Android Game: Asphalt 7

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Description:

Hit the speed of heat in the newest, fastest edition of the famed Asphalt series

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REQUIRES ANDROID:2.2 and up

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By saddamfazal Posted in Android

Latest Android figures show poor growth for Jelly Bean and ICS

The latest Android distribution figures are in and things don’t look a lot better for Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich over last month.

Jelly Bean, which made its debut couple of months ago, has doubled its user base in that time but still stands at a lowly 1.8%, compared to 1.2% last month. With major Android manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC now planning on releasing their Jelly Bean updates starting this month and the launch of the Galaxy Note II, we can expect to see a major jump in this figure in the next couple of months.

Ice Cream Sandwich, on the other hand, has slowed down after a strong couple of months, with the user base going from 20.9% to 23.9%. Again, this figure could see a bump once Sony, Motorola and others finish their ICS update roll out. We don’t expect major increase in this number in the future as manufacturers shift their attention to Jelly Bean for the new devices and a ton of old ones being permanently stuck on Gingerbread.

Speaking of Gingerbread, the perennial Android update is now on 55.8% of Android devices, down slightly from 57.5% last month. With most devices comprising this number being low-end Android devices that would never see an update in their life, we don’t expect this number to go down anytime soon.

The only way Gingerbread user base would go do significantly is when people eventually get rid of these devices and move on to something running a newer version of Android. With a bulk of Android sales being low-end Android devices whose owners are unlikely to upgrade quickly, again, this number isn’t going to go down anytime soon. Make no mistake folks, Gingerbread is here to stay a while.

CyanogenMod 10 gets OTA support, allows you to install the latest nightlies for you

Great news for Android enthusiasts and fans of CyanogenMod 10, as its developers have added a neat feature allowing you to install the latest nightlies over the air in the latest build of the ROM.

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This means flashoholics won’t have to go through the usual procedure of flashing CM10, but rather have the CM Updater take over the hassle. The OTA update feature is called CM Updater and is available only for stock CyanogendMod 10 releases. Sorry, custom ROMs.

You can also specify whether you want the updater to create a backup of your ROM in case things go south. After all, these are nightlies and everything could happen, so you better be safe than sorry.

What is Rooting on Android? The Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Rooting?

“Rooting” your device means obtaining “superuser” rights and permissions to your Android’s software. With these elevated user privileges, you gain the ability to load custom software (ROM’s), install custom themes, increase performance, increase battery life, and the ability to install software that would otherwise cost extra money (ex: WiFi tethering). Rooting is essentially “hacking” yourAndroid device. In the iPhone world, this would be the equivalent to “Jailbreaking” your phone.

What are the Advantages of Rooting?

Custom Software (ROM’s)

You may have heard of people loading custom “ROM’s” on their devices. A “ROM” is the software that runs your device. It is stored in the “Read Only Memory” of your device. There are many great custom ROM’s available that can make yourAndroid device look and perform drastically different. For instance, you might be stuck with an older Android device that is stuck on an older version of the Android OS and it is not getting any of the newer updated versions of Android. With a custom ROM, you could load up the latest and greatest available Android versions and bring that antiquated device up to par with some of the newer ones. There are lots of great ROM’s available for many different phones and it is up to you to find the one that best meets your needs. The best place that I have found to find custom ROM’s for Androiddevices is the XDA Developers Forums. The XDA community is filled with smartphone enthusiasts and developers for the Android platform. Check them out and see if you find any ROM’s that would meet your needs. [Link Here]

Custom Themes

Themes are basically the graphics that appear on your Android device. Rooting your device allows you the ability to fully customize just about every graphic on your device. You can load custom themes that totally change the look and feel of your device. Here are some examples:http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=527

Kernel, speed, and battery

There are many custom ROM’s and apps available for rooted devices that will allow you to drastically improve the performance (speed) and also extend battery life on your device. A lot of developers tweak the kernels (layer of code that handles communication between the hardware and software) for added performance, battery life, and more.

Baseband

Rooting your device grants you the ability to update the Basebands on your smartphone. The Baseband is what controls the radio on your device. By updating to the latest Basebands, you can potentially improve both the signal and quality of your phone calls.

Latest Versions of Android

As mentioned earlier, custom ROM’s can allow you to update to the latest version of the Android OS before they are officially released. This is a great feature for those who are tech-savvy and want to stay on top of the latest and greatest software updates before it hits the mainstream crowd. This is also useful if you have an outdated device that is no longer being updated by the manufacturer.

Backing up your device

The ability to easily backup all of your Apps and Data is one feature that is sorely missed on the stock build of Android devices. But if you root your device, backing up everything on your device (both apps and data) becomes a simple task. Titanium Backup is a must have app for anyone who has rooted their devices and wants to backup and restore their phones. [Market Link]

Unlocking Additional Features

By rooting your Android device you also gain the ability to unlock some features that your carrier may charge for. One example is enabling free WiFi and USB tethering, which many carriers charge money for. Now, I’m not suggesting you do this. But I did want to make you aware of the fact that it is possible to do this. However, your carrier may catch on to the fact that you are using your device as a free WiFi hotspot and figure out a way to charge you for it. So use this feature at your own risk!

What are the Disadvantages of Rooting?

Bricking

The number one reason not to root your device is the potential risk of “bricking” it. As mentioned earlier, “bricking” your device means screwing up your phone software so badly that your phone can no longer function properly and is pretty much as useless as a brick. You would likely need to purchase a new Android device since the manufacturer of your device will void the warranty after any attempts at rooting.

Security

There is an increased risk of unknowingly installing malicious software when you root an Android device. Root access circumvents the security restrictions that are put in place by the Android OS. There isn’t really an effective way to tell just what the application intends to do with that “superuser” power. You are putting a lot of trust into the developer’s hands. In most cases, these applications are open source and the community can take a look at the source code to assess the risk. But, nevertheless, the risk is there. Fortunately, malicious software on rooted devices hasn’t really been a problem as of yet. But I thought it was worth mentioning since this could be a potential risk in the future. I’d recommend installing an Anti-Virus and Security App just to be safe. Lookout Mobile Security seems to be one of the best ones available at the moment. [Link Here]

Can I Unroot my device if I change my mind?

Yes. You would need to do some research for your specific type of device. As mentioned earlier, the XDA Developer Forums is the best place to start. [Link Here]

How do I learn how to root my device?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to teach someone how to root their Android device. Each device has a unique method to rooting and some research most be done on your part. As I mentioned earlier, the best place to start would be the XDA Developer Forums. [Link Here]  Another option is to simply Google your model phone and the term root (ex. “HTC EVO root”). Have fun and good luck to all of you! I hope you found this lesson on rooting to be helpful.