Category Archives: Android

January 2017 Android app review

android sms app review

Im gonna kick off 2017 with some reviews on android apps!

Now the first app i recently added and think deserves a review as i was quite surprised at actually how good it is !! is Pulse is a sms messaging app with a few nice features. The app support dual sim which i need. But the fact you can install this on your tablet and send and receive sms messages which makes the phone / tablet messaging seamless is the killer option. There is a cost to this at £1 per month as your using there sms services which is pretty good or a one of payment for £10 for ever which i was tempted but a lot can happen in ten years. I installed the app on the phone and it setup in a breeze then just added it to my tablet and confirmed the number and the text started working!! I tried to use the webmail on my chrome browser but asks for user password which i didnt know so i sent a support email but havent heard anything back so im not stressing about that would have been handy but no pressured… so cant comment on the web browser plugin yet… some other small cosmetic features is having automatic different colours for text from different users and bubble picture images for the image of the person you are getting the text from. I like the simple design swipe left to delete and the standard bottom right plus button to send a new text. Now one of the features i did use and is handy and worked for new years eve was scheduled text which worked nicely, now the only problem i did have is i made a message to go to chosen people which would have been better when selecting the people just to go to a full list of contacts and easily tick which ones you want and then select ok but its not like this you kind of have to know there names ? then once you do this and write the message, there seems no going back like i couldnt add and more people to the message and i couldnt edit the text which was a real pain? as when i checked it had typos in it so went to change the text but that made no difference, so i thought id just delete the scheduled text and start again but couldnt find were to delete it!? bummer 🙁 so make sure you check before you schedule! All i can say is they nearly hit the mark just some little rough edges.

here is the feature list 

  • Seamlessly integrates with any device (tablet, watch, TV, web, native Google Chrome, and Firefox apps and extensions) to support SMS and MMS, through your phone number!
  • Beautiful layouts
  • Night mode
  • Pin your favorite contacts to the top of the conversation list
  • Smooth transitions between conversations
  • Beautiful, readability-style browser for the best web experience
  • Powerful, per-contact, theming support
  • Delayed sending
  • Support for Dual-SIM devices
  • Automatic message backup and restore
  • Blacklisting of numbers to stop the spam
  • Scheduled text messages
  • Search messages and conversations
  • Mute notifications on an individual user basis
  • Completely snooze the app from all notifications for a given time period
  • Custom notifications for contacts
  • Search Giphy for GIFs to attach to your messages
  • Share photos, videos, and audio along with your messages

Has to score a 8 out of 10 



BQ X5 Phone & BQ M8 Tablet Review

BQ X5 Phone and BQ M8 Tablet Review

After switching from the BQ E5 HD Phone & BQ M10 Tablet ubuntu edition devices back to android i thought id review these devices. The Ubuntu although is my main desktop / laptop and server operating system just didnt cut it for me on phone and tablet. I did write some apps and hacked a way to get the device to do what i wanted but needed that little bit more. And needed more application power and im afraid the ubuntu touch OS is still early in its days of shining… I must say i was immediately switched onto the BQ devices through buying the ubuntu devices. The BQ company is spanish so not a big player in the UK but in spain most people seem to have one. Whats striking about the BQ devices is the quality for the money and the support is excellent. One of the things i really like is the android operating system installed is not coloured like other devices selling with android, in fact its pretty damn vanilla  apart from is say the camera app and a single BQ protection app for a longer warranty. THE X5

I have the standard BQ X5 non cyanogen

which is probably good as they just dropped the company so not sure what happens to cyanogen devices, plus i did try cyanogen edition on the X5 but took it off as it wasnt for me. The plus version sports a bigger battery, finger print reader and NFC for contactless payments and a slightly better camera which wasnt worth all the extra money so i went standard. The device came with android version 5 but as soon as i turned it on it picked up the old version and upgraded to marshmallow 6.0.1 and this gave me a load of new features as well as adding my 64 meg sd card to the internal memory which is a big bonus! The phone sports dual sim and dual camera with dual flash, front and rear, plus a SD slot. The screen is anti finger print coating 5 inch screen which is plenty and the cameras are 13mp and front facing 5mp which aint bad at all. I went for the white phone and it has a amazing feel with aluminium frame and weighs in at 148, also has a nice touch bottom for  the home buttons which light up and arent part of the main screen. The phone to me looks just like a iphone but i prefer a droid to be honest. The battery is like 2900 and i take it of the charger at 7.30 and use it quite a bit all day for media, social, work and emails and the battery lasts till 11 at night without having to re-charge. The speakers are great sounding. All i can say if you get this get it to the latest android version and then add your SD card as internal storage and keep it stock. These phones are like £270 i managed to buy mine from ebay for 130 and have to say is the best phone ive owned, Its styled a lot nicer than the HD phones. Id say you would be more than happy for all use.

