Friday, March 21, 2014

How To Get Android KitKat Immersive Full-Screen Mode On Any Device

How To Get Android KitKat Immersive Full-Screen Mode On Any Device

Android KitKat 4.4, introduced by Google late on last year, brought with it an abundance of useful features, but due to the fragmented nature of the ecosystem, not everybody on Android has been able to enjoy its numerous perks. In fact, only a very small fraction of the Droid-wielding faithful have tasted the chocolatey, delicious new flavor, but thanks to the dedication of a wider community, those on older firmware needn’t miss out on all of the new features. The Immersive Mode, for example, turns the process of using any one of you favorite apps into a full-screen experience, and now, thanks to a third-party app, you don’t need to be on KitKat 4.4 to take advantage.

Thanks to the endeavors of developer Pieter Pareit, Immersive Mode is no longer reserved only to those on Android 4.4 KitKat. Upon installation of his Play Store utility, you’ll be able to view apps without having to see on-screen buttons or the status bar. Not only does this provide more real estate for the content at hand, but it minimizes distractions, and also, presents a generally cleaner aesthetic with less unnecessary clutter.

Costing a very reasonable $1.37 on the Google Play Store (£0.82 for folks in the UK), the self-explanatory Immersive Full-Screen Mode will take full advantage of your device’s display real estate, and one of the most impressive aspects is that it doesn’t require root. There’s nothing wrong with acquiring root access, of course, since it opens up a world of unlimited possibilities and is something we actively encourage here at Redmond Pie, but it’s always nice when apps function with minimal hacking involved.

But while the fact that it works without root is certainly noteworthy, there are one or two limitations. Thanks largely to Android’s own security measures, you won’t be able to use your device’s keyboard in a number of apps when in Immersive Mode, so obviously, it’s only going to be useful in situations where a keyboard isn’t necessary.

It’s a bit of a shame that the keyboard is hindered in this manner, and takes some of the sheen off what is otherwise a polished experience. Still, if you can see some value in a full-screen option that caters to most apps, be sure to check the link below.

(Download: Immersive Full-Screen Mode for Android on the Play Store)

Make sure to check out our Android Apps gallery to explore more apps for your Android device.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New iPad Pro Concept Packs A 12.9-inch 4K Display, iPad Air-Like Form Factor And More [Images]

New iPad Pro Concept Packs A 12.9-inch 4K Display, iPad Air-Like Form Factor And More [Images]

A new iPad Pro concept cooked up by the folks of German design outfit CURVED Labs demonstrates precisely the kind of product that power users of the Apple slate would probably be seeking. Packing a sumptuous 12.9-inch 4K display of almost 300ppi, the device, which does seem a little idealistic if we’re honest, manages to retain the same thinness as the iPad Air, and although we doubt that Apple could possibly stuff such a high-spec IPS panel in this kind of form factor, it’s not as though Jony Ive and his hardware design team haven’t pulled off similarly improbable feats in the past.

Tim Cook recently alluded to some “new product categories” releasing in 2014, but as you’d expect from the CEO of one of the biggest companies around, he remained tight-lipped regarding specifics. The possibility of Apple joining the likes of Samsung and Sony by delivering a smartwatch to the market is certainly on the cards with the hotly-rumored ‘iWatch’, and the iPhone 6, while not a new product in itself, is particularly exciting given that many sources have touted that two, notably larger models are in the offing.

As well as iWatch and iPhone 6 chit-chat, though, there has also been this lingering idea of an ‘iPad Pro’ manifesting itself at some point this year. With the success of the iPad Air and its smaller counterpart, the iPad mini, there’s a feeling that an iPad ‘maxi’ or ‘iPad Pro,’ would compete the line-up.

It’s a well-known fact that Apple wants to boost its slate’s credentials as a serious device for productive folk as opposed to just a consumption device for gaming and movies, and what better way to underline this intention than to come through with a feature-rich, larger Pro model, akin to the MacBook range?

CURVED Labs certainly thinks the product should be in Apple’s considerations, and as such, has come through with an interesting iPad Pro concept. Samsung’s Galaxy NotePro, which packs a 12.2-inch display, has those workhorse features – like split-screen viewing for running multiple apps simultaneously – that many tablet users crave, and with the iPad Pro, Apple would have the opportunity to cater to that higher-end bracket of the market.

As well as the awesome screen and svelte form factor, the iPad Pro runs on a 64-bit A8 processor, and would take a leaf out of Samsung’s book with support for stylus-like peripherals.

Would you be interested in such an iPad Pro device? Feel free to drool over the images of this truly remarkable design, and be sure to leave your comments below!