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The 10 Best Android Hacks

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the hack-job dept.

Google 134

Barence writes "The Android vs iPhone debate will continue until the apocalypse, but there's no doubt Android wins on customability. PC Pro has listed its ten favorite Android hacks, which include the ability to open your garage door with your smartphone, install Ubuntu on your handset, and overclock your phone's processor. There's also instructions on how to replace your dashboard satnav with Google's version."

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Customability? (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742776)

Well, if you make up words, I guess you get to define them to mean whatever you want. If "Android wins on customability," then iPhone wins on appleability.

Re:Customability? (4, Funny)

bazorg (911295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742792)

Making up words? There's an app for that.

Re:Customability? (4, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743216)

I was going to get the first response to your post, but my alarm didn't ring...

Re:Customability? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745584)

I sent you an SMS but my boss got it instead. Now I have to meet with him and explain what "You're holding it wrong" meant.

Re:Customability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744418)

I'm still waiting for the sentient app that writes other apps. A little bird told me that it'll take the form of a Lisp interpreter for Android.

Re:Customability? (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742804)

You beat me to it.... I had to be sure, so I looked it up on dictionary.com [reference.com] and it's not there.

I'm sure that it will be in the Urban Dictionary [urbandictionary.com] shortly though, right next to convertablization [urbandictionary.com] .

Re:Customability? (2, Insightful)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742910)

Congratulations, you're hereby declared inured to inspiration and in a state of linguistic stagnation. [flamebait]You would fit nicely in France.[/flamebait]
A quick question, when you read this "non-word" did you have any speck of doubt regarding the meaning being carried by it? I didn't even blink at it before you started to nitpick over the word rather than the semantics of it.

And now for a new challenge, present us with a word with the exact same meaning as this "non-word" that can be swapped with it without altering the grammar, meaning or flow of the sentence. Sure, it is most likely possible, but at least present us with the "proper" word before you begin criticizing.

Re:Customability? (4, Funny)

starsky51 (959750) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742954)

The first line of your comment reads like a limerick. I was disappointed when I read he second line :(

Re:Customability? (2, Informative)

Captain Segfault (686912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743012)

And now for a new challenge, present us with a word with the exact same meaning as this "non-word" that can be swapped with it without altering the grammar, meaning or flow of the sentence.

Customizability.

Re:Customability? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743060)

Touché. It fulfilled 2 out of the 3 points of the challenge.

Re:Customability? (1)

exploder (196936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743126)

Here's a challenge for you: explain to us what exactly is so phenomenal about the "flow" of that sentence that merits using an imaginary word with exactly the same meaning as an existing one?

Re:Customability? (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743156)

uh...points of the challenge:

  1. present us with a word with the exact same meaning as this "non-word"
    • I think customizability would cover that, if the non-word had an official rather than a perceived meaning. All perceptions are not equal.
  2. that can be swapped with it without altering the grammar, meaning or flow of the sentence
    • Original: The Android vs iPhone debate will continue until the apocalypse, but there's no doubt Android wins on customability.
    • Corrected: The Android vs iPhone debate will continue until the apocalypse, but there's no doubt Android wins on customizability.
      • It looks like the new word can be swapped without altering grammar, meaning or flow.
  3. Surely there is a third point you were trying to make....

Wait a minute, there are only 2 points to the challenge. I was promised a 3 point challenge!

Re:Customability? (0)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743234)

Points of the challenge:
1) grammar
2) meaning
3) flow

Customizability succeeds on the first and second point, but it is both hard on the eyes and on the tongue. Also, to be as nitpicky as the GP, it only turns up on two online dictionaries thus far for me (with a z or a s) but neither in cambridge or in merriam-webster.

Re:Customability? (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743420)

Counting your "same meaning" requirement, that makes 4 points.

I rather think that correct words flow better than incorrect ones. As far as dictionary references, you'll find that many perfectly valid words are not presented in all of their possible permutations in the dictionary.

-ability +
(Latin: a suffix expressing ability, capacity, fitness, or "that which may be easily handled or managed")

Presented as the noun forms of -able; forming nouns of quality from, or corresponding to, adjectives in -able; the quality in an agent that makes an action possible. The suffix -ible has related meanings.

Re:Customability? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744038)

The third point was, by my reading, "achieve levels of pedantry heretofore not witnessed among mere mortals"... You sir have passed the test!

