Galaxy Nexus Vs Moto X

I have acquired the moto x dev edition for verizon. My gnex is going to a good home (my father). So here are my thoughts. The main question, is it worth upgrading the gnex? Honestly, if you are buying a phone outright I do NOT think its worth it unless you care about a few new things. The gnex actually performs nearly as good as my new moto x (assuming you have rooted and customized it to). Here is my review:

I currently have 2 verizon phones – the galaxy nexus and the moto x from verizon. Here is what I have done to both phones before I give my review:

Gnex – I have rooted it and installed the latest 4.4 nightly from cyanogenmod. I have installed pacrom, aokp, etc as well and AOKP is definitely my favorite ROM but I am giving this phone to my father and think CM will be easiest for him as it updates itself through an OTA update.

Moto x – I have rooted it, installed Xposed (for gravitybox), deleted bloatware, and got it tether ready.


Speed/lag – I never noticed lag with my motox. Now that I have the moto x I am noticing where there was lag on my gnex. However, I dont think most people would notice it. It is not significant and doesnt make the phone perform any better/worse.

size – both are around the same size. the moto x is a bit smaller and screen appears to be the same size.

camera – i didnt notice a difference here and i dont really use the cams much either.

battery – much better on my motox. I get about 24hrs more. I think i got around 12-15 hours on average on my gnex and am getting 36+ on my moto x. i did have the 2200 size on my gnex too. this could be a breaking point for many people but i was able to go through the day and just charge each night with my gnex.

tethering – tethering was simple on my gnex. i just pushed the button and it works. it worked with a million tethering apps too. the moto x was not easy. it does not work with any of those apps. i had to go in and work in terminal to get tethering to work. i have a feeling i will need to do this with each OS upgrade too. I am not looking forward to it. It was not something a beginner will be able to easily do.

bloatware – none on the gnex. tons on my moto x. i had to delete it all but again this was easy once rooted.

active display – this is awesome. it is on both phones though. on the moto x its just automatically there. on my gnex i need to download dynamicnotifications app. i think each version (the app vs the native moto x app) each have some advantages over one another. this will be a preference thing but both basically function in the exact same way.

moto connect – Now this is new to me and I am really loving it. I can text – send and receive texts from my browser. This is really awesome as I work from home and dont alway have my phone on me. I can also take calls this way too. Very awesome. It could be worth upgrading for just this feature alone.

Dev support – tons of dev support for the gnex. it cant really be beat except for N5. Moto x seems good too just dont think it will ever be as good as a nexus device.

Company support – none for the gnex. phone is past its 18 months. seems like motorola is doing a great job with the moto x and I have a feeling that they will support longer than the standard 18 months given how they are still pushing this phone.

Overall that is my review. I dont think I really needed to upgrade my gnex. It was performing nearly as well as this new phone. I think it has another 1-2 years of life easily. If you do have the money though, it is worth the upgrade but its definitely not necessary.

Instructional design app

One of my project this semester was to have my students create a mobile app. They all did a fabulous job. These were my graduate students so I expected nothing less. Anyway, here is one of them which is available on the google play store. Its an instructional design information app:

Best Android Roms

Android Roms are different versions of the operating system that one can install when rooted. What are the best? Well its really a matter of opinion but the most popular are by far Cyanogenmod and AOKP. I personally like AOKP and I have used cyanogenmod, aokp, paranoid android, pacman, and carbon. After using all of these I kept going back to AOKP. That is my preference though and downloads for them can be found here Here are a few sites that discuss the features of each:

cmod vs aokp vs paranoid

Infographics showing the features of:


Paranoid Android


CM 10.2

*Note that pacman is not discussed in any of these. It is simply a combination of cmod, aokp, and paranoid. It is awesome but I was only using the aokp features it offered so I figured I would just switch back to the stock aokp.

Why root your android phone?

There are a million reasons why you should and should not root your android phone. I am going to go through some of the more popular reasons now. In a later post I will go through how to root your phone and what to do once you are rooted.

Why Root:

1. Get rid of bloatware – unless you bought a nexus phone it will come preinstalled with tons of extra software that you may or may not actually need. This is referred to as bloatware as it bloats your system and can actually slow it down. Why not let me choose what software I want on it? With rooting you can choose what you want. I would root just for this reason alone. Then again I would never buy a droid unless it was a nexus device:)

2. Get the latest updates – when you root you can get the latest version of android within days of it being released. If you are not rooted you might actually never get the update. Only a very small % of phones are updated to the latest version of android out there. Do you know why your phone is not updated? It would require samsung/lg/etc to work on the operating system and test it on your phone. Why do they care to that if you phone is already 6 months old and they are focused on the newer ones that replaced it already?

3. Apps – Yes there are tons of cool apps out there that will not work unless you phone is rooted. However I will admit this isnt much of a concern for most people

4. Use cyanogenmod or AOKP or Baked Beans (among many others) – what does this even mean? These are groups that have taken the android operating system and improved it. If you are rooted you can install their version on your phone. They offer tons of great options and themes. For example putting the battery % on the notification bar, weather, or date. Basically allowing you to do whatever you would like.

5. A very advanced feature – access to the phones internal controls. If you do not know what that means just ignore this as a feature until you are ready to test it out.

Why Not to Root:

1. Voids warranty. If you are unsure you might want to wait until your warranty runs out. However remember you can unroot.

2. Brick – if you brick your phone (ie break it) you are out of luck. However its not very easy to do.

3. Nexus – if you have a nexus you might not really need to root. You have stock android to begin with and should get your updates fairly fast.

4. Rooted apps coming to non rooted devices – in some cases this is happening so some of the great features rooted users have always enjoyed are now on regular devices such as a wifi hot spot.


How to make a .keystore file

A .keystore file is needed when creating Android Apps. In order to create one (if you are not using Eclipse) do the following: One would do this for software like Adobe PhoneGap and its very easy to do on both the Mac and PC. Here are the steps:

1. Open up terminal (unix/dos dialog box). On the Mac this is under applications->utilities->terminal on the PC its under Start->Programs->Accessories. It will simply be a command prompt for you to type.

2. Type the following (you cannot copy/paste):

keytool –genkey –v –keystore my-release-key.keystore –alias alias_name –keyalg RSA –keysize 2048 –validity 10000

a. You need to change my-release-key.keystore to your own file name. So it could by like: raypastore.keystore if I wanted. This will be your file name.

b. alias_name should be changed to another name as well. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS. You will more than likely need this to use your .keystore file.

3. Press enter. You will be prompted with a few questions asking your name and such. Please remember your password.

4. Use the file. You will need your alias name and password. If you have trouble finding the created file just do a file search for .keystore and it will come up.


Android 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 has been announced by Google. We dont know any detail yet but I hope this means a new nexus phone by the end of the year that works on LTE and is NON Contract:) I also hope this means my galaxy nexus finally gets update 4.3…

Android 4.4 KitKat