Thursday, September 15, 2016

Opening A New Mobile Chapter

As a result of failing the ROM change for my phone during my first Maximum Tune 5DX outing last week, I returned to Pondok Indah Mall once more the next day for this purpose. In case you missed it, I intended to change my Redmi 1S's CyanogenMod 11 ROM to MIUI 8 after recently being a pain in the buns in which, of all things, it just didn't load app notifications, and message delivery on WhatsApp was delayed, awfully.

Transitioning to MIUI 8 after more than a year using CM 11 would mark the new mobile chapter of mine, some good, some bad, and yes, I made a trade there, which I will explain way below.


This is how MIUI 8's interface looks like. This has to be the true evolution of Xiaomi's MIUI (Image: Yibada)
At first, my Redmi 1S came with MIUI 5, and after my classmates' recommendation of CyanogenMod 11 I jumped the custom ROM's bandwagon until it started to be a pain recently. Now, convinced by the MI Center storekeepers I talked to and my friends, I switched to MIUI yet again. The question is, what is MIUI 8? And how does it fare?

MIUI is Xiaomi's very own User Interface based on the Android Operating System we all know. Over past five years since its first inception, Xiaomi has developed MIUI with an aim to enhance its users' experience with an optimized, intuitive, helpful, and easy-to-use user interface. MIUI provides its own comprehensive range of system apps that will aid users' daily life, and an ability to change unique themes.

The new MIUI 8 saw its global release in August this year, the same time the Chinese version was rolled out. The new version supports a wide range of Xiaomi models including Redmi 1S, and is packed with new features, such as Second Space and Dual Apps (these features are absent in Redmi 1S, Redmi 2, Redmi Note 3G and Redmi Note 4G due to their hardware limitations), along with other pack of features including scrolling screenshot capabilities, better camera and photo filter, Quick ball (for one-hand control), Caller IDs, and much more. The MIUI 8 is an Over-The-Air (OTA) update, so users will have to connect to the internet to acquire the upgrade.

After seven days with MIUI 8, I can say that this performs much better than CyanogenMod 11, albeit not having as many degree of customizations than the custom ROM. MIUI 8 wins in battery management and performance, which, for the latter part, I found out that it performs faster with Sync turned off as it somehow slows down certain applications. The notification bar is also packed with options to activate crucial settings such as Hotspot, Screenshot, Performance, and more, making things like activating Tethering Hotspot and turning on the Performance mode much easier. Despite this, I was kinda saddened to find out it restricts third-party apps from writing and deleting files on SD Card, although some certain folders are somehow unaffected by this, for select apps specifically. Maybe I should consider going into rooting, no?


Gameplay of Mini Legend, one of the best Mini 4WD simulation games in the market. (Uploaded by FaizBugz1 on YouTube)
To be honest, my app roster is anything but special, not so much different from the last time I posted about my mobile phone. I mainly use my phone for internet browsing and not so much of gaming, but that kinda changed when a game named Mini Legend stepped in. This game developed by Twitchy Finger Ltd. is about Mini 4WDs, and you play as a character, either a male or a female, related to the legend in that department, which is actually your father. And as it is about Mini 4WDs, parts customization is key, and you will need a good combination of parts to tackle a particular race course. Not to mention, it recently has opened its doors for more international players in the Americas (US and Canada currently) and China. The game also had a good selection of parts and there are even bodies modeled after fully-fledged race cars such as a formula car or a Le Mans Prototype, to oddballs like a van, taxi, and even a waffle cart, plus Time Attack, online events, and PVP modes. The gameplay is quite easy as you only had to launch your car during the start, leaving you with determining which parts setup is the perfect fit for you for a particular course, avoiding a possibility between being smoked in PVPs or story races and derailing during either cornering or jumping. To any Mini 4WD fan reading this, I really recommend this game!

Unfortunately, just when I thought I had saved my progression before the ROM change, the Facebook link didn't seem to work despite already linking my previous game progress to my Facebook account, which is a shame because I already had built up a good combination of parts and I went really, really far progression-wise. I suspect that was related to the aforementioned problem my previous ROM had. That said, I had to start from the ground up once more, with nothing but the knowledge of what parts I had to prioritize in getting it from the Draws system which would randomly determine which part you will get for an amount of an in-game currency. But the good thing is, I started over again at the time the new version (which is v1.1.9 at the time of this posting) rolled, with Parts Shop showing ten parts for sale instead of just four, resulting me in getting one of the parts I already had before which is a formula-styled body and the LMP1 body! Better yet, recent online events offered some great parts for my taking, and a Motor Draw I took yielded me one of the better-performing parts to aid me to get the best parts I had before, so I guess I do have a good restart after all.

