Droidsgiving Giveaway

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Droidsgiving

Hey Everyone!

For many of you today is a day of Thanksgiving.  For those of you in the USA that means long drives to your families, stories of pilgrims and Indians, big meals consisting of turkey, yams, cranberries, more turkey, pie and then going around the table and telling everyone the the one or two things you are most thankful for.  Quite often those things we are thankful for are the things we value the most, things like family, friends, good health and so on.

This year we decided it was time for us to go “around the table”, so to speak, and to tell all of you what we are grateful for.  All of us have been brought together by our love of Android and all that that brings with it.  There are those of us who have taken that love of Android and turned it into hobbies, jobs, and so on.  Without all of you we wouldn’t be where we are at today and we wouldn’t have the success that we have had.  So if I had to pick two things I was grateful for, I would pick Android and all of you!  Yes, I know that is a lot more than two things but you get what I’m saying. 🙂

To show you how grateful we are to you we have partnered up with a lot of big names in the Android community like Android File Host, Zedo Max, QBKing77, DroidmodderX, EpicDroid, Bane Tech and myself Rootjunky to bring you a HUGE giveaway!  We call it Droidsgiving!  There are over $1,000 in prizes!

The giveaway will be done via Gleam.io.  The giveaway will open for entries on 12/1/15 at 12:01 AM MST and will go through 12/7/15 at 11:59 PM MST.  There will be ten winners drawn from all valid entries.

Be sure to be watching here, as well as on Twitter and YouTube to see when the contest goes live!

Check out the list of the prizes and sponsors we’ve got lined up (hint: we’ve hyperlinked each of the sponsor names above to their Twitter or YouTube sites.  You might want to follow/subscribe so you are ready for the giveaway)!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Droidsgiving!

GOOD LUCK

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Google and Apple Hate Italians

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Google and Apple hate Italians, Samsung hates the British but One Plus likes everyone.

First the back story

For those that don’t know me, I started writing for the RootJunky website about a month ago. My last post was a review of the Nexus 6P, it’s a great device by the way. Check out the review here. I ended that post with:

“Well it (Nexus 6P) may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian. Why am I picking on the Italians? Well I’m not, but come back to view my next post and find out who is”

So who is picking on the Italians? Well it looks like Google and Apples are teaming up against the country that brought pizza to the world.

Ok there are a few things that I should say right off the bat. I am not an economist or an accountant. I am not even a professional journalist. I am just a guy that likes tech and has opinions to share. This week I would like to share some interesting thing that I found when reviewing the price for the Nexus 6P.

I live in Canada and my good friend Tom the RootJunky lives in the USofA. It is standard knowledge that technology items are cheaper south of the border but after you work out the exchange it is usually a wash. A few bucks here or there, no big deal. While writing my review I had watched an angry Damir Franc rant about the price of the Nexus in German. I decided to investigate further.

Investigating prices

I started my investigation by picking a few countries spread throughout our little planet. I looked at the rate of exchange; this was in early november, and compared prices. Have a look at what i found out below.

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nexus 6P

If you compare the prices for the 32gb, 64gb, and 128gb models, Italians are paying an average of $285.58 extra for their phones. That sucks! Small wonder why Damir was so upset. He lives in Germany not Italy, but i am sure that most countries that use the Euro are very close in price. Things are not much better in New Zealand or the United Kingdom. My fellow Canadians are doing ok but the pacific side of the world, not so much. Australia is overcharged by $160, Japan by $130 and India by about a hundred dollars. Why? I have not clue. Honestly i don’t know why this happens. I decided to investigate a little further.

I thought to myself that this may be a Google thing? Perhaps Apple does it differently? Nope have a look at there numbers below.

6s

iphone 6s

The iphone 6s had nearly identical overcharges when compared to the 6p. Uk, Italy, Australia and New Zealand were within $15 dollars of the Nexus overcharge amount. Again, my hockey playing brethren had the best deal at $65 overcharge but those iphones are so damned expensive already. Japan did ok but India got treated like an Italian stepson by accounting department at Apple. Again I am asking why? Perhaps both companies have some long standing vendetta against spaghetti and are now planning to make the entire country suffer?

