Almost two years ago, I backed the iblazr project on Kickstarter. It promised an external flash for my phone that connected via the 3.5mm plug and brightened photos more than the built-in LED ever could. The project was successful, the company delivered quite on time, and the final product was good. However, as with any first-gen item, there were flaws and issues with the iblazr. Most importantly, the Android app was never up to par and the 3.5mm connection meant that on phones where the plug was on the bottom, you had your light angled wrong compared to your camera (which is usually on the top). Read More
One of the tools any good flashaholic should be familiar with is fastboot. Like ADB, the help screen for fastboot received some changes with the preview release of Android M. The reboot command now offers a friendlier syntax to reach the bootloader, and there is a new set of "flashing" commands designed to prevent write operations from occurring when they aren't desired. There's also a fix for the "missing system.img" error that some people experienced after trying to use the flash-all script to install factory images. Read More
Veteran Android users, particularly those who stick to Nexus devices, are well aware of the fact that you can usually flash OTA updates manually once someone pulls a link to the actual update file. This normally provides a much better option than waiting for your device to get the update sent to it, which could take weeks. Android Wear has this functionality as well, but each watch is a little different in terms of proper procedures for doing so. Read More
The preview release of Android M has shown magnificent growth in the platform. There are new things for everybody to enjoy. While we're always excited to see new APIs and cool features – not to mention some pretty important bug fixes – we shouldn't overlook the interesting changes that have also come to the tools we use to work with Android and our devices on a different level. The preview SDK brings an updated version of ADB with a few new commands, including a handy new shortcut to reboot directly into Sideload Mode. Read More
While Android Lollipop added a flashlight toggle into Quick Settings, circumventing most third-party torch apps, the function was only accessible in the notification drop-down and as an on/off switch. If you wanted to use the flashlight with morse code, for signaling, or other patterns, you still had to use a separate application and developers of said apps didn't have any clear API to build their software on. They had to hack together solutions for various phones, relying on whatever way the different OEMs had created to access the camera's flash. Read More
Dolphin, one of Android’s most popular third-party browsers, continues refining its Lollipop experience after initially rolling out a compatible release a month ago. Now, with Flash support, Android 5.0 devices should have feature parity with KitKat and earlier systems. In addition to the Flash upgrade, Dolphin has a grab-bag of enhancements that apply to all 4.x users.
The most fun new doodads are some Christmas-oriented themes.
Maybe not the most integral feature, but their themes are fairly well-done. Read More
HTC's upcoming M8 has been the topic of much speculation and many leaks (legitimate or otherwise) in recent weeks. @evleaks has shown us what is apparently HTC's latest Sense refresh for the unnamed device, confirming previous rumors that HTC would ditch capacitive keys in favor of on-screen navigation. We've also heard (and seen) rumors of dual rear-facing cameras.
Today, NowhereElse.fr has published blurry photos that appear to reaffirm both rumors, showing dual rear cameras, on-screen buttons, and - contradicting the previous "leak," - a joined array of two flashes in a single, continuous oval. Read More
If Chrome isn't cutting it for you, or if you're a die-hard Mozilla fan, or if you'd just like the ability to watch Flash videos every once in a while, the Android version of Firefox is your best bet. Mozilla keeps coming with steady updates, and the latest fixes an especially vexing problem: Flash support is back in KitKat. (It's still marked as unresolved in the release notes for Firefox 27, but I've tested it on my own KitKat tablet.) You'll still need an archived version of Flash to make the plugin work. Read More
Hooray! Shortly after the Nexus 4 OTA zip link was finally discovered, we can now say the same about both data-connected Nexus 7s - the 2012 3G edition and the 2013 LTE. These are the last devices we didn't have manual update links for, so now it's safe to say that the KitKat Nexus rollout has been fully completed.
As to not repeat the same flashing instructions, I'm going to direct the 2012 3G owners to this post and 2013 LTE owners to this one. Read More