LG Nexus 4: what i like and what i don’t
On 21th December i’ve got a brand new Nexus 4 from the German Google’s Play Store for 349€ + 9.90€ for shipping costs. The smartphone is beautiful, with its big screen and rounded shapes. Under the hood, a Quad-Core CPU at 1.5 GHz, surrounded by 2 GB of RAM boosts the User Interface and makes the User Experience unbelievable: fast apps, fast installation, everything under control and moddable, thanks to the Android's nature as open platform.
In this month of heavy usage, I appreciated the functions but also I found bugs.
My favourite features of this smartphone are:
- the Camera. with 8 Mpixels of resolution and impressive results even on night, better than some commercial photocameras out there.
- PhotoSphere: shipped with Android 4.2, the possibility of building a spheric panorama in seconds it’s awesome, because you can navigate inside this big high detailed sphere.
- NFC: iPhone users cannot understand how fun it is to play with tags. Thanks to NFC ReTAG Pro and Tasker, I was able to set up automatic tasks such as automatic Whatsapp messages, the switching between profiles, the control over the sensors, everything based on some “triggers”, such as geolocation, events, time and date.
- Battery life: with 2100 mAh, the Nexus 4 can let you play and be quiet for more than 24 hours. With the full usage (monitor always on and surfing on internet under 3G) it lasts 7 hours. Only in case of heavy-play with NFC tags can kill it in a few hours.
- Customization: Android, you know, is the most customizable OS for phones. You have million of possibilities to personalizate your phone. I was able to flash the phone and install the Cyanogenmod 10.1, to unlock more powerful features and remove unused Google Apps.
- Monitor: the high resolution (higher than the Retina iPhone) boosts the colours and the quality of text and it’s an heaven for your eyes.
On the other side, what I don’t like from my Nexus 4 are:
- Android lags: on the stock ROM, the phone was continously lagging on the Unlock Pin screen and i was unable to unlock fast my phone but i had to switch off the display and turn it on again in order to press the buttons. With the Cyanogenmod ROM and the franco.Kernel, I solved the problem, but I had to hack my phone.
- The feeling of insecurity: with Android, the malware cases registered are raising up. To solve partly this problem, you need a software firewall. I found the solution with Avast Free, which is also a good tracker and you can even wipe from remote your phone, but you need root access rights.
- Cannot pull off the battery off. If the battery will die someday, you should bring your phone to LG Service. I can’t buy another one from Amazon or eBay.
- Fragility. Looking at what other people write and document, the Nexus 4 is fragile: if you drop it down, it crashes and the monitor breaks up. I bought a silicon cover to protect it from scratches
- No headphones in the box. Sorry, but how much should cost a pair of headphones? I know the phone is cheap, but it is a big missing.
- Google Play Store: the Nexus 4 was a total mess for Google. No availability in stocks and the continuous problems with Google Wallet at the check-out drove me crazy and I was quite giving up and switching to a Galaxy S3, which costs 100€ more. The logistics of Google and LG were a tragedy.
Microsoft’s automatization tool for Android Phones
Securing Your Android Device
What to do if your Android phone or tablet is lost or stolen?
"Help! My bag got stolen with my phone in it and I don’t know what to do. Can the thief see my stuff? Can I use the phone’s GPS to get it back?"
From time to time I hear from Android users who have lost their beloved device. It’s a scenario all of us smartphone and tablet owners dread. Your phone slips out of your pocket in a taxi, a thief snatches it out of your hand when you’re sitting at a sidewalk cafe, or you wake up one morning and you just… can’t… find it!
Suddenly your precious, beloved, ever-present window into the Internet is far less than ever-present. Fear, anger, and frustration quickly settle in. Your whole life was on that little piece of plastic, metal, and silicon. And it wasn’t cheap! What to do?
