I’ve got a number of Android devices including the original 2012 Nexus 7 , WiFi tablet. Some months ago Lollipop was presented as an update and I installed it. This followed if I recollect by a further increment to 5.1.1 . Wow what a mistake. The unit went from a having a fast response to a complete lemon , all in space of a few button clicks on my part. With a forth coming flight in mind I decided to revisit and see if I could improve it’s performance in any way. (The Lollipop update’s poor performance is well documented on the Web). I first considered installing an alternative (to Android) ROM in the hope that this might improve matters. I decided that for me the simplest route might be to install the previous KitKat (4.4.4) release as this ran sweetly on the device.

Reading some of the blogs there seem to be two techniques in doing this. (a) a long hand method (b) Quicker,  using the Nexus Toolkit see http://www.wugfresh.com/nrt/

I decided on the latter and followed the instructions on this fine article:

http://goo.gl/HZqYhE

You’ll need to download the appropriate image file for reflashing, so take care in identifying your model correctly via the Toolkit. Just be aware he article images seems to reference an earlier release of the Tookit in the images, however  the instructions worked for me seamlessly. You obviously need to concentrate and focus on all of the commands. So don’t do this unless you feel reasonably confident.

On returning to 4.4.4 I was slightly shocked to see that the Tablet was already downloading Lollipop! The version I’d just erased… I followed this article and appear to have now disabled the Google Update Service. OK, I’ve only just done this but things seem back to normal now and I can sensibly use the Tablet once more. You need to Root the device before being able to disable the Service. Another fine article here: http://goo.gl/E9MZP5

I must add I’m not qualified to answer specific questions on this process, but can tell you with care it seems to work. Good luck and hanks for reading.

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Sorry for the radio silence, been pre occupied with a few minor health issues. Chrome has been my favourite browser for some time. I just love the omnibox way of working . But can’t help noticing how slow it seems to be. I’ve started experimenting with some of the supposed faster browsers such as Slimbrowser http://www.slimbrowser.net/en/. In truth it does seem faster for ad hoc browsing , pages seem to render quicker to my eye. OK, it’s just subjective I know but check it out. It’s based on the IE engine so those of you using same may not notice any difference. I guess though it’s stripped down in some way? Let me know what you think. I’m trying a similar exercise on my Android devices (I’ve got 3 now). I’m trying the browser from the people behind Clean Master from Cheetah mobile. It’s fast too, and better for me on my phone. Happy and safe browsing.

Just tried adding CM Browser (Cheetah mobile) to my Google Nexus 7 (original). Said it wasn’t compatible with this model. Guessing that this is because it has Android 4.4.4 , the only device I have at this level?

I’ve got this (paid for version) on my Samsung S3 as well as one or two other Android Devices. Just demonstrated this to a colleague the other day. I put my phone back in my pocket and thought no more about it. Some time later I picked my phone up and to my horror the phone was still running (i.e. on) the battery almost half depleted. To add to the problem a text followed later from my network provided stating that I’d used my months data allowance (1.5G despite my phone stating I’d used 700 Mbytes?). In truth something I’ve never done! I trust this is going to be fixed as I’d say this a serious bug? It drained the battery and used my data allowance all in a few hours! Maybe I’ve got this wrong, comments welcome.

I’m indebted to a colleague who tells me that you can read SD cards via the USB port. You’ll need a cable such as this: http://goo.gl/GdeJG

But note the Galxaxy won’t do this natively as far as I can see. You have two choices , unlock and root your device, which I’m currently not so keen to do or purchase Nexus Media Importer by Homesoft. I can confirm this works but only on a modest sample of devices to date. Enjoy. (See cable below)

USB OTG cable with SD card reader connected

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been using this nearly six months now. So time to gather some of my thoughts. In practice this is still used mostly as a phone with occasional use of other features. These comments relate to my personal experience with the phone. In practice I’ve found using the keyboard rather tricky , a combination of ‘fat’ fingers and getting use to the interface. At a level I miss the real keyboard on my E71. Internet browsing is fantastic , the large screen and fast rendering. But very much dependent on having a strong signal. Not always available in and around London as far as my experience goes. (T-Mobile). I’ve used the Google satellite navigation a couple of times , but found the audio quality from the built in speaker terrible! I’ve checked with another sample in a shop, this appeared to be as poor! Again come back Nokia 😉  Battery life as most readers will know by now requires careful management. A perfect phone ? Well at a level disappointing for me. There are some great features, the ability to download Android apps , is pretty amazing and of course the large screen.  But in some ways  the hardware in my eyes lags behind the Nokia experience.  Would I go back to Nokia ? Well I guess the N8/E7 would have been my choice had the O/S matched the Android offering.

Another small frustration is the lack of a decent , ideally free contact sync program for Outlook. Google have a free calender sync application (http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=89955) but no support for contact syncing other than a rather crude import/export mechanism.

In conclusion, I’d give it 8/10 it’s not a bad phone but just doesn’t tick all the boxes for me.