OxygenOs. What To Expect.

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All rights to depicted image belong to it's respective owners.

Reching out to Android enthusiasts, flash addicts and the development community, OnePlus has introduced “The Team”. The Team being a handful of Paranoid Android developers, former Google interns, app developers, technical specialists and other assorted flavors of geekdom.

With the ROM moving into stable, testing has commenced and OnePlus is pushing for a March release date.

The company claims that OxygenOs has been and will continue to be developed with the name in mind, free of bloatware sporting excellent battery life and containing unobtrusive yet useful features. They’ve also stated that the developers will be taking community suggestions regarding future development of OxygenOs. A ROM built by the people for the people.

Having software built in house, I suppose, will keep the developers and users in close proximity. Thus allowing OnePlus to quickly and efficiently squash bugs and implement new features. I wouldn’t be surprised if OxygenOs debuts nearly Vanilla with a couple features and for a period of time is updated weekly or monthly along with bug fixes and new toys.

Interestingly enough, OxygenOs is said to be closed source and won’t be delivered as an Over The Air Update. Rather, installation will be at the users discretion.

Could you imagine… OxygenOs invites? Good grief…

This gives the user a chance to decide whether or not they will stick with CyanogenMod, or choose to boldly go where no man has gone before.

The developers of OxygenOs hosted an AMA on Reddit and can be found here. Pretty interesting stuff.

Now onto personal opinion.

While talk of OxygenOs is abundant, and the promises are bold, I cannot say with 100% certainty that I’ve been entirely sold.

The reason I say that I’m not entirely sold is their decision to “Introduce the team”. It seems as though OnePlus is reaching for this one, and with CyanogenMod out this could indicate trouble some time in the future, assuming Oxygen doesn’t live up to it’s name. Publicity stunts are usually never a good sign.

So far OnePlus produces a single device that suffers from a host of problems, everything from bad PR to yellowing and terrible customer service. Not to mention the damn thing is harder to get ahold of than Angelina Jolie’s exquisite… and now they’re switching operating systems. As a whole it just looks bad.

Personally, I wish nothing but the best for OnePlus in all of their future endeavors. I just think it may be time for them to get their ducks in a row if they plan to be a global smartphone player. Easier said than done I’m sure. I’ve never ran a multi million dollar company.

So I’m pretty sure we covered everything. If there’s anything you’d like to add feel free to use the comment section!

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.

Xposed Framework Confirmed For Lollipop.

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I own no rights to depicted image.

Xposed allows rooted users direct manipulation of the Android framework through downloaded modules, allowing functionality and customizations usually only found in custom ROMs.

It’s been confirmed today that Xposed is on the way for Lollipop users.

The phrase “Stock rooted running Xposed” will be relevant once again.

But even if you’re already on a custom ROM, Xposed provides a plethora of benefits.

Some modules are device specific, some modules are universal. Some are incredibly useful, while others are simply novel. For instance, the ability to replace your KitKat network icons with Gingerbread icons or add an unlimited amount of text to a Snapchat.

Since before the release of Android 5.0 speculation arose around the possibility of Xposed’s compatability with the Lollipop.

Founder of Xposed, Rovo89, made a few comments on the matter stating he wasn’t sure he’d have the time or even the motivation to continue development for the upcoming platform.

But today we rejoice.

Xposed for Lollipop is on the horizon.

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.

Help Us Android Silver. You’re Our Only Hope.

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I’m not going to bore you with NASDAQ nonsense and talk quarterly numbers I know little about. All I am going to say is that Android could be in trouble.

As you probably know there exists such a thing as Mobile OS Market Share represented by Android, Apple, Microsoft, Symbian, a couple others and now Tizen.

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Prediction of 2015 Market Shares. And pie because charts and graphs aren't nearly as tasty.

For some time after it’s release Android occupied only a tenth or so of that pie. From 2012 until now the mobile OS mogul has taken up nearly half if not more. But this year Apple got hungry and took a bigger slice. Shipments of Apple devices have risen 46% where as units shipped running Android have fallen by 16%.

This next part is a bit opinionated, but I’d like you to bear with me. It’s strongly worded, maybe, but reasonable.

Personally, I believe the blame falls partly, if not mostly, on Samsung. People got tired of buying the same phone year after year with promises of more power, metal bodies, better performance, stability etc. And instead were delivered year after year, no promises, no metal, only disappointment and plastic.

What once were Galaxy S and S Note owners are now iPhone 6 and 6 plus owners.

The rest of the blame, of course, rests on Google’s shoulders.

My question is what can they do to take a bigger bite?

