I can’t find the appropriate Arrested Development clip that I wanted to start this post with of George Bluth saying, “Apologies. Apologies all around.” So a Vine of it will have to do. But seriously, apologies all around for those who want to see these posts weekly. Life has gotten in the way of them and one personal issue has left me really unmotivated in regards to writing or drawing pretty much anything lately and I’m only barely getting over it. Think I did my first drawing in almost a month just yesterday and it was only because there’s a thing I picture in my head when listening to “The Garden” by July Talk and I had to get it out of there.
So what do I have for you today? Very little in the way of actual news, as again we’re at that point of the year where there’s not much going on. That said there’s still some info worth passing along, but this post was mostly motivated by two things. One, I want to show off my homescreen. : P And the app that I used to create it. Two, a question posed to me by Cool Breeze on Twitter just now.
We’re gonna do the news first and then get with the other stuff, yes? Yes.
The new Nexii are being sold via carriers (and there are some “sold out” issues in the Google Store)
This one was originally reported via The Verge but there’s no way in hell I’m sending any traffic their click baity barely even a tech site anymore way. (Seriously, fuck The Verge. That site is a joke now and has been for years in my book.) So instead here’s a Giz link for just a wee bit more info which I’ll write about anyway.
The long and short of it is if you want a Nexus 5X (which is the LG made one) and are in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, India, Korea, or Japan you can swing by your nearest carrier store and pick one up. The phone starts at $379 for the 16 GB model but that’s US price and I’m not sure what it is for those of you living elsewhere.
You want to know more about the phone? Look no further than Android Police’s preview on it titled “Nexus 5X Review Preview: Plastic Fantastic”. If you want something a little more in depth I highly recommend giving Ars Technica’s write-up a read. But set aside some time to read the entire thing as its a bit lengthy. “Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P review: The true flagships of the Android ecosystem” And FYI the byline on that review is, “With little to no compromise, these are now the Android phones to beat.” Damn. Those are some very strong words there.
For what it’s worth the 5x is still available in both storage options via the Google Store, keeping in mind that it’ll work across all carriers in the US for sure and that the 32 GB option will set you back $429. The frost 32 GB option is seeing some slight delay though, it won’t be available until October 26th.
Blackberry Priv is incoming next month!
Seen above is the Blackberry Priv aka Blackberry Venice as was its original codename and better name in my opinion.
This is the slider Android phone that’ll be arriving on November 16th and that is quite the looker and features that physical keyboard that apparently quite a few people miss.
It’s worth pointing out that off contract pricing has apparently leaked out and it’s definitely not wallet friendly from what I can tell.
Seen above appears to be the U.S. off contract pricing, I mention this because of the carriers specifically listed in red on the apparent advert (Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular) as the phone not being compatible with.
This definitely points to the phone being a GSM device and not CDMA compatible.
Seen above is a quick screenshot I took off the Carphone Warehouse listing for the device. I can’t be bothered to do the conversion to dollars, but from what I hear this is a rather pricey device by UK standards.
Personally, I like the look of the device but I’d likely never use the physical keyboard. That said I won’t be picking one up. The new Nexus devices have totally won me over and I’m already at long last finally starting to save for one. Which is perfect cause the 6P has sold out apparently. That’s the model I want.
What’s the deal with Target lately?
This one isn’t quite news so much as “deal alerts”.
But apparently Target in certain locations has the Nexus Player on sale for $25. I’ve previously reviewed the Nexus Player and found it to be an overall intriguing device. If you don’t already own a Chromecast or similar device and do want one then I’d say pick one up especially if you can find it at that price at a Target near you.
I know some stores price match though and if you want to try and get them to do so then feel free to use this image here. It clearly has Nexus Player on it and Walmart’s UPC code for it. So they can’t claim it’s referring to something else entirely. If you score one let me know, I might try it myself this afternoon when I get out of work.