Re:Customability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743030)

Customization?

Re:Customability? (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743044)

I'd take up your new challenge, but I already failed your first.

What *does* it mean? That there are more custom abilities of the phone, or that the phone can be customized, or that there is a wider variety of custom phones (different brands)?

Your point is often valid, and there are many legitimate reasons to synthesize new words (including for purely aesthetic reasons). In this case, however, there is a fairly large amount of ambiguity as to what the lexicomposer* is actually trying to convey.

* Yes, I made that term up just to make you feel warm and fuzzy. The original term is uncertain in meaning.

Re:Customability? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743134)

I think it can be derived from the context, but I agree with you and am glad that you took the time to politely point out the ambiguity that I missed.

That said the 'proper' word customizability*, as pointed out elsewhere, feels extremely unwieldy to me. Might be because English is only my second language.

* my spellchecker actually refuses it outright.

Re:Customability? (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743186)

try customisability then

Re:Customability? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743492)

Not to be rude, but since you aren't a native English speaker, you aren't really equipped to decide what fits the language better. I was going to reply to an earlier response of yours asking if English was a second language, because thinking that a non-word flows better than an actual word is a pretty good sign. I see now I would have been correct.

Re:Customability? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744538)

> And now for a new challenge, present us with a word with the exact same meaning as this "non-word" that can be swapped with it without altering the grammar

Customizability

Re:Customability? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743292)

Well, if you make up words, I guess you get to define them to mean whatever you want. If "Android wins on customability," then iPhone wins on appleability.

Sounds perfectly cromulent to me.

Apple is going to do... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34742826)

...what Apple always does.

They allow the "open market" to create everything imaginable, then cherry pick what's best and imply that they were the originators.

If you want cutting edge innovation, you need a Android phone.

(iPhone giving away personal details without my permission? Take that Apple!!)

Re:Apple is going to do... (2)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742922)

Wait - I thought [insert favorite-company-to-hate] did that!!

My favourite android hack (5, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742838)

My favourite android hack is when I set the alarm last year and it still works this year!

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742884)

How do you do that? Because frequently, when I set the alarm, it doesn't go off. Also, there is no correlation to significant dates, so I never know when to prepare for an absent alarm. (I have an android phone, and I bitterly regret buying it.)

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742956)

Well what phone have you got? Are you using any dedicated alarm apps or the stock one?

I have a HTC Desire and Sense's alarm never failed me once. Then I switched ROMs to one without Sense and use Alarm Clock Plus, which works just as well. It's even clever enough to up the volume if you happen to have your phone on Vibrate.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743000)

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro. (Yes, it sucks.) Stock alarm app. If I need to buy an app to get an alarm clock, I guess I should have stuck with a cheap'n'crappy phone. Oh, and if I buy a 'good' alarm clock app, I'm still stuck with the old one, without the ability to delete it.

Android is the new windows, someone said, and they were right.

And what is a ROM?

Re:My favourite android hack (2)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743052)

You don't need to buy anything, the app I mentioned is free. There are many, many free Apps for Android, it's one of the things that really sets it apart from the iPhone app store.

Sadly, Sony's Android offerings are....lacking...to say the least. They're not even 2.1 as far as I'm aware, so despite the fact that the phone is on sale in shops today, it's 4 versions behind!

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743078)

I should clarify: That alarm app in particular has a free version and a paid version. I use the free one.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743098)

Oh, they have a 2.1 upgrade. However, it won't work in virtualbox, although everything else in their 'pc companion app' works in virtualbox with XP. Of course, no support for mac or linux, so I'm stumped on that front. Upgrading apps just fails, I have never managed to upgrade any of the apps I installed. I could also mention that apps frequenly crash, for instance, the mail app will usually say 'oops errorz' and the wifi will fall out and come back in at random points in time.

I wasn't an iPhone fanboy before, but after getting the Android phone, I'm seriously considering becoming one. I know the Desire is better, but I can't be bothered to be a make/model/android version number fanboy, it just won't fit the fanboy bill.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743150)

I know The Xperia phones have some issues, but that all sounds pretty serious. I'd have taken that phone back pretty quickly.
It's also quite strange that they wont let you update the phone OTA, like the rest of the civilized world lets you.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743188)

Android phone made by Sony? There's your problem :) Those two probably repel each other..

