Tag Archives: Nexus


Unlock your Nexus device and install 4.4.3 [Tutorial]

Google has published 4.4.3 update for its Nexus devices without telling us anything about it. There is no official announcement or blog about it. The reports are coming in that OTA updates are also being pushed. If you can’t wait for OTA, then you can upgarde your Nexus device manually. Just take back-up of data such as images or downloaded files. Once done, follow these steps (courtesy: Ubuntu Wiki)

First download the appropriate image for your device from this link.

How to update?

If you are using any Ubuntu-based system install fastboot by running this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash

If your Nexus device is unlocked then you can skip this step and move to next one, if not then continue:
1. Boot into the bootloader (power off the device and then power it on by holding the power button + volume up + volume down)
2. When you see the bootloader, connect the device to the PC
3. Open the terminal and run

sudo fastboot oem unlock

Now Nexus screen will show whether you want to unlock or now and also tell you which hardware keys to use to select ‘yes’. Use volume key to select the option you want and power key to select it.

Note: If unlocking fails, you may have to enable the USB debugging. Reboot the Nexus in Android. Enable the developer mode of your device by tapping seven times on the ‘Build number’. Then go to Developer option and select USB debugging. Now repeat the above steps.

Once you have unlocked the device, Nexus will take some time to reboot into unlocked system. In my case I had to once again enable the developer mode, and USB debugging so if that be the case you can checn under settings if the USB debugging is still enabled.

Insatll new Android updates

Now extract the Nexus image that you have downloaded on your PC, cd to the extracted folder and as run the following command:

run adb reboot-bootloader

Once your Nexus boots in to the boot loader, run the following command:

sudo ./flash-all.sh

Wait for it to complete and once done your Nexus will boot into the brand new Android.

Please keep in mind, don’t disconnect the USB during any of the above opearations.


Google Nexus 8 rumored for April-end launch

Your wait for an 8-inch Nexus tablet could soon be over as the device has been rumored to arrive towards the end of April this year.

A recent report by DigiTimes said: “Google has been developing an 8-inch tablet to avoid price competition in the 7-inch segment for launch at the end of April with initial shipments of two million units, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.”

The report further claims that Google felt the need of introducing an 8-inch tablet due to intense price competition in the 7-inch category. This is the reason why “Google has selected 8-inch as the size of the third-generation Nexus 7 to avoid price competition and competition from 5- to 6-inch smartphones, the sources indicated.”

The company is yet to reveal the hardware specifications of the alleged Nexus 8. But going by its April launch, chances are we should be hearing more about the device in the coming months.

Google teamed up with Taiwanese company Asus on the Nexus 7, and it is expected to continue the partnership for the Nexus 8 as well. The company is reportedly planning to launch the 8-inch tablet with initial shipments of two million units.

Going back in 2013, it was speculated that the Nexus 8 might be an LG-made device instead of an ASUS-made one.


Sailfish OS ported to Nexus 4

In late 2013, Jolla revealed their plans to make Sailfish OS available on Android devices, so that they could entice developers to come up with native Sailfish apps. And now, a hacker has managed to port Sailfish OS to Google Nexus 4.

A video posted on The Jolla Blog shows the installation of the ROM on a Nexus 4.

The installation uses the popular ROM Manager for Android to flash the Sailfish OS ROM, and takes roughly two to three minutes to complete.

However, the video does not go on to show much of how the OS performs after installation. Moreover, there is no downloadable file available on the web (yet) that would allow other developers to tinker with their devices. Both these facts point to the same conclusion: the ROM might not be all that usable yet. It only shows a possibility.

Nonetheless, it has been claimed that the ROM should be able to run on any Android device with an unlocked bootloader — which includes all Nexus devices. And indeed, Jolla has also stated that they will officially support Sailfish on Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

The Nexus line of devices is quite popular among the developer community, because they offer a pure Android experience, and an open, unrestricted environment for tinkering and hacking. For this very reason, Jolla (and even Canonical for that matter) are targetting these devices to run their OSes, and gain more attention from the developers.


You can boost the speed of your Nexus devices, thanks to Moto X

Remember the Moto X’s ‘dual core’ processor and how it runs so smoothly? Good. It turns out that there’s a little trick up its sleeve that’s provided by, and limited to Qualcomm processors. The optimization is provided by Kitkat Dalvik and Bionic Libraries. If you are familiar with Android, then you’ll know about Dalvik, which is the virtual machine upon which Android runs. Bionic, on the other hand was created by Google to help low powered devices run well.

Before you get too excited, as I mentioned before, these optimizations are limited to Qualcomm chips. It means that the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 5 and some other devices should be able to run it. I should also mention that it only works for Nexus devices or devices running a near stock build of Kitkat, a la Moto X. The boost, provided by Qualcomm enabled the Moto X to perform superbly, and I look forward to the continued support it will receive from Qualcomm and Motorola. One only wonders if the Moto G benefits from such special treatment, and I would not be surprised if it did.

