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Like millions of people around the world, I am an Android fanboy. Recently I though about sharing some of my  aspects which I don’t like about Android.  Eventhough being Android has gotten better over the years but there are still many things I dont like about it. To put it bluntly, I hate Android, at least some of its features. I have used Linux for a few years since Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and fell in love with the open source movement. Ive come to realize that all the hype about being open and portraying Apple and RIM as the evil closed platform was all a deception. . Theres a list(I love lists). Lets go through them. I hate some of the UI. Customization is nice but it allows for more things to break. These include themes and design. At first, the UI was cool and beautiful. I felt like I had a computer in my hands, literally. Icons were nice to touch and scrolling was smooth(at first). After using it for a while, I started to experience the pains of using the touch screen. Mistypes, and mistaps were frequent. The Android experience varied depending on manufacturer. All the different flavors of Android pushed by their respective hardware developers all look different. OneUI, TouchWiz, and MotoBlur are all different. OneUI is probably the best(IMO) out of all these. TouchWiz makes me feel like Im using an iPhone and MotoBlur is a mess with all their social networking widgets. These skins load on top of Android making it slower than its vanilla stock core. When I get my phone, I hate all the bloatware that comes with it. All carriers seem to do it. They push Vcast, SprintTV and other bloatware that I dont want. The Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi,Oppo,Vivo are the notorious ones feeding bloatware just to compnsate for the cheap price they offer in some countries. Not only that, but I hate that I cant delete them. I hate knowing that they are on my phone and the only way for me to get rid of them is by rooting my phone. Why do I have to jump through hoops just to get rid of this crapware? Im not scared of rooting my phone. In fact, Ive done so and install a few custom ROMs but there is always a risk of bricking your phone and leaving it useless. Average users dont want to risk the warranty by rooting their phone. Not only are there crapware on the phone, but there is/was malware on the Market. I hate Andoid memory management, being an old Symbian OS user.Symbian was the most efficient Mobile Os in memory management, followed by iOS. My old Nokia 808 Pureview had just 512MB RAM which was handling the Mammoth Camera, the 41MP beast with Xenon flash. I know that comparing a Symbian Phone with very limited apps and strict developer requirements with Android which has an ocean of apps and simpler developer standards is not fair. But are these crazy RAM of 12GB,16GB etc etc in many high end Android Phones really necessary? Or are they worth the performance they offer compared to iOs? Expanding from the 1st and the 3rd reasons, I hate Androids software fragmentation. I hate that Motorola’s flavor is different from Samsung’s. I hate that the buttons are different in all manufacturer, and even sometimes, within the same manufacturers. And I hate that I cant install certain apps because I my phone doesnt have the latest and greatest version of Android. Notoriously all my Samsung Phones from Galaxy S3 to Galaxy S9 Plus started showing sluggishness after 1 year of usage. The problem being whenever I update an app, the hardware is not able to cope with newest software. Android isВ recognized as the open platform and that unadulterated Android experience does not come standard. It only comes standard on Googles Nexus phones  and Selected flagship phones from other manufacturers. But most people dont own these flagship devices. Most people get their Droids from their carriers. Not only are these phones locked down with carrier bloatware but they are also locked down from performing specific tasks. People have gotten around this issue by a process called rooting. This grants the user superuser status allowing him to do anything he wishes with the phone. The Nexus phones are relatively easy to root but carrier phones are harder. Android phones are great if you want the phone to be your hobby, if you dont mind tinkering with the device, rooting it, or if youre just a techno buff.  

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Google I/O 2024 Review For Android Developers

Android Studio 1.3

Android Studio has gotten a lot of love over the years, and has become the de facto IDE for Android Developers. A lot of new features and updates were revealed, although most are currently available in the Canary (experimental, bleeding edge) update channel for now. Some of the updates include:

NDK C/C++ Support. Complete support provided for C/C++ code, including syntax highlighting, code linking and more.

New simultaneous visual layout builder and layout editor. While editing a layout xml file, the “Preview” image now also doubles as a visual layout editor.

Improved gradle build performance. We were shown scenarios, where the time spent in a gradle build was halved, from 10.2 secs to 5.0 secs in one test, and from 54 secs to 5.9 secs in another.

Use of Vector images (.svg) when developing/designing, and the IDE would automatically generate bitmap images for all the different resolutions on build.

