Now before we get into things let me state that the title of the post isn’t meant to be offensive or as a joke or anything of the sort. It is literally the name of an app I just discovered and when you read on and get to learn why I’m sharing it you’ll be as excited about it as I am at the moment. Just wanted to get that out of the way on the off chance someone might see it and feel a need to take me to task over the title. As much as I wish I could control everything and everyone on the planet at times I can’t, so until such time as I can you’ll have to live with that fact and realize if I didn’t make the app then I can’t name it in a manner that might avoid potentially not sitting well with some people. [Insert Dinesh’s “the fact that you thought I’d find that offensive offends me” speech here] (Note quite related, when Gilfoyle says early on what he does has to be one of the most badass responses anyone has ever given on TV when asked what they do. At least as far as someone who works with tech that is.)
So let’s just get on with it.
We are all familiar with Google Chrome. Most of us use it pretty much exclusively and every single day, that said it has one major drawback, as do all other browsers, it doesn’t automagically block ads right off the bat. Have you seen the internet without adblocking? Holy shit. It’s atrocious. I made the mistake a short time back of using someone’s computer who didn’t have adblocking setup in their browser and I was shocked. “What is all this? Is this how you see the internet?! My god, man! It’s atrocious!”
Chrome has one thing going for it though, extensions. You install what you need to and magic happens. Per my own preference and recommendation, I highly suggest you all use uBlock Origin. It’s loads better than AdBlock or AdBlock Plus or any of those. If you don’t want to use that then check out Ghostery, just as good except sometimes it and Kinja don’t get along. Although I can’t blame Ghostery for that, Kinja hates everything and everyone with a passion it seems.
However, thanks to most people on the planet using Android devices there’s one significant drawback of being tied into Google’s services while mobile. Mobile Chrome does not have extensions enabled, nor will it ever from what I’ve read recently. I can’t say I blame them for that, extensions use memory and the last thing they need is people complaining about their phones being “sooooooo slow” because they installed a gillion extensions and don’t know who they should be blaming in that situation (hint: themselves).
Luckily for us a few interesting things have happened recently.
1. The Chrome for Android team has open sourced a lot of the code and slowly but surely it is being incorporated elsewhere and messed with b y others.
2. A noted XDA developer has taken some of that code (albeit from Chromium) and modified it even further, adding both ad and malware blocking, and shared it with the rest of XDA. (The catch being it doesn’t hide ad blocked areas, so you will see some areas of just empty space where an ad no longer is.)
I have downloaded and started using it and fell in love within minutes. Seriously, it’s that good. It’s basically the Chrome I know and love and use daily with adblocking! How could I not love it?
Now rather than force all of you to visit the XDA thread to grab it I have gone another route. I grabbed it myself focusing on the version that will work on most devices. You can snag it from my Google Drive via this link. Some of you might have some incredibly new devices (as in flagship level devices that only recently came out within the last few months) with which you’ll require another version for, I’m talking people with Arm 64 based chips in their phones. Some of you know who you are, some of you likely don’t. If you’re not sure just tell me what phone you have and I’ll get you the version you need if it comes down to it.
It’s fair to state that the developer has stated he will not be officially supporting this. Meaning he may or may not update it as he sees fit, it works as is for him on the sites he visits and that’s what matters. Having tested it myself on the handful of sites I visit multiple times throughout the day (including the Odeck) I can confirm the same. It works where I want/need it to and that’s good enough.
Beyond that, not much to write about. It’s Chrome. It has adblocking built in. It works. All that matters to me and the rest of you I imagine.
Now for some screenshots!
Note the empty space above the link to the first post on Android Police. Normally that’s where you’d see an ad.
Note the empty white space you see there, also where you’d normally see an ad.
The view of the various tabs I have open as is seen by hitting the Recent Apps button the right there (the square you see in the corner). You do not have to have tabs appear that way though, you can make changes in Settings within the app to change that.
Setting that to Off will allow you to see tabs within Chrome as you might be used to, as opposed to having to hit Recent Apps to see what you have open and switch between tabs.