Did samsung come out any better? Not really. Their chart and numbers are below. Samsung was a little nicer to the Italians and India but they seem to dislike the people that brought us Dr. Who. Your average Brit is paying over $200 more than an american for the same phone. The south Korean company seems to like Canadians, as we are pay about $3 less than anyone else. As a Canadian all I can say is “sorry about that, eh.”

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Galaxy 6 Edge

Throughout this entire time I was researching prices, the question of why kept on coming around and I had not found a solid answer. While looking for that answer I did question my methods. I was using a dollar conversion rate from a random day in November, the prices I used for the phones were just pulled off of websites that were easily translated. My Japanese and Hindi are a little rusty so perhaps I could have found better prices had I been able to do some comparison shopping. Even with all my possible errors in approaching there is a pattern. Pricing is not even across the globe. There has to be a reason.

After looking at these three phones I started to think that this must be some kind of tariff effect. The taxes in these countries are set up to penalize technology. Not being an economist, I don’t understand the full workings of trade tariffs and taxes but we have all read about them from time to time and know that they exist and their basic workings. This was a pill I could swallow. It was not a perfect answer but the UK and European Union seem to pay higher rates for phones while Canadia seems to remain on par with the US. This pattern seemed repeatable. This seemed to make sense until i looked at OnePlus. Check out their numbers below.

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OnePlus 2

OnePlus can somehow manage to be “fair” to everyone’s wallet, never mind what kind of bills you put into it. Looking at this kind of blows that tariff/tax idea out of the water. If OnePlus can keep their phones to within $107, why can’t everyone else? With OnePlus there are even some countries that are paying less than the United States. Canada, Japan and India pay less for the OnePlus 2 after conversation to US OnePlus .

 

Conclusion

I would like to know what others think but here is my two sense. Samsung, Google and Apple charge more because…… well I think it is because they can.  I don’t really think that any company would have it our for one country or another.  That is not how the world works, but the world does run on money.  OnePlus is a new company that is trying gain a reputation for giving its customers the best bang for your buck. You can’t do that and ask Italians to pay $280 more, all at the same time. OnePlus wants and needs the sale and that is reflected in the price. These other three phones are vying for premium spots in the market. They want you to associate them as top end. One way to do that is increase the price. If it is expensive lots of people will assume that it has value. That is my best guess.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts on this, especial if you are from any of the listed countries.  Have you been able to find better deal?  Area you leaning toward other OEMs like OnePlus because they are giving you a fair deal?  I would be interested in hearing what you think.

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday

Nexus 6P

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Nexus 6 P

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What does it mean to be a nexus phone? Is it a cutting edge flagship? Perhaps something meant for developers and enthusiasts? A bang for your buck champion?  It should be easy but it is a hard thing to explain the nexus brand.  Nexus phones have meant a lot of different things to people over the years.  Even Google’s own vision has shifted a little after each year.  Each time trying to adjust, trying to find the perfect vision and never quite getting there.  Knowing that you can’t please all the people all of the time, Google decided to have two phones this year, two visions of perfection. We are going to look at the phone marked with a P, the Nexus 6P.

The one trait that has remained the same about nexus phones; they push the limits.  They try to take what is current and improve it.  They take new technology and implement it.  Has Google succeeded with this year’s vision? Let’s review a few key areas and find out.

 

Look and Feel

The first thing that I actually noticed about this phone was how thin it felt in my hand; then I notice how good it felt, sturdy and well built. That something that told my fingers “this phone needs to have some thickness to it” faded after using it for a while. The phone does have some heft (178g) and I like that.  Huawei has made a solid phone for Google and that is a feeling that has not faded.

