Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sony Xperia Z2 impressions

Denmark was one of the first markets to receive the Z2, and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one of the first devices to hit Danish soil. So I've had about a month to play with it. Here are my impressions.

The photo album that goes with it: http://c0.dk/HooolmXpZ2Photos

Monday, 10 March 2014

Charity umbrella changes

As you can see on my PLANTATION PROJECT page in the menu above, I have discontinued my support for the project.

The institution itself becomes privatized starting April 2014, which means that they are no longer limited by how public-sector institutions are allowed to fund their activities. I'm not going to go into legalese specifics, but their opportunities for allocating existing budgets, and raising extra funds will be vastly improved, and I feel that their staff, board members and parent base should be able to lift that burden on their own.

I still keep my "Android money" separate from my personal income, and I am looking at other worthy causes to support - but for the sake of honesty and transparency towards donators and supporters, I'd feel weird not disclosing that I do longer support this particular project.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Sony Z2 pre-thirst

After what seems like a decade of tech blogs stating every January that this is going to be the year that Sony breaks back into the top, they've gone and presented the Sony Z2 smartphone at MWC2014.

And while renders, write-up and hands-on experience can be very different things, the Z2 is the only thing from Sony to make my testicles tingle in any noticable fashion since the Sony Ericsson C905.
(Don't judge me. I'm old, and it was a different market back then.)

Anyway, the Z2 has decent specs, a more than decent camera, and if the Z1 Compact is a herald of things to come, Sony's not currently fucking up the naked Android too badly with their UX.
Besides that, it's waterproof and looks pretty damn good.

A very sharp contender for my summer holiday plaything.

(via Android Police where you'll find additional info and specs as well)

Friday, 3 January 2014

Improvised FAQ on Android 4.4 KitKat / CM11 / etc.

"So, Hooolm, are you going to update your Theme Chooser themes for KitKat ROMs ?"

Yes and/or Maybe.

"What's keeping you?"

It depends what direction the major players like CyanogenMod and AOKP take with KitKat. As it stands, most of my Theme Chooser themes are useless with CM11 et al, because the KitKat battery icon isn't composed of images, but generated via code. That code is unreachable via the Theme Chooser, and so are the /layout XML files that might allow me to change the references back to what it was before.

I flash CM11 nightlies on my HTC One to keep track of what's happening, but until at least that changes, I see no point in trying to adapt something like Freehand or LEDed to KitKat.

"But...but...how about the kanglings in Romania who..."

Yes, I understand that some of the "fringe players" have tried making the battery icon themeable, but I'd need a significant user base (like CM) to target. If I push a version to Google Play saying "Updated for KitKat" , I'm going to have a thousand 1-star ratings from CM11 and AOKP KK users saying, "Heeeey - the battery still looks stock. I can't believe I paid for this ******* **** !!!1!eleven..,,,!"


Nah, but it's beyond my control, and my current focus is on making and maintaining sweet icon packs - primarily because they are fun and because they challenge my creativity rather than my book-keeping abilities :-)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Android 4.3 / CM10.2 changes

I'm aware of them, and I'll fix them asap. I'm unfortunately without my computer at the moment..

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Freehand updates

I'm updating the Freehand variations for the Theme Chooser present in ROMs based on Cyanogenmod, AOKP and so on.

I've tried to get the most important system resources up to date with the latest CM10.1 and AOKP jb-mr1 builds.

The major change, though, is that I've pulled out all the launcher icons. The reason for this is twofold.
First off all the theme chooser engine is not at all ideal for distributing icon packs.
While it doesn't exactly suck, the Nova/Apex/Go/ADW/ActionLauncher themes are much better suited to the task, it's easier to handle app support, and therefore quicker to update.

Second, the introduction and more wide spread availability of 1080p devices with resolutions nudging up on 500ppi meant that the previous icons started looking a little bleak.

Therefore I've rebooted the Freehand icons, redrawing them in much higher resolution and releasing them as Launcher themes, usable by anyone running a custom launcher, not just rooted phones with custom ROMs.

So if you'd like a set of freehand icons to go with this theme, please check out the Freehand icon packs/launcher themes here...

As you'll notice, they aren't free. To preempt any objections, I'll say simply:

1. None of the old icons could be reused, and the packs represent a completely new effort.
2. Drawing one icon takes at least a couple of minutes, and up to 30 minutes, depending on complexity.
3. All proceeds from the sales are funneled straight into charity.



Tuesday, 28 May 2013

HTC One review

This review is a lot longer than I thought it would be, and I won't blame you if you want to skip around a bit. The article is comprised of my take on the main points: Design, Screen, Audio + BEATS, a couple of aspects of Sense. I'm going to dwell a bit on the Camera and then come to a conclusion of sorts. You'll find the main points highlighted in huge lettering, and...well, feel free to scroll to whatever interests you. Okay? Okay. On with it.

I imagine I'll be one of the first non-media individuals in Denmark to do a proper hands on review of the HTC One, since it's as elusive as a pink unicorn in the wild. It's been delayed several weeks in many European countries, while sales reps have had boxes upon boxes of of Xperia Z and Galaxy S4 to throw at customers asking in vain for The One. I've relentlessly teased HTC's public Twitter profile with the hashtag #RetailSuicide, but as I'm finalizing this review, the HTC One has finally become available in broader numbers.