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DarkyROM v10.1 released

The long awaited final version of Darky’s ROM has now been released. Version 10.1 is based on the latest JVH Gingerbread firmware and also uses the Dark Core v2.4 kernel. It contains a whole wealth of bugfixes and tweaks to get the Samsung Galaxy S running as it should have done to start with!

The flashing process is relatively painless and thoroughly detailed on the DarkyROM forums. First of all it is necessary to install a base JVH ROM and then flash Darky’s ROM on top, but the instructions given are extremely detailed.

About page showing Darky's ROM installedI’ll definitely be giving Darky a donation for his efforts. Excellent work!

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Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup for Android is undoubtedly one of the most useful applications for anyone who has a rooted phone and likes to play around with custom ROMs and kernels. It allows you to make backups of your applications and saved data (e.g. contacts, game saves, wifi points) so that when you update your ROM and the application data is wiped, it’s then possible to restore your apps and data.

The app is free from the Market, but a Pro version is available with extra features, such as:

  • Multiple backups for each application (the free app is limited to one backup per application)
  • Backups can be encrypted
  • Apps can be frozen rather than just uninstalled
  • Scheduled backups
  • Integration with Dropbox
  • …and many more

All of these are useful in their own way, but personally I paid for the app just to thank the developers (although I had to donate via their website as the PRO Key on the Market can be temperamental). As mentioned before, anyone who installs custom ROMs should definitely have this app installed.

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Flash Player 10.3 now available for Android phones

Adobe have announced via their blog that Flash Player version 10.3 is now available on desktop platforms and for Android phones. The update includes various security fixes and performance enhancements, especially for those with tablets running Honeycomb.

Another notable feature is ‘enhanced privacy protection’, which means you can now remove Flash ‘cookies’ from your device. A full changelog for the update is available here.

Android users can download the latest update through the Android Market.

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Soccer Scores – FotMob – live scores app

I’ve used several live score apps from the Android Market in an attempt to get something as simple and useful as the Sky Sports iPhone app, but none of them have come close. The closest I had found was the ESPN app, but it was slow to update and sometimes wouldn’t even update at all. Finally though, I’ve come across the Soccer Scores – FotMob app. This app seemingly offers everything that the Sky Sports app does and more.

FotMob picture 1

The app works in a similar way to the Sky Sports app and is very intuitive. You can see the latest scores, the team lineups and statistics.

FotMob picture 2

But where it seems to be ahead of the competition is by offering notifications – you can set it to notify you on score updates for certain matches or teams. The notification time period can be changed so you can even get score updates every minute. The updates are very quick – I was listening to the Fulham vs Liverpool game (pictured above at a very early stage) and score updates were sent to my phone about a minute after being scored. The app is free with adverts, but the ads aren’t that intrusive. It’s possible to buy a year’s subscription to the app without passwords, but I might leave that until the start of next season. This app is highly recommended.

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Darky ROM v10 RC6 released

The latest release candidate of Darky’s ROM v10 has been released. A full installation guide is available on the darkyrom.com forums. I had been planning to update to RC5 but RC6 was released on the day I’d planned to do it so now I have RC6 on my phone:

About page after Darky ROM v10 RC6 installedFollowing the installation guide also installs the Darkcore 2.2 kernel. The guide is straightforward to follow. I chose to completely wipe my phone, as there were so many remnants of uninstalled applications on the internal memory that it would have taken a while to clear everything up.

I have to say that since installing my phone is working better than ever, everything is smooth and there’s no longer any noticeable lag (I’m running with the lagfix enabled which undoubtedly helps). Once the final v10 is released I’ll definitely be making a donation to Darky’s team for their efforts. It just makes you wonder why the stock ROM isn’t this good?

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Android Market now has more free apps than Apple’s App Store

A report by Distimo shows that the number of free apps available on the Android Market has now overtaken Apple’s App Store. At the time of the report. there were 134,342 free apps available for Android, compared to 121,845 for Apple. Of course, this report makes no mention of quality, and it’s certain that a vast number of these free apps are not at all useful, but it shows that developers are starting to take Android more seriously, and that Apple should be worried about being overtaken.

It would be useful if some better statistics were available – such as number of 4*/5* apps in each market, although this is open to abuse and the people who leave ratings are fairly similar to those that leave YouTube comments (i.e.  not good).