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All posts by Rick Bosch

Rick Bosch
Rick has worked in a variety of fields, from a print and radio journalist to making bubble wrap in the UK for 18 months. However, settled in Cape Town a few years ago, he moved into the online world and as a lover of all things tech and geek related, spent many hours researching all things Android. It’s not all “droiding” for Rick, though, music plays a massive part in his life and his rants on “Don’t Sink, Swim” have gained quite an underground following, mostly from friends who never get to see him in person, because of his reclusive lifestyle.
  • Thanks to the Moto X, we’re in the middle of a budget device revolution

    When Motorola launched the original Moto X in 2013 the mobile world changed forever. It was compact, running the latest version of Android and added a number of extremely useful features to the OS without any of the much-dreaded bloat. Sure, the camera wasn’t great, neither was the battery life, or its eventual upgrade path, but it’s safe to say that the Moto X changed the mobile landscape. It’s also important to note that while all this innovation was happening, Google still owned Motorola. When the Moto X launched it brought a premium experience to a budget driven customer,...

  • Size is an increasingly large pain-point when buying a new smartphone

    When it comes to getting a new phone these days, there are a bunch of hurdles to negate. The biggest of which, is literally, the size of devices. My significant other is due an upgrade, a simple task you’d imagine, especially when considering she only has two pre-requisites. Firstly, it mustn’t be an iPhone, and secondly, it shouldn’t be a whale of a handset. So off we marched on a Sunday morning, little did we know what an absolute nightmare it would be. If you have small hands and are looking for a smartphone that you can use with...

  • Google Play Music’s SA launch is a welcome one: here’s why

    Less than a month ago, I reluctantly had to close my Rdio account after the service was sold to Pandora. The new owners then promptly shut down my online musical gateway, forcing me to look elsewhere, however the search was grim and I knew there were no real alternatives. Until now. That’s because Google has now made its streaming music service Play Music available in South Africa. I don’t need to make a case for online music streaming services, as I’m sure most of you are aware of how handy they are. There is something to be said for...

  • CyanogenMod 13 first impressions: bringing Marshmallow to the masses

    Now that Android Marshmallow is out in the wild, Android enthusiasts everywhere, at least those without Nexus devices, will be waiting to see when it’s their turn to upgrade from Lollipop. Numerous manufacturers have already released their lists of which devices will see the upgrade as well as those that are scheduled to be left behind. This is normal and should come as no surprise, however, for those not wanting to wait, (for instance, me), Cyanogenmod has delivered. Read more on Gearburn.

  • Pushbullet finally monetises its service

    We always knew it couldn’t last forever, sooner or later Pushbullet would have to start making money. This week we found out exactly how they will be doing that. In a polarising decision the company has opted for a subscription service, by “offering features worth paying for” - particularly peculiar considering those features all used to be free. Before I explain what is free and what now falls under Pushbullet Pro services, let me quickly explain what Pushbullet is and does. Pushbullet is a small application that allows you to share information, in a variety of formats, between your...

  • Why every household absolutely needs a Chromecast

    I enjoy media, I enjoy technology and I really enjoy when the two cross paths. One could be forgiven for assuming that this intersection happens often, and it does, but it’s not often that it’s executed nearly as well as Chromecast. That is why I think Chromecast is the one gadget I would recommend, to anyone. Sure, the Google-built dongle is already in its second iteration, but I don’t actually know how many South Africans are currently casting. I’ve mentioned this to a few people, but I think that television’s biggest competition at the moment is the Internet. Think about...

  • Android Marshmallow hands on: smarter, shinier, more secure

    It’s that time of year again: upgrade season. You know, the time when iOS users around the world get the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer, while only a small percentage of Android users get to experience brand new Google products. I’m lucky enough to have a Nexus device, and for the past few days I’ve been using Android’s newest and most mature release yet: Android Marshmallow. I’m sure the various OEMs (pipping Motorola to be first again) will start rolling out their versions soon, but for now, it’s only available on Nexus devices. So what have I learned...

  • Android 4.4 preview: KitKat to calmly and quietly change the world

    Google's an odd duck. A very rich duck but an odd one at that. For months we deal with leaked screenshots and rumours, only for the finished product to surprise once again, with genuine innovation made the Google way. So let me not beat around the bush, I will eventually buy a Nexus 5 and it seems the business, but it's Android 4.4, known as KitKat. I've not yet used the software, but according to the Android Developer site, I will go on a limb to say that this is the biggest update to Android since the jump to Ice...

  • Hear all about it: 3 of Android’s best newsreaders

    When it comes to news reading apps, there’s more choice in the Play Store than I could ever need. I also have to admit that I’m not really that keen on trying out new apps, just because I’ve been in the Android ecosystem for so long, that I’ve got my favourites, and I stick to them. However, there is a new app that I’ve become very fond of, very quickly in the news reader space, and it’s actually what inspired me to write this post. You see, I digest my news my own way, and I use a variety of...

  • The mobile OS wars: is anyone actually winning?

    "Guys, it's just a phone okay?! It's really not that important!" We've all been in a conversation like that, and you can deny it all you want. If you have a smartphone, you've had that conversation. Why we still do so though, is beyond me. We're at a stage now where there are three camps: Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Sure, Ubuntu is available now as well, but let's face it, that's still a very niche market. As for BlackBerry, well the less said the better. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • The ultimate Android rooting guide

    Rooting: maybe you've thought about it already, because your device is getting a little slower and you want all the shiney new features you read about on Gearburn. Unfortunately for you, this is Android, and sadly *insert manufacturer here* either hasn’t, or isn't going to upgrade your current version of Android. I will admit, this is a bummer, however OEMs are getting much better, so people are generally only a version or two behind, often without any real drawbacks.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • CyanogenMod goes prime time

    If you follow the custom Android world, you've undoubtedly heard that the biggest custom ROM, CyanogenMod, has become CyanogenMod, Inc. As far as custom software goes, this is possibly the biggest happening in the Android world, well, since it started. Taking an open source project, driven by hundreds of developers, and then monetising the entire project has left the community very divided and rightfully so. Before we get into that, let’s have a look at the facts. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Rasbeanjelly review: made for the minimalist ROM fan

    In what is seemingly becoming a tradition, I’m back with another review of my favourite custom ROM, Rasbeanjelly from Rascarlo. It’s the first custom ROM I flash on any device, not just because the thread is one of my favourites to be a part of, but the sense of community and information sharing on any of the “Trinity family” threads really has enriched my experience of using Android. Self builds from Rascarlo’s source code are very much encouraged, and that’s because of the minimal, bug free, approach of Rasbeanjelly. So if you are looking for a custom ROM for...

  • CyanogenMod 10.2 review: flash forward

    After my first test of CyanogenMod 10.2 (using Android version 4.3) there have been more than 300 commits added to the nightly builds. This, I thought, was enough to warrant giving the latest build a try, and I am really happy that I did. Let’s dig in. At this point I should state that I am using the Paranoid Android Gapps package with all ROMs I flash. This is for a very simple reason: I like the Google apps, and I like them installed the exact same way as they are on stock ROMs, meaning in the system/app partition, leaving...

  • CyanogenMod beefs up security with latest update

    As I think we've established, CyanogenMod’s influence in the Android world is pretty huge. In fact, I’d be comfortable saying that besides Google, it’s almost the most important tool in a tinkers toolbox. The reason for this is simple, they don’t just “make” things at CyanogenMod, they invent/refine them, all for the benefit of the user. That results in a great experience while using said software, and this week, it got even better. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");