Gallery app for Android 5 Lollipop

If you have recently updated your Android device to the latest Android version 5 “Lollipop“, you may have noticed that the “Gallery” app has been replaced by Google’s brand-new “Photos” app which depends on Google Plus. If you don’t like the idea of linking your photos to Google’s social network, or if you have disabled/uninstalled the Google Plus app altogether, there is a way to get back the familiar Gallery app without compiling it yourself by pulling it from a CyanogenMod image. Here is how. [...]

How to install Japanese OpenWnn input method on Android via the Android SDK

Installing a Japanese IME on Android can be a little tricky since the semi-official OpenWnn IME, which is included in Japanese Android systems, is not available on the Android Market. Sure, there are alternatives, like Simeji or various OpenWnn derivatives, but if you look carefully, you will notice that they usually do not provide their source code and list full internet access as a requirement. If you feel uncomfortable with the thought of transmitting everything you type (including passwords) to a third party, and if you prefer to keep your phone free of binary software, this tutorial is for you. The following tutorial will show you how to download and set up the Android SDK (software development kit) to pull the the original open-source OpenWnn IME from a virtual Android device… [...]

IrDA (infrared) data transfer on Ubuntu

Many mobile phones in Japan (still?) come equipped with IrDA ports which allow for data transfer with other IrDA enabled devices. It’s a cheap and easy way to send contact details from one phone to another, or to transfer content from your phone to your computer, and it’s a lot easier to set up on Linux than I had expected. In fact, I finished backing up my phone data so quickly that I had some spare time left and decided to write this short tutorial on how to set up IrDA on Ubuntu. This has been tested on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and 10.10 (Maverick) with a SigmaTel IrDA dongle (“SigmaTel STIr4200″, according to dmesg) and a SoftBank Samsung 730SC mobile phone… [...]

Android phones & East Asian language support

Until a few years ago, if you frequently travelled to Asia or wanted to send a message in an East Asian language, you usually had no choice but to buy a mobile phone from the country you’re communicating with. At that time, only a limited number of phones were capable of handling Unicode and displaying East Asian character sets. Thankfully, with the advent of smart phones, and especially Google’s open source Android operating system, this has changed, and mobile phones have become much more international. Today it is possible to have one mobile phone and install support for a whole set of different languages. Basically everything you need to know to fully convert your phone to Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other language… [...]