 

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The speakers are on the front, the only place for speakers in my opinion, and they blend in very well with the front fascia.  The antenna lines on the four corners works well and I have even started to like the camera visor. Early leaks on the internet made the visor look as if it protruded out like an ugly growth.  Even now pictures don’t do it justice.  In the hand and in person the visor looks to be part of the phone, a natural extension.  The power and volume rocker are located on the right hand side.  They sit just above half way to allow some single handed use.  The SIM card slot can be found on the left side.  Look to the back for a fingerprint sensor.  Perfect placement!  I would like to see the volume and power back there as well.  LG really has something with their “Buttons on the back” phone design. I hope more companies take inspiration from their design. Overall this makes for a very elegant phone and I would like to stop there but I can’t.

On the bottom portion of the back side of the phone is a plastic cover.  The plastic cover is there for antenna signals access and covers a few screws used to keep this thing together. The plastic cover really hurts the phones look.  There is a lot of effort to match the plastic and aluminum but plastic is plastic and aluminum is aluminum. You can’t hide that. Most people will put a case over their phone and that will moot the point but I still find this to be a hard pill to swallow.  80% of the phone is beautiful; the plastic cover is the other 20%.

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Multimedia experience

At 5.7 inches this is a big and beautiful display.  The colours really pop and this is to be expected from an AMOLED screen.  If there is too much colour for your eyes to handle you do have a built in option.  You can use the sRGB colour mode found in the developer settings if you want the screen to pop a little less. The colours tend to be more true to life with the sRGB enabled.  I have used both settings and I have to admit that I prefer the default settings.  The popping colours look really great when playing any game.  It made the experience come alive, even if it looks to bold to be real.  The only fault I have with the display is the blue/purple haze that washes over the screen when viewing it on an angle. This is most evident when you have a complete white background.  The coloured background of various apps and games can make this effect nonexistent. Just make sure that you are viewing straight on when opening gmail.

Viewing angles aside, this phone seems to be made for Netflix.  The visuals come in clear and crisp with the 518 PPI (pixels per inch) screen and the speakers are great.  This combines to produce a fantastic multimedia experience.  Five minutes into any show or movie and you are hooked.  You will forget that you are watching this on a phone and just enjoy the entertainment.

The speakers were so good that I had to compare them with an HTC phone and their Boom Sound speakers.  I assumed the sound would have been closer but you can definitely perceive better sound emanating from the HTC.  I am not an Audiophile but even my dull ears noticed the depth of sound that came from One M9.  Both are great, both are loud, but HTC had a richer and fuller sound.  I hope that more OEMs bring front facing speakers to their designs; it really makes a world of difference to the multimedia experience.

Under the Hooddsc_0055

For those that like specs, the Nexus 6P does not disappoint.  Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 v2.1 is the chipset that powers this unit.  This Octa-core setup is split in two with a Quad-core 1.55 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57 64-bit setup, mated to an Adreno 430 GPU.   Memory comes in at 3 GB of DDR4 RAM and your choice or 32, 64 or 128 Gigabytes of storage.

Does that translate to a fast phone? Yep it sure does!  This phone is like a big block V8 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow at the wheel.  It handled almost anything that I could throw at it.  Even jumping from Clash of Clans to Star Wars Commander and back again, was handled thoroughly.  Marshmallow many not have come with a change in design language but it put a lot of grease in the gears.  Everything is silky smooth. The phone did get a little warm under heavy use but not noticeably warmer than any phone I have played with in the past.  The only thing that made the phone hiccup or stutter was the camera.  It was an odd thing for me; I tried to replicate the stutter but could not get a consistent result.  Sometime is just wanted to be a little slow getting in or out of the camera app.  Thankfully this was the exception and not the rule. Speaking of the camera…….

Camera

When I first read about DxO Labs giving the Nexus 6p a place beside the Galaxy s6 I was impressed.  The new Samsung combination of hardware and software has walked away with all the prices this year.  Even Apple and Microsoft (Nokia) fanboys have been forced to admit that it is the best Camera of 2015.  The new iPhone 6s may change that but early reviews don’t give me that impression.  Either way the 6P had something to prove.