First thing is first, skinning. HTC Sense sure is nice, and companies need their brand to be recognized, but how many OEM’s are skinning their devices these days? Enough is enough. Be gone with it, Google! I realize there must be some law in place, and I also realize that progress doesn’t happen over night, but c’mon, guys. The Android logo at boot and a few advertisement’s are a sure start, but you need to step it up. And fast.

The whole of smartphone consumers need to be able to handle any Android device, whether it be LG or HTC and know first and foremost their phone is Android powered. I can almost guarantee that at least 60% of smartphone users are completely unaware of the presence of Android in their device. On the other hand, when presented with an iPhone, people know without question there’s Apple inside.

At one time there was a solution to this problem, and I believe it the only solution. Android Silver. Under this initiative, Google would contract with Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony etc. and offer premium devices showcasing stock Android and minimal bloat, if any at all.

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I own no rights to anything. Rights to depicted image belong to someone else.

It would be the equivalent of Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile offering Google Play Edition devices at their retail locations.

But of course each manufacturer would need to stand out from the other. In this respect HTC could offer an Android Silver device in Aluminum featuring Boomsound™ speakers and a duo snapper, while Samsung could… Um… LG’s Silver line on the other hand could come equipped with Laser Auto Focus and rear situated volume/power buttons and so on and so forth for each OEM. This would produce a variety amongst Android devices while maintaining consistency (Material Design, here’s looking at you) Variety being something Apple lacks while consistency is something their users enjoy.

Now, I realize this is easier said than done. It would take several months if not a year or more just to coordinate and organize such a campaign. Tack on time for development and production, you’re looking at a year and a half to two years minimum. My best guess. Keep in mind that the concept of Android Silver was conceived some time ago, and this years Nexus was supposedly to be the first ever in a line of Silver devices.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, Googles lead in Carrier and Manufacturer relations decided to abandon the initiative, thus leaving Google with no choice but to put Android Silver “on hold”.

But hey. At least there’s Android One…

Bottom line is something needs to be done. Either Google steps up it’s mobile game or it expands further and deeper into other areas of technology, sacrificing it’s loyal user base and market share along the way.

Does anyone else share my concern or have some insight they’d like to share? Use the comment section below!

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.

Help Us Android Silver. You’re Our Only Hope.

wpid-wp-1423461135834.jpeg

I’m not going to bore you with NASDAQ nonsense and talk quarterly numbers I know little about. All I am going to say is that Android could be in trouble.

As you probably know there exists such a thing as Mobile OS Market Share represented by Android, Apple, Microsoft, Symbian, a couple others and now Tizen.

image

Prediction of 2015 Market Shares. And pie because charts and graphs aren't nearly as tasty.

For some time after it’s release Android occupied only a tenth or so of that pie. From 2012 until now the mobile OS mogul has taken up nearly half if not more. But this year Apple got hungry and took a bigger slice. Shipments of Apple devices have risen 46% where as units shipped running Android have fallen by 16%.

This next part is a bit opinionated, but I’d like you to bear with me. It’s strongly worded, maybe, but reasonable.

Personally, I believe the blame falls partly, if not mostly, on Samsung. People got tired of buying the same phone year after year with promises of more power, metal bodies, better performance, stability etc. And instead were delivered year after year, no promises, no metal, only disappointment and plastic.

What once were Galaxy S and S Note owners are now iPhone 6 and 6 plus owners.

The rest of the blame, of course, rests on Google’s shoulders.

My question is what can they do to take a bigger bite?

First thing is first, skinning. HTC Sense sure is nice, and companies need their brand to be recognized, but how many OEM’s are skinning their devices these days? Enough is enough. Be gone with it, Google! I realize there must be some law in place, and I also realize that progress doesn’t happen over night, but c’mon, guys. The Android logo at boot and a few advertisement’s are a sure start, but you need to step it up. And fast.

The whole of smartphone consumers need to be able to handle any Android device, whether it be LG or HTC and know first and foremost their phone is Android powered. I can almost guarantee that at least 60% of smartphone users are completely unaware of the presence of Android in their device. On the other hand, when presented with an iPhone, people know without question there’s Apple inside.

At one time there was a solution to this problem, and I believe it the only solution. Android Silver. Under this initiative, Google would contract with Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony etc. and offer premium devices showcasing stock Android and minimal bloat, if any at all.

image

I own no rights to anything. Rights to depicted image belong to someone else.

It would be the equivalent of Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile offering Google Play Edition devices at their retail locations.

But of course each manufacturer would need to stand out from the other. In this respect HTC could offer an Android Silver device in Aluminum featuring Boomsound™ speakers and a duo snapper, while Samsung could… Um… LG’s Silver line on the other hand could come equipped with Laser Auto Focus and rear situated volume/power buttons and so on and so forth for each OEM. This would produce a variety amongst Android devices while maintaining consistency (Material Design, here’s looking at you) Variety being something Apple lacks while consistency is something their users enjoy.

