Category Archives: Android

LG G watch R looks nice but …

LG_G_Watch_R___Official_Product_Video_-_YouTube

… Someone might want to help LG understand the difference between hiking and biking.  I snapped that screenshot from their product video which just released.  Looks like a handsome watch for sure and has a full circle screen unlike the almost circle Moto 360.  Pricing will be higher than other Android Wear devices at close to $300 when it’s released, but still less than starting price for the Apple Watch (which seems to do more but obviously isn’t out yet).

Full video is here:

 

Google Account Access Restored!


Thanks to the power of Google and friends who care, my Google Account lock-out is now resolved.  Thanks to Varun, who found an amazingly helpful thread on XDA.  “Simply” remove Android Login Service from your Google Account Security settings. I had 9 in there and clearing them all followed by a restart on my phone has me back in business!

Be careful out there … and if you know Varun personally buy that man a beer if you see him before I do!

 

 

Having a huge tech fail day

My day started last night actually after midnight as the Nexus 5 (active only for a few hours) decided to freak out. I was suddenly unable to login to Google+ or Hangouts. Google sync started to freak as well with inconsistent sync to Calendar and a bunch of other things.

This morning I fought the phone a bit before finally conceding to a full hard reset at lunch wiping the phone for a fresh start. Sadly as soon as it started back up hangouts prompted with its error and G+ continued to block me. Sigh. No resolution. I spent a bit actually speaking to Google tech support (yes, it exists!) But they were fully stumped as well. I’ll have to wait 24-48 hours apparently for a response and a potentially new device.

Thinking about other options to try and triage the problem I decided to change my account password which sent Chrome on my Mac, Google Glass (more to come) and my other devices into a tizzy. Glass only sorta connected back to my phone, required a reset as well (my guess) and then my other phone (N4) and tablet (N7) got all outta whack due to the account change. Now none want to connect appropriately and I seem to have lost app-based access to hangouts and Google+ on everything. Before I left work for the week the web worked and I’ll try again at home but on the train each device has seemingly lost it’s desire to stay connected. Oh and Google Now seems dead on the Nexus 5.

I’m at a loss. I thought this was some sort of device issue bit now it’s propagated across a few others making me think my Google account has partially corrupted. WTF.

Help …

Is Google about to offer sync’d SMS?

googlehangoutssms

I’m a multi-phone user. I carry two active phones (business / personal) and it’s difficult to manage the flow of messages via SMS across the two particularly if I leave my personal device on silent at the office or only take one for a particular time (like on my bike). A bigger issue is iMessage which was active on my (dormant) iPhone and until I deactivated it was the main channel for my family to text. Since I’m working multiple Androids currently iMessage is out and there’s no method to forward SMS effectively. Sure there are plenty of OTT services like WhatsApp, Line and countless others. I’ve been successful with a few people on Facebook and a few more on Hangouts, but if the screenshot above is accurate it seems Google might be looking to route SMS via Hangouts which would instantly solve this problem.

I know I’m not alone in looking for what seems like an edge case solution … there’s even an international code for forwarding SMS, but no carrier seems to use it. This cannot arrive soon enough!

via gigaom.

I’m in a Nexus state of mind

I’m a multi device user. Currently I’m working with three active mobile devices… a Galaxy S4 (work), Galaxy note II (personal) and a Nexus 7. The Nexus re-awakened my desire for pure Android as it’s so clean and importantly so fast. I’m constantly moving between applications and while the flow of Android is pretty awesome, its accentuated within the more pure view.

Towards the end of last week I started actively considering the Google Play Edition S4 as the hardware is great and it’s clean. My S4 has been fine but I wanted something more like the N7. I’d rooted (motochopper) quite a while back so the opportunity to wipe out the AT&T piece of my experience was there but the main OS experience was still via TouchWiz but after some considerable N7 use it was time to change that as well.  A quick google led me to the solution which of course is a GPe S4 ROM ready to roll onto my phone. I did fail once as the initial effort required second step following the flash which I failed to initiate rendering my unit in AT&T startup jail until I could reflash the original state back and try again. I’m noticing a dramatic performance increase without battery penalty. Mission accomplished.

While the S4 was in transition, my Note II submitted itself to a spontaneous reset. I honestly have no idea what happened but while I was in a meeting it looped twice and when I looked down was at the initial start screen waiting for me to sign in and get going. As frustrating as this was I took it as a chance to reconsider this phone as well. Given the somewhat older status of the Note II and the strong likelihood of a model rev this year getting a fresh Jelly Bean update from either Samsung or AT&T seemed low … Back to Google and this time I found a solution through Paranoid Android. While not pure in the Nexus sense PA offers a straight+ experience meaning like Cyanogenmod, there are some light enhancements rather than sweeping UX changes. Seemed like a good thing … Downloaded and flashed.  Boom.

I’m now running a pretty parallel experience across the various form factors and it’s rather sweet. The pick up and go or even pick and continue opportunity is killer. As the powers within android collect, enabling sync through background operations I’m just where o want to be on whichever screen I choose.

While the similarities in ux seamlessness are parallel in iOS, sync is badly missing and while I’m in no way way seeking out iOS for any of my mobile needs the sameness is important. If you use multiple brands of devices or even multiple SKU’s within the same brand you can get a very different experience and I don’t think that’s a good thing. What manufacturers and even carriers have done is create the fragmentation everyone loves to talk about in regard to Android. While perhaps the historical delivery from Google was mediocre, the last few generations of Nexus products are not just strong but leading edge as well.

The vast majority of add-ons from Samsung, HTC, AT&T, Verizon are typically superfluous and only challenge the ability of developers, brands and importantly the user to maintain focus and currency within the system. This needs to end. Looking at the Paranoid Android example in comparison to what Samsung or HTC have done is a good place to start. Instead of forcing a new user experience on top of the core is, there are instead some slight tweaks mainly within the preferences to offer up adjustment. My use of the Note II is very similar to the other devices … Oh and PA even detects the S-Pen so there’s that. Apps that take full advantage of the pen can still be on board in a close-to-pure view.

At the beginning of the year I was thinking this might be the year we see developers go Android first. It looks like that’s more likely in 2014 at this point though I’d love to be surprised. One substantial way to capture that developer attention would be a stricter focus on areas where innovation and enhancement should occur. Marketing could and should be about the nuances in hardware design, form factor and not the crazy layers distracting from how we might just use our various devices. Adding unique apps doesn’t seem to hurt but when there are suddenly layers forcing a certain tinted view we’ve gone too far.

tapped and swiped on the N7 while on my commute

Size Matters. Phablets Don’t. Hmmm

SizeMatters_Chart1-resized-600

According to Flurry’s data anyway …

I got hooked on the Note in a quick test at the office and bought the Note II soon thereafter. The larger format is amazing for consumption of content which I do somewhat continuously. In fact the Note II has tabled my desire for a tablet as another screen to carry / use. I’ve got access to the iPad 3, Mini and Nexus 7, but prefer to keep it all going on the Note II.

I’m really looking forward to the Galaxy S IV which will be at 5″ so smaller, but with an even higher resolution display. My guess is that the format will be ideal – highly pocketable + extremely powerful with a fantastic display for any type of content.

Anyway looks like Phablets even as many as have been sold are still low in total volume. Perhaps it’s just one of those things you have to use to believe.