Does it live up to the hype? In my opinion, no.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good camera.  I would even say great comparing it to other nexus phones but I personally do not think it can hang with the Galaxy s6 camera.  Over all the pictures come out rather nice, but there is a tendency to overexpose the whites.  It reminds me of the large megapixel camera HTC was pushing.  Both cameras are great in low light but both tend to overexpose or wash out bright whites.  This may be an effect of larger pixels.  The pixels size for the 6P is 1.55 microns which really isn’t that large considering the HTC’s were 2 microns across each length.  It has the ability to record 4k video but the results are not always great.  Too much motion with the camera or the subjects and things get pixelated, fast. It also suffers under poor lighting conditions compared to the 1080p videos.

That is the bad news and the good news is……. there is lots of good news.  The camera has an eloquent and simply designed interface.  Some have said that it is too simple but I disagree.  Most people want to just point and shoot.  If you are a shutterbug you already have a dSLR camera for adjusting exposure and ISO, etc.  If you really want to have the dSLR experience with a smartphone you could always download and app and have your fun.  Personally I really like the simple design, it make it easy.

The 8 megapixel front facing camera is a dream.  The photos are nice and crisp with great low light performance. The camera will focus quickly and keep the colour very true to life.  It is really one of the best selfie cameras that I have used.  It does not have the “beautification” mode that some cameras sport, but I find that a blessing.   I would rather have my ugly mug look crisp and clear than that waxy makeup image that comes from “beautification” mode.

The 12.3 megapixel Sony sensor is for your rear facing photos and even though it does occasionally overexpose like I mentioned earlier, it is still a great camera.  It is generally quick to launch, fast to focus and the colour representation is pretty good.   The AMOLED screen can throw you off a little but set it to sRGB or put you picture on your monitor to show your true colours shining through.  With an aperture of F2.0 you can get some nice effects playing with your depth of field.025024

 

With an aperture of F2.0 you can get some nice effects playing with your depth of field.  Notice the focus on the background and then the for ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The indoor or low light performance is better than most but still tends to pixelate when there are not enough photons buzzing around.  Optical Image Stabilization would have helped out in this area and could have taken this camera from very good to great.

The video quality is better than most but I recommend sticking to the 1080p resolution settings.  4K sound awesome but the results are for from superior.  It is acceptable for basic scenes with little motion but the camera seems to handle 1080p much cleaner when pushed to the limits.  Try chasing your kids around with the video on you will see lots of pixilation at 4k.  With most TVs and monitor still pushing 1080 I don’t see the need for the 4k video at this time.  I just wish Google would have done it better if they were going to offer it. Even with the nitpicking it is a great camera and great phone.

 

Conclusion

 

When I started to write the conclusion, I was looking at value for your dollar along with what it means to be a Nexus phone.  I am going to leave price off to the side for now and discuss it in a follow up article.  So, that leaves us with the question of what is means to be a nexus phone.  Does this phone push the limits? Is it a cutting edge flagship? Perhaps something meant for developers and enthusiasts?

What I know is the Nexus 6P is the best you can get from Google today.  Does it push limits?  Camera and Battery have never been so good with Nexus phone but others have pushed their limits further. Is it a cutting edge flagship?  Yes, it can run with the flagship crowd but it is part of the pack, not the leader.  Is it meant for developers and enthusiasts?  Despite the e-fuse that will let everyone know this phone’s bootloader has been unlocked, I would say yes.  There are already all kinds of support for this device in the libraries of XDA.  That will only grow over time.

So Google has succeeded? Yes! This is the best Nexus phone to date, as it should be, it the newest.  Is it a perfect phone? No, but it comes close and for the money it may be the best value for your dollar.  This is a phone that you can recommend to anyone, the power users or the casual Facebook viewer will both enjoy this phone.  I comes close to being all things to all people.

 

 

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday

 

P.S.

Well it may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian.  Why am I picking on the Italians?  Well I am not but come back to view my next post and find out who is.

 

 

 

 

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Google Cardboard: It’s just a box

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Google Cardboard: It’s just a box

 

Google Cardboard VR is a free open source D.I.Y. project Google started to inspire VR (virtual reality) development and to get it into the hands of the common user. It’s acentually free at worst low cost, by only requiring everyday household items or easily accessible parts from a local crafts store. To save time at the cost of only a few bucks more then building your own, you can order one from Unofficial Cardboard. Google provides a free stencil print out and parts list with a blueprint for assembly that starts with Biconvex Lenses, Neodymium Magnet, Ceramic Magnet, Velcro Strips, Rubber Band and an NFC Tag which is optional. The box itself is specced specifically to work with most devices and screen sizes, just make sure to use plans or purchase the headset that’s designed for your device’s size. Google also designed a special UI to simulate the VR experience, by utilizing all the high end tech your current device has inside it. Since your device is already equipped for VR argo it’s accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, this seems like a no brainer, at least for Google.

Google wants to immerse you in an interactive virtual reality with nothing more than a piece of cardboard and your current device. Providing free virtual reality apps for 360° video, gaming and interactive educational apps on both Apple and Android platforms, but other than the Google provided Cardboard app some 3rd party apps may vary store to store depending on the developer. With the Google Cardboard app you get a portal to a virtual world that feels bigger than the tiny 5 inch screen it’s being displayed on. Described as a theater experience, with the feeling of looking at a huge screen at a pleasant distance it’s easily fun for everyone of all ages.

It’s just a box, but thanks to your current device’s super high end tech, it’s so much more than just Cardboard. It’s a virtual reality console with endless possibilities for entertainment & educational purposes, for those of all ages.

#360Video:                                             bestcardboard-cardboard-100569399-orig

Watching VR 360° videos is an indescribable experience that can only be understood by participation, spectators will get a good laugh. You don’t necessarily need a VR to watch a 360° video via mono screen, although the side by side VR style with head movement to control the view is incomparable. To watch a 360° movie or music video, simply open YouTube and search #360Video. You can select the viewing options on the player, in the bottom right corner via the goggles icon. There’s a variety to choose from, music videos like live concerts to horror movies and live action adventures that bring the POV into the stories.

 

Star Wars – 360° Virtual Reality

The Star Wars #360Video gives you a short POV of a Droid wheeling along on the Death Star marching floor. While wheeling through the corridors of the infamous destroyer of worlds, the Sith Lords right hand Darth himself makes an appearance. While on the mighty Death Star, you’ll get the unique perspective of a lonely single dorid on its mission to collect data and escape with its batteries intact.

 

360° Horror | “Eat You Alive” with Chris Riedell, Jason Horton and Lauren Reeder

When it comes to virtual reality horror the YouTube Space LA team is winning with its new video. Get that fly on the wall feeling in this zombie apocalyptic stand off between man and monster, which aren’t so different in this story. With headphone and an office chair that rotates for ease of view, you’ll feel as if you’re standing in the room frozen in fear. It’s a highly adult horror short that’ll get your heart pumping damn near outta your chest.

Gaming (Android)

Thanks to Google’s Cardboard project, virtual reality gaming that fully brings a player into its characters world is finally here. The way a game acts and reacting to movements and provides a believable experience. When you add a gaming controller and headphones into the mix you get one h.e.double hockey sticks of an experience that takes your breath away. The games currently available aren’t the best of quality in the sense of graphics and storyline. Think of this as a big beta test to see if there is a market for VR that’s worth the time and effort to develop higher quality more expensive games. In consequence the more users and downloads of VR apps will push the development community to make better games.

House of Terror VR

This is a creepy twist on escape the room that takes place in a virtual world, where you’re trapped in a house of terror with monsters and no way out in sight. Your goal is to survive each room, avoiding giant spiders and lurking evil, while looking for the way out. This app does require a bluetooth gaming controller for moving the character around the room, a VR headset like Google Cardboard and a pair of headphones to really be immersed into the experience. If you want to test your escaping skills as well as you courage, this game is perfect for you.