Here are a few basic suggestions to help protect you in the event your Android device is lost or stolen. Some of these are preventative measures, and others are things you can try after you’ve discovered it’s missing.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOUR ANDROID DEVICE GOES MISSING
Add a screen lock
This simple preventative step will help stop anyone who gets a hold of your device from using it to access your email, contact list, notes, photos, social media apps, and other private stuff. It only takes a moment to set up but can provide a lifetime of relief knowing your stuff is more secure.
For Android phones running version 2.x visit:
*Settings > Location & security settings > Set up screen lock*
For devices running Android 3.x or 4.x visit:
*Settings > Security > Screen lock*
You have the option of locking your device with a pattern or PIN. Some Android 4.x users also have the option of unlocking using facial unlock, where the camera just looks at your face to make sure you’re you.
While you’re in the Security Settings area, take a look at the other options available to you. Locking the screen is a simple, basic line of defense but you might be even more comfortable adding some additional layers of security.
Turn on Google Latitude
Most modern mobile devices include a GPS chip that can pinpoint it’s location. If you don’t mind a little extra battery drain, Google Latitude will use the GPS chip and wifi signals to keep track of where your phone is at all times. There are a few other benefits of this for Google Maps, but for purposes of this post all you need to know is that it can help you find your missing device if it’s not close at hand. Simply visithttp://www.google.com/latitude from a computer and you’ll be able to see where your phone or tablet it at.
Do note that this only works as long as your phone or tablet has battery power. If the battery runs dry, your device can’t broadcast its position.
Install an app to help you find your device
There are several apps that claim to help you find a missing phone, but often these solutions require that you install their software before you’ve lost it. Try searching the Google Play Store for [ lost phone ] to see what’s available. I don’t have any specific recommendations but I advise you to read each app’s reviews to see if it’s something you’re interested in.
Make a note of your phone’s IMEI number
Mobile phones all have a unique number identifying them; you’ll need yours if you ever need to fill out a police report or make an insurance claim. It’s usually printed right on the phone’s box, packing slip, and/or sales documentation.
THINGS TO DO AFTER YOUR ANDROID DEVICE GOES MISSING
File a police report if your device was stolen
It might seem like a long shot, but if you’re the victim of theft I recommend filing a report with the police. After all, if the authorities ever recover your phone or tablet they won’t know it’s yours unless they have your report on file. Note that you’ll probably need to provide your phone’s IMEI number for the report (see above).
Change your Google Account password
This is especially important if you didn’t have a screen lock on your device (see above). To prevent access to stuff attached to your Google Account, change your password from a computer. You can change your password by visiting https://www.google.com/settings/ and clickingSecurity on the left side of the page.
After you’ve changed your password, the next time your phone checks in with Google it’ll note the password has changed and prompt anyone using it for the new one. Which, of course, they won’t have.
Important note: changing your password interferes with my next suggestion so please keep reading.
Install Plan B
Plan B is a popular Android app. Its main claim to fame is that it is “the first and only ‘find my phone’ app that you download AFTER you’ve already lost your phone.” Even if you’ve already lost your phone you can visit https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lookout.labs.planb from a desktop computer, then remotely install it on your phone.
Once it’s on your phone you can use it to track your device. See the link above for detailed instructions.
Important note: if you changed your password as I outlined in my previous suggestions, you won’t be able to remotely install any software. You’ll have to make a choice — is it more important to protect your account or locate your device.
iPad3? Thanks Apple, but i wait Windows 8
In these days Apple announced the event on 7th March for showing the brand-new iPad, called 3 or 2S. Faster than the previous generation, with better camera and a bigger monitor resolution. That’s cool, and then?
I have my iPad2 but, honestly, i can’t still find a way for using it for work. I just downloaded some games and video-streaming apps. Personally, once i’ve seen Windows Phone 7 and then the Developer Preview of Windows 8, i don’t like iOS anymore: too simple, too “old” in its graphic environment, without a real innovation, but the notification center.
