Android

A Look at Google's Project Fi

Google's Project Fi is a great cell-phone service, but the data-only SIMs make it incredible for network projects! I have a lot of cell phones. I have iPhones (old and new), Android phones (old, new, very old and funny-shaped), and I have a few legacy phones that aren't either Android or iPhone. Remember Maemo? Yeah, and I still have one of those old Nokia phones somewhere too. Admittedly, part of the reason I have such a collection is that I tend to hoard nostalgic technology, but part of it is practical too.

UserLAnd, a Turnkey Linux in Your Pocket

There comes a time when having a full-fledged Linux distribution within reach is necessary or just plain useful. And, what could be more within reach than having that same distribution on a computing device most people have with them at all times? Yes, I'm talking about a smartphone—specifically, an Android-powered smartphone. Enter UserLAnd.

A Virtual Android

My phone is dead. I'm not exactly sure what happened to it, but for some reason, my beloved Sony Xperia Z5 Compact no longer turns on. Granted, it's not my main work phone, but it's my personal phone and also my audiobook player. The biggest problem is that when I'm exploring new Android apps, the Sony is the device I use for testing. Thankfully, there are other options.

If Not This Then Stringify

I love IFTTT (If This Then That), but although it usually works well, it's more and more common for triggers to fail. Sometimes they don't fail, but take several minutes to activate. When you want a light to turn on as you enter a room, several minutes of delay clearly can be a deal-breaker.

Android Candy: My World, in a Lock Screen

It feels weird to mention a Microsoft product in Linux Journal. But to be honest, there are some cool things coming out of the Microsoft Garage One of those things is "Next Lock Screen", which is an Android app that brings interactive tools to the lock screen.

Android Candy: Exploding Kittens!

I don't very often play games. I know that seems odd, because I do often write about gaming. Honestly though, I very rarely actually take the time to play video games. Recently, however, there has been an exception to that rule.

Mistral Solutions' 820 Nano SOM

One of the smallest System on a Module (SOM) solutions currently available in the market—measuring a mere 51mm x 26mm—is Mistral Solutions' 820 Nano SOM. The company predicts that its new 820 Nano SOM solution is "destined to be a preferred SoM in the industry".

Low Tech High Tech

Google Cardboard should be terrible. Really, it should. It's literally made of cardboard. I remember as a kid some cereal boxes came with spy glasses you had to cut out of the box itself—and they were terrible. But Google Cardboard is amazing. Granted, you need to add your $750 Android phone to it, but that's already in your pocket anyway.

Android Candy: the Verbification of Video Chat

People who study the history of languages probably will look back at our current time and scratch their heads. We keep inventing verbs! First, Google became the verb we use for searching. Then, "Facebooking" someone became a viable way to contact them. Heck, I forgot about "texting" someone. It seems we just keep taking perfectly good nouns and making them verbs.

Listen to Me Cheaply

I listen to a lot of books. A lot. And honestly, although I've written about the "Listen" app for audiobooks, I tend to use Audible more than anything else anymore. Part of the reason is the Android app finally has more fine-grained speed settings. (I prefer around 1.4x speed.) iPhone people don't have that seemingly simple feature. Just saying.

Android Candy: Landing on the Moon, with your Thumbs

I do a lot of system administration with my thumbs. Yes, if I'm home, I grab a laptop or go to my office and type in a real terminal window. Usually, when things go wrong though, I'm at my daughters' volleyball match or shopping with my wife. Thankfully, most tasks can be done remotely via SSH. There are lots of SSH clients for Android, but my favorite is JuiceSSH.

Be Kind, Buffer!

I like to tweet. Not like a bird (well, not usually), but tweeting on Twitter. I like to post silly pictures and say silly things. Unfortunately, a few things usually happen: I take a bunch of photos within minutes of each other. I want to post to Twitter and Facebook.

Android Candy: Facebook Everything?!?!

When Facebook decided its messenger app would be an entirely separate program from its regular app, I was ticked off. I didn't want to have a second application in order to send private messages. It seemed like a needless extra step. And, I stuck by that opinion until I realized I could integrate regular SMS and MMS messages into Facebook Messenger.

Android Candy: That App Is for the Birds!

Usually bird-related apps involve pigs and anger, but if you're a bird watcher like myself, there's another bird app you must download. Cornell Labs has released a free app called Merlin Bird ID that helps identify birds you see in the wild.

ADUPS Android Malware Infects Barnes & Noble

ADUPS is an Android "firmware provisioning" company based out of Shanghai, China. The software specializes both in Big Data collection of Android usage, and hostile app installation and/or firmware control. Google has blacklisted the ADUPS agent in its Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS).