Apple recently came out with the new Operating System for their tablet computer, the iPad. Even though the Apple iPad has only been out since April, it has already become one of the most revolutionary gadgets on the market today, and this most recent upgrade was the most anticipated upgrade since its initial release.
The screen shot above shows a typical iPad home screen, with the main apps which come installed on the device after the upgrade to the latest operating system, which is iOS 4.2.1. These apps include the following:
- Safari, the web browser
- Email, the email program
- Photos, for viewing photos and images
- iPod, for browsing and playing the music library
- Calendar, for viewing and adding appointments
- Contacts, for keeping contact lists
- Videos, for watching TV shows and movies
- Notes, for editing notes
- Maps, for displaying map information
- Youtube, for viewing videos from youtube.com
- iTunes, for downloading and browsing movies and music
- App Store, for browsing and downloading apps
- Settings, for viewing and changing iPad device settings
- Game Center, for setting global user gaming information
The Safari, Email, Photos and iPod apps appear on all home screens on the iPad while all other apps will scroll to the side when you flick you finger across the screen. Basically, the iPad screen looks the same once the upgrade has completed, until you click the Home button twice in a row quickly. This raises up the wallpaper and reveals the multi-tasking toolbar at the bottom of the home screen, as illustrated below. This is the biggest feature found in this upgrade of the operating system.
The bottom screenshot shows the apps which had been started since the iPad had been powered on. All these apps remain in memory and can be re-displayed on the screen by simply tapping them once from the multi-tasking bar on the very bottom of the ipad Home screen. The major drawback of this feature is that the more apps are running, more memory is used, which causes things to slow down considerably.
One way to remedy the situation, is to tap and hold any one of the apps displayed on the bottom until they begin to shake or wiggle. While they’re wiggling, minus signs are displayed on the top left corners on every icon representing every app. Tapping these minus-icons will in fact close the apps which are no longer needed, freeing up memory and improving the performance of the iPad device. This is highly recommended and certainly something to keep in mind, definitely after having used the ipad for several hours. Closing apps will free up memory and improve the performance of the device. Another thing people have noted is that the iPad had used the battery more quickly since the upgrade, and that me be due to the new multitasking feature. Although it is nice to have this feature, keep in mind that running so many apps at the same time will come at a price, which is calculated in processor speed and battery life. Be careful and take time to close those apps, which are no longer needed!
One of the most important aspects of Android is it's openness. This is what truly sets it apart from iOS and Apple's seemingly dictatorial handling of it's products.
So what is root?
Well if you want a literal definition, dictionary.com has quite a few of them.
Rooting is similar to jailbreaking an iPod or iPhone, but it's much easier, not near as risky, and technically not jailbreaking but taking admin control of your device.
I want to emphasize this, rooting is not jailbreaking, rooting is something entirely different and better.
There are many guides scattered throughout the internet on how to root specific phones and I will post links at the end of this article for some of the more popular handsets available right now. This article is not a guide on how to root, but is more of an explanation on why you should or shouldn't root.
Here are a few things that having root access allows you to do:
You will have 100% full access and control over your system.
You will be able to alter or replace system files.
You can change anything and everything to make your device truly your own. Anything from applying a new theme to a new bootloader.
You can run special apps that give you more control over your system or do things that require more control over your system.
- SuperUser (lets you approve or deny the use of root access to any program)
- Task Manager For Root (Lets you kill apps. Task managers are very controversial in the Android community and many people say they ruin your phone while others say they are a necessity.)
- Tether apps (like the one found at [android-wifi-tether.googlecode.com])
There is an infinite number of other things rooting lets you do to your phone such as overclocking your phone or applying new ROMs (like a different version of Android, made by different programmers in the Android community based off of the original source code released by google).
The Motorola Droid has been the best phone i ever bought for many reasons. It has a great keyboard, it runs the newest version of Android, it has a large enough screen for my needs, but most importantly, it is very easily rooted. In addition to being easily rooted, it is also easily overclocked to amazing speeds. The Droid comes stock with a 550 mhz processor. Mine runs at 1ghz. Other people have recorded speeds of up to 1.3ghz, more than twice the original speed with little effect on battery life or cpu temperature.