Additionally, and I’m not sure how nationwide this is, but Target apparently now has a mobile device store in-store. They, however, only have devices from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. On top of that and this is purely anecdotal but my brother says he learned they were having a promotion this month where trading in any device for any of those three guaranteed you a minimum trade-in offer of $200. My brother, let the record show, is a ridiculously prudent shopper. He will go out of his way to investigate anything and everything and save as much money as possible. He makes your average penny scream bloody murder with how hard he pinches it. So when he learned of this in store he pretty much yelleds, “SOLD!” He managed to score a 128 GB iPhone 6 for the price of what the 64 GB model would have cost him. He traded in the iPhone 5 on AT&T for it.
For comparison’s sake Best Buy and AT&T at most would have given him $150 for any device he turned in and they wanted essentially this year’s flagships to give that $150 for.
UPDATE! Verizon is still evil because reasons!
How are they evil? Picked up a new Nexus and want to activate it with Verizon? Congrats! You’ve officially found all the reasons to hate life you’ll ever need. Don’t believe me? Read this to find out what you have to do to get your new phone to work with Verizon.
I hate Verizon with a passion that I only reserve for those who say ferrets are icky and/or should be destroyed (like that one asshole did, said elsewhere in the comments).
KWLP is the best for creating amazing looking homescreens!
Seen above is my current homescreen setup.
To be more specific I have a 3-page setup, but mostly for aesthetic reasons the third page is empty. The main/second screen is what you see above. It’s entirely empty as you can tell, but a swipe up and/or down with one finger quickly reveals by dock and status bar.
The first screen has a few popup widgets and Google Play Music and the Play Store.
So as to how I put all this together it’s actually surprisingly easy, even if I did mix and match numerous apps to do it.
First off, I use Nova Launcher (free) as my preferred launcher of choice. On top of that I use Nova Launcher Prime ($4.99 and worth every cent and then some) so I can make full use of the gestures feature.
For those “circle” icons you see above I got them from the Min Icon Pack (free) and hat tip to nctrns for turning me onto it. And those are actually popup widgets for Weather Timeline ($0.99), Pocket Casts ($3.99), and Jack’s Music Widget (free). I created all of them using Popup Widget 2 ($1.50), which is perfect for placing widgets on your homescreen that don’t take up a ton of space as is pretty obvious in the screenshot above. It allows for you to place a full widget on there but it’s basically one that appears on demand.
As for that lovely and unique search widget at the top, it’s actually a Komponent for Kustom Live Wall Paper (KLWP) and more specifically the GoSearch Komponent for KLWP (free).
Keeping in mind that Komponent is entirely useless if you don’t have KLWP (free) installed. Plus you’ll need the Pro Key ($2.99) to import and take advantage of any KLWP pre-made themes in the Play Store. Of course you can get that same advantage via an in-app purchase of the free app.
So what I did was basically setup everything as I normally would via Nova Launcher (the gestures and dock icons). Created and placed the widgets with Popup Widget 2. And then last but not least I fired up KLWP and made my own “live” wallpaper. I inserted the komponent first to get a rough idea of where I’d want to place it and then I imported the wallpaper and hit save which then gave me the choice of setting the “live wallpaper” and that was it.
Honestly, I put more work into my gestures setup than I did into the KLWP aspect. That isn’t to say KLWP doesn’t have a slight learning curve, as it can be pretty confusing to figure out initially. But you can do some seriously amazing things with it given the opportunity, for proof of that just search KLWP in the Play Store and start perusing all the pre-made themes you can import into it. Some of them are simply amazing and also mind boggling to me at the moment as to how they were created in the first place.
But hey, if anyone wants to straight up steal my setup just let me know. I’ve got all the files backed up and can share them. Of course you’ll need all the apps previously linked to to take full advantage of said backups.
Twitter apps, so many out there but how many are worth checking out?
This one comes courtesy of Cool Breeze having asked about this on Twitter and as someone who has tried multiple apps all covering the same one thing (Twitter, reddit, etc) I like to think I know which ones work and don’t work or are decent.
That said, and to be honest I’m currently on my lunch break and eating as I write this and not up to reaching across my desk for my phone (because it slide when I tossed it onto it when I got back to my desk to eat) I won’t be providing screenshots. Just info.
