As we all know, I own an Xperia Z3 Compact. Since I do want to optimize my phone so that bloatware will be super minimal, I decided to disable some of Sony’s apps. One of which is the Movie Creator app. This app automagically (if that is even a word) creates light slideshows from the Albums app automatically. For me, this is just one of those fancy apps that I won’t be using so much so I decided to disable it. To my surprise however, disabling the Movie Creator wreaked havoc to my camera app. Turns out the Time Shift Video mode in the stock Sony Camera App is well tied with the Movie Creator Apps. Therefore, disabling it will affect out Time Shift Camera Mode. What happened did you ask? Well, the Camera App worked. It recorded videos in 120 fps. However, you can’t edit it to slow down parts of the video! You read that right. You can’t edit if the Movie Creator is disabled! So for all Xperia users out there, please do not disable the Movie Creator! Cheers!
Recently, I was able to get an Xperia Z3 Compact phone. It’s a small phone with a stellar performance. However, after days of tinkering, I was not able to find a way to make those birthday entries appear in the calendar widget even though they appear in the stock calendar app itself.
I did not lose any hopes of finding the solution. I tried using a different widget and other calendar apps but I still came back to the stock Xperia calendar app (its nice and clean!). And then, a wild thought appeared. “What if I try to install Google Calendar and use its widget instead?”. I was hesitant at first because the stock Google Calendar widget app sucks in Jelly Bean and Kitkat. However, recently, I read that Google updated its design to reflect their “Material” design language. So I told myself, “This could work. I have to try Google Calendar again.”. To be honest, material design of Google calendar was indeed fantastic compared to other Google apps that really suck in my opinion (I’m looking at you Google Play Store!). The design was so good that I wanted to ditch the stock Z3 Compact calendar. However, after trying to add find the Google calendar widget, I noticed that the a birthday calendar event was added into it! I was surprised at first. Did it fix the stock calendar bug? I hurriedly check my widget list and tried to find a “Google Calendar” widget entry again. To my surprise, it didn’t have an entry in the widget list! That is when I realized that the Google Calendar app might have fixed the problem! It may have installed the necessary functionality in order for the birthdays to sync in the stock calendar widget or it may have woken up the stock calendar. Whatever it is, it fixed what I call the birthday bug in the stock Xperia Calendar Widget! Hurrah!
Well, that was for the back story. To summarize:
In short, in order to make the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Stock Calendar Widget to show birthday entries (or any other Sony phone with such bug), just install the Google Calendar app!
PS: I don’t really know what will happen if you uninstall the app after the stock calendar widget was fixed since I kept the Google Calendar app installed. ;)
Did you know that you can access the quick settings box in your Android status bar by just swiping it? Yes! You can. Just pull down the notifications bar and swipe to the left. ;-)
Google is converting all of its apps to conform to their material design for the past few months. While it’s good to have a redesign in all of their apps, I can’t help but notice their material translation of they Google Play Store. Personally, I don’t like their material translation of it. Why? It’s because the colors feel cheap. Just take a look at this:
Look at that glorified play store header. It feels dirty. Plus the dirty white background does not really work for me. It’s like play store is sending a message to its consumers that they are selling scrap metal (or apps) in this app. On the other hand, let’s take a look on their new play store logo :
It kinda sucks compared to their very own maps logo. A dirty white briefcase? Seriously?
Anyway, I hope Google decides to redesign their logo and their Play Store and remove the dirty white and other dirty colors. It’s kinda annoying you know.
As we all know, our trusted mapping application for Android does not support full offline navigation (ahem. Google Maps). Coming from the Symbian world, I was shocked when I found this out. Why? It’s because the Symbian platform that so many of fanboys out there hate supports offline maps like since forever! Yes. No need for fancy internet connection. Just get your GPS enabled device and roam the city! Anyway (that leaked out my silent love for Symbian), you are reading this post for one big reason – to get offline maps on your Android-powered device. So without further ado, I introduce to you Here Maps by Nokia!
While I was tinkering with my Xperia Z3 Compact, I stumbled upon the quick settings page in the notification toolbar. It’s handy but I was quite disappointed when I realized that it lacks some of my most needed toggles such as the GSM and WCDMA switches.
However after a few days, I discovered that if you long press a specific tile in the quick settings bar, you can actually see additional options which you can access in order to quickly access additional settings in you phone! Very nice!
This technique also works in other tiles such as Bluetooth and WiFi so you won’t have to navigate to the app drawer and to the settings page just to change the wireless connection!
Biker: Danny Macaskill