Category Archives: Beta Program

[Android] First Impression of unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich on Google Nexus S

The announcement of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and the new Galaxy Nexus certainly are exciting news for Android supporter, though it is a little bit sad to know that Nexus One won’t get the sweetness that Ice Cream Sandwich offers (at least officially).

There has been a promise of Nexus S getting Ice Cream Sandwich few weeks after the release of Galaxy Nexus, however, I am sure most of the Nexus S (and other Android device that is eligible for the update) user couldn’t wait any longer for the release. Good news is that Google already released the SDK of Android 4.0, so while waiting for the official release, we can have a go on the sweetness via the emulator on the computer.

How about a real ROM on the device now? If you are adventurous enough to try an unstable ROM (and by unstable, I really meant it) which is not meant for daily normal usage – you got it. Drew Garen from drewgaren.com has put in some efforts to convert the available SDK into a working ROM for Nexus S and it is working surprisingly well (not entirely stable but it is surprise to see this stability from a ROM built from an SDK).

If you are interested and ready to take some risk, you can refer to the guide here on how to get it install (even if you haven’t root your Nexus S), however, if you would like to see what’s new and how does it run on Nexus S, keep reading.  Continue reading [Android] First Impression of unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich on Google Nexus S

[How To] Install Windows 8 Developer Preview in Virtual Machine

Windows 8 Start Screen
Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8, an answer from Microsoft to the rapid-growing Apple Inc. in personal computer (MacBook Air) and tablet market (iPad), finally has it’s Developer Preview released to the public. Since it is not even a beta release, it is definitely not recommended for a normal user to install it over the stable Windows Operating System. However, it is certainly interesting to test run the new Windows 8 Developer Preview, so to do this without causing any damage on your stable system is – Virtual Machine. Currently the Windows 8 Developer Preview can be easily install on Oracle VM VirtualBox only, not on the VMWare Player (do let me know if it is possible). Step-by-step guide to install Windows 8 in VirtualBox after the jump. Continue reading [How To] Install Windows 8 Developer Preview in Virtual Machine

Swype Beta for Android Reopened for a Limited Time

Swype_LogoSometimes typing on a touchscreen device can be a pain since it doesn’t reproduce the feeling of typing as the physical keyboard. T9 predictive text system is there to help, but it still requires a minimal number of typing to be done. A lot of different ideas has been put into production for the text input alternative on smartphone, especially on the Android and iOS devices, such as Swype, the 8pen, SwiftKey etc., and all of them are designed to minimize the input from the user to the touchscreen, and produce the most accurate and precise text input.

I have been a big fans for Swype since Windows Mobile 6.1 as I do find typing on the resistive touchscreen is awful. The time just about right for this to come when I have recently shifted to Android device. Previously Swype for Android is only available for certain devices only, although you can easily have it installed on your Android device if you know where to look for (eg. forum.xda-developers.com).

If you are new to Swype, it is actually a gesture-based keyboard which can easily speed up your text input rate with minimal error. Check the video below for a better picture:

Swype for Android in action.

So, if you own an Android device and isn’t too comfortable with the conventional keyboard, give it a try. For a limited time, you are just require to register yourself at http://beta.swype.com/ and the link of Swype for Android installer will be sent into your inbox after the account confirmation – doesn’t take more than 5 minute of your time. The link will be only usable if you access it on your Android device though, so download the installer via WiFi or 3G/4G services.

Swype is also available for Symbian 60 5th devices, Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 (look for your device). S^3 (Nokia N8, C7) and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) version still in the development, but they should be available quite soon I believed.

“Why type when you can Swype?”

Windows Live Essentials Beta is out for public!

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After months of waiting after the closed beta release, the public beta of Windows Live Essentials is finally released! Most of the stuffs in the pack doesn’t have much significant difference from the previous leaked Windows Live Essentials Beta Wave 4 which I have covered previously, but one very noticeable change is that the Windows Live Messenger Beta will now prompt you to connect your WLM to your Facebook or MySpace account (of course not limited to those only, you can add more services later, though no Twitter at the moment) before first sign in, as well as some privacy control. You will also notice that the WLM has much better transition animation of rearrangement of contacts – try to resize your WLM and you will see what I mean.

To see what can be expected from the Beta pack of Windows Live Essentials, you can always check out my previous post  about the Beta Wave 4 – they are almost identical but for sure there are some improvements here. To download it, head to the official page for Windows Live Essentials Beta. There isn’t offline installer at the moment, so if you like to install the full suite of Windows Live Essentials that includes all the program stated below, just click “Download now”. Else if you wish to opt out some of the program, you can click on “Choose the programs you want’’ and you will be downloading an online installer that allows you to select the program to be installed.

Continue reading Windows Live Essentials Beta is out for public!

Play Starcraft II Beta with AI Offline [How To]

SC2 Logo

Update 02-08-2010: Since StarCraft 2 has been released, this guide is no longer effective as SC2ALLin1 launcher has now transformed into a handy offline SC2 retail launcher! Just install the retail version with your Battle.net activated and you can use the launcher to launch a skirmish game without login.

Hint: If you still kept/found the beta client and the older version of SC2ALLin1, you can still try to install it and play StarCraft 2 Beta offline with AI, but you can’t enjoy the updates from Blizzard which will improve the game. If you like the game, please buy the game to support the developer!

Previously I had putting up a guideline on allowing non-beta tester to play StarCraft II Beta offline, without actually having to be a part of the closed-beta test. Two months has been passed and Blizzard had released not less than 12 patches to fix bugs and add in new feature (Map Editor etc.), and thus probably the previously linked method doesn’t work well if the game has been patched. At the same time, the famous StarCrack AI has been gradually updated to a very challenging version based on the changes made by Blizzard (7.0.3 at the time of writing). Read on to find out how to play StarCraft II Beta offline without a beta account.

Continue reading Play Starcraft II Beta with AI Offline [How To]

Windows Live Essential Wave 4 (Beta) leaked!

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Finally, after a long time of lack-of-update period for Microsoft Windows Live Services, we are able to have some test drives on the latest update of Windows Live Essential that intended to be released to closed beta testers. In the package, it can be found that there are 3 beta programs included: Windows Live Messenger Beta, Windows Live Mail Beta, and Windows Live Writer Beta, along with some other small applications (You can have a glance on the screenshot below).

Continue reading Windows Live Essential Wave 4 (Beta) leaked!