Posts in Category: Android

How to use WhatsApp web on Firefox

Update: They changed something, right now Firefox works natively, no need to spoof the user agent anymore

Old article left for reference

As you might know, WhatsApp Web works only on Google Chrome... or that what they want us to believe! I don't know if they put such a limitation after some "money incentive" from Google, or just because they don't have enough funds to do testing on Firefox (I can understand this, they were valued just 20 billion dollars).

The truth is that on Firefox it will work very well, this is how to enable it:

First of all, download UAControl.

Install it and restart Firefox. Then search "chrome user agent" on Google and click on the first result. Copy the user agent (which is a browser identifying string). Then go to UAControl and add Chrome user agent for the address ""

Voilà! Magically, now WhatsApp Web works also on Firefox!

After pairing:

Notifications are working also:

What's weird is that if I go to see on my BlackBerry Z10, WhatsApp says that's connected to Firefox!!!

Farewell to Waze?

You might have read the rumors about a Facebook acquisition of Waze for a billion dollars. But, unfortunately, it looks like Google is near to do it it for 1.3 billion.

Waze is a free GPS navigator that uses users contributions to update maps and give information about traffic and speed traps. It's the most popular free alternative to Google Maps.

If the acquisition won't be forbidden by regulators, in a few months it will be disabled, as it happened for Sparrow, Meebo, BumpTop, Wavii...

What a pity...

How long does a smartphone battery last?

It's 10 am and after receiving a long phone call (15 minutes) I'm just with 46% of battery left. At 10 am. Just three hours after disconnecting it from the charger, I'm with less than a full charge.

On the left there is the battery stats from Battery Eta. If you don't count Sunday ("Domenica" - I went to the beach and I left the phone charging the whole day), the average duration is disappointing... 12 hours. It means that if during lunch break I forget to charge my phone, after dinner the phone is dead.

It's the battery? No, it always behaved like that. Tthis phone (T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide), when is not in a good reception area (see the screenshot, I only have one bar), increases the transmission power to a ludicrous level, eating battery like hot cakes.

In optimal conditions it lasts about 48 hours, but I would have to move in a new house, so it's not a good solution.

I could disable the Gmail push mail, but at that point I could carry a cheap dumbphone with infinite battery.

How long does the battery last to you? I'm curious to know if I'm just an isolated case or it's normal that nowadays a phone have to last just half day.

Microsoft puts Windows Phone in a corner

A while ago, Microsoft released Halo Waypoint, an app to follow the latest news from the Halo World.

For promoting it, they placed on the official website this image (already replaced):

I don't know what you think about it, but I find it very hilarious!

Have you ever seen a company that places their own phone with competitors phones, keeping it in a corner, half hidden, maybe too shy for a direct match, with the competitor names written in a BIG WHITE font, and their "Windows Phone 7" in grey, much smaller, as a remind to its lesser success??

Of course, after that someone let them know the problem, they switched the image with an inverted one, but it's still a big gaffe.

I'll continue to criticize: when the Nokia Lumia 900 was launched, there were rumours about the upgrade path to Windows Phone 8. Current devices won't be upgradable, the rumor said.

Of course if it was true, the sales of the Nokia Lumia would have been hurted a lot, so, Microsoft promptly denied the rumour, promising the upgrade.

What happened last week? Windows Phone 8 was announced and the upgrade won't be available.

A great way to thank faithful customers, right?

Analyze data with closed eyes

I just read an article that says: developers like iOS more than Android. The proof is given by Flurry, a plugin to analyze the user behaviour in apps. According to them, there are much more iOS apps that use Flurry than Android apps.

Ok, but this data is only about apps that use Flurry.

If an app doesn't spy the user behaviour with it, does not count!

And then, it's possible to directly use Google Analytics in Android apps, why I should use Flurry?

Moral: beware of stats published by an Apple fanboy, the data has been analyzed with closed eyes.

Maxthon is my new favorite Android Browser

By chance I tried Maxthon Browser for Android and I have to say that it's awesome! (I tried it on the BlackBerry PlayBook)

Fast, has a nice skin and menus are organized in an intuitive way.