App Permissions

This is a long requested and anticipated feature. Rather than granting all permissions required by an app on install, users can now grant, deny or revoke previously granted permissions at will. From the users point of view, this is a fantastic and welcome change. For developers, this presents new challenges when building apps. Before accessing a resource that requires permissions, you must confirm that the user has granted your app the necessary permissions, and provide an alternate if your request was rejected.

Full App backup App Invites

New API that helps users share apps/invite other users to use an app. This is great news for developers, since it helps users share your app via word of mouth with specific other users (their friends, family or colleagues that they expect will like the app). The invites are sent either over SMS or email, with a direct install button. There is a website with detailed instructions and sample code.

DataBindings

At its most basic, this is a method that helps bind data in an application to specific views in a layout file. For example, if you have a class called User, that has constants firstName and lastName. You could have two TextViews in your layout, called firstNameView and lastNameView, that display the corresponding User values. With data binding, you can describe this relationship in the layout xml file.

<LinearLayout android:orientation=”vertical” android:layout_width=”match_parent” <TextView android:layout_width=”wrap_content” android:layout_height=”wrap_content” <TextView android:layout_width=”wrap_content” android:layout_height=”wrap_content”

Honourable Mentions

Some other exciting stories from I/O include

Now on tap and App Indexing – App Indexing helps you get your app found in Google Search, while Now on tap is Google Now with contextual awareness.

Voice interactions – Now your app can interact more fully with the user when making voice commands, by asking for confirmations/clarifications and more

Fingerprints API – Can verify a user through fingerprint, with the UI completely controlled by your app. Your app can also present a lock screen to the user, forcing him/her to unlock the device before continued use (actually available in Lollipop). Sample FingerprintDialog and ConfirmCredential code available on github.

App Linking – Enable your app automatically be launched by default for web domains that you own/control. More information available on the M Preview website.

New developer guides/tutorials – There is a new developer tutorial series/channel/community available containing best practices, guides and correct ways of implementing many Android APIs.

Android Developer Newsletter

Here’s Why You Should Have Audio Editing Apps For Android

Here’s Why You Should Have Audio Editing Apps For Android What Edits Can You Make To A File With Audio Editing App for Android

And that’s not just it, an audio editing software also lets you create new audio as well.

Can We Make Changes To An Audio File Without Audio Editing Apps?

Without an audio Editing app for Android, you can pinch the equalizer here and there, cut certain parts of the audio file (Most MP3 players come with this functionality), compress audio files and do a couple more things.

Android Audio Editors Can Help You Create Some Serious Audio

Android audio editor apps are a great way to create, edit and produce high quality audio. But, what do you get out of these apps? Let’s take examples of few great audio editing apps for Android and see what magic they do to your audio files –

(Note: you can find all the apps mentioned below on Google Play Store)

1. Audio MP3 Cutter Mix Converter and Ringtone Maker

If you think that a portion of the song in your device could make for a great ringtone, this audio editor app will help you trim your file (you can assign a start and end time). Not just that, you can now turn into an inhouse DJ and mix two songs like pro. Plus, after all this, when you sit down to name your files, you are all sorted with a dedicated metadata editor.

2. Mstudio: Play,Cut,Merge,Mix,Record,Extract,Convert

How about a music player that wears the skin of an Android audio editor and turns your device into a portable recording studio? The moment you install the audio editor apk you have on your palms the power of changing the tempo of your audio files, you can now throw in any songs of any format and still be able to mix them. Last but not the least, this best free audio editing app for Android even lets you up your quality game – you can tweak the sample rate, channels bitrate and choose your output quality.

3. Audio Evolution Mobile Studio

How about you have an app which offers you features like vocal tuning, MIDI input, drum patterns, fade in-out, amongst several audio effects and filters. Did we forget that this app even has a metronome and that you can create vocal harmonies too!

In The End Quick Reaction:

About the author

Sarang Bhargava

How To Play Android Games On A Full

Do you have a favorite PC game that you like to play on your phone? How about the other way around? If you have a gaming PC with a decent CPU and RAM, sometimes there are issues while changing over from Android games. On some occasions they can appear buggy or may not be ideal for your PC resolutions.

To enjoy a polished experience and stimulating visuals in the PC similar to Android, we will consider two methods. You can either use an emulator or play the games on a browser. Both methods are valid for any Android game currently available on Play Store, in this case Street Racing 3D.

Using an Emulator

This is the easiest method around. An emulator, as the name suggests, is a simple tool which authentically converts your mobile app experience into the PC. While there are so many examples, only a handful are any good for real mobile applications. We chose BlueStacks for its exclusive focus on mobile games alone. The website says that over a billion games are played on their platform every month and that they are six times faster than Samsung Galaxy S9+.

After a simple download, the target game is easily located on the Play Store which you only have to install.

As expected, there were no lags in gaming performance on Bluestacks. The exact experience with G sensors in the mobile game was transferred to the console. In fact, there may have been even more control and coordination despite “Nitro” level which refers to insanely fast speeds in this game. In other words, the gaming experience designed for Android turns out to be far better on a PC.

Experience: Bluestacks emulator is neat and perfect when it comes to transferring your Android gaming experience to a larger screen. Other emulators, which are also as good as Bluestacks, include Nox and Genymotion.

Not Using Emulators

Sometimes, the fake borderlines and a different set of pixels in an emulator can ruin the fun. Therefore, for those of us who don’t like emulators, it is possible to transfer the gaming experience to a Chrome browser. You must download an extension called Welderio (or Arc Welder).

Arc Welder usually won’t install at first attempt, but give it a couple of tries, and you will have it available on your extensions page. Once you open it, you will be asked to add your APK for the game.

The installation was a breeze. Save the downloaded file on your PC.

Now, you only have to fetch the APK on ARC Welder from the saved location.

If there are no errors, the game will conveniently install on the ARC Welder extension. You can choose to play it on a tablet or full-screen PC. For a total bug-free experience, a Chrome OS system offers the best results. However, even on Windows PC, you can enjoy the game on a Chrome browser without any issues.

Experience: For the given game, the overall experience on Chrome browser wasn’t any different from the emulator or mobile app. However, the experience might have been far superior on a Chrome OS system rather than Windows.

Summary

Out of the two, which method do you prefer in transferring your smartphone games to the PC? Emulators or Chrome browser?

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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How To Always Open Chrome And Firefox In Incognito Mode By Default On Android

Browsing in private mode, or ‘Incognito‘, as Google calls it, protects users from various web trackers that could potentially jeopardize your privacy. We have already covered how you can open your browser in incognito mode by default in Windows 10, irrespective of whether you use Chrome, Firefox or Edge. Today, we will show you how you can always open  Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in incognito (private) mode by default on Android.

Make Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Always Open in Incognito Mode on Android

The method of opening your browser in incognito mode by default is relatively similar for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. We are using Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for the demo below, but you can use the same method for Microsoft Edge and most other prominent Android browsers that offer an incognito browsing option. So let’s check out how you can open Chrome, Firefox or Edge in incognito (private) mode by default on your Android smartphone.

How to Open Incognito Tab in Google Chrome

You can easily open Google Chrome in incognito mode by default on your phone by following the tutorial below.

Fire up Google Chrome and tap on the menu button (three dots) on the top-right corner. Now select ‘New Incognito Tab’ from the slide-out menu.

That’s it, you can now browse in incognito mode in Google Chrome on your Android device.

In incognito mode, Chrome will not store any information about that browsing session. Which means, all the browsing history, cookies and trackers from that session will be cleared when you exit the browser.

How to Open Private Tab in Mozilla Firefox

That’s it. You can now browse in private mode in Mozilla Firefox on your Android device. You can tap on the mask icon again to switch back to normal browsing.

Firefox will not store any information from private tabs. That means all the cookies and trackers collected during that session will be cleared when you exit the browser.

Always Open Chrome or Firefox in Incognito (Private) Mode by Default

To always open your browser in incognito (private) mode by default, try the following trick:

Long press on the target browser icon until you see the options menu pop up. For Chrome, long press on the ‘New Incognito Tab’ option in this menu and drag it to the home screen. For Firefox, do the same with the ‘New Private Tab’ option.

That’s it! From now on, just select the new Incognito / Private Tab icon to open Chrome or Firefox every time.

Note: This method to open Chrome or Firefox in incognito or private mode by default requires Android 7.0 Nougat or higher. It works on most OEM ROMs and is also supported by most third-party launchers.

Always Open Firefox in Private Mode by Default Using Built-in Option

While the method above works for most browsers in the newer versions of Android, Firefox also offers a built-in option to open private windows by default every time. It works on all versions of Android, but is especially helpful for folks running Android Marshmallow and older. Here’s how you do it:

The first time you switch to private browsing, Firefox will show you an option to add a shortcut to open private tabs from your Home screen. Tap on it to add it to your device.

You can also add the private browsing shortcut later manually. To do that, tap on the menu button (three dots) and select Settings.

Scroll down a little and tap on Private Browsing under Privacy and Security. Finally, hit Add private browsing shortcut.