Now i bought the M8 – 8 inch tablet to match the X5 which it does in a lot of ways. Fits in the hand snug and like the way the speakers are on each of the tablet so when you have it in potrait mode watching a film the speakers are just right for stereo sound. It doesnt have the aluminium frame like the X5 which would have made it a gem. The battery is 4050 mAh which will last moderate use all day although if i connect a external screen and keyboard and mouse and using bluetooth it last for a full mornings work, yes this tablet as a hdmi out so you can plug into a big screen. So this has the same features of the X5 same OS nearly android 6.0.0 at the moment so cant make the sd card internal memory which is a biggy at the moment, It has the SD card slot and has the two facing cameras minus the front facing flash and the cameras are both 5mp which aint that great the forward one should be better, i wanted to take some pictures of the apartment and they weren’t that good. My last moan is the buttons for home and back etc on the X5 light up under the screen but on the M8 there on the screen which after using the X5 and picking up the M8 i forget and then remember to use the onscreen ones so there not the same.Although for general use i prefer to the more expensive M10, for one it fits in the hand !! These are around 150 and come in white so i got the matching pair.

So nice little pair to set up working from, plenty of power for the buck and features you would have to pay a fortune for some of the brands people use in the UK. Now if i ever sway from BQ which i cant see happening id take a look at a meizu these again are amazing devices at the right price..

take a look at the BQ line up here 

plus the android 7.0.1 nougat update is around the corner!

to wrap it up watch out for my android app reviews for 2107 ……


ubuntu edition xps running remix os

ubuntu edition xps running remix os

I had to give this a go! Im loving being back on android for my mobile / tablet device after not such a good time with my ubuntu touch which is sad to me. Id thought id give it a whirl on the xps, the install wouldnt work at first and had to change my bios settings to uefi which werent enabled for some reason and then i ended up with a remix os install. Loved it just like a droid with a desktop gui and all the droid features! I was amazed by how all the apps worked and even 3d games such as GTA vice ciry!! The only app that never worked was wunderlist it just crashed!? i asked the guys at wunderlist they say they dont see any support coming off. Any way the laptop run great only problem is it felt restrictive for design. To top it off install it if you want social and general usage, media etc but for coding, cropping pictures, website creation im so used to my ubuntu desktop now. Have to give these guys 9/10 as they have nearly nailed it…..

here she is in all her glory the ubuntu editin dell xps 13 back on the OS it should be running for 2017. With a happy tux!!


clef plugin

clefdo you own a blog or looking for a password manager ? take a look at clef, i plugged the clef worpress plugin into my blog as i was sick of people trying to access it, the clef plugin removes password authentication and you just login holding your mobile phone onto your laptop screen which matches a pattern which then you can assign the length of time you will be logged in or hit a log out button which logs all your pages out which is handy if you go for lunch and leave you facebook logged in!

you have to have a plugin on cherome called waltz to make it work on your web browser available here

clef for android is available here clef


also be available for mac, windows, iphone etc 🙂


now tx, plex client and server

Probably the best and most cost effective bit of tech i bought this now tv plexyear is a now tv box! the box was initially 10 pound but they seemed to have added packages like i got a 3 month entertainment pack with it so the box costs 20 quid! – no contract like normal sky and i can add movies package which will cost a tenner a month. Any way its bundled up with loads of sky channels, catch up players for itv, bbc etc thats all cool. the box is simple the remote is simple just rire in you wep key to connect to your wireless and your away!!