More recent Motorola phones have not been as easily rooted as the original Droid. They have encrypted bootloaders and also what is called an efuse which SUPPOSEDLY fries the phone if you try to hack it. But the dedicated Android community has successfully hacked it and the Droid X and Droid 2 can be now be overclocked. More importantly though is the fact that the recovery image can be replaced, allowing for custom ROMs to be installed.
A good place to start rooting is Android Forums They have many guides on how to root, links to custom ROMs, and also a large community to help you out with any problem or question you might have.
Guides to rooting:
Android is an operating system, originally made for cell phones, but is also available for tablets. Android has also been ported to run on desktop computers as well. http://www.android-x86.org/
Android has recently taken the mobile phone market by storm. As of September 7th 2010, Android holds 16.3% of the smartphone market, as compared to the iPhone's iOS 14.7%. Android is one of the most rapidly growing smartphone platforms available right now, and is projected to hold 51.2% of the smartphone market by 2014.
Dan Morrill explained in On Android Compatibility, “Android is not a specification, or a distribution in the traditional Linux sense. It’s not a collection of replaceable components. Android is a chunk of software that you port to a device.”
Linux · Underneath everything is a reasonably up-to-date Linux Kernel. Android runs on Linux, but but it isn't exactly a distro because it leaves out so much that people expect in one: libraries and shells and editors and GUIs and programming frameworks. It’s a pretty naked kernel, which becomes obvious the first time you find yourself using a shell on an Android device.
Dalvik · The next big piece of Android is Dalvik, comprising the VM and a whole bunch of basic runtime essentials. All the standard APIs that you use to create Android apps are defined in terms of Dalvik classes and interfaces and objects and methods.
How It’s Generated · Native code is currently produced more or less exclusively by compiling C or C++ code; but that isn't the only way you can code for Android. Dalvik code is currently produced by generating Java bytecodes and translating them, but again, there are many ways you can program apps for Android.
Android apps are defined as code that runs on the platform and uses the APIs. As long as an app does these things properly, it doesn't matter how it got generated.
What’s In an App? · An Android app lives in what’s called an APK file, basically a ZIP file with a particular internal file layout that allows it to be run in place, without unpacking. There’s nothing magic about them, you can email them around and drop them on USB drives and extract pieces by unzipping.
Android is an amazing operating system, but there is much more to it than all this technical mumbo-jumbo. The part of Android that i believe everybody should look into because it personifies open source nature of Android, is rooting. More on rooting in my next article.
I’ve been looking a lot lately at online blogs and I have come across some great bloggers, I came across some of the more well known bloggers and some great bloggers that aren’t as popular.
I’m going to start with Benjamin Heckendorn.
Ben has been around for a while blogging on http://benheck.com/ about all his technology modifications and hacks, he has become most famous for his Xbox and Ps3 Portable Laptops.
Recently ben heck has entered Revision3 creating his own TV show The Ben Heck Show, he features the construction of his Xbox 360 laptop build as well as some user chosen mods such as the one handed Xbox controller.
Next up Chris Pirillo.
Chris came famous back in 1996 with Lockergnome, offering tons of tricks and tips for all the applications you could possibly run on your operating system.
It still contains all the suggestions chris could give for on great websites and software you can use no matter how wacky it can seem.
Chris Pirillo also runs Geeks.pirillo.com a social network, forum and blogging network based on the ning platform, which made the beginning of my friendship with Rex Torres (Script Boy) and Joe Whitcomb (Zezura).
http://chris.pirillo.com (Personal Blog)
Then Finally Snick from me.isnick.net
This blog isn’t extremely popular but it is one of the most friendly around, It’s writers focus on all things technology related, I even had the opportunity to blog for Snick not that long ago.
It’s defiantly a must read blog.