Google Updates Maps to 5.7 with User Selected Caching – slightly misses the point

Google just announced a new version of Maps for their Android (2.1+) OS. In this new version they have released a highly anticipated feature in the labs section of the app. There is now the ability to cache maps to your handset so that you can view maps where you might not have signal. This would be great for traveling abroad or traveling in the boonies.  Since this is in labs, we can forgive them for missing features such as modifying the area that caches . However, Google seems to have missed the biggest reason people would ever want to cache maps: to use GPS navigation where there is no data.

After a bit of experimenting, it seems that while the maps themselves are cached, the app still has to reach out to the Google Maps server for navigation calculation.

Please let me know if there is a work-around or if I totally screwed this up.

Self-counter point: You can look at the maps that are cached, and figure the way visually.

Testing method:

  • Cached a fixed area
  • Turned off wifi and cell data
  • Attempted to navigate between two addresses which are known to be in the cached area.

Formatting Previously Partitioned SD cards with non-windows partitions in Windows

When I used to play around with my T-Mobile G1 (HTC DREAM),  the amazing hackers at XDA Developers worked around the storage limitations of the G1 by moving the apps to the SD card. However, this required you to partition your SD card. One partition was Fat32 (which windows recognizes), and the other was EXT3.

I now have a Nexus One which natively does APPS2SD without partitions. I wanted to get the partitioned space back, but since Windows doesn’t recognize EXT3, this seemed like an impasse without access to a Linux machine.

Luckily there is a simple but difficult-to-find native method in Windows to repartition the SD card into one large FAT32 partition (just like when it was new!).

Follow the steps to regain all your storage space:

  1. Plug your phone into the Windows machine with the SD card in the phone.
  2. Mount the storage. At this point you will only see the FAT32 partition.
  3. Open up Windows Explorer.
  4. Copy all your files from the mounted SD CARD to your windows machine for backup. 
  5. The following steps will WIPE YOUR SDCARD clean.
  6. Right-click on ‘My Computer
  7. Select ‘Manage‘ from the contextual menu
  8. In the left side navigation panel, under ‘Storage‘, select ‘Disk Management
  9. You will now see both partitions of your SD card, and your hard-drive.
  10. DO NOT FORMAT YOUR HARD-DRIVE!! :D
  11. Right click on the SD partition and select ‘Delete All the Partitions
  12. Once that’s done, right click on ‘Unallocated space‘.
  13. Select ‘Create New Volume‘.
  14. Enter the max size (most machines will predetermine this for you)
  15. Click OK
  16. Allow some time for the machine format the SD card.
  17. Copy all your backup files back to the SD Card.
  18. Congrats, you have your whole SD card back!

unTrust Bank

Saw this on the drive home last night and thought it was worth posting.

I wonder how fast SunTrust repairs this. I can’t imagine any worst signage issue for this company.

unTrust-Bank-1024x768

T-mobile handset theory update

It  seems that my earlier prediction is turning out to be correct.

There are now “confirmed” rumors about a dual-core flagship HTC device running Android  hitting the T-mobile retail shelves for the holiday season. Furthermore, it seems  Gingerbread  (Android 3.0) is being released on high end devices in October 2010.  With these two facts combined, it seems that T-mo will release a powerhouse Android device (HTC Vision?)  before the G1 owners have a chance to jump ship. Is this the long rumored Project Emerald?

As for the Samsung Brilliant, I feel it is made for people who want the iPhone but can’t/won’t use AT&T for whatever reason. The  Samsungs Touchwiz interface smacks of IP theft from Apple, and combined with Samsung’s poor record of updating phone software, I will be skipping this one.

Dual-core HTC Android T-mobile phone, you can’t be here soon enough.

Apple & gaming: Console coming to your tv, the controller is already in your pocket

During the reveal of the new iPhone, something struck me as very interesting. Cupertino’s new interest in Apple TV and the gyro installed in the new iPhone.

Why would they include an expensive gyro on top of the already present accelerometer? To me the answer is pretty clear.  Soon enough Apple with have 3 types of apps that they peddle through iTunes:

1)Regular iPhone apps

2)Apps HD (iPad apps)

and

3) Apps TV (for Apple TV)

Aside from all the regular stuff for Apps TV, Apple will focus on gaming. And if you already have an iPhone or iTouch, guess what buddy? You already have a controller. It will be like the Sega Dreamcast controller (with the tiny screen) multiplied by a million. Image the apps, the single player modes. Imagine the sports games where you can now secretly pick the blitz on your phone screen while the main game is showing on the  TV screen. The gyro in the new iPhone will allow for Wii style games and the other iPhones/iPod Touch  can partake in every other way imaginable.

Get ready for a gaming revolution. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, I hope you are ready for a fight

(Since I am an Android fan, I hope Google knows all this and has a master plan for domination :P)

I know this is a little out there.  However, considering the comments by Steve Jobs about the iPod touch being the ultimate gaming machine, this seems incredibly natural.

Thoughts? Your comment can also include your  rating of my sanity. 1 being stable and 10 needed institutionalization.

Also see the comments on the Hacker News