Now, I realize this is easier said than done. It would take several months if not a year or more just to coordinate and organize such a campaign. Tack on time for development and production, you’re looking at a year and a half to two years minimum. My best guess. Keep in mind that the concept of Android Silver was conceived some time ago, and this years Nexus was supposedly to be the first ever in a line of Silver devices.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, Googles lead in Carrier and Manufacturer relations decided to abandon the initiative, thus leaving Google with no choice but to put Android Silver “on hold”.

But hey. At least there’s Android One…

Bottom line is something needs to be done. Either Google steps up it’s mobile game or it expands further and deeper into other areas of technology, sacrificing it’s loyal user base and market share along the way.

Does anyone else share my concern or have some insight they’d like to share? Use the comment section below!

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.

Google Glass. Can You See Me Now?

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This image is probably copy written. I own no rights to said image. All rights to this image belong to it's respective owner(s)

Not anymore we can’t.

Google Glass. The future of Augmented Reality… For about two years until recently scrapped.

The product wasn’t aimed at folks like you and I. To Glasses’ demographic, $1500 was pocket change.

You could tell by watching the high profile advertisements that Google Glass was a business mans Android. He possessed not nearly enough hands for his coffee, briefcase and smartphone. With Google Glass he could wear his Android right on his face and have all the information he could ever need at the blink of an eye.

They even showcased Glass adorning the faces of runway models. I… Er… Um… Anyways…

It’s not that the world wasn’t ready for the product. Quite the opposite, actually. Amongst Google existed two groups. Those who thought it too early for a Beta release and those who wanted to force it down the public’s collective throat. Pretty strong wording, but it is what it is.

Unfortunately for Google, the early Beta release was a failure. It was unattractive, pretty damned useless and riddled with problems. They thought by putting it into the hands of developers and interested consumers they could work out the kinks, ya know, polish it up a bit.

Wrong.

Two years have passed and Glass has been officially scrapped and handed over to Nest CEO Tony Fadell who claims his revision of Google Glass won’t make it into the public until it is without a doubt perfect.

I’d like to take a minute and expand on this, the decision to hand the product over to Nest.

As we know, Nest specializes in home product and integration, probably soon community and city integration. It is safe to assume that Google Glass will in some way make use of this technology. You wake up first thing and you find that you’d like it a little warmer in your home. Lucky for you you’ve got Nest Thermostat and a shiny pair of rebooted Google Glass.

“Ok, Google Glass. It’s too cold in here. Turn the heat up a little bit.”

And voilà. Nest does the rest for you.

You’re on your way to work; Google Nest is on every street corner and delivers real time, location based information straight to your face, the quickest route to work based on traffic patterns, roadblocks, red lights, accidents etc.

Again, this last bit was an expansion on Google’s decision to hand the project over to Nest and contained a good bit of speculation. But as the world becomes more and more dependent on technology, I can easily see the road map from Google Nest, to Google Neighborhood, to Google City to Google World. And Google glass will keep you plugged in every step of the way.

It’s actually kinda scary if you’re into the whole Orwellian 1984 thing and have seen the movie “Minority Report” or read any Philip K. Dick novel.

Androidos4u does a lot of speculation, but it’s part of the fun, part of the future of Android.

Would anyone care to add anything else? Use the comment section below to voice your opinions!

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.

The Future Of OnePlus.

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I own no rights to this damn image. The rights belong to it's respective owner.

Most of us are familiar with the form factor, the resolution and chipset, but not many of us have actually held a OnePlus One in our hands.

This is a disappointing truth.

We’ve all here had our taste of CyanogenMod.

Third party retailers aside, OnePlus has sold well over 1 million units. While one million units sold is exceptional, relative to the amount of global smartphone users, these numbers are small potatoes. This is due in part to OnePlus’ invitation system. While from a certain standpoint it makes absolute sense; why make 10 million phones when we will only sell 1 million? Sadly, the concept mentioned above kept the device out of the hands of millions of prospective and eager users, users who just weren’t comfortable shelling out upwards of $450 for a third party (presumably refurbished) or used OnePlus.

Albeit cost effective, their success has been to the dismay of countless. Yours truly included.

The smartphone industry is not easily penetrated. With players like HTC, Samsung, Sony and LG at the Global helm, newcomers with little to no reputation and anything short of a few million dollars don’t stand a chance. In this case, however, there may be hope for OnePlus.

OnePlus is a start up company founded by Pete Lau, former president of Oppo. OnePlus’ slogan “Never Settle” refers to Pete’s very own vision. His hopes are that users will never settle for lower quality devices, devices produced by the likes of his Chinese competitors, Xiaomi and Blu.

I’ve only ever recently heard great things about Xiaomi. So Pete may need to step his companies game and production up.