 

Galaxy VR Cardboard Space FPS

Galaxy VR is a space flight simulator that puts you in the cockpit of a starship fighter. You’ll get to experience a true VR FPS thats multiplayer. This game has it all from amazing graphics to reaction timing with seamless head tracking and it’s an online multiplayer, could you ask for more? You can even look down and see your full body avatar, the controller in your hands and the hands reacting to your button pressing IRL (in real life). With an option to play first person or 3rd person view, there are 3 different camera angles in game play to choose from. Unlock the full app by paying a small fee, for additional gameplay options and modes. Once you get used to the movements and past the motion sickness this app is definitely one of my favorite VR games. Join me in the fight, download the app now and get ready because there is no traditional main menu here. You  start the game in mid flight, sitting in a starfighter with a 3D holo HUD in your lap, and in a fight for your life against other live players from around the world. What are you waiting for? The future is here, go download it!

PS:

You can even play Flappy Bird from the Birds POV with Flappy For Cardboard VR.

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Apps (Cardboard Demo)

The free interactive educational opportunities provided by Google alone are worth the small investment in Cardboard. You can visit and learn about historical places and look around as if you were actually standing in the room. Get a tour of a famous foreign or domestic landmark with your own personal virtual tour guide. Visit the old neighborhood and walk the streets to slight see with Google Street View and be your own tour guide. Visit and learn with Google Cardboard, it’s time to go on an adventure.

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Tour Guide

Let’s go on an adventure, without leaving the comfort of our couch. Learning historical facts about places you’re practically standing in. Very interactive and immersive with the Tour Guide saying “to your right, over to the left you’ll see”, things like that really make you feel like you’re standing in a room with a person whose describing a room as if they were there with you. It makes learning feel fun, I almost forgot it was an based on teaching i found myself spacing out and wandering around looking at the whole surrounding area. This would be a good way to teach the kids about places all over the world and keep their attention while doing it. Only thing I would like to see added to this tour guide app is a LIVE #360Video for a more convincing feel of being there, or at least some sounds of the scenery. Overall, this is an amazing app for learning about our world and the special places some only dream to see like this.

Expeditions

“Expeditions lets teachers take students on field trips to anywhere. Coming to schools worldwide in time for back to school. If you’re an educator, learn more about bringing Expeditions to your school” Click Here to learn more.

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Weeeeeeee, boy Google Earth VR is fuuuuuuun! This is one of those (needs a controller) to really enjoy apps. Just strap in and strap…on? It’s going to be one hella ride. Flying from city to city from a bird’s eye view. Visiting old places, and future old places to be. Checking out New York City and taking a FPV flight around the Statue of Liberty as if you’re an American Eagle. Google Earth was always a blast, but this is a welcomed add-on to the mix. Using the gaming controller to move front, back, side to side and to control which direction you’re moving to and fro simply use your head and look to stear. Go take a look at what’s out there via Google Earth in a whole new virtual reality world, where you feel like a spirit moving with the wind high up in the sky. Go anywhere in the world and feel as if your flying right above your dream vacation spot or old fishing hole, this is a tool only limited by your imagination. Go explore the world, your world.

 

TILT BRUSH GALLERY

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View creations made with Tilt Brush, a painting application made for virtual reality. Load pre-made sketches and watch them draw in as they were originally created.” Click Here to learn more.

 

In A Nutshell:

Google really nailed VR. They got it gaining momentum in the development community, which is good for VR, because without developers there’s no content for users. Using a person’s current device with a simple cheap cardboard box setup, freaking genius! Now for comfort and user friendly ease of use i’d suggest a little modification to the simple setup Google lays out. For example; I use an elastic sweat band to hold the Cardboard device on my head so I can use the gaming controller. Also I added tiny cushions to the nose rest, since it starts to irritate the skin after a few minutes of uses. I’ve also added a few good layers of duct tape to the cardboard as a reinforcement to strengthen its dexterity. In conclusion I enjoy using wireless headphones to enhance the experience with the spatialized audio, which helps fully immerse me in the world i’m playing or exploring in. Once you have your own Cardboard setup, you’ll find your comfort zone and person interests, just give virtual reality a chance.