It seems like Apple is now just holding the position of leader of the mobile market, introducing only little new features (example: in iPhone 4S, the additional and innovative feature is just Siri). But the competitors are growing fast.
Android tables are cheaper and good as iPad already (Acer Iconia and Asus Transformer are wonderful), Windows’ MarketPlace is growing up and now counts 1,5 million of apps (in November 2011, they were 300.000!).
And yes, i’m sure Windows 8 powered tablets will be good products, because of Office Integration, SkyDrive storage service, Metro UI. So, i think it’s worth to wait the new generation of these tablets and jump the iPad3 :)
Google patents Swipe Searching
Performing a Google-based search on your touchscreen mobile device could soon get a lot easier. Like “draw a G and circle the text in question” sort of easy.
Google has developed, and been granted patent protection for, a search function similar to the scribblings performed on an old Palm handheld. Users will simply draw a lowercase G on their touchscreen that tails into a circle encompassing the search term—essentially you’re writing “go” with the O surrounding what you want found.
And if you don’t want to use Google search but rather query Wikipedia or another site directly, a user can substitute the G for an S to pop a contextual menu with available search engines.
Really, this feature spotted inside some third-part applications, such as Dolphin Browser for Android or in LauncherPro: you can just define some gestures and then let the device perform some actions.
In this case, as Apple copied some features from third-part applications (who said MiWi for Hotspot, Whatsapp for iMessage?), now Google goes in the same way.
Android 4.0.3 on HTC Wildfire (buzz)
Why Windows Phone is the best Mobile OS
I discovered Windows Phone due my personal curiosity on November 2011, buying a Jil Sander Mobile, a rebranded LG-E906, the first one with Mango 7.5 onboard and WiFi tethering.
I paid this phone at 299€, a good price, if compared with the price i paid for my other phone, an HTC Wildfire (Buzz), and if we compare it with what the competitors offer: for 300€ you can buy a Samsung Wave with Bada, a Samsung Galaxy with Android, a lot of Nokia with Symbian, a Sony Xperia Ray with Android and a lot of HTC with Android onboard. I forgot: cheaper than an iPhone!
Windows Phone 7 since the first time offers a great user experience, with its Metro UI, fresh and innovative, compared to iOS and Android UIs: the Live Tiles are wonderful and show in a different way the notifications: a way between widgets and info messages.
The multi-tasking is pretty and easy to use, like in iOS, while the memory and task management is better than Android’s one, because you don’t need a third-part app which kills applications unused but still loaded in the central memory.
IMHO, WP7 works better than iOS too, in terms of management of battery power: the iPhones have a shorter battery life than WP7 phones and the key feature, for me, is that you can try for a limited time the apps before buying them - this is not possible with iTunes - so, the MarketPlace could bring more money to developers, if they make high quality apps, because users can try their softwares and if they like them, they will buy the apps. Smarter.
The number of Apps in Microsoft Marketplace is lower than in iTunes or in Android Market, but the most important ones are all there: Shazam, Facebook, Twitter, GMail, Foursquare, Wordpress, Tumblr, Whatsapp.. The big missing is Skype, but it is planned to be released on the end of February. The coolest things are the Office integration (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note under your touch) and social networking integration: with the Message application, you can not only read the normal sms, but also you can chat with your MSN’s friends, write Facebook’s chat messages, update LinkedIn’s status or send a tweet on Twitter. Easy, isn’t it?
Microsoft Zune, the software which is used for making the synchronization between computer and phone (in the Apple’s way like iTunes-iPhone), could run on Windows 7 (XP isn’t allowed any more - too old, guys) and MacOS X. In MacOS X, Zune can directly acquire the libraries from iTunes (music, photo, video) and copy them on your WP7 phone. For an Apple user, this is wonderful.
As ex-user of an iPhone and of an Android device, i really find this WP7 a new experience, positive, because it has all the best features of its competitors, showed in a smarter way.