Blu, on the other hand, I believe are just that, low quality, Samsung knock off devices. No further comment necessary.

With recent controversy the Future of OnePlus hangs in the balance. The demand is well in place, they surely have the financial means for production and all the world eagerly awaits the OnePlus 2.

I guess now all they need is an OS.

Without getting too much into it, Cyanogen seems to have used loose leaf legality and sold rights to the Indian based Micromax, allowing them to distribute their devices with Cyanogen on board.

OnePlus said oh hell nah. And I couldn’t agree more.

Doing some research over night, I found that Steve Kondick was quoted saying something along the lines of Cyanogen inc. Is still venture funded, and we aren’t making any money.

Poor man must be piss poor.

So to make a quick buck he sold some rights to Micromax.

OnePlus swears up and down they had exclusive rights, and Cyanogen swears up and down they didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings.

In my personal opinion, someone just got greedy. Whatever

Enough of that mess. Trust me, its a head ache.

As stated before, the future of OnePlus hangs in the balance since their recent break up with Cyanogen, and presumably once an OS is in place, production of the OnePlus 2 will commence or resume.

OxygenOS to the rescue!

OnePlus has recently adopted their own flavor of Android dubbed OxygenOs. Pretty catchy name if you ask me. Rolls off the tongue. Unlike CyanogenMod 11s.

Early teaser videos of OOS have been released and peoples panties are all in a bunch. Me, I’m just waiting to see whether or not I’ll be able to go online and buy the damn thing hassle free. I could care less what software is on board cause chances are it won’t be there long when and if I get my eager and flash happy hands on it.

There is a demand for OnePlus devices, so I  see no need for invites only. If they lack the funding to produce 5 million phones then set up a preorder system. People will buy into that. Maybe even more so knowing they’re device is fresh off the manufacturing floor.

As far as pricing and specs are concerned, I  expect top tier mechanics at US $350-$400. Snapdragon 810, 4 gigs of ram, 5.5″ display, QHD, 3000-33000 mAh power supply, 20 megapixel shooter and so forth. My suggestion would be to keep the display resolution at a cool 1080p thus providing the user with maximum battery life. But I highly doubt that. QHD is the new standard.

It’s only now a matter of when the device will be unveiled. It’s been postponed once already due in part to Cyanogen’s shenanigans (sweet rhyme. Now say it 10 times, fast) but with OxygenOs in place, I think we could see a new device by mid to late summer.

Anyone out there a proud owner of a OnePlus? Are you waiting for their next device? Any comments on the recent spat between Cyanogen, OnePlus and Micromax? Voice your opinions in the comment section below!

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.

This Is My Android. There Are Many Like It…

But this one is mine.

It’s part of the beauty of Android. Any user, advanced or just starting, can personalize their device to their very own liking, setting it apart from all the others. There are some limitations as to what you can do without root, such as repositioning your clock or hiding it, changing battery icons etc. But that is hardly worth mentioning. Personally I can’t stand to have a clock widget on my home screen and a clock in my status bar. The redundancy alone kills me

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My Homescreen. Minimalist. Nothing fancy. Just the way I like it.

When personalizing your device usually you start with a wallpaper, something that speaks to you and represents you. From there you may try to find an icon pack that suits whichever wallpaper you’ve chosen based on color, size, shape and so forth. I personally find minimal, flat or round icons to be more attractive. White was a good choice with the wallpaper I chose as anything else was just too flashy.

You’ve got endless options for customization. Dozens of launchers support countless icon packs. Some icon packs are free courtesy of the developer and some are paid. Usually $1 or so. Most launchers offer free and prime versions. The latter offering more options for personalization. My favorite, of course, is Nova Launcher. It’s fluid and efficient, never stutters or bogs down my device. It supports icon packs, transition animations, icon size, transparent notification bar, hide clock for root users. The list goes on.

Here are some themes from my nexus 5 ownership days.

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Black and white minimalist on PA.

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Again, minimalist.

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Spent a ridiculous amount of time matching the greens.

Scrolling through Google+ I see dozens of themes. And these individuals should be proud of themselves. It requires creativity, personality, an open mind and the ability to think outside of the box. Some of these guys delve way into it. Me, I usually just choose a wallpaper, find an icon pack I like, do some re arranging and call it a day. But some of the dedication I’ve seen to them being is nothing short of impressive.

If you’re on Google+ reading this and you feel like you’ve earned the title ultimate theme artist, feel free to share it in the comments. Tout yourself a little. You’ve earned some bragging rights.

What do you guys think about the art of Android Theming? Is it worth the time? Does it set your Nexus 6 apart from Guy Smith’s Nexus 6 in Idaho? Voice your comments!

Posted By A Living, Breathing, Android Enthusiast.