Category Archives: Android

Introducing the New Moto X and the New Moto G

Motorola had a very exciting announcement today. They announced two new Moto X phones - the Moto X Style and the Moto X Play - and they announced a new Moto G.

They made the promise that the Moto X Style will cost $200 less than an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S6. They made the promise that the Moto X Play will cost $300-$400 less than the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6.

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Introducing the OnePlus 2: the 2016 Flagship Killer

Today, OnePlus finally announced the OnePlus 2. If you didn’t watch the first ever virtual reality product launch, well, here’s a recap.

Funny story though. OnePlus has been leaking specs of the OnePlus 2 for the last month or so. As far as I can recall, they officially announced that it would be $449. The only problem with that is that at the end of the launch, they made jokes about how much it would cost and then cut the lights before they said the price. Are they trying to leave something to the imagination? Who knows?

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So, Maybe Turn Off MMS on your Android Phone?

Researchers have found a major security flaw in Android devices. It’s a bit of an interesting case because no one seems to know much about it. Typically, in a case like this, a researcher finds the flaw, gives the company a predetermined amount of time to fix it, and if it’s not fixed, he informs the public everything there is to know about it so they can take the proper precautions.

I’ve seen multiple sources about this. Some have said that it only affects pre-Jelly Bean devices while some are saying that the flaw affects Android 2.2 all the way to Android 5.1. Interestingly enough, nothing has been said about Android 5.1.1 or the Android M Developer Preview.

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Could C# be the one language to rule them all?

Being a developer, it is important to continue to learn about new languages as you are being asked to create solutions for multiple platforms.  The reason why we have so many languages is because on a hardware level each CPU uses a different assembly language to run their instructions.  Due to this fact not every language is able to run on every platform.  For this to work you would need to have multiple companies that are able to understand these CPU differences to write compilers for the same language.


For a time, the language Java (which as owned by Sun Microsystems for a time until Oracle purchased the company) was set out to solve this problem.  From 1995 through the mid 2000’s it seemed like Java was supported on almost every computer and device.  That was until the iPhone come along with its first version of iOS in 2007.  It wasn’t unusual that a new device didn’t have support for Java on the initial release but then Apple announced that they will never support languages like Java (

The reason is because their terms of use do not allow developers to create apps that were written from interpreted code.   So that means you are only able to create apps that are written in a low level language like Objective-C which create compiled programs.  This was bad news for developers as there was one more language that we needed to learn.

The folks over at Google decided on using Java (although you can also use C++) to write your mobile apps for their Android operating system.  Meanwhile Microsoft relies on their .NET Framework to create Windows Mobile apps which includes the Visual Basic .NET and C# languages.

By now you see the problem.  If you wanted to write a mobile app for each of these platforms, you would need to learn three different language on three different frameworks.  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone created a new language and would allow programmers to create apps for all of these types of devices?  Well the short answer is no.


The solution to this problem has been solved for us already by the Mono group (  The Mono project was started back in 2004 as an open source project to port the .NET Framework to run on Linux and Mac.  This project was original independent from Microsoft but now it is being included in the latest version of its developer environment: Visual Studio 2015.


This is all possible because of Xamarin ( which takes the ported version of the .NET Framework and uses it build apps that run on both Android and iOS devices.  However it isn’t perfect.  For instance, in order to create iOS apps in Visual Studio 2015 you are going to need to purchase a business account from Xamarin ($89/month) plus have access to a Mac.  This will then create the compiled programs that iOS will allow to run on its devices.

Also the version of the ADK (Android Development Kit) that is included with Visual Studio 2015 isn’t the latest version so you will need to manually go out and download and configure the latest version on your machine before you are able to create Android apps.  At any rate you will be prompted to log into Xamarin.  You can find more information about this here:

Not exactly plug in play, but it is still early days.  Hopefully, future versions of Visual Studio will allow developers access to a more “turn key” solution for creating mobile apps in a single programming language.

Nexus 9 with Android M Video Review

For the second time, I am reviewing the Nexus 9. I reviewed the LTE model when it first came out. It was pretty bad. I had heard that the Wi-Fi only model was better. Now, I’ve finally got my hands on a Wi-Fi only Nexus 9.

Of course, I installed Android M Developer Preview on it. That was pretty bad. The actual review of the Nexus 9 running Android M will be at the bottom. First, I’ll add three walk through videos of Android M, which all used a Nexus 9. The first was about new features. The second was about performance improvements where I actually had two Nexus 9s, one with Lollipop and one with Android M. The third video is with Android M Developer Preview 2.

And finally, the fourth video will be the Nexus 9 with Android M review. The first three videos are there for a bit of backstory, but this is really about the actual Nexus 9 with Android M review. The final video is a little long, but I think it’s totally worth your time.

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Hands On with Cortana for Android

When I heard that Cortana leaked, I wasn’t very impressed by it. Microsoft leaks all kinds of stuff all the time. Personally, I think it’s a shady way of marketing and I try to refuse to give it much attention.

But then I installed it. It’s pretty good. Generally, it’s the same as it is on Windows 10 Mobile. The big news here is that it’s on Android.

This is a hands on, not a walk through. This is my first experience with Cortana on Android after setting it up, so have a look.

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Moto Hint 2 Unboxing and First Impressions

Today, Motorola released their second iteration of the Bluetooth earbud, the Moto Hint. I was a big fan of the first model, which was not without its faults. When I saw pictures of the box that the new Moto Hint comes in, I realized that I’ve had two lying around for about a month, so it seemed it’s time to take it out of the box!

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Motorola Quietly Refreshes the Moto Hint

The second generation Moto Hint is here and it’s available right now from Best Buy. Just in case you don’t remember, the Moto Hint was released alongside the 2014 Moto X, 2014 Moto G, and Moto 360. It was priced at $149.99. It was designed to be a Bluetooth headset that sits in the user’s ear and to be worn all day.

The new Moto Hint (still called Moto Hint) is now priced at $129.99 with some improved features, such as 70% more battery life and an improved fit. According to Android Central, there is also a special wind canceling technology.

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All Smart Phones with Snapdragon 810 use v2.1

Well, this is an interesting turn of events. All year, we were talking about the LG G Flex 2 and the HTC One M9 and the fact that they overheat, due to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor.

Then came OnePlus to save the day. For their OnePlus 2 smart phone they would be using the Snapdragon 810 v2.1, a variant of the Snapdragon 810 where the heat given off by the chipset is actually converted through a special mechanism into rainbows and unicorns.

As it turns out, everyone uses the Snapdragon 810 v2.1, even the HTC One M9 and most likely the LG G Flex 2, according to Qualcomm. Well, according to HTC’s senior online global communications manager Jeff Gordon (not the race car driver).

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OnePlus Could Mean an End to the American Smart Phone Market as We Know It

When OnePlus showed up on the scene a year and a half ago, they came up with their “Never Settle” slogan. Shortly thereafter, people began settling on their products.

At the time, the OnePlus One meant an end to carrier dominance in the United States. For the first time, you could grab a flagship phone with the flagshipiest of flagship specs for just $349 ($299 for the 16 GB model, which is very rare and invitations were few and far between). Sure, there were some marketing disasters but that only gave them more publicity.

Their infamous invite system was a strike of pure genius. After all, when you have to work to get a phone, it’s something that you’re going to tell your friends about and be enthusiastic about. It was ingenious for creating word of mouth advertising.

Then it all went wrong.

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