>New look on Google

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Google is planning a release of a new look on their search/result page. According to Swedish publication IDG you should be able to try it out. Note that it only works with google.com. Not any local domains. As I tried the instructions bellow I had some problem with Google redirecting me to google.se instead, if that happens to you just use http://google.com/ncr (ncr meaning no country I guess) and you will force it to use the US version.

To test Google’s new look, do the following:
1. Go to google.com (or google.com/ncr)

2. When the page is loaded, paste the following code in the address window in your browser:
javascript:void(document.cookie=”PREF=ID=20b6e4c2f44943bb:U=4bf292d46faad806:TM=1249677602:LM=1257919388:S=odm0Ys-53ZueXfZG;path=/; domain=.google.com”);

Remember to replace everything in the browser address bar with the above code.

3. Press Return.

4. Reload the page google.com or open a new tab
Personally, I like it. Probably I won’t be using it a whole lot since most of my searching needs are already covered, but I like the “filter” for blogs, news etcetera. Looks quite neat if you ask me. The debate on copying Bing or other providers doesn’t bother me that much, I rather feel that they are following a trend that you can see all over the Internet. All companies will be inspired by their competitors from time to time, as long as you add something new and not only plagiarize I see nothing wrong.

The CNet article that is the source for the Swedish version:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-10405227-265.html 
Swedish article:
http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.273320/sa-kommer-du-at-googles-nya-utseende
Original article (as far as I know):
http://searchengineland.com/google-streamlines-search-options-30143
Gizmodo article presenting how to try it out:
http://gizmodo.com/5412801/how-to-try-the-new-google-search?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+gizmodo/full+(Gizmodo)&utm_content=Google+Reader

>Samsung Galaxy i7500 Rooting

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Ok, I’ve tried for a long time now to get my Galaxy as good as my HTC Magic. Looking at Hardware I did upgrade when I got the Samsung, the software however. I had grown to like the HTC tweaks in Android (you can read about my keyboard hassle in older posts…).

So last week I gave in, and since “root” is a fact. So what is Root? Since Android is a Linux system the community started using the normal term for “user in full control”. Compare it with a Windows system, there are things you can’t do if your account lacks Administrator rights. Root is when you got those rights. I won’t go into details about how to root your Galaxy, there are a lot of places to read this already and they are more likely to be kept up to date than my blog. Posting some links at the bottom for you…

So what did I get for my Root experiment?
First of all, I installed another ROM (basically the OS of the phone, installation of this is also known as  Flashing). What I installed is a custom ROM (user-made) by Drakaz called “GalaxoHero”. As the name implies it borrows some good stuff from the HTC Hero, it won’t give you the HTC Sense UI but a nice theme impersonating Sense.
What I like in bullets:

  • Keyboard! My beloved HTC Keyboard is back, in Swedish.
  • Exchange support, almost. HTC Hero ships with a application called “Work Mail” that will allow you sync with an Exchange server, only mail though. Very strange since my old HTC Magic had full native Exchange support. Need to look closer into this further down the road.
  • Speed. It will never stop to amuse me when users at home manage to build a quicker system than companies with lots of paid engineers. It was exactly the same with my old Windows Mobile when I started flashing it.
  • Additional settings. Being root allows you to change stuff that Samsung/Google didn’t think you needed. For example I disabled the camera button since a bug had it running 100% even when locked, quick way to drain the battery.
  • Battery, might have something to do with the above. Neither the less my battery always last a day, sometimes two days.
  • Market, if I wanted I could enable paid apps on the Android market even though it doesn’t support Sweden yet.

I hate that Samsung/Google “forced” me to do this. Talking to my iPhone packing friends I always said that I wouldn’t consider a product a success if I had to hack it to use it fully (iPhone Jailbreak). With my HTC Magic I never saw the need for root. Well, I can comfort myself with better hardware so maybe it was worth it, maybe :)

Links for rooting:

Official home of the Galaxo and GalaxoHero Roms:
Recovery Image:
Swedish root instructions:

>The quest for a useful keyboard on Samsung Galaxy

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When I first started to use my Samsung Galaxy most of it was just fine. Almost instantly however I started to go nuts on the stock Android keyboard. I was used to my old HTC Magic and figured that I’ll get used to my new one. I didn’t. It’s just not that good, not for me that doesn’t like fullqwerty on phones at least. On top of that I need Scandinavian (or rather Swedish) letters (åäö).

Stock keyboard to the right (picture borrowed from Phone Area)

Getting scandinavian letters are simple enough:

  1. Go to the Android Market
  2. Search and install “Scandinavian Keyboard” (by Trygve Aaberge)
  3. Go to Phone settings -> Locale & Text
  4. Check “Scandinavian Keyboard”
  5. Find an input field (mail, messaging, anything will do).
  6. Long-press (hold down) at the text field, in the popup select input method
  7. Choose Scandinavian Keyboard.
  8. All set!

To make it even more useful you can use a matching dictionary, look at the Scandinavian Keyboard settings in the Locale & Text section for a direct link to the market.

This works like a charm. The keyboard however is still the lousy stock one. My quest continues… Then I found the HTC keyboard online! No root (hacked device) needed. I followed the guide here: http://androinica.com/2009/08/25/how-to-install-the-htc-android-soft-keyboard-without-rooting-your-phone/ Works just fine for me. Note that if you have a Donut device (Android 1.6) you need another version of the HTC_IME.apk. Make a Google search for the file name an you’ll find it, the instructions are the same.

Unfortunately, the Scandinavian keyboard thing above only seems to affect your default keyboard. So now I can choose, being able to write in Swedish, or with a much nicer keyboard. Quite annoying really. I’m guessing that if I found a friend with a Swedish HTC Hero or Magic they could pull out the keyboard with the settings for different languages intact…hmm I need new friends :)

Updates will follow when/if I find a solution!