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743626)

I wasn't an iPhone fanboy before, but after getting the Android phone, I'm seriously considering becoming one.

Do what you've got to do, but it really sounds like your problems are completely unrelated to Android and solely down to Sony being incapable of making a good phone.

As a (non-car) analogy, if you went to the store and bought a five dollar bottle of scotch that came in a tin can, would it be fair to say all scotch is bad, that it's unreasonable to expect you to look at the different brands, and you'll be sticking to tequila?

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743684)

Do what you've got to do, but it really sounds like your problems are completely unrelated to Android and solely down to Sony being incapable of making a good phone.

I'm sure you have a good point with your tequila analogy. However, what crappy windows machines won't run Windows Update? Do they even exist?

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744148)

I'm sure you have a good point with your tequila analogy. However, what crappy windows machines won't run Windows Update? Do they even exist?

I think you seriously underestimate the capability of PC manufacturers to sell unusable crap to people.

Remember that Wal Mart sells PCs.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744458)

I wasn't an iPhone fanboy before, but after getting the Android phone, I'm seriously considering becoming one.

in case you're not aware, the OP was talking about the iPhone alarm bug that prevent alarms from working yesterday and the day before. FYI, it would prevent any alarm. I tried setting one for 2010/01/01-19:29 at 2010/01/01-19:27. It didn't go off proving that the alarm didn't have to extend over the year mark to be effected.

Re:My favourite android hack (3, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743294)

The Apple App Store has thousands of free apps. I really don't understand what you're trying to imply. Unless it's just your ignorance.

Re:My favourite android hack (2)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743354)

And the android app store has more. Even titles apps that are absolutely sure to sell tend to get free versions on Android. Angry Birds is a primary example. Android seems to run best off of ad-supported apps, whereas, the iOS App Store seems slightly more geared towards paying for apps.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743780)

There are many, many free Apps for Android, it's one of the things that really sets it apart from the iPhone app store.

There are more free apps in the iPhone app store than there are free & paid apps for Android...

Re:My favourite android hack (2)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743970)

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough -

http://www.cnet.com/8301-19736_1-20009717-251.html [cnet.com]

Over half of all android apps are free. For iOS, it's more like 25%. Yes, there may be more iOS apps overall, but when Android hits 300,000 apps (where iOS currently is), it'll still be about 50%. So I stand by my point - The android market is full of a lot more free apps, maybe not by raw number (iOS certainly has that covered in pretty much all areas), but in all categories.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

promythyus (1519707) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743972)

And there are more red M&M's in my 1kg pack than there are total M&M's in my 100g pack!

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743080)

Just to clarify: you're having a one-off issue with an application that nobody else has, and it's Android's fault?

Right, just checking.

When I set an alarm on my android, it even says, "alarm is set for hours from now."

And then it goes off as planned.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743140)

Well, there are plenty of issues with various apps, but I won't bother listing them all. The issues are mostly with the stock Android apps, so I would say yes, it's Android's fault. If Minesweeper crashed all the time on windows, I'd blame Microsoft, right?

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743258)

But this seems more like the minesweeper crashes only on your computer, so I'd blame it, right?

Re:My favourite android hack (2)

akzeac (862521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743798)

If Minesweeper crashed all the time on windows, I'd blame Microsoft, right?

Well, it seems the application crashes all the time on you, so I'd rather blame you.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744106)

Android has so little to do with how it was written, and so much to do with how it was modified by the handset maker (and possibly wireless carrier) that it's rarely fair to say ANYthing conclusive about Android after trying out just one handset. There are, no doubt, little problems here and there with any given handset, but your blame rests squarely on the handset maker (Sony) and their coding choices. Google clearly did not code a fundamentally flawed alarm clock app, or it would be the one making headlines now instead of Apple.

Re:My favourite android hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743958)

"Android is the new windows"

"And what is a ROM?"

Get the hell off slashdot.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743028)

"It's even clever enough to up the volume if you happen to have your phone on Vibrate."

Waking my wife when I put it on vibrate under my pillow isn't very clever.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743068)

It's a user configurable option. It's as clever as you are.