I can still remember the shock and horror that flowed from many mouths and keyboards when the Moto X was launched in August 2013. Many balked at the fact that it was ‘only a dual core’ processor, and even claimed that it was a low to mid range device at best. Four months and a few promotional sales later, no one is balking at the Moto X anymore. It is one of the best experiences on Android, and many argue that it just might be the best. If you consider the customizability of the X and its reasonable footprint, then it becomes a very compelling purchase. If you are interested on how you can make these optimizations on your devices, head on over to xda developers for more information.

It pleases me to read of and report about the abilities to get more performance from devices we know and love. It just makes me wonder if this was a necessary move by Samsung.

Sources: Xda Developers, Android Authority

Android 4.4.1 arrives to improve Nexus 5 Camera; download now

Google has finally released the most awaited Android 4.4.1 update which improves the camera experience on Nexus 5.

Google is bragging about the significant improvement this update will bring. The company says that “it improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag.”

Users will now be able to take better pictures in bad lighting condidtions. Google says, “HDR+ lets you to take great shots in challenging environments, say where there’s a large contrast of bright and dark portions of the scene and also in low light situations. When you press the shutter button, instead of taking just one picture, we take a burst of shots in about 1/3 of a second, and apply computational photography to intelligently fuse images together.”

All of this gets a boost with an update to Android 4.4.1 rolling out today to Nexus 5. It improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag.

Android 4.4.1 is rolling out to Nexus 5 and other devices, but if you are impatient then you can grab the official image from this link and flash it on your device.


Nexus 5 will soon get an update to fix camera issues; Google to release camera API

As an owner of Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, a DSLR and now Nexus 5 I can clearly say that the camera of Nexus 5 leaves a lot to be desired. I never bother to take picture of my kid with Nexus 5 as I know that it’s going to be blurry.

Google is aware of the problem and they are already working on a fix. Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano told CNet, “the team is aware of the issues and is working on a software update that will be available shortly.”

Outside of this particular problem with Nexus 5, cameras on stock Android devices are quite limited in terms of features. Samsung Galaxy S4 camera has so many awesome features that my wife did not mind me keeping Nexus 5 and giving her my brand new S4. I can easily take pictures from my S4 by saying ‘capture’ or ‘smile’ but none of these features are available on Nexus device – even through 3rd party apps – which are quite limited in what they can offer. The reason is that 3rd party developers don’t have access to a lot of camera functionality.

The good news is that Google is changing all that. The company is set to release new Camera API (application programming interface) which will give developers access to core features which are already built into Android’s hardware abstraction layer (HAL).

The API will enabled developers in taking advantage of RAW formats, burst mode, face detection and many other functionality which are found in devices by partners like Samsung, Motorola et al as they do have access to these and they offer more polished camera experience – something 3rd party developers can’t do till now.

The Google spokesperson has said that the APIs will be released soon.


Dual boot Android and Ubuntu Touch on Nexus devices

Ubuntu Touch, the recently launched mobile version of the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, has been generating quite a buzz for the past year. Ubuntu community have shown interest in the project and the development of core and third party apps have been going at a swift pace. Several developers and enthusiasts have installed Ubuntu Touch on their phones and have given positive reviews for the initial builds.

If you are one of those enthusiasts who wants to try out Ubuntu Touch on your Nexus phone/tablet without removing your primary mobile os, you can dual boot  the two operating systems on your phone or tablet just like your desktop. Don’t be deterred by the word as dual booting can be achieved easily using MultiROM Manager app.



MultiROM Manager, an Android app, available for free from Google Play store or from xda developer forums, allows booting of more than one mobile phone operating system on your android phone.  All you need to do is download the app and install it on your Nexus 4 or Nexus 7. The app makes it very easy for anyone installing Ubuntu Touch by getting rid of any command line usage. You also do not require to connect the phone to the desktop/laptop via usb. Only requirement is a rooted Android v 4.0 and above (also supports CyanogenMod 10 ROMs).

Note: The app currently works only on Nexus4 and Nexus7( 2012/2013) wifi.


As you can see from the screenshot on the top  left , the app has a clean interface where you can view the system status, the requirements and the available downloads for Ubuntu Touch system images. To get going, install each of these requirements one at a time before going for the installation of Ubuntu Touch image. Trusty builds are the ones currently in development and ones which should be installed.

Booting into Ubuntu Touch

Once you finish the installation of the Ubuntu Touch image, reboot and select Ubuntu image from the menu to boot into Ubuntu Touch. To boot back into Android, turn off the phone and turn it back on, or open the terminal app on Ubuntu Touch and type sudo reboot.

