You might have seen some banter about a way to bypass factory reset protection (FRP) on Nexus devices recently—just like LG and Samsung. It's true that there was a way to get around factory reset protection from the setup wizard, but not anymore. Despite what a certain video seems to claim, Google actually patched FRP in the January security update. Read More
You click an email address in a web browser on your laptop all ready to type out a message and boom.
What is this?
You find yourself staring at the wrong compose window.
Instead of Inbox by Gmail, you're back in plain old Gmail. Sure, it's the same email account, and it will still get the job done, but come on.
Well, now you can set Inbox as your default option. Read More
We already consider ES File Explorer to be the simplest way to sideload APKs to Android TV, but we didn't realize our old approach was actually the complicated one. Read More
By now most orders for the Nexus 6P have been delivered, or at least getting close. If you haven't tried unlocking the bootloader yet, it might come as a surprise that the 'fastboot oem unlock' command no longer works. Attempting to use it with the Nexus 6P fails with a message that it is an unknown instruction. Don't worry, this doesn't have anything to do with drivers, and it isn't a fluke. Google had Huawei replace the oem command in the Nexus 6P bootloader with the new flashing command. Here's what it will look like:
fastboot flashing unlock
fastboot flashing lock
fastboot flashing unlock_critical
fastboot flashing lock_critical
fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability
There are two levels of unlocking: normal and critical. Read More
Google has been updating Hangouts a lot lately in an attempt to make it less terrible. It's definitely improving, but still has a way to go. With all the updating we've missed a few little changes along the way, and this is a particularly useful one—Hangouts will switch between the speaker and earpiece for voicemail depending on whether or not you've got the phone to your ear. Read More
It would appear that LMY48I (which has a fix for Stagefright) is wreaking havoc on Nexus 6 phones with T-Mobile USA SIM cards. The phone simply refuses to connect to the cellular network, and thus calls and text messages are out the window. This issue seems to mainly be affecting people who upgraded from LYZ28E (T-Mobile USA's unique build with Wi-Fi calling) to LMY48I by flashing factory images. This likely has to do with the fact that the Wi-Fi calling-enabled radio firmware used in the LYZ28E build is quite a bit different than the "standard" radio firmware used in the more mainstream LMY47Z build. Read More
The Nexus 9's folio keyboard case is an expensive accessory, even by Google's standards. The product, which both protects the tablets and supplies a Bluetooth keyboard, comes in at $129.99. But Amazon has recently dropped its price to $88, a difference of $42.
The case is already out of stock, but if you recently purchased one at its previous price, you can get Amazon to refund you the difference. Artem was able to get a refund despite pre-ordering one back in October, just by contacting customer support.
Some stores may be willing to price match Amazon if you make the request, but that's an experiment you will have to try for yourself. Read More
Update: Motorola has announced that all Nexus 6 devices should be able to be activated on Sprint now. People are reporting successful activation of Motorola-purchased devices, and I was personally able to activate my AT&T Nexus 6 on Sprint by simply calling Sprint, giving them the MEID (IMEI minus the last digit) and the SIM card number I wanted to use. The device shows up under my account as a Nexus 6 and appears to be working beautifully. We have no verification on phones purchased from T-Mobile, so I can't say 100% whether that will work or not. If any of you try and have success, let us know! Read More
Google made a lot of interesting changes in its Quick Settings and Notifications drawer in Android Lollipop. One of these is the addition of dynamic toggles that don't clutter the drawer for everyone, but only appear once a user activates the corresponding option from Settings. This applies for example to the Hostpot and Invert Colors toggles. The problem is that once these toggles attach to your Quick Settings, there doesn't seem to be a way to make them go away, even when you switch the action back off.
User eak125 on Reddit tried to figure out if there was a timer attached to this behavior or if the toggle would be permanently stuck in the drawer. Read More
Ever since the beginning, Android OTA updates have worked by patching each file on your system partition individually. With Lollipop, that is all changing, and it has some important implications for those who like to root and mod their devices.
Here's what a pre-Lollipop update script looked like:
As shown, the recovery looks at this, finds each file, checks its signature, then applies a patch to it if it matches. This is the slow way of doing things, but it had a big benefit for rooters and those who like to mod their devices. As long as none of those files were touched, you could have anything you wanted on your system partition (the "su" binary for instance, maybe an INI file for a root app, etc.) and you could still apply OTA updates successfully. Read More