Here’s how the shortcuts look when added to home screen.

Surf the Web in Complete Privacy on Your Android Device

So you now know how to always browse using the incognito (private) mode by default on Android, using either Chrome, Firefox or Edge. While that’s one of the ways to maintain your online privacy, it is not the only thing you need to be mindful of. One of the best ways to ensure that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) doesn’t get to snoop on your connections is to change your DNS settings on your Android device. You can also try using a VPN on Android, if you want some extra privacy.

Meanwhile, if you use the regular browsing mode on Google Chrome, check out how you can disable and delete cookies in Chrome for Android. Also, if you’ve ever used Truecaller, check out how you can deactivate and unlist your phone number from the service. Finally, take care never to install these dangerous apps on your Android device to ensure your peace of mind.

Why Your Android Phone Memory Is Partitioned As Internal Storage And Phone Storage

Why do I keep getting Low storage message even when i have so much storage free?

All preloaded apps are installed on precious internal storage space. Most users won’t find this problematic as 2 GB is good enough for Apps, for an average user. What makes matter worse is apps dumping their data in this storage space and several logs which can go up to 100s of MB.

Rooted users can use apps like DiskUsage and go to /Data directory to see how their storage is being consumed. Don’t be surprised to see heaps of Log files (which you can delete to free space), dalvik cache and more.

Why do OEMs partition internal storage in the first place?

The main reason to do so is security. Users and most importantly other apps, shouldn’t be allowed to peek in other app sensitive data and system files and thus a separate partition is used in the internal storage with proper permission setup. This is what you know as 2 GB or so of internal storage.

This part doesn’t function as a FAT32 file system, which means there is a proper permission setup that apps have to go through before reading or writing at any place. The other part, the phone storage discards all permission checking and behaves like a FAT area similar to your SD card (although its not based on FAT file system) . FAT32 is a mess and its all or none permission structure isn’t very secure (once permission is granted, complete read write access is granted). Since SD cards are compatible with large array of devices apart from Android phones, they will remain based on FAT file system for compatibility,

So in Indian market, you mostly see phones which allow you to store apps and data on entire internal storage, but in such devices Apps can’t be stored on SD card or there is no SD card slot at all. On the other hand, you see phones which allow you to transfer some apps or parts of apps (sensitive part is kept on device)to SD card, but have only 2 GB of internal storage space.

Why you can’t have both Unified storage and Apps on SD card?

There is no hardware restriction to it, but this will make everything complicated. With security issues addressed in Android Kitkat, the goal is even more difficult to realize in practice. In Google engineer Dan Morrill’s own words – “One of the core Android principles is that you never need a file manager. Ever. We wanted to avoid the obnoxious “sneeze and a file picker appears” syndrome of basically every other OS. Local data that apps know how to handle should just be magically available within the apps, or stored in the cloud. You shouldn’t have to go spelunking on your SD card to find data.

Changing Trends

With earlier Android version, SD card played a very significant role. Only OS and some files were present on the device while everything else including apps, their data and Media was supposed to be situated on your SD card. Later OEMs started partitioning internal storage and dedicating one as  internal SD card or Phone storage. Google introduced “Move to SD” in order to move stuff to SD card (app data and parts of apps), and there has been confusion ever since.

With Honeycomb, Google introduced a unified internal storage model, where entire storage on your device was available for all, but it wasn’t widely adopted. Since SD cards are formatted on FAT file system, an app which has permission to access SD card can write everywhere on the SD card including system folders. For better security and preventing apps from dumping data anywhere on your SD card, this has been changed with Android 4.4 Kitkat

What changed after KitKat?

Now power users can’t dump files anywhere on SD card if they want to do anything more than read them. For example, if you have images scattered on SD card , your photo editor app can read them but can’t save edits and changes you make to them. File explorers and backups won’t work as earlier either.

Also if you delete an app, all data in its folder will vanish as well. So if you have Images and important photographs stored in third party app folders, you should transfer them someplace else before you uninstall the application.

All these changes can easily be reverted by rooted users, but conventional users would have to comply. This is good for security but takes away the SD card freedom we have come to love in Android phones over years. In India we can see the adoption in several 8 GB, Android kitkat phones popping up these days.

Conclusion

The internal storage partition is there because of security reasons and the issue will be better handled in the next generation devices. The security patches in Kitkat aren’t all bad. Depending on your perspective, this can be a much needed initiative for improving Android security – a change which has been due for a long time. This definitely is annoying for power users and takes some getting used to, but such users can root and get back to as things used to be.

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