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Today Is Today’s Date

About a month ago, the charging port on my Kindle Fire died. So, I replaced it with a Google Nexus 7 (2013).

One thing I like about iOS, and don’t like about Android, is that the Google Calendar icon is static. Having the icon match the current date is one thing I really like about iOS.

So, I wanted to do something like that for my Nexus 7, and I finally figured out how to do it!

You will need the following free apps:

You will also need this clear .PNG file that I’ve attached to this post:

[ Clearn Icon] (Right-click between, and just above those brackets, and you can save the image. Or, I think a long press on that area will do it on a mobile device. Or this link should do it…)

Once you’ve installed those three, here’s how you get Google Calendar to have a dynamic icon:

  1. Go into Nova Settings, tap on Desktop, scroll to the bottom, tap on Advanced, and check Widget Overlap and Overlap When Placing.
  2. Long press on the Google Calendar icon. Thanks to Nova Launcher, you can change the icon for any app. Tap Edit on the menu that pops up, then tap on the icon. By default, it will show Built In Icons. Tap the word Gallery in the upper left corner, tap on Gallery to launch your Gallery app, navigate to your saved clear icon, tap it to select it, then tap OK in the upper right corner of the Crop Image interface that comes up.
  3. Tap the checkmark in the upper left corner to save your icon change.
  4. Long press on a blank area of your screen, and choose Wigets. Scroll down to UCCW, and choose the first entry, UCCW 1×1.
  5. Select Calendar Pad from the list of wigets.
  6. Long press the widget, then drag it on top of your Google Calendar app.

And there you go! The Google Calendar app has a blank icon, the Calendar Pad widget is on top of it, and tapping it will open Google Calendar.

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Take Two Tablets And Call Me In The Morning

It’s the end of the year again, and that means it’s time to get serious about Christmas shopping.

This year, tablets seem to be a big thing. That, of course, leaves the question:

Which Tablet Should I Buy?

I am the owner of a Kindle Fire. The Wife™ purchased one for herself as a Christmas gift last year, and after bringing it home and playing with it a little, I wanted one too.

Up until that point, the high tech-iest gadgets I owned were my desktop PC, my Nintendo Wii, and my semi-smart phone (It runs on Java, so it’s a step up from the dumb phone I had before, but not much…).

It worked fine as an entry into the world of tablets for me, but I quickly found that it was pretty underwhelming. It runs an old version of Android (v2.3) that was heavily customized, and very locked down. You can’t even use the Google Play Store. You HAVE to get your apps from Amazon’s market, and it’s months behind.

I ended up rooting mine, and installing a custom Jelly Bean ROM on it (made by twa_priv of the XDA Forums), and I’ve been VERY happy since.

So if you’re looking to get a tablet, let me just say this: Do not get a Kindle Fire.

The new model, while it uses a more recent version of Android (version 4.0), is even MORE locked down, and attempts to root it have so far bricked it. That is, it killed the device, and made it about as useful as a brick.

Ultimately, the Kindle Fire isn’t a real tablet. It’s an e-reader, with some tablet features. A pseudo-tablet, if you will. If you only intend to read e-books, your best bet is to get a Kindle Paperwhite.

So, where does that leave you for tablets? Well, it really depends. First, do you want an Android table, or an iOS tablet? Actually, the first question is how big is your budget? Apple’s products are all ridiculously overpriced, but if you’re space-rich, and have so much money that it’s a burden, by all means, get an Apple iPad.

My personal suggestion is to get a Google Nexus tablet. They have a 7″ and a 10″ version. They come with the very latest version of Android, and the 7″ costs $199 (USD). It’s the same size and price as a Kindle Fire HD, but it’s not locked down. Apple’s 7″ tablet, the iPad Mini, is $329 dollars.

I know I sound like a Google/Android fanboy, but I own a modded Kindle Fire, and an iPod, and I enjoy my Android device a lot more. I have a lot more freedom. For one thing, Google doesn’t care if people modify the Android OS. They encourage it by releasing the source code. Apple, on the other hand, will gladly sue you for even thinking about the idea of maybe wondering what the source looks like. I find a lot more fun (and free) apps in the Google Play store. Free apps (that are good) in the Apple App Store are few and far between. On the other hand, Apple’s iOS does seem to get a lot of apps and games before Android does.

In the end, the choice of what tablet you buy comes down to one thing: How much money you can/are willing to spend on one.

Just do yourself a favor: Don’t buy a Kindle Fire/Kindle Fire HD.

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