Re:My favourite android hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743384)

Wow, another usage pattern that I, as a sleep apnea sufferer, would never have dreamed of: putting a phone under my pillow. Not throwing any stones here as I am sure (now that I read this) that you, and other people do this. I just could never do it. All the tossing and turning I do all night would guarantee that the phone was flung across the room (accidentally) or dumped unceremoniously behind the bed. I can see how a person who sleeps solidly through the night in mostly one position without tossing and turning could find it useful to place the phone under the pillow but would not have ever even thought of that usage pattern on my own.

Re:My favourite android hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744552)

"It's even clever enough to up the volume if you happen to have your phone on Vibrate."

Waking my wife when I put it on vibrate under my pillow isn't very clever.

There are better places to put it on vibrate for your wife if you're clever.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743250)

I currently have NonSensikal (which is a Froyo 2.2-based rom) running on my Droid Eris. My favorite feature of the alarm built into it (not sure if it's stock, but whatever): Even if you have headphones plugged into the phone, the alarm still comes through the speakerphone.

Quite useful if I'm streaming Last.fm for sleep-time music.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743262)

How do you do that? Because frequently, when I set the alarm, it doesn't go off. Also, there is no correlation to significant dates, so I never know when to prepare for an absent alarm. (I have an android phone, and I bitterly regret buying it.)

I've got a Droid Eris that I plan on getting rid of when the Tegra-based models hit Verizon. I've used numerous custom roms on it (as well as the stock rom for a few months) and I've never had an alarm fail. I've heard this criticism a lot, but I've personally never experienced it. Have you tried a different rom/alarm app other than the stock one?

Maybe it's only with certain phones...?

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743280)

I don't even know what a ROM is, and I'm above-median interested in gadgets. If it's some sort of firmware, I have no idea how you upgrade it. As I said, I haven't even managed to upgrade the phone to android 2.1, after trying several PCs.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743398)

A rom is, in the simplest terms, the underlying operating software on your phone. Or, if it helps, just think of it as an operating system version. That's not exactly right, but it will keep things simple.

Example: I'm running NonSensikal on my Droid Eris...NonSensikal is a Froyo 2.2 based rom that runs FAR better than the stock 2.1 Sense rom that the phone comes with. This is where Android phones show their true flexibility: you can change anything and everything, right down to the very operating system the phone uses.

Considering your only experience with Android comes from a Sony phone (whose Android phones are notoriously lacking), I suggest you try checking out a different one. Either a Droid X or a Droid Incredible on Verizon, or an Epic 4G on Sprint.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743480)

Right, but would any old Android version fit the small Xperia Mini screen? It sounds unlikely, because several of the apps made especially for the Mini are still screen real estate hogs, and are not really useful. And then, how do you change the OS on the phone without using M$ Windows? According to Sony, there's no way. And again, what about drivers for the various sony specific stuff? I'm sure there must be some?

I am not from the US either, so not all of those choices are possible for me.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743554)

All of your questions can be answered at XDA-Developers [xda-developers.com] . That's the go-to place for stuff like this. Check on the forums, I can 100% guarantee you the answers you need are there.

Re:My favourite android hack (5, Funny)

Feinu (1956378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743004)

My favourite hack is the one which allows you to hold the phone any way you please.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743300)

My favorite Android hack is the one where messages are sent to the intended contact. Only trouble is, it hasn't been written yet.

Re:My favourite android hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743702)

You're wrong, actually. There are several SMS apps available in the Market. Surely one of them must work properly.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743146)

that one's your favorite? I like the Ubuntu installer finally I can do x264 encodes on my smart-phone.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744000)

You can't do that right on the base OS? Poor you.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744586)

that one's your favorite? I like the Ubuntu installer finally I can do x264 encodes on my smart-phone.

Make an app for that and you can distribute the render over a cluster of other people's phones.

Re:My favourite android hack (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743630)

While I get up late due to dodgy alarm code, my favourite iPhone hack that I have to do in the afternoon is when I send an SMS message and it actually gets to the person I sent it to.

Re:My favourite android hack (1)

lilo_booter (649045) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743864)

My favourites are Metal Detector and Lie Detector.

Re:My favourite android hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745648)

That'd be funnier if the day before Android didn't reveal a much more serious bug.

Changing rules (0)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742844)

The first rule is too restrictive, specially now when saving money matters more than harming humans. So the best android hacks usually pass around changing the weight or deleting one of the 3 rules, or putting a zeroth rule in front of them, even if requires capabilities that the positronic brain should not get without a serious hardware upgrade.

False dichotomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743346)

saving money matters more than harming humans

Why either/or? I like saving money AND harming humans.

I have an Android phone .... (4, Insightful)

Jimpqfly (790794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742856)

... but it could be nice to have anything usefull among those hacks, don't you think ?

Re:I have an Android phone .... (3, Funny)

Jon Stone (1961380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742886)

... but it could be nice to have anything usefull among those hacks, don't you think ?

Like a spell checker?

Re:I have an Android phone .... (1)

Jimpqfly (790794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742966)

Be nice, everybody's not english, here, you know ;)

Re:I have an Android phone .... (1)

Jon Stone (1961380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742992)

My apologies, I just couldn't resist.

Re:I have an Android phone .... (1)

Sky Cry (872584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743902)

Hence the spell checker. ;)

Re:I have an Android phone .... (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743152)

Well if you root you can enable the wireless tethering that most carriers disable. I'm fairly surprised they didn't mention that.

Useful SECURITY & SPEED hack for ANDROID phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744394)

"... but it could be nice to have anything usefull among those hacks, don't you think ?" - by Jimpqfly (790794) on Monday January 03, @08:25AM (#34742856) Homepage

Ask & ye shall receive (per my subject-line above):

ANDROID OS allows for the usage of custom HOSTS files, & that's how you stop botnets from communicating "back to mama" (it's C&C botnet servers), OR, your even getting infected in the 1st place:

DO THE FOLLOWING (after obtaining a good reputable solid HOSTS file, like mvps' -> http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] )

---

1.) Get ahold of the "Android Debugging Bridge" (ADB) & install it

2.) Mount your system mountpoint as READ + WRITE (as powerful of priveleges as you need is this)

3.) Using the PULL command, copy the file over from your PC (or even on your ANDROID if its there already) using PULL & overwrite the etc. folder's copy of HOSTS

---

DONE!

(Yes, it's THAT simple... &, it works!)

APK

P.S.=> This came from the recent article here on /.:

---

Android Trojan Found, Spreading From Chinese App Stores:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1930156&cid=34713952 [slashdot.org]

Where you add in these botnet C&C servers for that malware into your custom HOSTS file, like so:

---

0.0.0.0 www.widifu.com
0.0.0.0 widifu.com
0.0.0.0 www.udaore.com
0.0.0.0 udaore.com
0.0.0.0 www.frijd.com
0.0.0.0 frijd.com
0.0.0.0 www.islpast.com
0.0.0.0 islpast.com

---

To BLOCK THEM OUT, & what YOU CAN'T TOUCH, CANNOT HARM YOU OTHERWISE!

---

Which notes there is a malware out there "in the wild" NOW, for ANDROID OS (which also proves LINUX can get malware too, because ANDROID OS is a Linux variant)... & this trick/tip/technique can stop this particular malware that way.

Additionally:

By obtaining & loading a regularly updated HOSTS files from reputable & reliable sources that regularly update theirs, such as this one by MVPS.ORG -> http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] You can stay safer online vs. other known threats too, AND GO FASTER TOO - by far... apk

I'm pretty underwhelmed too... (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745044)

A couple examples:

  • the garage door opener. Yeah, that's really cool. But am I really going to 1) dedicate a linux box (in my garage, with temps pushing 100F in the summer), 2) buy the needed serial control interface, 3) spend hours hacking around on software, and 4) physically mount up and connect all this stuff, so I can 5) replace the garage door remote that I already have? I don't think so.
  • Changing the look of your interface is one of the "10 best" hacks? Really?
  • Overclocking my phone? Yeah, that'll end well.
  • Running Android on an original iPhone? Given that in the scenario, I've already replaced the old iPhone w/ a new one because I wanted better performance, it seems pretty unlikely that anything useful is going to result from putting Android on it. Besides, this is an iPhone hack, not an Android hack.
  • Running Ubuntu? Again, not an Android hack. And the article itself points out why this is not likely to be worthwhile.

If these are the best hacks they can come up with, well... color me unimpressed. Seriously, there must be more exciting things you can do with Android than this.

In this war (5, Insightful)

mhollis (727905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34742880)

In this war between Android and iPhone, the customer wins.