UPDATE: Efforts to port Ubuntu Touch to Nexus 7 (2013) has been stalled until further notice due to lack of contributors. Canonical has also mentioned on their Ubuntu Touch wiki that they currently do not support Nexus 7 (2013). They may add support when they get closer to Ubuntu 14.04 release. As it stands now, dual booting of Ubuntu Touch with Android will work only with Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2012) wifi & 3G.

Nexus 5 is probably LG’s G2

LG made Nexus are the worst kept secrets in the mobile space (why keep it a secret when leaks generate more traffic and interest). The leaked Nexus 5 service manual gives more details on the upcoming Nexus 5 device. If one puts it along with LG’s FCC filing which went public recently one can easily connect the dots. There is little doubt that LG’s G2 is going to be the next Nexus device with some notable changes in the hardware.

The leaked documents expose the guts the hardware (thanks to Android Police). The device will have a 4.95″ 1080p IPS TFT display, 32GB internal storage, 2GB RAM, Snapdragon 800 at 2.3GHz,  8MP camera, 1.3MP front camera, 2300mAh battery other specs which matter include support for LTE (which was missing from Nexus 4). Once again there is no SD card support so a user is restricted to the storage that comes with the device.

Since Nexus 4 has disappeared from the Google Play Store and it’s time for the yearly Google hardware update, Nexus 5 will sure be the device to introduce Kit Kat.

(Abhijoy Sarkar contributed to the story)

How to get the best out of Ubuntu on Nexus 7

Many Ubuntu users, including myself, are excited about the work Canonical are doing on their mobile platform – Ubuntu Touch.

I have been using Ubuntu Touch 13.10 as a daily driver on my Nexus 7 for about two and a half months now. There are a few minor hiccups and setbacks, but I can honestly say that it has improved drastically from the original MWC Demo.

When we were originally introduced to Ubuntu Touch, it was a chroot within the Android OS (CyanogenMod 10.1). With the new Saucy builds we boot straight into Ubuntu using some Android bits for drivers (wifi, bluetooth, graphics, etc).

With this article I am sharing how to get the best out of your Ubuntu Touch running on Nexus 7. I assume that you already have it installed on your device so I am not going through how to install Ubuntu on Nexus 7.

On first boot I always go straight to the terminal and change the default users password.

sudo passwd phablet

and then change the timezone(a bit OCD with this)

echo “American/New_York” | sudo tee /etc/timezone

sudo dpkg-reconfigure –frontend noninteractive tzdata

it will ask for the default password which is “phablet” and then enter in your new password.

After that I add the phablet team ppa

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/ppa

To add the Unity Lens(Unity Lens can be searched via the search bar on the Home Scope.[WIP])

sudo apt-get install unity-lens-*

and finally google accounts and gdrive

sudo apt-get install unity-scope-gdrive account-plugin-google

and then run an update.(I do this at least 10 times a day)

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

add MTP

sudo apt-get install libmtp-dev libmtp-runtime

and then reboot

sudo reboot -p

Before Unity8 was updated with App suggestion I added the coreapps ppa and non-core ppa, But I feel with click apps being updated and pushed to the app suggestion section everyday, this would be redundant.

Adding accounts for Facebook, Twitter, and Google is fairly simple.

Navigate to System Settings → accounts → Add account… And select the accounts you wish to add.

This will allow you to sync friends with your twitter and facebook, Google with Drive, and your Social media will alert you of notifications via Notify-OSD.

You can also add security to your greeter screen.

System Settings → Security & Privacy → Phone Locking → Lock Security and choose either 4-digit Passcode or Passphrase.

The default Password is “password” and the default passcode is “1234”.

The only real issues I have ran into on Ubuntu Touch so far is that Click Applications are still in an early stage of development and appear to be real buggy when installed (multiple instances of the same application, application not fully loading or lead to a missing path, or not being able to download/install correctly).

Samsung made Nexus 10 is coming soon

Nexus 7 is here with better hardware and brand new mobile OS (sorry Apple, but iOS is not the most advanced mobile operating system in the world, it’s Android) which makes the iPad mini really look ‘mini’. Nexus 7 gets the (almost) same high-res resolution which makes it harder for human eye to see a pixel.

So the question arises what about the big brother of Nexus 7, Nexus 10 which is made by Samsung? Are we going to see an upgrade of that as well? Yes, we are.

According to Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati a new Nexus 10 tablet is coming “in the near future.” None other than Chrome/Android chief Sundar Pichai dropped the hints.

Google is sticking to its cycle and released Nexus 7 around the same time-frame it announced it last year. Now, we can expect Nexus 10 and Nexus 5 around November when a new upgrade of Android might be announced.

The question arises what kind of improvements can we expect in an already great tablet. One think I miss in Nexus series is the lack of SD card support. What else do you expect from Nexus 10?