Google Nexus 7 (2013) upgrade to Android Nougat 7.1.2 plus auto-rotation fix

 

Nexus 7 (2013)

I ordered my trusty Google Nexus 7 in 2013 so I could get it on the day of release. Google updated the Android OS (Operating System) for a couple of years before it went “out of support”. Since then I’ve had app updates, but no OS or security updates. After the recent reports of Android security vulnerabilities, I decided I needed to bring my N7 up to date by installing a newer version of Android.

 

In addition, my N7 has a common problem whereby the screen would not automatically rotate when the device was rotated. I had been using an app which allowed me to manually rotate it, but that wasn’t very convenient, so I decided to fix this problem before updating to a newer version of Android.

Nexus 7 disassemblyThe hardware fix involved separating the two halves of the device, disconnecting and reconnecting the component responsible for the failed screen rotation sensor, securing the component, then putting the device back together. I have done this fix previously on a Nexus 7, but it’s still pretty fiddly.

Then followed about two hours of very technical work to install Lineage OS, a version of Android created and maintained by enthusiasts. I have installed this before on many other devices, but each seems to have its own unique installation problems to solve.

 

Nexus 7 Android 7 Android N

However, I now have a brand new OS, with Android 7.1.2 (soon to be updated to Android 8 Oreo) with August 2017 security patches, and OS and security updates for the foreseeable future.

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Replace Norton and Avast with my recommended security suite, and new Android phone setup

Quite an easy job this one, uninstalled Norton and Avast, both of which are sometimes hard to uninstall requiring additional tools. Avast caused a problem this time, getting stuck deleting a file, but  I solved that. I then installed my recommended suite of security software which is less than £20 per year compared to the £60+ Norton subscription. I also removed MyPCBackup which had been installed without the client’s informed consent.

This client had bought quite a nice phone from a shopping channel several months ago but not turned it on. I turned it on, set it up (email, Facebook, etc) and gave her some tuition on how to best use it.

HP Print Service Plugin – how to get rid of it (well, at least disable it)

I tried to leave a review on the Play Store, but there is an “unexpected error” and it won’t let me.  Judging by the fact all recent reviews are 1-star, I suspect Google has blocked reviews until they figure out what to do.

So, since I can’t leave a review there, here’s my review.  The review is about this app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hp.android.printservice&hl=en_GB, which was installed as part of the Android 4.4 Kitkat update.

I don’t own a HP printer. HP and Google have just upset me with this unwanted app. Now, I will never own a HP printer.

It’s unclear what effect it will have, but you can disable this plugin (at least on a Nexus 7 (2013)) by going to Settings, Apps, All, HP Print Service Plugin, Disable. It then doesn’t try to update either.

Nexus 7 is supposed to be pure Android. Adding a propriety app that most users don’t need is annoying. IMO, it’s adware, advertising a service that you don’t currently use. A trojan is something unwanted that you get in addition to something you want. This is therefore a trojan. Bad Google!

If Google later gives a rationale for including this in 4.4, explaining how non-HP owners get a benefit, then I will change my review. If it’s simply because “you may want to print from an HP someday”, then we can expect the same from Canon, Lexmark, and the rest, and Android will be a bloatfest.

Listening to media on an Android phone through a Bluetooth headset – solved

Life’s too short for you to spend any more time on this.  Buy the Jabra Extreme Bluetooth Headset from Amazon here http://amzn.to/fWumip. When it arrives, unpack it, turn on your Android phone’s Bluetooth, turn on the Jabra Extreme (slider on the side). Wait for them to pair. Job done! Media though the headset.

If you have more time, read on….

I couldn’t play media (podcasts or music) on my Android phone through either of my two Bluetooth headsets. I had been able to do this with my Windows Mobile phones using an app called ‘BT Audio’.  I wanted to make this work so I can listen to podcasts while carrying my baby without her pulling on my headphone wires and eating my earbuds.

I spent way too long looking into this online and found that stereo headsets can do this, but the sort of headset you use in your car (the type that fits on one ear) don’t usually do this on Android.  What you need as an A2DP enabled headset, but these are usually the stereo ones.  It’s very hard to find out online whether any particular headset is A2DP enabled.  I even bought a new cheap Bluetooth headset in case my existing ones we’re too old, but the new one didn’t work either.

I saw a couple of people online had had success with the Jabra Extreme, so decided to buy it from Amazon; it’s worth the extra money!

As you can see from the first paragraph, it’s very easy to set up; you don’t even have to charge it first. It looks good, appears well made, comes in lovely packaging, and has good accessories; a selection of ear hooks, mains charger, in-car USB socket, and a brilliant hinged USB to Micro USB adapter.

The sound quality is good, and so is the range.  You can pair it with eight devices, and have any two connected at the same time (ie work and home phone).  It has two microphones so it can cancel out background noise so people can hear you better.

Just goes to show, if you spend a little more, you get a lot more value.  Go on, treat yourself!  Jabra Extreme2 Bluetooth Headset.

This is another post made on my Android phone while feeding baby.

Google Calendar and Android Calendar one-way sync problem solved

I was having a problem where events I add on my Android phone would sync to Google, but events added on Google Calendar would not sync to my phone.  I searched Google Help, and a wider internet search on Google, but there were pages and pages of people having the opposite problem; their phone would get new events input on the web, but new events on the phone weren’t syncing.  Synchronizing is a major part of the Google-Android system, but there seemed to be nothing from Google about these problems.

Anyway, I found the answer to my problem.  On the Android phone, go to the Home Screen, Menu, Settings, Applications, Manage Applications, Calendar Storage. Then select Clear Cache.

If you found this useful. Please leave a comment or link to this site from your site.  Thanks.

Syncing Android phones with multiple Google gMail accounts

A rare post from me.  I don’t plan to post much for at least four months, but this one might help others.

I own a HTC Wildfire, an Android phone.  I added my Google account to it and it all synchronised well.  Although there is an option to add another account, after the entering the details it would say “Signing in”, and:

“Your phone is communicating with Google servers and setting up your account. This may take up to five minutes.” 

Well, it would rarely get to five minutes before reporting:

“Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server. This could be a temporary problem or your SIM card may not be provisioned for data services. If it continues, call Customer Care.”

I finally found a solution:

Go to the phone’s YouTube app

If you have an account, sign in.  If not, create an account using your Google username and password.

That’s it!  The phone now has the new account.  You will probably want to go to settings, Syncing and Accounts, and set it to sync automatically.  You’ll then get your second or subsequent gMail accounts in the gMail app.

If you found this useful, please let me know with a comment.  I might start posting tech-related stuff again in 2011, but want to know if anyone is interested before I spend time on it.  Thanks.