The "Droid Does" (multitasking) ad campaign spurred Apple to develop iOS 4.x, which allows multitasking. The first Droid smartphones got Apple off the dime with cut and paste. Customers continue to win here, no matter which phone they purchase

Personally I have an iPhone (4) and I like it. I had the original iPhone and retained it well past my contract with AT&T. I have a client who purchased a Droid Incredible and asked me to set up his email (from my server) on it. Took all of about a minute. I was very impressed by the phone and shall always retain that impression.

I think the real losers here are RIM with the Blackberry and the Palm WebOS smartphones. While Palm has innovated, they have been passed by and are now in a niche. RIM is trying to play "catch up" and the only real difference they offer in their phones is complete integration with secure Exchange Servers. They have lost utterly in the easy app purchase field.

Apple's biggest mistake so far in the United States has been the exclusivity contract with AT&T. Initially, it was a boon for Apple, but the Android smartphones are selling faster than the Apple smartphones because they are available on more networks. To the extent Apple stays with the phone company we all love to hate, they will lose market share versus the Android smartphones.

Re:In this war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34742950)

They also come in a far far large variety, shape, size, colours and specs.

Re:In this war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743002)

RIM is a looser? Isn't it the second most used smartphone in the world ? behind nokia ? I don't call that a looser ;p

Re:In this war (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743088)

lose != loose.

Re:In this war (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743680)

Good luck teaching that to the world. I'm losing count of how many times I see that mistake made, and not always by non-native speakers.

Re:In this war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744032)

It's usually the native speakers who make that mistake. Non-native speakers usually read/write more english than listen/talk..

Re:In this war (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744670)

Just be glad you're not lousing count.

Re:In this war (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743254)

RIM is losing market share to both Apple and Android-based smartphones. The number in use (installed base) doesn't matter as much as how many new ones they're selling (market share). Use caution when looking up the numbers - some research firms (Nielsen, for one) incorrectly label installed base as "market share."

Re:In this war (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743400)

RIM is a looser? Isn't it the second most used smartphone in the world ? behind nokia ? I don't call that a looser ;p

Yes, if you ignore the fact that both have been losing market share quarter after quarter since the iPhone and Android phones have been released. Symbian has gone from over 50% of the global market share to less than 40%. RIM has gone from around 20% or so to less than 15%. Secondly, your figures are off about RIM. They are now 4th in market share behind both Android and iOS.

not hacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34742984)

I was looking for hacks and all I found was uses... you would think slashdot would know the differences

Overclocking is nice but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743372)

Overclocking is nice but dialing in the right voltage for your overclock is even nicer. There is an app for that http://www.appbrain.com/app/quickclock-advanced-overclock/com.jpapps.quickclockadvanced

Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (2)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743390)

I'm glad I held on to my WM 6.5 phone. Personally, I think having a phone you can hack is part of the fun of owning a smartphone.

Most people who look at my setup give a 'WTF is that?!?' expression. But it works for me, and that's what counts. (Yes, it's stable, I just had to un-HTC ware the freaking thing and it became stable, cooking my own ROM is was part of the fun)

My next phone will be Android based, because MS is too busy playing iPhone catch up to actually release a real smartphone. I'll most likely cook up my own Android ROM when the time comes.

Re:Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743474)

How does it feel to be over the hill?

You must be close to retirement/unemployment.

Re:Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743748)

How does it feel to be over the hill?

You must be close to retirement/unemployment.

38 is over the hill now? I guess I should give up cutting edge technology and just start making gobs of money off the stupid people now.

So, what color would you like your database server in?

Re:Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745156)

Red please, with a touch of blue, green and yellow. It should do one thing at a time because my 34 year old brain can't handle it. Oh yeah it should have some good locks.

Re:Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744352)

WTF? I can relate to the GP, having flashed my WM6.5 phone to Android only two days ago and I am just 30.

Re:Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743722)

I was in the same boat when my WM phone croaked last year. The WM phone was insanely customizable, had very good encryption, easy to back up, and the custom ROMS for it were excellent.

Depending on the Android phone you get (Nexus 1 and Nexus at the top of the heap for ease of customizability, and a crapshoot with other phone makers, although HTC seems to suck the least), you might be able to find a really cool, stable ROM. Usually a stable one (that dispenses with the UI junk that phone makers and cellular carriers add on) is a good bet. Add to this nandroid for being able to make backups and restore them, as well as a overclock tool, and it makes using an Android device quite pleasurable.