You can learn in a whole new format. Taking education to a whole new level by taking you from your seat to the venue. Interacting with the student and giving them a personalized experience in a way that was never possible before. Children will never learn the same thanks to Google, and that’s a beautiful evolution in education. Affordable high quality VR in the hands of the masses, that’s Google’s goal. Even Gaming in VR changes game play and how a player interacts with the game world. Looking right, leaning over, falling back, all have a reaction in the virtual world giving players more control than ever. Imagine being able to duck IRL and the enemy in VR misses his killshot. Picture shooting in one direction, steering the character in another all while looking in the other direction for cover without moving the flow of fire. I call this the triple Y axes advantage, that only VR games can provide. Even movies and music videos have to reevaluate their way of production to accommodate this new media and social outlet. Being in the center of the experience is what entertainment strives for, it’s that feeling you get when you tunnel vision into the screen and forget you’re in a theater full of other people experiencing the same sublime euphoria, that is the true goal. With VR and #360Video the future of media entertainment is here, and it’s beautiful.

 

How I Use Google Cardboard VR:(Android)

VR, as we know it right now, is in it’s early beta testing. Slowly but steadily picking up users along the way, as more and more developers create more and more apps. By contributing to the VR “cause” with purchases of apps and leaving good ratings and positive encouraging reviews, I hope to motivate developers to create more and I suggest you do the same.

I like to watch #360Videos, play VR games & take Tour Guides all around the world. With my Beats By Dre PowerBeats2 bluetooth headphones and my Amazon Fire TV gaming controller I can fully immerse myself in a movie and video game. Sitting in the comfort of my office chair I can spin 360 degrees with ease, which takes a lot of the work off the neck when turning 180. Watching movies in 360 with spatialized audio is how I like to enjoy short films. I wouldn’t enjoy long length feature films that are over 15 mins long. After about 15 mins I find myself needing a break from the virtual world, because of motion sickness. So I watch short horror films that bring me into the terror and give me that feeling of fear and excitement that only movie theaters once could deviever. There are some good action films that are good #360Videos but there is something about the horror genre and VR that compliment each other perfectly. Gaming in VR is a whole different ball game, and takes a lot of getting used to. Moving around spinning and flipping in a virtual world, even running in VR for long periods of time can have IRL effects. I only game for about 5 mins at a time, to keep myself from feeling vertigo and getting nauseous. I think this is a graphics and rendering meets head tracking and stitching issue, that money could solve. So again I encourage you to download VR apps, try them and leave some positive reviews and feedback. I prefer to VR with Android, since there are more developers and well Google does Cardboard. That and my bluetooth gaming controller won’t work with my Apple device, but there are VR apps for Apple devices. Personally I like the way my iPhone 6 plus’s bigger screen produces the VR effect in my Cardboard rig over my Samsung S6. So when I using an app like Tour Guide, which doesn’t require any interaction just pure observation, I tend to use my iPhone 6 Plus for the more clear and detailed viewing experience. I love introducing people to VR for the first time and watching their reactions to it. It brings me great joy to see someone smile ear to ear while experiencing something so new and foreign for the very first time.  

So, that’s how I like to do VR. I hope this was informative and motivated you to at very least give Google Cardboard or any form of new age VR a try.

 

Kenn Bosak

Writer/Dev./Tech

Google Cardboard VR

November 1, 2015

Marshmallow Headache

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Marshmallow Headache

 

Google defines Hyperglycemia as:

A high blood sugar. An elevated level specifically of the sugar glucose in the blood.

The Mayo Clinic advised me that symptoms of hyperglycemia develop slowly over several days or weeks. The longer blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. Early symptoms of hyperglycemia can be fatigue and Headache.  Fatigue and Headache!

So why are we discussing blood sugar levels? Why do i have fatigue and headache? Well I think that I may have a small case of hyperglycemia brought on by the sweet, sweet goodness of Marshmallow.  Please allow me to explain.

android-6.0-marshmallow

So a few weeks back I had no headaches and no regrets, but i wanted some more, something sweet.  At that point in time my trusty Nexus 5 was consuming a fruit and fiber diet of Cyanogen Mod 12.1.  There was also a sprinkling of Xposed modules to guarantee a well balanced diet.  Then Rootjunky (ohhh, such a fitting name to someone who deals in the drug of modifications), came along with his tempting video for rooting Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