As usual, I judged the book from the cover, and I did not really like it... I tried the desktop version in a chinese internet point, and it was just an Internet Explorer 6 wrapper... wow...

So I thought, maybe Maxthon is popular in China, because it's written by chinese and it satisfies local needings.

Then, recently I tried it and I saw that it's really the best Android browser. (unless that your phone is powerful enough for Chrome, in that case there is no game)

Maxthon for Android has many skins (but just two of them are nice, the others are unusable), and the gestures are easier compared to Dolphin Browser.

It's free, try it.

Learn Japanese Colors with my Android App!

Remember my BlackBerry app to learn the Japanese Colors? I have submitted it to the App World, but it hasn't been approved yet. Maybe RIM it's still busy approving the thousands of PlayBook apps that has been submitted last month to get a free developer device.

Meanwhile I ported it to Android and published on the Android Market Google Play. It's an easy game, but it's lightweight and I think that in a few minutes you will know the most common Japanese Colors.

Get it on Google Play

Ps: did I mention that it's free?

The Android Market now is Google Play!

I bought an app on the Android Market and I got this message:

They changed the name in order to sell music, movies and books (of course those three are not available in my country). I don't like the new name, I preferred Android Market...

Minimum requirements for Android - how to choose the right handset

Android, due to its openness, it's rapidly spreading, and every month new Android-based handsets are released.

But, to sell more units, manufacturers are making low-end devices for a cheaper price, maybe too chep to have a decent experience. What to take in account to choose a device that won't disappoint us? Here is my experience:

T-Mobile G1
  • Release date: October 2008 - the first Android-based mobile
  • CPU: 528 Mhz - just the minimum, not fast, not too slow.
  • RAM: 192 MB - it's impossible to have more than two apps opened at the same time. Open the browser and the home will close. Close the browser and you have to wait 5 seconds to load the home. Open contacts and wait other 5 seconds. Extremely frustrating. With cyanogenmod it's possible to add some cache, but it does not make a miracle...
  • Internal memory: 256 MB - but just 50MB can be used. The browser takes 15 MB, Google Maps takes 10, Gmail 5, just install THREE apps from the Market and you've got full memory! angry
  • User experience: awful - slow and unresponsive, a little better with cyanogenmod and various hacks
T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide
  • Release date: June 2010
  • CPU: 600 Mhz - Whoa, much better than the G1! This is next-gen, with integrated GPU. You can really feel the difference!
  • RAM: 512 MB - Yay!!! You can open dozens of apps, and you'll never run out of memory! Just a few minutes and my G1 is forgotten in a drawer.
  • Internal memory: 512 MB - but just 150MB can be used... you have to hack the system and repartition if you want to install more than 20 apps.
  • User experience: much better! Maybe a little slow in some cases, but it's ok.
HP Touchpad
  • Release date: June 2011 - the first webOS-based tablet (+ Android 4 in dual boot)
  • CPU: Dual core 1.2 Ghz - wow!!! Extremely fast!!!
  • RAM: 1 GB - If with 512 MB was impossible to run out of memory, think what you can do with the double!
  • Internal memory: 3 GB! You can install hundreds of apps!
  • User experience: Awesome!

So, from my experience, those are the minimum requirements to have a decent experience:

  • CPU: 600 Mhz - does not matter THAT much, it's better to have more RAM - once the app it's loaded, it's fast
  • RAM: at least 320 MB
  • Internal memory: at least 256 MB accessible to the user

If one of this requirement is not met, I can guarantee you that you will be disappointed from your Android mobile. (unless you use the phone just to make calls and send text - but you can just use a dumbphone for that)

How to show the new softkeys in the Ice Cream Sandwich emulator

For some reason, the Ice Cream Sandwich emulator does not show the new softkeys that will replace the home back and menu hard keys on new Android handsets. How to enable it?

Just go to the AVD Manager (the program that manages the emulator virtual images), select the Android 4 image, then add the property "Hardware Back/Home keys" and set it to "no"


And this is the final result:

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