Upgrading LG Nexus 4 from Android 5.1 to 5.1.1

One of the benefits of a Nexus device is that you are among the first to receive new OS updates, even if you have an older device. The good old LG Nexus 4, as of May 26 in 2015, is now running Android 5.1.1. The previous version running on mine was 5.1. The upgrade went well and without a problem. If you are curious, I have a play by play of the upgrade after the break…


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Trader Joe Maple Water First Impressions Review

And now something different. While shopping at Trader Joe, I spotted a colorful new item, and I was curious enough to try it. It is the Trader Joe Maple Water, in 32oz room temperature tetrapak style container. You refrigerate after opening, but you can keep it out as long as it is not opened.

THE TASTE: despite the name, this does not taste strong like maple syrup. It has a very mild maple taste, quite subdued. It is watery first, maple second. It is nowhere near as distinctive in taste as something like unflavored coconut water. It does not leave a lingering aftertaste, it is a rather polite beverage. Overall I liked it, but with a $3 price, I consider it perhaps more of a special occasion type of a drink than a day to day (brewing tea is a lot cheaper). The nutrition information agrees with this…


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Upgrading Nexus 4 from Android 5.0.1 to Android 5.1

The Google pushed a new version of Android for their LG Nexus 4 smartphone, upgrading to 5.1 (I was previously at 5.0.1). I am happy to write that this upgrade was smooth and eventless. The last time I had trouble was in June 2014 going from 4.4.2 to 4.4.3. The three subsequent upgrades (four counting this one) were much smoother.

So if you want to know what to expect going from 5.0.1 to 5.1 before you attempt it, here is what I experienced… (please note that I am pruning the screenshots to only shot relevant information, in order to keep this fairly short)

The System Update notification gets you to the Download screen. As you can see, this is a 174.5MB file.


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Upgrading Nexus 4 from Android 5.0 to 5.0.1 (spoiler alert: no problems)

The big step was the upgrade from Android 4.4.x to 5.0 but there was a surprise today, the Nexus 4 had a surprise persistent-notification, Android 5.0.1 was here and ready to be installed. To cut a long story short, this was a very smooth update.


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Upgrading Nexus 4 from Android 4.4.4 to Android 5.0 Lollipop

In this post, I chronicle my experience upgrading the LG Nexus 4 from Android 4.4.4 to Android 5.0 aka Lollipop. This is a Google Play Nexus 4, unlocked and without carrier bloatware. I only did this on one device, one time, so I can’t speak to what happens if you have different Android versions or configurations.

The post is presented in three levels of information. First up, a quick summary, then a timeline of events, and then a play by play of the action.


If you don’t want to read all the step by step details, here is a recap here, followed by a Timeline:

  • need at least 500MB free space per Google
  • need more than 50% battery life if unplugged
  • download is 394.4 MB
  • too about 70 minutes to complete end to end, using Home Wifi, unplugged

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Opinion: Why Google wants Google Contributor to succeed

News broke out earlier this week (see Techmeme) that Google is testing a new ad-alternative program with a small number of high profile websites. The ad-alternative program allows the regular readers of those websites to pay a small monthly fee ($1 to $3) to make the ads go away. Instead, those users will either see a thank you box (in place of the banner ads) or nothing (perhaps depending on screen size and formatting). Some see this more cynically, an attempt by Google to point out to the world that although people hate ads with a passion, they hate paying for content even more (see Venture Beat).

Personally I think this is a legit experiment, and Google actually has a lot to benefit if this catches on. Why do I think so? Look at some of the websites that are part of the beta: Mashable, The Onion, and imgur. It is a cross-section of tech-savvy users who are quite fond of those websites. The experiment is not set up to fail.

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LG Nexus 4 Case review: Asmyna Electric Green Soft Case

With Google announcing that the LG Google Nexus 4 smartphone will actually be getting the official Android 5.0 Lollipop, this Pure Android phone just got a new lease on life. So one more reason to continue with our reviews of Nexus 4 cases. Today we take a look at the Asmyna Electric Green Soft Case, available (and purchased personally) through marketplace sellers at Amazon.com.

This is not a hard case, so that’s one decision point right upfront. It is a soft gelatinous type of a case. As the “electric” in the name suggest, this is on the bright side of green. Makes the phone stand out when you use it, and also makes it harder for someone to grab it and run quickly – they will leave a trail of bright green behind them 🙂

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Evernote Android app on a Chromebook review

I am slowly but steadily getting “converted” to the Cult of Evernote. So I was excited to try out the Android version of the Evernote app running in the Android runtime “virtual box” in Chrome OS. This is my experience with it, using a 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook (the late 2012 model)…

Using the Evernote Android app on Chrome OS

Overall, I must say this turned out to be better than I expected. In practical terms, it gives you the option to use Evernote Off-line, and that’s one big plus over using the Evernote Web Client. During my use, this has been reliable in terms of syncing later. As far as I can tell, I haven’t lost any new note or note update or edit by using the “ChromeDroid” app (that’s my nickname for Android apps running on Chrome OS). So your Chromebook can be repurposed into a dedicated Evernote client device 🙂

Sync appears to be happening on its own (if it’s activated in the Settings), you don’t have to manually Sync. Of course if you are using it Off-line and then want to sync it all, it’s faster to manually Sync.

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New Laptops at IFA 2014: ASUS, Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Acer and trio of Chromies

Smartphones were the main attraction at the 2014 IFA in Berlin, but we also got a number of laptops introduced, even if they are mostly flying under the radar. The 2-in-1s trend continued and the Chromies are multiplying like rabbits. Let’s take a look…

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Tablet Case Review for the Nook HD+: eForcity 360 Rotating Swivel Thick Folio

The eForcity 360 Rotating Swivel Folio Case for the 9-inch Nook HD+ tablet is a great idea on paper that unfortunately fails to deliver on its defining characteristic. What I would call a “tragic product”, it fails its primary mission but it is very good otherwise. However, there are workarounds and other ways you can put this case to good use, so read on for all the details.

Physical Description of the eForcity 360 Rotating Case for HD+
The case weighs around 9.4oz on its own and 1 lb and 11.5 oz with the tablet inside. The case is 24.5cm by 17cm with thickness ranging from around 3/4″ to 1″. The case is definitely on the thick side, which can be a plus or minus depending on your preferences.

It has an elastic strap that holds the folio closed (it does not stay closed without the elastic strap). It also has a loop for pens or tablet styluses. The loop runs along the landscape side so pen length is not an issue.

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