I wouldn't count MS out yet, but I rather wait a couple iterations and see how WP7 is going to turn out. If MS does it right, it can easily take over the Blackberry market with Sharepoint and Exchange support.

Re:Enjoying WM 6.5 until the bitter end (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744090)

If you haven't switched...see my sig. I stayed on PalmOS for a long time until Maemo came out, for a while I was worried I might have to strap a GSM modem onto some kind of handheld PC if I wanted an open phone. I also considered a rooted Android build, but Maemo is unquestionably a more capable OS.

It's also the only mobile OS that's headed in the right direction - towards more openness instead of less.

This is stupid (3, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743452)

Ok, in order:

1. Um, connect your Android video-out-capable phone to your in-car video. If the hack is replacing yoru in-car satnav system, you did that with the Android phone without the video. Now, hooking up YouTube to your in-car video, that's a hack. And illegal in many states.

4. Playing classic games on your Andriod? That's an *app*, not a *hack*. The controller hack is nice tho.

7. Installing root-only apps? How about "Getting root on your android"? After that, well, the apps come.

8. Controlling your Media Centre? Um, My Palm III did that. And that was before I *had* a mnedia centre.

10. "Get the latest Android versions, fast" What? If you're referrring to getting custom ROMs from those intrepid developers out there, fast is relative. Getting Froyo on my G1 took waiting for Froyo to be released into SDK, then waiting for it to be ported to the G1 (which required waiting for the DangerSPL), then waiting for a stable candidate, then finally the 2708 hack to make it useable long-term. Now, this is admittedly faster than waiting for the OPTA release, cause neither TMO, HTC, or Google will ever release any Android 2.x for the G1, but that's sort of like saying it was a clever hack to play DNF at PennyArcade before anyone else, since for all purposes DNF is a DNF, but the demo is not a release. Well, maybe not quite like that, but calling an alternative ROM release 'fast' is relative.

Stupid list. Mostly apps, not hacks. Show me the RAM stack hack for the G1 and I'm nominating it for #1.

Re:This is stupid (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744864)

I agree with you about that -- there should be a difference between a hack (as in using the CDMA pulses so you can have a strata 1 NTP server on your phone), versus an app.

On Android, apps have a lot more freedom. Take Exchange for instance. Even though Android is still lacking Exchange encryption, Touchdown from Nitrodesk provides this. Having Exchange in an app also separates it from the OS, so work and personal contacts don't end up merging.

Ten candidates (IMHO) for best Android hacks, as in true hacks:

1: Rageinthecage -- one of the most useful ways to get root.
2: nandroid -- image based backups and restores -- great if swapping ROMS and want to go back to an older one without having to reload all your apps.
3: Titanium Backup -- backs up app, app data, and market info. This way, a restore is easy.
4: Modified busybox binaries which allow a lot more uses.
5: Droidwall. If an app doesn't need to do more than phone home for licensing, it shouldn't have Net access unless part of its functionality.
6: Utilities that scale clock speed with how the device is being used.
7: Using unionfs to add space for apps in internal memory using an ext3 partition on the SD card.
8: Support for LUKS in the ROM allowing for files to be stored encrypted on the SD card.
9: Using FUSE, mounting a Gmail user as a filesystem using IMAP. Then using eCryptfs to ensure the contents are protected.
10: Using iptables to block adsites by low level IP.

Garage door (3, Insightful)

NetNed (955141) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744534)

I read the garage door opener and was excited to see how it worked. It involves hooking a Linux box up to your door opener that is connected to the internet. That is kind of lame , certainly in environments where it would be impossible to put a pc in essentially a outdoor setting and I would suspect it wouldn't be that hard to do on other smart phones.

Re:Garage door (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745388)

For some reason I get the feeling that it'd be easier to take a cheapie prepaid phone (VM's $20/3 mos, I'm sure there's cheaper out there), disconnect the vibrate motor, connect that to input of a solid-state relay whose output is in parallel with the door button, and changing the ringer settings so that when it's _your_ phone, the phone vibrates instead of mute.

Call the number from your cell, garage door opens. Cost? $10-30 and the $20/3 mos tops. ...shit, I should've posted this at hackaday.

install Ubuntu on your handset? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744754)

Seriously? That's an important feature? For how many percent of users?
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