Falcon Pro 3 (free, with a $3.99? I think in-app purchase to add an account) is made by Joaquim Verges who had the best Twitter app back in the day with the orignal Falcon Pro. Of course that app quickly hit the 100,000 token limit allowed by Twitter to devs and a lot of that was mostly because people were pirating the shit out of the app. An issue that was pretty tough to address and led to him resetting the app tokens on at least two separate occasions before coming up with a very unique workaround. All of which I’ve written about previously. DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK IF YOU WANT TO AVOID BEING HIT RIGHT IN THE FEELS! That was written I think the day after Serenada passed away and goddamn. I shouldn’t have searched for it because I forgot that’s when I wrote it and I mentioned it in the post.
But yeah, you want more info it’s at that link, just scroll down to get past the “there will be tears” part.
I should warn you all though that while Falcon Pro 3 is a damn good Twitter app Joaquim has been officially at long last hired on by Twitter. Likely to help improve their app. He’s still updating FP3 as of last week but it’s only a matter of time before his interest in the app is pulled away for good.
There’s also an entirely anecdotal issue about it: I always got DMs incredibly late. No matter what setup I used for notifications, whether on WiFi or not, etc I never got them in a timely manner and thus was always replying at best a day or two late and usually more like a week late. So consider yourselves fairly warned based on just my experience with the app.
Talon for Twitter ($3.99) is one I bought upon initial release but left for FP3 because I trusted the dev more. It’s definitely right up there with FP3 insofar as being awesome to use and everything works perfectly. I’ve had no issues with it since switching back to it a few months ago. There is one thing though, the Klinker brothers (the devs behind it) are kind of known for being assholes. I hate having to write that about any app developer(s) but it’s true. It’s something they’re well known for being and this is coming from having heard it from so many people on reddit and Google+. If you have issues just ask someone else what you can do or what you’re doing wrong to fix them, because you’ll get better help that way.
Fenix for Twitter ($5.49) is the last one in the “trio of kickass Twitter apps” for me to recommend. I initially used it when it was still in alpha and then beta and stopped just before it went stable. Of the three apps I’ve mentioned up to this point this is the one that /r/Android loves most. Pretty much for good reason, it just works for seemingly everyone. Which is really all you want in an app. The price might give some people pause and honestly there are plenty of “they work just fine” Twitter apps in the Play Store, but I’m a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. Just cause something is free doesn’t make it worth it. Then again the same applies to paid items, but Fenix is one of those few apps I’d say pick up if you’re so inclined. It’s worth the price tag.
And now for a general kind of thing: They all do what you’d want them to. Send and show tweets. All have in-app browsers if that’s you’re preferred thing or they can open links via your preferred browser. All follow material design guidelines to one degree or another. Etc etc etc. Basically, they all are alike and all get the job done.
That said I’ve got two free ones for you to check out as well.
Robird for Twitter (Reborn) (free but has in-app purchases for I’m not sure what exactly) which is a seriously updated version of Robird for Twitter ($1.99). Honestly, they look a lot alike and I can’t remember what Reborn has that the original doesn’t, but hey they both work from what I can tell. Try one and if you don’t care for it try the other.
Giza for Twitter (free, with in-app purchases). This one is a bit simpler than all the others if I remember correctly (as I’ve not used it since launch pretty much) but is just as good. Plus free!
So there you go, five apps to check out if you’re down for this whole Twitter thing. Which apparently most of us on the Odeck are. Also, curse all of you! Do you realize how little time I’ve spent on reddit lately because I’m too busy chatting and goofing off with all of you on Twitter.
I barely have any time for /r/ferrets anymore.
But that’s enough for today.
Because I’m still two episodes behind on iZombie and need to catch up to do the megathreads/recaps on those. But first I want to watch Clue thanks to this comment by umataro42 here.
I said shake, rattle, and roll!
It is beyond me how there are people my age who haven’t seen that movie or who don’t like it. You’re all weird! All of you! It’s a classic!
Peace for now, kiddos! I have work to not do (because I have nothing to do today, besides climb a wall, lay on top of the wall, and use a broom to reach down and unlock a door handle that somehow locks itself and which we have no key for). Yay for being limber! And all! And also having no concern for my own safety beyond “If I get hurt doing this that’s an on the job accident and fuck yeah! Workman’s comp!” I’m not up there of my own free will!