to use an alternate client when it comes to getting onto Gmail. My choice (And a lot of others) was Sparrow (Which was also a popular Gmail Mac OS client). Apart from having a nicely designed UI, the app ran smoothly. There was no lag while scrolling through mails and it allowed you to have multiple accounts in the same app. Other features like letting you scroll into the next or previous mail made the app a joy to use, the only major feature that was missing was notifications.

Then along came July 20th 2012, a mail from the Sparrow team stating that they had been acquired by Google. While this news might have caught people off guard, it was by means a surprise. Sparrow (A team of 5 Devs) had effectively managed to do what a global corporation like Google couldn’t, design an awesome app. While the current users who spent the $2.99 to buy the app (Myself included) might feel ripped off since the Sparrow team will no longer provide any additional features, I think it’s the sensible thing to do. And within 11 days, the iOS Gmail app got its next update which featured, lo and behold, smoother animations and scrolling. And while the UI still needs a bit of work, I’m quite sure that the Sparrow team are working quickly behind the scenes to rein Google’s butchers in.

Thank you Google for realising what a monumental flop your app had become and thank you for choosing the best team in the business to fix it.

We don’t need your money, Google (We buy islands). The lowdown from Oracle…


So a funny thing happened on Friday. Oracle’s legal team announced that they are going to forego any statutory damages with regards to their infringement case against Google. According to The Verge, Oracle looked to receive a total payout of around $300,000. Now while most people would think that they’re giving up, it’s actually a good defense for the appeal they’re going to launch. It wouldn’t look good on paper if they took the money and then appealed the decision handed down in court, it’s like eating the whole cake and then asking for a refund because it’s gone bad.

And it’s not like Oracle are in any financial trouble. Right after the above announcement, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai for between $500-$600 million. I wonder when Larry Page and Sergei Brin are going to buy the other island’s just to piss Mr Ellison off?

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