I thought to myself, this is great, I will enjoy the sweetness of marshmallow along with root access. I decided to leave the bland taste of CM12.1 for Android 6.0 Marshmallow.  Afterall, there is s’more to love.  I honestly really like it.  My Nexus 5 seems smoother, and somehow more refined.   Battery life was never the N5’s strongest point so the doze feature on Marshmallow created battery drain as slow and sweet as molasses.  The honeyed improvements to the “do not disturbed feature” are greatly appreciated.  It is similar to what Lollipop had to offer, it has just been processed a little finer. I personally use this feature a lot at work and find it very handy.  Everything was so sugary. Even the new boot animation was like watching someone pulling multicolored taffy.

It was like saying “trick or treat”, when I held onto that home button to turn on, Google Now on Tap.  Each time I was blessed with a little treat.  Sure there were some instances where it do not provide me with anything.  I wish I could have thrown eggs at those time; like I would have at delinquent household, refusing to join in the Halloween candy giveaway.  Most of the time I was happy with the added functionality.  Using any app for the first time was sugared with permission checks.  Each time I consented to give access, I found the sweet taste of marshmallow was in the air.  

Sounds good so far, right?  Well this is when the gooey, softy, sugary sweetness of Marshmallow Android 6.0, started to cause fatigue and headache.  The first time I precieved Marshmallow was maybe too sweet for me, occurred when I noticed and new app from Chainfire call [root] LiveBoot.   Not sure how long this app has been around for but it was the first time that I noticed it.   I have been a big fan of his SuperSU and 500Firepaper apps so I knew that this would be worth the download.  I installed and tried to run the app but nothing……. It did not work with Marshmallow!  The new OS was simply too sweet and the LiveBoot app could not handle it.

White_Marshmallows

I should mention that sometime last week Chainfire brought the fibre.  He was like bowl of All-Bran; regulating sugar levels, as his update allowed the app to work with Marshmallow.  Not a moment too soon as far I am concerned. The app is really cool.  I have developed a habit of turning my phone off and booting it up in front of family and friends just to show off the app’s boot animation.  I let them think that I am some kind of supper moder who can read and understand the animation!

Turning my phone off and on made me notice another aspect of Marshmallow that was too sweet for my blood.  Powering the phone down only gave me one option – power off.  What happened to my enhanced menu with reboot options?  I know that with root access I can make that happen again but then I have to endure the bitter taste of finding just the right app to do that for me.  Before it was just there.

The sweetness of Marshmallow just became stronger as I stuck with it.  A new cyanogen theme was available for Halloween.  It looked really cool and guess what?  It does not work with Marshmallow, it is for Cyanogen.  For some reason with Marshmallow, Star War’s commander will not sync up with my Google play account?  I had a level 8 town hall, I am not going back to the beginning now!  All this Marshmallow sweetness and it is sweat, is giving me Hyperglycemia.  I have the symptoms, fatigue and headache.  Now what will I do?

First off, if I am honest it is really not that bad. There are apps that I can install to get back some of the functionality I had.  With Rootjunky’s help my Marshmallow is rooted so I have room to play.   I have also seen lots of hints that CM13 may not be too far off.  That is quite the accomplishment. I was not expecting anything before Christmas but looks like the Cyanogen crowd are working hard.

I guess I was like a kid during Halloween with Marshmallow candies.  I don’t not think of the consequences, I saw something sweet and went for it.  Now I am suffering with a sugar headache but you know what?  I will do it all over again next year.

By

E. Tuesday

 

 

P.S.

Have you ever installed something sweet and regretted it later?  Tell me about it in comments area.

 

P.P.S.

So while playing with Marshmallow and writing this article a few ideas came to mind.  Would you like to see a post about comparing stock Marshmallow to CM12.1 or CM13 when it arrives?  I am thinking of comparing two identical phones, one with stock and the other with a custom ROM (Maybe even kernal).  We could look at benchmark programs for performance and battery life.  We can also do some real world tests to see what if any difference there is.  What do you think leave me some encouragement below if you would like to see a post like this.