Android · shopping

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 Impressions: On Battery Life and Launchers!

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 has arrived!
Photo taken with an iPad mini w/ Retina. XD The image has been compressed by Twitter though.

Yes, my impressions about this tablet are a few months late since I just bought it about a week ago online but just received it on Thursday. Since there are a lot of reviews out there already, I’m not going to go into the specs and general tablet information since they can be easily found through a simple search on a search engine. Instead, I’m just going to talk about my experiences with it.

First off, I love the tablet! The size is quite comfortable for me although, admittedly, a 7″ tablet would probably be even MORE comfortable for me to hold and type on but I do prefer the bigger screen.

Since I have a habit of writing a novel for a post, here are more thoughts in point form:

  • Set up was painless!
  • The screen is lovely and colours are quite vivid!
  • I ignored and continue to ignore most of the pre-installed apps since they are useless to me and there are probably better alternatives anyway.
  • Audio seems to hiccup a bit at the lowest or close to the lowest setting. :/ I’m not sure if it’s my device or if this is something that all MeMO Pad 8s experience. (A quick Google search returns with nothing. :()
  • Battery consumption is …. suspicious. I will go into more details about this below.
  • Screen brightness at the absolute lowest setting is strangely bright enough for indoor use without any issue. o_O It’s not like that with my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (where I have to squint to see things at the same setting) or iPad mini w/ Retina (viewable but a higher setting works better).
  • Camera is all right. It does the job. :3
  • Gosh, the Android ROM and customization community sure doesn’t care about this tablet! Can’t find a custom ROM for it anywhere. The closest I got was this: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2550264

All right. Now on with the potential battery problem.

Continue reading “ASUS MeMO Pad 8 Impressions: On Battery Life and Launchers!”

iOS · shopping

DecalGirl iPad mini with Retina skin: Ocean Rain

I received the skin yesterday and I must say that I really love the matte finish. I think I prefer it much more than the glossy look. (I have two devices with glossy skins from GelaSkins.)

Below is a gallery of photos where I show off my mini post-skinned. You’ll notice I ran into some hiccups here and there involving the right side (or left when viewed from the back of the device) where the holes in the skin just wouldn’t go over the buttons properly. There’s also that mysterious hole toward the bottom of the mini. The fold was so terrible at that spot that I ended up cutting it which is why you’ll see a gap below it. :\

Disclaimer: DecalGirl is in no way responsible for how the skin turned out for me so don’t hold them responsible for some of the less than desirable outcomes that are seen in the photos.

In a way, I wish I left the front piece off since I’m not terribly crazy about seeing the pattern there but I’m not going to take it off. ^^ I spent several minutes trying to get to sit right; I must have reapplied it around 3 times. I’m surprised how resilient it is to air bubbles and dust! This is quality adhesive, I tell you!

Overall, I’m pleased with the design I picked. But I have to say that in terms of patterns that appeal to me, I prefer the selection from GelaSkins over DecalGirl. The reason I went with the latter was due to the 25% New Years discount. XD Actually, as of this writing, they have a Valentine’s Day sale going on that ends February 7th. Check it out!

Android

Current home screen look/layout on my Galaxy Tab 10.1

Nova Launcher with rainy Theme (for Go Launcher EX) icons
Nova Launcher (not that you can tell) with rainy Theme (for Go Launcher EX) icons. The weather & date are part of the Glass Widgets bundle. Folders are from the GoToApp Demo.

I love skinning and applying themes to operating systems for my computers and mobile devices. I fiddled around with Go Launcher EX last night and then eventually moved to Nova Launcher. I might go back to Go Launcher EX since I’m too lazy to manually tweak my home screen and icons. XD (There are some visual issues with it though since it’s not optimized for tablet use. I haven’t tried the HD version yet.)

Anyway, yeah, I know Jelly Bean allows for folder creation but when I install a new launcher, I have to recreate all of them. (At least, that’s what it seemed like.) With GoToApp, it’s simply a 3-step process to have it recreate all folders since I already organized all my apps beforehand.

The one thing that always throws a wrench into layouts is the Pesoguin Talk app which is the one you see in the middle with the little penguin and a heart. It’s a slightly bizarre widget that spans 1 x 3 squares. The thing is, it could have simply been 1 x 2 and everything would fit all nice and tidy. But because it’s 1 x 3, there’s excess empty space on the right side of the penguin which always results in an awkward gap. Choosing to overlap icons doesn’t make things better because Pesoguin partially takes up the third square. 9_9

Oh yeah, the wallpaper is from Simple Desktops. Here’s a direct link to the page: http://simpledesktops.com/browse/desktops/2011/sep/21/mac-and-back-to-basic/

I’ll probably still take a look around and see what other launchers there are. Really hoping to find something that’ll either ignore the icon grids or shrink them. I want things to be more densely packed and the freedom to put shortcuts anywhere. I already modified it a bit through Nova Launcher but it’s not enough. ^^ I would also like the ability to select multiple shortcuts since, sometimes, when I’m rearranging things on the home screen and want to place everything on one side, it’d go a wee bit faster than to select, hold, and move each one separately. There’s a tweak for this for jailbroken iOS devices but I can’t seem to find one for Android. :/

Edit: Redid the layout a little. ^-^

Redid the layout (Nova Launcher)
Redid the layout (Nova Launcher)

Oh yeah! I managed to resize the Pesoguin Talk widget properly so now there’s no extra space on its right side. For some reason, when I tried it last night, all it did was shrink the penguin but the speech balloon stayed the same size. ^^ I wonder if changing the number of columns did something? It was set to 8 columns before but now it’s at 10 columns.

BTW, what you see in the above screenshots is totally doable without rooting. However, I think root access is needed to show widgets in the drawer but it’s an option in the settings so if you don’t have root or don’t want to give Nova access to it, then there’s no big loss as it won’t affect the launcher in any way.

Try and accomplish THIS level of customization on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without jailbreaking. It won’t happen. It will probably NEVER happen.

iOS · jailbreak

Favourite iOS themes (for jailbroken device only)

Upgraded my iPod touch to 5.0.1 and did the untethered jailbreak.

Took a few tries but I FINALLY got it to be stable. (I had the whole task switcher issue where double clicking on the Home Button would cause the touch to respring into safe mode. I think it was rectified when I did the jailbreak in redsn0w 0.9.10b3. Either that or some miracle happened.)

Anyway, I’ve been looking at themes last night and came across a few that I really love. Unfortunately, some of them are not optimized for iOS 5. I hope that’ll change soon though because I would love to use them at some point!

Back when I was on 4.3.5 JB, I only used Limbo HD (http://macthemes.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16809927).

Right now, I have Ho][ow HD (http://www.themeitapp.com/themes/theme-details.php?package=com.tit.ho.ow.hd) and I absolutely adore it. *__*  Here’s how I have it set up. 😀

Hollow HD
Smexy~~

Listed in no particular order, here are some other beautiful themes to consider~!  (Not all are compatible with iOS 5 though. .__.)