Posts tagged “Nexus

Google Pixel Devices, what to expect

This is what we’ve been waiting for for YEARS.  True Google devices, not necessarily labeled Nexus — but labeled as Google devices and to be sold as such.  Devices with marketing behind them to show the power of a true Google Android device that gets updates, is secure and puts user-experience (not bloatware or cookie cutter apps) at the forefront.  This is not only important to Google but paramount to users — at the end of the day, we (you) derserve a quality device that isn’t overrun with carrier software and will be secure and supplied with updates, which keep your device relevant, for years and in time.
Why does this matter?  Simple.  Everyone knows who Google is, having their name on the phone will be huge, rather than an OEM acting as if Android does not exist, when it’s actually powering the phone.
HTC made Google Pixel devices.

HTC made Google Pixel devices.


Quality
Device quality has skyrocketed over the past few years with better devices costing less and less.  This is doing two things, keeping device manufacturers competitive and making those that are producing high-quality devices on their toes.  Google understands the ramifications of creating a poor quality device, and the recent Nexus devices have shown that the company has commitment to creating devices that are solid in build quality.
Software
Two reasons we buy a device from Google is to get a pure Android experience and receive timely updates.  When other major manufacturers put Android on a device the code is modified and differentiated so that it can look different from another.  Up front, most users think that this is a good thing; however, over the course of years we have seen that this has created the word that has haunted Google and Android — fragmentation.  Fragmentation occurs when a piece of software is different from one device to the next, since this phenomenon happened, Google is simply unable to get updates out to all of its users due to the many channels that it must go through.  First, Google releases the code to the latest version of Android (either a full version upgrade or a monthly security update).  Next, the OEM receives that update and merges the changes to the ROM that it is using — sometimes there can be issues because on the OEM side they’ve usually modified the stock Android code to look or behave in a certain way.  Finally, the carrier has to test and push it out to the devices.
When it comes to updates and keeping your device secure, it is in your best interest to buy a phone directly from Google, like the upcoming Pixel or Nexus devices.
Experience
The stock or “Google” Android experience is usually better than that of a manufacturer in many ways — primarily because it is simple and lightweight.  Lightweight in terms of how much space the software takes up on the device and the fact there are simply less processes on these devices that run, which in turn makes for a quicker operating system because less things are being held in memory.  When it all boils down, a user simply wants their device to work well and usually when carriers and manufacturers get their hands on a device, expect a performance degradation.

Bottom line:  We are expected to see the HTC made Google Pixel phones on October 4th — let’s hope that this spirals Android into the right direction and forces OEMs to do a better job.  Perhaps it is best if some of them get left behind by increased standards.  It is simply best practice to care about and protect those that support you with secure and high-performing devices rather than refusing to update phones and tablets.

Dell Venue 8 Pro, the Windows tablet we’ve been waiting for?

Could this be the start of game-changing, fully functional Windows 8 tablets?  This product by Dell certainly turns heads.  Let’s start with the price, this tablet starts out at $229 (Amazon; seen here) for the 32GB version — absolute steal.  Next, take a look at the specs, although they are not amazing, remember this is a fully functional Windows 8.1 Pro machine — meaning you can get real work done.  This tablet can run MS Office, Photoshop, video editing suites and more.  Reviewers are simply raving about this device and to be honest the rave reviews are well-deserved.

Dell has nailed price, performance and gave consumers a full versions of Windows on an 8″ slab — way to go.

Please see a detailed review from [Windows RT Review] below:

Bottom line:  If you are looking for an affordable Windows 8 tablet or an affordable tablet in general — this is an excellent choice and the fact that it runs the full verison of Windows 8.1 is a great selling point.

Nexus 5

Google fans unite!  Rather, pure-Android fans unite.  Whether you love the Nexus brand or not — it is always great to see another monumental device along with the latest version of Andriod be released around this time of the year.  As a Nexus 4 owner, I am excited for the new features of Android 4.4 (KitKat) as well as the new hardware found on the Nexus 5.

Nexus devices show the market what Android is all about, that is without the skins, colorful overlays and played transitions.  This is stock Android at it’s finest.  Typically OEM skins can slow down your device and leave the user with a poor experience, which in turn leads them to blame the OS, not the OEM.  When in fact you can pick up a Nexus device and always have a wonderful experience.

Nowadays, Android is stable, mature and bold and the software isn’t an issue unless it really brings the device down (Samsung’s TouchWiz, which could be vastly improved if it weren’t for the useless features baked in).  The thing that any Nexus device will not have is extra unwanted bloat, be it from the carrier, OEM or vendor — giving the end user an incredible experience directly from Google.

NEXUS-5

I am ready for the Nexus 5; the next pinnacle of the Android experience.

Android Custom ROMs

Android, probably the most powerful mobile operating system on the planet, is great for numerous reasons:

  • Customizations to make the device yours
  • Great multitasking
  • Fully integrated with Google services
  • Many different OEM custom skins to suit everyone

However, there comes a time that users want to do a little more and have full control of their device.  So, what is done — we root.  Why do people root their Android devices?  Here are just some of the reasons:

  • Backing up apps and data
  • Tethering
  • Ad Blocking
  • Removing carrier bloatware
  • Wireless and network tricks 😉

Also, with a rooted device means that your bootloader is also unlocked so that you can flash custom ROMs to your device.  A custom ROM is essentially the Android operating system from Google that a set of developers have taken and added their own custom tweaks for speed, functionality and differentiation.  Custom ROMs can improve on battery life, allow you to customize your phone to a completely different degree and give you an overall great experience.

galaxy-nexus-customROM

With so many ROMs to choose from, which do I prefer?  Well, on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus there have been over 100 ROMs flashed from the popular Cyanogenmod, AOKP, JBSourcery and more.  See below for a brief analysis of the top trio:

  • Cyanagenmod — This ROM is probably the first custom ROM that any root user learns about and becomes enthralled in the sheer number of customizations that are available to you.  However, in my experience I have seen that all of the options in this ROM absolutely destroyed my battery life and made the device quite slow.
  • AOKP — After a stint with Cyanogenmod, I switched to AOKP and fell in love with the customizations and stabilty of the ROM, there is not a lot (if any) bugs in this ROM.
  • JBSourcery — this is the most stable highly-customizable ROM that I have ever ran on the Galaxy Nexus, includes a JBSourcery Tool Center which offer complete manipulation of everything about your device.

So, which custom ROM is the best?  That is a question that you must answer.  Go forth and flash away my friends!

Visit RootzWiki for Android custom ROMs and kernels.

Bottom line:  The world of hacking, modding and flashing new firmware to your device is fun and it is great that Google allows us to do it!

LG Nexus 4; Sold Out

One hour.  One hour is how long it took for Google’s latest Nexus flagship have it’s stock reduced to zero (both 8GB and 16GB versions).

That is pretty impressive.

If you tried to purchase the device there was error after error to be encountered. Some users even experienced Chrome crashing due to the Play Store being so overloaded. Though frustrating, those that showed perseverance have their orders now confirmed and they should have this beast of a smartphone sitting at their doorsteps in a matter of days to a week.

Bottom line: Congratulations to the lucky few. Great job Google on producing a wonderful device that consumers really want. One piece of advice stock up more so that everyone van get one!