Tag: Android

Automatic Android Location Mode Toggling 2.0

A few months ago I had a blog post about automatically toggling Android Location Mode on my smartphone between High Accuracy and Battery Saving when using certain apps. Using the super-app Tasker and a 3rd-party plugin called Secure Settings I was able to swap the Location Mode of my Nexus 5 between the two modes. However, this was a poor solution since closing an app would result in disabling GPS access, which was undesirable if navigation was currently active. Furthermore, closing an app and returning to it would result in deactivation regardless of the timing. Despite numerous suggestions in the comments, none of them provided a viable answer.

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Automatically Toggle ‘High Accuracy’ Location Mode on Android

Check out this blog post for an updated Android Location Mode toggling task

One of Android’s most innovative features is Google Now, a service that attempts to provide relevant information to the user based on location and time. Unfortunately, in order to utilize the location-based service, your smartphone must provide location information to Google at expense of battery life. When Android 4.4 “Kitkat” was released in late October, the location settings were updated to include three different modes: High accuracy, battery saving, and device only. The ‘high accuracy’ mode utilizes GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile networks to determine location, ‘battery saving’ only uses Wi-Fi and mobile networks, and ‘device only’ relies exclusively on GPS.

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Get the Price of Bitcoin with Google Now

The digital currency Bitcoin has grown increasingly popular in recent months as more and more businesses have begun accepting the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. Keeping up with the highly volatile price of Bitcion (BTC) is a must for traders, who use exchanges such as Mt.Gox or BTC-E to turn a profit. Even the casual holder through services such as Coinbase need to see how much their BTC are worth. While there are many websites that track the price of BTC across exchanges, there is no official integration into Google’s search engine. For Android users, Google Now/Search is at the heart of their device’s functionality. MohammadAG recently released an XPOSED module that adds an API to the Google Search app. This guide will help you install the necessary applications and modifications to use the “Okay Google” voice command to get the current price of Bitcoin on Mt.Gox from BitcoinWisdom.

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Fixing a Broken Google Wallet

I recently upgraded to a Google Nexus 4 phone from my old HTC Inspire HD. Unfortunately, the original device that I received had some problems with the ear-piece, resulting in a very noticeable static hissing noise during calls and even when the phone wasn’t in use. I decided to RMA the defective device to Google in exchange for a replacement. After several weeks of waiting, I finally got my hands on my Rev. 11 Google Nexus 4 (original was Rev. 10) and prepared to transfer over to the new phone. I opted to use a standard nandroid backup of the original device’s content in order to transfer everything to the new device (essentially duplicating the content). Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to the recommended process of transferring Google Wallet to this new device, which suggests reseting the original device’s Wallet application prior to the transition. This is necessary so that the Secure Element created on the device by Google Wallet isn’t accidentally transferred to the new device. This secure element can only be accessed by a SINGLE instance of Google Wallet, so if it is transferred to a new phone or even restored to a new ROM on the same device, it can result in Wallet completely losing functionality. Because I failed to reset the Google Wallet app, which removes the secure element, prior to performing the nandroid backup, I inadvertently transferred the secure element and the linked Google Wallet app to the new phone. Unfortunately, this resulted in the breaking of Google Wallet on my RMA Nexus 4 device.

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Sampling Ice Cream Sandwich

I recently started looking for an Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” ROM for my HTC Inspire (Desire HD) after using CyanogenMod for quite some time. The last nightly CM7 build for Ace was back in November and they’re still working hard at getting CM9 up an running. While perusing the XDA Forums for some alternatives to CM7, I ran across an awesome Desire HD build called aospX by Existz. After a quick backup and swap to the recommended radio, I flashed the new ICS-based ROM and was quite pleasantly surprised by the improvements in the latest iteration of the Android operating system (4.0.3 in this case). Aside from feeling considerably more responsive, this ICS build really seems to fix a lot of issues that afflicted the older Gingerbread ROMs I’ve used in the past. The built-in data tracking system and seemingly longer battery life are huge factors for me. The ability to launch a camera from the lock screen is incredibly convenient and the new-and-improved Google apps and widgets are orders of magnitude better than their predecessors.

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