Friday, January 31, 2014

Razr Maxx Verizon Phone -> Long Life WiFi Only

Man, with that price it's easy to see why trading to Republic wireless wasn't that hard ;)
 After switching over to my new phone service I was left with the question of what to do with my long battery life Razr Maxx. After doing some research I found a cool solution I thought I'd share.

The latest rage in android phones are "custom ROMS" - Android OS without bloatware + new features/Unlocked features. I switched from the Verizon OS back in 2013 because they discontinued updating my phone. So after playing around with several different ROM developers, CyanogenMod
turned out to be the most stable on my phone compared to AOKP and a few others. This mod required cm-10.1.3-spyder.

Back when the first Androids roamed the planet, the ability to ROOT your phone was very taboo to the unknowing and many people feared bricking (boot cycle where phone never starts again) their phones. Thankfully over the years they have made this ALMOST fool proof. I'll direct you over to the setup I used for my phone model, but please read the warnings before attempting yourself.

Razr Blade

and easy as 1,2,3,4 they take care of rooting your phone step by step.

 Custom ROM
To make sure I don't get any angry messages, you can follow the below link to find the official instructions on installing your ROM of choice. I'm just the messenger. 

Install CM for spyder

Or see video.

Now that you have setup your new OS, go over to this link to get a modification that will make your device WiFi ONLY (if you so choose). The reason for doing this is that no matter how much you turn off your phones signal, it still tries to act like a phone unless you modify the OS to take away those features = Better battery life.

Mod Any Phone Any Rom WiFI Only MOD Disable Cell Radio

Follow the instructions and then boot! For more of an impact I would suggest going into Settings -> Apps and disable any programs that you are not going to use on your device. This is how mine currently looks, and this is after almost 5 days of steady audio use.

I currently use it only with Spotify Offline and Akimbo Player (best audio player for Audio books/lectures, NEVER lose your place!).

Minimal = Excelling.

Have fun modders.

Monday, January 27, 2014

My latest Projects

Little Old Man - 5 Days of fun on my Surface Pro 2 + zBrush 4.6 + Photoshop

Cyborg Lady - On-going

Masked Beast - On-going

4 Hours for laughs - Working with Fibermesh to see what I could do.

More to come.

A Travel Saver - Google maps with no signal

Ever been traveling through a city no one has ever heard of and lose signal?

Google maps navigation has always been a favorite of mine because of the OFFLINE maps feature. Recently with their update, the option under settings has been removed! But you can still get around this by using their installed back door - *hush hush* *top secret*.

1. On your android phone open Navigation or Google Maps.

2. Zoom in to the city of choice (area you want to make offline).

3. Type into the search bar "ok maps".

4. ENJOY! I would recommend doing this all over WiFi, as some of the areas can take a while.

Just zoom around on the map saving the cities you most frequent and say goodbye to 4G/3G usage as you travel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

From Verizon to Republic Wireless - A Cash Saving Expedition


Anyone else frustrated because you're paying $110 a month for the "best" service but not using it for its full value?

I was paying for unlimited minutes, unlimited text, and 2gb's of data for $110 a month WITH military discount. Shameful.

I'm an active guy, sure, but all that money just for a phone?? I needed a way out.

My biggest fear of switching over to a pay-as-you-go line was the payout for cancellation of contract, along with if the service was worth it. I finally made the jump, and it's saving me so much I had to write about it.

So here's the ugly math, simple, yet painful. (Keep in mind that this is for only 1 line, not a family plan.)
$110 x 24(months. Thats what you're signing for with contract (ATLEAST)) = $2640.

2 years of service is more than I paid for my first car, but wait, thats with a FREE phone. The Razr Maxx was $150 when I signed in = $2790 <- ouch.

So I started some research. I used my friends over at to start searching for good suggestions on service, and I found this -

Article 1 - Five Best Pre-Paid Cellphone Carriers
Article 2 - Most Popular Pre-Paid Cellphone Carrier: Republic Wireless

Both GREAT articles to get all your basic answers but I wanted to make sure to do a little research first before jumping.

Article 3 - Republic Wireless Moto X Review: A Great Deal With Very Few Compromises

So, after 2 weeks of CONSTANT research I decided to take a leap of faith after doing some more math. The biggest selling problem with Republic Wireless is that you have to pay full price for the phone and their technology is based off WiFi for primary use. Thankfully my work station has free wifi and my home is where I do most of my work so WiFi works. They also offer Sprint 4G for $40, which is what I went with for traveling.

The phone is the new and amazing Moto X released in 2013. This phone has been sweeping the market for its new technology - Active Notifications and Touchless control.
If you would like to try some of these on your current phone, try hoping over to the play store to see if your phone is compatible!

Active Notifications - Google Play Store
Touchless Control - Google Play Store

So back to the math, here are the new figures for switching (including my payout for contract cancellation)
$40 x 24(months (expected)) =  $960 + $300 (phone) + $190 (exiting my contract) = $1450

That's $1340 of savings for Unlimited text, Unlimited minutes, 5gbs of data

This deal may not be for everyone, but if you use Sprint's Coverage map to see how well your area is covered, you may just end up saving A LOT of cash. For every year you don't break your phone that's only $480.

This is just one mans opinion. Happy hunting.