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Modernizing myself through smartphone
 

I’ve had Samsung Galaxy S2 for two years. It has millions of applications and tons of functions, but I’ve used only few of them(calling, sending SMS, viber), seems stupid right? Probably is, but now I’ve had some free time. Few days ago, I joined to our current IT world.(upgraded everything to new version, downloaded new applications, customized a lot, started to use new concepts) .

Security

Gmail offers cool security option, called Two-step authentication. It essentially means that when you log in with a new device to gmail, you’ll be asked to provide extra-authentication code generated with your phone. Now unless someone steals your phone, you will be safe even when someone knows your password(you shouldn’t advertise your password though). The option is under “Security” in gmail. The funny thing is, even if your phone does get stolen with your password, it’s still possible to recover your account with third backup-mobile that you provide.

I also linked together few accounts, such as my work mail and hotmail. This provides another layer of security. You would also need to hack my other accounts if you want to take over my gmail. Now, don’t take it as a challenge :-) .

Next step, what happens when I lose phone? I don’t call myself paranoid, but when I am gonna spend my time tuning my dear little S2, I might as well take care of making it hard to crack.
1) Save phone’s IMEI to Google Drive – it can be tracked down by Estonian police later(they want good reason and 60€, or so).

2) Put a SIM card lock – meaning you need to insert password if you want to switch SIM-card. It’s not that safe though, user probably can flash the device, and the lock is gone.

3) Add a finger reader/PIN code to unlock your screen if it’s locked more than 30 minutes. It’s important to make sure that user doesn’t gain access to your gmail through phone. Note that GMAIL itself provides too a option when your phone gets stolen. It’s called “Gmail Wipe Device” and it will revoke gmail user rights & try to erase items like mails, calendar, contacts from your device.

4) Install AndroifTheft – it is free application that can track your phone & numbers if you enable it from the website. It can also see photos that have been taken & do pictures(SPYCAMERA).

If your phone gets stolen, it is easy to close your existing SIM card, get new sim card, with the same number, and everything will work. Essentially, if your mobile/phone gets stolen, the only thing that should happen in your life is that you should feel bad, as you’ve wasted money.

Latest Android

I actually LIKE Kies, though it has been ultra-shit to me. I’ve had such problems; “Kies forever updating”, and “Kies connecting to device forever”, but you can fix them if you google a little. Now, as for now, Kies can  upgrade only to ICS(Android 4.0) on S2(that’s what I did). With a little bit of hacking, I managed to install JellyBeans(I didn’t use KIES, but Odin&ClockWorkMod).

How can you do it? ( When you are using S2 GT-I9100 ICS 4.0 XWLP7 kernel)

Well, basically you can google it, it’s not hard. You need to root your kernel with Odin(v1.85). This gives you superUser powers. Then you need to install ClockWorkMod and download aokp_i9100_jb-mr1_build-4.zip to your SD card. After that, you just boot to recovery mode, and install that zip from sdcard.

What I found cumbersome, was finding exact KERNEL(I had ICS XWLP7) that I needed, a long with the JellyBeans that would work on my I9100(there are different versions of S2, and some of didn’t work for me, namely I9100G).

rooted kernel=CF-Root-SGS2_XW_XEN_LP7-v5.4-CWM5.zip<== FLASH THIS WITH ODIN

JellyBean=aokp_i9100_jb-mr1_build-4.zip  <== PUT TO SDCARD AND INSTALL USING CWM

Google app package;=pa_gapps-full-4.2-20130427-i9100-signed.zip <== PUT TO SDCARD AND INSTALL USING CWM

Note, all files can be found easily from Google.

I like JellyBeans, it looks nice and it’s pretty fast imo.

Applications I use

There are namely few I like;

  • Facebook – it’s such a simple application, yet it fulfills my requirements. Anyone who uses facebook, probably uses that application too.
  • Skype – yeah, sometimes I need to talk with skype contacts, and Skype has pretty nice interoperability with android. Each contact can be also skyped, if they have one. Or facebooked.
  • CouchSurfing – I am big fan of CouchSurfing and it has simple layout.
  • UK Jobs – Well, imo, it’s a nice application. Just provide keyword + location and you will be greeted with tens of thousands job offers, which you can submit to using single click. It let’s you send CV(selected from google drive for example).
  • Gmail – simple mail widget/app that can show mails.
  • TED – I like listening ted talks, this application is so simple, yet it fulfills my needs. Just browse through talks you are interested, and download them to your SDcard for offline view.
  • Authenticator – it’s google app necessary for Two-Step authentication.
  • Instagram – I like to hipsterize my pictures. They look awesome.
  • Amazon – Well, why not. I don’t use amazon that often but I will give it a try. Easy to use.
  • SEB Eesti – You can use mobile-id and login to your bank. Then you can proceed and pay to me.
  • Calendar – It’s default app, but it is synced with Google Calendar. My Google Calendar is synced with Outlook(Two-way). Two-way means that when I add something to outlook, it will be pushed to google calendar. And when I add something in Android, it will be pushed to Outlook. To sync between outlook/google calendar, you can use OggSync. It works well, as far I’ve used it.
  • GO BACKUP – This costs a little but it’s good application to sync ALL your data to google drive. Such as applications/contacts/and so on. You can later restore it easily.
  • Feedly – absolutely BEST RSS reader I’ve seen. Hands up! Simple to use, amazing content/search, etc.

 

I still got to do few things;

1) I need to hook SEB and Google Wallet together. SEB provides virtual credit card, but it expires within a month, thus useless for me. Maybe I need to make new permanent one. SWED users can use DEBEET+, it works.

2 I need mobile-ID, so I could pay with my phone and wouldn’t need code-card.

3) My phone restarts randomly, I’ve read it’s common problem. http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s3/693043-random-restarts-after-jelly-bean.html

I like mobile applications. They are as simple as needed. When I browse with my PC and see fucked up site, I immediately download mobile one :-)

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