Millions of downloads with memetic mutation going strong at the time, Own Games's clicker game Tahu Bulat set its sights to further deep the round tofu phenomenon. (Image: Own Games / Rappler)
Next in line for the game I played the most recently during my CyanogenMod days was Own Games' Tahu Bulat, or Round Tofu if you will. This game was a hit in Indonesia back when Tahu Bulat was a meme that might hold more than Mastin ever did, being a #1 most downloaded app and surpassing Clash of Clans at that time (precisely, in May this year). In this game, you are simply selling the round tofu. Tapping the seller screen will attract customers + let the speaker sing the legendary Tahu Bulat Jingle Anthem, and while that you can upgrade your items to gain a gameplay advantage, recipes to gain more profit, and promotions to attract more kinds of customers. The recent version adds a set of mini-games to increase your seller's profit, open new branches in some of Indonesia's well-known cities, and a PVP multiplayer via Google Play Games. I enjoyed this game a lot actually since it's first released, initially because of the memetic mutation, but then again I am a fan of round tofu myself (both this game and real life!) and there's this urge to improve sales, stuffs and recipes to the max.  This has to be hands down the game with memetic mutation I enjoy the most more than Mbaktin.

Ever since the last 20 days of my using the CyanogenMod ROM, both Mini Legend and Tahu Bulat have superseded my mainstay game Clash of Clans I used to play religiously. I gave more attention to both games while I gave little to no attention to Clash of Clans. Unfortunately, for the badder (or gooder, depending on what your perspective is) news, I don't play Clash of Clans anymore as the climax. Honestly, it really is hands down a fun game to play, but seeing myself as not being active anymore and constantly being raided while trying my best to upgrade my stuffs (be it an attacking unit or defensive buildings), combined with tendencies of being disconnected at very unfortunate times, and low clan activity (I'm pretty sure people have migrated to Clash Royale these days, which is also a Supercell-developed game) have driven me to this very decision. Took me months to upgrade from Town Hall 7 to 8 and it would took me almost a year to upgrade from 8 to 9 if I had continued, but that's my personal decision.

This comparison between my Dodge Challenger R/T in RR3 shows how it looks before my RR3 hibernation (above) and my revival (below),
On a lighter note, however, is that I am finally back to the camp where I belong the most: Real Racing 3! WOO! After being AWOL due to the fact that the game doesn't support custom ROMs, I declared myself to go back to this game after a while, at least in here! So much things have changed since I left RR3, including the ability to have all visual customizations FOR FREE once your car is fully-upgraded, plus an Exclusive Series for the select roster of cars! Realizing this, I took this chance to make my fully-upgraded cars I have look like it's race-modified, utilizing different pack of vinyls provided including the Sponsor stickers, and of course the supporting rims! Playing RR3 once again also means that I am now able to pick up where I left off, progress-wise, and sync my Facebook account so that I can race against an all-star line-up of my friends on my friends list, which, as a result, has increased my list of rivals to 30-something! Maybe I should consider blogging about Real Racing 3, perhaps?


And then there's Pokemon GO, a game that has been responsible for making a really big Pokemon phenomenon worldwide. There's no denying that it has been a game of many months prior to this post, and I even teased myself on my Instagram following the fact that it was available officially in Indonesia in August 6th, among other countries, after living with third-party APK sites (trust me, lots of people here live and breathe Pokemon GO with THAT). The question was, will I delve deep to that darkside and catch some Pokemon around my neighborhood? And the question is still relevant until today.

Simple answer: NO. Not that I hate Pokemon GO or something, because I would kill for playing the game once the game hits the Play Store! It's because an internal memory of just 6 GB in my Redmi 1S can't hold Mini Legend, Real Racing 3, and other stuffs at the same time, and the worst part of it is that it isn't possible to move app data to SD card unless you root the device. My thoughts still clash with each other regarding to this rooting business, thinking back and forth between "JUST DO IT!" and "NO!". Unfortunately, if I were to join this Pokemon GO hype, I might be very late considering the Pokemon GO hype started to fade recently. The moment I would get a newer phone capable of holding two times my internal memory at most, the game would no longer be the talk of the town anymore, but that might not stop me trying it even if the hype is gone because at the end of the day, it will still alive, just that it won't have that big of a hype anymore.

So, it's a brave new world for my phone. Departing from the original, factory default MIUI 5 to CyanogenMod and back to MIUI, this time MIUI 8. It's finally opened a new chapter in my mobile. It's always nice to be back on track, although I had to leave my village behind for an unspecified time.


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