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All posts by Eric Gingell

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Prologue

I got a new phone recently. It’s made in India and some of the English text is awkwardly worded. It’s not without its weird quirks, but well worth the incredibly low price ($180).

Quirks

  • Can’t directly access Google Settings. You have to make a shortcut using an app like QuickShortcutMaker (look in Google Services Framework).
  • Can’t manage trusted places or devices for Smart Lock.
  • Doesn’t sync Google Calendar out of the box. You have to get Google Calendar Sync from ApkMirror and install it (no need for root, just install it). Reboot afterwards.
  • Smart Powersaving Mode sucks. It’s far too aggressive, you should turn it off.
  • There’s a hidden multi-user feature which can only be accessed by making a shortcut with QuickShortcutMaker (look in Settings). There’s no way to switch users without unlocking the phone and switching from that hidden menu and only stock apps are available after seeing up a new user, so you have to reinstall QuickShortcutMaker and make a new shortcut to said hidden feature to be able to switch back.
  • Disabling notifications in the stock calendar app doesn’t work, so if you use a different app for that and you don’t want both apps to notify, you can simply deny Calendar access to Calendar in its permissions.
  • I have yet to find any way to block phone numbers.
  • It’s dual-SIM, but you can’t have two SIM cards and an SD card. You can either have two SIM cards or one SIM card and one SD card.
  • The battery is not removable.
  • If you use a third-party launcher, you have to make it default again in the system settings every time your launcher updates.

Perks

  • There are more options for per-app notifications.
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  • 64-bit, eight cores, and 3GB of RAM.

Tips

  • Long-click Back to show recent apps.

Final Fantasy XV is the latest in the long-running Squaresoft cash-cow. I’m going to share some insights:

Grind for AP:

  • Prerequisites: Noctis must be allowed to drive during the day and night, the Ascension-Exploration/Roadrunning node must be activated, the Regalia Type-F (beat the game), and sticky tape (but not the residue leaving kind).
  • Drive to Lestallum and switch to Manual (Noctis drives).
  • Start heading southwest and tape down the R2 button.
  • You will drive in an endless circle gathering up AP along the way (the green circle in the figure below).
  • Notes: You will hit the guard rail where I put “CRASH” on the figure below every single time, you will occasionally hit other cars, and, if Prompto hasn’t asked you who he should take pictures of, he’ll ask once and not again until you rest; otherwise, you will never be bothered.

Best Food

  • Lasagna al Forno: HP+4000, Double EXP, and nullifies fire, ice, and lightning.

  • Marrowshroom Clowder: Guarantees critical hits.

Notes:

  • Each 24 hour cycle is roughly 48 minutes real-time.
  • Playing Justice Defenders 5 doesn’t stop the game clock.
  • Pressing Triangle while driving activates the car horn.
  • If you hear, “imperials above us” or “magitek engine, it’s close” and you don’t want to fight, find a tree to hide under and they’ll leave after a short time.
  • The entrances to Steyliff Grove and Castlemark Tower are only open at night.
  • Paths. Look for paths. Almost everywhere you go will have at least a partial well-beaten path to follow.

If you have two or more Android devices and at least one of them is not rooted and you have a stubborn app that doesn’t have any way to backup its data to the sdcard, just use ADB.

Enabling ADB

First you have to enable Developer Options which is easy. Just go to Settings and scroll to the bottom of the General tab (or just scroll to the bottom if there are no tabs). If you see Developer Options, great, it’s already enabled. If not click About Device and find the Build Number/Version (it’ll either be right there or in one of the sub-menus) and click it several times until your screen says “you are now a developer”. Now, go back and click Developer Options and check USB Debugging.

Get Android SDK for your computer

There are many places from which you can download it. If, however, you get it straight from Google, it’ll come with a full IDE which you may not want or need.

Backup Your Shit

Plug the source device into the USB of you computer and open a command prompt then type adb devices. Click “Allow” on your device if necessary. The output shows which devices are attached. If it says “online”, you’re good to go. Just type adb backup PACKAGENAME -f PATHTOSAVEBACKUPTO -apk (PACKAGENAME can be acquired from the Play Store URL for that app). Then click “perform backup” or however it’s worded. Finally, unplug the devices when the screen on said device says the backup has finished.

Restore Your Shit

Plug the target device in and repeat the above except type this instead adb restore PATHTOSAVEBACKUPTO and click “perform restore” or whatever it says on the device. When the screen on that device says it’s finished, you’re all set. Enjoy your app with all its settings on your new device.

Social Note for System Apps

If restoring system app data, which I don’t recommend because there may be compatibility issues, omit “-apk” from the adb backup command. You can’t restore system apps, anyway, only their data can be restored.

LG G4

My Samsung Galaxy S5 is a piece of shit (at least the one I have is)–it’s the worst phone I’ve ever had and I had a Palm Pre–and Samsung’s heavily modified version of a perfectly functional Android OS called TouchWiz with proprietary hardware that only works with said, has gotten to the point of hindrance, so I bought an LG G4. It’s vastly superior and cost half as much. The power and volume buttons being on the back will take some getting used to, but at least it doesn’t freeze up requiring a hard-boot whenever I use the Browser and/or Maps. I haven’t rooted it, yet. It seems to be more difficult than the Samsungs are and I don’t want to brick it.

LG G4 (www.lg.com)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Teleport Stone farming: Go to The Yensa Sandsea and fight Urutan-Yensa on the tower platforms. Once you get a good chain going, they’ll drop lots of Teleport Stones among other things.
  2. Zalera Battle (Barheim Passage – Optional Esper): Level 49 is best for this fight as it’s not a multiple of 2, 3, 4, or 5 and it’s not prime, so none of his AOE spells work, including Prime Lv. Death, which is a nightmare when you have only five minutes before he kicks you out making you have to start over.
  3. Force Enemy Respawn: Move two zones away before returning. You can also (sometimes) trick the engine by using a different entrance to make it think you’re in a different zone.

Hints/Notes

  1. Max HP: Your max HP can break the traditional 9999 cap, but the display will only show “9999”. Why? I have no clue, but you can only achieve this with Bubble (Doubles max HP) or Infuse (Consumer caster’s HP to change target’s HP to 10x that amount). *Assuming Infuse works that way, I’ve never used it. Infuse doesn’t work that way.

T-Mobile Samsung Phones are Slow

I’m pretty sure I figured out why my SGS5 runs like a turtle high on weed. I found a process called “com.samsung.authentication.gba” running in the background. I have yet to figure out what it does. Since my phone is rooted, I fired up Titanium Backup and froze the “app” which has no name other than the process name and rebooted. Currently, my phone is running like a rabbit on crack; however, I have been fooled by the placebo effect before, so we’ll see how it’s doing after a while.

This applies mostly to Android 5.1.1 (codename Lollipop), but also works with Android 5.0.1 (also Lollipop).

Edit (note): If you have a GSM account (T-Mobile, AT&T), you have to do step 5 every time you restart the phone – the SIM card data overrides the user data.

Speed dial #1 is reserved for your carrier’s voicemail number, but if you use Google Voice, you can change it easily. You have to:

1. Install the Google Voice app. Open it and setup your account.
2. Open your stock phone app.
3. Click menu-»Settings-»Call, scroll down to the Voicemail section.
4. Click “Service Provider” and choose Google Voice.
5. Click “Voicemail settings” and click your voicemail number.
6. Enjoy.

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