Now the extra bit is a simple walk through can add plex client

i got the plex 2.6.9 here

Next, grab your Now TV remote and press the following buttons in order, relatively quickly. If you fail once, just repeat and try again:

Home x3, Up x2, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right

write down the ip address of the box and make a note of it, Next press ‘OK’ on the ‘Enable installer’ option presented and agree to the developer agreement that appears (you have to pretend to read it all, so just hold the down button until its fully scrolled and press ok). You will need to agree one final time on the pop up box and your NowTV box will restart.

Once it’s reloaded and back on the home screen fire up your web browser on your PC and go to the address which was shown to you earlier. If you got it correct, you will be presented with the developer screen. Select browse and select the zip file you downloaded. It should then install and the plex should kick in and you select close and it presents you with a icon on the menu – now as long as you have setup a plex server on your network you should be able to stream music and movies from the plex server .

plex serverplex is available here

its available for mac, linux and windows and clients are available for raspberry, android, iphones etc.

I setup a plex account and when i installed it on the android it can see me plex server from outside over mobile network as the server opens a port on the router automatically for you giving you access from outside from your plex clients – also you can add friends so you can share plex servers!

one note i installed rasplex, its very nice but it didnt work right on my raspberry A – so installed raspbmc and the plex plugin and it works flawlessly. Pretty straight forward when you have raspbmc installed.

  1. Download the PlexBMC add-on repository from here:
  2. Install this into XBMC (System > Add-ons > Install from zip file).
  3. Go to Add-ons > Get Add-ons > PlexBMC Add-ons for XBMC
  4. PlexBMC is a set of two add-ons.
    1. PlexBMC provides the main access to content. Enable it in Video, Music, or Picture (you only need to enable in one location). (This is required.)
    2. PlexBMC Helper allows you to control XBMC from a Plex remote (such as on mobile device or the web). Essentially it causes PlexBMC to appear just like a Plex Home Theater instance. Also required for “Now Playing” support. (This is optional, but highly recommended.)
  5. Once the add-ons are enabled, you can update to new releases simply by updating your add-ons within XBMC.



android on ubuntu

I just tested android in a virtual box machine on ubuntu worked great

1) Download VirtualBox, I installed from the ubuntu app store
2) Grab the image from AndroVM. The one you need, pick the one you want.
3) Just import the image into VirtualBox.
4) Run the VM.

i downloaded the VM from here and unzippped the isoi added it to a standard linux 2.6 VM and i did a install and i ran a live version. Both worked fine with sound and network. Only problem i had was the mouse so i disabled mouse integration and it worked fine!! give is a whirl i used all the stand options for the VM apart from i gate it 1024 ram and it worked fine!!!


nexus 4 and 7

nexusesthe iPad 2 was gathering a bit of dust mainly because of the lack of being able to connect external devices such as hardisks and mouse. I sold the iPad off and got myself the nexus 7 32gig with wifi and 3G. I got optional extras leather case with built in keyboard and break out cable for usb devices. Im currently waiting for a small bluetooth mouse which will come in really handy. The hardward quility is amazing and the screen is lovely to look at. The tablet is really responsive and a breeze to setup. When i firs powered it on it asked me a few questions including my google account details which setup sync for my contacts and calendars and notes using google services. I used the google play app to install all my apps that i needed and amazingly only had to pay for one or two! Now the first day i got it i used it for a full day and the battery lasted the full day which i was really happy with. Ive took the device to work with me and used it for general IT work including team viewer to fix remote servers and it works great! I was so happy with the android operating system and how much it has progressed since i last used it a year a so a go i decided to dump the iPhone 4s and get myslef a nexus 4 to match and again got a nice leather case for it and im amazed with the phone, probably the best thing i ever did was loosing the iphone and ipad for the nexus 4 and 7, they are both little gems. Before you get stuck in a apple world give the androids a try you get some lovely features including desktop widgets and loads of other goodies!!!
look out for the nexus or the samsung galaxy devices awesome…


can receive sms and mms but cannot send mms on 02

On the new nexus 4 i wanted to send a group message and this automatically changes the text message to a MMS message but he phone by default doesn’t have the required SMSC number in by default and doesn’t auto detect it so dialing *#*#4636#*#* brings up a troubleshooting/statistics menu page. Dial that and select Phone information and at the bottom you can enter the SMSC (Short Mail Service Center) number. I then clicked the refresh button and update this automatically put in the number required then i simply selected the back button and it was fixed!

android screenshot