And really that’s all there is to know and see about the app. It’s great and gets the job done. Give it a try if you’re not already using some other browser on your phone that includes built in adblocking. Hell, even if you are already using one give it a go anyway. You might like it far more, I know I do and I’ve got two other browsers on my phone that do the same thing. This one looks better though and was easier to tie to my Google account, which makes it the best of the bunch and I think I’ll be uninstalling those other two during my lunch hour (my phone is almost dead, I had a reason to show up late for work but it required killing some time so I surfed the web on my phone while that happened this morning and drained it significantly).
Huawei Watch delayed
This is one of the better looking Android Wear devices out there, I’d put it on par with the Moto 360 myself, and sadly it appears it’s been delayed as far as getting into consumer hands.
Various sites and reports are now saying that the watch will be delayed for release until September or October of this year, which isn’t too far away but in a sea of ever growing competition Huawei really doesn’t want to be the last man out of the gate. Not when some of that competition is ready to roll out their second generation devices and is putting their first generation devices at half their former cost in quite a few cases.
This does not bode well for a company hellbent on breaking into the U.S. market, I mean it’s not a killer delay but it definitely doesn’t help U.S. customers learn about the company at all. It’s basically a no name company in the U.S. as far as I can tell. Think the whole “who?” scene from Guardians of the Galaxy when Peter Quill first mentions the other name they might know him as. And now I want to go home and watch the movie for the upteenth time.
In Motorola related news, Moto X leaks are happening
Right now there are a few rumors going around about the third generation Moto X and most revolve around the hardware and device model number.
Trying to avoid the “I’ll believe it when I see it” stuff I’m going to focus on what I think sounds believable but things are always subject to change.
Right now it is likely that the device will remain a 5.2” phone, more specifically with a QHD (2560x1440) display.
The 16MP rear camera will remain as well. Although there will be a rather welcome change this time around as evidenced in the following tweet.
That was tweeted by Motorola’s CMO Amanda Hayes after someone asked if and I quote, “Will the camera component be a main focal point for future Motorola devices moving forward?” I am intrigued. Personally I find the camera and software in the Moto X to be great, but I’m also not a camera or photography snob. Does the pic look decent? Good enough for me!
It’ll also have a MP front facing camera, 4 GB of RAM (!!!), and (sadly) a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (you know, the one that has severe overheating issues and that everyone has been avoiding like the plague since its release).
Two additional rumors that are just shy of believable but potentially possible are as follows.
There may be two Moto X devices this year. A 5.2” one and a 5.7” one. The latter is just this side of believable if only because the Nexus 6 is based off a device that was slated to be Motorola’s offering as part of the Android Silver line of devices before that was killed off entirely for one reason or another. Enough people have complained about the size (and price) of the Nexus 6 to make it seem like a justified decision, a bigger device but not that big.
Also some pics showed up showing where a purported fingerprint sensor will go. Given that the Nexus 6, again based of a Motorola design for a stock Motorola device, was going to have a fingerprint sensor until Apple bought the company whom Motorola was going to get theirs from this sounds very possible. Although Motorola’s COO Rick Osterloh was reported as saying he wasn’t a fan of fingerprint sensors. So maybe it won’t happen.
Beyond that, no need to mention a timeframe for when we’ll see the next one drop but I’ll mention it anyway, they tend to get announced at the end of summer (i.e. August, when I start saving birthday money for the next Moto X, August 17th being my bday before anyone has to ask) and they go on sale around mid-to-late September, officially hitting consumer hands in October.
Last but not least, there’s a great (fairly) new game out called Sunburn!
Available in the Play Store for $2.99 the premise of the game is simple: You’re the commander of a mission that has gone wrong, your crew and you are stranded in space and you’re all going to die. Your job is to gather your separated crewmates and go down together, by blasting off into sun.
It’s a fun and eventually difficult little game. Be sure to give it a try if it looks and sounds like your cup of tea.
And that folks is all for today’s Wednesday Android Update
It has just been another slow news week and there hasn’t been much worth taking note of. I don’t control or make the news, maybe someday but not today. Until then I’ll report on things as I see fit and as they’re worth sharing with all of you.
I swear I will get around to doing my yearly “best bang for your buck” smartphone post soon. But laziness seems to be the name of the game with me lately. “Ugh. I have to do research and like find pics and whatnot. I’ll do that tomorrow or next week. Maybe next month. I’m a busy man, after all.”